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Hometown Boy Pickett Drafted by Steelers at 20th Overall; Is +550 Favorite in NFL OROY Odds

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Apr 28, 2022 · 5:00 PM PDT

Kenny Pickett throwing pass
Feb 2, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; National quarterback Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh (8) throws during National practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL, USA. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
  • Pitt QB Kenny Pickett, selected 20th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Thursday, April 28 NFL Draft, is the +550 chalk in the NFL OROY odds
  • USC wide Receiver Drake London was the first offensive player off the board, going eighth overall to the Atlanta Falcons
  • Both London and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, who went 10th to the New York Jets, are at +700 in the NFL OROY odds

The last two NFL Draft classes were dominated by quarterbacks. It took 20 picks for a QB to come off the board at this year’s draft but it instantly made Kenny Pickett the betting favorite in the 2022 NFL OROY odds.

Pitt QB Pickett went to the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, where he’ll compete with Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger as the team’s starting QB. Both of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl-winning QBs – Roethlisberger and Terry Bradshaw – were first-round draft picks.

Overall though in the 2022 NFL Draft odds in terms of skill players on the offensive side of ball, this is the year of the wide receiver.

The first six offensive skill players off the board were wideouts. USC’s Drake London went eighth overall to the Atlanta Falcons. Two picks later, the New York Jets tabbed Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson.

Both players are currently at +700  to win the NFL OROY. QBs Pickett and Malik Willis of Liberty were the top players in this betting market entering the draft. Willis remains the second betting choice  at +600.

2022 NFL OROY of the Year Odds

Player-Position (School) Odds
Kenny Pickett-QB (Pitt) +550
Malik Willis-QB (Liberty) +600
Drake London-WR (USC) +700
Garrett Wilson-WR (Ohio State) +700
Jameson Williams-WR (Alabama) +700
Treylon Burks-WR (Arkansas) +700
Breece Hall-RB (Iowa State) +1000
Kenneth Walker III-RB (Michigan State) +1000
Chris Olave-WR (Ohio State) +1000
Desmond Ridder-QB (Cincinnati) +1400
Sam Howell-QB (North Carolina) +1400
Jahan Dotson-WR (Penn State) +1400
Matt Corral-QB (Ole Miss) +2200
Isaiah Spiller-RB (Texas A&M) +2200
Skyy Moore-WR (Western Michigan) +3300
George Pickens-WR (Georgia) +3300
Kyren Williams-RB (Notre Dame) +4200
Carson Strong-QB (Nevada) +4200
James Cook-RB (Georgia) +4200
Trey McBride-TE (Colorado State) +5000
John Metchie III-WR (Alabama) +5000
Jalen Tolbert-WR (South Alabama) +5000
Christian Watson-WR (North Dakota State) +5000
Dameon Pierce-RB (Florida) +5000

Odds as of April 28th at FanDuel Sportsbook

Alabama’s Jameson Williams, who went 12th overall to the Detroit Lions and Arkansas WR Tryelon Burks, selected 18th by the Tennessee Titans, are also at +700. Iowa State’s Breece Hall and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III are the running backs with the shortest odds at +1000.

Running backs have won NFL OROY twice over the past six seasons. However, it was a wide receiver, Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals, who ran off with the honor in 2021.

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Receiving Plenty of Attention

There’  was plenty of speculation that NFL teams were looking to trade up in the draft order to get their hands on one of the top wide receiver prospects available in this year’s class. the Lions did just that. they dealt with NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings, moving up 20 spots to tab Williams.

Ohio State’s Chris Olave, who went 11th overall to the New Orleans Saints, is at +1000.

Wideouts a Bigger Factor Than In Past Years

Prior to Chase, Odell Beckham Jr with the 2014 New York Giants was the previous wideout to win NFL OROY. Chase was the third wide receiver to earn the honor since 2009 and only the fifth since 1993.

Only once have wide receivers been named NFL OROY in successive seasons. That was Louis Lipps of the Pittsburgh Steelers (1984) and Eddie Brown of the Bengals (1985).

However, changes in the game that are opening up more and more to the passing game are putting young receivers into roles of prominence once almost exclusively reserved for rookie running backs.

Though they didn’t win the award, Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings and Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers were prominent contenders for NFL OROY in 2020.

NFL ROY Betting Trends

Each of the last four winners of the NFL OROY were selected among the top six choices on draft day.

Two of them finished among the top four in the Heisman Trophy voting and one was part of a national championship squad during their final year of college ball.

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