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2021 NFL Draft Odds: Lawrence is 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.

Lawrence is the odds-on -280 favorite at Bovada, followed by Justin Fields (+550) and Penei Sewell (+700) 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.

Odds to be Selected First Overall in the 2021 NFL Draft
Trevor Lawrence-280
Justin Fields+550
Penei Sewell+700
Trey Lance+950
Alex Leatherwood+5000
Gregory Rousseau+5000
Micah Parsons+5000
Devonta Smith+10000
Ja’Marr Chase+10000
Jaylen Waddle+10000
Travis Etienne+12500

Odds as of September 17 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.

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 drafted 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 is set to return 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.

The Pac-12 has decided to postpone its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making it the lone league to not play in the 2020 campaign.