The 2021 NFL Draft Could Turn These Teams Into Contenders

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For gamblers, the NFL offseason is all about finding the hidden gems, the teams that could be worth betting next season if they make the right moves. With how the offseason has gone for a few teams, if they make the right moves in the NFL Draft, they may no longer be a diamond in the rough.

Once that happens, their odds are going to become a lot shorter than they are now. So, it might be a good idea to bet on them while their odds are long and the payout greater.

But is anyone that close to becoming a contender?

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Winning Teams Are Made In The NFL Draft…And Free Agency

No one has ever ‘bought’ their way to the Super Bowl in one season. Unless you strike gold with every draft pick, going from worst to first will not happen via the NFL draft either. But if a team can find the right mix of free agents, trade acquisitions, and draft picks, it is possible to go from a pretender to a contender.

That does not necessarily mean they will become a good bet to win the Super Bowl or even their conference—but they could. Contending within their division is a more likely scenario. A few teams have the potential to do just that this season—if they draft well.

Washington Football Team

Washington Football Team-- Odds For 2021 NFL SeasonDraftKingsPointsBetWilliam Hill Bonus Code & App Review
To Win The NFC East+260+270+300
To Win The NFC +2200+3000+2800
To Win The Super Bowl+5000+6000+6000
To Make Playoffs (Yes/No)+163/-200+165/-200+170/-200

Defensively, Washington is in great shape heading into 2021. But their success will hinge on becoming more consistent on offense. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, the chances are good they will do just that. He will, however, need help.

Washington should look at taking an offensive lineman with the 19th pick in the first round. A wide receiver in the second (with the 51st pick) would not be a bad idea as well. Terry McLauren is a solid No. 1 receiver. Curtis Samuel could easily become Fitzpatrick’s favorite target.

But the team needs a better third option than Adam Humphries.

Fitzpatrick can make the offense good, but probably not great. If the Dallas defense struggles once again, it is not hard to imagine Washington coming out on top in the NFC East. However, with teams like Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Seattle, and the Rams looking good, winning the NFC looks like a long shot.

As for the Super Bowl—that is an even longer long shot.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins--Odss For 2021 NFL SeasonDraftKingsPointsBetWilliam Hill
To Win The AFC East+325+325+340
To Win The AFC+1300+1300+1400
To Win The Super Bowl+2800+2800+2800
To Make Playoffs (Yes/No)+130/-162+130/-155+125/-150

Miami’s success in 2021 is going to hinge on the development of Tua Tagovailoa. He showed some potential as a rookie, but the team still needed Ryan Fitzpatrick to bail them out a few times. But if  Tagovailoa is going to make the improvements he needs to, the Dolphins need to find him some help.

With four picks in the first two rounds of the draft, they should be able to do just that.

Many of the mock drafts have Miami going with two offensive guys in the first round of the NFL Draft. It could be either Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, or DeVonta Freeman with the sixth pick and an offensive lineman with the 18th pick. Najee Harris could be available when they select again in the second with the 36th pick.

If they do not go with an offensive lineman at No. 18 (and go defense instead; perhaps a linebacker), they will take one with their second pick of the second round (No. 50).

With the right picks, they could take a big step forward and possibly steal the division from the Bills in 2021. They will likely remain longshots for the AFC and Super Bowl, though.

New York Jets

New York Jets-- Odds For 2021 NFL SeasonDraftKingsPointsBetWilliam Hill
To Win The AFC East+2000+2000+1400
To Win The AFC +3300+3000+4000
To Win The Super Bowl+8000+10000+8000
To Make Playoffs (Yes/No)+440/-625+425/-589+425/-550

Betting on the Jets to do something other than not make the playoffs is going to be a hard pill for many fans to swallow. However, they just might be a long shot worth putting a few dollars on.

Hiring Robert Saleh to replace Adam Gase was a great move. The defense will improve under his guidance.  As for the offense, Saleh brought some help with him from San Francisco, Mike LaFleur, to be the Jets offensive coordinator.

LaFleur is going to have all the pieces he needs to craft a productive offense. The Jets will likely use the No. 2 pick on BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. He will have an impressive trio of receivers to work with, Corey Davis (free agent from Tennessee), Jamison Crowder, and Denzel Mims.

If the offensive line can give Wilson time, there is a lot of potential in the Jets offense. As for the defense, the roster looks a lot better thanks to free agency. It will look even better when they add two playmakers with their second first-round pick (No. 23) and their second-round pick (No. 34).

However, the bigger issue for the Jets will not be improving their roster. It will be getting past the Buffalo Bills and the rest of the AFC’s elite.

Betting Recommendations–Prior To The NFL Draft

All three teams will probably be a lot better than they were in 2020—but enough to make it worth betting on them? While they will be more competitive, they have a long way to go before they are on par with the AFC and NFC elite—but they might win their division and/or make the playoffs.

There is no reason to think the Dallas defense will be any better than it was last season. Because of that, do not count on them to win the division. With the Eagles in transition and the Giants a work-in-progress, Washington has a great chance of repeating as NFC East champs.

If they do not, it is not hard to imagine them making the playoffs.

Until we see Tua Tagoviola play, it is hard to know how competitive Miami will be. But even if they have a great draft, the competition in the division and in the AFC is good enough to keep Dolphins fans from getting too excited.

But they are a good bet to make the playoffs.

As for the Jets, it is just too hard to see them winning the AFC or the Super Bowl. But it is not hard to see Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur work some serious magic and turn them into a contender within the division. Someone goes from worst to first every year.

Why not the Jets?

With their odds sitting at +2000 now, should they draft well, those odds will become shorter. Do not bet the house on them. But consider skipping your morning latte for a week and putting a few bucks down.

About the Author

Travis Pulver

Travis Pulver is a lifelong football fan, something he says comes naturally having been born in the football-crazy state of Texas. Through the years, his love of sports has extended into baseball, basketball, golf, and rugby. Life currently finds him in Indiana with his wife and two kids.

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