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2019 NFL Draft: Will Devin White or Devin Bush Be Selected First?

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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 linebacker class and analyzes which player is likely to be drafted first.

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 class is thin at off-ball linebacker, but everyone seems to agree that the two players at the top of the position — Devin White from Louisiana State and Devin Bush from Michigan — could be difference-making players as rookies and deserve to be selected in Round 1.

The draft is less than two weeks away, and for the first time ever it will be held in Nashville, TN.

Here’s the schedule for the seven rounds.

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

In this piece, I look at which linebacker is likeliest to be the first selected in the 2019 NFL draft.

2019 NFL Draft: First Linebacker to Be Selected

  • Devin White: -501
  • Devin Bush: +250
  • Mack Wilson: +2500
  • Blake Cashman: +4000
  • Joe Giles-Harris: +10000
  • Vosean Joseph: +10000

Odds are offered for six players, but the bottom four can be eliminated immediately. This prop will come down to White vs. Bush.

I’ve surveyed the most recent mock drafts of 20 respected analysts. In all of them, White and Bush are Round 1 selections — and Wilson, Cashman, Giles-Harris and Joseph aren’t.

2019 NFL Draft: Devin White vs. Devin Bush to Be Selected First

What strikes me about White and Bush is how similar they are and how all analysts seemingly go out of their way to say that Bush is almost as good as White.

  • Age: White – 21 | Bush – 21
  • Height: White – 6’0″ | Bush – 5’11”
  • Weight: White – 237 pounds | Bush – 234 pounds
  • 40-Yard Dash: White – 4.42 seconds | Bush – 4.43 seconds

In 2018, White won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker; Bush was a finalist.

By the numbers and by the tape, everyone agrees: White is great, and Bush is almost just as great. Almost nothing separates these guys.

And yet even though it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the difference between White and Bush is negligible, not one — literally not one — of the 20 mock drafts I’ve surveyed has Bush going ahead of White.

While the difference between White and Bush is small, it is also absolute. Everyone agrees that White is the better prospect.

Here are some numbers from the mocks.

  • Mean: White – 6.9 | Bush – 15.1
  • Median: White – 5 | Bush – 12
  • Mode: White – 5 | Bush – 11
  • Range: White – 4-11 | Bush – 10-25

In only four of the drafts does White fall out of the top 10. By contrast, Bush tops out at No. 10 in just one mock.

At -501, White has an 83.4% implied probability of being the first linebacker selected. His true odds, however, are probably north of 95%.

I’d bet on White all the way to -800.

The Pick: White (-501)


For daily player props, follow me in The Action Network app.

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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