- The NFL Draft will be held Thursday through Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio
- Odds have been set for more than three dozen players on whether they will be selected in the first round
- Odds and betting advice on those prospects can be found below
The NFL Draft begins Thursday night, and seemingly the entire world knows the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to select Trevor Lawrence with the first pick, and Zach Wilson is headed to the New York Jets at No. 2.
However, uncertainly surrounds many players who will be picked during the three-day event that runs through Saturday in Cleveland.
Some who are considered potential first-round selections will slide to the second round or maybe even the third. Conversely, some players who are expected to go in the second round will end surprising the experts by being chosen in the first round.
Odds of being selected in the first round have been set for more than three dozen prospects.
2021 NFL Draft First Round Odds
|Kwity Paye (Michigan)||-1667|
|Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech)||-715|
|Jaelen Phillips (Miami)||-715|
|Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State)||-560|
|Greg Newsome II (Northwestern)||-560|
|Azeez Ojulari (Georgia)||-400|
|Trevon Moehring-Woodard (TCU)||-335|
|Christian Barmore (Alabama)||-305|
|Zaven Collins (Tulsa)||-305|
|Najee Harris (Alabama)||-305|
|Elijah Moore (Mississippi)||-305|
|Gregory Rousseau (Miami)||-286|
|Jamin Davis (Kentucky)||-250|
|Rashod Bateman (Minnesota)||-230|
|Sam Cosmi (Texas)||-125|
|Travis Etienne (Clemson)||-125|
|Kadarius Toney (Florida)||-121|
|Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame)||-110|
|Alex Leatherwood (Alabama)||-110|
|Landon Dickerson (Alabama)||-106|
|Terrace Marshall Jr. (LSU)||+100|
|Jayson Oweh (Penn State)||+100|
|Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)||+100|
|Joe Tryon (Washington)||+110|
|Eric Stokes (Georgia)||+125|
|Nick Bolton (Missouri)||+130|
|Rondale Moore (Purdue)||+130|
|Kelvin Joseph (Kentucky)||+150|
|Jalen Mayfield (Michigan)||+150|
|Ronnie Perkins (Oklahoma(||+150|
|Javonte Williams (North Carolina)||+150|
|Joseph Ossai (Texas)||+175|
|Pat Friermuth (Penn State)||+275|
|Quinn Meinerz (Wisconsin-Whitewater)||+300|
|Kyle Trask (Florida)||+800|
|Davis Mills (Stanford)||+1300|
|Kellen Mond (Texas A&M)||+1800|
Odds as of April 28th at DraftKings
Right Guy, Wrong Position?
Christian Barmore had a high-profile college career as the leader of the defensive line at Alabama.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound tackle had an outstanding 2020 season in helping the Crimson Tide to the national championship. Barmore had 9.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 13 games during his second and final season in Tuscaloosa.
Barmore has the tools to be a standout D-lineman in the NFL. He has been clocked at 5.0 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and that speed and quickness enables him to get off the ball and shoot the gap rapidly while also getting off blocks.
The only knock on Barmore is his lack of technique when it comes to hand movement and hip bending. However, those things can be cleaned up with NFL coaching.
— Kendell Hollowell (@KHollowell_) April 27, 2021
Yet it would be unwise to bet on Barmore being picked in the first round. Teams love to draft edge rushers over interior linemen, and there is no team with a glaring enough need to use a first-round pick on one.
Uncertainty Surrounds Eichenberg
Like playing for Alabama, being part of the Notre Dame program puts a player in the spotlight. Thus, Fighting Irish offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg’s name is familiar to many college football fans.
The 6-foot-5, 302-pound Eichenberg helped Notre Dame reach the semifinal round of the College Football Playoffs last season, where they lost to Barmore and Alabama.
Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg didn’t allow a single sack over the last two seasons
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 12, 2021
Notre Dame scored 33.4 points a game in 2020 while compiling a 10-2 record. The Fighting Irish also averaged 448.5 total yards behind Eichenberg, and a veteran offensive line.
Eichenberg gets out of his stance quickly, has excellent hands, and gives a first good strike to the defender. However, Eichenberg also struggles with bigger defenders – such as Barmore – and there is some thought he will need to get stronger to make an impact in the NFL.
Few teams are said to have a first-round grade on Eichenberg and only a handful of mock drafts project him being a first-rounder. It would be a surprise if he was among the top 32 picks, so it’s best to stay away from his line in the NFL Draft first round odds.
Big Play Bateman
Most NFL teams cannot get enough wide receivers with the game relying more heavily on the pass each season. Thus, it is a little surprising to Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman being taken in the first round at just -230 in the NFL Draft odds.
Bateman’s statistics fell off last season a junior following a sensational sophomore season in 2019. Thanks in large part to a faltering offense in 2020, the Golden Gophers had a 3-4 record in the pandemic-affected season. Bateman had 36 receptions for 472 yards and two touchdowns.
However, Bateman shined the year before when Minnesota went 11-2. He averaged a whopping 20.3 yards a reception on 60 catches for 1,219 yards. Bateman also caught 11 TD passes.
Rashod Bateman looking like OBJ 😧
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 19, 2019
What makes Bateman especially attractive is his versatility. He has the toughness and hands to make tough catches over the middle. Yet he also possesses the explosiveness to gain substantial yardage after contact and burns defenses on deep routes.
Almost every draft analyst is convinced Bateman will go in the first round. It would be surprising if he didn’t.
Florida’s Kadarius Toney is considered a notch below Bateman among wide receiver prospects. However, Toney also has first-round ability.
Toney had a big senior season for the Gators last fall. He had 70 receptions for 984 yards, and 10 touchdowns as Florida went 8-4.
Favorite slo-mo clip of 2021 draft cycle. Don’t see any way @GatorsFB WR Kadarius Toney makes it out of first round next Thursday. Playmaking potential is special in @0fficialC2N. ⚡️🕹💪 pic.twitter.com/feq5jAJcgs
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 20, 2021
There are a couple of reasons why Toney was a bit anonymous in 2020. Tight end Kyle Pitts’ outstanding season overshadowed Florida’s wideouts. Toney is also a late bloomer who had just 50 receptions combined in his first three seasons for 606 yards and two scores.
Toney has outstanding quickness that makes tacklers miss and the speed to run past even the best cornerbacks.
Toney plays with a noticeable edge, and that might turn off some teams. However, he certainly has talent and plays a marquee position, and represents a good value bet in the NFL Draft first round odds.