By all accounts, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will be selected with the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. His odds to be selected first range anywhere from -3000 to -10000 at most sportsbooks.
When predicting where Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert will go in the draft, it is wise to start with what teams at the top of the draft need a quarterback, or if there are any teams that may trade into one of the top spots. Herbert is likely battling Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovalia to be the second quarterback drafted. Where will each of their landing spots be?
Justin Herbert Draft Position (Over 5.5 -235, Under 5.5 +180)
The Case for the Over
To clarify, betting the over means you are predicting that Herbert is selected either sixth overall or later. Those that treat the words of Mel Kiper and Todd McShay like gospel will side with the over.
Tua Tagovailoa appears to be gaining more and more steam as we get closer to the draft. The news of his injured hip came back very positive last month, and as a result, he is likely to skyrocket up draft boards.
Tua has been linked to the Miami Dolphins who own the fifth selection for quite some time now. Though the Dolphins currently have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen on their roster, neither player represents their quarterback of the future. When the Dolphins started out 0-7 last year and were on track for the No. 1 overall draft pick, many people were coining the phrase that they were “tanking for Tua.”
Tagovailoa’s injury complicated matters shortly after it happened. However, now that he appears fully recovered and is scheduled to host workouts next month, will the Dolphins really pass up the opportunity to draft a promising young talent such as Tua?
The teams that own the second through fourth draft spots are the Redskins, Lions, and Giants respectively. None of those teams appear to have a desperate need for a quarterback at the moment. Barring one of them trading out of their draft spot, Herbert’s draft position will likely come down to if the Dolphins select Tua or take Herbert at No. 5. Bettors that take the over would believe they would draft Tua.
The Case for the Under
Betting the under on Justin Herbert’s draft position means you are taking the stance that he will be chosen with the fifth pick or earlier. The under has odds of +180 because oddsmakers believe that if the draft order stays as it is right now, the Bengals would draft Burrow and the only other team that needs a quarterback in the top five is Miami. Thus, oddsmakers are banking on the Dolphins selecting Tua in that position.
However, oddsmakers have left themselves susceptible to the possibility of trades. The Lions who hold the No. 3 pick and the Giants who own the No. 4 pick are likely trade targets for teams that want to move ahead of the Dolphins for the right to draft Tua.
Could the Indianapolis Colts move up from No. 13 to draft a quarterback given they only gave Philip Rivers a one year deal? Would the Buccaneers move up from No. 14 to draft their replacement for Tom Brady if they do not retain Jameis Winston? The Patriots seem like a team that could make a move up the draft board given Jarrett Stidham is currently their starter. Lastly, the Saints might be eyeing a top quarterback prospect to be Drew Brees’s heir apparent now that Teddy Bridgewater is gone.
If one of these scenarios happens and a team jumps in front of Miami to draft Tua, the Dolphins would really have to contemplate taking Justin Herbert at No. 5. There has been no talk of them being interested in Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. If Tua was off the board and they did not draft Herbert, they would, in essence, be admitting they are waiting one more year to draft a quarterback.
There is one other scenario that could force Herbert to Miami at No. 5. What if the Washington Redskins passed on Chase Young at No. 2 to draft Tua? Yes, current quarterback Dwayne Haskins is only entering his second year. However, new head coach Ron Rivera is not necessarily tied to Haskins and may be looking to go in a different direction. If that is the case, the chances of Herbert being drafted at No. 5 or earlier would be a lot higher.