I’m approaching this mock as a blend of what I think teams will do, colored with my opinions of the players selected. Accordingly, I am going to add a twist to this particular mock draft by folding the current odds from PointsBet into each pick (where available). That way you, the reader, can get my opinions on the current profit potential of each selection.
Here is the PointsBet board as it currently stands:
PointsBet Odds = -185 Hutchinson/+185 Walker
Odds of first pick being: DL -1,000/OL +330
Much ink has been spilled chronicling GM Trent Balke’s previous selection of Aldon Smith over J.J. Watt with the 49ers as an example of why the Jaguars will select Georgia Edge Travon Walker, and his jaw-dropping 9.99 RAS athletic profile, over Michigan Edge, Aidan Hutchinson. The thing is, Hutchinson is a freak athlete as well, sporting a similarly impressive 9.88 RAS. Except he posted the nation’s third-leading pressure rate (11.8%) while Walker accrued the nation’s 142nd ranked pressure rate of 5.1%, tied with household names like Zach VanValkenburg and YaYa Diaby.
After owner Sadiq Kahn suffered through the Urban Myer debacle last season, the last thing the Jags need is to take a Boom/Bust selection at #1 overall. They’re taking the logical pick, Hutchinson (-185) just like last year with Trevor Lawrence, and moving on to the rest of their draft. FWIW – Walker was +2,000 to go #1 at the end of March…yet here he is at +185.
Thibodeaux + 150/Hutchinson +170/Walker +400
Odds of first pick being: DL -280/QB +500/DB +600
GM Brad Holmes had previously mentioned having talks about moving down from the number one pick but tamped down that speculation in his latest news conference. He did indicate that the team is looking for a “game-changer” with the selection, saying “I’ve said all positions, if that position is a quarterback…then it’s a quarterback.” I feel safe in saying there are no game-changing quarterbacks in this class, however, there sure will be in 2023 (Bryce Young, CJ Stroud).
The Lions literally run to the podium if hometown boy Hutch is there, but in this scenario, I believe they select the next most impact Edge player in Kayvon Thibodeaux, who has seen his odds steadily increase over the past few weeks to where he’s actually the favorite now. His over/under was 5.5 at -110 to the under three weeks ago. Just this week he shot up to O/U 4.5 with the underpriced at -150. It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows on that play.
Ekwonu = +225/Neal = +350/Gardner = +450/Walker = +600
Odds of first pick being: DL +100/OL +175/DB +300
The top-2 Edge rushers are now gone, and Houston is in a classic “best player on the board” scenario with their down-to-the-studs rebuild. When deciding between the two top-rated tackles, the Texans go with Neal (+350) since he is projected as more of a true LT whereas Ekwonu has some guard traits and is still developing his skills as an outside pass protector.
The OL +175 mark covers both potential long-term tackles, so you’re just fading Sauce and Walker here in this scenario. They’re in a great spot to anchor their line for the foreseeable future, then turn the page to their 13th selection where they can see who drops.
Thibodeaux +150/Gardner +400/Walker +450
Odds of first pick being: DL +125/DB +250/OL +350
With their preferred Edge defender, Thibodeaux, off the board to the Lions, Robert Saleh and company are in a quandary – take a physical freak with moderate production in Travon Walker, or grab the number one shut down corner in the draft? With the Jets’ notorious history of donking off first-round picks, they can ill-afford to “Kyle Brady” or “Blair Thomas” this selection. Accordingly, they take the best cornerback on the board to address the defensive side of the ball before picking again at 10.
Gardner goes under on his 4.5 (-120) draft position prop and is a decent shot at (+400), but several recent mocks have thrown their support behind Stingley Jr. instead, which is an enticing value play at +$2,200. Hopefully, Thibodeaux is off the board by the time #4 rolls around, then it could be a toss-up between the two corners.
5) New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
Ekwonu +350/Neal +350/Gardner +450/Thibodeaux +450
Odds of first pick being: OL -120/DL +250/DB +330
The team with the third most draft capital is in an enviable position. They could sow up a pressing need on the offensive line with arguably the top OL in the class. Or the G-men can take the 2nd most athletic NFL Edge prospect to go through the Combine testing process since 1987 (Tied with Myles Garrett).
I take Ekwonu (+350) here because Carolina is likely sitting on either a quarterback (+100) or a left tackle (+100). It’s highly unlikely that an edge defender is in their plans, as the highest odds for a DE is +1,600 on Thibodeaux. Accordingly, it makes sense for the NYG to bolster their OL with the #5 pick, then take the best Edge on the board with pick #7. Additionally, this means Ickey goes over on his draft position prop of 4.5 (-125).
6) Carolina Panthers – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Pickett +165/Willis + 400/Neal +400/Cross +400/Ekwonu +700
Odds of first pick being: OL +100/QB +100/DB +1,400
In my final 2021 Mock Draft, I got the first six picks exactly correct, only to be spurned by Carolina on the 7th selection when they took CB Joe Horn over Mac Jones (or Justin Fields for that matter). Either QB would have helped the Panthers avoid this unenviable position – having no 2nd or 3rd round picks and Sam Darnold as the only quasi-competent QB on the roster for HC Matt Rhule, who could be on the precipice of returning to coach Temple next season if he doesn’t lead the franchise on some kind of upward trajectory. Because of the “win now” mentality, I think they could very well make something happen for Baker Mayfield and avoid the tragedy that would be Kenny Pickett, 6th overall selection.
Other than a trade out, which would be advisable since the Panthers could still pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd that they desperately need, I think taking Mississippi State OL Charles Cross and his under pick 7.5 (+100) is the most logical selection for the Cats here. Trevor Penning is comfortably the fourth-best OT on the board and is a dark horse at +2,500.
7) New York Giants (from Chicago Bears) – Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia
Gardner +350/Thibodeaux +500/Cross +500
In this scenario, New York takes a shot at the big upside potential of Travon Walker, as the Georgia Edge has had as big a rise as any prospect in the class, as few people would have pegged him for the top potential selection until he blew away the scouting combine with his workout and testing performance. The pick helps new GM Joe Schoen emphatically address two of the team’s most pressing needs – a big Edge opposite fellow UGA speed rusher Aziz Ojulari, and a potential cornerstone LT who can step right in and play guard this year while he acclimates to the NFL.
From a market perspective, Walker goes over his 2.5 (+100) draft slot prop and is an enticing longshot currently sitting at +2,000 odds to be selected by the Big Blue Wrecking Crew.
8) Atlanta Falcons – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
G. Wilson +500/J. Williams +550/M. Willis +600/London +600
Odds of first pick being: WR +110/DL +350/QB +400
With the eighth pick, in addition to two second-round and two third-round selections in their back pocket, the Falcons are favored to take a wideout with the first selection. However, if an impact Edge like their home state prospect Travon Walker were to fall that would be an enticing value proposition they may not be able to pass up. Jermaine Johnson (O/U #10.5) could fit the bill as the board currently sits and is the only other realistic selection outside of the Wilson/Williams WR combo, as I don’t see them reaching in a rather soft QB class that’s been much maligned all offseason. If anything, a trade up from 43 to the late-first in order to nab their signal caller and utilize the extra fifth year of team control as opposed to the four years afforded on a Day 2 contract would be a savvy play if their preferred option is still available that late.
To illustrate just how much these draft markets can move in an instant, Williams was +1,500 two weeks ago to go Top-10…now he’s +550 to go eight overall! He’s my top wide receiver on the board, and while I’m trying to project what the teams will do when all things are equal, I’ll go with my evaluation in spite of Williams’ ACL tear in the CFP National Championship game that he is supposedly recovering quickly from.
9) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Neal +375/Cross +400/Ekwonu +750/Willis +800
Odds of first pick being: OL +175/QB +225/DL +330/+400
Having jettisoned malcontent QB Russell Wilson to the Broncos to solidify the AFC West as the most QB-heavy division in the league, Seattle is now faced with reconfiguring their roster post-Wilson era. While LT is a major priority as well, the Hawks simply cannot pass up the athleticism and potential of Malik Willis at this spot. Pete Carroll isn’t a young man anymore, and this pick allows him to hit the ground running right away with a franchise QB to mold for this year while they take their lumps and look to the future. I doubt they pony up for DK Metcalf’s gargantuan second contract considering the current direction of the franchise, so a true grass-roots build up is in everyone’s best interest. You can’t be “rebuilt” as a franchise until you have a viable QB. While there are issues with Willis’ comfortability in the pocket, he has the highest upside in the class.
Unless they get leapfrogged by New Orleans/Pittsburgh, or Carolina goes for the raw athletic prospect to mold instead of the Mayfield/Darnold dueling-banjos QB carousel, I think Seattle runs to the podium with this selection, at a tidy +800 clip on PointsBet.
10) New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) – Drake London, WR, USC
G. Wilson +400/J. Williams +400/London +450
This is a tough call, as my personal board prefers Garrett Wilson to London with all three of the top market projections at this pick being wideouts. If Williams is available here I think he’s the pick, full stop. Last year the Jets drafted Elijah Moore as a shifty receiver who can also go deep when called upon, Michael Carter as an all-purpose weapon out of the backfield, and of course Zach Wilson with the second overall selection. Williams is more explosive than London, which tips the scale for me. However, London is big and plays extremely physical on the outside while winning at the catch point and off the line. If corners play off him, USC would toss him quick hits and watch the former basketball standout hammer opposing quarterbacks with stiff-arms in one-on-one situations. His aggressive mentality and size give the NYJ a formidable 1-2 option to attack secondaries with.
The pick, along with Jameson to ATL, cashes London’s +125 to go Top-10 ticket and bumps Garrett Wilson -200 to go Top-10 out of the money.
11) Washington Commanders – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
G. Wilson +500/Kyle Hamilton +600/Stingley Jr. +550/London +600
Odds of first pick being: WR +125/DB +125/OL +600
Malik Willis has already been taken by Seattle, so the temptation for Washington to take a QB is likely extinguished, as I view Pickett as a reach here. The Commanders would be thrilled to select many analysts’ top wideout in the class – Garrett Wilson, as it would give them an instant successor to Terry McLaurin should his contact situation become more tenuous and they don’t want to back up the Brinks truck for their current WR1.
Bottom line: if Wilson makes it here, I don’t think he drops any further. If not, this is where I think Derek Stingley Jr. comes off the board at +550. Either way, Stingley Jr. hits the over on his 10.5 (+110) draft slot prop.
12) Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Stingley Jr. +375/Hamilton +700/McDuffie +750/Gardner/+900
Odds of first pick being: DB +115/DL +275/OL +400
Out of respect to my two Minnesota friends here at NBC (Thor and Tyler Forness), I didn’t have the heart to mock Derek Stingley Jr. here since both are vehemently against it and would constitute a physical altercation at the next work gathering…and Forness is an OT sized human. Stingley Jr. has taken some flack in the offseason for his injury issues over the past two seasons, as he is now two full seasons removed from his 2019 showing that was arguably the best true freshman cornerback season this decade, and possibly beyond. But that’s why he’s falling out of the Top-10…just like Minnesota’s pick here, Kyle Hamilton. Though he tied for the slowest 40-yard dash by a safety at the NFL Combine (4.59s), all you have to do is watch his play against Florida State where he ranges from across the field to make a reality-defying interception.
Nobody question’s his play speed, but his fall has more to do with the depth of the safety position this year and the general lack of high-end draft capital teams are willing to invest in it. Hamilton’s O/U at the beginning of February was in the 4.5 range, it has now ballooned to pick 10.5 with -150 juice to the over! That is a precipitous line move from the ultra-talented big safety.
13) Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) – Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
Stingley Jr. +750/Cross +850/Jordan Davis +900/Johnson +1,000
Houston reaps the benefits of fortifying their line with OT Evan Neal at #3 and waiting on Edge, as they nab the consensus #4 DE in Johnson. The Georgia transfer thrived at Florida State while running a 98th percentile 4.58 40-yard dash and dominating at the Senior Bowl to boost his draft stock into the top half of the first round.
A 92nd percentile athlete and the ACC POY, Johnson’s draft position is also listed at 10.5 (-125), a common O/U as the books try to create a statistical logjam by using the Jets pick used as a pivot point. At this point in the draft, the exacta payouts are big, as the +1,000 line will attest, but there are so many variables involved it makes taking Johnson to go here a risk likely not worth taking. Regardless, Texans GM Rick Smith has to be pleased with his team’s first-round windfall.
14) Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
J. Davis +550/Penning +550/J. Johnson II +850/Stingley Jr. +1100
Odds of first pick being: DL +150/OL +250/WR +300/DB +350
The dirty birds get athletic freak Jordan Davis, who tested as one of the top-2 athletes in the history of the NFL, behind only Detroit Lions legend Calvin Johnson! Trevor Penning is very much in play here, as would a field-stretching wideout like Chris Olave, or the previously mentioned Stingley Jr. However the chance to unleash the 350-pound Davis on the rest of the AFC North was an opportunity too good to pass up.
With Davis’ O/U set at 14.5, he just barely slides under (-105) with this pick while delivering a tidy +550 return on his team prop. Hard to justify throwing down +150 on the DL prop here when you can invest far less on the Davis individual play and get a similar return.
15) Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins) – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Odds of first pick being: WR +225/DL +225/DB +225
Eagles GM Howie Roseman likes to move around on draft day, so while this pick might not happen at the 15 pick, I think if Stingley Jr. falls into double digits, Roseman could seek to advance a few spots for a reasonable price and lock up one of the top-3 cornerbacks in this draft. I think a good fit could be Minnesota, who moved down from the same area last year and still got LT Christian Darrisaw at 22. Philadelphia could also leverage that 18 pick for a move down if New Orleans tries to press their luck by waiting on their QB until their number 19 selection and some other team wants to leapfrog them. Stingley Jr. officially cashes his over 10.5 (+110) ticket and the Eagles check the box on a void they are looking to fill.
16) New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis Colts through Philadelphia Eagles) – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
Odds of first pick being: QB +150/OL +250/WR +350
New Orleans mercifully ends the Taysom Hill QB experiment and lands a young quarterback to develop for the next few years. Chris Olave has been a trendy pick here, as has Trevor Penning, but with Trader Howie entertaining calls for the 18th pick and the Steelers looming at #20 with a well-defined need for a QB successor to stopgap measure Mitchell Trubisky, the Saints cannot afford to take gambles with their razor-thin quarterback room.
Pickett’s “Team to Draft” prop was sitting at +400 to New Orleans at the beginning of the month, as the conventional wisdom was he would link up with the Panthers since they need to win now and he’s considered by some to be the most “pro-ready” quarterback in the class. The odds have shifted to Carolina +150 and New Orleans has climbed all the way to +200, making it essentially a dead heat at this point. Pickett also easily goes over his projected draft position of 12.5 (-135).
17) Los Angeles Chargers – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Odds of first pick being: OL +120/DL +250/DB +300
Penning could edge into the Top-10, or he could fall into the late-20s. The ornery tackle’s tape is littered with the man quite literally emasculating some of the unfortunate defenders he encountered at the FCS level last season. His mean streak and gigantic frame make the Northern Iowa product an ideal blindside protector for the face of the franchise, Justin Herbert, allowing 2021 first-rounder Rashawn Slater to kick inside to guard and form a frightening left side for the Renters…excuse me, the Chargers. (As a proud San Diego resident, I had to stick up for my town against the vile Spanos family. Never forget.)
The pick means Penning goes over his 16.5 (+105) Draft Position prop by just one pick and cashes the rather light +120 OL payoff. I don’t like that play, since if Penning is off the board the Renters, ahem, Chargers won’t have an obvious OT to pivot to. Perhaps a George Karlaftis or Chris Olave pivot would occur in that case, which would be much more profitable.
18) Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints) – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Having addressed one of their primary objectives entering the draft by securing an immediate starter at cornerback, the Eagles now select the top all-around linebacker in the class, Devin Lloyd. I’ve heard some people calling for a big WR to line up opposite DeVonta Smith, and I respect it. However, three first-round wideouts in a row is a bridge too far for me when they still have the #51, #83, and #101 overall to leverage for a high-upside, big wideout like George Pickens, Alec Pierce, or Christian Watson in the second round.
Lloyd’s draft position prop at 18.5 is even money on the under (+100), so we’re right on the line with this projected selection.
19) New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia Eagles) – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Saints GM Mickey Loomis sets about revamping their passing attack by pairing Ohio State WR Chris Olave with Kenny Pickett, as the organization charts a course forward in the post-Brees era. Olave is a silky smooth route runner who created at least one yard of separation on 89% of his routes in 2020. The Buckeyes spread the ball around more last season following the emergence of future 2023 first-round selection, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but that‘s what happens when you play at a national powerhouse with a loaded WR room that pushed out Jameson Williams to Alabama.
By Olave going 19th, the over 17.5 (-130) play hits the mark and takes the last consensus elite receiver off the board.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Odds of first pick being: QB +125/OL +350/DL +350/DB +350
One of the most well-traveled storylines of this offseason has been Pittsburgh’s supposed interest in Malik Willis. However barring a trade-down, it’s hard to envision that union becoming a reality. As it stands, the Steelers can either “reach” for Desmond Ridder, possibly even Matt Corral, or they can consider their available options with the #52 pick which might amount to Sam Howell or Carson Strong. For the sake of this exercise, I refuse to believe the Steelers will enter 2022 with just Mitch Trubisky to hang their hopes on.
HC Mike Tomlin had stated in the offseason that the team was looking for a more mobile signal caller than the departed “Big” Ben Roethlisberger. Desmond Ridder tested in the 96th percentile of all quarterbacks tested since 1987 and ran a 4.51s 40-yard dash. It doesn’t get more mobile than that. With a draft position O/U of 30.5 (-115 both ways), Ridder could smash that line if Pittsburgh goes in this direction.
21) New England Patriots – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Odds of first pick being: DB +250/LB +300/DL +350/WR +380/OL +380
The annual fool’s errand of trying to predict what Bill Belichick and company will do with their draft picks is upon us. As you can see from the above odds, the Patriots are the only team that PointsBet has five different position groups under the +400 mark to be selected at #21. The general feeling is the Patriots will not take a first-round receiver, since historically that has been a death sentence under the Kraft/Belichick regime. Most Draftniks have New England leaning DB, with some Devin Lloyd and Nakobe Dean sprinkled in. There is plenty of reason to speculate on those two position groups, so I think if he’s available Trent McDuffie makes a lot of sense here, as he is solidly my CB3 from this class and could be CB2 for zone teams, as he is masterful in zone coverage, with Washington allowing 25 less passing yards per game than the second-lowest pass defense in the entire country allowed last season.
McDuffie’s O/U is 16.5, juiced -140 to the over and would be an unassailable selection by the Patriots if he’s still available at #21.
22) Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas Raiders) – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Odds of first pick being: WR -165/DL +450/LB +600
The football world has been wondering how Packers’ GM Brian Gutekunst will address the glaring need at wide receiver following the departure of their star Davante Adams via an offseason trade to the Raiders that netted them this pick. Will they go after a DE/LB first to bolster their defensive unit, or will they get the elephant in the room out of the way now?
One thing is crystal clear – the market is betting heavily on GB going with a pass catcher right out of the gate by laying a -165 on them taking a WR. What is not so apparent is who they will actually take. I waffled between a sub-six footer in Jahan Dotson and a more imposing wideout in Treylon Burks. However, that hasn’t been the Packers’ modus operandi in recent years, preferring bigger receivers in the Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard mold. Much like Kyle Hamilton, Burks’ play speed is better than his track speed as he was clocked in-game on the GPS at 22.3 MPH last season. I’m taking the Boar Hunter who clears the under on his 23.5 (-115) prop mark.
Odds of first pick being: WR +225/DL +275/DB +275/OL +400
Arizona really made their bed when it comes to needing an infusion of young talent in their receiving corps. Besides the now-departed mediocre talent, Christian Kirk, they haven’t drafted a serviceable WR3 or better since taking John Brown in 2014 at #91 overall. From 2015 onward they have drafted the following wide receivers in the fourth round or higher:
2017 – #98 – Chad Williams, Grambling
2018 – #47 – Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
2019 – #62 – Andy Isabella, UMass
2019 – #103 – Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
2021 – #49 – Rondale Moore
An illustrious list by any standard. Instead of addressing the position over the past two seasons, they drafted an undersized, Tavon Austin-lite, with a 2020 season ADOT of 2.6 and who can only make the occasional play when plied with manufactured touches. True to form, Moore’s rookie season ADOT was 1.2 yards. Hence, AZ is now the favorite to take a wideout with their 23rd selection.
Unfortunately, they also badly need a cornerback and while there are some pretty talented wide receivers likely to be available at their #55 pick, the CB pool thins out. Accordingly, I selected Kair Elam over Andrew Booth Jr. due to his injury questions and feel like he’s a better fit. It’s a bold call to some extent, as Elam currently sports an O/U of 35.5 (-130) while Booth Jr. is carrying a 26.5 O/U and Kyler Gordon sits at 32.5. I think Elam slips into the first round and you could even pick up some value by sacrificing three draft spots and playing Elam to land in the Top 32 at +150 odds, an 80-point payout differential.
24) Dallas Cowboys – Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College
Odds of first pick being: OL +125/DB +250/WR +350
You just know that Jerry Jones was dying to reunite with fellow Arkansas graduate, Treylon Burks, as he fit a need with Gallup hurt and Cooper shipped out. The story about Burks hunting Wild Boars with just his dogs and a knife was likely just the icing on top. Unfortunately, Burks is gone in this scenario and Dak Prescott needs some help on the line to keep him upright and healthy. Fortunately for the Cowboys, the full complement of interior offensive linemen is still available, so they have their pick of the litter. While Kenyon Green and Tyler Linderbaum are both viable options, Zion Johnson has a tireless work ethic and his 98th percentile athletic scores prove that he is well-positioned to hold down and upgrade a starting guard spot immediately. He is the safest pick and could possibly even swing over to tackle in a couple of years, but is likely best suited for guard duty. The market apparently feels the same way, as Zion’s O/U currently sits at 24.5 (-115 both ways) while both Green (-115 both) and Linderbaum (-130 over) are at 27.5. In this exercise, Zion goes just under. But the slim victory margin and two other viable options make this play a stay away for me.
25) Buffalo Bills – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Odds of first pick being: DB +175/RB +350/OL +425/WR +500
The AFC is teeming with high octane offenses, with the Bills among the upper echelon of them. Accordingly, Buffalo has to keep pace and would like to add a talented cornerback who can help keep the elite offenses at bay. The other side of that equation is the Bills have a glaring hole at running back that could be upgraded significantly by taking this class’ top running back, Breece Hall. However, the draft capital investment required to do so simply isn’t worth it for a low-importance position like RB.
Booth slipping this far allows Buffalo to shore up their secondary with a well proportioned, fluid cornerback who can play zone or press and help to keep the Buffalo secondary from leaking in the passing game. Booth Jr’s over/under currently stands at 26.5, with the under set at +100. Not a bad deal for the likely CB4 of this class.
26) Tennessee Titans – Kenyon Green, OT, Texas A&M
Odds of first pick being: OL +185/WR +300/DL +400
When you’ve got Derek Henry in his late 20s and are trying to find a way to stay competitive in the dog-eat-dog AFC with prolific gunslingers everywhere, you have to find an advantage wherever you can get it. With RT David Quessenberry a free agent, and aging LG Roger Saffold looking like a potential cap casualty at $10.4 million, the Titans could sure use a dependable guard with upside to clear holes for Henry and bolster the line play.
As mentioned previously during the Cowboys’ selection of Zion Johnson, Kenyon Green is one of the three best interior linemen in the draft and carries the same 27.5 Draft Position over/under (-115 both ways) that Tyler Linderbaum does. It seems likely that one of them will go over and the other under. Both have flaws, as Green is slow in a straight line and Linderbaum has short arms and is below the average center’s ideal weight.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Odds of first pick being: OL +150/DL +275/DB +275
The Bucs smartly drafted one of the top defensive linemen in the league, Vita Vea, to patrol the interior and eat double-teams. However fellow starting DL 35-year old Ndamukong Suh’s services have not been retained following free agency, leaving a gaping hole in a position that was once a strength. With freak UGA DT Devonte Wyatt still available at this spot, it makes sense to take the athletic Dawg who would have been the athletic marvel of the IDL class had it not been for the absurd testing performance we saw from his teammate Jordan Davis.
Wyatt’s draft position prop is listed at 29.5 (-115), however, the best play at this spot might be the DL +275 listed above, as I feel like the Georgia backfield crasher is a logical fit for Tampa Bay, so long as he makes it this far.
28) Green Bay Packers – George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue
The Packers also could look to add some offensive line stability, particularly at tackle, but with a top-5 edge rusher still available with their second, first-round selection, Karlaftis’ talent and ability to contribute right away as a physical edge setter is too enticing to pass up this late. To put in perspective how good a deal this pick is, Karlaftis’ draft position O/U is listed at 19.5 (-135), so he’s being selected a full nine picks later than where our friends in the desert have him going. Since the Pack already made their initial first-round selection, there are no odds for the 28th pick, and the draft pick slot props are limited to just the first 20 picks, there isn’t much to go on here besides Karlaftis’ over 19.5 play.
29) Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 49ers through Miami Dolphins) – Arnold Ebiketie, Edge, Penn State
Odds of first pick being: WR +120/DL +350/DB +400/OL +450
30) Kansas City Chiefs – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
This would be a very nice haul for the Arrowhead faithful as they adjust to life without Tyreek Hill. They already brought in Marquez Valdez-Scantling to serve as a big, outside wideout but he isn’t going to replace Hill’s vacated role. While I prefer George Pickens to Dotson in a vacuum, the role KC will be looking for is right in Dotson’s wheelhouse. Ebiketie is also a highly productive Edge who tested in the 92nd percentile, was lauded with Second Team All-American accolades, and earned a PFF pass-rush grade of 90.5 last year.
I feel like the first pick odds are setting you up for failure since the decision on which player and position to select first is completely arbitrary. As logic would dictate, they’re likely taking a wide receiver…but when? The Chiefs have two picks in each of the first rounds, major ammunition for a trade up, but it’s hard to know which spot they will choose to move up to. And with so many picks, they can afford to wait to address their needs, making the KC first pick odds a total guess. Ebiketie’s over/under is 31.5 (-105) while Dotson’s O/U is 30.5 (+100)
31) Cincinnati Bengals – Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Odds of first pick being: OL +125/DL +250/DB +250
After the Super Bowl, when the world was treated to Eli Apple’s clear disfunction in coverage, the Bengals have to bring in someone who can at least serve as a rotational option and hopefully take over late in the season after getting acclimated. By taking Kyler Gordon the Bengals select the second Washington cornerback in the first round, an impressive feat. Though Gordon’s 4.52s 40-yard dash isn’t on par with some of the other corners in this class, his agility tests, jumps, and bench reps were all elite 90th percentile marks, backing up his collegiate production. He played in a heavy zone scheme and needs to sharpen up his play recognition in order to be a core contributor on defense, but Gordon has all the tools to make an immediate impact
Gordon’s over/under is 32.5 (-110) so he slides in for a closely contested under in this scenario. Also considered an offensive lineman (+125), but Cinci addressed the position nicely in the offseason.
32) Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams) – Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi
Since Detroit opted to go with Kayvon Thibodeaux with the second overall selection, and Corral still remains as the best quarterback on the board, the Lions get their potential heir-apparent to Jared Goff after the former Ram and his ghastly contract is unceremoniously jettisoned following next year. This is one of the more logical fits in the first round, as Detroit will still have five years of team control due to Corral being selected in R1 instead of the four years they would get in R2.
As is to be expected given the logic behind taking a quarterback with the last pick, Corral’s O/U is 32.5 (-110) and I think the under play here should pay off.