Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ole Miss Rebels wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (14)
- The 2019 NFL Draft begins on April 25 and will be held in Nashville, TN.
- Matthew Freedman looks at the odds for when the first wide receiver will be drafted.
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 has a relatively deep group of wide receivers, but there’s no consensus on who the top player is at the position or when the first wideout should come off 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 odds for when the top receiver will be drafted.
2019 NFL Draft: Pick to Draft First Wide Receiver
- Over 15.5: +110
- Under 15.5: -150
I love the over and think this prop is dramatically off.
I’ve surveyed the most recent Round 1 mock drafts of 20 respected analysts, and they give the first receiver selected an average draft position of 18.1 with a median of 19 and mode of 22.
After his explosive combine performance, D.K. Metcalf is most commonly the first wide receiver off the board in mocks, but he falls out of Round 1 in two of the 20 surveyed drafts, and in the remaining 18 he has a an average position of 19.2.
If you look at teams with picks in the top 15, it’s easy to envision all of them bypassing the wide receiver position.
No. 1 – Arizona Cardinals: They need a quarterback.
No. 2 – San Francisco 49ers: Edge defender Joey Bosa is too good to pass on at this pick.
No. 3 – New York Jets: If they stay at this pick, they will likely select either defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or edge defender Josh Allen.
No. 4 – Oakland Raiders: They will likely take whichever high-end defender the Jets pass on, or maybe they will select a quarterback.
No. 5 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They are set at wide receiver with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Justin Watson and Breshad Perriman.
No. 6 – New York Giants: They need a quarterback, and they just signed Golden Tate to “replace” the traded Odell Beckham Jr.
No. 7 – Jacksonville Jaguars: They could use an upgrade at wide receiver, but they are a run-first team in need of an offensive lineman, and they can get the top player at the position with this pick.
No. 8 – Detroit Lions: They have a settled three-wide receiver group of Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, and they traded away Golden Tate in the middle of last season because they seemingly want to focus on the running game.
No. 9 – Buffalo Bills: They signed John Brown and Cole Beasley this offseason, and Robert Foster flashed as a rookie last year, so their need at the position isn’t great. A strong edge or defensive tackle prospect will be available at this pick, and they need to improve their line.
No. 10 – Denver Broncos: They need a quarterback much more than a wide receiver, since they already have Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.
No. 11 – Cincinnati Bengals: They already have A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross, and they need upgrades at quarterback and offensive line much more than wide receiver.
No. 12 – Green Bay Packers: They just drafted three wide receivers last year, they re-signed Geronimo Allison this offseason and they have one of the NFL’s best receivers in Davante Adams.
No. 13 – Miami Dolphins: They could conceivably draft a wide receiver — their depth chart of Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant is unproven — but they also have so many needs at other positions, and they should be able to get a strong offensive or defensive lineman or maybe even a quarterback at this pick.
No. 14 – Atlanta Falcons: They already have one of the best wide receiver trios in the league with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu.
No. 15 – Washington Redskins: They could use an upgrade at wide receiver, but they could also really use one at quarterback, and head coach Jay Gruden is still dealing with the disappointing presence of the last first-round receiver he drafted in Josh Doctson.
It’s always possible that a team not highlighted here could trade into the top 15 to select a wide receiver — but I’m not sure why it would: The teams picking in the top half of Round 1 don’t seem likely to address the position with their premium picks.
So I’ll bet over 15.5, and I’d bet it to -120.
The pick: Over 15.5 (+110)
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