It’s almost time for the NFL Draft, with rumours emerging nearly every hour about how teams will use their early picks in the selection process.
Over the last few months – college players have been put through their paces in a range of physical and mental tests by all 32 teams in their bid to join the league.
Only 250 will be picked over the course of the three days, with many more bolstering the ranks as undrafted free agents.
First-round prospects have drawn the most scrutiny ahead of the selection process, with many players rising and falling based on their performances in team interviews as well as the NFL Combine.
We’ll now break down some of the most intriguing players in the Draft using the best betting options for where they will be taken in the process.
The 20-year-old is one of the most interesting players in the process, with his stock rising over the last few months after impressing at the Combine as well as his visits with respective teams.
McCaffrey comes from an NFL family, with his father Ed having played for the Denver Broncos in their two Super Bowl winning seasons, while he notched another triumph with the San Francisco 49ers.
However, McCaffrey has enough pedigree on his own without using Ed’s accomplishments to bolster his reputation. He rushed for 2,000 yards during his sophomore season with the Stanford Cardinals, while he also caught 45 passes out of the backfield.
The running back maintained his form during his junior term, with 1,600 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns along with 310 receiving yards.
His ability to run the ball as well as catch out of the backfield will intrigue a great deal of teams. As a result, McCaffrey’s stock has risen to be a top-10 candidate.
The Carolina Panthers at number eight could be the landing spot due to their need for a running back to alleviate the pressure on Cam Newton. Backing McCaffrey at +130 with BetOnline to be selected before the ninth pick is a solid option to take given the club’s need and his talent.
Watson’s selection could affect a lot of players in the process, with the potential of a team trading up to acquire his services.
The 21-year-old was a star for the Clemson Tigers during his college career, ending his tenure at the team on the highest of notes by leading them to victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFB Championship game.
Despite this outstanding performance, many pundits have him ranked as the second best quarterback in the Draft behind Mitchell Trubisky. As a result, it’s hard to predict where he will land based on where his colleague will be selected before him.
There are a number of teams in need of quarterbacks inside the top 10, beginning with the Cleveland Browns at number one and the San Francisco 49ers in second.
Conceivably Watson could be gone by number two, making his odds of being selected before the 13th selection -130 the best punt, with the New York Jets also in the market for a quality signal-caller.
Should the Browns, 49ers and Jets pass it could be a while before he is picked that could see him drop into the 20s. However, teams’ desperation for a quarterback should never be understated in the selection process.
Allen was a dominant force on the defensive line of the Alabama Crimson Tide during his college career.
He was the key cog in guiding Nick Saban’s men to victory in the 2016 CFB Championship game over the Clemson Tigers and Watson, although the quarterback did get his revenge earlier this year.
Strong against both the run and pass – his versatility should be craved by every team in the league.
In initial mock Drafts he was touted to be selected inside the top five, although the rise of other defensive talent and the pressing offensive needs of teams in the early picks could see him slide.
Allen has had issues with a shoulder injury, which has put those teams on high alert about his durability. Despite his impressive ability – it would not be the first time sides have passed on a talented player due to concerns over his long-term future in the league.
As a result, backing Allen to be selected beyond the fifth pick in the selection process at odds of +140 would be an excellent bet.
His skill should not see him drop far, but Jamal Adams and Marshon Lattimore will provide better value for defenders earlier than the defensive tackle.
Behind Trubisky and Watson – Mahomes is the third quarterback that is touted to be selected in the first round of the Draft.
The 21-year-old displayed his ability during his three years with Texas Tech, starring in his senior season – throwing 41 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions.
Mahomes has rare athletic ability and is renowned for his propensity to make difficult throws on the run due to the talent of his arm.
The quarterback has had issues with his consistency, with his determination to search for big plays occasionally costing his side – therefore he will need strong coaching at the NFL level to thrive.
The Arizona Cardinals could be a likely landing spot due to Bruce Arians’ experience moulding young talent such as Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck during his career.
The Cardinals have to look to the future due to the age of Carson Palmer, with the quarterback suffering a number of injuries in recent years.
However, should they pass in search of better value the Houston Texans could come into play.
The AFC South outfit have been haunted by the lack of a quality signal-caller with Brock Osweiler struggling immensely last season.
Bill O’Brien has managed to guide his side to the playoffs even without talent at the position.
Therefore he will be desperate to snag Mahomes should he fall into their laps at 25, with the 21-year-old backed at +165 to be selected beyond the 24th pick by BetOnline.
Christian McCaffrey To Be Selected Before Ninth Selection
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Deshaun Watson To Be Selected Before 13th Selection
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Jonathan Allen To Be Selected After Fifth Selection
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Patrick Mahomes To Be Selected After 24th Selection
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