2022 NFL Draft Odds: LB

Odds, trends and analysis

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The NFL Draft begins April 28 and will be held in Las Vegas. A pair of top-flight linebackers hope to hear their name called on the opening night of the draft: Georgia’s Nakobe Dean and Utah’s Devin Lloyd. Below, we’ll look at NFL Draft odds and the rundown on the 2022 linebacking corps.

NFL Draft odds: First LB drafted

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Devin Lloyd
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-175
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-160
Quay Walker
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+175
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+170
Nakobe Dean
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+750
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+750
Christian Harris
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+5000
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+4500
Chad Muma
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+5000
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+5000
Troy Anderson
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+10000
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+10000

How to bet on first LB drafted

When searching your preferred sportsbook for a full slate of NFL Draft odds, find the tab labeled “First Pick By Position” or something similar. Here you should be able to select “First LB Drafted” to find the site’s offerings. From there, you can find the odds for some of the top linebackers to be drafted.

NFL Draft: 2022 LB profiles

Devin Lloyd, Utah

While Lloyd wasn’t a national award winner, he’s the most highly-rated linebacker in this draft class. PFF’s Sam Monson mocked Lloyd all the way up at seventh to the New York Giants, though it’s not a trendy pick. Lloyd was the clear leader in the locker room at Utah and brings incredible awareness and instinct to the table. However, assessments peg him as a two-down, not three-down, linebacker due to his weakness defending the pass. He improved in the area in the 2021 season, but Lloyd was made a non-factor in the Rose Bowl against pass-heavy Ohio State.

Quay Walker, Georgia

You won’t find a player who shot up their position odds boards faster than Quay Walker. His odds dropped like a rock, from +1400 to +170 at FanDuel Sportsbook, to be the first linebacker off the board. The culprit? ESPN’s Matt Miller definitively said Walker “doesn’t get past New England” at 21.

Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Dean was the Dick Butkus Award winner for the nation’s top linebacker. He’s powerful and instinctive, overcoming his undersized stature with incredible speed and craftiness. However, that size is of concern, particularly in the NFL. If a lineman is able to lock onto Dean, he’s out of the play. Particularly, his arms are shorter than desired and his Relative Athletic Score rates him “very poor” in the size department (he only stands 5′ 11″). However, his athleticism and coverage ability will get Dean drafted highly. Will be fall on Day 1? His -300 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook seem to suggest so.

Christian Harris, Alabama

Like Dean, the biggest knock on Harris is his size (6′ 0″, 228 pounds). Where his size helps him is against the pass, where he’s able to use athleticism and quickness to cover scat backs and slot receivers regularly. “Undersized” as he may be, Harris is an exceptional hitter, delivering a few licks in the National Championship Game that made highlight reels. His name was overshadowed by teammate Will Anderson during much of the 2021 season, but Harris is one of the better linebacking prospects in this class.

Chad Muma, Wyoming

Muma was a finalist for the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker, ultimately losing to Nakobe Dean. Is it time to crown Wyoming “LB U” after having two linebackers named finalists in three years (Logan Wilson)? While Muma is unlikely to be the first linebacker off the board, his versatility and “positionless” style makes him an attractive prospect. Most evaluations call Muma a sub player or rotational backer unlike the others on this list who are listed as two- and three-down players.

NFL Draft LB history

Here is a list of the first linebackers taken in each NFL Draft going back to 2010.

YearTeamPlayerCollegePick (No. overall)
2021DallasMicah ParsonsPenn StateNo. 12
2020ArizonaIsaiah SimmonsClemsonNo. 8
2019Tampa BayDevin WhiteLSUNo. 5
2018ChicagoRoquan SmithGeorgiaNo. 8
2017ArizonaHassan ReddickTempleNo. 13
2016ChicagoLeonard FloydGeorgiaNo. 9
2015JacksonvilleDante FowlerFloridaNo. 3
2014OaklandKhalil MackBuffaloNo. 5
2013ClevelandBarkevious MingoLSUNo. 6
2012CarolinaLuke KuechlyBoston CollegeNo. 9
2011DenverVon MillerTexas A&MNo. 2
2010DallasRolando McClainAlabamaNo. 8

NFL Draft betting strategy and trends

When it comes to betting on the NFL Draft, it’s important to think predictively. Whether or not your evaluation of Player X being better than Player Y is inconsequential if NFL executives don’t feel the same. Even draft analysts’ rundown of certain players or their thoughts on the direction defenses should go at linebacker don’t matter if whoever’s picking doesn’t agree.

Last year, five linebackers were drafted in the first round (note: some of these are OLB/DE hybrid players): Micah Parsons, Zaven Collins, Jamin Davis, Jayson Oweh, and Joe Tyron. Since 2017, at least four linebackers have been drafted in the first round, trends that suggest we could see some surprises in this draft. However, this class is truly a two-man race between Lloyd and Dean.

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