- The NFL Draft gets underway Thursday, April 28
- Plenty of NFL Draft odds and props are available at online sportsbooks now
- Matt McEwan has used the NFL Draft odds to piece together a first-round NFL mock draft
We are less than a week from the 2022 NFL Draft, as the first-round is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 28 at 8pm ET. Unlike most years, we actually aren’t overly confident in who the first-overall pick will be. We’ve seen all of Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Ikem Ekwonu, and Evan Neal projected to go the Jaguars with the first pick.
As a result, it has been very tiring trying to keep up with all the NFL Draft rumors, and trying to determine which “expert” to trust is anyone’s guess. I believe I have the best sources in the business, though: sportsbooks. I have left all opinion to the side and trusted my sources. They have provided me with odds to be a top five/ten pick, a first-round pick, draft position over/unders for many players, and lines for the total number of players drafted at each position, among other NFL Draft props.
Making these all fit was quite the task, but I’ve pulled it off. There are some discrepancies with their odds, though, which have opened up some betting opportunities. I discuss those below the mock.
If you want to check in on my sources, check out all the NFL Draft odds with some of my notes on significant movement.
NFL Mock Draft
|1||Jacksonville Jaguars||Aidan Hutchinson||EDGE|
|2||Detroit Lions||Kayvon Thibodeaux||EDGE|
|3||Houston Texans||Travon Walker||EDGE|
|4||New York Jets||Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner||CB|
|5||New York Giants||Ikem Ekwonu||OL|
|6||Houston Texans*||Evan Neal||OL|
|7||New York Giants||Jermaine Johnson||EDGE|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||Garrett Wilson||WR|
|9||Seattle Seahawks||Charles Cross||OL|
|10||Minnesota Vikings*||Derek Stingley Jr||CB|
|11||Washington Commanders||Drake London||WR|
|12||Pittsburgh Steelers*||Malik Willis||QB|
|13||Philadelphia Eagles*||Jameson Williams||WR|
|14||New York Jets*||Kyle Hamilton||S|
|15||Carolina Panthers*||Kenny Pickett||QB|
|16||New Orleans Saints||Trevor Penning||OL|
|17||Green Bay Packers*||Chris Olave||WR|
|18||Philadelphia Eagles||Trent McDuffie||CB|
|19||New Orleans Saints||Matt Corral||QB|
|20||Baltimore Ravens*||Jordan Davis||DT|
|21||New England Patriots||Devin Lloyd||LB|
|22||Los Angeles Chargers*||Zion Johnson||OL|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs*||Treylon Burks||WR|
|24||Dallas Cowboys||Tyler Linderbaum||OL|
|25||Buffalo Bills||Andrew Booth Jr||CB|
|26||Tennessee Titans||Kenyon Green||OL|
|27||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Devonte Wyatt||DT|
|28||Green Bay Packers||Nakobe Dean||LB|
|29||Arizona Cardinals*||Daxton Hill||S|
|30||Kansas City Chiefs||George Karlaftis||EDGE|
|31||Cincinnati Bengals||Boye Mafe||EDGE|
|32||Detroit Lions||Jahan Dotson||WR|
All asterisks above denote a projected trade.
Although Aidan Hutchinson’s odds to go first-overall have been fading over the last month, he is still the odds-on favorite. Then I have the Lions and Texans also taking edge rushers in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker, respectively. Thibodeaux currently has the best odds to go second-overall, while there is some discrepancies in the odds for the third-overall pick—we’ll dive into that later.
My mock gets a little chaotic starting at pick ten. Let me be very clear: I do not believe this many trades will happen. But in order to satisfy what the props suggest, and not have teams draft positions they are already strong in, I needed to facilitate a handful of trades. Here’s a quick explanation on each:
Projected NFL Draft Trades
- Houston moves back up to #6: the Texans would likely need to throw in next year’s second-round pick to make the jump from 13 to six, but it was the only way I could make Evan Neal’s draft position line work. It is possible that Carolina stays put at six and takes Neal. The odds just heavily favor them taking Kenny Pickett with their first pick. You can get +600 odds on Neal as the sixth-overall pick at FanDuel. Houston also has a major need for an offensive lineman and this move would not contradict any of their other odds.
- Minnesota jumps Washington: with Ahmad Gardner off the board to the Jets at four, Derek Stingley Jr would be the next corner taken, according to the odds. His draft position over/under is set at 10.5 with the under heavily favored. I needed to find a way to fit him into the top ten and Minnesota is given short +115 odds to take a defensive back with their first pick. The next best corner on the board would be Trent McDuffie, whose draft position over/under is 17.5. This would likely cost the Vikings fourth and sixth-round picks along with their own first this year.
- Jets continue moving back to let Steelers take QB: the two teams favored to take a quarterback with their first pick are the Steelers and Panthers. The odds favor Carolina taking Kenny Pickett, which would leave Malik Willis for the Steelers. However, the NFL Draft odds favor Willis being the first quarterback taken. This meant I needed to find a way for Pittsburgh to jump above Carolina, which also helped me make the decision on the first trade in this list. The Jets could do well moving down and adding some extra picks. There are a lot of holes to fill on that roster. This trade would likely net them an extra second-round pick.
- Eagles move from 15 to 13 for WR: this trade was made to satisfy Philadelphia’s odds favoring them taking a wide receiver, defensive back, or defensive lineman / edge, as well as Jameson Williams’ draft position over/under. Williams’ over/under is at 14.5 with the under heavily favored. This would probably only cost the Eagles fourth and sixth-round picks along with their 15th.
- Packers move up for their WR: this move made sense in order to satisfy Chris Olave’s draft position over/under saying he’ll be one of the first 17 picks, and Green Bay’s need for wide receiver help. The move likely only costs the Packers a third-round pick and their 22.
- Ravens move down from 14 to 20: I talk more about this one later, but it needed to be done to make room for Kyle Hamilton and our quarterbacks to come off the board in time.
- Chiefs also move up for a WR: the Chiefs are favored to take a wide receiver with their first pick and Treylon Burks needed to come off the board before pick 24. This also allowed me to find a place for Daxton Hill to be selected in the first round so the total number of safeties taken would be over 1.5, as the odds state.
I do not believe all of these trades will happen, and I’m sure you feel the same way. The fact that I needed to push these all through tells you there are some great betting opportunities to jump on.
NFL Draft Betting Opportunities
I want to highlight five betting opportunities for the 2022 NFL Draft, and also offer a quick piece of advice for anyone who is high on a certain player.
The Houston Texans hold the third-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Odds favor the Texans to take a DL/EDGE at +100, with offensive lineman coming in second at +175. Odds to be the first-overall pick still favor Aidan Hutchinson, with Travon Walker creeping up on him, and the odds to be the second-overall pick favor Kayvon Thibodeaux now. So that takes those two DL/EDGE players off the board.
Walker’s odds to be a top three pick are set at -600. Ikenm Ekwonu is listed at +170 to go in the top three and his over/under is set at 4.5 with the over favored at -122. However, he is the favorite to be taken third-overall at DraftKings at +200. You can find Travon Walker at +500 here and as long as +700 at Caesars Sportsbook. At FanDuel, Walker is the favorite to go third with +250 odds compared to Ekwonu’s +380.
- Travon Walker to Be 3rd-Overall Pick (+700)
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Position of Jets’ First Player Taken
The Jaguars, who hold the first-overall pick, are given -1000 odds to take a DL/EDGE. The Lions, who are up next, are also favored to take a DL/EDGE with -280 odds. The odds also favor the Texans to take a DL/EDGE with the third-overall pick with +100 odds.
Then the Jets are also favored to take a DL/EDGE with their first pick, which is fourth-overall right now. They are given +125 odds to do so. However, there are only three DL/EDGE players given favorable odds to be taken in the top five. This means the Jets are either going to reach for Jermaine Johnson II, who is the projected next DL/EDGE player to come off the board and is given +400 odds to go in the top five, or they take another position.
Just because Sauce Gardner is tall, long and physical, doesn't mean he has stiff hips. That was a false narrative about the CB, earlier in draft season.
He's extremely fluid, and uses his hands to feel route breaks. This allows Sauce to get back into the hip pocket and 🔒⬇️ WRs. pic.twitter.com/Yz4vSGFKvA
— Jordan Pun (@Texans_Thoughts) April 18, 2022
The next best players on the board, according to the odds, would be Ahmad Gardner (CB) or one of Ikem Ekwonu / Evan Neal (OLs). You can get the Jets at +250 to take a defensive back and +350 to take an offensive lineman.
We also have to consider it may not be the Jets odds that are off. What if it’s the Texans’ odds are the ones to pick on? You can get +175 odds on Houston to take an OL and +300 for them to go with a DB.
Keep in mind, this all gets completely blown up if one of these teams trades down.
- Jets to Take a Defensive Back with 1st Pick (+250)
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Jordan Davis Draft Position
Jordan Davis has gotten a lot of attention due to his size and athletic ability. I think he’s going to be a very good football player for whoever takes him in the draft. But I really struggled to find a place for him.
Davis’ draft position over/under is as low as 14.5 but has moved to 15.5 at most sportsbooks now. Based off the odds on the position of each team’s first pick, it appears Baltimore at 14 would be the absolute earliest he could come off the board. However, there are 15 players whose draft position over/under suggests they’re being taken before Davis.
So while I do have the Ravens taking Davis in my mock, it had to come later with Baltimore moving down to satisfy all the other odds.
- Jordan Davis over 15.5 (-114)
Desmond Ridder Draft Position & Total Quarterbacks Taken in First-Round
You can get Desmond Ridder at -125 odds to be a first-round pick at DraftKings. FanDuel has his draft position over/under at 30.5 with both sides seeing -114 odds. However, FanDuel has their line for total number of quarterbacks taken in the first round at 3.5, with the over given +182 odds.
The third-most wins by a QB in college football history.
— NFL (@NFL) April 18, 2022
This opens up an opportunity to bet (1) the over on Ridder’s draft position, and (2) the over on quarterbacks taken in the first round at +182. If you do this properly, you can earn a profit either way and also leave yourself a small window to middle the two bets.
All of the above assumes the odds are also correct, though, in Matt Corral being selected in the first round. His odds are as short as -145 to be taken in the first 32 picks. Corral falling out of the first round would completely ruin the above opportunity.
- Desmond Ridder over 30.5 (-114)
- Over 3.5 Quarterbacks Taken in First Round (+182)
Total Offensive Linemen Taken in First Round
DraftKings has the line for offensive linemen taken in the first round set at 7.5, with the under heavily favored at -200 odds. However, their odds to be a top 32 pick contradict the under. We can say with near certainty that Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross will be taken in the first round. None of these players are even given odds to be taken in the first 32 picks because the odds would be too short.
Then we have Tyler Linderbaum (-900 to be taken in the first round), Trevor Penning (-700), Zion Johnson (-300), and Kenyon Green (-250) all given very favorable odds to hear their name called on Thursday night. That puts us at seven right there.
But we also have Tyler Smith (+100) and Bernhard Raimann (+135) who have a shot to go in the first based off their odds. There are nine teams selecting in the first round that DraftKings favors to take an offensive lineman with their first pick.
- Over 7.5 Offensive Linemen Taken in First Round (+155)
Betting on Malik Willis NFL Draft Props
As I said, this final one is more advice for if you do like Malik Willis to go early in the draft.
Willis’ draft position over/under is set at 10.5 with -115 odds on each side of that total. However, his odds to be a top ten pick are -200 at DraftKings. Be sure you avoid betting those odds if you do think Willis goes in the top ten—just take the under on his draft position total at 10.5.