The National Football League Draft – which is the NFL’s most common source of player recruitment – is just a couple of weeks away. However, due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s draft – which was supposed to held in Las Vegas – is going to be like no other. The recruitment process will go ahead in a ‘fully virtual format’ with teams’ personnel communicating via their phones, and the internet, from their homes.
Quarterbacks are often the number one pick – which has been the case in back-to-back drafts. However – whilst a quarterback is the current favourite to be picked first in the 2020 NFL Draft betting odds at Paddy Power – he is up against some fierce competition. Read on to find out who the favourites are for the illustrious number one pick!
Joe Burrow – Quarterback – Louisiana State
Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow has the classic underdog-to-favourite story. The Heisman Trophy winner – who is heavily backed to be this year’s first pick – was the third-choice quarterback at Ohio State for three seasons, before choosing to transfer to LSU – where he became a junior starter, with less than a 60% pass success rate. However, in 2019, Burrow compiled one of the best seasons on record. The quarterback completed 76.3% of his passes and threw a whopping 5,671 yards – contributing to 60 touchdowns, whilst being intercepted just six times.
The Cincinnati Bengals have the option of first pick in this year’s draft, and Burrow seems to like the idea of being close to his home town in Ohio, the quarterback said: “It’s 2 hours 15 minutes from my house,
“I could go home for dinner if I wanted to. Not a lot of pro athletes could get to do that.”
Chase Young – Edge – Ohio State
Alongside quarterbacks, edges are also often drafted in on the first pick – because what’s better than a quarterback? Someone who can attack them. And there’s no one better in that position right now than Ohio State’s Chase Young. Young completed an impressive 16.5 sacks last season – 6.5 more than in 2018. The powerful 20-year-old has also completed 32 solo tackles and 14 assisted tackles – leading to six forced fumbles.
Young’s eye-catching season has drawn comparisons to former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, who was picked second by the San Francisco 49ers in last year’s draft. The 22-year-old was named the 2019 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and is the 2nd favourite to be named the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year – Young is largely expected to follow in his footsteps.
Meanwhile, when a reporter asked FOX Sports analyst Joel Klatt what he thought of Young, Klatt said: “I just called him the best player in the country on TV — and I think it’s a pretty safe argument. He’s amazing.”
Tua Tagovailoa – Quarterback – Alabama
Former University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s name has also been thrown into the mix for the No. 1 pick on April 23rd. The Hawaiian also enjoyed an impressive season in 2019 with 71.4% pass completion rate – completing 180 passes in 252 attempts. However, his passing yards were much shorter than Burrow’s at 2,840 yards – averaging 11.3 yards per pass. Whilst he also threw 33 touchdown passes – 27 less than the LSU quarterback. Although, he was intercepted only three times.
There have been questions asked about the left-handers fitness, however, he claims he is 100% fit after undergoing hip surgery. “I feel like if there was a game today, I’d be able to go out and perform the same way I was able to perform in previous years. I feel as mobile as possible. I feel 100 percent,” Tagovailoa said.