Joe Burrow and Every Candidate to Go 1st in 2020 NFL Draft

| February 14, 2020 8:34 am PDT

The top of the 2020 NFL Draft is probably set in stone. The Cincinnati Bengals need a new franchise quarterback. Joe Burrow looks like the best passing prospect in this year’s draft class.

Of course, the draft process remains forever fluid.

Looking to recent draft seasons, guys like Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield did not enter the process as the consensus top pick. They got there eventually, but there were other prospects that rivaled them for the top spot — or were even favored ahead of them.

While that does not seem likely to be the case this year, the question of who will go first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft is still one worth asking. If for no other reason, we should ask this as sports bettors, seeing as some of the best NFL sportsbooks are offering odds on several prospects beyond just Joe Burrow.

Here’s a look at every option you can find right now if you’re interested in betting on who will go #1 in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Joe Burrow (-10000)

Gee, I wonder if he’s the favorite. Burrow went nuts at LSU this year, amassing an insane 65 total touchdowns and guiding the Tigers to the national championship.

There’s some “one-hit wonder” concern, and Heisman Trophy winners historically don’t translate very well to the next level, but does anyone really believe he won’t be the top pick?

The best online sportsbooks sure don’t. One good idea when looking for sites where you can bet on the NFL Draft is to search for some better value. Yes, Burrow is probably the #1 pick, but there’s got to be a site that can beat this disgusting -10000 price tag.

Chase Young (+1400)

If there is a legitimate threat to shock and snag the 1st overall pick beyond Burrow, it’s probably Young.

The Ohio State phenom is the next in a seemingly endless string of stud Buckeyes pass rushers and somehow improved on a stout 2018 campaign, where he notched 10.5 sacks.

Young was even nastier in 2019, recording 16.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and seven forced fumbles while helping Ohio State reach the College Football Playoff.

Cincinnati absolutely could use him on the outside (26th in sacks), while the Bengals have been bad defensively for the past two years now. It’s also not crazy to imagine someone trading up to ensure they get the best pure pass rusher in the draft.

Tua Tagovailoa (+2000)

Once the lock atop the 2020 NFL Draft, a catastrophic hip injury dropped Tua’s draft stock and could still potentially jeopardize his career.

The good thing is all reports back on his hip have been positive. Once teams get an inside look at his medicals, it’s still somewhat possible that Tagovailoa could get his name back in the mix to be taken #1 overall.

The risk is great, but many sound football minds believe he’s still the best quarterback prospect in this class. If that’s true and he’s healthy, wouldn’t the Bengals be silly to not consider him at first overall?

Justin Herbert (+3300)

Herbert is another potential franchise quarterback that once was regarded as a threat to go first overall, but his stock dwindled during an up-and-down 2019 campaign.

The upside is still there with Herbert, though. His 2019 season actually was great from a statistical perspective, while he led his Oregon Ducks to a 12-2 record and a win in the Rose Bowl.

Blessed with ideal size, plus athleticism, and a good arm, this is still a player that fits the mold of a 1st overall pick. The shine has worn some, however, so Herbert is the 1B at best when talking quarterbacks up top.

Andrew Thomas (+6600)

Could the Cincinnati Bengals feel the need to hit the trenches and draft for their offensive line in 2020? It’s not impossible, especially considering Andrew Thomas is probably the best o-line prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, and Cincy passers collectively absorbed the 6th-most sacks this past season.

Some don’t feel Thomas is truly worthy of the top pick, however, while Burrow, Tua, Young, and perhaps even others are better overall prospects. Besides, when you need a quarterback, you go get one, right?

Jeffrey Okudah (+10000)

This is where the odds drop off significantly and we start getting into “really?” territory. Some of these guys are great prospects, but threats to go #1, they mostly are not.

Okudah is a stud cover man that profiles as a shutdown corner in the NFL. But the talent and need won’t move the Bengals to make such a massive reach.

Isaiah Simmons (+10000)

To be fair, the Bengals do need all kinds of defensive help. I suppose you could at least argue the addition of a stud cover man, while the arrival of a freak athlete at linebacker wouldn’t be scoffed at, either.

Unfortunately, Simmons isn’t a better prospect than Chase Young, and he doesn’t fill as big of a need as Tua or Burrow would.

Jacob Eason (+15000)

This would be straight out of left field, but Eason did enjoy a solid year at Washington and would give the Bengals an alternative option under center.

Eason isn’t the high-upside prospect Tua or Burrow are, but the need for quarterback — and the possibility someone like the Bengals could fall in love with him — makes him mildly interesting for risk-seeking bettors.

Jordan Love (+15000)

Love is another tantalizing quarterback prospect that is certainly best suited for the middle or bottom of the first round.

Still, he’s an intriguing talent that has seen his stock rise, and he plays the very position Cincy is hell-bent on upgrading.

Jedrick Wills (+15000)

If the Bengals are going to fool everyone and draft an offensive lineman, most would agree it has to be Andrew Thomas. That said, they absolutely do have a need for help on the o-line, and Wills is a total monster up front.

One of the best ways to quickly improve in the NFL is to fill out your offensive line and get meaner in the trenches. Wills would do that, but he’d be a colossal reach at first overall.

Derrick Brown (+25000)

Chase Young would be the top get if the Bengals wanted to pivot off of Joe Burrow, but there is no denying they could use all the help they can get on defense.

Brown would be a great help to Cincy’s defensive line — one that finished 2019 dead last in rushing yards allowed per game. Brown would help there, as he is an athletic and powerful menace up front.

Jake Fromm (+25000)

It’s back to the quarterback group we go. Fromm is not a very sexy prospect, but he was a winner at Georgia and was pretty productive.

Unfortunately, teams typically don’t invest the #1 overall pick in a perceived game-manager.

Jalen Hurts (+25000)

Hurts is very interesting at +25000. Passed over by Alabama, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma and blew up last year, finishing his lone season with 53 total touchdowns, nearly 4,000 passing yards, and over 1,200 yards on the ground.

This kid is insane, yet in a time when Lamar Jackson just won NFL MVP, nobody is seriously discussing him as a threat for the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

I’m not saying he should be necessarily, but the stats are absurd, and the talent is there. Hurts hasn’t gained any steam to be a likely upset, but he feels like a fun flier bet at this price.

Tristan Wirfs (+25000)

One of the best offensive line prospects in this draft, Wirfs could be just as viable as Andrew Thomas. The need and talent are there to make this a reality.

However, the Bengals would probably take Thomas first, and their needs under center or on defense appear to be far greater.

Grant Delpit (+50000)

Perhaps the best safety in college football, Delpit played a helping hand in shutting down a very good Clemson offense in the national title game (six tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble).

Safeties don’t go first overall, but Delpit is the total package in the back of a defense. The playmaking, physicality, and range are all there for the taking, but Cincy is very unlikely to bite.

A.J. Epenesa (+50000)

Chase Young is the best edge rusher in this draft, but Epenesa honestly isn’t that far behind. The Iowa star may be best suited to line up with his hand in the dirt, but he theoretically has the ability to rush the passer no matter the scheme.

Young is just the better prospect, though. The Bengals are taking Burrow, but if they shock us all, it won’t be with Epenesa.

Jerry Jeudy (+50000)

This one is somewhat interesting, just because we’re talking about perhaps the best wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft. Jeudy has displayed his explosive and dominant ability with 24 touchdowns over the past two seasons, and he looks poised to wreck the NFL.

Cincinnati can’t do much with him if they don’t have a quarterback, of course. That makes Jeudy — or any receiver — unlikely for the first pick.

CeeDee Lamb (+50000)

Some will tell you that Lamb is the top receiver this year, and due to similar numbers to Jeudy and equal explosiveness, I don’t have the energy to fight it.

They’re 1A and 1B, really, and the ranking is pretty meaningless. They’ll both surely be studs in the NFL, and neither is being taken #1 overall — even though the talent demands it.

Jonathan Taylor (+50000)

Running backs don’t get taken inside the top 10 very often anymore, so you better believe Taylor is an extreme long shot here. The Bengals also have Joe Mixon, while most don’t peg Taylor as a day-one prospect.

Taylor’s numbers at Wisconsin are disgusting, but running backs are devalued, and the Bengals already have one.

D’Andre Swift (+50000)

The argument is the same here, but I’ll throw Swift fans a bone and admit he’s probably the better prospect when compared to Taylor. Taylor was far more dominant in college, but Swift projects as the more complete player for the next level.

That said, no running back is going #1 overall this year.


The first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft is going to be Joe Burrow. That’s been a borderline fact for quite some time now, and the rapidly worsening odds (or improving) only cement it.

Two things could change that: Burrow getting hurt or being swept up in some type of scandal, or someone else trading to nab the top pick from the Bengals.

If the pick does get traded, it’s possible the team trading up covets Chase Young or is worried someone behind the top pick will take Tua. I don’t see that happening, but this scenario (while it could still just mean Burrow is the first pick) could then put Young and Tagovailoa in play.

Cincinnati is reportedly working with veteran quarterback Andy Dalton on a trade, though, so all signs point to the Bengals taking a quarterback. It’s possible they flip the script and grab Tua, but Burrow delivered such a mind-boggling season (and is just so effortless) that I can’t see a shocker happening.

Ultimately, Burrow is the lock here. You can’t actually bet on him at these ridiculous odds, but he’s still the pick. If you want to get wild, bet on Young or Tua. They’re the only logical pivot plays here.

That’s one of many tips to help you win money betting on the NFL Draft. For more advice, updated odds, analysis, and predictions, keep checking out our sports betting blog.

  • Joe Burrow
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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