Above all the status of Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is dominating conversation about the NFL Draft.  Where and when he will go remains the ultimate question for draftniks and gamblers. However, there is much more to Thursday night’s first round than just Tua.  Team priorities matched with player ability mixed with trades have everyone guessing. Due to COVID-19 shutting down sports the NFL Draft figures to draw more interest than ever.  Record setting handles for the 2020 NFL Draft betting odds are expected too.  

Which Team Gets Tua?

Consistent with speculation about where Tagovailoa will go is wild wagering fluctuation.  First among the favorites according CashBet sportsbook are the Miami Dolphins at -140.  Los Angeles Chargers backers have bet them up to +250.  Washington Redskins odds have gone up to +400. The Detroit Lions have climbed to +600.  Account of the field commanding a +550 price is wild trade speculation. Miami and the Chargers make the most sense.  Both teams are coming off bad seasons with weak fan support. Most important of all both teams need quarterbacks. And Tua has more box office potential than any other draft prospect.


Feb 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (QB17) sits on a bench and watches during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Tua’s Double Edge Sword of Potential

Tagovailoa had a spectacular workout session that wowed NFL scouts.  Although his arm is not the strongest, he graded the highest for deep passing ability.  His running ability makes him the prototypical dual threat quarterback. Tua’s character and work ethic are a coach’s dream.  And his statistics were of video game levels. When healthy he could revolutionize the quarterback position. If not football itself.   

Counter to all of that is the elephant in the room.  Tua is seen as a “China Doll” lacking the durability to survive the NFL grind.  Tagovailoa has never made it through an entire college football season. At Alabama he often did not even have to finish games.  Fashion the consistency of Crimson Tide blowout wins. The NFL offers no such luxury. To illuminate, most pro games stay close. Thus, quarterbacks are needed to the end. And the regular season schedule is 16 games.  NFL opponents bring comparable talent almost every week. Hence the understandable durability concerns. 

Joe Burrow Prohibitive Chalk as First Pick

At the onset of 2020 NFL Draft betting Joe Burrow was the favorite to be picked first.  Nothing has changed in that regard. The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner has increased his online sportsbook status as chalk.  

Yet concerns about Burrow have increased.  Last year’s national championship campaign with LSU was a dream.  Burrow had never played to that level in his entire career. Because of this are worries about him being a one hit wonder.  Of great concern is that he lacks a rocket arm. NFL scouts find his build ordinary. But Burrow’s Ohio ties fit well with the Cincinnati Bengals.  In turn he will become the face of that struggling franchise.  

Feb 27, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Louisiana State Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (QB02) watches the workouts on the field during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Teams Expected to Take the Offensive 

So far offensive players are a -340 favorite to be drafted over defensive players in round one.  Correlate the current offensive nature of the NFL. Wide receivers and offensive lineman will command heavy action with the 2020 NFL Draft Betting odds.  The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl with offensive overload. By reason of the NFL being a copy cat league will teams try and emulate that.  

Buckeye Dynamic Duo Leads Defensive Prospects

The defense may be the underdog but boasts the top two rated players in the draft.  Edge rusher Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah rate higher than Burrow. Young and Okudah starred at Ohio State.  Likewise, they are expected to go immediately after the LSU quarterback. Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons could be the hidden gem of the draft.  By reason of his versatility and complete game does he rate high.

TV Ratings Bonanza Expected

Starting with the fact that the NFL Draft always draws strong ratings is a big night expected.  COVID-19 has made Americans starved for sports programming. Thursday night’s first round should shatter all ratings records.  As a result, that will catch the attention of other pro sports. Concurrently those leagues should react with greater effort to return.