Trey Wingo Looks Forward To ‘Insanity’ Of 2022 NFL Draft At Caesars Las Vegas

Written By Nicole Russo on April 27, 2022
Caesars NFL Draft

After a two-year wait, the 2022 NFL Draft is finally taking place in Las Vegas with Caesars Entertainment playing host.

Caesars Sportbook’s Chief Trends Officer Trey Wingo took TheLines behind the scenes of NFL Draft trends, the festivities, and what to expect if you are heading to the event.

For the first time since 2017 (Myles Garrett), a quarterback won’t go first overall. Big-picture, what’s the impact of that?

It changes everything. This is a quarterback-driven league. Since 2001, barring someone doing something absolutely insane (which they do at the draft), this will only be the sixth time that a quarterback doesn’t go No. 1. You could probably make an argument that a quarterback shouldn’t go in the top 10, and arguably shouldn’t go (maybe) in the first round. But that won’t happen, someone’s going to reach on a quarterback. It’s perfect that the NFL Draft is in Vegas because this is the most unknown draft I can remember in decades. At least the last time we didn’t have a quarterback go No. 1 we knew it was going to be Garrett.

2022 First-Overall Draft Pick Odds Caesars Sportsbook

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Travon Walker
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-250
Aidan Hutchinson
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+225
Ikem Ekwonu
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+500
Evan Neal
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+1800
Kayvon Thibodeaux
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+2000
Malik Willis
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+4000
Charles Cross
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+10000
Ahmad Gardner
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+12500
Kenny Pickett
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+12500
Kyle Hamilton
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+12500
Derek Stingley Jr.
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+15000
Matt Corral
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+12500
Sam Howell
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+20000
Jordan Davis
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+12500

Your former ESPN co-workers release mock drafts. Who do you trust more, Mel Kiper or Todd McShay?

Mel is Mel. He’s been doing this since the Cretaceous period. Nothing against Todd, but Mel is a brand. He’s like McDonalds or Xerox. I will have a Mel with a side of McShay, but I would lean toward McShay on his No.2 pick (Travon Walker) over Kiper’s (Gardner). I love Sauce Gardner, but if I am building a team, would I rather have a corner back who could take out one player or an edge rusher who can disrupt the entire play by getting to the quarterback? Take the edge rusher anytime.

As a USC alum, I see Drake London’s top-10 odds slipping. Which team do you think might snag him?

I think a bunch of teams would love to get him. We are in the last week of lying season. From the end of the Super Bowl through free agency and pro days … everyone is lying. People say they are concerned he is slipping, but you put that out there for a reason. You want him to slip so he can fall to you. That’s the way this works. Anything that comes out now before the draft … don’t believe it. If he’s slipping, that’s because someone is afraid he’s going to go higher than they want him to. I still think he’s going to go no later than No. 15 or 16.

What is your favorite memory from covering the NFL Draft?

There’s a couple. You can’t do this and not have fun. The NFL Draft is the only true reality television show there is. None of us know what is going to happen. You’re out there without a net, and you’re out there in front of millions of people watching and hundreds of thousands of people screaming at you. The 2017 Draft will always be, for me, the draft that changed everything. It was the first completely-outdoor draft. We always did a pre-draft interview with Roger Goodell and Roger looks at me and sees 80,000 people wandering outside the Philadelphia Art Museum and says, “Trey, I do believe the draft has outgrown an indoor venue forever.” He was 100% right.

The 2020 (COVID) draft, I was really proud of that. Fifty-three days before the NFL draft, everything was set up in Vegas and it was going to be great. Then we shut it down. I did that draft by myself. I was the only one in the studio. We had Mel Kiper, Louis Riddick, Booger McFarland, Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner and Daniel Jeremiah all remote on a big screen. And we had 150 potential draftees remote. We had every NFL head coach and every NFL GM remote. That was when Bill Belichick’s dog was there and made a couple of picks. It was crazy, but it was a lot of fun. That was an intimate draft. Drafts should be insane. And it’s going to be insane here in Vegas. That will go down as the highest-rated draft of all time, but I missed the interaction with the fans.

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Caesars is hosting the NFL Draft. What is happening on-site?

We have a ton of interactive experiences. There are QR codes everywhere on property that you can scan and see exactly what is going on. We will have hall of famers, great former players, autograph sessions, and I will be doing a bunch of interviews with hall of famers talking about their draft experiences. Kenny Mayne and I will also be taking over all of the Caesars social feeds on Thursday night. We are diving in.

For more information about visiting the 2022 NFL Draft Experience at Caesars, click here.

Photo by Associated Press
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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

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