- Although Ikem Ekwonu is the favorite, bets on Evan Neal to be the first offensive lineman taken may prove to be more valuable.
- Despite Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner’s status as heavy favorite, his betting odds to be the first cornerback selected are still the most valuable.
LAS VEGAS – The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday night, and the questions start at the very top of the draft.
Of the top ten picks, roughly five are expected to be some combination of offensive lineman and cornerbacks. The order of the players picked from each of those positions are still very much up in the air.
Odds Show First Offensive Lineman Taken Coming Down To Three Tackles
Much like the 2020 NFL Draft that saw three offensive tackles drafted in the top ten, it seems very likely that we see that again during the 2022 NFL Draft. What is more, intriguing than how many go in the top ten, is the order of the perceived top three offensive linemen Ikem Ekwonu, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross.
|Top 5 Odds
|Top 10 Odds
|First O-Lineman Odds
Neal and Ekwonu have gone back and forth as betting favorites to be the top offensive lineman selected according to online sportsbooks, but it appears likely that Ekwonu will be the favorite when the draft begins on Thursday.
Betting on the underdog Evan Neal to be the first offensive lineman taken may actually prove to be more valuable to NFL bettors.
Consider the fact that of the eight teams with top ten picks (the New York Giants and New York Jets both own two), only the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks do not appear set up for the near future at left tackle.
Since neither the Panthers nor Seahawks pick inside the top five, and both Ekwonu’s and Neal’s betting odds indicate they will be top five selections, it seems that each will be drafted to play somewhere on the offensive line other than left tackle.
Evan Neal has a proven positional versatility advantage over Ikem Ekwonu. Neal started at left guard in 2019, right tackle in 2020, and left tackle in 2021 while at Alabama. Ekwonu started at left tackle for three straight seasons while at North Carolina State.
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With positional versatility in mind, the underdog Evan Neal may prove to be a more valuable pick then Ikem Ekwonu as the first offensive lineman picked in the NFL Draft.
Sauce Gardner Rightfully Heavy Favorite At Cornerback
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner’s 2021 season and Derek Stingley’s 2019 season are considered the poster child for top defensive back season’s in recent memory. They are the two leading contenders to be the first cornerback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
2022 Odds To Be The First Cornerback Selected In The NFL Draft
- Sauce Gardner -550
- Derek Stingley Jr. +250
- Trent McDuffie +2000
- Andrew Booth Jr. +7500
The NFL Draft betting odds indicate that Gardner is a pretty heavy favorite to beat out Stingley, and it may actually be more surprising he isn’t an even larger favorite.
|Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner
|Derek Stingley Jr.
In a league that places a high value on measurables, Sauce Gardner has a significant edge over Stingley in height and length. Stingley holds the edge in 40-yard dash speed, but with only a four hundredths of a second difference between the two that is not a significant difference.
Derek Stingley may also be considered injury prone by different franchises given the fact that he has missed 13 of LSU’s 23 games over the past two seasons.
Despite Derek Stingley’s incredible talent, bets on Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner to be the first cornerback selected have the most value, despite Sauce’s status as outright favorite.