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Chase Young or Tua Tagovailoa? NFL Draft provides plenty of intriguing betting options

Chase Young or Tua Tagovailoa? NFL Draft provides plenty of intriguing betting options

With live sporting events on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the eyes of the sports world will be glued to football's draft on April 23. 
 
And that means the eyes of the sports betting world will also be all over the draft. There are countless wagers to be made on the draft and I will take a look at a handful over the next couple weeks.

Who will be the second overall pick?
Chase Young (Ohio St.) -715
Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) +400
Joe Burrow (LSU) +3300
Justin Herbert (Oregon) +3300
Isaiah Simmons (Clemson) +3300

Despite a new coaching staff in town, I would be stunned if Washington used the second overall pick on Tua Tagovailoa. But does that mean Chase Young is a lock to be the second pick? Not necessarily. 

Washington does not have a second-round pick this year after moving back into the first round last year to select Montez Sweat. Head coach Ron Rivera has said that not having a second-round pick is a “burden.” However, talking to reporters on Tuesday, Rivera struck an interesting tone. 
 
“If you're going to make a trade and you're going to go back, that guy you're going to take at that spot has to be able to make the kind of impact you need to validate missing an opportunity to take a player that's a high-impact guy,” Rivera said. 

It sounds like Young is the guy, but it doesn’t completely rule out a trade. If Miami wants Tua, they have the assets to move up. Miami owns six of the first 70 picks in the NFL Draft: No. 5, 18, 26, 39, 56, 70. Miami also has three fifth-round picks and three seventh-round picks.

Come the night of April 23, I do believe Washington will select Young, the Ohio State defensive end and DeMatha Catholic alum. But if you’re putting money down, is it worth the risk? At -715, you have to put down $715 to make $100. 

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We have seen plenty of examples of organizations trading up to get the quarterback of the future. In 2016, St. Louis moved from 15 to secure Jared Goff with the first overall pick and Philadelphia made multiple trades to get to two and select Carson Wentz in the same draft. The odds on Chase Young are too rich for my blood. 

My official play: Pass

What team will draft Tua Tagovailoa?
Miami -110
Los Angeles (LAC) +160
Washington +1100
Jacksonville +1100

While we all would love to hit on an 11-1 long shot, I don’t think Washington (or Jacksonville) is going to draft Tua Tagovailoa. This is a two-team race between Miami and the Los Angeles Chargers. Miami has been searching for a franchise quarterback since Dan Marino retired in 2000. The franchise passed on signing Drew Brees in 2006 due to concerns over his injured shoulder and opted for Dante Culpepper instead. In 2012, Miami used the eighth overall pick on Ryan Tannehill. He is now on Tennessee. 

Can Miami afford to miss on another quarterback? How healthy is Tua's hip? Does Miami like Oregon’s Justin Herbert more than Tua? ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently said “there has been some buzz around Herbert to Miami, but it's still early.”

These are all legitimate questions to think about when deciding if you want to put some money down on Miami.

What about the Los Angeles Chargers? Does Los Angeles, a team with a small fan base, need to make a splash in the draft? 

If Detroit use the third pick and Tua is still available at four, I would not be surprised if Los Angeles called the New York Giants and traded up to select the former Alabama quarterback.

While I understand there has been a lot of smoke recently about Miami not being in love with Tua and there are legitimate concerns with his injury history…it makes too much sense.

My official play: Miami -110

First Wide Receiver selected?
Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) -121
CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma) +175
Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) +250

The 2020 NFL Draft wide receiver class is loaded. There are plenty of quality players at the position to be had on the second and third days of the draft. That said, three players will go in the top half of the first round. But, who will go first? 

If you search, one mock draft will say Jerry Jeudy, another will say CeeDee Lamb, and a third will say Henry Ruggs III. The New York Jets own the 11th overall pick and after losing Robby Anderson, New York will likely be in the market for a top tier wide receiver. Las Vegas at 12 need help at wide receiver and San Francisco, who traded DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis for the 13th pick, lost Emmanuel Sanders to free agency. There is a good chance all three will be gone 13. 

Another team to keep an eye is Denver at 15. Could John Elway look to trade up to add another weapon for Drew Lock?

This comes down to value here. Ruggs ran a blazing 4.27 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. While he is not considered the most complete receiver in the draft, I could see a team being enamored by his speed. Additionally, there has also been some steam on Ruggs being the first receiver selected. I personally played Ruggs being the first wide receiver selected at +400 two weeks ago. I still believe there is value there now.

My official play: Henry Ruggs III +250

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The one word Scott Turner wants to use to describe his offense in 2020

The one word Scott Turner wants to use to describe his offense in 2020

Ron Rivera's first free agency class with the Redskins consisted of just over a dozen players, many of which share this one specific trait: versatility.

On the offensive side of the ball, Washington added running back J.D. McKissic, who can both run in between the tackles and catch passes out of the backfield. Additionally, the team added a pair of offensive lineman, Cornelius Lucas and Wes Schweitzer, who both have experience playing multiple positions along the line. 

The trend of adding versatile players continued in the draft. The Redskins invested a third-round pick in RB/WR hybrid Antonio Gibson and followed that selection with fourth-round pick Saahdiq Charles, who played both tackle spots at LSU. The Redskins used another Day 3 pick on Keith Ismael, who played all three interior offensive line spots at San Diego State.

Offensive coordinator Scott Turner was asked this week why the team emphasized versatility so much this offseason, and the 37-year-old's reply was simple.

"I think you want to be as unpredictable as possible," Turner told local media via Zoom this week. "You don’t want the defense to know what you’re going to do. I think you do that with balance and everything like that."

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While that sounds ideal, being unpredictable is hard to do. The offensive coordinator explained that keeping opposing defenses on their toes requires a lot more than just mixing up pass plays with rushing ones. 

"Balance is not just run and pass," he explained. "It’s getting all five – you have five eligible receivers on every play – getting all five of those guys. That to me is what true balance is, using all five of those guys in the run game or pass game. So, guys that are able to do different things, it gives you more options of how you can use them and more things that the defense has to defend."

Outside of wide receiver Terry McLaurin, plenty of Washington's offensive weapons remain unproven at the NFL level. However, there's still plenty of optimism in Redskins Park about the team's skill position depth.

The Redskins had a pair of rookie pass-catchers emerge towards the end of last season, Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon, and having another season alongside Dwayne Haskins should only help them. At running back, Adrian Peterson keeps chugging along, and if Derrius Guice can stay healthy, he has the chance to make a huge impact, too. 

Washington's offseason additions of McKissic, Gibson, and fourth-round pick Antonio Gandy-Golden, who the offensive coordinator specifically praised, all give Turner plenty of flexibility to be creative with the unit.

"We have guys that we feel like can fit those molds as far as just creatively getting the ball, not just like running back and receiver and we’re going to give a lot of people a chance and see how it shakes out," Turner said.

Too often last season, Washington's offense was extremely predictable, especially once interim head coach Bill Callahan took over. Callahan insisted on running the ball early and often; the Redskins ran the ball 58% of the time on first down, the sixth-highest rate in the league, according to Sharp Football Stats.

Many of these runs were unsuccessful, leaving Washington in plenty of third-and-long situations. Those down-and-distance situations are immensely hard to convert, but even more difficult with a rookie quarterback, which the Redskins had with Haskins last season.

There's only room for improvement for the Redskins offense as Turner enters his first season as the team's offensive coordinator. The unit averaged just 16.6 points per game a season ago, which ranked dead last in the NFL. Washington averaged just 274 yards of total offense per contest in 2019, good for 31st in the league, with only the Jets trailing them.

This season marks the first true offensive coordinator gig that Turner has had; he was promoted to the role in Carolina last December, ironically after Rivera was fired. With the Panthers, Turner had the luxury of running back Christian McCaffrey -- arguably the most versatile offensive player in the NFL -- to his disposal, as well as guys who can play multiple roles like Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore.

While the Redskins may not have a player like McCaffrey, the offensive coordinator has a plan for how he envisions Washington's offense to succeed in 2020, and it all starts with having players who can do multiple things.

"Versatility is so important because it’s uncertainty for the other side of the ball," Turner said.

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Two examples of why ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."

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The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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