2020 NFL Draft Odds – Top Defensive Players

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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Simmons heavy ‘chalk’ to be first LB taken

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There isn’t a lot of mystery over who will become the top defensive players selected at their position when the NFL Draft’s first round takes place on April 23.

Chase Young, the top defensive player available in this class, will be a top-three pick and is obviously going to be the top defensive lineman selected. Setting a single-season record for sacks in dominant fashion is proof he’s special as a can’t-miss prospect.

Teammate Jeffrey Okudah is considered the top cornerback in this crop, which should feature a number of other first-rounders out of SEC schools. While Florida’s C.J. Henderson, LSU’s Kristian Fulton, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler may all go on the first day, none is considered a top-10 lock like Okudah.

For wagering purposes, FanDuel has odds available on linebackers and safeties in terms of identifying the top selection at those positions. Clemson standout Isaiah Simmons, the reigning Butkus Award winner and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, is expected to go first among linebackers. With the odds that he’ll go ahead of every peer at -4500 ($4500 to win $100), it’s clear that there isn’t much value in riding the “Swiss Army knife,” considering his size (6-foot-4, 229 pounds) and speed (ran 4.39 at the combine) make him the type of hybrid that can be used at defensive end and safety in addition to his natural position.

I don’t believe there’s anyone who can move ahead of Simmons, but do love the upside of LSU’s Patrick Queen, the Defensive MVP of the 2020 National Championship. Queen, who won’t turn 21 until August, learned under 2019 first-rounder Devin White and is speedy and instinctive. Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray is a little thicker and an inch taller than Queen but doesn’t appear to be as explosive.

Safety is where the mystery lies if you’re looking for a little draft action on the defensive side of the ball since there’s potentially money to be made on another LSU star, Grant Delpit who didn’t have as strong a junior season as he did in 2018 but won the Thorpe Award as college football’s top defensive back anyway.

The perception is that Delpit will be the second player taken at his position behind Alabama’s Xavier McKinney. Similar to Clemson’s Simmons, the Crimson Tide two-year starter is being lauded for his versatility, which is why he’s a certain first-rounder and has shot up some draft boards ahead of Delpit. He’s certainly the top hybrid safety and is considered extremely valuable since he can be used in multiple roles, but being a nearly 2-to-1 choice to go first among safeties (-190) doesn’t offer great value.

When you consider that Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield, Jr., Cal’s Ashtyn Davis and Kyle Dugger, a sleeper from Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, all have their admirers, McKinney is too heavy a favorite here.

It’s no secret that Delpit played the bulk of his junior season on an injured ankle and has had shoulder problems, but the New Orleans native will still be just 21 years old when the season begins and has demonstrated marvelous instincts as a safety capable of keeping everything in front of them. Considering the odds (+160, $100 to win $160), hoping that a team falls in love with Delpit over McKinney and the rest of the safety class is the best bet among defensive players.

Odds provided by Fan Duel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
T&C's Apply, 21+

NFL Draft Odds - Linebackers

Isaiah Simmons, Clemson -4500 (Bet $4500 to win $100)
Patrick Queen, LSU +1200 (Bet $100 to win $1200)
Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma +1500
Troy Dye, Oregon +2600
Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian St. +3200
Willie Gay, Jr., Mississippi St. +3200

NFL Draft Odds - Safety

Xavier McKinney, Alabama -300 (Bet $300 to win $100)
Grant Delpit, LSU +270 (Bet $100 to win $270)
Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois +750
Antoine Winfield, Jr., Minnesota +900
Ashtyn Davis, California +3200
Geno Stone, Iowa +3200
Terrell Burgess, Utah +4400
Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame +4400

NFL Draft Odds - Predictions

Best Bet: Grant Delpit is the first safety selected (+270)

Odds provided by Fan Duel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+

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