2020 NFL Draft Odds for Top Skill Position Players
April 15, 2020
By Tony Mejia
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The 2020 NFL Draft takes center stage as the showcase event for the sporting world for the entire spring on Thursday April 23, 2020.
VegasInsider.com has provided plenty of in-depth betting analysis and you can check out more specific pieces here.
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Dead heats expected for top RB, WR taken
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Wide receivers in this draft class form the deepest position group available. Running backs remain a commodity that teams don’t consider worth spending high picks on, but there are a couple of difference-makers out there.
Josh Jacobs went No. 24 to the Raiders last year and ran for 1,150 yards and Saquon Barkley went second to the Giants in 2018 and has had some monster games. No back will go that high in 2020, but there are a few attractive options who will be taken in the vicinity of where Jacobs was selected last season.
Georgia’s D’Andre Swift and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor will each have a chance to be starters next season and could both be first-round picks. Swift, who gets the edge here as to who goes highest due to being a better pass-catching threat, may not end up being as special as Taylor. The former Badgers star is the reigning two-time Doak Walker Award winner, but in the rightfully cynical world of NFL talent evaluation, the 6,174 yards he gained on the ground over the last three years sounds like a ton of mileage.
Taylor did more than triple the damage as a receiver as a junior than he did in his first two years, so he’s capable of getting the job done there, but Swift is indeed the superior receiving option of the backfield. The ‘Dawgs standout got fewer than half the carries over the last three years and ran a 4.49 to Taylor’s faster 4.41, so he’s right in the mix at the top despite the less accomplished college career. I believe Swift will go first but Taylor may end up being amazing. This will be a fit pick either way, but I think Swift ends up hearing his name called first. When I made this recommendation on March 15, Swift was -120 and Taylor came in at -110, so prevailing sentiment is that most teams have moved Swift ahead of Taylor.
There are multiple fantastic receivers in this draft who should make an immediate impact. The 49ers’ Deebo Samuel and Titans’ A.J. Brown helped their teams go deep into the playoffs, but this year’s class features to boast guys capable of immediately emerging as No. 1 options. Baltimore’s Marquise Brown was the first wideout taken last April with the 25th selection and also flourished when healthy, but there should be at least three players taken before the spot “Hollywood” was chosen in ‘19.
Alabama star Jerry Jeudy and fellow burner Henry Ruggs III are going to go top 20. Jeudy is brilliant and Ruggs ran a 4.27, the fastest time at the combine. LSU’s Justin Jefferson was a major factor in earning a championship there are a number of others who will become instant contributors like Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Baylor’s Denzel Mims and Penn State’s KJ Hamler.
While those guys may all be tremendous, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb looks like the best of the crop. After putting on a ridiculous show at the combine and helping both Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts put up eye-popping numbers, there are few doubts that the Sooners star will emerge as a terrific playmaker at the pro level. I believe he’ll beat out the ‘Bama boys in becoming the first receiver taken.
Who goes first at tight end sees Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet now heavily favored over Dayton’s Adam Trautman, who will become the first player selected from the Flyers’ program since 1977. Kmet is the ‘chalk’ for a reason as a known commodity who is certain to produce at the NFL level so long as he’s healthy, but he’s suffered through collarbone and elbow injuries that could cause him to drop. Trautman is certainly a sleeper given that he’s an unknown who performed at the FCS level, but he’s been compared to San Francisco’s George Kittle. Kmet is the known commodity, but I wouldn't dismiss Trautman based on small-school affiliation.
Odds provided by Fan Duel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
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Running Back Odds
D’Andre Swift, Georgia -200 (Bet $200 to win $100)
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin +190 (Bet $100 to win $190)
JK Dobbins, Ohio State +1100
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU +1200
AJ Dillon, Boston College +7500
Zack Moss, Utah +7500
Wide Receiver Odds
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama +120 (Bet $100 to win $120)
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma +150
Henry Ruggs III, OT, Alabama +270
Justin Jefferson, LSU +6000
Tee Higgins, Clemson +10000
KJ Hamler, Penn State +10000
Tight End Odds
Cole Kmet, Notre Dame -700 (Bet $700 to win $100)
Adam Trautman, Dayton +900 (Bet $100 to win $900)
Brycen Hopkins, Purdue +1100
Thaddeus Moss, LSU +1200
Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri +1200
Hunter Bryant, Washington +1200
Harrison Bryant, FL Atlantic +2000
Jared Pinkey, Vanderbilt +2500
Colby Parkinson, Stanford +3000
Jacob Breeland, Oregon +3000
Cheyenne O'Grady, Arkansas +5000
Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati +5000
Devin Asiasi, UCLA +6000
Stephen Sullivan, LSU +6000
Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland St. +8500
Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech +10000
NFL Draft Predictions
Best Bet: D'Andre Swift is first RB selected (-200)
Best Bet: CeeDee Lamb is first WR selected (+150)