The 2018 NFL Draft was a memorable one for a number of reasons. For starters, four quarterbacks were taken in the top 10 – the first time that’s happened in NFL history. A potential franchise-changing player – Saquon Barkley – was selected second overall by the New York Giants, giving Big Blue its best running back since Tiki Barber.
The draft lived up to the hype and then some, so naturally the sports betting community is sizing up how the rookies will perform in the upcoming 2018 season. Sportsbook has released odds on how the top rookies will fare in their first year in the NFL.
This year’s class of signal-callers could be one for the ages. There’s never any shortage of quarterback-needy teams in the NFL, and the league got an injection of youth with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson getting picked in the first round.
The Cleveland Browns have been synonymous with swinging and missing on quarterbacks over the last two decades, but the struggling franchise may have finally found its man in No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. The Heisman Trophy Sportsbook is clearly the future of the position in Ohio but will have to eclipse the newly acquired Tyrod Taylor for the starting job. Sportsbook has the OVER/UNDER on starts for Mayfield in 2018 at 9.5.
Of Allen (OVER/UNDER 10.5 starts), Rosen (8.5), Darnold (5.5) and Jackson (0.5), the ex-Wyoming Cowboy clearly has the best chance to receive the most playing time in his first year as a pro. Although Allen is the rawest quarterback of the bunch, the trade of Taylor to Cleveland has opened up the No. 1 spot on the Bills’ depth chart.
Buffalo signed ex-Cincinnati Bengal AJ McCarron in the offseason, but the Bills didn’t take Allen in the first round to have him ride the pine.
Running back props
Barkley’s OVER/UNDER rushing touchdown number is set at 8, with the projected rushing yards for the Penn State product tabbed at 1,000. It’ll cost you to bet the OVER on that prop due to the -170 juice, but Barkley won’t have much competition in the depleted Giants backfield.
It’ll be tough to top Ezekiel Elliott’s stellar rookie campaign in 2016, although it won’t be much of a shock to see Barkley cash the OVER on both of those props if he can stay healthy.
The Browns raised eyebrows across the league when they decided to select Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 4, which meant the Denver Broncos were able to take North Carolina State stud defensive end Bradley Chubb.
Chubb was widely considered the top defensive player in the draft, and the Broncos will pair him with Super Bowl 50 MVP Von MIller to create a nightmare one-two punch for opposing quarterbacks. The book has given Chubb an OVER/UNDER of 5.5 sacks for 2018. The 21-year-old registered 10 sacks in each of his last two seasons in college and under the tutelage of Miller could become a monster in the NFL before too long.