We are now less than one week away from the 2020 NFL Draft and as we approach the closest thing sports fans have to a live sporting event during this COVID-19 pandemic, sportsbooks continue to give bettors ample opportunity for action.
Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk spent two years at Sierra Junior College before transferring to Arizona State in 2018. Aiyuk, who had a breakout year for the Sun Devils in 2019, is among the top wide receiver prospects in this draft class.
Bovada has set the over/under on the overall draft position for rising wideout Aiyuk at 32.5. The oddsmakers are demanding moderate juice (-140) shaded to the over.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
The 6-foot-1, 206-pound receiver had a sensational 2019 season, making explosive plays en route to posting 1,192 yards with eight touchdowns on 65 receptions. He averaged 18.3 yards per catch and 99.3 yards per game.
Aiyuk underwent core muscle surgery last month that has many questioning if he will be able to start training camp on time, thus hurting his draft value. However, recent reports indicate that the surgery was a success and that he should be ready in time for the start of the season. Whether or not teams view Aiyuk’s injury as a risk, especially with the draft evaluation process being altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remains to be seen.
Aiyuk was also one of the top return men in the country, averaging 31.9 yards per kickoff return and 16.1 yards on punts. The former Sun Devil was named to the Pac-12’s all-conference first-team as a receiver as well as also earning first-team honors as a returner, making him the only player in the conference to be on the first-team in multiple phases of the game.
If Aiyuk is selected among the top-32 picks next Thursday, he would become the seventh Sun Devil receiver to be selected in the first round in school history. The Sun Devils, who saw N’Keal Harry go to the Patriots last year, have never had a wide receiver selected in the first round in consecutive seasons. In addition, the Pac-12 school has never had any two players go that early in back-to-back years since Levi Jones in 2002 and Terrell Suggs in 2003.
Several former elite NFL receivers love Aiyuk’s immense potential. Former Rams wideout Torry Holt took to social media recently raving about his upside:
In addition, former Panthers and Ravens standout Steve Smith believes Aiyuk has the “potential to be a true sleeper in this year’s wide receiver class,” despite not being ranked among the top tier as the draft approaches.
In my latest Mock Draft, I have Aiyuk landing with the Minnesota Vikings at No. 25. The Vikings traded talented, but often disgruntled wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. Don’t be surprised to hear this kid’s name called in the first round. For me, the play is on the under 32.5 at plus-odds (+105).
The Play: UNDER 32.5 (+105)
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