NFL Draft: How Low Will Top QBs Go?
It is probably not the best thing to have the names Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel thrown out there when discussing NFL Draft quarterback classes.
However, the 2014 NFL Draft is the last time that there weren’t multiple quarterbacks taken in the first 10 selections. This year, quarterbacks are lagging behind in the NFL Draft position rankings.
Bortles went third overall, ahead of Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack and Mike Evans among others, while Cleveland actually traded up to select Manziel with the 22nd overall pick.
There’s no certainty that any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft will go in the top six picks and the over/under on the number quarterbacks going in the first round is 2.5.
Here are some NFL betting odds on possible landing spots for Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett and Liberty’s Malik Willis who are expected to be the top 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks off the board
Quarterbacks on Carolina’s mind?
There are plenty of areas of need for the Carolina Panthers, who hold the No. 6 pick. A trade for former No. 3 overall selection Sam Darnold and the return of former No. 1 pick Cam Newton didn’t solve the quarterback issues for Carolina.
The NFL Draft quarterback odds favor Carolina selecting Pickett with its first-round selection, with the odds falling just a bit on Willis being the selection.
Pickett has the edge in longevity and level of competition thanks to his four seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but Willis has the type of measurables that NFL teams fall in love with. Carolina coach Matt Rhule is a former college head coach where dual-threat quarterbacks rule the day and Willis can certainly check that box at least in the eyes of the NFL Draft betting odds.
The 2022 NFL draft will be held from April 28-30 in Paradise, Nev., with the first round conducted on the first night of the three-day draft.
New Passer Bound for Big Easy?
The New Orleans Saints were fortunate when injury concerns led to Drew Brees leaving the then-San Diego Chargers and giving the Saints one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
Jameis Winston was brought in after he wore out his welcome in Tampa Bay. Winston looked every bit the part of a former No. 1 overall pick at times, but he also makes decisions with the ball that does result in teams wanting other options at the quarterback position.
If Pickett gets by the Panthers, the next best NFL draft quarterback odds have him landing in New Orleans.
The Saints just traded up from No. 18 to 16, but with the Los Angeles Chargers holding the 17th pick and Justin Herbert very much entrenched as the franchise QB for the Chargers, there is speculation that a player at another position could be what led to the trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. The 2022 NFL draft quarterback prospects would favor taking somebody other than a signal caller, but teams have been known to reach when it comes to landing a QB.
It is interesting that while New Orleans has the second-best odds to take Pickett, the Saints are just fifth when it comes to the probability of selecting Willis.
Seahawks, Steelers in Market for Next Franchise QBs
In recent years, few teams would have been less likely to be in the market for a quarterback than either the Seattle Seahawks or Pittsburgh Steelers when it comes to the NFL Draft by position breakdown.
However, with the trade of Russell Wilson from Seattle to Denver and the retirement of longtime Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, both teams could be considering pulling the trigger on a quarterback early in the draft.
Seattle now has the No. 9 overall pick thanks to the deal with Denver while Pittsburgh doesn’t pick until No. 20. Seattle and Pittsburgh have the same odds to select Pickett while the Steelers are seen as a more likely landing spot for Willis.
Falcons, Lions Might Want to get Passing Grades
The Atlanta Falcons traded away Matt Ryan in the offseason and the Detroit Lions watched as their former QB1 Matthew Stafford won the Super Bowl in his first season with the Los Angeles Rams.
Atlanta picks eighth, and if Carolina passes on a quarterback, there will be tough decisions to be made because there are needs at other positions. The Falcons and Lions gave up more points than any other teams in the NFC, so can Atlanta afford not to bolster its defense by reaching for a quarterback in the top 10?
There are some other options in the NFL draft position rankings when both of these teams are on the clock, and the NFL draft position rankings have some solid quarterback options in the second and third rounds.
The Lions won’t be going quarterback at No. 2 overall, but with the last pick in the opening round thanks to the Stafford deal, a quarterback is possible there.
Detroit is considered a longshot to go with Pickett, likely because he figures to be long gone by pick No. 32, but the Lions are tied for the third-best odds to secure the rights to Willis.
Atlanta is just behind New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Steelers in the odds to take Pickett and, like Detroit, the Falcons are one of the teams with the third-best NFL betting odds to select Willis. It would be quite the story if that happens considering that Willis is a native of Atlanta.