By Adam Thompson | | 5 mins
NFL Draft 2020: Picks For 1st Player Taken At Each Position
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Barring an unforeseen series of events, Joe Burrow is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
But who will be the No. 1 running back taken? J.K Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor and D’Andre Swift have legitimate claims. What about the first wide receiver?
NFL betting odds are out as to which players will be the first selected in April’s NFL Draft for each position. Some are easy to figure out but offer very high odds — Burrow and Chase Young, for example. Others take a little more digging but the risk-to-payout ratio is stronger.
Bookies.com locks in the picks for the first available player drafted at each position and shows you where to get the best odds for each.
Quarterback — Joe Burrow, LSU (-5000 at PointsBet)
There’s no such thing as a sure thing, but in the grand scheme of things, this is as close to free money as a wager can be. You’d be hard-pressed to find a mock draft that doesn’t have Burrow as the No. 1 overall pick, let alone the No. 2 QB. That said, wagering $5,000 for a possible $100 profit takes moxie.
Running Back — Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (+150 at SugarHouse)
Taylor of Wisconsin, Dobbins of Ohio State and Swift of Georgia are all possible first-rounders, and each could go in front of the other.
Dobbins is a power back who was tough to stop in college. Swift is, well, swift, and would be a nightmare in a Chiefs jersey. But Taylor is the combination of both, and ultimately that should win over teams that would like a potential all-around star in the backfield on a rookie deal. Getting him at a plus price is a bonus.
Wide Receiver — CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (+145 at FanDuel)
This one is about team preference, between Lamb and Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy is more polished right now, but Lamb’s explosiveness and breakaway speed give NFL teams something to work with. Jeudy has been getting the ink due to his impeccable route running and plug-and-play potential in Year 1, so we’re getting good odds right now on the ascending Lamb.
Tight End — Cole Kmet, Notre Dame (-110 at BetMGM)
It’s likely that no tight ends will be selected in the first round, but three or four could be gone by the end of Round 3. Kmet’s college stats aren’t as spectacular as others in the upper tier of TEs. Adam Trautman of Dayton had 27 more receptions for 401 more yards and eight more TDs. But Kmet had a great workout at the combine, and his size (6-foot-6, 262 pounds) and overall athleticism likely tips the scales in his favors as far as GMs go. I like Kmet at near-even odds.
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Offensive Line — Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (+250 at DraftKings)
As many as four offensive lineman could go in the upper half of the first round, all can play either tackle position and have starter potential for Week 1. Mekhi Becton of Louisville separates himself with sheer mass (6-7, 364 pounds), but Wirfs outpaced the field in terms of bench press, speed and agility. Some coaches might be unsure how to best use the massive Becton or if his skillset will translate in their schemes. There are fewer questions regarding Wirfs. Wirfs has the highest odds of the three, so we’re getting value in what currently appears to be a stalemate.
Defensive Line — Chase Young, Ohio State (-5000 at DraftKings)
Young is a monster on the edge, an immediate disruptive force for whichever defense he’s added to. He’s unlikely to drop past the No. 2 overall pick. There are some other blue-chippers on the line who could go in the Top 10, notably Auburn DT Derrick Brown and South Carolina DE Jacob Kinlaw. But would a team skip Young for a different lineman?
Linebacker — Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (-1250 at DraftKings)
Simmons is an ultra-aggressive, ultra-athletic LB-safety hybrid type in the mold of Jabrill Peppers, except five inches taller, 25 pounds heavier and with 4.39 speed. He can cover the shallow pass while shadowing scrambling QBs and nobody else in the draft is considered to have that level of potential. No other linebackers are considered top 10 prospects. Simmons is nearly there with Young and Jeffrey Okudah as a can’t-miss prospect.
Cornerback — Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State (-2500 at PointsBet)
Along with Burrow and Young, Okudah is about as consensus a pick as you’ll find. He is the best cover corner in the draft in a league where solid CBs are as coveted as any position. He could go as high as No. 3 and there aren’t any others at his position slated to go in the top 15. A virtual no-doubter.
Safety — Xavier McKinney, Alabama (-170 at PointsBet)
There is no guarantee a safety will be taken in the first round, but teams that need one have two solid options in the versatile McKinney and the physical Grant Delpit of LSU. McKinney offers better coverage skills and his football IQ is considered a huge strength. Delpit’s high underdog price is attractive, but ultimately I think a team that needs coverage and safety help sees the immediate upside of McKinney and jumps on him first.