The Best NFL Draft Betting Odds: Prospects by Position
It’s now just a week and a half until the NFL Draft, and while the vast majority of what will happen during the three-day event in Cleveland is unknown, there are a few certainties. The first three teams in the draft will take a quarterback. And Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence will be the first of them, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jaguars fans are ready to welcome Lawrence, so much so that over the last several days, they sent their franchise-quarterback-to-be a series of wedding gifts and donations to his charity.
As for what gifts your favorite teams might unwrap at the draft, these are the top available players for each position.
Trevor Lawrence has been the top pick since he became a national champion as a true freshman with Clemson. It would be shocking if Jacksonville went with someone else. Certainly, it would shock bettors who are currently laying the jaw-dropping price of -10000 on Lawrence as the first-overall pick.
Those “someone elses” are Justin Fields (Ohio State), Zach Wilson (BYU), Trey Lance (North Dakota State), and Mac Jones (Alabama). The expectation is that all five quarterbacks will be taken in the first round and maybe the top 10.
This year’s class will be more like 2020, when the first selected running back was the 32nd overall pick, and less like 2018 when Saquon Barkley went second overall.
The three men at the top of the board are Najee’ Harris (Alabama), Travis Etienne (Clemson), and Javonte Williams (North Carolina). There are other good running backs to take in the top two rounds, but these three are clearly the best. Harris leads the odds for first running back selected with a -115 price, while Etienne trails behind slightly at +150.
Much like last year’s draft, there are several great wide receivers available, and maybe even a couple who can approach Justin Jefferson’s breakout rookie season.
LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is the best of the 2021 prospects but with an unusual caveat. He sat out all of 2020, and quite often, a layoff like that can linger. Still, he’s a physical beast and was so good in 2019 that he should be the first wide receiver taken.
After Chase, there are Jaylen Waddle (Alabama), Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (Alabama), Rashod Bateman (Minnesota), and Terrace Marshall, Jr. (LSU).
By now, you know all about Florida’s Kyle Pitts. He may set the record for the highest selected tight end in NFL Draft history, and many believe that he is such a dangerous weapon that he will be the first non-quarterback selected on draft day.
As for the rest, they fall into typical tight end draft slotting. Pat Freiermuth (Penn State), Brevin Jordan (Miami), and Tommy Tremble (Notre Dame) will all be early-round picks and solid NFL players.
It’s a good tackle class, highlighted by Penei Sewell (Oregon). Other first-round possibilities include Rashawn Slater (Northwestern), Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech), Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State), Treven Jenkins (Oklahoma State), and Alex Leatherwood (Alabama).
The interior of the offensive line has less depth but still features good top prospects. Look for Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC) to be the first guard taken. The likely top center is Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma).
Sewell leads the odds board among offensive linemen at -600, followed by Rashawn Slater at +250.
If your team is shopping for a top edge rusher, Michigan’s Kwity Paye is the top of the class. Jaelen Phillips (Miami) is also someone high on many draft boards.
At the defensive tackle position, there are no real stars, and it might be until day two before anyone is selected. The top prospects are Levi Onwuzurike (Washington) and Christian Barmore (Alabama).
A couple of linebackers could go in the first round, with Micah Parsons from Penn State leading the list of good and athletic prospects.
Jamin Davis (Kentucky) is moving up draft boards, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame) is set to be a star, and Nick Bolton (Missouri) is a two-time first-team All-SEC selection.
If you like second-generation NFL cornerbacks, you like this class. Patrick Surtain II (Alabama) and Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State) are two of the best on the board. You also can’t go wrong with Jaycee Horn (South Carolina) or Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech).
At safety, the best guy available is Jim Thorpe Award winner Trevon Moehrig from TCU. He finished his career with 134 tackles and seven interceptions. He also leads the class of safeties on the odds board for first drafted at -400. The next tier of safeties includes Jevon Holland (Oregon), Jamar Johnson (Indiana), and Richie Grant (UCF).