As important as the quarterback is to the success of the passing game and offense, without good wide receivers to work with, the best quarterbacks look like amateurs (right, Tom Brady?). With college football’s best recently showing off their skills and athletic prowess at the NFL Combine, it is only natural for fans, media, and team execs to be talking about them.
While the Combine rarely makes or breaks a receiver (or any player), a good performance doesn’t hurt. Several guys made their case to be picked early in the NFL draft. The question now is who will be going first.
If you think you know, then PointsBet.com has a wager you may be interested in:
Odds On First Wide Receiver To Be Drafted
- Jerry Jeudy -141
- CeeDee Lamb +100
- Henry Ruggs III +400
- Tee Higgins +1400
- Jalen Raegor, Justin Jefferson +1600
- KJ Hamler +3000
- Gabriel Davis, Tyler Johnson, KJ Hill +4000
- Michael Pittman Jr. +5000
Of course, just who is taken when depends on several factors like what teams need, how well they played in college, their health, how well they interview with teams, etc. The list could go on, but when it comes down to it, if you are the best at a position a team considers a primary need, then you will come off the board quickly.
Everyone wants to get better at every position all the time, but the teams (and where they draft in the first round) likely looking at wide receiver as a primary need heading into the draft include the Buffalo Bills (22), Denver Broncos (15), Arizona Cardinals (8), Indianapolis Colts (13), Philadelphia Eagles (21), New York Jets (11), Green Bay Packers (30), Las Vegas Raiders (12, 19), Washington Redskins (2), New Orleans Saints (24), and Seattle Seahawks (27).
This list could change depending on how free agency plays out, and most teams will have other priorities as well. Just because the wide receiver is not a primary need, some teams could go with one anyway.
To answer who will go first, it may help to identify who needs help at wide receiver enough to use a first-round pick on someone.
It would be shocking if anyone inside the top ten went with a receiver; maybe the Cardinals at No. 8, but they have more pressing needs. The Jets will likely go offensive line at No. 11, and the Colts will probably go with a quarterback at 13 (if they don’t go with someone else in free agency). Denver is a definite possibility at 15, as are the Raiders at 19 and then the Eagles, Bills, Saints, and Packers.
So, expect the run to start with the Broncos with a handful of teams to follow suit. But who will be first?
Will it be Combine speed demon Henry Ruggs III and his 4.27 40-yard dash? He was already a highly regarded receiver heading into the Combine. Many of the mock drafts online have either Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb coming off the board first.
A team more interested in having a taller receiver may go with Clemson’s Tee Higgins.
Who should you bet on?
With popular opinion split between Jeudy and Lamb, you may be better off splitting whatever you are thinking about betting between the two. But it also may not be a bad idea to put a couple of bucks on Ruggs (in case someone falls in love with his speed).