Rovell: My Favorite Longshot Draft Pick at BetMGM

Rovell: My Favorite Longshot Draft Pick at BetMGM article feature image

Picture by Getty Images.

This week marked another wild time in the NFL Draft betting markets when, on Tuesday morning, Kentucky quarterback Will Levis came out of nowhere and became the second-most likely pick at No. 1.

Boosted by a Reddit poster, whose only other post was about Batman, Levis at No. 1 dropped from +5000 to +175 in the span of 15 hours.

Since then, however, Alabama QB Bryce Young is back to being the -5000 favorite after falling to as low as -500 on Tuesday afternoon.

The NFL Draft is such a crapshoot — it's impossible to discern between the signal and the noise. It's why I usually choose to avoid major liability and make one single bet on what I think has the most value.

Outside of the top couple picks, there's one team that needs one particular position.

The Chicago Bears need an offensive tackle.

The must-have app for NFL bettors

The best NFL betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Justin Fields was pressured on about 15% of his drop backs last year. That's the worst percentage of anyone with more than 300 passes since the 1970 merger.

This is the make-or-break year for Fields. You went all-in on the guy by trading away the No. 1 pick in this draft. Without a great offensive line, you aren't giving him a proper chance to succeed.

It's why the Bears picked up free agent guard Nate Davis this offseason, but you need a lot more protection than that.

The Bears knew this going into last year's draft. But in order to trade up for Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft, they traded their 2022 first — which became the No. 7 overall pick. Two front-end offensive linemen had been available at that pick — Evan Neal and Charles Cross — with Neal going in the 7 slot and Cross selected No. 9.

So, the Bears are going to choose an offensive tackle on Thursday night. And most everyone is mocking Ohio State's Paris Johnson Jr. to go No. 9 overall to Chicago as the first offensive lineman drafted.

But why not Northwestern's Peter Skoronski?

It's hard for the general public and media to understand how good Skoronski is. Northwestern was a paltry 1-11 last season and didn't feature heavily in national conversations. But for the people who really look at the tape, they know how elite of a prospect he is.

Pro Football Focus graded Skoronski as the top pass blocker this past season, only allowing six pressures on 480 pass blocking snaps — and that's without four other top-of-the-line offensive linemen backing him up. Nor did Skoronski do it with Ohio State's CJ Stroud behind center, a lock to go in the first round tonight.

NFL's Next Gen Stats also rank Skoronski as better than any other offensive lineman in his class.

He's the most physical at his position, the best at exploding out of the block and the best at using his hands.

The only thing holding him up, according to prognosticators? Arm length — of which there shouldn't really be a concern. It's an old school way of evaluating offensive linemen. He's great with his hands, and offensive linemen are typically engaging in such short distances that arm length is a moot point. A couple extra inches on your arms don't matter except for at the combine.

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (CO, DC, IL, IN, LA, MD, MS, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY). Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY). 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-327-5050 (MA), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). Visit for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in Nevada, New York or Ontario.

Plus, there are softer factors. The Bears have a history of taking Northwestern players when they can. They took Darnell Autry in 1997, D'Wayne Bates in 1999 and Corey Wooten in 2010. They signed Trevor Siemian last year and every year — the Bears pick up more Northwestern free agents than anyone else.

They love the guys in their backyard.

And you better believe the Bears are heavily interested in the best guy at the team's biggest position of need.

Take Skoronski as the first offensive lineman selected at BetMGM for +300.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.