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The Four Best Longshot Bets of the NFL Draft

Best Longshot Bets

Each NFL draft, particularly in the first round, there are a few draft picks that shock pundits and NFL scouts alike. In past years, there have been dramatic falls or rises of certain prospects like when the Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell fourth overall in 2019 or when Justin Fields slipped out of the top-10 last year. 

In this year’s draft, there should be many surprises as it is gearing up to be one of the more unique classes in recent memory, as there are not many consensus top of the draft players and no guarantee of when QBs start flying off the board.

For this exercise today, we are going to look at four longshot bets for draft night by using and consulting our own prospect rankings to find a few good value bets and outside of the box picks.

1. Who will the Giants draft with picks 5 and 7?

Evan Neal Pick 5, Ahmad Gardner Pick 7 +600 (Bet $100 to win $600)

This bet is one of the more unique ones, as it is a two part bet. The New York Giants hold two top-10 picks at 5 and 7 and will have many options with those picks. With a new coach and GM in place, these picks will be vital to turn this franchise around.

The new regime has been clear on committing to QB Daniel Jones at least for this year, so a QB at either of these spots is likely out of the equation, however, protecting Jones and whoever comes after him is not. 

With the fifth pick, Joe Schoen and co will run to the podium with Evan Neal’s name on the card. In Buffalo, they showed a clear investment in the trenches on both sides of the ball to help out their QB and it paid dividends. Andrew Thomas has turned into a very solid LT and should stay put, while Evan Neal can return to playing RT as he did for a season in college.

With Thomas and Neal, who is The 33rd Team’s number one ranked player, on the bookends of the OL, whoever is under center for New York in 2022 and beyond should feel well protected. 

The seventh pick becomes a little more tricky, as the Giants are a team that could be looking to improve their defensive line, so drafting a player like George Karlaftis or Jermaine Johnson could make sense. However, with New York’s current salary cap situation as it stands, especially considering how much money they have invested in the CB position, a cap casualty may be imminent, ensuring the selection of a CB.

Depending on how the board shakes out, the Giants and new DC Wink Martindale would love to get their hands on Ahmad Gardner. With the selection of Gardner, the Giants would likely have to cut James Bradberry which has been rumored for a while. 

Giants Picks 5 & 7 Odds

The Best Longshot Bets of the NFL Draft

2. Which Team Will Draft Malik Willis?

Detroit Lions +900 (Bet $100 to win $900)

The selection of Malik Willis is one of the more intriguing question marks of the draft. His postseason rise thanks to his rocket arm, and athleticism have not been surprising as he has all but locked himself up a spot in the first round of the draft. However, where he goes is not very clear, as there are many QB-needy teams scattered throughout the first round, and a few other teams who look to be giving their existing QBs another shot this year.

Alongside Willis is Kenny Pickett, who together make up the consensus top tier of QB prospects, with Willis undoubtedly having more top-end traits. Because of this, taking a risk on Willis high in the first round to lock in a potential franchise QB could pay off well. 

The Detroit Lions pick very high at second overall, but they are an interesting landing for many reasons. First off, they pick before any of the other QB-needy teams so will be able to pick whichever one they like the most. Secondly, they are a roster that is slowly building into the future, with multiple picks next year as well, which will give Willis an elongated timetable of development.

Additionally, Willis will have time to grow his game, as QB Jared Goff could be the perfect bridge until Willis is ready to go. Lastly, Willis spent the entire Senior Bowl week practicing and learning from the Lions coaching staff, as they likely developed some sort of relationship throughout the week. 

Malik Willis Draft Odds

The Best Longshot Bets of the NFL Draft3. Who will the Texans draft with the third pick?

Texans select Kayvon Thibodeaux +800 (Bet $100 to win $800)

With the suffocating Rams defense being an integral part of their Super Bowl victory, it has only become more evident of the importance this league puts on EDGE rushers. Additionally, the aggregation of EDGE talent in the AFC West this offseason has been a clear maneuver to try and combat the most important position in football, the talented QBs in that division.

While this class does not seem to have a Myles Garrett or even Chase Young at the top of the draft, there are tons of talented rushers to get after the opposing QB. 

At the top of the draft, it is looking more and more clear that Travon Walker will be the pick, no matter how surprising. With the second pick, the Lions could add the Michigan star himself, Aidan Hutchinson, to a young Detroit defense, who have clearly been committed to building the trenches. 

At the third pick, the Texans could really go anywhere with their pick, as they have many needs. While selecting a CB like Ahmad Gardner could be the play, the Texans may elect to agree with what the AFC West has done and focus on rushing the QB.

They could also go after one of the uber-talented OT prospects, but they committed to LT Laremy Tunsil during the offseason, so drafting a LT only to move him to the right side may be out of the question as well. 

In terms of possible picks, that leaves EDGE rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, whose name has seen many ups and downs in terms of his draft position. Regardless of any off the field concerns, Thibodeaux is an outstanding athlete who has produced at the college level, and would instantly improve the Houston defense and pass rush, who only had one pash rusher with more than four sacks (Jonathan Greenard).

Third Pick Odds

The Best Longshot Bets of the NFL Draft

4. Who will the Jets select with the fourth pick?

Jets select Jermaine Johnson +700 (Bet $100 to win $700)

Like the Giants, the Jets hold two picks in the top 10, giving them an excellent chance of not only supporting Zach Wilson but improving a struggling defense from 2021. At their pick, the Jets could look to the secondary and draft a corner like Ahmad Gardner, who would be a great fit for their defense, but judging by Joe Douglas’ track record it seems more likely that they focus on the trenches, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.

While Kayvon Thibodeaux could be the dream scenario for New York, in a situation where the first three picks are all EDGE rushers, the Jets will have a decision to make. In this scenario talented rushers like Jermaine Johnson are still on the board, and although Johnson may not warrant a top five pick, it is a pick that the Jets could certainly make.

Pairing Johnson with a DL of a healthy Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, and John Franklin-Myers could create danger for offensive lines in the AFC East. Not only does Johnson have some fire against the run but he was also very productive as a pass rusher at FSU.

In addition, Johnson dominated the Senior Bowl practice week while being coached by the Jets coaching staff. He would be a great fit for the Robert Saleh’s Jets defense and is a good value bet if the board shakes out this way. 

Fourth Pick Odds

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