2019 NFL Draft: How Many Defensive Backs Will Be Drafted in Round 1?

Apr 25, 2019 09:00 PM EDT
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Credit: USA TODAY Sports

  • The 2019 NFL Draft begins on April 25 and will be held in Nashville, TN.
  • Matthew Freedman breaks down the prop for how many defensive backs will be selected in Round 1.

Each day, I publish 1-2 pieces on props I like. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

The 2019 NFL draft is likely to be dominated by defensive linemen, offensive linemen and quarterbacks in Round 1. As a result, defensive backs as a group will likely fall down the board.

The draft is rapidly approaching, and for the first time ever it will be held in Nashville, TN.

Here’s the seven-round schedule.

  • Thursday, April 25: Round 1
  • Friday, April 26: Rounds 2-3
  • Saturday, April 27: Rounds 4-7

In this piece, I break down the prop for how many defensive backs will be drafted on Day 1.

The Action Network NFL Podcast: Mock Draft & Player Props

I talk about this prop on the most recent episode of The Action Network NFL Podcast with Ian Hartitz. Check out the show to hear our full discussion on the props I’m betting for the NFL draft.

2019 NFL Draft: How Many Defensive Backs Will Be Drafted in Round 1?

  • Over 4.5: +100
  • Under 4.5: -134

I first saw this prop at 5.5 last week and that’s where I bet it: Those were the days.

But I still think there’s value on the under.

For previous articles, I consulted the 20 most recent mocks of respected analysts, but only a few people have updated their drafts in the wake of the Frank Clark trade, in which the Kansas City Chiefs sent the No. 29 overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks.

So I’ve surveyed just six mocks for this piece, but I think that number is still sufficient, especially considering the consistency among the drafts and the high quality of the draftniks.

In not one of these mocks are five-plus defensive backs drafted in Round 1. The average number is 3.3 and the median is three.

Cornerbacks Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy are regularly mocked in Round 1, but after them there are no consensus Day 1 selections at the position. Cornerbacks Deandre Baker and Rock Ya-Sin are respectable candidates, but neither has emerged as a locked-in must-draft prospect.

And some mocks don’t even have a safety slated for Day 1. Johnathan Abram and Darnell Savage Jr. could sneak into the bottom half of Round 1, but it’s doubtful that we’ll see two safeties drafted on Thursday.

The biggest challenge facing the defensive backs is that the first one off the board has an average draft position of 21.2. In five of the six mocks surveyed, the first defensive back isn’t selected till pick No. 20 at the earliest.

So what are the odds that at least five defensive backs will be drafted in the span of 12-13 picks at the end of Round 1? Not good.

I’ll bet the under down to -250.

The Pick: Under 4.5 (-134)


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Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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