Though the first round of last year’s NFL Draft only saw 14 players selected, no team was happier to see that run of quarterbacks go down from picks 1-11 than the Dallas Cowboys. Because of it, Penn State’s Micah Parsons ultimately fell in Jerry Jones’s lap; the rest was history. Parsons proved to be a one man wrecking crew whose efforts dramatically improved Big Ds performance on the defensive side of the ball. Is a player with similar DNA as Parsons in this year’s defensive crop? Online sportsbooks look to be bullish on the talent evidenced by its total defensive players drafted in the first round prop clocking in a single player higher than what actually came off the board a short season ago. On top of that, the betting market seems to think the number to beat is still suppressed evidenced by the hefty toll it costs to place a wager on the over. As deep the talent is at the cornerback/edge positions this season, I still agree with NFL bettors sentiments. Last year’s draft was dominated by offensive playmakers. I’m thinking the other side of the ball has its day in the sun this time around – eat the chalk and hit the over!
NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu
Total Defensive Players Drafted in 1st Round
Over 15 -240
Under 15 +186
Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker are both heavy favorites to hear Roger Goodell call their names three selections into the draft. The former’s draft position clocks in at 1.5 with heavy -280 juice attached to the under, while the latter is at 3.5 also with heavy -195 vig supplanted upon the under. If the betting market has a handle on this, we’ve got two defensive players off the board likely less than 30 minutes into the festivities. Current mocks relay a bunch of edge rushers and offensive linemen going early. That looks to exactly be the case with these two.
But it’s likely not going to stop there. Though Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux has seen his draft stock plummet since being ballyhooed as the No. 1 pick, the kid is still a freak and someone will jump at the opportunity to snag him should he fall. His draft position odds are currently 5.5 with -130 juice attached to the over. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t selected within the top 10 if not the top five! Another defensive player getting major burn is Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton who has been tabbed the preeminent safety of the draft class. While his draft position odds have fattened up since first hitting the board at 6.5 – currently 8.5 – he’s going earlier in the first round.
Derek Stingley Jr. hasn’t partaken in many games over the last few seasons due to COVID and injuries, but he’s arguably the best athlete at the cornerback position in the draft. Due to those injuries, his draft position odds initially opened up in the 13-14 range. His number to beat has fallen all the way down to 10.5 with heavier juice still attached to the low side of the impost. With teams hoping he can become the defensive version of Ja’Marr Chase, I’d be pretty surprised if he wasn’t snagged with a top 10 pick.
Right in back of him is a pair of exciting defensive backs in Washington’s Trent McDuffie and Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Each was standout performers for their respective defenses throughout their collegiate careers, and each checks numerous boxes for NFL front offices entering the draft. The latter’s draft position betting odds currently clock in at 8.5 with heavy -185 juice supplanted on the under. The former will be selected in the first round. Don’t forget about Purdue’s George Karlaftis who will prove to be a great consolation prize for a team unable to trade up to snag one of the more highly touted edge rushers at the top of the draft board.
Each and every one of these guys are locks to get drafted in the first round. Once that proves to be the case, we’ll only need eight more defensive players to get drafted in the second half of the first round to cash this over ticket in. With names like Devin Lloyd, Devonte Wyatt, Nakobe Dean, Jordan Davis, David Ojabo, Jermaine Johnson II, Andrew Booth Jr., Lewis Cine, Kaiir Elam, Jalen Pitre, Daxton Hill, and Jaquan Brisker still on the board, it should be money in the bank. PFF’s big board has 18 defensive players selected in the first round. I’d be willing to play the over up to 16.5. If you can find a spot that offers any alternate lines dealing with the total defensive players drafted in the first round prop, buy it up to reduce the juice and get a plus-money payout should you be allergic to eating this type of chalk.
NFL Draft Wager: Over 15
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