With no live sports going on here in the States and very few taking place worldwide, the 2020 NFL Draft could just be the closest thing to watching sports as we’re going to get for a while. Possibly a long while. Quite possibly until the start of the football season (fingers crossed). There will be no passes thrown nor tackles made this week, but at least it will be a decent three day morsel of some semblance of sports. I like watching the 2019 World Handball Championships as much as the next guy, but I mean, come on dude.
No longer taking place in Vegas and instead being broadcast live from homes around the country, the NFL Draft is the first major U.S. sporting event to take place as regularly scheduled since the country went into COVID-19 lockdown. Yes, I know, the WNBA Draft took place last Friday night as scheduled, but few knew it happened and to be honest in regular times few still would have had it on their radar. I’m sure it would have gotten lost in the sports headlines amidst NFL Draft rumors, MLB news, PGA tournament controversy and the Michael Jordon/Bulls documentary. So what will this NFL marquee event have in store for us? Let’s take a look.
This is certainly going to be the most unique draft of any professional sport. I’m sure it will be the closest thing to something that would have gone down in the 40s when a commissioner or league president would stand in front of a podium with about just 10 or 20 other people in the room and announce picks, possible over the radio, and then players selected were called or telegrammed the big news.
Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, will be announcing the picks Thursday night from his home. Not on a big stage out by the fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas, but from his home. Its a safe bet this will be the one NFL event Goodell won’t be booed at. Then again, I have no idea what the family dynamic is in the Goodell house. As for everyone else…they’ll be at home too for the most part.
This year’s broadcast of the draft is a joint effort between the two networks who would have been airing their own live draft shows had it not have been for the COVID-19 outbreak, ESPN & NFL Network. There will be a few in studio hosts & talent but a vast majority of the coverage will be broadcast live from roughly 170 in-home camera setups in the living rooms, basements & backyards of draftees, coaches, team front office personnel, reporters & analysts with I’m sure a few celebs mixed in. The complexities of this broadcast must be a complete nightmare for the control rooms. In fact I’d bet there’ll be a glitch or two on Thursday night alone.
Speaking of betting…
As thirsty as everyone has been for live sports, a good chunk of the population has also been starving for something to bet on. The hardcore gamblers have had to scrounge for wagers on things like ESports and South American horse racing. This week the hardcore get to feast on the NFL Draft and fill their gullets to the brim on prop bets and there are a TON of prop bets including one where you can bet on how many technical glitches there will be during the broadcast.
With no actual game being played, no stats to rack up and no scoring taking place you could say the only plays available are prop bets. You can find prop bets on everything for this draft and I mean everything. You can bet on how many dogs & cats will be shown in the first round, how many draftees will be wearing glasses and even if a front office or player will lose power during the draft. Those props are fun and random, but the draft specific wagers are where the big money is going to flow in from. Wagers like “who will be the third player selected”, “who’s the third QB drafted”, “who will be the first offensive lineman taken”, etc. is where the real action is. Here a few choice wagers to get in on…
- The big mystery of this draft is where will Tua Tagovailoa go. I love this bet. FanDuel had a good + line on Tua going outside the Top ten earlier in the week, but I like Tua going to the Chargers with the sixth pick at +375 per Betonline.ag.
- One of the more tantalizing early first round picks is the Giants at #4. Its really looking like they’ll either go O-lineman or stud defender. More specifically will the Giants take OT Jedrick Wills, OT Tristan Wirfs, LB Isaiah Simmons or the field. I rolled with Isaiah Simmons +400.
- Much like the action on the field, this year’s first round of the draft is quarterback driven. LSU star Joe Burrow is already signed, sealed & delivered to Cincinnati so there’s no secret as to who the first QB drafted will be, but there is still some drama as to which QB will be the second one drafted. Will it be Tua? Will it be Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Utah State’s Jordan Love or the field? I played it safe here and rolled with Herbert at +115 but if Jordan Love(+2800) or someone like Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason or Jalen Hurts is the second QB taken then you’ll be sitting pretty with a +3300 Field ticket!
- With so many people being broadcast from home Thursday night and 67% of American households owning a pet there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see a domesticated animal at some point. I’m a dog person myself, but I loved the “total number of cats shown Thursday night” wager. I rolled with the OVER 1/2 cats at -130.
There’s plenty of wagers to make on a number of sites. As I mentioned before, I use Betonline.ag and they are certainly not the only game in town. When it comes to betting I always recommend doing your research & homework, wager what you’re comfortable with and always check & recheck your local listings.
How will it all play out?
The first two picks Thursday night are already a lock. Burrow will go to the Bengals and Washington will take defensive stud Chase Young at #2. After that, shit can get really interesting. I think there’ll be a handful of trades just in the first round alone as teams like Miami once again are in the desperate position of finding the next Dan Marino and teams like the Giants are trying to get a team to trade up for their #4 pick. I think the top ten picks will be an equal mix of QBs and O-lineman with the distinct possibility of a wide receiver not being taken in the top 10. To nobody’s surprise there will be a lot of Alabama players taken Thursday night and I’m sure the broadcast itself will be an entertaining part of the entire draft like never before.
With The Packie being a New England based site, I know there’s a lot if interest among readers as to what the Patriots are going to do. With the recent trade of Gronk’s rights to Tampa Bay where he’ll be reunited with his on-the-field love interest Tom Brady, the Patriots still have twelve picks in this years draft but instead of a 2nd 7th rounder they now have a second fourth round pick to go with their 1st round(#23), three third rounders, a fifth and four sixth round picks. We all know Bill loves to wheel & deal at the draft so armed with so many picks don’t expect anything different from the Patriots top brass.
The Pats will stay at #23 and take QB Jake Fromm from Georgia. Fromm didn’t throw much last season due to a lack of weapons, but I see Bill taking him as a guy to push Jarrett Stidham in training camp to make Stidham a quality starter next season. Neither Stidham nor Fromm will ever get anywhere remotely near the level of Brady but that’s not what the Patriots are hoping for. They just need one of them to prove next season to be a quality starter to make them trade-able next off-season in an elaborate effort to either get Dak Prescott from Dallas or move into a top position in next year’s draft to grab Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. As for all the Pats’ post round one action, Bill will definitely use his arsenal of later round picks to move into round two and find a great value pick there. Bill will probably do the same to move up in the third, fourth and fifth rounds to add much needed depth at O-line, to the linebacker core and at wide receiver. I’m sure Bill uses a sixth or seventh round pick on a kicker now that they have none after the release of Stephen Gostkowski.
All in all it should be a fun draft. After all, it will be the only game in town for a while.