2021 NFL Draft Predictions – Best Bets for the No. 1 Pick
The curtain fell on the 2020 NFL Draft just a week ago, but bets can already be placed on who will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Today we take a stab at 2021 NFL Draft Predictions for the top pick.
The top prize is widely expected to be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but if sports have taught us anything over the years, it is that nothing is ever set in stone. Lawrence may be the current frontrunner, and rightfully so, but he isn’t the only player worth a look if you want to place a future bet on next year’s top pick.
2021 NFL Draft Predictions – Favorites to Bet
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson Tigers (-250)
Had Lawrence been eligible to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, he would have undoubtedly heard his name called first. Not surprisingly, he is the overwhelming favorite to be the No. 1 pick in 2021, and it will be an absolute shock if any quarterback-needy team selects first overall and doesn’t pick Lawrence. If a team with a young QB already in hand lands the top pick, there’s a great chance another team trades into the top spot. Either way, the smart bet is on Lawrence, even if the payout will be modest.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State Buckeyes (+350)
Fresh off being a Heisman finalist and leading the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff in his first year as a starter, Fields will have one more year under center in Columbus before he can make he jump to the NFL. His ability to make plays outside of the pocket was never in question, but last year, he left no doubt that he can also carve up defenses from the pocket. Granted, he is probably going to be the consolation prize for whoever misses out on Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, but just ask Tuo Tagovailoa what can happen when the no-brainer No. 1 pick suffers a bad injury. If you are hedging a Lawrence bet, Fields makes a lot of sense.
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon Ducks (+500)
Outside of Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Sewell is the safest bet to be a top-five picks in 2021, and he might be the safest prospect overall. He’s been an anchor at left tackle for the Ducks since stepping on campus, and he took home the Outland Trophy as a sophomore last year. If a team with a young quarterback in house like the Cincinnati Bengals or Miami Dolphins end up with the top pick, bolstering their offensive line for the next decade with a high-floor, All Pro-caliber talent like Sewell makes plenty of sense. After Lawrence, Sewell is my favorite bet among the favorites.
2021 NFL Draft Predictions – Value Bets
Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia Bulldogs (+4000)
Casual college football fans might not be familiar with Newman, but he has been in the first-round conversation among NFL scouts since putting up excellent numbers at Wake Forest last season. Newman makes the move to Georgia this coming year, resulting in an instant upgrade in his supporting cast. Could the change of scenery result in a Joe Burrow-like breakout campaign for Newman? Who knows? At +4000, I don’t think taking a gamble on a quarterback with first-round hype is a bad idea if you are swinging for the fences.
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami Hurricanes (+4000)
Between the Bosa brothers, Myles Garrett and Chase Young, athletic edge rushers have become a staple at the top of the draft in this pass-happy age in the NFL. In his first year on the field, Rousseau piled up 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks in 13 games, and if he approaches those numbers again this season, he is going to solidify himself as the top defensive prospect on the board. If a team set at quarterback happens to land the No. 1 pick, Rousseau could end up being the main competition for Oregon’s Penei Sewell. At +4000, I think he is a worthwhile lottery ticket.
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