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NFL Draft Odds: Lawrence Favored to Go at No. 1

2021 NFL Draft Odds

When it comes to odds on the 2021 NFL Draft, sportsbooks are united in projecting Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence to be the first player taken off the board.

Despite testing positive for COVID-19 in late October, Lawrence is the odds-on -850 favorite at Bovada to be selected first overall in the NFL draft, followed by Penei Sewell (+850) and Justin Fields (+950) as the next likeliest candidates.

Looking for more information on the numerous ways to wager on the NFL draft? Check out our How to Bet On the NFL Draft article.

Who Has Best NFL Draft Odds To Be 1st Off The Board?

NFL Draft Odds: 1st Overall Selection
Trevor Lawrence-850
Penei Sewell+850
Justin Fields+950
Trey Lance+2500
Alex Leatherwood+6000
Micah Parsons+6000
Gregory Rousseau+7500
DeVonta Smith+12500
Ja’Marr Chase+12500
Jaylen Waddle+12500
Travis Etienne+17500

Odds as of November 12 at Bovada

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Things can change incredibly quickly in football – just look at 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow as proof of that. Burrow, who was considered a fifth- to seventh-rounder a year ago, seemingly came out of nowhere to dominate the college football world in 2020.

Burrow flourished in his final year at Louisiana State, leading the Tigers to an undefeated regular season, an SEC title and a national championship. Burrow won the Heisman Trophy by the largest margin in the history of the award and broke several NCAA FBS records, including most touchdown passes (60) and highest passer rating (202.0).

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Lawrence Will Be Tough to Beat Out

Lawrence’s resume is almost as impressive as his physical talent. Simply put, the 20-year-old has “franchise quarterback” written all over him, and NFL teams are already chomping at the bit to take him in next year’s draft.

Lawrence has been considered one of the nation’s top collegiate signal-callers since the first half of his freshman season in 2018 after taking over for Kelly Bryant and leading the Tigers to a national championship. The Tennessee native has thrown for 6,945 yards with 66 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions over two years at Clemson and holds a career completion rate of 65.5 percent.

It was announced on October 29 that Lawrence had tested positive for the coronavirus. While he has missed two games since the diagnosis, it should not affect his overall stock as he is the best player in college football.

The 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship served as a low point for Lawrence, however, as he produced one of his worst outings in a two-interception mess against Burrow’s LSU Tigers. Still, at this point, Lawrence going first overall in 2021 looks to be a lock.

Don’t Forget About Fields

After a flawless transition to Ryan Day’s offense at Ohio State, Fields was a Heisman finalist in 2019 and was primed to have a huge year for the Buckeyes in 2020. Fields passed for 41 touchdowns with just three picks while serving as a dual threat thanks to 10 touchdowns and 484 yards on the ground.

Fields has had a rivalry with Lawrence extending back to the Elite 11 camp, and the two QBs were on track to once again duel it out for the right to be the first player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft before the Big Ten announced in August it would be postponing its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-September, the league reversed its decision and returned to action on October 23.

Sewell is Out to Prove He’s Worthy of Going No. 1

An offensive tackle hasn’t been taken at No. 1 since the Kansas City Chiefs selected Eric Fisher in the 2013 draft, but Sewell is gunning to buck that trend. The Oregon Duck is already the best tackle in college football and could be an excellent option for a team drafting at No. 1 that already has a young quarterback in the fold.

The 6-6, 325-pound tackle would be a surefire bet to go at No. 1 if quarterbacks weren’t such a highly coveted commodity. He won the Outland Trophy as the top interior lineman in the nation in 2019 and has continued to improve under the watch of former offensive lineman Mario Cristobal.

Considering how well the 2020 crop of tackles performed at the NFL Combine, Sewell has his work cut out for him. I think he’s up for the challenge to be the undisputed top tackle in next year’s draft, yet I’m not comfortable enough to back him in this prop.  There are simply too many quarterback-needy teams in the NFL right now, and I don’t think a franchise would pass on Lawrence or Fields to take Sewell.