The 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday and all 32 teams will be desperate to add the best talent to emerge from the college game.
One of the hardest positions for sides to judge has been wide receiver. There have been many high-profile cases in recent years where players selected in the first round of the draft have failed to live up to expectations due to injuries and failing to find their feet in the more complex NFL systems.
This year presents a greater challenge than most for teams in need of an influx of talent in their receiving corps. There are not many wideouts that are considered premium quality to be selected within the top 10. Projections have been wrong in the past and the crop of players emerging could well be superstars in the league during their careers.
We’ll now break down the odds for which wideout will be selected first in the 2019 Draft.
Metcalf is considered the leading prospect at the position and has earned comparison to Dez Bryant for his style of play. Bryant was selected in the first round of the 2010 Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and Metcalf will be aiming to emulate that feat on Thursday. Although the 21-year-old has a great deal of raw potential displayed during his career with the Ole Miss Rebels, there are questions marks regarding his durability. He missed a large portion of last season with a neck injury, stymieing a strong start to the term when he notched 26 receptions for 569 yards and five touchdowns in just seven games.
Metcalf had a steady freshman year with the Rebels in the season prior, but he enters the Draft with only 21 games under his belt. That will concern teams selecting in the first round and could push him towards the end of the evening’s selections. There are teams floating in the range of the 20s that could select Metcalf such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The New York Giants could even be an option given the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. The Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots could also come into consideration. towards the end of the round. However, the longer his wait – more players at his position may provide a better fit. Back him at 67/1001.67-1500.67-1.500.67 to be the first wideout selected with BetOnline.
Brown has the production in college that Metcalf did not, although the two could not be more different players on the field. Metcalf is a physical specimen at 6ft 3in and 230lbs, while Brown is 5ft 10in and 166lbs. However, it did not stop Brown from boasting outstanding statistics during his two years with the Oklahoma Sooners, benefitting from the quarterback play of Baker Mayfield then Kyler Murray last season. Brown hit the ground running in his first campaign in the college game, notching 1,095 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He kicked on last term with Murray, becoming his favourite target downfield with 1,318 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Brown has earned comparisons with DeSean Jackson due his size and speed. If he becomes the next Jackson on the field then a team in the first round will have an outstanding receiver at their disposal. Whether he can cope with the physicality of the NFL remains to be seen as it becomes a lot more difficult to beat press coverage against a higher standard of cornerback. There will be interest due to his production in college, but whether in the 20s or the 30s into the second round is the issue at hand. He does have value at 2/13.00+2002.002.00-0.50 to be the first wideout taken with BetOnline.
Brown has the size advantage over his namesake and has the speed over Metcalf that could make him a well-rounded prospect in the eyes of teams. He played in the same Rebels side as Metcalf, putting forward three impressive years of production. The 21-year-old improved every season, ending his college career with 2,984 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. At 6ft and 225lbs, he will tick a lot of boxes for sides across the league, while he has displayed versatility to play in different roles as a wideout – both outside and inside in the slot.
Brown had reliable hands and was able make contested catches with ease during his career. One concern would be his performances against the elite teams of the SEC, struggling against Alabama and LSU. It could make teams question whether he’s worthy of a first-round pick if he cannot raise his game against the best. The Packers and the Patriots would seem a logical choice towards the end of the first round. Playing with Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady would be a dream scenario for the wideout. Should the other two prospects fall, he could be in line to be the first wideout off the board at odds of 9/110.00+9009.009.00-0.11 with Bookmaker, presenting excellent value.
Butler is the wildcard out of the wide receivers and has been a later riser on draft boards. He could force his way into the back of the first round, which could see him picked ahead of the three players previously mentioned. Butler was a standout performer in his final two seasons with the Iowa State Hawkeyes, although his junior year was when he began to dominate. He recorded 1,318 receiving yards and nine touchdowns for his team, highlighting his threat down the field. Butler has been likened to former New York Giants wideout Plaxico Burress.
The 22-year-old does not have the elite speed of the other receivers in the selection process, but he does have nous and the size to cause defensive backs huge issues. The level of competition he faced during his college career could count against him. The Big 12 does not boast the same standard as the SEC with fewer elite players on the field on a weekly basis. However, there not should not be a shortage of teams that would crave a player of his ilk. Whether it’s in the first round remains to be seen, with the Patriots being an interesting fit at the final spot. He has value at 12/113.00+120012.0012.00-0.08 at BetOnline if the other wideouts fall on Thursday.