As the NFL Draft Combine wraps up in Indianapolis on Monday, sports bettors are seeing a shift in NFL Draft odds. Odds improved for some players after solid showings; others saw their betting numbers slip despite performing well. Prices could continue to move as teams start holding their Pro Days.
Of course, when it comes to who goes No. 1, the only thing that matters is who the Jaguars think they can’t live without. As for the first QB taken, a silly measurement has impacted the odds for the former favorite.
Significant Movement In Odds To Be No. 1 NFL Draft Pick
Several players have been mentioned in conversations about who will get selected with the No. 1 pick of the NFL Draft in April. Heading into the Combine, it looked like it could be a toss-up between Alabama’s Evan Neal (who did not take part in testing or drills) or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson (who did).
Post-combine, the odds look a bit different for Neal, Hutchinson, and a few other top candidates:
|#1 Overall Draft Pick Odds||PointsBet (Pre-Combine)||PointsBet (Post Combine)||FanDuel (Pre-Combine)||FanDuel (Post Combine)||DraftKings (Pre-Combine)||DraftKings (Post Combine)|
On the surface, it may seem strange that someone who did not participate in drills or testing (Neal) has seen his odds improve, while Hutchinson and Thibodeaux both watch their odds take a significant dip. It would make sense if either had performed poorly, but both graded out well, according to the NFL’s next-gen stats (Hutchinson earned a 95, Thibodeaux a 92).
So why did their odds lengthen?
It likely has little to with how the either player performed at the Combine, but more so with the perception Jacksonville needs an offensive lineman. If Neal has a bad Pro Day, his odds could be impacted, but for now, he remains a strong candidate to go No. 1.
With how he performed at the Combine, so is North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu.
Early post-combine mock drafts still have the Jags taking either Hutchinson or Neal. But if the Jags want to get out of the NFL’s cellar anytime soon, they must protect Trevor Lawrence. Since there is a good possibility the team moves on from left tackle Cam Robinson during the offseason, the offensive line becomes the greater need.
However, while it may seem like a foregone conclusion that it will be either an offensive lineman or defensive lineman, there has been some chatter in support of wide receiver Garrett Wilson. He had a great season at Ohio State last year and performed like a stud at the Combine.
Yes, better protection for Lawrence is essential, but so is having better skill position guys for him to work with. Things certainly worked out for the Bengals last year when they went with a receiver (Ja’Marr Chase) over better protection for Joe Burrow.
Kenny Pickett No Longer Favored To Be First QB Drafted
|First Quarterback Drafted||PointsBet (Pre-Combine)||PointsBet (post-combine)||FanDuel (Pre-Combine)||FanDuel (post combine)|
There was nothing wrong with Pickett’s performance at the Combine. He graded well in most categories and overall (84, according to NextGenStats). But he did not do so well in one particular aspect of the Combine, something that does not have anything to do with how well he can play — his hand size.
Pickett’s hands measured out at 8.5 inches, smaller than every starting quarterback in the NFL. No QB taken in the first round since the Combine started taking hand size measurements has measured under nine inches.
As Pickett’s odds to be the first QB selected lengthened, Malik Willis’s number got shorter. The Liberty prospect reportedly impressed many teams during interviews. While he did not participate in any testing, he did throw, and he was as good as expected.
A Week 1 starter may be tough to find in this year’s draft class, but Willis or Pickett are solid choices for teams to develop.