NFL Draft Betting Odds & Props: Position of First Selection Predictions for Jets, Cardinals, Chiefs & Saints
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: The Cardinals make an NFL Draft selection.
- The 2022 NFL Draft begins Thursday, and there are plenty of props available to bet across the board.
- One of those props includes position of first selection for every NFL team.
- Alex Hinton breaks down his prop picks for the Chiefs, Cardinals, Jets and Saints.
The needs for NFL teams change every season as rosters turn over through expiring contracts and fluctuating player performances. While some needs are addressed in free agency, it’s often more prudent for teams to fill those areas via the draft.
Teams have the opportunity to get a rookie on a cost-efficient deal that may offer the same production as a high-priced free agent in Year 1 — or will in time after some development.
Additionally, first-round picks come with an extra year of control with the fifth-year option on their contracts.
Draft strategies vary by team, as some franchises prefer to take the best player available on their board in the first round. However, others take a needs-based approach and look to address their biggest needs in the first round.
As it becomes clear which direction certain teams may go, there’s often value on which position they will select in the first round. There are a few spots I have my eye on.
Arizona Cardinals, Wide Receiver (+300 | FanDuel)
The Arizona Cardinals have not been shy about using draft capital on wide receivers. In the last four drafts, the Cardinals have spent second-round picks on Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, and Rondale Moore.
Additionally, they sent second- and fourth-round picks to the Houston Texans in exchange for DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins is still one of the game’s elite receivers, but the Cardinals could still use another receiver for Kliff Kingsbury’s spread attack. Kirk left for the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, with a four-year $84 million deal that changed the wide receiver market.
The Cardinals could be looking to replace his speed early on.
"My radar is certainly up for Arizona to take a receiver at 23, and maybe even trade up to get one"
Breer mentions the Cardinals wanting to add speed opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Says Jameson Williams is a name to watch should he fall.
— Johnny Venerable (@JohnnyVenerable) April 20, 2022
At this point, Jameson Williams may be a pipe dream for the Cardinals, barring a trade up. However, Jahan Dotson, Treylon Burks and Christian Watson should be available at 23 if the Cardinals decide to go receiver.
Chris Olave is another option if he takes a slight fall out of the top 20.
Kansas City Chiefs, Wide Receiver (+120 | DraftKings)
The Kansas City Chiefs are another team that will likely be looking to take a receiver early.
The Chiefs entered the offseason with a need at receiver and signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling in free agency. However, they traded No. 1 receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins after negotiations on a contract extension stalled.
The ideal replacement for Hill, in my opinion, would be Jameson Williams, although he is unlikely to last until the 29th pick. However, the Chiefs are armed with draft capital. They’re tied for the most picks overall with 12, but they also have four picks in the first two rounds and six picks in the top 103 selections.
So, if the Chiefs want to trade up for a receiver, they will be able to do so. After all, the Chiefs are no strangers to big moves in the draft. General manager Brett Veach moved up from No. 27 to No. 10 in order to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes. That move has worked out pretty well so far.
Williams and Garrett Wilson will be trade-up targets if the Chiefs want to replace Hill’s speed. Drake London could be another option if they opt for a big-bodied receiver instead. London could help the Chiefs’ red-zone issues as a jump-ball specialist.
Dotson, Watson and George Pickens could be options at 29 or 30.
New York Jets, Defensive Back (+250 | DraftKings)
The Jets could select a receiver early as well to give their young quarterback, Zach Wilson, another weapon to grow with. However, I think the Jets will be focused on the defensive side of the ball first.
That’s reflected in the market as well, as defensive lineman/edge (+125) and defensive back are the favorites for the first position selected by the Jets.
The Jets could go defensive line early, but there’s a real possibility that the first three picks are Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker. The Jets have been linked to Jermaine Johnson II and could select him fourth overall. However, the Jets may be able to get him at 10th overall.
The Jets also have needs in the secondary at cornerback and safety. They’ve been searching for a No. 1 corner for many years and could target Sauce Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr.
Two years ago, the Jets sent Jamal Adams to Seattle in exchange for 2021 and 2022 (No. 10) first-round picks and a 2021 third-round pick. New York also lost Marcus Maye to the Saints in free agency this offseason.
If the Jets do select a defensive back, the book that you use for this bet is important. FanDuel lists cornerback (+300) and safety (+1600) separately, while DraftKings lists defensive back. The odds are slightly better on FanDuel if the pick is a cornerback, but your wager would lose if they draft Kyle Hamilton.
DraftKings is the safer option here and still offers solid value at +250.
New Orleans Saints, Quarterback (+150 | DraftKings)
The Saints already completed one big trade this offseason, acquiring two 2022 first-round picks (No. 16 and No. 19) and a 2022 sixth-round pick (No. 194) from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick (No. 18), a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 second-round pick, plus a 2022 third-round (No. 101) and seventh-round selections (No. 237).
The Saints have a need at offensive tackle after Terron Armstead left for the Miami Dolphins in free agency. They could also use another receiver behind Michael Thomas, who will be returning from injury this season.
The Saints could go offensive tackle and wide receiver in the first round, but they may also be putting their chips in the middle to move up for a quarterback.
The Saints brought back Jameis Winston, who was solid in his first season as the New Orleans starter with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions in seven starts. However, he’s coming off a torn ACL and suffered damage to his MCL as well. The Saints also signed Andy Dalton to serve as Winston’s backup.
Neither Winston nor Dalton would be considered elite quarterbacks, but they give the Saints two options capable of starting this season. They also provide a perfect opportunity to develop a high-upside quarterback prospect like Malik Willis.
Big NFL Draft trade that signals two things to me:
1. #Eagles will give Jalen Hurts this season to prove he's the guy, but Howie Roseman wants to be prepared in case Hurts doesn't pull it off
2. #Saints gearing up to join the NFC South bidding war for a QB (likely Malik Willis) https://t.co/Fgi399vJGe
— Justin Hier (@HierJustin) April 4, 2022
It’s possible Willis makes it to 16, but the Saints may have to trade up to jump the Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks and maybe even Vikings to secure him. The Giants could be trade partners with the fifth and seventh overall picks as well as the Jets with picks four and 10 overall.