A look at the top quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL draft
If there is an event I don’t mind missing the mark on or throwing an incomplete pass, it’s the 2020 NFL Draft. Simply put, I’m not betting it. I’ve placed some bets in recent years on the NFL Draft, and with major sports on hiatus due to the COVID-19 health crisis, you would think I might fire up my mobile sports betting app and make some bets on the NFL draft.
But this year I’m passing, even as the leading online sportsbooks expand the NFL Draft menu and prop options. Part of the downer is the COVID-19 crisis that has so many people feeling unsettled and worried about the unknown ahead. The American President trumpeting his spew of shit all over us and passing the blame as usual doesn’t help. But I was also looking forward to attending the NFL Draft live in Las Vegas. When the league announced it would not hold the 2020 Draft in Las Vegas due to the ongoing health and safety concerns due to COVID-19, it was the final fumble and game over.
We continue to miss watching and wagering on the major sports. I'm not interested in betting on virtual or e-sports, or other strange options I'm not prepared to research or handicap like the now popular ping pong (table tennis). And predetermined wagering events isn't gambling, and I have no interest.
But following the NFL free agency moves and team personnel changes, there was a a shakeup in futures odds and especially with the Brady to Buccaneers news. NFL division odds were released prior to free agency, and I also reported on that and you can continue to monitor the market and compare odds following the NFL Draft at the leading online sportsbooks like BetOnline and affiliate SportsBetting.ag.
Reporting and Props on the 2020 NFL Draft
I’ve been following and reporting on the NFL Draft props that bookmakers count on to generate business. That includes the buildup of some of the key positions generating most interest like wide receivers, offensive linemen and quarterbacks you can bet on in the first round.
While the draft won’t be live from Las Vegas as originally scheduled, bookmakers are still betting on a big handle and wagering interest for the 2020 NFL Draft.
"This year’s draft will be by far the biggest handle we've seen," William Hill US Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich told me recently.
Bogdanovich added that Alabama quarterback "Tua Tagovailoa is drawing the most interest and bets. He's a polarizing player in this draft, and there's more speculation on where he's going to end up.”
Evaluating or putting together mock drafts may be fun and part of the process for bettors and media members, but the pressure is on the top draft picks and especially the quarterbacks to perform. Some sooner than later, like last year's No. 1 pick of QB Kyler Murray by the Arizona Cardinals. The player personnel directors, general managers, coaches and front office executives carry a big burden as well.
For every NFL quarterback that is drafted No. 1 overall and turns out to be a Pro Bowler, League MVP and/or Super Bowl champion like Peyton Manning, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Eli Manning, Jim Plunkett, Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Drew Bledsoe, Carson Palmer, Vinny Testaverde, Alex Smith or Andrew Luck, there are plenty of other No. 1 picks that don't make it or come close to living up to expectations. DeMarcus Russell, Tim Couch, David Carr and Jeff George come to mind with the jury still out on current NFL QB's Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield and Murray.
First Round Quarterbacks and 2020 NFL Draft Odds
Joe Burrow is the prohibitive favorite to be the No. 1 pick in next week's 2020 NFL Draft, and the former LSU quarterback was -200 to be the No. 1 pick five months ago at SportsBetting.ag. His price is so out of site now as the favorite that he's off the board, but did reach -7,000 at some select sportsbooks.
But for every No. 1 pick or first round selection that makes it as a NFL quarterback, there are dozens upon dozens of first round NFL quarterbacks that not only miss the mark, but are absolute busts. So while you see strong odds on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to be the second QB off the board by the fifth overall pick, know there's still a decent chance he could miss the mark like Marcus Mariota, Josh Rosen, Mitch Trubisky, Blaine Gabbert or Blake Bortles.
Will the two other projected first round quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft pan out? Time will tell on Justin Herbert and the bigger risk Jordan Love. But remember other highly-touted first round picks that failed to come close to expectations or were busts in the past 15 years: Vince Young, Paxton Lynch, Christian Ponder, Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, E.J. Manuel, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart, Jake Locker, Brandon Weeden, J.P. Losman, Robert Griffin III, Jason Campbell or Mark Sanchez.
Of course, whoever drafts Tua hopes he turns out to be close to other first round QB's Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz or aging veterans Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford or even Ryan Tannehill from last season.
BetOnline and SportsBetting.ag have the over/under draft position for the three other projected first round quarterbacks (Joe Burrow is No. 1 overall):
- Tua Tagovailoa - 4.5 (Over -250)
- Justin Herbert - 5.5 (Over -125)
- Jordan Love - 19.5 (Over -135)
By the way, if you're interested in betting the over/under draft position of the next three projected quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, William Hill just posted the numbers:
- Jacob Eason (58.5)
- Jalen Hurts (64.5)
- Jake Fromm (68.5)
If you're interested in Pro Football Focus and its NFL Draft Big Board with data driven rankings or the most recent PFF NFL Analytics Mock Draft, you can gather additional data for information you can bet on. That includes Tua Tagovailoa's top end potential and whether he's worth the risk when prop betting, as an NFL prospect and quarterback you can bet on.
I'm not betting on Tua Tagovailoa to make it as a top prospect. But since I'm not betting on it or his prop offerings at a sportsbook or on a mobile app, maybe I should just go into NFL research and become a mock draft expert.
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay