With just over a week until the NFL Draft takes place on television rather than live for the first time, teams who have high hopes of winning Superbowl 55 have vital choices over who is their main pick, and what their options are if others beat them to the punch.
This pre-season’s hotly-anticipated NFL Draft is sure to be an odd experience for fans, with the lack of atmosphere already palpable a week away from kick-off. The restricted nature of live sporting events during the COVID-19 crisis has seen many observers focus on the games themselves. When will the season kick-off? When will coverage resume and will matches need to be played behind closed doors?
The reality is that the NFL Draft, while not a game itself, has a huge bearing on the season as a whole and will be dramatically affected by events outside its control. A good example is how the NFL world views Tua Tagovailoa. Having experienced a season-ending hip injury five months ago, Tagovailoa hasn’t had the same chance to prove his fitness that others in the past has. While ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky’s look at how Tagovailoa is a near-perfect match for the Miami Dolphins is a great illustration of the talent on offer, all the language has focused around the fact that Tagovailoa is a “risk” in the 2020 NFL Draft.
That may be true, it may not, but as the deadline for decisions approaches, big money is going to be behind investments across American Football and those holding the purse-strings can get twitchy around such language. We’ve looked at five value picks and how much you should invest to make a profit come the night of the 2020 NFL Draft.
- Justin Herbert to be Drafted before Tua Tagovailoa – THREE POINTS at 2/1
Fairly obviously, we’ve got to start with Tagovailoa and his main rival. With Joe Burrow and Chase Young looking likely for the first two picks, it’s going to feel like the first round is dedicated to quarterbacks by the time a decision has to be made on Justin Herbert and Tuo Tagovailoa.
Oregon Ducks QB Herbert is hugely popular and would make a great choice for the Chargers at sixth pick, but as you can see here, Miami Dolphins are fifth pick and could easily swoop to take Herbert for themselves. There’s plenty of evidence as to why they should.
- 5+ QBs Drafted in the 1st Round, 3+ WRs Drafted in the 1st Round – THREE POINTS at 3/1
This seems one of the most obvious choices in your betting slip for the night. The number of quarterbacks on offer at the top of the charts is one of the highest in years, and you could easily be three from four. Wide receivers have been very prevalent too in pre-season discussions, however, and we see three of them making the cut.
A simple bet but a fun sweat and you should be very close with three picks to go by our calculations. If you only need one to come in with a couple of picks left, it’s going to make the 2020 NFL Draft extremely exciting for you when Cleveland come to make the 10th and vital pick. They have picked a QB or a WR in the first pick in two of the last three seasons.
- Henry Ruggs III to be Drafted by the Denver Broncos – TWO POINTS at 6/1
Some picks make logical sense, while others are calculated risks. A smaller sub-section of NFL Drafts, however, are the romantic picks that fans love. Henry Ruggs III going to the Denver Broncos has that feel about it.
The match-up between Ruggs and the rest of the roster in Denver is mouth-watering and makes huge sense, with Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant sure to dovetail well with Ruggs. The Broncos are going to want to threaten the Chiefs for the AFC West title, and youth should give them the best chance. For that reason alone, Ruggs looks a great pick.
- Tua Tagovailoa to be Drafted by the Washington Redskins – ONE POINT at 12/1
If it swings the other way from expected latest tips, the Washington Redskins may decide to risk it all by going for Tagovailoa as their first pick. They are likely to have the choice between Chase Young and Tagovailoa, with Joe Burrow expected to be first pick by everyone.
While the Redskins took Dwayne Haskins in the 2019 Draft (at #15 pick), a star quarterback would really make others sit up and take notice, rather than a defensive pick in Young. How much do they believe in Haskins, known as ‘Simba’? It might be a case of pride for the Redskins and we’ll find out on April 23rd.
- Tua Tagovailoa not to be Drafted in the 1st Round – ONE POINT at 40/1
Almost unthinkable as little as a month ago, this is still an outside possibility. However, in an age where internet rumours can sweep through a nation with ease, any worries about Tagovailoa’s recovery from his hip injury would put a serious dampener of his admirers’ heat for the pocket-throwing quarterback.
While still an outside bet, it might be worth a nibble with a week to go. There’s bound to be a shock last-minute move or lack of one and Tagovailoa’s injury, coupled with the worrying nature of being able to train or not in these lockdown times might scare off enough teams to push him to the second round.
There you have it – ten points of betting shots from us to you that should give you something to sweat in the 2020 NFL Draft long after Joe Burrow has joined the Bengals.