Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux isn’t just an imposing physical specimen who makes NFL scouts drool. He also has proven to be clutch in the big games. In two career Pac-12 Championship games for the Ducks, he posted an impressive 18 quarterback pressures, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.
That’s why if you’re thinking about placing a bet on NFL draft prospects for 2022, you may want to take a look at Thibodeaux (+250) as the potential No. 1 overall pick. That’s right — quarterbacks may be the runners up in 2022, and a smart bet online may be to go with a defensive stud.
The following three players in the NFL Draft betting lines are quarterbacks. Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+300), North Carolina’s Sam Howell (+400), and Southern Cal’s Kedon Slovis (+800) are next in the NFL betting odds. Georgia’s J.T. Daniels (+1400) also is a top candidate to be drafted highly.
“Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is the early betting favorite to be the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft,” writes Darren Darby, a sports trader at BetMGM.com. “Quarterbacks are always coveted at the top of the draft, but Thibodeaux would make any team better. As of now, Spencer Rattler, Sam Howell, and Kedon Slovis are the most likely passers to go first.”
Thibodeaux, a California native, is special.
At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds with elite closing speed, a super-quick first step, and very long reach, he’s a beast to deal with for any offensive lineman. In just 21 career games at Oregon, he’s posted 73 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, and 12 sacks. In the COVID-19 abbreviated 2020 season (seven games), he led the Pac-12 with 34 quarterback pressures and 27 quarterback hurries.
Since the first NFL Draft in 1936 when the Philadelphia Eagles took Jay Berwanger — the Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Chicago — there have been 34 quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall, 23 running backs, and 15 defensive linemen. No other position on the field has more than six No. 1 all-time overall picks. Also, if Thibodeaux is taken No. 1, he’ll be the second from Oregon to have the honor. George Shaw, a quarterback, was the last Duck taken No. 1 (in 1955).
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Brian McLaughlin is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of BMac and Herd’s FCS Podcast. He has written for The Sporting News, headed up the PARADE Magazine High School All America teams, covered FCS college football for HERO Sports … and covered Tim Tebow his senior season in the 2005 Florida high school football playoffs. Follow BMac on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.