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Updated Odds to Be 1st-Overall Pick in 2020 NFL Draft: Burrow Listed at +300; Tua Still Favored

Ryan Bolta

by Ryan Bolta in College Football

Oct 18, 2019 · 1:10 PM PDT

Joe Burrow has made the most of his opportunity to start at LSU
Joe Burrow is now the Heisman Trophy favorite. Photo by Tammy Anthony Baker (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • The 2020 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 23rd
  • Several players are in the running to be the #1-overall pick, including QBs Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, & Justin Herbert
  • Ohio State DE Chase Young could be the third Ohio State pass rusher to be taken in the top three in the last five years

Tua Tagovailoa is still the odds-on favorite to be the first player called to the stage by Roger Goodell at the 2020 NFL Draft. Indeed, over the last few months, his odds have only improved.

But there is a brand new contender worthy of your attention. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow wasn’t listed when I wrote about the 2020 #1 pick odds prior to the season. He’s the second-favorite now.

2020 NFL Draft Odds

Player Odds
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) -200
Joe Burrow (QB, LSU) +300
Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia) +600
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon) +600
Chase Young (EDGE, Ohio State) +1400
Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama) +3300

*Odds taken 10/18.

Let’s explore the three players I think have the best chance of going first overall – Burrow, Tagovailoa and one long shot that could be offering the best value on the board.

Joe Burrow Thriving With LSU

Burrow failed to win the starting job at Ohio State last season and decided transferring was his best route to personal success. It’s hard to fault that decision now, watching him star for the undefeated Tigers.

Burrow has completed 79.6% of his passes for 2,157 yards which ranks second in all of college football. His 25/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio also proves he’s an elite quarterback. The numbers have him near the top of the Heisman Trophy odds.

Burrow has the size NFL scouts drool over; he’s 6’4 and 216 pounds. NFL teams have also proven they don’t mind a player changing teams in college to find a better opportunity – both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray transferred before being selected first overall.

There is still work to be done for Burrow, but if you think he and the Tigers are destined for big things, you may want to get your money in before the odds get even shorter.

Tua Tagovailoa Showcasing Skills for Alabama

Tagovailoa is three inches shorter than Burrow but he’s doing more than enough with his 6’1 frame to impress talent evaluators. He has 27 touchdowns and only one interception, while throwing for 2,011 yards which is third-most in college football.

The stats pop off the page but the question to be asked is – when will NFL teams start to question where a player comes from? Beating up on lower-end programs while being protected by a top-end offensive line isn’t hard. Dwayne Haskins put up gaudy numbers with an elite Buckeyes team and has struggled at the next level. Mayfield won a Heisman with Oklahoma and seems to have regressed with the Cleveland Browns.

They aren’t the only ones.

Plus, Tagovailoa’s stats are helped by his unparalleled receiving corps racking up yards after the catch.

Will scouts trust the numbers with Tagovailoa or start to look at players who have more of the measurables they’ve traditionally looked for in the past?

Will Chase Young Be Most Impactful Player At Next Level?

Chase Young was +900 last time we covered the topic and now you can get him at +1400. The fact you are getting more value than before despite his incredible start to the season should be considered a blessing.

Young is tied for second in the nation with 8.5 sacks and has been an absolute terror as a pass rusher for Ohio State this season.

He is 6’5 and 265 pounds, giving him ideal size for his position. He’s being compared to former number-one pick Myles Garrett, but the easier measuring stick may have come from his own school. Joey Bosa was taken third overall by the Los Angeles Chargers (2016) and his brother Nick was taken second by the San Francisco 49ers (2019).

Watch how they are terrorizing quarterbacks and then listen to scouts who believe Young may be the best of the three. Should Young really be paying +1400?

Young Providing Best Value At +1400

There are a couple things that lead me to believe the first pick may not be a quarterback this year. There is an elite class coming in 2021 that includes Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, so bottom feeders have reason to wait one more season.

One other factor is that several teams in the running for the first-overall pick could choose to take a defensive player instead. The Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins come to mind and both of those teams only have one win this season.

That said, Miami and Cincinnati are currently in the pole position for the first pick and both would be in the QB market. So make a smaller investment and try to hit the jackpot with the third elite Buckeyes pass rusher in the past five years.

PICK: Chase Young (+1400)

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