2020 NFL Draft #1 Pick: Bengals, Giants Lead Race to the Bottom

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For some NFL teams, the season effectively ended a long time ago. For the worst of the worst, the likes of the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and others down in the dregs with them, it’s time to look ahead to the offseason, and most specifically, the 2020 NFL Draft, which will be in Las Vegas from April 23rd-25th.

For these teams, losing on the field is actually winning in the long run, as December means tanking time. It’s something to consider when betting on NFL Games this time of year- who might be tanking? The ultimate prize here is the #1 overall pick and as it stands right now, the Bengals have the inside track with their record currently 1-11.

However, the Giants are right on their heels at 2-10 with a schedule strength of .507 to Cincy’s .608. Don’t rule out the next tier of bad, where you have the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons sitting at 3-9. Then you have two more perennial losers, the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals, sporting 3-8-1 marks.

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Both the Bengals and Giants should continue their losing ways this weekend, with the ESPN picks panel going 10/11 in backing Cincinnati to lose to arch-rival Cleveland. Ditto for NYG, where 10 out of 11 of their pundits see Big Blue falling to the rival Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. So for the team that does land the #1 pick, what is the prize?

The rights to select anybody you want, with the front-runners being LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (the very likely Heisman trophy winner), Ohio State defensive end Chase Young (the best overall prospect in this class) or Georgia OL Andrew Thomas. You can’t really lose with any of these three options. The Bengals most certainly need to move on from Andy Dalton, and Burrow is probably the best option for them.

After quarterbacks, the highest premium paid for NFL prospects these days are at pass rush and pass protection, and that’s a service that’s always in demand for teams bad enough to be down at this level. If an edge rusher is what you want, then you got to go with Young. If protecting your QB is the biggest team need, go with Thomas. All three of these players will certainly will be well paid no matter where they end up!

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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