A bulk of my position total pre-draft wagers has forced me to lay a ton of chalk to back the sides I like. That will once again be the case when it comes to the total amount of quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Online sportsbooks currently have the under of 3.5 players juiced at a whopping -335. Last year’s draft saw five QBs snagged in the first round. The number to beat then was lined at 4.5. NFL bettors that hit the over of that prop were able to cash in after Roger Goodell announced the first 15 selections. Personally, I’m not sure this year’s QB crop will find five quarterbacks selected through the first two rounds! Make it a point to hunt out the best rate of return. If your out allows for buying these types of wagers up or down, buy the total QB prop down to three or 2.5 to set up more satisfying plus-money returns. It seriously wouldn’t shock me if only one field general was selected. At most, I foresee two going off the board over the course of the first 32 picks.
NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu
Total Quarterbacks Drafted in 1st Round
Over 3.5 +251
Under 3.5 -335
I’ll start with the two players I believe get snagged in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. If the betting odds are telling us anything, it’s that Malik Willis will be the first quarterback selected. His odds of doing so currently rate out in the neighborhood of -160 to -180 with Kenny Pickett being a distant second +130. I’ll get to Pickett, but first let us discuss the project Willis will be at the next level. The kids got all the tools. He’s got a cannon for an arm and backs it up with speed to burn. PFF had him leading FBS play with the highest rushing grade 94.5 and big-time throw rate 11% a season ago. That being said, he leaves a bit to be desired between the ears in terms of decision making and pocket awareness. After only throwing six interceptions in his junior campaign, he doubled them up last year. The miscues were of course placated with over 2,850 passing yards and 27 touchdown strikes. He also added 870+ yards and 13 more tuddies with his legs. This kids a dual-threat to the max! Carolina and Pittsburgh are +350 co-favorites to draft him with Atlanta and Seattle +450 in the rearview. Though the Steelers just signed Mitch Trubisky to a two-year incentive-laden deal, it would likely be impossible for Mike Tomlin and Co. to pass him up at No. 20 if not trade up a few spots to land their QB of the future should teams ahead of them in the draft order pass on his services.
Kenny Pickett to the Steelers would make even more sense considering he played all his home games at Heinz Field while calling the shots for the PITT Panthers offense over the last four seasons. His availability would ultimately depend on what the New Orleans Saints decided to do with their pick at No. 16. Should Carolina make a bold move and snag Willis with the No. 6 pick - like some mock drafts are suggesting - Pittsburgh would then be forced to make a decision on whether or not they want to do business with the Saints to keep Pickett at home. Personally, I’m not at all sold on Pickett being of first round caliber. Up until his blowup senior campaign, he was nothing more than a middle of the road quarterback in the ACC. For that reason and for that reason alone, I foresee front offices passing on him in the first round in hopes he comes back around further along into the draft.
The only other quarterback that I think latches onto a team in the first round is Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder. The kid was nothing if not excelled and consistent running Luke Fickell’s offense dating back to 2018. He stepped right in as a freshman and threw for nearly 2,500 yards and a 20:5 TD/INT ratio. On top of that, he added another 580+ yards and 5 TD with his legs. His output only got better as he matured under center, which makes him the most NFL-ready quarterback of the crop heading into NFL Draft betting. One of the smoothest and more efficient passers in the draft class, I’m thinking Ridder shocks many NFL Draft bettors and latches onto a team much earlier than expected. The Atlanta Falcons are said to be infatuated with Ridder after he lit up the Senior Bowl and dominated at the combine.
While I’m a fan of the respective games of Pickett, Matt Corral, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, Billy Zappe, and Kaleb Elleby, I just don’t foresee any of them being selected in the first round. Dollars to donuts, Willis and Ridder are the only two worthy candidates a year removed from the position dominating the first round. With that, my final number clocks in at two QBs selected in the first round so I’ll go under the current offering and lay the hefty juice. Buy down if you can!
NFL Draft Wager: Under 3.5
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