The NFL Draft is an event that draws attention from fans of every team, including those wanting to make it a bit more interesting by placing wagers if they happen to reside in a state that permits that activity. With that in mind, Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapasso and I compiled some of our favorite draft props available from our friends at William Hill Sportsbook for Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Here's a look:
Josh Edwards' best bets
FIRST NON-QUARTERBACK DRAFTED
Ja'Marr Chase (+300): Atlanta is either going to take a quarterback at No. 4 or trade down to a team moving up to No. 4 to take a quarterback. The No. 5 overall pick would be the first without a quarterback and most believe that Chase will be Cincinnati's choice, making this bet a good value.
FIRST DEFENSIVE PLAYER DRAFTED
Jaycee Horn (+450): The first defensive player taken will be a cornerback, in all likelihood. Micah Parsons is trending downwards. Will it be Patrick Surtain II or Horn? It is not unreasonable to think that a team might prefer Horn to Surtain. The value is on the former.
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FIRST LINEBACKER DRAFTED
Jamin Davis (+1000): Parsons has some question marks on and off the field. Zaven Collins recently weighed in at 270 pounds, which is confusing. Is he attempting to be an edge rusher or a jumbo off-ball linebacker? Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is not going to be a fit for everyone. The wild card is Azeez Ojulari, who is listed as a linebacker. The edge rushers could go in any order. Davis is the cleanest option of the bunch.
TOTAL OFFENSIVE LINEMEN DRAFTED IN ROUND 1
Under 6.5 (+125): I project Penei Sewell, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Christian Darrisaw and Rashawn Slater to be first-round picks with relative confidence. Teven Jenkins is also considered likely (but the odds on him being the first offensive lineman taken are confusingly low). Does Vegas know something that the rest of us do not? Are there assuredly three to be taken beyond that initial group? It seems unlikely.
Ryan Wilson's best bets
OVER/UNDER JAYCEE HORN DRAFT POSITION
Under 12.5 (+100): A month ago, Horn was our CB3 behind Caleb Farley and Patrick Surtain, but after Farley's back procedure, Horn is now CB2 -- and there's a chance he could end up being the first defensive back off the board. The Broncos have the No. 9 pick and if they're not in the market for a quarterback, cornerback could be the selection. And even if Denver goes with, say, Surtain, the Cowboys, picking 10th, desperately need to upgraded their secondary and Horn would be the logical choice there.
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OVER/UNDER NAJEE HARRIS DRAFT POSITION
Under 28.5 (-130): Yes, this is -130, and yes, it's always a reach to expect a running back to go in Round 1, and yes, Overs are typically the way to go when we're talking about draft position. But the Dolphins are reportedly interested in Harris, and they're on the clock at No. 18, and if the Alabama running back gets past them, the Steelers could have real interest at No. 24.
FIRST LINEBACKER DRAFTED
Jamin Davis (+1000): Our colleague Pete Prisco is on record as saying that Davis is going to be the best linebacker in this class, better than Micah Parsons, better than Zaven Collins, better than whomever's name you choose to insert here. And NFL teams like Davis a lot, too, so it won't be surprising if he ends up going ahead of Parsons (there are maturity concerns) or Collins (is he a LB, does he play edge?) or Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (is he a safety or a linebacker?) And we like this even more at +1000.
Chris Trapasso's best bets
FIRST CORNERBACK DRAFTED
Jaycee Horn (+240): The idea that Patrick Surtain is by far the consensus top cornerback in the class has faded to much more uncertainty at that position in this class, and after Caleb Farley's injury news, Horn has a real opportunity to be the first defensive back picked. Like Surtain, he has NFL bloodlines and absolutely rocked his pro day workout. Also, he shows more twitch on film, the one main concern with Surtain. This represents great value, and Horn could go off the board to the Cowboys at No. 10 overall.
OVER/UNDER DEVONTA SMITH DRAFT POSITION
Over 11.5 (-145): It seems like Smith is the receiver who is going to sink on draft night, doesn't it? While I do think a fair amount of teams can come to terms with the fact that he only weighs 166 pounds because it didn't slow him down in college, it'll likely lead to him being the No. 3 receiver picked in this class by a decently sized margin. There's been no buzz for a team in the top 11 loving Smith regardless of his skinny frame, and I would be stunned if Dave Gettleman picks him at No. 11. Old-school football guys are the ones unlikely to be down with picking such a light receiver early in Round 1.
OVER/UNDER KADARIUS TONEY DRAFT POSITION
Under 29.5 (-115): There's been some buzz about Toney landing in the first round, and while he's overly dramatic as a route runner and after the catch, he is also capable of some of the most insane, highlight reel YAC plays at receiver, he produced in the SEC and had one of the best pro day workouts of any receiver in the class. Toney just feels like that "surprise" selection to go late in Round 1. And while it'd keep you on the edge of your seat, the Packers would be very sensible at No. 29 overall.
Here are the rest of the 2021 NFL Draft props from William Hill.