2020 NFL Draft: Will Any RBs Go in First Round?

Will any team take a running back in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft? Let's see what the oddsmakers believe.
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Are you looking for something to bet on while the sports world is on lockdown? Consider wagering on 2020 NFL Draft futures.

Oddsmakers at William Hill have loaded their betting board with creative draft-related wagering options. One of them is a prop that asks bettors to predict how many running backs will be selected during the first round.

Led by Saquon Barkley, who was selected second overall by the New York Giants, the 2018 NFL Draft was loaded with top running back prospects. Rashaad Penny (No. 27 Seattle) and Sony Michel (No. 31 England) joined Barkley as first-round picks. Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones II and Kerryon Johnson were taken early in Round 2.

While still in Oakland, the Raiders selected Josh Jacobs with the 24th overall pick during the 2019 draft. The former Alabama Crimson Tide star was the only running back selected in the first round last year. Miles Sanders from Penn State was selected 53rd overall by Philadelphia as the lone back taken in the second round.

Top Running Back Prospects

Although slightly deeper at the top, the 2020 running back prospect list is similar to the 2019 draft. William Hill has set the Over/Under at 0.5 running backs being selected in Round 1. Over (-300) is thick chalk as the favorite while under (+225) is listed as the longshot on this prop. The low total is slightly surprising as three running backs have a legitimate chance of being selected during Day 1 of the draft.

D’Andre Swift, Georgia Bulldogs

D'Andre Swift tops the list, as he will follow former Bulldogs Chubb and Michel as an early-round pick. Swift posted 3,551 total yards and 25 touchdowns over 43 games during three seasons at Georgia. An NFL ready prospect, Swift is top chalk to be the first running back selected during the draft on a related prop at BetOnline. Swift is a low-end top 32 prospect on the “Player Draft Position” prop option at William Hill with 31.5 over/under odds. 

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Badgers

During three seasons in Wisconsin, Jonathan Taylor was a human wrecking ball for the Badgers. The numbers are impressive as Taylor racked up 6,174 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns over 41 games. Averaging more than 300 attempts per season, Taylor is a durable back and he posted at least 100 rushing yards during 31 starts. After recording just 16 receptions over his first two seasons, Taylor caught 26 passes for 252 yards and five touchdowns during his final year.

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State Buckeyes

J.K. Dobbins posted 4,459 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns over 42 games during three seasons at Ohio State. After Ezekiel Elliot was selected fourth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, Ohio State used a committee approach during the 2016 season. Dobbins stepped in as the Buckeyes starter as a true freshman in 2017. Projected as a three-down NFL back, Dobbins helped his draft stock by rushing for 2,003 yards and 21 TD on 301 attempts during the 2019 season.

Talent Rich Draft Pool Affects This Prop Bet

Several positions are loaded with quality draft prospects. Multiple players will be selected from each of them during the first round. That includes quarterback and wide receiver, plus a wealth of talented offensive and defensive linemen. Upwards of 25 players are projected first-round selections from those four positions alone. A handful of defensive backs and safeties are also highly ranked, which further lowers the number of Day 1 landing spots for running backs.

Bottom Line

With 2013 and 2014 as the exceptions, a running back has been selected on Day 1 in eight of the last 10 drafts. Miami has three first-round picks (No. 5, No. 18, No. 26) and the Dolphins’ rushing attack ranked last overall in the league last year. Miami taking Swift with the 26th pick would make “over” the winner on this prop. Seattle (No. 27), Baltimore (No. 28) and Kansas City (No. 32) are other teams that might be shopping for a running back late during the opening round.

Play: Over 0.5 (-300)

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