2021 NFL Draft Odds: WR

Odds, trends and analysis

Pass catching is always in style in the NFL, and teams are salivating over this year’s crop of wide receivers. Here we will look at NFL Draft odds for the WR position and speculate as to where the top names will land.

NFL Draft odds: First WR drafted

There’s a trio of immensely talented receivers at the top of draft boards but LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase has emerged as the favorite to be selected first. The Miami Dolphins are most likely to scoop him up at No. 6, as they probably would have gone the Chase route anyway if they had stayed at No. 3.

Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (+650) and his Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle (+550) are also locks to be picked on Night 1 of the Draft.

Other first-round-potential receivers include Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman and Florida’s Kadarius Toney. It would be a major shakeup for either of those players to be the first of the position off the board.

Click on the odds below to wager now.

First WR Drafted

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Ja'Marr Chase
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-650
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-950
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-800
Jaylen Waddle
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+550
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+1000
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+700
DeVonta Smith
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+650
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+750
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+800
Rashod Bateman
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+5000
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+6000
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+5000
Elijah Moore
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+6000
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OTB
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+15000

More WR betting options

DraftKings Sportsbook has set the Over/Under on number of wide receivers drafted in the first round at 5.5. To bet on that number now go here to sign up.

DK also has markets on second, third, fourth and fifth receiver picked. Check out those odds below and click to bet now.

2nd WR Selected
3rd WR Selected
4th WR Selected
5th WR Selected

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Jaylen Waddle
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-120
DeVonta Smith
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+110
Ja'Marr Chase
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+250
Elijah Moore
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+2500
Rashod Bateman
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+2500
Kadarius Toney
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+10000

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
DeVonta Smith
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-125
Jaylen Waddle
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+110
Ja'Marr Chase
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+800
Rashod Bateman
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+1000
Elijah Moore
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+2000
Kadarius Toney
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+2500
Ronadle Moore
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+5000
Terrace Marshall Jr.
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+8000

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Rashod Bateman
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+120
Terrace Marshall Jr.
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+225
Kadarius Toney
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+350
DeVonta Smith
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+550
Elijah Moore
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+650
Jaylen Waddle
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+850
Rondale Moore
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+2500
Ja'Marr Chase
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+6000
Amon-Ra St. Brown
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+8500

Game
04/29/2021
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Kadarius Toney
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+125
Rashod Bateman
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+175
Elijah Moore
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+450
Rondale Moore
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+500
Terrace Marshall Jr.
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+500
DeVonta Smith
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+1400
Amon-Ra St. Brown
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+2500
Jaylen Waddle
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+5000

How to bet on first WR drafted

One of the most common NFL Draft prop wagers are those that involve betting on which player will be the first drafted at each position. To find these wagers in an online sportsbook, click the NFL tab to navigate toward the 2021 Draft section. Once there, click on “First Pick by Position” to view the players in the market and their corresponding odds.

NFL Draft: 2021 WR profiles

Ja’Marr Chase, LSU: Chase was one of the best receivers in 2019 but did not play in 2020 (opt out). He pulled in a staggering 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns (both SEC-season records) on just 84 receptions in LSU’s prolific system, averaging over 21 yards per reception. He has the ideal combination of speed, route-running, and hands that makes him an excellent pro prospect and the favorite to be picked first. The one knock on Chase that keeps him from being the runaway favorite is that his numbers came in a record-breaking system under Joe Brady and he had the benefit of catching passes thrown by Joe Burrow (both a Heisman winner and multi-record setter); there’s no film on Chase without those two factors in place.

Regardless, the talent that Chase possesses makes him a top 10 overall prospect and he’s expected to go in the top 10. As mentioned above, the Dolphins at No. 6 looks like a likely landing spot. While not at the top of their needs list, Chase could go fifth to the Bengals and be reunited with his college quarterback. He could also be targeted by teams via a trade-up, though most of the teams at the top are WR needy. Bottom line: don’t expect him to be on the draft board past the sixth or seventh pick.

DeVonta Smith, Alabama: Smith had a terrific season in the wake of the injury to counterpart Jaylen Waddle, lighting the college football world on fire along the way. The main worry with Smith is his frame. He sits at about 175 pounds but his ability to make tacklers miss and his grittiness in traffic makes up for any insecurities there.

Whether he was a product of an Alabama system and volume (due to Waddle being out) is a point often found in scouting reports. Smith will be an early-first round pick for certain, it’s just a matter of where? He’s in the conversation at the number 6 pick to Miami and also to teams like Detroit (7), the New York Giants (11) and the New England Patriots (15). If there’s one player that could see a first round slide, Smith is a likely candidate. Teams seem to be higher on both Chase and Waddle.

Jaylen Waddle, Alabama: Before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, Waddle was on pace to put up DeVonta Smith numbers and potentially win the Heisman Trophy himself. In six games, Waddle hauled in almost 600 yards and four touchdowns at over 21 yards per reception. As the Alabama passing offense continued to evolve, eventually turning Smith into a production machine, it’s worth wondering what statline Waddle could have finished with.

He’s a bit bulkier than Smith (weighing 182 pounds at 5′ 10″) and is comparably fast to him, often flat out winning foot races en route to a touchdown. Waddle was capable of putting up numbers while sharing the pie with dynamic receivers like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and DeVonta Smith (not to mention dynamic running backs Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris).

Rashod Bateman, Minnesota: Rashod Bateman almost didn’t play in 2020, initially opting out of the season before changing his mind. He did eventually pass on the Gophers’ last few games, announcing his re-opting out in late November. Bateman shared the field with now-Bucs receiver Tyler Johnson in 2019, still putting up over 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. He thrived at Minnesota with pristine route-running and excellent technique. Bateman would work best in the NFL in a system like Johnson landed in with a vertical offense and a competent quarterback.

Mock drafts don’t necessarily have Bateman landing in that ideal system, with the receiver landing somewhere near the back of the first round. Teams that could take interest in him include the Colts (21), Jets (23), Ravens (27) or Packers (29). While projected as a first round talent, Bateman could fall into the early second, which many analysts do project. However, he could also be taken as high as the late teens or early 20s by teams like Washington or Chicago. It’d be a surprise to see him drafted ahead of any of the aforementioned receivers, though.

Kadarius Toney, Florida: Another year, another Florida speedster to enter the NFL. Kadarius Toney is a 4.4-second 40-yard dash kind of guy who is featured prominently in the slot. He was utilized in the run game and was a multi-sport athlete in high school, making Toney especially dangerous with the football in his hands. He’ll likely find a niche in the NFL as a WR3 and slot guy in an up-tempo offense that airs the ball out. However, his role as a speedy slot guy doesn’t mean he’s undersized; Toney sits taller than Waddle and weighs just 10 pounds short of Chase.

Toney’s best landing spots include Kansas City (31), New Orleans (28), and Green Bay (29) at the end of the first round, though it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him slip into the second round. The Chiefs are an especially-dangerous landing spot for Toney, though Kansas City might be looking more into offensive linemen at that spot. Teams in the early second round that could grab Toney include Jacksonville (33), the New York Jets (34), or Detroit (41).

Rondale Moore, Purdue: Moore has been one of the most exciting players in the country for years and, potentially, Purdue’s most explosive players ever. He routinely terrorized good teams like Ohio State while showing he can single-handedly take over a football game (2018). The biggest question mark surrounding Moore is his durability; the receiver missed most of 2019 due to a recurring hamstring issue and another three games in 2020 due to a “lower body” injury. The second injury sent Moore’s draft stock into free fall, pushing him from initially a high first-round pick to a solidly Day 2 guy.

Whoever pulls the trigger on Moore is getting a major question mark with lots of risk. He’s extremely versatile, playing significant snaps from every receiving position to special teams to running back and Wildcat. Should Moore hold up physically, he could turn into one of the most explosive players in the NFL – among players like Tyreek Hill and Saquon Barkley.

Terrace Marshall, Jr., LSU: In the absence of Ja’Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall Jr. quickly became the favorite target of the LSU Tigers’ offense. He led the team in both receptions (48) and touchdowns (10) in just seven games. Marshall was excellent out of the slot but also saw plenty of time split out wide; he’s also one of the tallest receivers in the class at 6′ 3″. While he wasn’t burning defensive backs with blazing speed, Marshall is a big, physical target who’s excellent at the catch point. He has a good feel for soft spots on the field and has great vision after the catch.

For the majority of his career, Marshall was buried under Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, but mightily improved his draft stock in 2020. Currently, Marshall is a fringe first-rounder, landing with teams like Kansas City or New Orleans. He won’t go ahead of most guys on this list, but could surprise some should a team fall in love with his size and physicality.

NFL Draft WR history

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

YearTeamPlayerCollegePick (No. overall)
2020Las VegasHenry RuggsAlabama12
2019BaltimoreMarquise BrownOklahoma25
2018CarolinaDJ MooreMaryland24
2017TennesseeCorey DavisWestern Michigan5
2016ClevelandCorey ColemanBaylor15
2015OaklandAmari CooperAlabama4
2014BuffaloSammy WatkinsClemson4
2013St. LouisTavon AustinWest Virginia8
2012JacksonvilleJustin BlackmonOklahoma St.5
2011CincinnatiAJ GreenGeorgia4
2010DenverDemaryius ThomasGeorgia Tech22

NFL Draft betting strategy and trends

Last year’s draft class looks a lot like this year’s draft class, and it can be used to project what 2021 will look like. A class ago, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and CeeDee Lamb were a trio well above the rest of the group that were all projected to be picked in the top half of the first round. Jeudy and Ruggs were selected in the top half, but Lamb slipped to the Dallas Cowboys at 17 despite many scouts ranking him as the top receiver in the class. Could 2021 see a similar fall with Jaylen Waddle?

After those three went, Jalen Reagor went 21st to the Eagles and Justin Jefferson was picked 22nd to the Vikings. Brandon Aiyuk was a surprise, going 25th to the 49ers, rounding out the first round group of 2020. A utility player like Kadarius Toney or Rondale Moore could be a late-first round surprise to a team like New Orleans – which loves gadget players.

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