Online sportsbooks aren’t leaving much leeway for NFL Draft bettors when it comes to attacking the betting prop of total wide receivers drafted in the first round. After watching what Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle were able to do in their rookie campaigns a season ago, you know darn well front offices across the league will be hell-bent on acquiring the next major difference maker at the premiere pass catching position. And wouldn’t you know it; the 2022 NFL Draft is loaded with playmakers at the position enough to the point that I think the total number of pass catchers acquired in the opening round surpasses the current impost with relative ease. And of course, we’re going to need to lay a decent sized amount of chalk - which only seems to be rising - in order to cash that ticket in. While the opening round is going to hear the names of many offensive linemen and defensive secondary players called out, there’s plenty of room still made available for teams to cash in at wide receiver as well. If you agree with hitting the over of this prop, I’d do so now since the number to beat is likely to continue getting juiced or bumped up to six.
NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu
Total Wide Receivers Drafted in 1st Round
Over 5.5 -180
Under 5.5 +143
The two WR coming off the board first in a majority of mock drafts across the interwebs is USC’s Drake London and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson. Much like the Bengals standout rookie wide receiver, London saw his final season in SoCal get cut short due to a season ending injury. But before the unfortunate occurrence, London tore it up hauling in 88 receptions and turning them into nearly 1,100 yards and seven scores. Even with a limited sample size, he still ranked out as the third best wide receiver in the country per the folks over at Pro Football Focus. Wilson ranked out as the No. 30 overall WR at PFF, but much of that had to do with pigskins also going to teammate Chris Olave. He wasn’t able to command the ball as much due to his teammate also needing to be fed on a gamely basis. Regardless, he’s one of the best route runners in this draft regardless of his limited stature being a concern. Speed kills, and he’s got it! Look for this duo to be the first two pass catchers taken off the board; likely in the early teens.
Alabama’s Jameson Williams and the aforementioned Olave are more than likely to be the next two pass catchers snatched by NFL teams further along into the first round. The former could drop a bit more due to coming off reconstructive ACL surgery after tearing it in the title game against Georgia, but it won’t be enough to push him into the second round. There’s too much upside for GM’s to pass on the crop’s best deep threat early. Olave only hauled in 65 catches last year. Twenty percent of those receptions went for touchdowns. This kid’s wheels are likely second to none which makes him one of the best deep threats in NFL Draft betting. That’s something teams like the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers will likely be targeting with their first round picks in the mid-teens.
The four aforementioned wide receivers are undoubtedly no-brainer first round selections in mine and everyone else’s estimation. Now better than halfway towards cashing this prop ticket in, we’re going to need two more to come off the board. Names out there will include Treylon Burks, Christian Watson, Skyy Moore, Tyquan Thornton, Jahan Dotson, and George Pickens. The talent littered throughout that 6-pack will simply just be too much for teams to ignore when their time to make a first round pick comes around later on. Burks is a freak of nature who’s much faster than his combine numbers suggest. Watson shined in the Senior Bowl. Moore was PFF’s highest graded wide receiver this past season. Thornton’s an insane vertical threat. Dotson has great hands, is an excellent route runner, and never lets the pressure of the moment get to him. Pickens is a major injury concern, but is worth a dart throw; maybe not in the first round though.
Only five wide receivers were selected in the first round of last year’s draft. That was followed up with five more in the second. The position is now one that rules the NFL game. If you don’t have competent pass catchers in this day and age of the NFL, you won’t be competing for Super Bowl championships. Just look at the offensive makeup of the last three Lombardi Trophy winners! The over of the total wide receivers drafted in the first round prop initially carried -160 juice. It’s now up to -180! At minimum, I forecast six wide receivers going in the first round, but it wouldn’t shock me in the least should it ultimately turn out that seven or eight were snatched up instead. Hit the over now before it’s too late!
NFL Draft Wager: Over 5.5
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