2020 NFL Draft Odds: Over/Under for First Round Picks by School
By: Travis Pulver
Picking the right school is vital for high school recruits and why programs like Alabama and Clemson always have top-notch recruiting classes. Recruits know that the Crimson Tide and Tigers are always in the national title hunt and that both programs see several guys move on to the NFL every year.
So, it comes as no surprise that Alabama and Clemson always have one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.
They aren’t the only schools that churn out NFL caliber talent on a regular basis, of course. Since 2000, Georgia has seen 108 players get drafted with 19 going in the first round. LSU has seen 112 get drafted, including 19 in the first.
Ohio State has had the most success with 131 players getting drafted, 31 of those in the first round.
When the NFL Draft rolls around in a few weeks, there is a good chance there will be several names called out from each of those schools—especially in the first round. But how many and from where?
NFL Draft Odds: Talent Does Not Necessary Guarantee First Round Draft Status
Of those five teams, three were in the College Football Playoffs last season (LSU, Clemson, Ohio State), one of them usually is (Alabama), and the other is always in the thick of the SEC title picture (Georgia).
It is safe to say there are a plethora of talented players for NFL teams to choose from just amongst those five teams. However, getting drafted in the first round is about more than just talent. It is also about what teams need and the depth of talent at given positions.
Just because a guy is graded a first-round prospect doesn’t mean he is going to go in the first. With that in mind, want to bet on how the first round of the draft will play out for Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, and LSU? Of course you do.
For instance, many experts have six guys from Alabama going in the first round this year. Miami holds the record for most first-round picks in a single draft (six in 2004). So, they will need to at least match it to cover the over set at FanDuel of 5.5.
Since 2009, Alabama has had at least one first-round pick in each draft class but has never had more than four. The Tide will have at least four this year with Tua Tagovailoa, Jedrick Willis Jr., Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs III. Xavier McKinney is probably a lock as well as the top-graded safety.
But will defensive back Trevon Diggs (or someone else) go in the first round? Many experts say yes, but don’t see him going until late in the round.
As for Clemson, the Tigers have seen more guys get drafted during their recent run of success. But they have not had near the success in the first round that Alabama has. Since 2000, they have seen 14 guys go in the first round, three of them last year.
Probably with last year in mind, FanDuel set the over/under for this year at 2.5.
If you put much stock in the experts, then the Tigers will cover. Most have Isaiah Simmons going in the top five. But then Tee Higgins and A.J. Terrell are not expected to go until late in the round, making this one a very tough call.
Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State University NFL Draft First Round Over/Under Picks
- Ohio State
Ohio State has been the most successful school in the draft since the turn of the millennium. They saw two go in the first round each of the last two years, three the year before that, and five back in 2016. So, this year, the over/under is set at 2.5.
With two guys expected to go in the top-five (Chase Young and Jeff Okudah), this one would seem like a lock. But who is the third person going to be?
When it comes to Georgia, the expectations are not as high as the other programs. Yes, the Bulldogs have sent several players to the NFL in recent years. But they only had one first-rounder last season, three the year before that, and none in 2017.
FanDuel has set their over/under at just 1.5. Andrew Thomas is expected to go in the top half of the draft. Other than him, the guy with the next best shot at the first round is D’Andre Swift. While he is worthy, teams have been waiting on running backs in recent years.
Since 2015, only nine running backs have gone in the first round.
To win the national championship, a team has to have plenty of talent. That was certainly the case for the Tigers last season. Much of it will be headed to the NFL in the draft at the end of the month. Many experts see LSU setting a new school record with five first-rounders.
But to cover the over at FanDuel (5.5), they will need six.
Joe Burrow is considered a lock to go No. 1, but the Tigers will not see another guy come off the board until the middle of the draft. That is when many experts see K’Lavon Chaisson and Justin Jefferson going. Other guys with first-round potential include Grant Delpit, Lloyd Cushenberry, Patrick Queen, and Kristian Fulton.
Do you really want to bank on guys expected to go late in the round?
Of course, it would be much easier to draw conclusions about what the NFL’s 32 teams are thinking heading into the draft if they had been able to do their due diligence this year. But thanks to this pesky virus, teams and gamblers will need to have a little faith this year on Draft Day.