With the 2023 NFL Draft a little over two weeks away, it’s never too early to get a jump on evaluating the thousands of mock drafts circulating on the internet for a better understanding of what to expect. And that’s always important when placing a wager on the league’s biggest offseason spectacle. Betting on the NFL is big business, especially between August and February. But with an abundance of NFL betting props the draft has taken on a life of its own.
We talked about the favorites to be drafted first overall in a recent article and with the teams at the top of the draft board looking for franchise quarterbacks, players on the offensive side of the ball were a hot topic. But if defense wins championships now is the time for teams to get it right. There are a number of quality defenders on the draft board with the cornerback position loaded with talent. However, guys that can get after the quarterback are a hot commodity. Most draft analysts agree that Will Anderson and Jalen Carter are the best defensive players, but who goes first? NFL odds put Anderson as a heavy favorite to be the first defender taken, though as we know things change. Make your way to BetRivers sportsbook to make football bets online.
2023 NFL Draft
The first round of the draft is set to take place on Thursday, April 27 at 8 p.m. ET. Rounds two and three are set for Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. ET with rounds four through seven on Saturday, April 29 starting at Noon ET. The entire draft will be televised on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.
2023 NFL Draft Props
In six of the previous eight drafts a quarterback was selected first overall. With the top four favorites in the first overall category being QBs and the teams at the top of the draft board in need of an upgrade at the position, there’s a better than good chance one of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson or Will Levis join the 34 other QBs selected first. The two non-quarterbacks taken first in the last eight drafts were pass rushers Travon Walker and Myles Garrett.
2023 First Defensive Player Selected Odds
Will Anderson -500
Jalen Carter +900
Tyree Wilson +900
Devon Witherspoon +1800
Christian Gonzalez +2500
Lukas Van Ness +10000
There is some controversy as to who is the best defender in the draft. The discussion surrounds only two players, though, and Jalen Carter may have cost himself some spots in the draft order with a poor showing at his pro day and his off-field transgressions. This is the NFL, though, and if you can ball a team will take a chance. Anderson has gaudy stats with 34.5 sacks during his career at Alabama, but Carter is likely the more disruptive force. As a defensive lineman he just doesn’t get the opportunity for stats, but when scouts rave about your ability you must be good. If teams are comfortable having Carter on their roster there are scenarios where he’s taken first.
2023 First Cornerback Selected Odds
Devon Witherspoon -175
Christian Gonzalez +150
Joey Porter Jr. +2000
Brian Branch +2500
Deonte Banks +5000
Kelee Ringo +5000
Mel Kiper Jr. has never had a perfect draft so relying on a guy who spends all his time working on the different scenarios and still not getting it right tells us that you just don’t know what teams are thinking. There is some gamesmanship that goes on with teams revealing info to make others believe they’re going to zig when in fact they’re going to zag. With the passing game such a huge part of the NFL teams have to be stocked to stop it. And there’s a good crop of cornerbacks available in the draft.
Devon Witherspoon is the highest rated corner in the draft class and thus positioned as the favorite to be selected first at the position. There’s not a lot separating him from the next four or five players on the list. It comes down to what a team needs and what a player offers. And don’t forget about trades throwing a wrench in the plans. Chicago made one early enough sending the top overall pick to Carolina for more picks and a top receiver. With their first pick at No. 9, the Bears are in a position to grab one of the top corners on the market.
Check out the latest NFL draft betting odds at BetRivers