The NFL Draft has become an extravaganza, appointment viewing over the course of a three-day period, broadcast on both ESPN and the NFL Network. The 2022 version kicked off on Thursday, April 28 with the first round, followed by rounds two and three the following day, and wraps up with four full rounds on the final day of coverage.
Immediately following the conclusion of the first round, sportsbooks released their updated odds for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Be sure to shop around for the best values and explore the vendor’s online casino while you’re there.
We’re going to highlight some of the more notable odds, but keep in mind that these will fluctuate throughout the summer prior to the new NFL season kicking off.
Kenny Pickett (+550)
The former Pitt signal-caller emerged as the opening betting favorite in this market after the Steelers selected him with the 20th overall pick in the first round. Pickett ended up becoming the only quarterback selected in the first 32 picks which likely plays a big role in him starting out as the chalk.
Pickett became the first QB that Pittsburgh selected in the first round since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Now the former Panther will try to replace Big Ben following his retirement, but he’ll be planted in a full-on competition with Mitch Trubisky who was acquired this offseason in free agency after spending a year in Buffalo.
Malik Willis (+600)
Oddsmakers still have confidence that Willis will be in the hunt this year despite not hearing his name called in the opening round. Chances are he could go to a situation where a qb is already in place and the Liberty product would have to sit and watch, but these odds indicate a belief that he’ll go where he can compete with a short-term, second-or-third-tier incumbent.
Drake London / Treylon Burks / Garrett Wilson / Jameson Williams (+700)
London was the first receiver off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft and the third offensive player overall. Then after Seattle went with offensive tackle Charles Cross, there was a run of wideouts with Wilson, Chris Olave, and Williams going in consecutive picks.
It’s interesting of course to see Burks lumped in the same odds and not Olave (+1000) who went seven picks ahead of the Arkansas product. Penn State’s Jahan Dotson (+1400) went 16 overall to Washington.
London wound up with the Falcons and will immediately become the team’s top receiver due to the suspension of Calvin Ridley. Wilson went to the Jets who had three first-round selections, and after the Lions took Aidan Hutchinson second overall, they traded all the way from 32 to 12 (other picks included with Minnesota) to snag Williams, an Alabama standout who tore his ACL in the National Championship.
John Metchie III / Christian Watson (+5000)
If longshot-hunting is more your style, here are two players that offer some intriguing value seeing how they did not hear their name called during the first round. Of the two, Watson appeared to have more momentum as a potential first-rounder with several gurus linking the North Dakota State standout to the receiver-needy Packers.
Metchie will become another pro from the Alabama wideout factory and could provide immediate production as a second or third option in an NFL offense.
The consensus top three running backs in this draft were Breece Hall, Kenneth Walker III and Isaiah Spiller. While none went off the board in the first round, it may not be surprising to see one with the hardware at the end of the season. Most say it’s easier to transition to the NFL as a running back instead of a receiver (don’t tell Ja’Marr Chase) and since 2007, five players won Rookie of the Year honors at the position.
Pickett, the favorite in April, would become the first Steeler to win the award since, you guessed it, Roethlisberger in ‘04. Pittsburgh’s last Defensive Rookie of the Year came in 2001 in the form of Kendrell Bell, a second-round selection out of Georgia.
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