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NFL Draft predictions for No. 1 pick, first receiver taken, and more

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The NFL Draft is still more than a month away, but with the scouting combine in full effect this week, it already feels like the start of draft season.

And that’s great news for bettors, too.

We’ve seen some early movement in the draft odds market, but there’s still some value left on the board before we’re inundated with mock drafts and leaked reports that sharpen the overall market.

Here are a few of the biggest markets available at FanDuel and our early leans for each:

NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick odds

The front-runner in this market has been Bryce Young (-175) for months now, but I wouldn’t etch that in stone just yet.

There’s been plenty of smoke around the combine about Young’s height and weight, which both figure to be on the lower end of what scouts expect — and below what profiles as a successful build in the NFL.



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I wouldn’t be shocked to see that scare away teams from giving up significant capital to grab the Alabama quarterback with the No. 1 pick.

The Bears almost certainly won’t be drafting Young to replace their franchise quarterback, Justin Fields.

So, who might teams trade up for?

There’s been a ton of buzz about Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson (+600), though he’s still a touch too raw to go ahead of the established passers above him.

The same goes for Kentucky QB Will Levis (11/1), who remains a traits-based projection with too much downside for a top overall selection.

That leaves Ohio State star C.J. Stroud (+350), who feels like the forgotten man amid all the buzz of this quarterback class.


C.J. Stroud
C.J. Stroud
Getty Images

For a while during this past season, Stroud was seen as the likely top pick.

That’s when he was the Heisman Trophy favorite for a stretch and showcased all of the tools and intangibles you’d want from a No. 1 pick.

Especially since Jalen Carter recently was charged with reckless driving and racing in conjunction with a crash that killed a Georgia teammate and university staff member, it feels like a quarterback-or-bust type of pick, and the best value is on Stroud — who is also a solid bet to be the first quarterback off the board (+300).

NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick: C.J. Stroud (+350, FanDuel)

Who will be first receiver drafted?

This might be the most contested race of any position, with TCU’s Quentin Johnston (+140) just ahead of USC’s Jordan Addison (+230) and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba (+380) for the top spot on the oddsboard.

Johnston has the speed to be an explosive playmaker at the next level, but his hands are an issue and he doesn’t possess the elite route-running that has vaulted receivers up the board in recent years. The better bet here is Addison, who was the full package at USC and Pittsburgh and is the first receiver off the board in trusted mocks over the past week.

First receiver drafted pick: Jordan Addison (+230, FanDuel)


Jordan Addison
Jordan Addison
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who will be first defensive player drafted?

For a while, this looked to be a slam dunk for Jalen Carter (+470), who was dealing at around even odds as recently as this week. Then came the arrest warrant for the former Georgia star, which immediately casts doubt on his chance of being a top-five pick in April.

Regardless of the outcome of that situation, there’s enough concern to look elsewhere from a betting perspective. The easy answer here is Will Anderson (-210), and it’s likely the right one, too. The Alabama star was a game-wrecker in college and has been mocked as a potential first defender off the board for years.

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Still, I like taking a shot here on Tyree Wilson (+320), who has the frame and makeup to wow teams looking for an impact pass rusher off the edge. The Texas Tech product didn’t post gaudy sack numbers in college, but his pressure rates compared favorably with Anderson’s, and his elite traits make him an appealing play as a possible top-three pick.

First defensive player drafted pick: Tyree Wilson (+320, FanDuel)

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