The 10 Offensive Line NFL Draft Props Worth Betting Thursday
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tristan Wirfs
Let me start out by saying — I’m a huge trenches guy. When handicapping the NFL, it’s easy to overlook the offensive line.
But, for every Lamar Jackson MVP season that steals headlines, there’s a Ravens offensive line ranked No. 2 overall by PFF in 2019 in front of him.
Despite the fact that we focus on skill position statistics, a major key to winning in the NFL is an adept and formidable offensive line. Some general managers know this, and are increasingly more likely to spend significant draft capital or salary investment on their lines than other skill positions.
It’s definitely not a sexy market, but I love offensive line draft props. In this article, I’ll give you 10 exclusive offensive line draft props to play on Thursday.
Most of these are available at DraftKings as of Wednesday afternoon.
This year, we see a crop of four tackles in the first tier — demonstrated by the odds for first offensive lineman drafted: Jedrick Willis, Alabama (-167); Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (+200); Andrew Thomas, Georgia (+600); Mekhi Becton, Louisville (+1100).
As the odds show, Wills is the favorite since he’s linked to the Giants at No. 4.
However, if you look at some prospect rankings and big boards, there really isn’t a clear consensus No. 1 offensive lineman.
- Bleacher Report (Miller): Wills (No. 7), Wirfs (No. 10), Thomas (No. 17), Becton (No. 18).
- CBS Sports (Edwards): Thomas (No. 8), Wills (No. 10), Wirfs (No. 13), Becton (No. 16).
- Cover1 (Brown): Thomas (No. 8), Wills (No. 10), Wirfs (No. 13), Becton (No. 16).
- ESPN (Legwold): Wills (No. 7), Becton (No. 8), Wirfs (No. 12), Thomas (No. 14).
Per our Matthew Freedman, the Giants select an offensive lineman at No. 4 in 62.5% of expert mock drafts, and it’s not always Wills. I think there’s value in the first offensive lineman drafted market, both with not knowing for certain who the Giants are taking at No. 4, and the possibility that they trade down or go in a different positional direction.
PICK: Tristan Wirfs First OL Drafted (+200). One Unit. Limit +200. Andrew Thomas First OL Drafted (+600). 0.25 Units. Limit +550.
Thomas is the most intriguing prospect in this entire process. While Wills and Wirfs played right tackle in college, Thomas anchored the blind side for two full years at Georgia. Traditionally, teams in the top 5 like to draft a franchise prototype blind side protector.
I don’t think Wills is that guy, and it’s looking like the demand for Thomas is a bit higher in team war rooms than the markets are leading on:
Hearing from a lot of very difference sources this morning that Andrew Thomas could be the first OT off the board.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 15, 2020
So how else do we bet Thomas? His over/under currently sits at 10.5, and a logical floor for the former Bulldog is the Browns at No. 10, who desperately need some protection for Baker Mayfield.
PICK: Andrew Thomas under 10.5 (-140). One Unit. Limit -165.
It looks like Wills, Wirfs, Thomas and Becton are all sure-fire first round picks, unless Becton’s failed drug test causes a surprising fall.
Speaking of Becton, I don’t think he gets drafted inside the top 10. While Becton has exciting potential, there may not be a spot for him.
The Giants at No. 4 will likely be scared off by the drug test to take him inside the Top 5, while the Cardinals at No. 8 are set at left tackle, just inking D.J. Humphries to a three-year deal. Additionally, the Browns seem more keen on Thomas at No. 10, who will probably more NFL ready than Becton on Week 1.
PICK: Mekhi Becton over 10.5: -125. One Unit. Limit -130.
In addition to the top four, there are five other linemen who have all been mocked in the first round:
- Austin Jackson, T, USC (mock range: No. 14 – No. 36).
- Josh Jones, T, Houston (22-40)
- Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan (17-40)
- Isaiah Wilson, T, Georgia (22-45)
- Ezra Cleveland, T, Boise State (22-45)
That’s nine potential offensive linemen drafted in the first round, with the over/under for offensive linemen drafted in the first round line currently sitting at 6.5, with juice as low as -155 at some books.
Historically, the last five years of drafts show the normal amount of OL draftees in the first round is between six and seven.
- 2019: Six OL – No. 11 first drafted (Jonah Williams – Bengals)
- 2018: Six OL – No. 6 first drafted (Quenton Nelson – Colts)
- 2017: Two OL – No. 20 first drafted (Garrett Bolles – Broncos)
- 2016: Seven OL – No. 6 first drafted (Ronnie Stanley – Ravens)
- 2015: Seven OL – No. 5 first drafted (Brandon Scherff – Redskins)
This crop of offensive linemen looks a lot deeper than previous years drafts, and think 7 is a great number to jump on.
PICK: Over 6.5 OL Drafted in First Round: -155. Two Units. Limit -165.
If there is a run on offensive linemen early and the top four tackles are taken by, for argument’s sake, the Giants at No. 4, the Cardinals at No. 8, the Browns at No. 10, and the Jets at No. 11, the next tier of offensive line talent is led by USC tackle Austin Jackson, who has been mocked as high as No. 14 to the Buccaneers.
Other teams who could add a tackle include: the Dolphins at No. 18, the Jaguars at No. 20, the Vikings at No. 22 and No. 25.
Jackson is another guy that seems to be flying under the radar a bit, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah:
Talked to a bunch of GMs over the weekend. A couple of guys that will go higher than anticipated:
USC OT Austin Jackson
TCU WR Jalen Reagor
Bama CB Trevon Diggs
TENN Edge Darrell Taylor
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 20, 2020
Similar to Thomas, I think there’s some value here in Jackson’s under betting market.
PICK: Austin Jackson Under 25.5: -110. One Unit. Limit -120.
To round out my offensive line bet slip, I’m eyeing position of first player drafted markets for certain teams. A lot of teams picking in the middle or near the back of the first round have already solid depth charts that could either look to stockpile some offensive line depth or trade down.
If a team trades down, it’s a lot harder to project a balance between team needs and quality in who’s available.
With this in mind, I’m looking at four teams to bet on to draft an offensive lineman with their first pick.
I’m looking at the 49ers first, who pick at No. 13 but are reported to be desperate to trade down. Unlike the handicappers who think they are drafting a wide receiver at No. 13, I would not be surprised if the 49ers drafted a falling top-tier offensive lineman at No. 13 to shore up their line, or trade down near the end of the first round.
In addition to No. 13, the 49ers also have pick No. 31, and could look to address wide receiver there.
PICK: 49ers First Pick is an OL: +700. 0.25 Units. Limit +500.
In addition to the 49ers, I’m also looking at the Cowboys, who pick at No. 17 and could be looking to replace their recently retired all-pro center Travis Frederick. There are some rumors that they will jump at Ruiz with their first pick, and markets have not yet adjusted.
PICK: Cowboys First Pick is an OL: +500. 0.25 Units. Limit +400.
Unlike the 49ers and Cowboys, the Bears don’t have a first round selection. They do, however, have two picks in the second round, starting with No. 43. Despite not addressing the offensive line in free agency, the Bears are in a prime spot to bolster the trenches with their first selection.
PICK: Bears First Pick is an OL: +300. 0.5 Units. Limit +300.
And finally, I’m looking at the Ravens at No. 28, who are in a prime trade-down spot. It would not surprise me if they took an offensive lineman first after they trade out of the first round.
PICK: Ravens First Pick is an OL: +300. 0.5 Units. Limit +300.
My final prop list is below, and I wish you the best of luck playing the trenches this week.
Full Betting Card
- Tristan Wirfs First OL Drafted +200: One Unit.
- Andrew Thomas First OL Drafted: +600: 0.25 Units.
- Andrew Thomas under 10.5: -140. One Unit.
- Mekhi Becton over 10.5: -125. One Unit.
- Over 6.5 OL Drafted in First Round: -155. Two Units.
- Austin Jackson Under 25.5: -110. One Unit.
- 49ers First Pick is an OL: +700. 0.25 Units.
- Cowboys First Pick is an OL: +500. 0.25 Units.
- Bears First Pick is an OL: +300. 0.5 Units.
- Ravens First Pick is an OL: +300. 0.5 Units.
Total Units: 7.75.