There has been a surprising shift via the SportsLine Projection Model regarding the team to beat in the AFC in the 2020 season.
The Baltimore Ravens picked 28th in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night and the Kansas City Chiefs 32nd. Because both powerhouses were near the end of the round, one might think the SportsLine Projection Model wouldn’t make any significant changes because there are in theory no immediate difference-makers available that late in the draft.
However, the Model was a huge fan of LSU linebacker Baltimore Ravens falling into the laps of the Ravens at No. 28. After the Ravens made the pick, Baltimore quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson shouted, “Ray Lewis Jr.!” on Instagram Live. It’s obviously way too early to compare Queen to Lewis Jr., but there are some similarities, and the Hall of Famer Lewis was the No. 26 overall pick in the 1996 draft.
Queen was named Defensive MVP in the national championship game win over Clemson after recording eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss, and half a sack. He is only the third inside linebacker ever selected in the first round by the Ravens, joining Lewis and C.J. Mosley (2014), who also became a terrific player.
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Middle linebacker was one glaring hole on the Ravens, and the Model believes that is filled with Queen. Thus, Baltimore now is the AFC favorite with a 37.5 percent chance of winning the conference, as well as the Super Bowl favorite at 23.9 percent.
Kansas City took LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helairewith the 32nd pick, and the Model still forecasts the Chiefs for the most wins in the NFL with 11.9, but they are now given a 36.6 percent chance of winning the AFC and 22.7 of repeating at Super Bowl champions.
William Hill sportsbook favors Kansas City at +450 to win Super Bowl 55 with Baltimore at +650.