The 2023 NFL Draft Betting Guide: Mock 1.0 (Fantasy Football)
The 2023 NFL Draft is just a couple of weeks away! The first round kicks off on Thursday, April 27, and there’s still a lot to unfold in regards to how the first round might look. Because betting on the NFL Draft is an information based market, it can be extremely valuable to source Big Boards and mock drafts of the top NFL Draft scouts and companies around the industry. While that’s one piece of the equation, the betting market can also be an indicator of the top 32 picks each year.
In this mock draft, I used betting odds from DraftKings Sportsbook to try to figure out what the first round might look like on Thursday night. These are not necessarily my predictions nor are they bet recommendations. However, if you’re interested in our process and official plays, be sure to check out our 2023 NFL Draft Props article and listen to The Fantasy Footballers DFS and Betting Podcast, which drops every Friday. Without further ado, Mock 1.0 is live!
*Odds accurate at time of publishing*
1. Carolina Panthers – QB Bryce Young
Betting Market: Number 1 Overall Pick (-300)
Analysis: We’ve seen a massive shift in the odds for Young to go first overall after Stroud was considered the favorite just a couple of weeks ago. Carolina traded up to the No. 1 overall pick to take a potential franchise QB but as of now, it doesn’t appear as though the Panthers have a definite plan here as far as which guy they’ll take. In this mock, we’ll follow the betting odds and take Bryce Young out of Alabama.
2. Houston Texans – QB C.J. Stroud
Betting Market: Number 2 Overall Pick (-195)
Analysis: Stroud very well might hear his name called on Draft night with the first overall pick, but we’ve seen a big time odds shift here in QB markets. Lance Zeirlein’s who’s very connected to Houston, has mentioned that the team has Will Levis ranked above Stroud. That remains to be seen, but it is notable that on FanDuel, Will Levis is the betting favorite to be drafted by the Texans (not necessarily at #2) at +250. In this mock, however, we’ll follow the “chalk” and give Houston the former Ohio State QB.
3. Indianapolis Colts (Via Trade) – QB Anthony Richardson
Betting Market: Number 3 Overall Pick (+100)
Analysis: These odds suggest the Cardinals are very likely to trade out of the number three selection, and we’ll use the betting market to help guide us as to who might be the trade partner. On DraftKings, the Colts are the odds on favorite to land Richardson at (+170). Other potential trade partners include the Titans and Raiders, but for the sake of this mock, we’ll mock Indy moving up one pick to get the Florida QB.
4. Arizona Cardinals (Via Trade) – EDGE Will Anderson
Betting Market: First Defensive Player Drafted (-350)
Analysis: If Arizona stays home at pick #3, Alabama’s Will Anderson has been the most frequently mocked player to Arizona, so for the sake of this mock, we’ll give them Anderson. Honestly, I don’t feel great about it, as Arizona has a new GM and holes all over the roster. There are several possible selections in play for the Cardinals, and a lot of those options may depend on whether or not they trade back and how far. For now, they get a stud pass rusher in Anderson.
5. Seattle Seahawks – DT Jalen Carter
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Defensive Lineman/EDGE (-195)
Analysis: The Seahawks have been willing to take players with off the field concerns, so it’s not crazy to see them taking Georgia’s Jalen Carter, who’s largely considered the best interior defensive lineman in the class. Just a few months ago before his off the field concerns surfaced, Carter was largely considered the best player in the class. On a recent podcast, Daniel Jeremiah has mentioned Carter is not getting past Philly at pick 10. He lands in the Pacific Northwest in this mock to give Seattle a stud run stopper. Carter’s O/U is 7.5 with the under heavily juiced at -210.
6. Detroit Lions – CB Devon Witherspoon
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Cornerback (-250)
Analysis: The Lions traded former No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah to the Falcons on Tuesday, opening up a clear need at corner. They did address their secondary via free agency, but Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Emmanuel Moseley are both there on one-year deals. Witherspoon is largely considered the most physical and best man coverage corner in this class. He fits Dan Campbell’s culture and the Lions’ man heavy scheme, which they ran at the third-highest rate in football last season. Worth noting, Witherspoon is the odds on favorite to be the first CB selected at -175.
7. Las Vegas Raiders – QB Will Levis
Betting Market: Will Levis Draft Position U7.5 (-160)
Analysis: The Raiders signed Jimmy G in free agency, but there’s outs in his contract, and he’s the perfect veteran to start for a year for a raw prospect like Levis. The Raiders stay home and take a QB prospect to develop behind Jimmy. In the betting market, the juice is heavily shaded towards the under at 7.5, and Las Vegas’ odds for the position of their first selection suggest QB is very much in play. Quarterback is the favorite in this market at +200 while cornerback is second at +225. The Raiders are also the third most likely team per Vegas odds to land Levis at +450 behind Houston (+250) and Indy (+250).
8. Atlanta Falcons – EDGE Tyree Wilson
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Defensive Lineman/EDGE (-250)
Analysis: The Falcons have been horrendous at rushing the passer for two years in a row, ranking dead last in sack rate in both 2021 and 2022. They add edge defender Tyree Wilson out of Texas Tech, who is Daniel Jeremiah’s 4th ranked prospect in the class.
9. Chicago Bears – T Paris Johnson Jr.
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Offensive Lineman (-180)
Analysis: Ryan Poles is a former offensive lineman himself, so it makes sense that this team wants to fix their O-Line and protect Justin Fields. Johnson has 97th percentile arm length, something NFL GMs covet, and in 2022, this team was starting a former 5th round pick at LT. Worth noting, in the “First Offensive Lineman Selected” market, the former Ohio State LT is the favorite at (-135). Johnson lands in the Windy City in this mock draft.
10. Philadelphia Eagles – EDGE Lukas Van Ness
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Defensive Lineman/EDGE (-110)
Analysis: The Eagles have historically built through the trenches in the NFL Draft under GM Howie Roseman, but in this specific mock, so it’s not surprising to see the betting odds favor the team to take either a defensive lineman (-110) or offensive lineman (+140). In this mock, they take Lukas Van Ness out of Iowa, the talented pass rusher. The Eagles need to plan for the future with Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox on the back nine of their careers.
11. Tennessee Titans – G Peter Skoronski
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Offensive Lineman (-115)
Analysis: The next most likely position for Tennessee according to the sports books is quarterback, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Tennessee trade up for one of the big four QBs. In fact, they’re the second most likely team to land Anthony Richardson in the betting market. In this mock, however, they stay home and reload their offensive line by selecting Skoronski out of Northwestern. Tennessee lost multiple starters on the offensive line via free agency, so it makes sense for this team to take a potential locked in starter for several years with this pick.
12. Houston Texans – WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Betting Market: Team to Draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba? Houston Texans (+400)
Analysis: Houston is the betting favorite to land the former Ohio State WR and consensus WR1 in the class. In the first WR market, JSN is -200 to be the first WR selected, which also fits in this spot. After trading away Brandin Cooks and with 2022 2nd round pick, John Metchie, recovering from Leukemia treatment, this team has plenty of question marks at WR. They address this weakness by pairing their rookie QB with one of the better route runners in the class.
13. New York Jets – T Broderick Jones
Betting Market: Broderick Jones Draft Position U13.5 (-200)
Analysis: These odds imply that it’s very likely Jones is taken by one of these teams who need offensive line help. In this mock, he barely clears that 13.5 line by landing in New York to (likely) protect Aaron Rodgers. It’s worth noting that the favorite in the betting market for the Jets first player taken is offensive lineman at -260. Any one of Skoronski, Johnson or Jones is in play here depending who slides on Draft night.
14. New England Patriots – CB Christian Gonzalez
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Cornerback (+250)
Analysis: Okay, I don’t think this actually happens. Gonzalez is a highly coveted CB prospect out of Oregon who shined at the Combine a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t until recently that Witherspoon became the favorite to be CB1 in this class. I certainly expect he’ll go before this pick, but as we see every year, guys fall for whatever reason. In this mock, Gonzalez lands in New England as a blue chip player to reload a secondary that’s aging and void of any top tier playmakers. In the betting market, cornerback (+250), offensive line (+250), and wide receiver (+250) are all tied for the most likely selection for New England, but as we see most years, they seem to have their own agenda when it comes to drafting. Who knows?
15. Green Bay Packers – T Darnell Wright
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Offensive Lineman (+250)
Analysis: This is the part of the draft where there’s plenty of unknowns, and the betting market here definitely indicates that. Like the Patriots, the Packers have several positions that are favored here for their first pick. In addition to offensive lineman, defensive lineman and tight end are both +250, so this pick could be a number of different guys. But one thing to note with the Pack is that last year, six of their NFL Draft selections made top 30 visits with the team. Darnell Wright is one of those guys who has visited with Green Bay, and GM Brian Gutekunst also attended the Tennessee Pro Day. According to GrindingTheMocks, Wright’s expected draft position is 20.7, but he’s been a riser throughout the pre-Draft process.
16. Washington Commanders – CB Joey Porter Jr.
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Cornerback (+110)
Analysis: This market suggests the Commanders are likely to invest in their secondary with the 16th overall pick and with Witherspoon and Gonzalez off the board, the corner out of Penn State hears his name called when the Commanders are on the clock. It is notable that his O/U on DraftKings is 16.5, but the juice is on the over at -155. He’s frequently mocked to the Steelers given his familial ties to the organization, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Porter land in Washington given their needs in the secondary. He made an official top 30 visit with the ‘Manders last week.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Deonte Banks
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Cornerback (+120)
Analysis: The Steelers got sniped by Washington one pick before they were on the clock, but they add to their secondary with Maryland’s Deonte Banks, who blew up the Combine in Indianapolis when he ran a 4.35. Banks has had an official top 30 visit with Pittsburgh, signaling that they’re at least interested in the former Terrapin.
18. Dallas Cowboys (via Trade) – RB Bijan Robinson
Betting Market: Team to Draft Bijan Robinson? Dallas Cowboys (+550)
Analysis: Every big time NFL scout this year has said that Bijan Robinson is not falling outside of the top 20, and there’s a real chance he goes inside the top 10 (he’s frequently mocked to Atlanta at 8). However, like most scouts and Draft analysts have said, it’s really difficult to find a perfect landing spot for him. Doing this exercise, I definitely felt that, so let’s have some fun with it. If there’s any franchise who’s going to make a move like this, it’s certainly the Dallas Cowboys, who made Ezekiel Elliott one of the highest paid running backs in the league after taking him 4th overall back in 2016. Tony Pollard is there on the franchise tag, but behind him, they have no one relevant, and Mike McCarthy has spent most of the off-season talking about how they want to control the ball and establish it. Bijan stays home in Texas and heads to Dallas. The Cowboys are currently the betting favorite to take this year’s RB1. The odds are even more favorable over on FanDuel where Dallas is +400 to land Bijan. In addition, Robinson’s over/under currently sits at 18.5 over on BetOnline, but the under is juiced like crazy to -200.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – EDGE Nolan Smith
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Defensive Lineman/EDGE (+225)
Analysis: Because Tampa is in need of just about every position as they look to rebuild in life after TB12, they’re one of the harder teams to mock. The Bucs are a team who could go any number of directions. I’ve seen mocks where they land an offensive tackle (which is the betting favorite at +190), a running back (Bijan) and even a quarterback. However, in this mock, they take the value in Georgia’s Nolan Smith, who has been generating a ton of buzz in the last month after his Combine performance in Indy. Smith has had an official top 30 visit with the Bucs.
20. Seattle Seahawks – EDGE Myles Murphy
Betting Market: N/A
Analysis: Murphy was frequently mocked in the top 10 way back in December of 2022, but as the off-season has unfolded, his NFL Draft stock has fallen just a little bit. Seattle takes an edge rusher here to pair with their big D tackle Jalen Carter and sure up their defensive line for the foreseeable future. Murphy has an EDP on GrindingTheMocks of 18.2, so he’s right in this range for most mocks around the industry.
21. Los Angeles Chargers – WR Jordan Addison
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Wide Receiver (+160)
Analysis: Keenan Allen showed last year that he’s still one of the most productive WRs in the league when healthy, but he’ll be 31 this summer while Mike Williams‘ contract expires after 2024. With Kellen Moore now in town as the OC, we can project the Chargers to continue to run an aggressive offense that features plenty of Justin Herbert drop backs. They give him another playmaker in Addison, who won the Biletnikoff Award back in 2021 while playing at Pitt. Bonus note here – Addison actually played for current Chargers WRs coach, Chris Beatty, when both were at Pitt in 2021. They reunite in LA.
22. Baltimore Ravens – WR Zay Flowers
Betting Market: Zay Flowers Draft Position U22.5 (-150)
Analysis: Flowers’ over/under opened at 24.5 with the odds at -200 for the under, and it’s since moved quite a bit down to 22.5. The juice still indicates he’s likely to be a top 22 selection, which makes sense when you consider there’s plenty of WR needy teams drafting in this range. Sure, Baltimore just signed Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year deal, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at add young playmakers. Back at the Combine, GM Eric DeCosta publicly said this when asked about the WR position, “If I had an answer, that would probably mean I would have some better receivers. … We’re gonna keep swinging. There have been some guys that have been successful players for us that were draft picks. We’ve never really hit on that All-Pro type of guy, which is disappointing, but it’s not for a lack of effort. … It’s one of those anomalies.” With Todd Monken now running a more pass centric offense, Baltimore adds another playmaker to (hopefully) entice Lamar Jackson to return.
23. Minnesota Vikings – CB Cam Smith
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Cornerback (+180)
Analysis: The Vikings had one of the NFL’s worst secondaries last year, and Patrick Peterson is now in Pittsburgh. While WR is an obvious need as well (and the second most likely pick based on current odds at +210), Minnesota decides to sure up the secondary with South Carolina’s Cam Smith. Note – this is well ahead of Smith’s EDP of 34.4, so while it’s certainly not one I feel great about, it does fit Minnesota’s team needs.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars – EDGE Will McDonald
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Defensive Lineman/EDGE (+275)
Analysis: According to betting odds, the Jags are most likely to select corner (+200) or offensive lineman (+225), but with no obvious fits left on the board, they’ll take the edge defender out of Iowa State to play opposite of last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Travon Walker. According to Jags’ beat reporter John Shipley, the Jaguars have used 17 of their 30 available pre-draft visits thus far. 11 of those 17 visits have been either an edge defender or a defensive tackle. McDonald is Daniel Jeremiah’s 26th overall ranked prospect in this class.
25. New York Giants – WR Quentin Johnston
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Wide Receiver (-110)
Analysis: The Giants signed every slot WR in the NFL this off-season. Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard and Jamison Crowder are all on this roster, but after the Kenny Golladay debacle a few years ago, this team lacks size in the WR room. Sure, Isaiah Hodgins is there, and he was a nice player for the team last year, but he’s making virtually nothing playing on the Exclusive Rights Free Agent tag. Johnston is the only big bodied WR at 6’3″ who’s getting first round buzz. He lands in New York where Brian Daboll can do some creative things for the athletic TCU WR who averaged an elite 8.9 yards after the catch per reception in college. According to DraftKings, New York is the 4th most likely team to draft Johnston behind Minnesota, Baltimore and Houston. In addition, Johnston’s over/under isn’t available on DraftKings or FanDuel yet, but on BetOnline, his over/under is at 21.5 with the over juiced to -175.
26. Detroit Lions (Via Trade) – DT Calijah Kancey
Betting Market: N/A
Analysis: After adding to their secondary with the 6th pick, Detroit continues to add playmakers on defense with Pitt’s Calijah Kancey. It may be (okay, it’s almost definitely) unfair for Kancey, but he’s drawn comparisons to Aaron Donald due to the fact that he’s undersized but explosive and great as a pass rusher. Hey, both played at Pitt if that means anything. ESPN’s Jordan Reid mocked Kancey to Detroit just a few days ago on April 10.
We’re 18 days away from the 2023 NFL Draft.
A preview of what the #Lions should do at No. 18 overall and a Day 3 QB they likely have their eye on: pic.twitter.com/4qknzD59F1
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) April 9, 2023
27. Buffalo Bills – LB Drew Sanders
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Linebacker (+175)
Analysis: The Bills can go any number of directions with this pick. Wide receiver (+275) is very much in play as is offensive line (+380) and defensive line (+500). However, Buffalo lost star LB Tremaine Edmunds in free agency, so they’ve got a big hole to fill in their linebacker core, and the betting market seems to agree this is the most likely scenario. In an alternative “First LB to be Selected” market, Sanders is the favorite at -105 over Jack Campbell (+115). Additionally, in the head to head market for these two guys, Sanders is favored to go ahead of Campbell at -135.
28. Cincinnati Bengals – TE Dalton Kincaid
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Tight End (+125)
Analysis: The Bengals lost Hayden Hurst via free agency to the Panthers, leaving behind a depth chart that’s wide open at TE. In this mock, they add a dynamic receiving threat in Dalton Kincaid out of Utah, who’s largely considered the best pass catching tight end in the class. He’s Daniel Jeremiah’s 9th overall prospect in the class, and in an alternative betting market, Kincaid is (-150) to be selected ahead of Michael Mayer and the betting favorite to be the first TE selected at -150.
29. New Orleans Saints – TE Michael Mayer
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Tight End (+450)
Analysis: Yes, the Saints brought back Juwan Johnson after he was a restricted free agent, but he’s only signed through 2024. Michael Mayer is largely considered the most complete TE in the class, and he can play the traditional in-line role while also being featured as a receiver. Derek Carr gets another pass catcher with the former Notre Dame TE heading down to NOLA. Worth noting, Daniel Jeremiah also mocked Mayer to the Saints in his most recent mock draft.
30. Philadelphia Eagles – S Brian Branch
Betting Market: N/A
Analysis: I’m skeptical this scenario plays out in the real NFL Draft as Branch has an EDP of 23.8, and I’ve seen him mocked as high as 16 to Washington. In this exercise, however, Branch falls to #30 to Philly. James Bradberry and Darius Slay were brought back in free agency, but they lost nickel corner/safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in free agency. Branch would fill that playmaker need in their secondary.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
Betting Market: Position of Team’s First Drafted Player: Defensive Lineman/EDGE (+175)
Analysis: Kansas City can go a number of different directions with this pick, but we’ll following the betting odds here and go with the favorite, a defensive lineman. The Chiefs released Frank Clark this off-season, so they have a need to fill on the defensive line and Anudike-Uzomah can help them bolster their pass rush. He went 30th in Jeremiah’s most recent mock. He’s gone in the first round in about 30% of the mocks I’ve tracked.
I like a lot of your picks here, and mostly agree.
Here’s a couple different takes. I think the Colts take Will Levis. I do not think they covet Richardson at all.
The Bears will probably trade down if possible, so trying to select a player for them at #9 doesn’t make sense. The rumored trade with the Steelers is a strong possiblity.
While I love the idea of the Cowboys trading up to get Bijan, it takes 2 to make a trade. I don’t know if they will get a trade done. Philadelphia makes a lot of sense as a landing spot for him.
The best bet is Jaxon Smith Njigba to the Texans at 12. Whether they take Bryce or Stroud #1, they will want to pair that QB with the best WR in the draft with their next pick. I do not see a different team taking him before then, so the Texans are a pretty solid bet.