NFL Draft Predictions: Using Odds to Predict Patriots’ First-Round Pick

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Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Apr 27, 2022, 7:52 PM

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and everyone is trying to figure out who their team will select, especially in the first round.

The New England Patriots, led by Bill Belichick, may be one of the hardest teams in the league to predict. Some years they’ve desperately needed to get younger at wide receiver or had a need at tight end, but yet would select a defensive lineman in the first round. So, instead of trying to think like Belichick, how about predicting the Patriots’ first selection based on NFL Draft odds?

At the BetMGM online sportsbook, each team has odds for the position of the first player selected. This could help when predicting who the Patriots might select at No. 21 overall.

Defensive Back +150

The need is an obvious one after losing cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency and not really replacing him. Malcolm Butler was brought back, but is he really worthy of being considered a No. 1 corner after sitting out all of last season?

Going into the draft, the Patriots have a cornerback depth chart of Jalen Mills, Butler, Jonathan Jones, Myles Bryant, Joejuan Williams, Terrence Mitchell and Shaun Wade. Clearly, some help is needed at the position. 

Sauce Gardner and Derek Stingley Jr. will be long gone by the time the Patriots are on the clock, and potentially Trent McDuffie. So, who is left?

Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr., Washington’s Kyler Gordon and Michigan’s Daxton Hill are all options if the Patriots do decide to go cornerback first overall. Gordon has climbed draft boards of late; there are reports he’ll go in the first round.

Prediction: Kyler Gordon

Offensive Lineman +300

It’s a bit of a surprise this position doesn’t have the shortest odds; after losing Ted Karras via free agency and trading Shaq Mason, this is the biggest need on the roster. New England needs to add a player capable of starting on the interior.

Ikem Ekwonu (-200 to be first offensive lineman selected), Evan Neal (+200), Charles Cross (+350) will all likely be selected in the top 10, but that’s fine for the Patriots as they are all tackles.

Top interior options include Zion Johnson (Boston College) and Kenyon Green (Texas A&M). 

There’s a good chance both players will be on the board when pick No. 21 comes around. Boston College has had a number of solid NFL offensive linemen of late and the Patriots are very familiar with Johnson since he’s in their backyard.

Prediction: Zion Johnson

Defensive Lineman +300

This isn’t as big of a need as other positions, but Belichick has a knack for selecting defensive linemen in the first round. 

A number of players at this position are expected to go in the top 10, so from a talent perspective, the best players may be off the board when they are on the clock.

Some names to be aware of are Jordan Davis (Georgia), Boye Mafe (Minnesota) and Perrion Winfrey (Oklahoma). 

Prediction: Jordan Davis

Wide Receiver +350

Wide receiver is another big need for the Patriots, but is it worth it in the first round? 

New England hasn’t had a ton of success drafting receivers high in the draft, and although there are some great wideouts this year, a lot of them could be gone by the time pick No. 21 rolls around.

Garrett Wilson (-175), Jameson Williams (+175) and Drake London (+250) have the best odds to be the first wide receiver selected, which likely rules them out for New England.

Treylon Burks (+2000), Chris Olave (+2000) and Christian Watson (+5000) are the next three on the list, which puts them on New England’s radar. 

Burks, out of Arkansas, totaled 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago. If the Patriots go receiver, keep an eye on him.

Prediction: Treylon Burks

Linebacker +425

This is another position of need, but likely not as high as some of the other positions listed.

With the exception of Devin Lloyd, no linebacker seems deserving to be selected in the first 21 picks. But, there’s always the chance Belichick trades down – either out of the first round completely or toward the end.

If that’s the case, Georgia linebackers Quay Walker and Nakobe Dean are particularly intriguing.

Prediction: Nakobe Dean

Running Back +6600

There’s a question if any running back will be selected in the first round at all, so if the Patriots were to make this position their first pick, it would likely come following a trade down.

And even if they do trade back, it won’t be to select a running back.

New England already has a loaded backfield with Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, James White, Ty Montgomery and J.J. Taylor.

Prediction: None 

Tight End +10000

This has worse odds than running back, but they should be flipped. 

There’s a slightly better chance a tight end would be selected first by the Patriots after a trade back. Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are aging and if one of the better tight ends – e.g., Colorado State’s Trey McBride – surprisingly became available in the second round, the Patriots could surprise a lot of people and take him.

It’s very unlikely to happen, but more so than a running back.

Prediction: Trey McBride

NFL Draft Odds at BetMGM

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”