The NFL Draft anthem of “stick to the board” or a similar variation is repeatedly uttered throughout the draft season. And, according to repeated accounts from insiders and current/former team executives, teams that actually “stick to the board” have better success in identifying and developing talent.
What if “the board” was the NFL Draft odds board at BetMGM?
What would the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft look like if odds (as of April 27) dictated each pick?
1. Jaguars – Travon Walker
There was no suspense with the No. 1 pick last year; Trevor Lawrence opened as the favorite, remained the favorite, and was selected by the Jaguars.
This year, Aidan Hutchinson opened as the favorite (+100) and remained the favorite until Monday, April 25, when Travon Walker jumped ahead of the Michigan edge rusher. And as of Wednesday, Walker’s odds are -225 to Hutchinson’s +200.
2. Lions – Aidan Hutchinson
Hutchinson has always sat among the favorites in odds for the No. 2 overall pick. But when he fell behind Walker at No. 1, he became the clear favorite at No. 2.
At -200, Hutchinson is well ahead of Kayvon Thibodeaux (+250) and Walker (+550) to be selected second, presumably by the Detroit Lions, barring a shocking trade after the Dearborn, Mich., native falls to them.
3. Texans – Derek Stingley Jr.
Amid reports of the Houston Texans’ potential interest in Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3, the former LSU cornerback has jumped Ahmad Gardner and everyone else in No. 3 overall pick odds.
As recently as Tuesday morning, Gardner was the favorite but he now sits third at +400 behind Stingley (+200) and Ikem Ekwonu (+300).
4. Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux
Because BetMGM doesn’t have odds for the No. 4 pick (or any pick beyond No. 3), the order of operations goes to team odds, which have defensive lineman (+125) as the best odds for the position of the Jets’ first drafted player.
And without odds for the first defensive lineman drafted, over/under draft position is used to make the Jets’ pick. Kayvon Thibodeaux (4.5) has the lowest, i.e., highest, over/under among remaining defensive linemen.
5. Giants – Ikem Ekwonu
According to odds, the Giants will select an offensive tackle in the first round for the fourth time since 2014.
The Giants land Ikem Ekwonu because he’s atop the board for first offensive lineman selected (-200), which follows their odds for position of first draft pick, offensive lineman at -150.
6. Panthers – Evan Neal
Offensive lineman (-110) is narrowly ahead of quarterback (+100) for the Panthers’ first selection, which pushes Evan Neal – the highest remaining player on the board for first offensive lineman selected – ahead of Malik Willis, the favorite to be the first quarterback selected in the draft at -155.
Neal would be the Panthers’ first first-round offensive lineman since Jeff Otah at 19th overall in 2008 and just their third first-round offensive lineman in the last 27 years.
7. Giants – Charles Cross
The Giants pass on a potential Daniel Jones’ replacement to draft an offensive tackle for Daniel Jones’ replacement.
At -150, offensive lineman is well ahead of defensive lineman (+250) and defensive back (+350) as the team’s first position. And with Cross atop offensive linemen odds, he’s the third straight tackle off the board.
8. Falcons – Garrett Wilson
Wide receiver is a heavy favorite to be the position of the Falcons’ first pick (-125), which leads second-year general manager Terry Fontenot to another first-round pass-catcher after selecting Kyle Pitts last year.
Garrett Wilson (-175 to be the first receiver drafted) would be the first Ohio State receiver drafted in the top 10 since Ted Ginn Jr. went ninth in 2007.
9. Seahawks – Malik Willis
Quarterback and offensive lineman (+200) are tied to be the first position of the Seahawks’ first pick, which leads to the positional odds: first quarterback selected vs. first offensive lineman selected.
And with Willis (-175) ahead of the highest-ranked offensive lineman – six players tied at +10000 – the Seahawks have a new quarterback.
10. Jets – Jermaine Johnson
Jermaine Johnson has the lowest over/under among defensive linemen (9.5), which is atop the Jets’ board for first position selected (+125).
The Jets have selected a defensive lineman in the first round three times since 2013 but all three players – Quinnen Williams, Leonard Williams, and Sheldon Richardson – were interior linemen. They haven’t drafted an end/edge rusher in the first round since Quinton Coples in 2012.
11. Commanders – Ahmad Gardner
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner falls into Washington’s lap after a top-10 run on offensive and defensive linemen.
The Commanders land Gardner because defensive back (+110) is narrowly ahead of receiver (+150) for their first position and Gardner has the lowest over/under of remaining defensive backs.
12. Vikings – Kyle Hamilton
Ten years after taking Harrison Smith in the first round, the Vikings take another Notre Dame safety in the first round.
Defensive back is the heavy favorite on the Vikings’ positional board (-110), leading them to Hamilton, whose over/under is lower than the other defensive back with over/under odds, Trent McDuffie (16.5).
There are odds for first cornerback selected but none for first safety selected, leading the over/under odds for all defensive backs as the tiebreaker.
13. Texans – Tyler Linderbaum
With offensive lineman (+110) barely ahead of defensive back (+125) and defensive lineman (+150) on the Texans’ board, Tyler Linderbaum would become the fifth Iowa offensive lineman drafted in the first round since 2010.
Linderbaum is tied with five other players for first offensive lineman drafted but has the lowest (and only) over/under of them at 27.5.
14. Ravens – Jordan Davis
Jordan Davis has been a popular pick of the Baltimore Ravens throughout mock draft season. And he lands in Baltimore thanks to a slim margin in Ravens’ positional odds (+150) and the lowest (i.e., only) remaining over/under among defensive linemen.
15. Eagles – Jameson Williams
Five positions have odds of +600 or better on the Eagles’ board, led by wide receiver at +200, leading the Eagles to select a receiver in the first round for the third straight year. And for the second straight year, they select an Alabama receiver.
At +175 to be the first receiver selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, Williams earns the nod over Drake London (+250) and others.
16. Saints – Kenny Pickett
Kenny Pickett joins Archie Manning as the only quarterbacks drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the first round.
At +150, quarterback is ahead of offensive lineman (+225) and wide receiver (+350) on the Saints’ board. And with Willis headed to Seattle, Pickett is the selection ahead of Desmond Ridder and Matt Corral.
17. Chargers – Trevor Penning
Instead of filling a major need at defensive tackle, the Chargers are forced to pick from the remaining offensive linemen.
Without remaining over/under odds for offensive linemen, Penning is the selection because he’s listed ahead of Bernhard Raimann, Daniel Faalele, Kenyon Green, and Zion Johnson in odds for first offensive lineman drafted.
18. Eagles – Trent McDuffie
The Eagles are forced to select Trent McDuffie because they already took a receiver (+200) and there are no defensive linemen (+225) listed in any markets, which breaks the tie with defensive back (also at +225).
Like the Vikings with Hamilton at No. 12, the Eagles draft McDuffie because he has the lowest (and only) remaining over/under (16.5) among defensive backs. He also sits atop odds for first cornerback taken (+2000) with Gardner (-145) and Stingley (+105) off the board.
19. Saints – Bernhard Raimann
Raimann is listed behind Penning and ahead of Faalele in offensive lineman odds, which the Saints are forced to pick from after taking a quarterback three spots earlier.
The 24-year-old former soccer player – who started his college career at Central Michigan as a receiver – will be the first Austrian in the NFL since kicker Ray Wersching in 1987.
20. Steelers – Desmond Ridder
Six weeks after signing Mitchell Trubisky, the Steelers add Desmond Ridder to the quarterback room.
At +800 in first quarterback odds – which the Steelers must pick from with quarterback atop their odds board (-125) – Ridder is well ahead of Corral (+1600), Sam Howell (+4000) and others.
21. Patriots – Andrew Booth Jr.
Five positions have odds of at least +425 on the Patriots’ board, led by defensive back at +150. And with no remaining over/under markets for defensive backs, the Patriots must select from odds for the first cornerback selected.
The Patriots haven’t drafted a defensive back in the first round since Devin McCourty in 2010.
22. Packers – Drake London
Wide receiver is the heavy positional favorite (-145) for the Packers, forcing them to take a receiver in the first round for the first time since Javon Walker in 2002.
And with only Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams unavailable, the Packers land the third-ranked player in first receiver odds, Drake London (+250).
23. Cardinals – Treylon Burks
This one is messy:
- Wide receiver and defensive back are both +300 for the Cardinals’ first position.
- Without defensive back odds, the highest-ranked player in their respective positional odds (receiver or defensive back) can’t break the tie.
- Without a remaining defensive back in over/under odds, the receiver or defensive back with a lower over/under can’t break the tie.
- That leads us back to odds for the first receiver selected, though there’s a tie between Chris Olave and Treylon Burks at +2000.
- Burks breaks the tie because he has an over/under while Olave does not.
The end result is Treylon Burks becoming the first Arkansas receiver drafted since Cobi Hamilton in 2013 and the first Arkansas receiver drafted in the first round since converted quarterback Matt Jones in 2005.
The only real Arkansas receiver drafted in the first round is Lance Alworth, the eighth overall pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1962.
24. Cowboys – Daniel Faalele
The Cowboys follow the Chargers (Trevor Penning) and Saints (Bernhard Raimann) in selecting the first-listed offensive lineman with +10000 odds to be the first offensive lineman selected.
25. Bills – Kairr Elam
The Buffalo Bills can’t draft Chris Olave at No. 25 because defensive back (+160) is atop their board for first position selected
And like the Patriots with Andrew Booth at No. 21, the Bills must take the highest remaining player from the cornerback odds. Kaiir Elam is the pick because he’s listed before Roger McCreary in that market.
26. Titans – Kenyon Green
The odds-only mock draft is a great mock for offensive linemen.
Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green is the eighth offensive lineman drafted, earning the selection over Zion Johnson.
27. Buccaneers – Zion Johnson
Johnson goes one pick later as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to replace Ali Marpet after the 2021 Pro Bowl guard announced his retirement in February.
After not selecting an offensive lineman in the first round from 2002-19, the Bucs would have two first-round offensive linemen in the last three drafts.
28. Packers – Devin Lloyd
Linebacker is fourth-highest on the Packers’ positional board (+450) but they already took a receiver (-145) at No. 22 and there are no remaining offensive linemen (+400) or defensive linemen (+450) in any markets.
Devin Lloyd is the pick because he’s the only linebacker listed in any betting market.
29. Chiefs – Christian Watson
Christian Watson becomes the first FCS receiver selected in the first round in 22 years as the Chiefs pick the former North Dakota State star with the first of two first-round picks.
Watson is +5000 to be the first receiver drafted, ahead of George Pickens (+6600) and three players at +10000.
30. Chiefs – Roger McCreary
Defensive lineman (+325) is behind receiver (-110) on the Chiefs’ positional board but without any remaining defensive lineman, they drop to defensive back (+350).
And Roger McCreary is available after losing the tiebreaker to Elam from the cornerback market.
31. Bengals – Breece Hall
The Bengals are one of two teams without a positional market – the 49ers are the other – and therefore must select the player with the best remaining odds in their respective positional market.
As a result, Breece Hall, at -190 to be the first running back drafted – becomes the second first-round pick in Iowa State history.
32. Lions – Josh Jobe
Thirty picks after selecting Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions are back on the clock. And they make Josh Jobe the seventh cornerback drafted in the first round.
Defensive back (+800) is just ahead of quarterback (+900) and offensive linemen (+1000) in the Lions’ positional odds.