NFL Draft Betting: How Many LSU Players Will Get Selected in Round 1?
A National Championship. An undefeated season. A Heisman Winner. A Biletnikoff Award winner for best receiver in the country. A Jim Thorpe Award winner for best defensive back in the country. An AP College Football Coach of the Year winner. A 1,400-yard running back. Two 1,500-yard receivers. The SEC's leading tackler.
That ridiculous list is just some of LSU's accomplishments in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, they will be losing quite a few players to the NFL, including a few first-round prospects. The question here is... how many?
Over on FanDuel Sportsbook, the over/under is set at 5.5. Now, unless a team finds a way to draft a half a player, one of those will hit -- seriously, I get paid for this analysis.
Let's take a look at what might happen.
Here's one thing to keep in mind.
That's the NFL record for players drafted from a single school in the first round -- set by Miami in 2004.
According to @FDSportsbook, two teams (Bama and LSU) have over/unders of 5.5 in 2020. Could get interesting.
— Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski) March 26, 2020
In case my Tweet wasn't clear enough, the over -- six -- has been achieved once in league history. Not exactly a confidence booster for the over, is it?
Seeing as there's almost no historical precedent, let's move on to the odds.
In a shocking twist, the under is a heavy favorite here, at -215 -- that translates to a 68.3 implied probability. The over comes in at +165 and an implied probability of 37.74 percent.
What follows is a question of value. At -215, can you be confident enough that six LSU players won't go in round one? Or, is there enough of a chance that six Tigers will be selected to warrant a wager at +165?
In order to answer that question, we'll have to look at the players in question and what the current projections are.
NFLMockDraftDatabase -- which creates a consensus mock draft from the many mocks posted by analysts -- currently has six LSU players going in round one. That means that the expert consensus has the over hitting.
That said, that same consensus only has one Tiger player -- Joe Burrow -- inside the top 15. That means that five LSU players would have to hear their name called from 16-32 -- which also happens to be, by far, the more volatile half of the draft. As a result, five non-top-10 prospects will have to avoid a fall, and for some of them, it means avoiding a fall of just a couple of spots. Not encouraging.
After Burrow, the next five LSU players on NFLMockDraftDatabase's consensus big board are: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson (17), WR Justin Jefferson (19), CB Kristian Fulton (22), LB Patrick Queen (24), and S Grant Delpit (30).
Given the value and scarcity of edge rushers, the chances of Chaisson dropping out of the top 20 -- let alone the first round -- are slim to none. Nearly every team in the league is in need of an outside rusher, especially one with this kind of speed/burst.
#LSU EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson: don't think he'll be there for the #Patriots in the first round, but he's got the best first-step explosiveness in this class and great versatility.
Shot out of a cannon with the speed rush and natural bend to run the arc. pic.twitter.com/5e8DVFufdA
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) March 26, 2020
Jefferson is a damn good slot receiver and probably one of the safest players in the draft. However, given how pedestrian he is on the outside, it's fair to question whether he can ever become a true number one in the league. In a draft this deep at receiver, there is potential that teams will gravitate towards wideouts with higher ceilings. Along that line, many experts, including three of the five on NFL.com, Rotoworld's Josh Norris, and Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, all have Jefferson dropping out of the first round.
Running a 4.46 40 likely helped Fulton's stock, but his play speed is still a big question mark. The 21-year-old allowed just a 40 percent completion rate in his last two seasons and has the size to be an elite press corner at the next level. That said, NFLMockDraftDatabase's consensus big board has seven corners between the 16th and 50th slot, which opens up the possibility of corner-needy teams preferring other players at the position. Fulton's odds of going in round one are high, but it's far from a lock.
Queen's odds of being selected on day one are elevated by the scarcity of high-end off-ball linebackers in this draft. There are plenty of questions marks -- including the fact that he didn't play a vital role for LSU until 2019 -- but his sideline-to-sideline speed make him an enticing prospect at the position. Just sit back and enjoy.
Patrick Queen took a couple of false steps but explodes back outside and stops RB for no gain pic.twitter.com/qpj8pZ4qdd
— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) February 27, 2020
Teams in dire need of a safety won't have many options to choose from on day one. There's Delpit and Alabama's Xavier McKinney (20). Those are the only ones at the position inside the consensus top 45. Delpit has excellent size and speed, but in the games I watched, he missed a lot of tackles.
I struggle with Grant Delpit’s evaluation. For me, there are three requisite traits when I evaluate a safety: range, instincts, sure tackler.
Delpit has the first two, but his tackling has been a real problem. I counted four missed tackles on the Alabama tape. pic.twitter.com/YORG3M4FNJ
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) November 13, 2019
It's very plausible that a team will look at his skillset as something they can work with, but he's anything but a sure thing to go in the opening round.
As much as I'd love to watch history unfold and the over hitting, it's too far of a stretch and not enough value for the risk.
If three or four of LSU's top prospects were shoo-ins to be first-rounders, that would make the over significantly more appealing. But with at least four players having the potential to drop out of the top 32, the under (-215) is actually a compelling play.