The 2022 NFL Draft begins April 28 in Las Vegas. While the class in general is seen as weaker than previous years, there’s plenty of intrigue surrounding these players, particularly in the quarterback class. For the first time in years, there’s no consensus No. 1 quarterback. What does the crop look like? Who will be drafted first overall? What do NFL Draft odds look like for the quarterbacks?
Below, we’ll take a look at NFL Draft odds for the 2022 QB class. Use this as a guide to betting on the QB class and players.
NFL draft odds: First QB drafted
The NFL world is eagerly awaiting the 2023 QB class which features multiple potential superstars. This year, however, the talent seems to be lagging behind. For the teams in real need of a quarterback, this is actually encouraging. Clubs like Pittsburgh and New Orleans don’t have premium picks, but the cards may lay to where a 2022 top quarterback falls in their lap.
Malik Willis is the favorite at most major books. He’s on odds-on favorite, hovering somewhere around -150, but he doesn’t quite have the spot locked up. For comparison, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence of drafts past has odds surpassing -3000. Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett hangs around, with most books pitting him around +150 or so to be the first guy drafted.
The other quarterbacks are seen as longer-shots, though whispers have surrounded Desmond Ridder being a surprise pick.
How to bet on first QB drafted
When searching your preferred sportsbook for a full slate of NFL Draft odds, find the tab labeled something along the lines of “First Pick By Position.” Here you should be able to select “First QB Drafted” to find the site’s offerings.
NFL Draft: 2022 QB profiles
Malik Willis, Liberty
As the significance of historically-college offensive schemes makes its way into the NFL, the league has shifted been towards “traits guys” over more supposed-polished pro prospects. Teams are chasing the next Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, or Lamar Jackson after each of them lit the NFL on fire in their own years.
Willis is the current favorite to go first due to his mobility and rocket arm. He’s slightly undersized (6′ 0″), but offers the highest ceiling in terms of running the ball. Willis would thrive in an RPO-based offense that’s been popping up more and more in the pros. The Panthers are the first team ready to take a quarterback at six overall, though winds blowing suggest they may pass on a rookie this class. The Seahawks at ninth overall are currently the popular landing spot, though they did not host Willis in their pre-Draft meetings.
Kenny Pickett, Pitt
Pickett was a Heisman finalist after rapidly ascending to the top of college football. While he’s seen as a generally more “pro style” pocket passer, Pickett’s shown plenty of athleticism in his time at Pitt. The biggest knock on him is the often-criticized hand size metric, where he measured in historically small. This isn’t a death sentence for QBs in the league and it’s becoming more and more tired among scouts to stress over hand size. Recently, Joe Burrow fell victim to the hand size joke, but it’s not affected his play with the Bengals.
At 6′ 3″, 220 pounds, Pickett sits right in the ideal stature for a quarterback. His processing speed may be the best in the class and he’s the more accurate of the two frontrunners. He’s been strongly connected to the Panthers, though trends are pointing away from Carolina pulling the trigger on a QB this early.
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Late developments in the draft cycle all of a sudden started suggesting Ridder being an interesting longshot for the first QB off the board. Multiple sources began reporting that teams grade Ridder as a first round guy. The Seahawks only hosted one QB for their top-30 visits: Ridder. At the very least, it’s worth putting down fractions of a unit on his +1400 number.
Praise surrounds Ridder’s leadership at Cincinnati and his winning tendencies that made the Bearcats the first Group of Five program to make the College Football Playoff. However, accuracy and processing are common criticisms for him in this draft cycle. Still, late offseason steam can be a powerful tool when projecting the NFL Draft.
Matt Corral, Ole Miss
While unlikely to be the first quarterback off the board, there is growing belief that Matt Corral could be drafted late on Day 1. His ascension under Jeff Lebby at Ole Miss brought Corral into the early Heisman conversations. He’s got a build that’s attractive to NFL teams (6′ 2″) and his accuracy saw Josh Allen-like improvement in 2021.
Corral is a true dual-threat quarterback, though his athletic ability isn’t to be confused with Malik Willis. Assessments of Corral do mention his need for improvement in processing speed and running through progressions. However, there’s no one glaring fault with him. With teams like New Orleans and Pittsburgh drafting in the mid first round, Corral could be scooped up should the top two guys go earlier.
How many QBs drafted in the first round?
The 2022 NFL Draft is on track to see the fewest quarterbacks taken in the first round since 2015, where just two first rounders were taken. However, this number may fluctuate. When markets first opened, DraftKings Sportsbook originally pit the number at over/under 3.5. That was quickly bet down to 2.5, with the over having the juice.
However, as noted, a few guys have been brought into the first round conversation, namely Ridder and Corral.
DraftKings Sportsbook has a “Total first round quarterbacks drafted” prop with the following odds:
- OVER 2.5 (-250)
- UNDER 2.5 (+190)
NFL Draft QB history
Here’s a list of the first QB taken in each NFL Draft going back to 2010.
|Year||Team||Player||College||Pick (No. overall)|
|2017||Chicago||Mitch Trubisky||North Carolina||2|
|2016||LA Rams||Jared Goff||Cal||1|
|2015||Tampa Bay||Jameis Winston||Florida State||1|
|2013||Buffalo||EJ Manuel||Florida State||16|
|2010||St. Louis||Sam Bradford||Oklahoma||1|
NFL Draft odds, strategy and trends
When considering betting on draft position, be sure to think predictively. Whether or not Malik Willis lands first on your own board is inconsequential; be sure to read the tea leaves, understand team tendencies, and follow beat writers closely for tips. Keep in mind that quarterbacks are a premium position, meaning teams will trade more assets and reach higher for them over other positions.
In every draft except one since 2010, a quarterback was selected in the top three picks. This is seen as an overall weaker class, but the last time a QB was not picked top three was 2013, where the Bills drafted EJ Manuel 16th overall.