2018 NFL Draft Prop Motherload: Darnold vs. Saquon at No. 2 & Other Bets

2018 NFL Draft Prop Motherload: Darnold vs. Saquon at No. 2 & Other Bets article feature image

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The draft is a few days away, and books have posted some of the most mouthwateringly juicy props on the market.

This NFL offseason, we’ve published a lot of prop pieces.

In this piece, I’m going to cruise through a lot of the draft props so that you can make as much money as possible while reading as few words as possible.

Ian Hartitz contributed research to this piece.

Will Odell Beckham Jr. Be Included in an NFL Draft Day Trade?

  • Yes +350
  • No -600

Since the combine, I’ve been doing an NFL Draft Preview podcast series for RotoViz Radio, interviewing beat reporters for each team in order to get as much close-to-the-source information as possible. The Giants beat reporter I interviewed thinks it is highly unlikely the Giants will trade OBJ simply because 1) they will want picks for this year, not next year, and 2) no team with enough capital in this year’s draft is likely to be willing to trade the picks necessary to acquire OBJ.

My lean: No -600

Total NFL Draft Invitees Not to Be Selected in Round 1

  • Over 2.5 (-150)
  • Under 2.5 (+120)

There are 22 propsects attending the NFL draft. In my most recent mock draft, I have three of these players slipping out of Round 1, and two of the invitees barely make the cut at picks Nos. 31-32.

My lean: Over 2.5 (-150)

Last Player Selected of NFL Draft Invitees

Shaquem Griffin is great — but the Central Florida linebacker is a tweener player without an obvious position to play in the NFL. As a result, he’s unlikely to be drafted before Round 3 at the earliest, whereas all the other prospects attending the combine are likely to be drafted by the end of Round 2 at the latest.

My lean: Shaquem Griffin +150

NFL Draft No. 1 Overall Pick Hugs His Mom First

  • Yes -300
  • No +400

There are probably three primary options for first hug: Mom, dad, or significant other. A distant fourth might be grandmother. Why mom should be a massive favorite is beyond me. Among No. 1 overall picks to attend the draft since 2007, only Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, and JaMarcus Russell were shown on camera hugging their mothers first. Andrew Luck, Jadeveon Clowney, and Sam Bradford all hugged older men (probably their dads) after being drafted. Jared Goff, Eric Fisher, and Jake Long were all shown walking to the stage before anyone could see which family member they hugged first. At best a mom-first hug seems like a 60% proposition and almost certainly lower.

My lean: No +400

NFL Draft No. 1 Overall Pick Cries (Before Goodell Greeting)

  • Yes +200
  • No -300

Clowney is the only No. 1 pick of the last decade clearly to cry after being announced as the top selection and before meeting the NFL commissioner. The No. 1 pick will likely come down to Josh Allen and Sam Darnold, both of whom have had months to prepare mentally and emotionally for the possibility of being the first player chosen. Of course, Darnold mentioned on ESPN earlier today (Monday 4/23) that he might cry a little after being picked, but 1) that might not happen and 2) he might not be chosen with the No. 1 pick.

My lean: No -300

NFL Draft Round 1 Selection Refuses to Make Contact With Roger Goodell

  • Yes +600
  • No -1000

Of the 22 prospects in attendance, 19-21 will be selected in Round 1. It only takes one of those guys to refuse contact with Goodell to make this prop fly, but draft night will probably not strike any of these young men (there with their families) as the time to make a statement, and (to my knowledge) none of the potential first-rounders are known to be demonstrably political.

My lean: No -1000

Length (Hours) of NFL Draft Round 1

  • Over 4 (-115)
  • Under 4 (-115)

Each Round 1 pick comes with a 10-minute limit, so the Thursday night event could last almost five-and-a-half hours if every team took its full allotment of time, but the league tries to keep the action moving. Last year, Round 1 lasted less than three-and-a-half hours, and the year before that it was roughly three hours and 40 minutes.

My lean: Under 4 (-115)

Drake Song Is Used as a Walk-Up Song for Any NFL Draft Rd 1 Selection

  • Yes -200
  • No +150

Seriously, I don’t think I need to analyze this prop or any of the next five props. At the same time, you should be aware that I know nothing about any music produced after 2006.

My lean: Yes -200

Future Song Is Used as a Walk-Up Song for Any NFL Draft Rd 1 Selection

  • Yes -250
  • No +200

I’m assuming that Future is a pop star and not, in fact, the future.

My lean: Yes -250

Lil Wayne Song Is Used as a Walk-Up Song for Any NFL Draft Rd 1 Selection

  • Yes -200
  • No +150

I actually know who Lil Wayne is.

My lean: Yes -200

Kendrick Lamar Song Is Used as a Walk-Up Song for Any NFL Draft Rd 1 Selection

  • Yes -300
  • No +240

I’m actually pissed there’s not a “Kendrick Lamar Jackson” musician/player prop.

My lean: Yes -300

Cardi B Song Is Used as a Walk-Up Song for Any NFL Draft Rd 1 Selection

  • Yes -115
  • No -115

Would it be a surprise if she did the National Anthem at the next Super Bowl?

My lean: Yes -115

Kodak Black Song Is Used as a Walk-Up Song for Any NFL Draft Rd 1 Selection

  • Yes -115
  • No -115

Why not?

My lean: Yes -115

NFL Draft No. 1 Overall Selection

  • Darnold -150
  • Allen +210
  • Lots of others

Hopefully you jumped on this one in early January when Allen was +650 and Darnold was +150. Of the two, Darnold is probably the better player — he’s No. 1 in our quarterback rankings — but I prefer Allen for the prop: Allen is the type of ‘upside’/project quarterback Browns general manager John Dorsey has historically liked.

My lean: Allen +210

NFL Draft First Quarterback Selected

  • Darnold -350
  • Allen +350
  • Lots of others

When you think about this prop in combination with the previous one, the implication is that if Allen doesn’t go No. 1 then he has a drastically reduced chance of being drafted before Darnold, which is probably true. If you think that Darnold will be the first quarterback drafted, you should probably get your action on the “No. 1 overall selection” prop since the first player is unlikely to be a non-quarterback. If you think that Allen will be the No. 1 pick and thus the first quarterback off the board, you should get your action on this prop with the better odds.

My lean: Allen +350

NFL Draft No. 2 Overall Selection

  • Allen +200
  • Darnold +350
  • Barkley +450
  • Lots of others

The Giants beat reporter I mentioned earlier has reason to believe that the Giants are most interested in Darnold and running back Saquon Barkley. He thinks they slightly prefer Barkley to Darnold, but just slightly.

My lean: Barkley +450 and hedge with Darnold +350

NFL Draft Second Running Back Selected

  • Guice -450
  • MIchel +550
  • Lots of others

Sony Michel is a talented player, but Derrius Guice is one of the top players in our running back rankings, and he profiles as a future top-10 back while Michel looks like more of a change-of-pace back. GIven the odds, however, I’d probably stay away from this prop.

My lean: Guice -450

Baker Mayfield Is Drafted by Cardinals as Psychic Predicted

  • Yes +800
  • No -1200

In my first mock draft (in January), I had Baker Mayfield mocked to the Cardinals at No. 15, but Mayfield has been substantially linked to the Jets at No. 3, and the Cardinals beat reporter I spoke with said that the Cardinals plan to shift to more of a run-focused offense and seem to be fine with a quarterback group of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon.

My lean: No -1200

Baker Mayfield Draft Position

  • Over 4 (-115)
  • Under 4 (-115)

In my most recent mock draft, I have Mayfield going to the Jets at No. 3.

My lean: Under 4 (-115)

Lamar Jackson Draft Position

  • Over 17.5 (-115)
  • Under 17.5 (-115)

In my most recent mock draft, I have Lamar Jackson going to the Patriots at No. 31. Based on my conversations with a number of beat reporters, I think that some quarterback-needy teams will choose not to select passers because they (wrongly) believe that they addressed the position sufficiently in free agency. Also, some executives on ho seats might choose not to invest a first-round pick in a player they believe will need time to develop on the bench, which could cause Jackson to fall down the board.

My lean: Over 17.5 (-115)

Shaquem Griffin Draft Position

  • Over 111.5 (-115)
  • Under 111.5 (-115)

Griffin lacks a true NFL position because of his size, but he has great athleticism and an even better narrative. This line is probably about right, but I could see him being drafted near the top of Round 4, right after the top 100.

My lean: Under 111.5 (-115)

Total Quarterbacks Selected in NFL Draft Round 1

  • Over 4.5 (-115)
  • Under 4.5 (-115)

Darnold, Allen, Mayfield, and Josh Rosen are locked-in first-rounders. All of them are likely to be selected in the top half of Round 1. I have Jackson slotted to the Patriots at No. 31, but I think that’s his absolute floor. The sample is small, but historically young quarterbacks with his type of production are selected in Round 1.

My lean: Over 4.5 (-115)

Total Running Backs Selected in NFL Draft Round 1

  • Over 2.5 (-115)
  • Under 2.5 (-120)

In no reputable mock draft have I seen more than two backs go off the board in Round 1.

My lean: Under 2.5 (-120)

Total Wide Receivers Selected in NFL Draft Round 1

  • Over 4.5 (-115)
  • Under 4.5 (-120)

In no reputable mock draft have I seen more than three wide receivers go off the board in Round 1. In our wide receiver rankings, we’ve identified three wideouts with strong first-round potential.

This line is egregious.

My lean: Under 4.5 (-120)


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.

Pictured above: Saquon Barkley

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