NFL Draft Props: Odds On First Lineman To Be Picked

The NFL offseason is moving toward the signature event of the offseason: the NFL Draft. As of now, it will go on as scheduled on April 23rd, which also might make this the next major sports betting event. While it won’t be held outdoors in public before large numbers of fans, it can still happen with players being selected by teams from their own residences, taking phone calls or other forms of communication.

One of the props on the board is which member of the group of linemen which will be taken first in the draft? With betting odds on the board, let’s take a closer look at the prop:

TRISTAN WIRFS
ODDS TO BE FIRST OL DRAFTED: +100

The Iowa offensive lineman had a spectacular NFL Combine in Indianapolis. He set a record for his position with a 36.5-inch vertical jump. He tied the record for players at his position with a 10-foot-1 broad jump. Wirfs ran a 4.85 40-yard dash, which was the best time among all offensive linemen this year. He notched a 7.65-second three-cone drill, which checked in as the fifth-best mark among offensive linemen at the combine. Wirfs has the measurable statistics which will get scouts’ attention, but he also graded well in his drills and showed masterful technique. It is very hard to see Wirfs not landing at some point in the top six. Given that Joe Burrow, a quarterback, will be the number one pick, and that a second quarterback will probably go in the top six, the number of people who could be drafted other than Wirfs in the top six is very low. His odds are very good.

MEKHI BECTON
ODDS TO BE FIRST OL DRAFTED: +170

The Louisville offensive lineman was the heaviest player at the NFL Combine, at 364 pounds. He is also tall, at 6-feet-7. For a very large player, Becton’s 40-yard dash was astonishing. Becton is the heaviest player to run a sub-5.2 40-yard dash at the combine since 2006. Former Memphis nose tackle Dontari Poe has the fastest 40-yard dash from a hulking lineman over the past 15 years; he ran a 4.98 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL Combine at 346 pounds.

If there is one lineman who can displace Wirfs from the top spot among all offensive lineman, it has to be Becton, if only because it requires something amazing to somehow knock Wirfs off his pedestal. The larger consensus view is that Wirfs and Becton will be the top two linemen taken. Which goes first is a more genuine point of debate.

JEDRICK WILLS
ODDS TO BE FIRST OL DRAFTED: +400

The Alabama offensive lineman grades out really well on film, and he has been good at handling outside speed rushers, but he sometimes gets confused by inside moves and displays very slight lapses in concentration which can make the difference between getting beaten or protecting the quarterback. This isn’t a massive flaw, but it has shown up enough on film to make the difference between a top-five or top-10 pick and a pick in the middle of the first round.

ANDREW THOMAS
ODDS TO BE FIRST OL DRAFTED: +1400

The Georgia lineman did not have a strong NFL Combine and has had some occasional injury problems which – while not extremely severe – could be just enough to scare several NFL teams into passing on him. Thomas is unlikely to be taken in the top 15 of the draft despite a productive college career in the SEC.

THE FIELD
ODDS TO BE FIRST OL DRAFTED: +2000

The brilliance of Wirfs and Becton will make it extremely hard to take any other offensive lineman at the top of the draft board. If there were more questions about Wirfs or Becton, this might be a more open debate, but they made such strong statements that they are not going to be dislodged.

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