Who Oddsmakers Predict Will Be Top Players Taken In NFL Draft

EmpireStakes.com

By Marcus Mosher

The 2021 NFL Draft is later this month, and with it all the speculation on where players could land. Betting on the NFL Draft is legal in many online sports betting markets such as New Jersey – and hopefully in New York by the 2022 NFL Draft.

There a ton of markets available, and while New Yorkers can’t bet on the April 29-May 2 draft this year without crossing state lines, these odds offer some insights on where players could land and who might be drafted where. Today, we will be using mostly DraftKings odds to see where the top quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are expected to land.

Who Will Go No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft?

As many experts have expected for two seasons now, Trevor Lawrence (-6000) is a lock to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s been viewed as a consensus top-pick since high school and nothing has changed since then. Lawrence will go No. 1 to the Jaguars later this month. FanDuel has a bet on which team will land Lawrence and the Jaguars are -9000 favorites. Simply put, Lawrence is heading to Jacksonville.

The No. 2 pick is trending toward a lock as BYU's Zach Wilson is a -460 favorite to go to the New York Jets. While there is an outside chance that a team could trade up to No. 2, it feels unlikely that the name would change. As we inch closer to the draft, expect those odds to only grow more in Wilson's favor. These odds tell us that there likely won't be much drama at the top of the draft at No. 1 and No. 2.

Who Will Be The First Receiver Taken In The 2021 NFL Draft?

Betting on who will be the first receiver drafted this year is fascinating as LSU’s JaMaar Chase is the -220 favorite despite sitting out the entire the 2020 season. However, his resume speaks for himself, scoring 21 touchdowns in 2019 with Joe Burrow as his quarterback.

But could the 2020 Heisman Trophy Winner in DeVonta Smith (+150) go higher than Chase? The Miami Dolphins currently own the No. 6 pick, which feels like a likely landing spot for a receiver. Will the Dolphins choose Chase, or will they pair Smith with his former Alabama teammate in Tua Tagovailoa? Both feel likely very realistic options.

However, one other name that needs to be mentioned is Jaylen Waddle (+1000), who is arguably the fastest receiver in the class. In 2020, we saw Henry Ruggs be the first receiver drafted due to his speed. Could a team like the Dolphins (No. 6) or Lions (No. 7) potentially surprise us and take Waddle over Smith/Chase? It’s certainly on the table.

Who Will Be The First Running Back Taken In The 2021 NFL Draft?

Much like the wide receiver position, there are two running backs at the top of this class who could easily be the first back drafted. The current betting favorite is Alabama's Najee Harris (-105), a three-down back that runs with power. He is likely to go in the middle part of the first-round with the Dolphins (No. 18), Jets (No. 23) and Steelers (No. 24), all being potential landing spots.

The other running back that could easily be a top-25 selection is Clemson’s Travis Etienne (+130). Etienne is smaller but has speed and big-time production. Teams searching for an explosive playmaker out of the backfield similar to Alvin Kamara could prefer him over Harris.

The only other name to keep an eye on is Javonte Williams (+310) from North Carolina. However, there is a pretty big gap in odds, so oddsmakers believe Harris/Etienne are far more likely to come off the board earlier than Williams in the draft.

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EmpireStakes.com
Marcus Mosher
Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for PennStakes.com. The managing editor of The Raiders Wire is also a contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly and FanSided, and previously wrote for FanRag Sports. He hosts Locked On Cowboys Podcast.
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Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for PennStakes.com. The managing editor of The Raiders Wire is also a contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly and FanSided, and previously wrote for FanRag Sports. He hosts Locked On Cowboys Podcast.
... Read More