2020 NFL Draft Prop Pick: How Many Quarterbacks Will Be Picked in Round 1?

Credit:

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Tua Tagovailoa

Feb 19, 2020, 12:14 PM EST

The NFL combine starts in about a week, and sportsbooks are beginning to post props for the NFL draft, which will be in Las Vegas from April 23-25.

Caesars Sportsbook recently posted a prop for the number of quarterbacks to be selected in the first round.

  • Over 4.5: +120
  • Under 4.5: -150

Put simply: This is a bad line. I am 100% on the under.


2020 NFL Draft Prop: Over/Under 4.5 Quarterbacks in Round 1

Historically, it’s relatively rare to see more than 4.5 quarterbacks selected in Round 1. Over the past 25 years (since 1995), it has happened only twice.

  • 2018: Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson
  • 1999: Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper and Cade McNown

Before that, we hadn’t seen more than 4.5 quarterbacks in Round 1 since the legendary class of 1983.

Breaking news: As intriguing as the 2020 quarterbacks are, they’re not John Elway, Dan Marino and Jim Kelly.

The classes that have 4.5-plus quarterbacks are noticeably loaded. They are anticipated years in advance. They come around about once every two decades.

This is not one of those classes. Joe Burrow (LSU) and Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) are great prospects, and I’d be surprised if Justin Herbert (Oregon) were drafted outside the top 10.

But Jordan Love (Utah State), Jake Fromm (Georgia) and Jacob Eason (Washington) all have problems. I’d be mildly surprised if one of them were selected in Round 1.

For two of them to go on Day 1 is almost unthinkable.

Since 1995, we’ve seen a mean of 2.6 and median of three quarterbacks selected in Round 1.

In my most recent mock draft, I have three quarterbacks going in Round 1. Most respectable mocks I’ve surveyed have three quarterbacks. A few have four. Not one — literally not one — has five or more.

On top of that, the NFL quarterback market is already glutted. Drew Brees is returning. Tom Brady and Philip Rivers are slated to be free agents. On DraftKings Sportsbook, you can actually bet on the teams they’ll play for in 2020. [Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

And then there’s Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota.

Andy Dalton will likely be traded to make way for Burrow.

On top of that, there have been 14 quarterbacks to enter the league in Round 1 over the past four years, and almost all of them are still starting for the teams that drafted them.

The 2020 quarterback class has talent at the top, but it isn’t deep, and the NFL market doesn’t have great need at the position.

It’s economics: In 2020, there’s neither a great supply of nor great demand for quarterbacks in Round 1.

At -150 odds, there’s a 60% implied probability that the under hits, although I think the true odds are closer to 90%.

I’d bet this down to -500.

My Bet: Under 4.5 quarterbacks selected in Round 1 of 2020 NFL draft

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