- The wide receiver class for the NFL 2020 draft is loaded
- Only two WRs were selected in the first round in 2019, and none in the top 15
- Jeudy could become the fourth Alabama receiver taken in the first round since 2011
When the college football season ends, NFL Draft season begins. This year, one of the crucial draft storylines is the loaded group of wide receivers.
The pool of WR talent headed to the next level is deep. Last year, 42 college receivers amassed 1,000-plus yards, and 14 had at least 1,200 yards.
The NFL Draft props currently favor Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, who won the 2018 Biletnikoff Award (as the NCAA’s best receiver), coming off the board first. The odds also predict at least three wideouts going in the Top 15.
What’s the best bet for each prop?
Odds to Be First WR Drafted in 2020
|Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)||-250|
|CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)||+200|
|Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)||+500|
|Laviska Shenault (Colorado)||+1000|
Odds taken Jan. 21.
Jeudy collected over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns the past two seasons. He also has the legacy of Alabama Crimson Tide receivers working in his favor. Since 2011, three Alabama receivers have been taken in the first round (Julio Jones, 2011; Amari Cooper, 2015; Calvin Ridley, 2018) and quickly transitioned to star status in the NFL.
You're gonna hear this a lot. I mean a lot a lot…
but Jerry Jeudy isn't just fast, he's a whole 'nother kind of fast. pic.twitter.com/4L2mykHpCD
— EJ Snyder (@thedraftsmanFB) January 14, 2020
Cooper and Jones, both drafted in the top 10, have been particularly effective. NFL teams can see that Alabama coach Nick Saban hasn’t steered them wrong in the past.
Jeudy also ended his college career in style, with a career-high 204 receiving yards against Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
First play of the game? Michigan covers Jerry Jeudy 1-on-1 and pays dearly.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 1, 2020
Keep in mind, though, that Alabama has two other draft-eligible receivers who will steal some of the spotlight on Bama’s pro day: Henry Ruggs III (746 yards, 7 TDs) and Devonta Smith (1,256 yards, 14 TDs).
Do You Believe In CeeDee?
The most-likely receiver to go before Jeudy, at least at this juncture, is Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. He was the Biletnikoff runner-up in 2019 (to LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase) after posting 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Sooners.
NFL.com published a mock draft on Tuesday in which Lamb was projected to go first among the receivers at No. 12 to Oakland.
CeeDee Lamb: pic.twitter.com/bTFdDpIl4s
— dylan jackson (@NBADraftDylan) January 19, 2020
Lamb’s talent is legitimate enough to challenge Jeudy, but I’m still putting my money on the favorite. Jeudy had the benefit of playing SEC defenses (which have notably better reputations than the Big 12 defenses Lamb faced) and looks like the latest in the long line of Bama receivers to become NFL stars.
Pick: Jerry Jeudy first WR drafted (-250)
Over/Under Wide Receivers Drafted in Top 15
Odds taken Jan. 21
Three or more receivers are favored to be drafted in the top 15 this year, after none went in the top 20 last year. It has happened twice since 2015, but there is a ton of fluctuation from year to year. In both 2019 and 2018, there weren’t any WRs taken in the top 20. But in 2017, three WRs were taken in the top 10, led by Western Michigan’s Corey Davis.
A new weapon for Marcus Mariota!
Titans take Western Michigan WR Corey Davis with the No. 5 overall pick. pic.twitter.com/ws1DIJdTJh
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 28, 2017
This coming year, it should be close. NFL.com projects two top-15 receivers (Lamb and Jeudy) with a third (Ruggs III) coming at No. 21. It also projects six WRs taken in the first round, which would be the most since 2015.
Will some teams sit back because of the depth, causing WRs to fall to later picks? Or is there too much talent up high to pass up on?
I lean to the under at plus-money. Jeudy and Lamb demonstrated enough to be the clear top-two receivers — after that, the depth will likely encourage most teams to wait.
Pick: Under 2.5 WRs in top 15 (+120)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.