NFL Draft Early Odds: Alabama quarterback Bryce Young Ready to Go No. 1?

Georgia's Jalen Carter May Stand In the Way of a Quarterback Going First Overall

Two Former Alabama Stars Could Go Early in the 2023 NFL Draft

With the NFL season over and the Kansas City Chiefs crowned as Super Bowl champion, the focus now shifts to the NFL draft. Things figure to change after the NFL Scouting Combine wraps up early next month. However, before that event gets rolling or the pro days are held around the country, this is a good time to look at the current Early NFL Draft Odds.

Unlike last year when Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback to go in the first round, quarterbacks should be flying off the board when the opening round gets underway on April 27.

The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 overall pick followed by the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts. The next two picks have already changed hands with the trade that sent Russell Wilson from Seattle to Denver landing the Seahawks the fifth overall pick. The Los Angeles Rams won a Super Bowl with Matthew Stafford at QB after he was traded from the Detroit Lions. The Lions now have the No. 6 pick courtesy of that trade.

When looking at the NFL betting lines, eight of the top nine players in the odds to win the 2023 NFL Regular Season Most Valuable Player award are quarterbacks who were first-round picks. Included in that list are former No. 1 overall selections Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals (+800), Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence (+1600), Detroit’s Jared Goff (+4000), Stafford (+4000) and Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals (+4000).

First Off the Board

Quarterbacks have gone first overall 18 times in the last 25 drafts. Although Chicago not only picked former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the first round, the Bears also dealt what turned into a top-10 pick to the New York Giants to address the quarterback position.

With the Bears holding the No. 1 pick, the question is whether the Bears will trade Fields away and go with a quarterback with the top selection.

If that is the way Chicago opts to go, Alabama’s Bryce Young is likely going to be the latest quarterback of the future for the Bears? The former Heisman Trophy winner is priced at -140 to go with the top pick according to the NFL Draft early odds followed by Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud and former Penn State and Kentucky quarterback Will Levis at +600. It is interesting that Levis and Anthony Richardson are both listed at +3000 in the odds to be the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders next season.

Chicago could always trade down for additional picks or address a defense that needs plenty of help.

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter has the best odds among non-quarterbacks at +700. Young’s former Alabama teammate Will Anderson is priced at +1000 to be the top pick after recording 27.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

Carter One Popular Bulldog

The 2022 NFL Draft featured five members of the University of Georgia defense selected in the first round and that included Travon Walker being selected with the No. 1 overall pick.

Was the best pro prospect on that dominating Georgia defense one who headed back to Athens for the 2022 season?

The 300-pound Carter faced double and sometimes even triple teams and still had seven tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and three pass breakups.

The NFL Draft early odds lists Carter as the front-runner to be the first defensive player selected at -140 followed by Alabama’s Anderson at +150.

Another intriguing prospect is Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Wilson had 61 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 10 games while Myles Murphy figures to be one of many

Clemson defenders to hear their names called in the draft. Wilson has +500 odds and Murphy (17.5 sacks over the last three seasons) comes in at +900 to be the first defensive player selected.

Catching On

The first receiver wasn’t taken until the eighth pick of the 2022 draft when the Atlanta Falcons selected Drake London out of Southern California.

That started a run on receivers with the Ohio State duo of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave went to the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints with picks No. 10 and 11 while the Detroit Lions traded up to No. 12 to select Alabama’s Jameson Williams.

TCU’s Quentin Johnston is the favorite at +170 to be the top pass catcher selected followed by USC’s Jordan Addison at +245 according to the Early NFL Draft Odds.

During the 2021 season, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was the most productive receiver at Ohio State as he had more catches and more receiving yards than Wilson and Olave who both went over 1,000 yards as NFL rookies. Smith-Njigba and Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt have +400 odds to be the top receiver selected with Boston College’s Zay Flowers next at +650.

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