We’re just a few hours away from the Jacksonville Jaguars officially being on the clock with the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday night from Las Vegas.
This is the second straight year that Jacksonville holds the No. 1 pick and because they took quarterback Trevor Lawrence last season — and given the depth of pass-rushing and offensive-line prospects throughout the NFL Draft class — there isn’t a true, bona fide top pick for a team that could use an upgrade in multiple spots around the depth chart.
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That provides plenty of intrigue for sports bettors looking to put down some money on the No. 1 pick Thursday night as three prospects have pretty short odds to hear their name called first by commissioner Roger Goodell.
The current odds for the top pick, courtesy of DraftKings, are as follows:
Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia: -250
Walker’s draft stock has catapulted recently — up to the point where he is the odds on favorite to go No. 1 at the NFL Draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay reported on Monday that the Georgia product is the Jaguars’ first choice over Aidan Hutchinson, who had been the favorite for a majority of the offseason.
“The belief around the league is Jacksonville prefers the upside and traits of Walker over the proven production, motor, and leadership that Hutchinson brings to the table,” McShay wrote. “And it is nearly a lock that one of them will come off the board first.”
Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan: +250
Hutchinson’s stock hasn’t necessarily fallen as much as the Jaguars’ interests have changed. The Michigan product was dominant in 2021, posting 14.0 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, and forced fumbles in 14 games.
While Walker has become the favorite, it doesn’t mean that Hutchinson can be completely ruled out. Considering Jacksonville extended left tackle Cam Robinson, the edge position is believed to be the most likely to be drafted.
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State: +450
As was just noticed, Robinson’s contract decreases the likelihood of an offensive lineman being taken first overall by Jacksonville. That being said, new head coach Doug Pederson will want to invest in his offense in some way — especially if it means bolstering the protection in front of Lawrence.
Ekwonu is believed to be the most likely offensive lineman to go first as the top prospect at his position, garnering unanimous All-American and First-Team All-ACC honors.
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama: +2500
Neal was an integral part of Alabama’s offensive line and was a mainstay on the unit that won the 2021 national championship. An All-SEC first-team member, the 6-foot-7, 337 lb. lineman was also a 2021 consensus All-American.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon: +5000
Thibodeaux is the third edge-rushing option that could be taken in the top 10 at the NFL Draft. In 10 games last year with the Ducks, he posted 7.0 sacks, 12.0 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.