2020 NFL Draft Odds: CB

Odds, trends and analysis

The NFL Draft will be held remotely from Thursday, April 23 through Saturday, April 25. Instead of holding the annual event in Las Vegas, the league will keep league officials, analysts, and drafted players separated, but will take viewers into the homes of players and behind the curtain in team war rooms.

At TheLines, we’re offering advice for betting on the NFL Draft, including breakdowns of the first player to be drafted at each position. Below we highlight the top five candidates to become the first cornerback to be selected, with draft history and context to help you place bets. There is hardly any mystery regarding which player will come off the board first, but we’ll break down the top four names in the draft and give you some ideas on how to find value with other bets.

NFL draft odds: First CB drafted

First CB Drafted

Game
04/23/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Jeffrey Okudah
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-10000
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-5000
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-1000
CJ Henderson
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+1000
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+1200
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+1200
Kristian Fulton
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+2500
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+3000
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+2200
Trevon Diggs
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+3300
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+4000
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+3000
Jeff Gladney
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+5000
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+8000
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+5000
AJ Terrell
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+5000
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+8000
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+5000

How to bet on first CB drafted

Most online sportsbooks have options for several NFL Draft bets, including an option to bet on the exact order of the first three picks. To find this section, click the NFL tab and look for “Draft Props” or “Player Draft Specials.” To bet on the first player off the board at their position, find a tab for “First Pick by Position” and view the odds listed below.

Just like Joe Burrow at QB, Ohio State product Jeffrey Okudah (-10000 at DraftKings Sportsbook) is essentially a lock to be the first CB selected on April 23. The question is, how early will he go?

NFL Draft: 2020 CB profiles

Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State: Yet another stud CB to come out of Ohio State, Okudah is a can’t miss prospect at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds with excellent agility. While scouts say that his route diagnosis and eye discipline needs improvement, you simply can’t teach that combination of size and strength, which is becoming increasingly necessary to stop physical WRs in a league that favors offenses. Okudah ran a 4.48 40-yard dash and posted a 41-inch vertical jump at the combine. The New Jersey native, who won the Thorpe Award as the best CB in the nation this past season, will be motivated to honor the memory of his late mother, Marie.

Okudah is almost certainly going to be the first DB off the board. At DraftKings Sportsbook, his prop for which overall pick is set at 4.5, with +120 odds on him going off the board No. 4 or earlier. The Lions hold the No. 3 pick and could certainly consider a CB that early after losing Darius Slay in free agency.

If the Redskins take Chase Young at No. 2 after the Bengals take Joe Burrow, the Lions might decide to take Okudah since they’ll likely have no interest in Tua Tagovailoa. A bet on Burrow-Young-Okudah going 1-2-3 in the draft sits at +275 odds at DraftKings, and a bet on Burrow-Tua-Okudah (meaning both the Redskins and Lions pass on Young) sits at +1100 odds.

According to odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, the Lions are expected to use their No. 3 pick on defense (-235) rather than offense (+180), so there is a real chance Matt Patricia and the front office roll with Okudah. The Panthers are the most likely team to take Okudah if the Lions pass since Carolina lost big CB James Bradberry this offseason.

C.J. Henderson, Florida: The CB expected to be drafted after Okudah has a nearly identical build at 6-foot-1, 204 pounds. Henderson, a Miami native, ran a 4.37 40-yard dash with a 37.5-inch vertical jump at the combine. He’s an explosive athlete with the ability to lock down burners or jam physical WRs at the line of scrimmage. Scouts expressed some concern about his ability to play the run and some inconsistency finding the ball when his back is turned to the QB. The Raiders could definitely use help in the secondary and might consider Henderson with the No. 12 pick, the Falcons might steal him at No. 11 though, or he could fall to the Bucs at No. 14.

Kristian Fulton, LSU: Yet another plus-sized DB who is six feet tall, Fulton is a former track star. He struggled to meet lofty expectations as a freshman at LSU, wound up missing extensive time with a foot injury and for falsifying a drug test, but boosted his stock considerably by serving as the top CB on a championship team as a senior. Receivers generally struggle to gain separation against Fulton since he’s so fast and balanced enough to mirror routes. His suspension may throw up some red flags, but the new CBA dictates that NFL players won’t be suspended for marijuana use starting in 2020. It’s more likely he falls to the late first round (24.5 pick prop at DraftKings) because he’s been inconsistent throughout his college career. Some pundits predict Fulton could be the fifth or sixth DB off the board, so taking the Over (-110) on that 24.5-pick prop seems prudent.

Trevon Diggs, Alabama: The younger brother of Stefon Diggs is more likely to play against his older brother now that Diggs is on a Bills roster that is stacked in the secondary. Diggs is even longer than the 6-foot-1 CBs listed above him, drawing some comparisons to Aqib Talib. He can jam receivers and also proved his worth as a return man at Alabama. Teams should be concerned about his ability to play the deep ball and his tendency to pull jerseys when he’s beat, a tactic that is not as viable in the NFL where PI is a spot foul.

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NFL Draft CB History

Here is a list of the first CB taken in each NFL Draft going back to 2010.

YearTeamPlayerCollegePick (No. overall)
2019NY GiantsDeAndre BakerGeorgiaNo. 30
2018ClevelandDenzel WardOhio StateNo. 4
2017New OrleansMarshon LattimoreOhio StateNo. 11
2016JacksonvilleJalen RamseyFlorida StateNo. 5
2015MinnesotaTrae WaynesMichigan StateNo. 11
2014ClevelandJustin GilbertOklahoma StateNo. 8
2013NY JetsDee MillinerAlabamaNo. 9
2012DallasMorris ClaiborneLSUNo. 6
2011ArizonaPatrick PetersonLSUNo. 5
2010ClevelandJoe HadenFloridaNo. 7

NFL Draft strategy and trends

Rule changes have clearly made CB a more valuable position in today’s NFL, yet we haven’t seen enough stud prospects to earn top 10 selections in two of the past three drafts. This draft has a top 10 pick in Okudah and plenty of depth with Jeff Gladney, A.J. Terrell and Jaylon Johnson all capable of going in the late first round or early second round.

Add those prospects with Henderson, Fulton, and Diggs, and it’s worth taking the Over on the total number of CBs (4.5) to go in the first round (-134 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook). Five CBs went in the first round in 2016 and 2017, and in 2012. Pass defense was dreadful across the league last year and teams that finished in the bottom 10 in pass defense have nearly half of 2020 first round picks.

More NFL Draft betting guides