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NFL Draft: Alabama Crimson Tide Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa the Favorite to Go No. 1 Overall in 2020
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7 May 2019 06:43 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa attempts pass in Orange Bowl. (Image Source: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The 2019 NFL Draft is in the rearview but that only means it’s time to start talking about 2020, which will be held in Las Vegas as major sports leagues continue to further embrace the gambling culture.

As such, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has already released odds on who the top pick in next year’s draft will be.

"With the draft in Las Vegas next year, we wanted to get a head start and carry the momentum from the recent draft,” said Jeff Sherman, VP of risk management for Westgate SuperBook (per ESPN.com). “The first overall selection prop bridges our college and pro football menus, and the closer to the draft next year, we will add a multitude of wagering options."

It’s no surprise that the top of the list is quarterback heavy as Oklahoma product Kyler Murray was the fourth quarterback to go No. 1 overall in the past five years. Quarterbacks have gone first in eight of the past 11 drafts and 16 of past 22 drafts starting with Peyton Manning taken by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998.

Of the six non-quarterback picks, four were defensive ends—most recently Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett to the Cleveland Browns in 2017—and the other two were offensive tackles.

Here’s a look at the early odds:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (1-7): Often the way-too-early No. 1 overall projection is miscast but probably not in this case, as Tagovailoa looks to be the real deal and the top eligible quarterback prospect for next year, as Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is still two years away. The Alabama signal caller is coming off a special season, which saw him connect on 43 touchdowns to six interceptions as a sophomore. He’s accurate (69 percent) and a big-play passer (11.2 yards per pass) with the mobility NFL teams look for.

QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (7-1): While Tagovailoa isn’t overhyped as a draft prospect by Vegas, I believe Fromm is. In two seasons in Athens, the Bulldog has thrown 55 touchdowns (30 as a sophomore) to 13 interceptions. On a likely national title contender, I see Fromm as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, but that doesn’t mean he has the tools to be a No. 1 overall pick. His arm talent simply isn’t that special.

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (7-1): Unlike Tagovailoa or Fromm, Herbert was eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. At this time last year, some were touting Herbert as a potential No. 1 overall pick and had he declared he could have worked his way into the first round, maybe even the top 10. He not only has the tools that Fromm lacks, but is probably more physically gifted than even Tua, as the Duck stands at 6’6” and 233 pounds with a big arm. He’s also a very impressive athlete, so if he can clean things up—Herbert complete just 59.4 percent of his passes in 2018—the Oregon man is the most-likely candidate to jump ahead of the favorite.

DE Chase Young, Ohio State (16-1): We’ve already established that if it’s not a quarterback, it will probably be an edge rusher and Young leads that group of candidates. As a sophomore, Young broke out with 10.5 sacks among his 15.5 tackles for loss, as he took on a lead role along Ohio State’s defensive line with Nick Bosa sidelined for most of the season. At 6’5” and 265 pounds, Young definitely looks the part with the elite athleticism to continue chasing quarterbacks at the next level.

The Rest of the Field:

Jerry Jeudy (WR-Alabama): 30-1
Derrick Brown (DT-Auburn): 30-1
Raekwon Davis (DL-Alabama): 40-1
Andrew Thomas (OT-Georgia): 40-1
Walker Little (OT-Stanford): 40-1
Tee Higgins (WR-Clemson): 100-1
Grant Delpit (S-LSU): 100-1
A.J. Epenesa (DE-Iowa): 100-1
Dylan Moses (LB-Alabama): 100-1
C.J. Henderson (DB-Florida): 200-1
Travis Etienne (RB-Clemson): 200-1
Laviska Shenault (WR-Colorado): 200-1
J.K. Dobbins (RB-Ohio St.): 300-1
Jonathan Taylor (RB-Wisconsin): 300-1
Ceedee Lamb (WR-Oklahoma): 300-1
Nick Coe (LB-Auburn): 300-1

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.                        

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