The 2021 NFL Draft is on April 29, and the mock drafts are continuing to emerge from various outlets and publications across the country.
Some fresh NFL Draft rumors have leaked out Sunday night, giving new dimensions to the proceedings which will begin Thursday night in Cleveland. FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbooks have tons of props up on the board and we’ve sifted through them all. Let’s dive into the various best bets you can make on NFL draft day or just before April 29.
Who’ll Be The No. 3 Pick In The 2021 NFL Draft?
The favorite is Mac Jones at -175, but Trey Lance at +270 is great value.
Justin Fields is sitting there at +220, but if you noticed Sunday night, the rumor train is rolling.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said Sunday night that the San Francisco 49ers, who have the third pick in the draft, have narrowed their possible choices to Mac Jones or Trey Lance. This would seem to eliminate Fields and other options from consideration.
If you were to have a choice of just two players rather than a group of four or five, you would be much more interested in taking the second choice, Lance, given the price. It seems hard to think that the 49ers would risk so much in a pre-draft trade, going up from No. 12 to No. 3, to take Mac Jones, a player who had a world-class offensive line and had two elite receivers to play alongside at Alabama, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.
Jones is not a bad player, but he has nothing close to Lance’s upside. If Justin Fields truly has been eliminated from the Niners’ plans and it’s down to just Jones and Lance, taking Lance is the much better play at this point.
Who’ll Be The No. 4 Pick In The 2021 NFL Draft?
This prop puts Kyle Pitts at -125, Ja’Marr Chase at +2900, Justin Fields at +185, and Penei Sewell at +1900.
What a weird set of odds this is. However, this could be based on the view that the Atlanta Falcons – who have the No. 4 pick right now – could trade down in the draft to get more draft assets. There have been rumors that Atlanta will trade the No. 4 pick to the Denver Broncos for the No. 9 pick and an extra draft pick.
If this trade or another trade is executed, the game changes regarding the No. 4 pick. If the Broncos would trade up to the Falcons for that fourth selection, Denver would aim to get a quarterback with the fourth pick. The Broncos need a big-time quarterback since Drew Lock does not appear ready to carry the workload at a high level for the franchise.
This is why Fields is priced where he is – the Falcons would not take him, but the Broncos or another trade partner definitely would. Since he will be available if the 49er rumors about Mac Jones or Trey Lance are true, Fields makes sense as a potential No. 4 pick… just not for the Falcons.
If the Falcons keep the pick and don’t trade it, Pitts is certainly a highly possible choice. He would be a terrific target for Matt Ryan, whom the Falcons are going to trust for at least the next two seasons if not three.
Pitts is likely to be an elite pass-catcher for many years, so that’s a solid bet to make. However, Matt Ryan and the Falcons can also use an offensive lineman, which means that Penei Sewell at No. 4 is very realistic. Most people think the Cincinnati Bengals will take him as No. 5, but Atlanta could insist on Sewell first. It’s not out of the question.
Getting Sewell at that price could be a tremendous value, but Pitts is the favorite for good reason.
Justin Fields Draft Position
The 49ers rumors which emerged Sunday night clearly indicate Fields will not be a top-three pick. Bet the over (pick No. 4 or later) with confidence.
Trey Lance Draft Position
- Over 6.5: +118
- Under 6.5: -144
If the 49er Sunday night rumors are true, Lance could go at No. 3, and Mac Jones is the only player who could displace him from the top three. The odds are improving that Lance will go to San Francisco at No. 3. The under is a very likely bet at the moment.
Ja’Marr Chase Draft Position
- Over 5.5: +100
- Under 5.5: -122
The Cincinnati Bengals are likely to face a two-player choice at No. 5 in the draft, between Chase and Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell. Neither player is likely to be taken in the top four, so if Chase is not taken by the Bengals at No. 5, the over will be the winning bet.
Will the Bengals take Sewell at No. 5? They would be logical in doing so, in order to give Joe Burrow pass protection for the next decade. The over has a more favorable price than the under, and yet it’s really a 50-50 proposition, so the over represents good value here.
Top 10 Pick?
Penei Sewell will be the first offensive lineman off the board, probably to the Bengals at No. 5, and if he doesn’t go to the Bengals at No. 5, the Miami Dolphins at 6 or the Detroit Lions at No. 7 could take him. The Carolina Panthers are at No. 8, and they can use protection for Sam Darnold. The Dallas Cowboys are at No. 10, and they could get a young offensive lineman for Dak Prescott. Slater has a lot of different options for landing in the top 10, which is why this is a good prop to go for.
Rashod Bateman NFL Draft Position
- Over 28.5: -110
- Under 28.5: -110
Most mock drafts and draft evaluations have Bateman as a top-30 pick in this draft. Some really good receivers went off the board in the top 25 last year, such as CeeDee Lamb to the Dallas Cowboys and Justin Jefferson to the Minnesota Vikings. Bateman might not be as good as the top three receivers in the draft – Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, or DeVonta Smith – but it is hard to think he will stay on the board all the way until pick No. 29, which is held by the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay needs defense, so Bateman will not be taken there. The Buffalo Bills are at No. 30, and they don’t need a receiver. The Kansas City Chiefs at 31 and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 32 do not need a receiver. Bateman is going to be picked in the mid-20s, not the early 30s. This feels like a really easy decision to make.
Zaven Collins NFL Draft Position
- Over 25.5: -110
- Under 25.5: -110
Collins is a huge but fast linebacker, a supreme physical specimen who will be hard for an NFL team to resist in the latter portion of the first round. Will he go in the top 25, though? It might be asking too much. Receivers, quarterbacks, offensive linemen, and pass rushers will occupy most of those first 25 picks, and Collins might have to wait until pick 26 with the Cleveland Browns or pick 28 with the Saints, maybe the Packers at pick 29. The over is the more likely outcome, but it will be close.
First Running Back Drafted
Najee Harris: -190
Travis Etienne is there at +155, but Harris is going to be too attractive to resist. He is a little faster and more elusive than Etienne, which makes him a better option as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He is going to be a more versatile NFL piece who fits into the modern game with its emphasis on the quick pass and spreading the field. Harris is the better choice here, and it’s going to be very hard to imagine a scenario in which Etienne leapfrogs Harris to become the first running back off the board.
First Cornerback Drafted
Patrick Surtain is the favorite at -300, but Jaycee Horn could be good value at +170. Both players have landed in the top 10 of mock drafts and projections, with Surtain being seen as the Carolina Panthers’ choice at No. 8 and Horn landing at 10 to the Dallas Cowboys. What if the Panthers don’t take Surtain at No. 8, though? Horn could be their player, or Horn could be the first cornerback taken at No. 10 by the Cowboys. This is not a clear-cut case, so Horn at +170 might be a sneaky-good play.
Total Number Of Running Backs Drafted In Round 1
- Over 0.5: -270
- Under 0.5: +200
Someone in the first round will definitely take Najee Harris. It could be the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 24, or the Jacksonville Jaguars at 25, or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 32. Teams noticed Clyde Edwards-Helaire and how well he did with the Chiefs last season. That should help Harris, who is similarly skilled, land in the first round.
Total Number Of Receivers Drafted In Round 1
- Over 4.5: -290
- Under 4.5: +215
Kadarius Toney is the key here. DeVonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and Rashod Bateman are locks to be taken in Round 1. If Toney is also taken, that will push the number over the total. The Browns at No. 26 or the Ravens at No. 27 could both use another playmaker on the edge. Talking the over is a good play here.