2020 NFL Draft props: Tua Tagaovailda, Chase Young or neither for Washington?

Saturday, 28 March 2020 21:22 EST

Come hell, high water or killer viruses, the NFL Draft remains great stuff for NFL bettors. Kudos to My Bookie for getting out its offerings in 2020 NFL Draft proposition bets a month beforehand – plenty of time to invest money which might otherwise be going on the XFL or even (gasp) other sports altogether.

As in the great majority of past drafts, the no. 1 selection is no mystery: Joe Burrow, a true man among boys in 2019 college football, the Cincinnati Bengals will be drafting the LSU Tiger in the top spot. Hell, rumor has it that the no-longer tanking (?) Bengals franchised all-time stud WR A.J. Green at Burrow’s request.

To start off a long run on NFL Draft prop-betting articles at NFLbets, then, we’re considering the no. 2 pick in the draft. With Burrow to Cincinnati a no-brainer, we see essentially two choices for the Washington brain trust, who may as well consider themselves on the clock. The odds in the two player props are currently posted as:

When will Tua Tagaovailda be drafted?
5th pick: 7/4
3rd pick: 9/5
2nd pick: 4/1
4th pick: 9/1
6th pick: 19/2
any other: 10/1

When will Chase Young be drafted?
Over 2½th pick: 13/4
Under 2½th pick: 9/50

With Burrow immediately off the board and pick no. 2 set up, the second question may essentially be translated as, “Will Washington draft Chase Young?” with the YES getting a measly -556 payout, while NO pays at +325.

Young, an utter beast out of Ohio State, certainly looks like a can’t-miss superstar in waiting – the proverbial best player remaining. And Washington, despite its general non-competitiveness in recent years, has done a reasonable job in drafts. Between the RG3 debacle and last season’s drafting of QB Dwayne Haskins, Washington has landed three-time Pro Bowler OG Brandon Scherf; WR Josh Doctson (now with the New York Jets after two decent seasons in D.C.); DT Jonathan Allen, who’s gotten 14 sacks in playing 31 of Washington’s 32 games; Da’Ron Payne, currently a second-stringer evolving from his strictly-NT days at Alabama.

So yeah, the smart money is on the under in this prop but this depends on the bettor depending on Washington to avoid overthinking this thing and rewards a measly $18 on a $100 wager. At +325, the over is well worthy of consideration. We’re not suggesting that folks necessary bet on over -2½ in the Chase Young prop, but the justification for wagering this way would go something like the following.

First, toss away the history delineated above, unless you believe that owner Dan Snyder had say or hand in any of picks. Washington’s going into this draft with no general manager. Instead, running the “war room” will be the recently-promoted Kyle Smith, now vice president of player personnel. (Interesting to note that no one within the franchise is listed as president of player personnel…) Smith introduces a significant X-factor into the equation.

Then there’s Ron Rivera. New to the job, Rivera’s already brought in veteran LBs Thomas Davis and Kevin Pierre-Louis and therefore may be looking to bolster an offense that was dead last in points scored and 31st-“best” in yardage. The offensive line meanwhile ranked 18th overall, per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, but just 23rd in pass protection.

This draft looks well stocked in offensive linemen, but at other “skill positions”, the field is fairly sparse. The sole halfback worth discussing is Jonathan Taylor, coming off consecutive season of 2000+ yards at Wisconsin; at wide receiver is CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma plus a handful of guys from Clemson and Alabama.

Combining the probability that Smith will want to make a splash but do right by Rivera, Rivera’s desire to win now, Washington’s unwillingness to give up on Haskins after a decent enough rookie season and that two teams (Jacksonville, Las Vegas) have two first-round picks, could Washington deal the pick? If so, wouldn’t the Jaguars love to stymie the Miami Dolphins, known to have very serious interest in Tua? Aren’t they desperate for a franchise QB not named Blake Bortles?

Or how about a scenario in which Miami leadership gets spooked enough to pull a 2017 Chicago Bears-style move and trade up a few spots to grab Tua *just in case*. Or what if the “Los Angeles” Chargers trade up in similar fashion? Either situation would then allow Smith and Rivera to flip the no. 5/6 for panicking teams desperately seeking a QB – such as, for example, Jacksonville...

One has to wonder, too, whether the anything concrete backs the speculation and rumors on the interwebs regarding the possibility of Washington simply drafting Tua themselves, with an eye to dealing Haskins, a la the 2019 Arizona Cardinals. NFLbets realizes that this is probably 95% to 99% hype with noting (absolutely fucking nothing!) on which to report, talk or write about, but…

No matter: Any of the aforementioned trade scenarios would allow Washington to draft both Taylor and Lamb (or another top-flight WR) to assemble a young and interesting offense immediately -- not to mention make for one helluva coup by Rivera and Smith.

And finally, the 7/4 odds on no. 5 in the Tua Tagaovailda prop make for a great hedge bet for those willing to take a chance on the Washington brass making the absolute worst choice or making an absolutely brilliant transaction or two. The Dolphins are the default choice for Tula’s destination should he get past no. 2, with the non-QB hunting Detroit Lions and New York Giants up at nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

In all honesty, though, there’s a reason why the payout on Young’s draft position under-2½ is that ridiculous -556. The oddsmakers don’t believe Smith, Rivera et al will botch this one, so NFL bettors probably shouldn’t test their luck on this prop: much more interesting to consider what the Lions might do when drafting at no. 3.

Next time: What the Lions might do when drafting at no. 3.