Last Updated May 02, 2022, 00:13 AM
2022 NFL Draft Picks, Predictions, Odds
Sports Betting Expert
The 2022 NFL Draft is about to get underway, and there are plenty of betting props available to enhance the experience for those of us who aren’t enthralled with hours-long coverage dissecting three-cone drill and shuttle times from the talking heads with big hair.
We’ll take a look at the props and odds offered by our friends at BetMGM, and give you the best picks and predictions as we dive head-first into the selections.
The first overall pick isn’t even a slam-dunk. A lot of the early projections had the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting DE Aidan Hutchinson out of Michigan. However, it’s sad that general manager Trent Baalke has a criteria for arm length, and Hutchinson measured at just around 32 inches, whereas Georgia DE Travon Walker measured much longer. Is it a smoke screen, or a clear indication of where the Jags are going?
Well, it’s very clear that taking Walker (-225) for the first overall pick is no longer a good value, while Hutchinson (+200) for first overall pick is a better choice, still worth a small-unit bet in case the arm-length situation is a bluff. There are better values to be had elsewhere, however.
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THIRD OVERALL PICK – AHMAD GARDNER (+300)
There are some indications that the Texans could go offensive lineman with the third overall selection, and they could also elect to trade out of the spot, lining up more draft picks for a team with glaring holes at multiple key areas.
“Sauce” Gardner out of the University of Cincinnati would be a great fit into new head coach Lovie Smith’s system, as he is a lanky player with good speed and tremendous cover skills. The Texans could use plenty of help up front, too, and NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu, Alabama OT Evan Neal or even Mississippi State OT Charles Cross would also be a good fit behind QB Davis Mills, who you know is cheering for an O-lineman or wideout pick instead.
Thinking slightly outside of the box, Sauce can help you triple up. If not, it might be Stingley here, who could go as early as third, or as late as the middle of Day 1.
FIRST DRAFTED PLAYER – FALCONS – WR (-125)
This ‘should’ be a no-brainer. The Falcons will be without the services of WR Calvin Ridley due to his ridiculous one-year suspension for gambling, and the team also lost WR Russell Gage (Buccaneers) via free agency. It’s doubtful the team is going to want to start the season with a combination of journeymen WRs Damiere Byrd, KhaDarel Hodge, Auden Tate and Olamide Zaccheaus. That would put too much pressure on the shoulders of sophomore TE Kyle Pitts, so look for the Falcons to nab a wideout. The pick might specifically be an Ohio State wideout, too.
FIRST DRAFTED PLAYER – GIANTS – OL (-150)
The New York Giants select fifth overall, and there are a bevy of players, specifically at the offensive tackle position, who can step in for Big Blue immediately. The consensus is that Hutchinson and Walker from the EDGE, and likely Gardner or LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr. will be off the board as high as three, as well as one of the offensive tackles. That still leaves a litter of big men up front for the Giants to select.
QB Daniel Jones needs protection, and RB Saquon Barkley needs someone to blast open holes. The offensive line was in rough shape for the G-Men, and Cross, Neal or Ekwonu fill a, pardon the pun, giant need. Remember, new head coach Brian Daboll is an offensive-minded coach, and he is going to want to turn the unit on that side of the ball around in a hurry.
FIRST DRAFTED PLAYER – STEELERS - QB (-125)
Like the Falcons selection above, this should also be a slam-dunk play. The Steelers lost iconic signal caller Ben Roethlisberger to retirement, and added placeholder QB Mitch Trubisky via free agency. Trubisky isn’t the long-term plan, however, and the team could nab a field-general-in-training via the draft.
We aren’t likely to see too many quarterbacks go off the board, as many of the crappy teams at the top of the draft order have drafted a young quarterback recently, and they’ll be looking to improve in other areas. The Carolina Panthers are the only other team with a more-than-good chance of taking a quarterback in the early going, unless, of course, they make a huge splash and trade for available Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield before then, or some other out-of-the-box move.
The Steelers might be rooting for Mayfield to go to Charlotte, as it might get to take local Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett or Liberty dual-threat QB Malik Willis to sit and learn for a season. Not that the Steelers have trouble putting fannies in the seats, but a Pickett selection would really be a fan favorite move, too.
PICK BY POSITION – FIRST WR – GARRETT WILSON (-175)
This is the “safe” pick, as Alabama WR Jameson Williams (+175) and USC WR Drake London (+250) are second and third in terms of the odds.
Surprisingly, Ohio State WR Chris Olave (+2000) has some rather long odds, and so does Arkansas WR Treylon Burks (+2000). I’d toss $5-10 on either of those two just in case.
But getting back to Wilson, he dots most mock drafts as the first or second receiver taken, with some folks who obviously didn’t watch a lot of games last season leaning London as first overall. I believe that London is a more superior blocker, but teams selecting a wideout early aren’t grabbing Wilson to block. They need help fast, and now. Wilson likely lands in Atlanta with the No. 8 overall pick unless something crazy happens and a wide-out hungry team (Kansas City?) drafts up to do something crazy.
TOTAL CB DRAFTED IN ROUND 1 – UNDER 4.5 (-160)
It’s a given that Sauce and Stingley Jr. are going to go in Round 1, and likely rather high. After that, it’s a good possibility that perhaps only Washington’s Trent McDuffie is the only corner to have his named called on Day 1.
Yes, we could have some craziness from the good teams looking to add depth to their nickel or dime packages, simply picking the best player available at the time. But after the big two plus McDuffie, there is a huge drop-off in talent, and not many grade close to first-round product. Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr. and Auburn CB Roger McCreary, as well as Florida’s Kaiir Elam, are likely early to middle Day 2 targets.
TREYLON BURKS - DRAFT POSITION - OVER 23.5 (-120)
Call it a gut feeling, but I believe Burks might actually have the best NFL career of all of the wideouts from the 2022 NFL Draft, and that’s saying a lot considering the company. I still think he goes in the later end of Day 1, however.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound target from Arkansas is strong, runs good routes and he makes things happen after contact. He could very well be the next Davante Adams in Green Bay, should the Packers decide to finally grab a skill position toy for QB Aaron Rodgers on Day 1. And, oh yeah, they have a HEAVY need at the position after losing Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Kansas City Chiefs via free agency.
In fact, not only should you take Burks here, but also go with FIRST DRAFTED PLAYER – GREEN BAY PACKERS – WIDE RECEIVER (-175) either as a standalone bet, or parlay if you can get it.
TYLER LINDERBAUM - DRAFT POSITION - OVER 27.5 (-150)
Linderbaum is a player who won’t be going in the top two-thirds on Day 1, but he is a talented, big center who could have a double-digit year career in the NFL.
Baalke wouldn’t care for Linderbaum, as he has shorter arms than what is considered optimal for a long-term NFL center. However, he is a very good blocker who could help keep a guy like Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes or perhaps Rodgers of the Packers upright in 2022. Those teams pick in the final five selections on Day 1.
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