If you wanted to prepare for the NFL draft, just put on last season’s Alabama-LSU game. You might see one-third of the first round in one game.
It seems inconceivable that two schools could collect so much NFL talent. But BetMGM’s draft props are telling. Alabama and LSU have the same line for total players selected in the first round: 5.5.
Alabama players drafted in first round: 5.5
Over: -125; Under: +105
LSU players drafted in the first round: 5.5
Over: +150; Under: -182
It’s possible we see 10-12 Alabama or LSU players go in the first round, starting with LSU quarterback Joe Burrow at No. 1 and perhaps Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa second overall. LSU won that game last season against Alabama 46-41 and won a national title, but which school will have more first-round picks?
BetMGM has a prop bet for that, too.
Will LSU or Alabama have more first-round picks?
LSU might have gotten the best of Alabama on the field, but BetMGM has the Crimson Tide as the favorite to have more first-round picks. Alabama is -150 against LSU in that prop bet, and LSU is +125.
Here are the lists of realistic first-round candidates for each team (and let’s just marvel at how loaded each of these squads were):
Alabama: Tagovailoa, OT Jedrick Wills Jr., WR Henry Ruggs III, WR Jerry Jeudy, S Xavier McKinney, EDGE Terrell Lewis, CB Trevon Diggs
LSU: Burrow, EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, WR Justin Jefferson, LB Patrick Queen, CB Kristian Fulton, S Grant Delpit
LSU also has running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, guard Damien Lewis and center Lloyd Cushenberry, but they would probably need a big late spike to get into the first round. It’s more likely they land in the latter half of the second round.
Alabama has an edge and the odds reflect that. But all it would take is for someone like Delpit to catch some team’s eye in the first round while Lewis’ injury history pushes him down and Diggs goes from borderline first-round pick to high second-round pick for LSU to have more first-rounders.
Alabama has produced many NFL stars
As we look at NFL draft props over the next month, we’ll ask Yahoo Sports NFL draft expert Eric Edholm for some additional insider analysis. In his latest mock draft, Edholm had seven Alabama players in the first round and just five for LSU:
Edholm: “The LSU first-round locks are Burrow, Chaisson, Queen and — I think — Jefferson. I think Fulton lands in Round 1, but I’d slightly hesitate to call him a lock. There are a ton of receivers and not enough corners in this draft, so that’s where my slight doubt on Jefferson and Fulton lie. Still, five Tigers in Round 1 is your most likely number, with four very possible. Grant Delpit could go Round 1, but I am starting to think he’s more likely in Round 2 now. I love Clyde Edwards-Helaire a lot, maybe more than most do, but seeing a 5-foot-7 running back going top 32 is just tough for me.
“For Bama, the Round 1 locks are Tagovailoa, Wills, Jeudy and Ruggs. Xavier McKinney isn’t a lock, but I think there’s a decent shot he goes in the back half of the round. Trevon Diggs is a fit for some teams later in Round 1, so he’s about 65-35 for the first. And Terrell Lewis would fall under the “first-rounder people didn’t see coming” category — aka, a Seahawks-type pick. But that’s about it for the Tide; I can't see any others being considered that high.
“It’s pretty darned close. But if I am wagering here, I side with Alabama, which appears to have one more possible shot in the first.”
Alabama players are like low-risk stocks. They were generally five- or four-star players coming out of high school and played in a program that is as close to the NFL as you’ll find in the college game. There is the old notion that Alabama players are worn down before they get to the NFL, but there have been numerous NFL stars come from that program. The NFL likes safe — that might really be the case in this strange year — and Alabama prospects are solid investments.
That’s why taking Alabama at -150 seems like the best play. A lot will have to go right for LSU to have more first-round picks, and with limitations on pre-draft visits due to coronavirus, perhaps we’ll see less fluctuation on draft boards than in other years.
LSU upset Alabama the last time they met. Just don’t expect a repeat on draft day.
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