NFL Draft 2020: Complete 1st-Round Order, Mock Draft and Latest OddsFebruary 20, 2020
The NFL draft is the ultimate form of gambling, isn't it?
Teams make multimillion-dollar investments in prospects with varying odds of panning out. Guess right, and franchises collect the jackpot prize of a superstar. Guess wrong, and those responsible for the misfire could be looking for a new line of employment.
It's only fitting, then, that the worlds of drafting and wagering are officially connected. After laying out our most recent mock first round, we'll examine two of the latest lines involving the draft, courtesy of Caesars Palace (h/t ESPN's David Purdum).
First-Round Order and Mock Draft
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
4. New York Giants: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
7. Carolina Panthers: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
13. Indianapolis Colts: A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
15. Denver Broncos: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
16. Atlanta Falcons: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
17. Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
21. Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
22. Buffalo Bills: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
23. New England Patriots: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
24. New Orleans Saints: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
25. Minnesota Vikings: Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
27. Seattle Seahawks: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
29. Tennessee Titans: Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
30. Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
31. San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
32. Kansas City Chiefs: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
NFL Draft Odds
Who Will Draft Tua Tagovailoa?
Do oddsmakers know something the rest of us don't? Rather than drawing a direct line between the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, Caesars instead lists both the Dolphins and Lions as co-favorites to land Tagovailoa at 10/11.
The Chargers (5-2), Bengals (7-1), Panthers (7-1) and Jaguars (9-1) are listed as other potential landing spots. L.A. rightfully leads that group, since it needs a new signal-caller after splitting up with Philip Rivers. Cincy needs a passer, too, but there's an almost universal expectation it will use the top pick on Joe Burrow.
The others are interesting: Carolina could go a different direction than Cam Newton, and Jacksonville hasn't received high-level quarterback play for a long time. But both would almost assuredly need to trade up for a shot at Tagovailoa, and that may not be in the cards for either club.
The real showdown, then, is Detroit vs. Miami, even though the Lions insist they aren't shopping Matthew Stafford. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Tagovailoa landing with the Lions in his latest mock, though the draft analyst concedes "everything is in play here."
The Dolphins are the team most commonly connected with Tagovailoa in mock drafts (like we have above), but the question has always been whether they can stand pat at No. 5 and still get him. Considering he didn't even play a full season in 2019 and still finished with 33 touchdown passes against only three interceptions, that might be a stretch, provided he shows no major concerns from November hip surgery.
Miami has the draft capital to climb the board (including three first-round picks), but does it need to leapfrog Detroit to get Tagovailoa? How much would Washington need to pass up an elite prospect like Chase Young? Is all of this a smokescreen to spark a bidding war between all the quarterback-needy clubs? Could the Bengals make this a moot discussion and actually take Tagovailoa over Burrow?
There are so many fascinating questions to be answered between now and April 23.
How Many QBs Will Go in First Round?
It would be interesting to see the number of first-round quarterbacks early in the mock draft process and how it changes leading up to the actual talent grab. With so many clubs having question marks at such a critical position, it's always tempting to throw a dart and see if you can hit a bull's-eye.
But how many will make that gamble in the opening round? Well, there are odds for that.
Caesars set the over/under at 4.5 first-round quarterbacks with the under favored at minus-150. Since we have four quarterbacks in our mock first round, we tipped our hand in terms of how we'd wager.
But the NFL's obsession with this position makes it an interesting debate. There could be five first-round quarterbacks even if there aren't five quarterback prospects with first-round grades.
For instance, the last big board from B/R's Matt Miller had Burrow at No. 2, Tagovailoa at No. 7, Justin Herbert at No. 28 and Jordan Love at No. 45. But in Miller's most recent mock, Burrow goes first, Tagovailoa goes fifth, Herbert is the 16th pick and Love lands 13th. Oh, that mock also tips to the over with Tampa grabbing Washington's Jacob Eason at No. 14.
Talent isn't the lone evaluation tool. Positions matter, especially this one.
We still don't see that translating to five first-round quarterbacks, but we'd hardly be shocked if it did.