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NFL Draft Odds, Predictions: Why Georgia’s Travon Walker Deserves To Go No. 1 Overall

NFL Draft Odds, Predictions: Why Georgia’s Travon Walker Deserves To Go No. 1 Overall article feature image
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Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Travon Walker.

  • The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 28, at 8 p.m. ET.
  • Georgia's Travon Walker is the favorite to go No. 1, and he's deserving of the honor.
  • Kody Malstrom breaks down why Walker should be the first pick and shares bets he sees value in.

It seems like it has been quite some time since we had some uncertainty for the No. 1 pick. With quarterbacks dominating the top pick the past four years, this year will bring a change.

How the No. 1 NFL Draft Pick Odds Have Shifted

Before the college football season even started, we were talking about the quarterback battle of Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell for the first pick. With both regressing midseason, the positional battle turned into Aiden Hutchinson against Kayvon Thibodeaux for the coveted pick.

Then came along Evan Neal, who made a surprising leap when Jacksonville secured the top pick but saw his odds plummet shortly after as the Jaguars resigned some of their offensive linemen.

As Neal dropped, Hutchinson saw his odds rise back up with each passing day as we near the draft. That is, until Travon Walker came along.

What seems like a shock out of nowhere the past few weeks, Walker has shot up the odds boards to what now seems like a realistic chance of going No. 1. Currently sitting between -155 and -200 depending on the sportsbook to be the top pick, Walker has changed how bettors are viewing the top of the draft.

And he’s deserving of the jump.

Versatile on the defensive line, Walker was a dominant force for the Georgia Bulldogs en route to their National Championship run. Playing 56% of the total snaps, Walker led Georgia with 36 quarterback hurries and tied for second on the team with six sacks.

He proved to be a constant presence in the backfield.

Walker’s NFL Combine Performance Leads to Odds Jump

While his on-field play did not go unnoticed, it was his combine results that really boosted Walker up the boards. Walker checks all the boxes from a physical standpoint.

He displayed his elite athleticism at the combine with these results, per PFF:

Combine Test Result Percentile
Height 6’5″ 78th
Weight 272 lbs. 65th
Arm Length 35.5″ 95th
40-Yard Dash 4.51 98th
Vertical Jump 35.5″ 78th
Broad Jump 123″ 88th
3-Cone 6.89 94th
Short Shuttle 4.32 85th

While Hutchinson is also an elite talent and deserving of the first pick as well for his dominant display at Michigan last season, I just can’t help but think Walker has the higher ceiling between the two.

With a championship pedigree and better physical traits, Walker will give the Jaguars a much-needed improvement on the defensive line for the long run as someone they could build a defense behind.

It’s also no secret GM Trent Baalke likes to take players with elite physical traits over season performance with his history at San Francisco.

Travon Walker NFL Draft Betting Card

What’s better than correctly predicting Walker goes No. 1? Making money while correctly predicting Walker to go No. 1. Here’s how I have Walker in my NFL Draft props:

Editor’s Note: This betting card was formulated before Walker became the favorite to go No. 1 on Monday morning.

  • Number One Overall Pick, +190 (DraftKings)
  • Second Overall Pick, +430 (Caesars)
  • Third Overall Pick, +750 (Caesars)
  • No. 1 Defensive Lineman, +550 (PointsBet)
  • Draft Position u3.5, -200 (BetMGM)
  • Exact Order First Three Picks: Walker, Hutchinson, Neal (+1600)
  • Exact Order First Three Picks: Hutchinson, Walker, Neal (+2200)
  • Exact Order First Two Picks: Walker, Hutchinson (+200)
  • Exact Order First Two Picks: Hutchinson, Walker (+300)

While I would not be shocked whatsoever with Hutchinson going first, it’s far from a done deal, especially after Monday morning.

Make sure to follow me on the Action Network app at kmalstrom for my draft props as I add them into the app as we near the draft. All live additions can be found on my Twitter at @kmalstrom.

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