We take a look at the NFL Draft Betting Odds and make our Top 5 Picks and Predictions ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
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The 2022 NFL Draft is just weeks away, and the top-5 of this draft is more uncertain than in most previous years.
In 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are also picking No. 1 overall this year, were locked into Trevor Lawrence. There was a run of quarterbacks for the next two picks. The New York Jets took Zach Wilson, followed by the San Francisco 49ers trading the farm to get Trey Lance.
This year, well, it’s not quite the same.
2022 NFL Draft – The Situation
In fact, there are not really any quarterbacks that are worthy of a top-five pick from film evaluation alone.
However, if any position in the NFL is going to have an inflated value, it’s the quarterback position. This is because if you have an elite quarterback, especially on a rookie contract, you can build a team that can compete for a Super Bowl almost immediately.
This year’s draft has the following teams drafting in the top five:
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- New York Jets
- New York Giants
And, honestly, you could make an argument for almost any of these teams wanting to find a way to trade out to accumulate more picks.
Here, we will look at some of the top prospects and make predictions on the top-five draft picks as per the betting odds at some of the top sportsbooks in the country.
NFL Draft Betting Odds for Top Five Picks
Below, we will look at the projections and odds for the first five overall picks (where available) at some of the top online sportsbooks on the market today.
- No. 1 Overall Pick: Aidan Hutchinson (-280); Travon Walker (+300); Ikem Ekwonu (+1200)
- No. 2 Overall Pick: Travon Walker (+250); Aidan Hutchinson (+250); Kayvon Thibodeaux (+330)
- No. 3 Overall Pick: Ikem Ekwonu (+185); Evan Neal (+330); Travon Walker (+400)
- No. 4 Overall Pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux (+250); Sauce Gardner (+350); Jermaine Johnson II (+450)
- No. 5 Overall Pick: Ikem Ekwonu (+200); Evan Neal (+250); Kayvon Thibodeaux (+350)
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- No. 1 Overall Pick: Aidan Hutchinson (-250); Travon Walker (+350); Ikem Ekwonu/Evan Neal (+1200)
- No. 2 Overall Pick: Aidan Hutchinson (+200); Travon Walker (+250); Kayvon Thibodeaux (+400)
- No. 3 Overall Pick: Ikem Ekwonu (+175); Evan Neal (+300); Travon Walker (+500)
- No. 4 Overall Pick: Sauce Gardner (+300); Kayvon Thibodeaux (+300); Jermaine Johnson II (+450)
- No. 5 Overall Pick: Ikem Ekwonu/Evan Neal (+300); Kayvon Thibodeaux/Sauce Gardner (+350); Travon Walker (+800)
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- No. 1 Overall Pick: Aidan Hutchinson (-300); Travon Walker (+350); Ikem Ekwonu/Evan Neal (+1200)
- No. 2 Overall Pick: Travon Walker (+230); Aidan Hutchinson (+250); Malik Willis (+450)
- No. 3 Overall Pick: Ikem Ekwonu (+180); Evan Neal (+280); Travon Walker (+550)
- No. 4 Overall Pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux (+225); Sauce Gardner (+350); Jermaine Johnson II (+430)
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- No. 1 Overall Pick: Aidan Hutchinson (-250); Travon Walker (+300); Ikem Ekwonu/Evan Neal (+1200)
- No. 2 Overall Pick: Travon Walker (+250); Aidan Hutchinson (+260); Kayvon Thibodeaux (+350)
- No. 3 Overall Pick: Ikem Ekwonu (+175); Evan Neal (+325); Travon Walker (+500)
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Number 1 Overall Pick Prediction
Since the NFL Combine, there has been plenty of hype toward Georgia EDGE Travon Walker. He had insane athletic numbers, but the production at Georgia didn’t quite meet that. Walker is an excellent projection.
But, there’s also Aidan Hutchinson. While he may not have the same athletic numbers, Hutchison is still an excellent athlete, testing in the 99th percentile in the 3-Cone Drill, 96th percentile in height, 94th percentile in the 20 Yard Shuttle, and 80th percentile in the vertical, according to MockDraftable.
The Jaguars are not a team that should be messing around with projections. Take the surefire bet in Hutchinson, who will come in on day one, be the face of the franchise and produce 8+ sacks.
Number 2 Overall Pick Prediction
The Detroit Lions are in an interesting position. Personally, this would be a great trade-out spot for the team. Especially for a team more desperate for a quarterback.
Yes, the Lions need a quarterback with Jared Goff under center. But, this team needs one or two more draft classes to be seriously competitive.
With that, this team should look elsewhere. There are plenty of top-tier tackles here, but the Lions already have an excellent offensive line.
Next, you have to look at the edge class, which still has Walker and the much-maligned (and not sure why) Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Based on the personality of Lions head coach Dan Campbell, it will be interesting to see how he views the storyline that is Thibodeaux and perhaps not loving the game as much as he should, according to some.
Walker is a fine player, but he has the profile of a player that is probably better off as a top-10 pick than a top-three selection.
With being so uncertain as to how Campbell will respond to the Thibodeaux narrative (even though he’s the best player to take here), the Lions will settle on Ekwonu and have an absolute monster of an offensive line, especially in the run game.
We’re going for a longshot in the NFL Draft Betting Odds with this pick.
Number 3 Overall Pick Prediction
The Ekwonu pick may be a bit of a surprise. But, at +2000 at BetMGM and FanDuel, that is a mega value.
However, now that we move to the No. 3 pick, the top EDGE and, arguably, an offensive lineman is off the board.
This is where Thibodeaux comes off the board. The Texans need good players literally anywhere on the field and EDGE is a major position to fill.
Neal could be an option here, but the Texans still have Tunsil and can piece this offensive line together later in the draft or in free agency while they simply accumulate talented players.
In 2021, Thibodeaux had nine sacks and 10 tackles for loss. He’s still a bit raw, but he is a mega athlete off the edge. With the Texans, he’ll have time to develop to become a dominant EDGE in the NFL.
Number 4 Overall Pick Prediction
If you refer back to the top odds for each pick in the section prior to these predictions, you’ll notice we are going against the grain here a little bit, and that’s where the true value comes from.
These next two picks, including the Jets here at No. 4 overall, have multiple top draft picks.
The Jets could go in one of many ways here. Their next pick is No. 10 overall, so they’ll still have a crack at a wide receiver there. So, for now, we’ll pass on one here.
Let’s look at some of the top players left for this spot:
- Evan Neal: Getting off the bus with Mekhi Becton on the left side and Neal on the right side will be a jaw-dropping visual as these guys are towers amongst men.
- Sauce Gardner: A prototypical man coverage cornerback who could end up being the next Nnamdi Asomugha.
- Derek Stingly Jr.: After an all-time freshman season, Stingley has battled injuries but still projects as one of the best all-around cornerbacks in the draft.
Looking at these players, the Jets need a can’t-miss stud on the back end to pair with the competent Bryce Hall.
The odds have Stingley way down the list, and that is a great value. However, Gardner in the AFC East will get some relatively stiff competition outside of the Patriots.
Still, though, Gardner, who allowed just 20 receptions for 131 yards and no touchdowns in 2021, seems like the safest bet to make here. He’s our choice in the NFL Draft Betting Odds for 4th pick.
Number 5 Overall Pick Prediction
Picking at No. 5 overall, the Giants have a roster that is on the verge of being a total disaster, especially if Daniel Jones doesn’t pan out this season.
The wide receiver group is overpaid and doesn’t produce. Saquon Barkley is a fine running back, but there is no offensive line, and the defense, while not good overall, does have some solid playmakers on the back end.
The argument could be made here for someone like Stingley, but we are going to turn our attention to a different offensive lineman not named Neal—Charles Cross out of Mississippi State.
The Giants need someone to come in and protect Jones. Cross is the man for the job. In 2021, Cross played on 719 pass-blocking snaps, allowing just two sacks and 14 hurries.
Listed at 6’5”, 307 pounds, Cross has the length to play the blindside, and, coming from Mississippi State, he’s played higher levels of competition. It may be hard for him to come in and produce right away, but rarely, offensive linemen do anyways.
In the meantime, Cross can play on the right side opposite Andrew Thomas and help bring this Giants offensive line back to relevancy in 2022.
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