Hitting on first-round picks is the way to stay employed as a GM. Nailing the rest of the draft is the way to get to the playoffs and win some hardware as a GM. A lot of credit goes to the player development and the scouting staffs as well, but a big part of the responsibility of being a General Manager is that you surround yourself with smart people that are able to help lead you to correct decisions.
A lot of starters are available in the second, third, and fourth rounds of the NFL Draft. Once you get past that, a lot of guys are on the fringes of the roster or will get their feet wet as special teamers. All the pomp and circumstance falls on the first round, but the second and third rounds are more important in some respects.
It goes without saying that there are a lot of great players left on the board, including some guys that were expected to be first-round picks. D’Andre Swift, Denzel Mims, and Xavier McKinney are the most notable and it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if McKinney went off the board right away to the Cincinnati Bengals with the 33rd pick.
Bovada has a new round of props up for the remainder of the draft and we’ll take a look at those with some quick analysis and hopefully some winners.
Fifth QB Drafted
Jacob Eason -155
Jalen Hurts +155
Jake Fromm +550
Given what we saw with the betting odds for Hurts as the draft approached, it appeared that he was more likely to go in the second round than the third round. Something tells me that he is the next QB off the board at +155. Indianapolis has two cracks at Hurts in the second round with picks 34 and 44. Those may be a little bit too early for Hurts to go, but they could always trade back 44 to add a fourth or fifth or something and then grab Hurts.
Eason looks like a fine backup at the next level, but Hurts, at least in my opinion, is the only one of the three with starter upside. Seattle could be a landing spot for Hurts, too. Russell Wilson is the poster child of health, but the Seahawks have two second-round picks and Russ would be a great guy for Hurts to sit under. He’d also be an athlete to put on a team deficient of skill players. Wilson has been sacked at least 40 times in all but one of his NFL seasons and was sacked 48 times to lead the league last season. Maybe it isn’t a bad time to get a good backup with additional skills to put behind him.
Eason just doesn’t seem to have the same upside. He could be there for a team that wants him in the third round. I’m not sure Hurts is there.
The over/under for Eason is 49.5 with -120 both ways. Fromm is 68.5 and -150 on the over. Hurts is 55.5 and under -140. Hurts is also -215 to go in the second round.
Seventh WR Drafted
Denzel Mims +125
Tee Higgins +165
Michael Pittman Jr. +333
Laviska Shenault +400
Chase Claypool +1400
Van Jefferson +2000
KJ Hamler +2500
Denzel Mims was thought to be getting some first-round helium leading into Thursday, but Brandon Aiyuk and Jalen Reagor went ahead of him. Wide receivers weren’t as coveted as some people expected them to be, which makes sense with this group of guys, plus dudes like Antonio Gandy-Golden available down the line.
There are a lot of teams that could be looking WR early in the second round. We’re at the point now where gambling on Laviska Shenault’s health is worthwhile. Among this group, Shenault probably has the highest ceiling. We didn’t see a lot of it at Colorado because of injuries, but he’s not going to be the focal point of the defense on every play at the NFL level and that could help him out a little bit.
At +400, Shenault is worth a grab here. Even though Mims, Higgins, or Pittman are all likelier to go before him, this is the time when teams get a tad more aggressive. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see Pittman over Mims and Higgins.
D’Andre Swift Draft Position
Over/under 39.5 (+100/-140)
I never really felt like D’Andre Swift was a lock to go in the first round or a lock to be the first RB taken. In fact, it was Clyde Edwards-Helaire, which makes a lot more sense to me. It would be a shocker to see somebody trade up for Swift when you can just as easily have JK Dobbins, Jonathan Taylor, Zack Moss, or just wait and take a guy like AJ Dillon in the third or fourth round.
With that in mind, we handicap the order as it is. Cincinnati isn’t going to take Swift with so many other needs. Indianapolis should be content with their RB room. The Lions could be in play for Swift, but they have plenty of more pressing needs. The Giants don’t need him with Saquon Barkley. The Patriots took a Georgia RB recently in Sony Michel, so they’re out.
Carolina has Christian McCaffrey. Miami could possibly take Swift after having the first round they wanted with Tua, Austin Jackson, and Noah Igbinoghene to address their three biggest needs, but it seems like they’d be in the WR market before the RB market. Bill O’Brien is dumb enough to take a running back at 40, despite trading for David Johnson.
The Browns are set at 41. The list goes on. Unless a team trades up for Swift, I would be surprised if he went quickly. I’d lean towards the over at even money, but the under juice is a tad concerning.
First Safety Drafted
Xavier McKinney -200
Grant Delpit +400
Jordan Chinn +500
Antoine Winfield Jr. +700
Ashtyn Davis +2000
Xavier McKinney will be the first safety off of the board. Jordan Chinn is extremely interesting out of Southern Illinois, but you can get a guy from a major college conference first and those guys are always going to get the benefit of the doubt. McKinney may even go right away to Cincinnati. Getting a guy that many felt was a top-25 pick at 33 is a good grab for the Bengals.
It’s chalky, but McKinney is the play here.
First Tight End Drafted
Cole Kmet -400
Adam Trautman +450
Harrison Bryant +1100
Albert Okwuegbunam +1200
Hunter Bryant +1600
Brycen Hopkins +1800
Jared Pinkney +10000
Colby Parkinson +10000
Cole Kmet is the huge favorite at -400, but what’s the fun in that? Hunter Bryant may have had a first-round grade a couple years ago if injuries had not sidetracked him at Washington. While many seem to like Kmet and Trautman, the tight end from Dayton, teams may get a little bit creative with this one here.
Harrison Bryant from FAU at +1100 isn’t a bad bet in this spot. Neither is the other Bryant at +1600. It will probably be Kmet, as evidenced by the price, but this is a pretty weak tight end class and the teams could have evaluated these guys in just about any order.
Position of Next Draft Pick
New York Giants – Offense +200 / Defense -300
The Giants have all sorts of needs. Edge rushers will be popular with Yetur Gross-Matos and AJ Epenesa going early in this round. The Giants could probably end up with one of them. Defense at -300 makes sense, but is quite chalky.
New York Jets – Offense -320 / Defense +210
The Jets need a wide receiver. Badly. They’ll take one at 48 in all likelihood.
Buffalo Bills – Offense -110 / Defense -130
This is Buffalo’s first selection, having traded their pick to the Vikings for Stefon Diggs. The Bills don’t pick until 54th, so who knows what will be there by that point in time. These are pretty risky at this point. Nevertheless, the Bills are probably looking for a complement to Devin Singletary. I think they may need to trade up for a guy like JK Dobbins, though, so I’m not sure. Anything would be pure speculation here.
Chicago Bears – Offense -155 / Defense +115
This is also the first pick for the Bears at 50th. Who knows who is on the board, but offense makes a ton of sense. The defense is still pretty good. The offensive weapons are really not.
Houston Texans – Offense +120 / Defense -160
The Texans pick 40th after the DeAndre Hopkins deal. They need secondary help badly. If Antoine Winfield Jr. is there, he’s probably the pick. If not, Trevon Diggs makes a lot of sense, too. Defense -160 is the side here, but, again, pretty chalky.
Indianapolis Colts – Offense -160 / Defense +120
As mentioned, the Colts have two picks and could have their eyes on Jalen Hurts, but it won’t be with the 34th pick. Either Ezra Cleveland or Josh Jones make a ton of sense for them in their quest to protect immobile Philip Rivers. If the Bengals don’t take McKinney and take a lineman instead, the Colts will wind up with the other guy.
Los Angeles Rams – Offense -120 / Defense -120
The Rams don’t pick until 52nd and they have two second-round picks to use. This truly is a toss-up, given that they need players on both sides of the ball. It seems likely to me that Sean McVay would prefer an offensive player, but the Rams also badly need secondary help. Let’s see how far the defensive backs fall. Guys like Trevon Diggs, Jaylon Johnson, and Kristian Fulton were being viewed as first-round picks and none of them went. The Rams may move up to get one.
New England Patriots – Offense -120 / Defense -120
I have to think the Patriots look offense here. They’re pretty confident in their abilities to develop on the defensive side. They’ve signed Marqise Lee, but that doesn’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things. New England picks 37th here and this could very well be a spot for the first TE off the board. Not having legitimate tight ends crippled that offense last season and that seems to be a pretty glaring need.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Offense -150 / Defense +110
The Steelers could really use a complement to JuJu Smith-Schuster. A wide receiver makes a lot of sense here. We could also see a lineman. Maybe they prefer JK Dobbins to James Conner and Jaylen Samuels. That wouldn’t be a bad fit at all. Conner and Samuels have shown flashes, but Dobbins is a dude. Offense just makes too much sense here with so many options.
Second RB Drafted
D’Andre Swift -260
Jonathan Taylor +300
JK Dobbins +500
Cam Akers +2500
Zack Moss +3300
Somebody will take D’Andre Swift, but will it happen before Jonathan Taylor or JK Dobbins? To me, Dobbins has a better chance at going second than Taylor. Swift probably goes, but we saw the Chiefs prioritize a RB that can catch the football with Clyde Edwards-Helaire. That is the direction of the current NFL.
Also, Ohio State players are going pretty damn high these days. Just ask Damon Arnette, who was a stunner of a first-round pick by Oakland. Dobbins at +500 is worth the shot in my opinion. I don’t think he goes over Swift, but that price looks too high.