With these uncertain times we live in, fans and punters alike can at least look forward to the NFL draft, which starts on Thursday 23rd April.
The seven-round extravaganza takes place over three days with the cream of college football joining the professional ranks of the NFL. Each of the 32 NFL franchises are allotted a selection in the first round. The team with the worst record last season gets the much-coveted first overall pick, the team that won the Super Bowl get the 32nd and last pick in the round, this formula is repeated for seven rounds. The big night is the first night, when the blue-chip prospects find out which teams they will be playing for.
So, for the 2020 draft, the Cincinnati Bengals, who had the worst record last season, get the number 1 pick. They are fully expected to take QB Joe Burrow, who led LSU to college football’s biggest prize, the National Championship.
The 2020 draft was due to take place in Las Vegas, but because of COVID-19 lockdowns, Sin City is closed for business. This is the first time Las Vegas has closed it’s casinos since November 25th 1963, the day of JFK’s funeral. The draft was due to herald the NFL embracing Las Vegas as an official NFL city, with the Raiders, moving from Oakland, due to start playing there from this season onwards. A swanky new $1.8 billion stadium located just off the Strip will be their new home. But the global pandemic has scuppered those plans. And the draft will not be held in Las Vegas.
The NFL’s management council executive committee however, have unanimously decided that the draft will go forward as planned on April 23-25. Commissioner Roger Goodell has told the 32 franchises that make up the league that they should “be doing the necessary planning to conduct draft operations in a location outside of your facility, with a limited number of people present”. And for a sports-mad country that has very little to watch, this news is manna from heaven.
We will not have the razzmatazz or the floating red carpet stage that was due to span the Bellagio’s famous fountains. We won’t have any Green Room to witness the joy of a top prospect getting selected. We also won’t be able to witness the agony of a top prospect enduring a long slide down the board like Aaron Rodgers suffered in 2005, and the public humiliation that goes with it. But the show goes on.
Here at Paddy Power we will be concentrating on the draft and have over 50 markets already available for you to bet on:
NFL Draft is 3 weeks from tonight but without Pro Days and visits I'm worried it might be an inexact science and some teams could get a few picks wrong this year.
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) April 2, 2020
There is a huge range of markets available. And in the run-up to the big event we will be bringing you the latest news and gossip. We will also be running regular articles, highlighting markets and prices and speculating about where the top prospects might land whilst also highlighting team needs.
Every week we will be concentrating on certain markets, trying to pinpoint the best value, get expert advice and opinions. So, stay tuned to Paddy Power news as we countdown to the biggest event on the sporting horizon, the 2020 NFL draft.