NFL Sportsbook Mock Draft: 32 First-Round Picks Based On The Odds

Written By Brett Gibbons on April 25, 2022
2022 NFL mock draft

What would a 2022 NFL mock draft look like if you based each pick on betting odds? We used DraftKings Sportsbook to determine the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.

The 2022 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET and is held in Last Vegas. For more NFL Draft betting content, follow us on Twitter.

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Methodology

None of these picks are at my own discretion. They’re based solely on odds as of Monday, April 25 at DraftKings. Some picks are straightforward (odds to be picked first overall), but later in the round I had to use multiple props to essentially optimize each pick. Every prop I used below will be listed.

I didn’t execute any trades in this mock draft. I also didn’t take into consideration fit with certain teams (i.e. scheme fits, does that team already have someone at that position, etc.); it only takes what the numbers in front of me are saying. The bottom line is, this is a fun exercise and it didn’t turn out to be predictive.

Alright, let’s get into it.

2022 NFL Mock Draft by the odds

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Late steam on Travon Walker caused quite a stir among NFL Draft and mock draft media. When Walker first hit the board several weeks ago, he was priced at +1500. His odds continued to shorten and the Monday before draft day, Walker overtook Aidan Hutchinson as the odds-on favorite to be drafted first.

Wyatt Yearout, Media Analytics Manager for PointsBet weighed in on the odds change for Walker:

It’s come to a general consensus that Jags GM Trent Baalke is fully in on Walker. [Head Coach Doug] Pederson leans toward [Ikem] Okwonu (which is why we moved him in slightly as well) and then the rest of the organization/scouts around the league seem to think [Aidan] Hutchinson should go #1 overall. Ultimately at the end of the day, Baalke gets the final call which is why Walker is currently the overall favorite to go number 1.

Props used: 1st overall pick (-165)

2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Strong Michigan ties make this pick make sense. However, after being the favorite to go first overall pretty much all offseason, Hutchinson was bumped just before the finish line.

Props used: 2nd overall pick (-110)

3. Houston Texans: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Speaking of late mock draft steam, Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu was the second horse in the race at the offensive tackle position. Going into the week of the draft, Ekwonu surpassed Evan Neal as the favorite OT prospect. Interestingly, his odds to be drafted first overall took a major dip. While talk was around the new and sudden favorite, Walker, Ekwonu saw his odds slash from +1600 to +600 overnight. Something worth noting? Absolutely.

Props used: 3rd overall pick (+300), 1st offensive lineman drafted (-175)

4. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Thibodeaux’s offseason rollercoaster began about midway through the 2021 college football season. Once considered a strong contender to be the first overall pick, his odds lengthened quickly. Injury plagued his final season at Oregon and Thibodeaux went from being the consensus favorite to outside the top 10 in some scenarios. Now he’s back and his draft stock is picking up steam.

Props used: 4th overall pick (+175)

5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Before free agency, Evan Neal was the odds-on favorite to be drafted first overall. Then the Jaguars tagged tackle Cam Robinson, relegating Neal to a tackle-needy team at three (Houston) or later. His stranglehold on being the favorite for the first tackle drafted slipped going into draft week in favor for Ekwonu.

Props used: 5th overall pick (+300), 2nd offensive lineman drafted (-150)

6. Carolina Panthers: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

This is the first pick I feel I need to explain the process behind it. According to odds tables (and NFL rumor circles), the Panthers are more likely to draft Kenny Pickett (implied 40% probability at +150) than Willis (implied 28.6% probability at +250). Willis is still the favorite to be the top overall quarterback drafted and his odds to be drafted inside the top 10 (-125) outweigh Pickett’s. This is likely a product of more than one team inside the top 10 being attached to Willis (Atlanta, Seattle, even Detroit at two).

Ultimately, pitting Willis here satisfies more props than Pickett. I’ll explain why later (see: pick 16).

Props used: Carolina Panthers to draft Malik Willis (+400), Willis to be drafted top 10 (-125), 1st QB drafted (-150)

7. New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The rumor mill is ablaze with Ahmad Gardner; both the Giants and Jets are strongly considering pulling the trigger on him. However, late developments in the NFL rumor circle see Gardner being taken off as high as second to the Lions. Could a team reach for their guy? The odds don’t necessarily reflect that yet.

Props used: 7th overall pick (+300)

8. Atlanta Falcons: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

If you look under “team needs” for the Falcons, you get– well– everything. Recently, it’s most popularly thought that a star receiver goes here. Enter Garrett Wilson, who’s a slim favorite to be the first receiver taken. A 1.4% difference in implied probability between Wilson and the other two receivers on the odds table at eight (Williams, London at +550) isn’t enough to get me really excited about this pick. However, he’s a steadier favorite to be the first receiver drafted (+110) and a strong favorite among the receivers to be a top-10 pick (-200).

Again, the discrepancy is likely due to multiple teams inside the top 10 being interested in Wilson like the Jets.

Props used: 8th overall pick (+500), ATL to draft WR with first pick (+110), 1st WR drafted (+110), Wilson to be drafted top 10 (-200)

9. Seattle Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

This is a pick that may be a real head-scratcher to many who follow the NFL Draft, including myself. This is surely a quarterback, right?

“Not so fast my friend,” the odds say. The Seahawks are favored to lean offensive lineman (+150) over quarterback (+200) by a not insignificant 7%. Charles Cross has an 80% implied probability to be drafted inside the top 10 and the top 10 is running out. This is product of the Jets, Giants, Panthers, and even Falcons also being in need of a tackle.

If Willis goes off the board before this pick in real life, this pick checks out.

Props used: 9th overall pick (+330), Cross to be drafted top 10 (-400), SEA to draft OL with first pick (+150)

10. New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Like Thibodeaux, Stingley’s seen his odds to be a top pick fluctuate wildly. Once thought to be a top-four lock, injury concerns sent his odds down to even being a mid-first rounder. Now, they’re on the rebound. He’s not the favorite to be picked 10th, with two receivers being favored over him. However, Stingley’s top 10 odds are comfortably shorter than the other guys (-200 vs. +120 each).

A bit of math on this pick: The combined implied probability of Jameson Williams, Drake London, and Jermaine Johnson II (56%) at 10 still don’t add up to Stingley’s implied probability to be a top-10 pick (66.7%).

Props used: 10th overall pick (+600), Stingley Jr. to be drafted top 10 (-200)

11. Washington Commanders: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Okay, back to straightforward picks. Williams is the favorite to be the second receiver off the board (-115) and Washington is favored to pick a receiver with their first pick (+125).

Props used: WAS to draft WR with first pick (+125), Williams to be 2nd WR drafted (-115)

12. Minnesota Vikings: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

The Vikings are favored to take a defensive back at 12 (+100), but secondly a defensive lineman (+275). Jermaine Johnson II has shorter odds to be a top-10 pick (-140) than Kyle Hamilton (+135), who would be the other suggested player here.

Props used: Johnson II to be drafted top 10 (-140), MIN to draft defensive lineman/EDGE with first pick (+275)

13. Houston Texans: Kyle Hamilton, SAF, Notre Dame

Kyle Hamilton was a bonafide top-three pick for much of the draft cycle, but the allure of premium positions (pass rusher, tackle) outweigh the allure of Hamilton himself. After their first pick of a tackle, a pass rusher would be the pick here. However, with no edge players with a fitting over/under, Kyle Hamilton’s slide ends here.

Props used: Hamilton draft position O/U 10.5 (O -175), HOU to draft DB with first pick (+300)

14. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia

Another fairly easy slot, Jordan Davis fits both props used. Baltimore is favored to pick a defensive lineman here and Davis’ draft position prop is set at 15.5 (U -115)

Props used: BAL to draft defensive line/EDGE with first pick (+150), Davis draft position O/U 15.5 (-115)

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Drake London, WR, USC

The odds of the Eagles’ drafted position with their first pick is dicey since they have another pick at 18. The Saints traded up for the 16th pick from the Eagles, indicating they’re ready to fire on a premium position (likely a quarterback). The Saints and Chargers don’t really have conflicting positions of need here with the Eagles, so they can be a little more relaxed with what position. The breakdown is as such:

  • Wide receiver (+200), 33.3% implied probability
  • Defensive lineman (+225), 30.8%
  • Defensive back (+225), 30.8%

This is where I defaulted to Drake London’s draft position drop (10.5) and him being the favored third receiver off the board.

Props used: PHI to draft WR with first pick (+200), London draft position O/U 10.5 (O -175), London to be 3rd WR drafted (-110)

16. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

This is an instance where the odds line up with the strategy. The Saints are not, in fact, favored to pick Kenny Pickett; that’s the Panthers, who took Malik Willis. The odds of Panthers drafting Pickett and the sixth overall pick says that Kenny Pickett should have gone sixth. So, why here?

The Saints have a higher implied probability to draft Pickett (33.3%) than they do drafting Malik Willis (11.8%). That’s probably because Pickett is more likely to slide to 16 than Willis is, with Atlanta and Seattle also being interested parties there. Ultimately, this would satisfy more props in related markets than just the sixth overall choice.

Willis is also heavily favored to be a top-10 pick, has a lower draft position drop, etc., etc.

Props used: New Orleans Saints to draft Kenny Pickett (+200), Pickett 2nd QB drafted (-140)

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

After a few explanation-necessary picks, we’re back to an easy one. The Chargers are favored to go offensive lineman here, Trevor Penning’s draft position prop fits the bill perfectly.

Props used: Penning draft position O/U 16.5, LAC to draft OL with first pick (+120)

18. Philadelphia Eagles: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

The Eagles went receiver with their first pick, so now it’s a toss-up between a defensive back and defensive lineman, according to the odds I laid out in pick 15. Oddsmakers like Trent McDuffie to be drafted earlier than many analysts expect (U 18.5 -170– high for these props). With no outstanding defensive lineman on the board in terms of draft position, McDuffie’s the pick here.

Props used: McDuffie O/U 18.5 (U -170), PHI to draft DB with first pick (+225)

19. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Saints already picked a quarterback, which they were favored to. According to their position taken with first pick prop, an offensive lineman may be the choice here. However, there’s none that really fit the bill. The existing ones on the board (Zion Johnson, Tyler Linderbaum) all have much higher draft position props.

There’s about a 3% implied probability difference between NOLA drafting a lineman or a receiver, nothing to sweat about. Chris Olave is the highest remaining player in terms of draft potion, slipping later than his odds suggest in the first place.

Props used: NO to draft WR with first pick (+300), Olave draft position O/U 16.5 (U -125)

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

Pittsburgh’s favored to draft a quarterback with their first pick (a 45.5% implied probability) and Desmond Ridder is the strong favorite to be the third QB off the board (-165).

Props used: PIT to draft QB with first pick (+120), Ridder to be 3rd QB drafted (-165)

21. New England Patriots: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The Patriots are favored to take a defensive back here, but none really fit the bill in terms of related prop markets. They’re next likely to draft a linebacker– the most favored team in the first round to do so– and Devin Lloyd’s prop fits here nicely.

Props used: Lloyd draft position O/U 19.5 (O -125), NE to draft LB with first pick (+300)

22. Green Bay Packers: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Another seamless fit: The Packers are strongly implied to draft a receiver with their first pick and Burks’ draft position prop is nearly exact (54.6% chance he goes under pick 23.5).

Props used: GB to draft WR with first pick (-165), Burks draft position O/U 23.5 (U -120)

23. Arizona Cardinals: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

The Cardinals are slightly favored to take a receiver here, but with Burks gone, none have a draft position market that works here. With just a 4% implied probability discrepancy between a receiver and a defensive lineman being the Cardinals’ first pick, George Karlaftis is heavily implied to be taken at this spot.

Props used: Karlaftis draft position O/U 22.5, ARI to draft DL with first pick (+275)

24. Dallas Cowboys: Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College

It’s easier to know what Dallas isn’t going to take than what they will take with this first pick. Their prop favors the offensive line (+125, 44.4% implied probability) over a defensive back (28.6%) or receiver (22.2%). Interestingly, their odds to take a defensive lineman (+500, 16.7%) are fairly long considering a litany of mock drafts slotting Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey here.

Props used: Johnson draft position O/U 24.5 (U -125), DAL to draft OL with first pick (+125)

25. Buffalo Bills: Daxton Hill, SAF, Michigan

Talk about involved– this pick may have used the most props to slot a player here. The Bills are favored to draft a defensive back with their first pick. However, there’s not a perfect fit sitting on odds boards. Dax Hill’s draft position prop of 29.5 is a bit far away despite the Under having the juice (-150). Hill’s clearly the second safety off the board (-175, checking with Georgia’s Lewis Cine of +275) and the odds strongly imply more than one safety will be taken in the first round.

It’s Dax Hill here because he has the highest remaining odds to be a top-32 pick (-190) than any of the other defensive backs.

Props used: BUF to draft DB with first pick (+150), Hill draft position O/U 29.5 (U -150), Hill second safety drafted (-175), Hill drafted in top 32 (-190), O/U 1.5 safeties drafted in Round 1 (O -285)

26. Tennessee Titans: Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa

Remember: This mock draft is by the odds, not necessarily predictive. Ben Jones is pretty locked into his spot as the Titans’ second-highest paid offensive lineman. However, DraftKings gives Linderbaum a 90% chance to be taken in the first round and his draft position prop fits the bill here. Interestingly, he has vastly shorter odds than Zion Johnson or Kenyon Green to be taken in the first round, etc., but has a higher draft position prop, which is why he falls here.

Props used: TEN to draft OL with first pick (+185), Linderbaum drafted in top 32 (-900), Linderbaum draft position O/U 27.5 (U -125)

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia

This was another fairly involved pick. The Buccaneers are favored to go offensive line and Kenyon Green is on the board for the taking. After working through that scenario, the total number of offensive linemen in the first round exceeded the total set by DraftKings (7.5, -200 on the under). In order to satisfy the positional requirement, I went to the next favored position, defensive line. Wyatt has an implied probability of 75% to be picked in the first round and his draft position prop works here.

Props used: TB to draft defensive lineman/EDGE with first pick (+275), Wyatt drafted in top 32 (-300), Wyatt draft position O/U 29.5

28. Green Bay Packers: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

The Packers went receiver with their first pick and their next most likely position is defensive line. Originally, this was Devonte Wyatt and Boye Mafe is still on the board. However, Nakobe Dean has a 69.2% implied probability to be a first-round pick and Green Bay is given the highest probability to draft a linebacker of the remaining teams.

Props used: Dean drafted in top 32 (-225), GB to draft LB with first pick (+600)

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Despite using multiple props here, this one is pretty straightforward. After dishing Tyreek Hill to Miami, Kansas City is most favored to pick a receiver. What makes this potentially dicey is that they have back-to-back picks, meaning they could pick anyone here. But we mixed that prop with the best-priced receiver, Jahan Dotson. It also filled the positional prop of 6.5 receivers taken (U -125), with Dotson being the sixth.

Props used: KC to draft WR with first pick (+120), Doston top 32 pick (-145), Doston draft position O/U 31.5 (U -130), O/U 6.5 WRs drafted in first round (U -125)

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

At this point, I took the remaining players that had greater than 50% implied probability to be taken in the top 32 and assigned them to teams. Kansas City is the most likely of the three remaining teams to take a defensive lineman after Detroit went Hutchinson with the second overall pick.

Props used: Mafe drafted in top 32 (-140), Mafe draft position O/U 31.5 (U -130), KC to draft defensive lineman/EDGE with first pick (+300)

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

Based on the odds, the Bengals are more likely to draft an offensive lineman than the preceding Buccaneers are. That’s why Green was slotted down here instead of at 27th. The Buccaneers were also more likely to draft a defensive lineman than the Bengals are based on their prices.

Props used: CIN to draft OL with first pick (+125), Green drafted in top 32 (-250), Green draft position O/U 27.5, O/U 7.5 OL drafted in first round (U -200)

32. Detroit Lions: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Andrew Booth Jr. is not very likely to last all the way to 32nd. His odds say he’ll go earlier and so do most analysts. However, this is the most likely scenario based on all the other props I looked at in this exercise. Unlikely in real life? Yeah, but this mock isn’t meant to be predictive.

Props used: Booth Jr. drafted in top 32 (-175), Booth Jr. draft position O/U 28.5 (U -190), DET to draft DB with first pick (+600)

How well do sportsbooks do?

This was an exercise I did last year. It scored 35 points based on The Huddle Report’s industry-respected grading system:

  • 1 point for each correct first round player
  • 1 point for each player-to-team match
  • 2 points if you get both right

35 points isn’t great compared to the top NFL mock drafters, placing 112th among graded entries. However, even the top experts in the industry hit about 50% of players and no more than that. The fact is, NFL Draft information is shrouded by smokescreens and secrecy so other teams can’t make moves.

The 2021 leader scored 59 points, matching exactly half the first round players to their teams (16). He correctly guessed 27/32 first rounders.

While our mock draft had very few matches (seven), it scored extremely well in predicting which players will go in the first round, hitting 28 of them– tied for the best among scored mocks.

How will we do this year? We’ll find out Thursday night.

Brett Gibbons Avatar
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Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

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