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NFL Draft 2020: Which Wide Receiver Gets Drafted First?

Who will be the first wide receiver off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft? There are a handful of options to consider.

After almost going dark due to the coronavirus outbreak, betting boards are starting to come back to life thanks to the 2020 NFL Draft. While still subject to being postponed, the NFL Draft is still slated for April 23-25 in Las Vegas.

Bettors can wager on which wide receiver will be selected first overall with confidence as the odds won’t change much if the draft is delayed until May or June. This prop is priced closer than any of the other skill position options. 

Will Jerry Jeudy cash as the favorite or will CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs III reward bettors as underdog options? All odds are courtesy of BetOnline.

Jerry Jeudy, Alabama Crimson Tide (-138)

Following in the footsteps of former Crimson Tide receivers Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley, Jeudy will be selected early in the first round of the draft. After hauling in 2,742 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns over three seasons in Nick Saban’s pro-style offense, Jeudy is an NFL-ready playmaker. Explosive off the line, with great speed and precision cutting ability, Jeudy has the skill set to create separation against top NFL defenders.

Shifty and quick after the catch, Jeudy averaged 17.2 yards per catch over 24 games in Alabama. Despite being just 19 years old during his junior season last year, Jeudy is polished route runner and a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Needing to get some additional weapons for young quarterback Sam Darnold, and to fill the void if they don’t re-sign free agent wide receiver Robby Anderson, the New York Jets may take Jeudy with their 11th overall pick.

CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma Sooners (+138)

Possibly one of the worst trades ever, Arizona acquired wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with Houston for broken down running back David Johnson and the Cardinals' second-round pick. That deal has a ripple affect as it should end any chance of Lamb reuniting with Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray, who was lobbying the Cardinals to use their 8th overall pick on him. In 2018, during Murray’s final season, Lamb had 1,158 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Lamb continued to produce at a high level after Murray left, as he posted 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns during his third and final season with Jalen Hurts under center. 

Lamb isn’t quite the burner Jeudy is, but he plays with a competitive mean streak and is a sure-handed receiver. Lamb is best suited in a quick-rhythm offense that features shallow crossing routes, slants and screen passes. The Las Vegas Raiders could select Lamb with the 12th overall pick.

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Henry Ruggs III, Alabama Crimson Tide (+700)

Another Crimson Tide star, Ruggs rounds out the top three receivers as the longshot. Ruggs was third on the depth chart during three seasons in Alabama, playing behind Jeudy and Devonta Smith during the last two years. Despite limited looks, Ruggs racked up 1,716 yards and made the most of his 98 receptions with 24 touchdowns. Ruggs is a field stretcher who can sprint down the sideline or cut in and catch balls over the middle.

Ruggs' draft stock is on the rise after he clocked a 4.27 time in the 40-yard dash, which was the fastest of any player at the 2020 NFL Combine. He also ranked second overall with a 42-inch vertical jump and his 131-inch broad jump was fourth best among wide receivers. 

The knock on Ruggs is he will need time to develop before he can match up against the physical cornerbacks in the NFL. The Denver Broncos are looking for a speedster and Ruggs may fall to them with the 15th overall pick.

Bottom Line

As the close odds at the top indicate, picking between Jeudy and Lamb will be difficult for teams looking to land a franchise-caliber receiver. According to my research, Jeudy is slightly ahead of Lamb as a more complete package. Ruggs has been linked to Denver for a while, but the Broncos would need to trade up to make him the first receiver off the board. Trading picks with the Jets, or going after the Jacksonville Jaguars' 9th overall pick, could make it happen.

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