Draft chills

Apr 23, 2002 9:45 AM

There were some changes in the NFL odds to win the Super Bowl, but two free agent deals wound up overshadowing the overhyped pro football draft.

"On the whole, it was a very uneventful draft," said Cesar Robaina, odds manager at Las Vegas Sports Consultants. "We made more adjustments due to the deals."

  The major transaction involved quarterback Drew Bledsoe leaving Super Bowl champ New England for AFC East Division rival Buffalo for the Bills’ top pick in the 2003 draft.

  Close behind was Philadelphia’s standout linebacker Jeremiah Trotter also heading to Division rival, NFC East neighbor Washington. As a result of the moves, Buffalo went from 100-1 to 60-1, while the Redskins improved from 25-1 to 20-1.

"As far as the draft was concerned, it looks like New Orleans did well," Robaina said. "Most teams helped themselves in the first two rounds, but nothing huge. The NFL draft is not like the NBA where players make an immediate impact."

Quarterback David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick, was signed by the Houston Texans a few days before the draft even began. Houston’s odds opened at 200-1 and went down to 150-1 shortly after the expansion draft.

Carolina, with the second pick, chose North Carolina’s Julius Peppers. The nation’s premier defensive lineman was a popular choice, but did not affect Carolina’s odds which stayed at 150-1.

"Peppers is a good player, but Carolina won just one game last year," Robaina said. "Will he win seven for them this year, I doubt it."