2022 NFL Draft First Overall Pick Odds Tracker: Ikem Ekwonu Goes From 100-1 to 5-1 in 24 Hours
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2022 NFL Draft Odds
|Aidan Hutchinson||DE, Michigan||+135|
|Kayvon Thibodeaux||DE, Oregon||+160|
|Evan Neal||OL, Alabama||+275|
|Ikem Ekwonu||OT, NC State||+500|
|Kenny Pickett||QB, Pitt||+3500|
|Matt Corral||QB, Ole Miss||+5500|
|Derek Stingley Jr||CB, LSU||+5500|
|DeMarvin Leal||DE, Texas A&M||+6500|
|Kyle Hamilton||S, Notre Dame||+9000|
|Charles Cross||OT, Mississippi State||+9000|
|Malik Willis||QB, Liberty||+10000|
|Carson Strong||QB, Nevada||+10000|
|George Karlaftis||CB, Florida||+10000|
|Nakobe Dean||LB, Georgia||+10000|
|David Ojabo||DE, Michigan||+12000|
|Desmond Ridder||QB, Cincinnati||+15000|
|Drake London||OL, Texas A&M||+15000|
|Tyler Lindebaum||WR, Ohio State||+15000|
|Kenyon Green||OT, Texas A&M||+15000|
|Garrett Wilson||WR, Ohio State||+15000|
The 2022 NFL Draft could be the first in four years in which a quarterback doesn’t go first overall. That’s the way the betting market sees it right now, anyway.
The big story this week, however, has been N.C. State lineman Ikem Ekwonu, who went from 100-1 to 5-1 over a 24-hour span on Jan. 19.
The Jaguars have the first pick and are set at quarterback with Trevor Lawrence, so it’s likely they select an offensive or defensive lineman.
Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral, and Liberty’s Malik Willis are the top options at QB on the DraftKings odds board, but Pickett is still a longshot at 35-1.
Nevada’s Carson Strong, UNC’s Sam Howell, and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder are the only three other quarterbacks further down the board.
NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus mock has Thibodeaux going first 37% of the time, the highest of any player. But it’s rare that QB-needy teams pass up quarterbacks at No. 1 overall. We could also see a QB-needy team trade up — the Giants have two picks in the top 10, for example.
They build more hold into markets like the NFL Draft to protect themselves because they are much more subjective than others.
Here is how things look in mid-January:
Who Is the NFL Draft No. 1 Pick Favorite?
Let’s dive into each key contender below:
1. Aidan Hutchinson (+135)
Hutchinson has turned in some monster games for the Michigan Wolverines this fall, racking up nine total sacks. He opted to return to Michigan instead of entering last year’s NFL Draft, and it’s paying off.
2. Kayvon Thibodeaux (+160)
A few of the league’s worst teams have their quarterbacks of the future after the last few NFL Drafts. So Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is widely considered the favorite to go first, either because there isn’t a consensus top signal caller in this class or his raw talent is just too good to pass up. Thibodeaux was the No. 1 overall player in his recruiting class three years ago.
3. Evan Neal (+275)
An offensive-line needy team that already has its quarterback in place would be thrilled to land Neal — perhaps even at No. 1 should the NFL Draft order shake out that way. The junior is a three-year starter at Alabama, playing left guard, right tackle and now left tackle each for a season.
4. Ikem Ekwonu (+500)
Ikem Ekwonu came out of nowhere — 100-1 to 5-1 — to be the No. 1 overall pick on Jan. 20. The N.C. State offensive lineman doesn’t have the name recognition as some others, but The Athletic’s latest mock draft has him first overall.
5. Kenny Pickett (+3500)
Pickett has been around forever, and has started to work his way into the first-round conversation after a monster season for Pitt. He doesn’t have the physical tools of some other quarterbacks, but can make every throw on the field.
6. Matt Corral (+5500)
Corral has worked his way up the board after a stellar season at Ole Miss. He was also a top recruit, originally attended Florida, and linked up with Lane Kiffin and the Rebels before last season.
An gruesome-looking injury in the Sugar Bowl may have hurt his stock, but it turned out to be just a sprained ankle.
7. Derek Stingley Jr (+5500)
A defensive back hasn’t gone first overall since Gary Glick from Colorado A&M in 1956.
8. DeMarvin Leal (+6500)
A modern defensive lineman, Leal has been used as a five-technique for Texas A&M and lines up all over the field.
9. Kyle Hamilton (+9000)
Safety isn’t a premium position so it’s unlikely he goes first, but Hamilton was an impact player at Notre Dame.
10. Charles Cross (+9000)
The Mississippi State offensive tackle has been mocked in the top 10 lately but is behind several other tackles on most big boards.
11. Malik Willis (+10000)
Willis has loads of raw talent, including speed and a big arm, but decision-making has held him back at times. Still, there won’t be a shortage of teams that believe they can turn his upside into NFL stardom.
12. Carson Strong (+10000)
Strong was a breakthrough NFL Draft candidate entering this season after averaging 8.1 yards per attempt with 27 TDs and 4 INTs in 2020. He hasn’t been quite as efficient this year but is still among the favorites to be the No. 1 pick. Strong has prototypical size and arm strength at 6-foot-4, but isn’t as mobile or dynamic as many modern quarterbacks.
13. Sam Howell (+10000)
Howell was a Heisman frontrunner entering 2021, and a favorite to go No. 1 overall, but North Carolina’s struggles have dinged his draft status a bit this fall. Everything is down after last year — completion percentage, yards per attempt, TD-INT ratio. Losing two NFL receivers and two NFL running backs last offseason certainly hurt.
14. George Karlaftis (+10000)
Karlaftis sat our Purdue’s bowl game and some mocks have him in the top 10.
15. Nakobe Dean (+10000)
Dean has been one of the key cogs in Georgia’s elite defense, and will be an immediate contributor for a team that needs speed and athleticism.
16. David Ojabo (+12000)
Ojabo has been right alongside Hutchinson in a lot of backfields this season, but it’s unlikely he’ll go first overall.
17. Desmond Ridder (+15000)
Ridder’s had a wonderful college career at Cincinnati, but lacks the accuracy and poise in the pocket to make him the first overall pick.
18. Drake London (+15000)
London has been a little banged up the last two years at USC but should be one of the first wide receivers off the board. He’s been mocked to the Jets recently.
19. Tyler Lindebaum (+15000)
Iowa has churned out another elite offensive lineman who should contribute right away.
20. Kenyon Green (+15000)
The interior offensive lineman from Texas A&M is a longshot to go first, but scouts believe he has a high floor and will become a long-term piece of someone’s offensive line.
21. Garrett Wilson (+15000)
Wilson put up slightly better numbers than Chris Olave at Ohio State this season and should be a first-round pick.