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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

2020 NFL Draft First-Round Position Props

Eason or Hurts to Decide QB Draft Prop

FanDuel’s sportsbook has odds out on the number of players on both sides of the ball who will be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on April 23.

While there are also props available involving the first round that feature more of a college conference spin, you can also bet on position groups. Odds will likely be tweaked as the event approaches, but current numbers are forecasting that the race between offensive and defensive players may be something of a toss-up.

My VI mock draft projects a split with 16 players on both sides of the ball selected. Below, I’ll weigh in on the following props available at FanDuel.

Offensive Players

Total number of First-Rounders: OVER 16.5 (-148) UNDER 16.5 (+116)

We’re likely to see a larger number of offensive guys taken in the top half of draft than we’ll see in the back-half. I don’t see teams reaching for offensive linemen late in the first round, so in backing the high side here, you’re hoping that the deep receiver pool and the potential a running back in selected with of the final few picks comes to fruition. Quarterbacks could also play a major role. See below.

Defensive Players

Total number of First-Rounders: OVER 15.5 (+116) UNDER 15.5 (-148)

Viewing this as a race that could go either way, I’d back the defensive players above the offensive group since I see a split. It didn’t help the high side’s cause that Wisconsin linebacker Zach Baun, a potential late first-rounder who I had slipping out, has notified teams that he tested positive for a diluted sample at the combine. I wouldn’t lay juice to ride the ‘under’ but the ‘over’ is obviously no lock.

Quarterbacks

Total number of First-Rounders: OVER 4.5 (+380) UNDER 4.5 (-550)

It’s looking increasingly likely that three of the first six picks will be QBs, led by top selection Joe Burrow from defending champ LSU. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa should go ahead of Oregon’s Justin Herbert despite Dolphins’ smokescreens, but it remains to be seen how long it will take for another quarterback to hear his name called.

Utah State’s Jordan Love is probably the most polarizing prospect in this draft since he’s coming off such an inconsistent junior year. Physically, he’s as gifted as anyone, but it remains to be seen whether he can turn raw talent into competency as a pro. It’s likely that he’ll be the fourth quarterback taken, but it remains to be seen whether there will be a fifth selection among the first 32 picks. Washington’s Jacob Eason, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Georgia’s Jake Fromm each have their fans in front offices, so there’s certainly a chance one of them will wind up a surprise first-round pick. That danger alone makes riding the high side impossible, but I only have four signal-callers being chosen. Eason is most intriguing to me among the second-team trio.

Running Backs

Total number of First-Rounders: OVER 0.5 (-260) UNDER 0.5 (+198)

Over the past five years, there have been fewer running backs (19) taken over the first two rounds than in any other five-year span since 1964. There were 24 first-rounders taken from 1985-89 but just nine selected from ’15-’19. If Georgia’s D’Andre Swift or Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor gets this new decade on the board, an investment on the ‘no’ prop would nearly double any investment. The Raiders made Josh Jacobs the lone running back taken in the first round last season and I don’t think we’ll see more than one picked this year, but a streak that has seen at least one RB selected in all but two drafts since ’64 should be extended by Swift’s selection.

Wide Receivers

Total number of First-Rounders: OVER 6.5 (+192) UNDER 6.5 (-260)

This is the deepest position in the draft, but that might work against this prop since oddsmakers appear to have set this figure too high. Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama standouts Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III could all be selected among the draft’s first 15 picks. LSU’s Justin Jefferson looks like a lock too.

Beyond those four, Baylor’s Denzel Mims, Penn State’s KJ Hamler, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, TCU’s Jalen Reagor, Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk and USC’s Michael Pittman, Jr. are highly-regarded in their own right but seem to make up a second tier. I don’t see three of them sneaking into the first round and expect to see a run on receivers in the second round instead.

Offensive Linemen

Total number of First-Rounders: OVER 6.5 (-102) UNDER 6.5 (-124)

It’s looking increasingly likely that we’ll see at least five tackles taken among the first 32 picks. There’s a healthy debate over whether Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton or Georgia’s Andrew Thomas will be the first offensive linemen to go, but each should be gone by the 20th selection.

Houston’s Josh Jones and USC’s Austin Jackson made my mock and there are a couple of other players like Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland, Georgia’s Isaiah “Panda” Wilson and Auburn’s Prince Tega Wanogho who could factor in. I’ve only got room for two of those five and didn’t include an offensive guard or center among my top 32. Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz and LSU’s Lloyd Cushenberry are excellent prospects but will likely slip into the second round.

NFL Draft Predictions

Best Bet: UNDER 16.5 Offensive Players selected (+116)

Best Bet: UNDER 6.5 Receivers taken in first round (-260)

Best Bet: UNDER 6.5 Offensive linemen taken in first round (-124)


Odds provided by Fan Duel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
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Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]

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