The NFL Draft remains on as scheduled for Thursday, April 23, running through Saturday, April 25. While it will not be held in Las Vegas with team officials and players live on site, the annual event will be broadcast with plenty of analysis and there will be ample cutaways to team war rooms and the homes of players.
In this page, you can find background and advice for betting on the NFL Draft. Below we highlight the top five candidates to become the first offensive linemen to be selected with draft history and context to help you place bets. There is a lot of balance at the position and heated debates surrounding which player will be selected first, so get your research started here.
NFL draft odds: First OL drafted
How to bet on first OL drafted
At most online sportsbooks, you can find options for several NFL Draft bets including the first player drafted at each position. To find this section click the NFL tab and find a tab for “First Pick by Position” then view the odds listed below.
Some clear-cut positions such as QB have a clear favorite, like Joe Burrow (-10000 at DraftKings Sportsbook). Those odds indicate that a $10,000 bet on Burrow would only cash $100 if successful. More competitive positions, such as OL, have two players, Mekhi Becton and Tristian Wirfs, tied with the +175 odds at DraftKings. A successful $100 bet on either player would cash $175 and a $100 bet on underdog Jedrick Wills to be selected first could net $250.
NFL Draft: 2020 OL profiles
Mekhi Becton, Louisville: Standing over 6-foot-7 and weighing over 360 pounds, Becton certainly fits the mold of a foundational left tackle. While he seems to rely on his natural ability to a large extent, Becton hardly faced cupcake competition in the ACC and shined in matchups against Notre Dame and Clemson. While the Chargers (No. 6 overall) signed RT Bryan Bulaga to replace Russell Okung, they could consider Becton as their new LT to protect Tyrod Taylor. Becton’s size leaves him somewhat vulnerable to skilled edge rushers, which could be less of an issue for a mobile QB.
Tristan Wirfs, Iowa: Whereas Becton is a bit bigger and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills is more versatile, Wirfs might be the most complete prospect in this trio. He’s 6-foot-5, 322 pounds and has great technique in both the run and pass game. His football IQ and reliability makes him a low-risk option early in the first round and exactly the type of solid addition that the Giants (No. 4 overall) could use at RT or even convert to a guard.
Jedrick Wills, Alabama: Wills may have played RT at Alabama in front of a lefty QB, but he could definitely shift around the line at the pro level. The 6-foot-4, 320-pounder is easily the most athletic option at the top of the draft. His ability to get downfield and make blocks is a dream for teams that feature the screen game, such as the Giants or Chargers. The Panthers (No. 7) could draw up images of Wills springing blocks for Christian McCaffrey down the field that will leave new coach Matt Rhule’s mouth watering.
Andrew Thomas, Georgia: What’s the biggest commonality between stud RBs Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, and incoming rookie D’Andre Swift? Mr. Thomas, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound mauler at LT, who won the Jacobs Trophy awarded to the best blocker in the SEC this past season. Since his hands may be better than his feet, Thomas is another candidate to move inside and play guard, but the Browns (No. 10) reportedly have eyes on him as a potential fit at LT. That could reunite him with Chubb in a power-blocking scheme that’s suitable to his skills.
NFL Draft OL history
Here is a list of the first offensive linemen taken in each NFL Draft going back to 2010.
|Year||Team||Player||College||Pick (No. overall)|
|2018||San Francisco||Mike McGlinchey||Notre Dame||9|
|2016||Baltimore||Ronnie Stanley||Notre Dame||6|
|2014||St. Louis||Greg Robinson||Auburn||2|
|2013||Kansas City||Eric Fisher||Central Michigan||1|
NFL Draft betting strategy and trends
For years, an offensive tackle (and primarily a left tackle) would go within the first 4-9 picks like clockwork. In 2013, a LT went first, second (Luke Joeckel), and fourth (Lane Johnson), but the trend has slowed recently with relatively weak classes in 2017 and 2019. This year there are four extremely talented tackles that could all go within the first 10 picks, it’s mostly about team fit.
It’s worth noting that the Giants haven’t drafted an OL in the first round since 2015 (Ereck Flowers), but they definitely have a need at RT this year. The Lions are reportedly eyeing top defensive prospects at No. 3 and the Redskins are likely to take either Chase Young or Tua Tagovailoa at No. 2, leaving the Giants, Dolphins (No. 5), and Chargers as the most likely candidates to take a lineman. The Dolphins and Chargers both shored up their line in free agency, and Miami has a defensive-minded coach in Brian Flores who might decide to wait on OL until his team drafts at No. 18. The Chargers haven’t taken an OL in the first round since 2013 (D.J. Fluker), so figuring out which lineman the Giants are most interested in could unlock this competitive betting market.