My cohort Aaron Smith has already written about some NFL Draft props here at Doc's , with the first round on Thursday night in Chicago. Round 2 is Friday night and then the final rounds are Saturday, and in an interesting twist will be announced outdoors -- the weather is going to cooperate in the Windy City. You can expect the sportsbooks to release some updated props after Round 1 for any potential big names still on the board. If possible, I will address those for you on Friday depending on the time crunch. But here are some last-minute recommendations for the first round.
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2015 NFL Draft Props: Total Running Backs Drafted in Round 1 -- Take the "over" 1.5 (-550) at BetOnline. Aaron already addressed a prop on Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, who was second in the 2014 Heisman voting to Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. Aaron recommended going over a 22.5 draft position for Gordon. Not sure I agree with that. But it's a 100 percent lock that Georgia's Todd Gurley and Gordon will be first-round picks. It's also lock they will be the only two running backs gone in Round 1, but at least a tailback does go on Day 1 for the first time since 2012. This is easy money -- hence the price. Also, Bovada has a prop on Gurley's draft position, listed at 14.5 with under a -140 favorite. The latest report, whether you believe these types of things or not, is that Miami "covets" Gurley at No. 14 even though he might not be ready for the start of the season off ACL surgery. I would go under there.
2015 NFL Draft Props: Total Quarterbacks Drafted in Round 1 -- Take the "under" 2.5 (-550) at BetOnline. This is also easy money. Obviously Florida State's Jameis Winston is going No. 1 overall to Tampa Bay and Oregon's Mariota is going in the No. 2 slot, either to Tennessee or Cleveland, San Diego or Philadelphia via a trade with the Titans. There is no other quarterback close to a first-round grade. For example, Mel Kiper ranks his No. 3 quarterback as the 81st overall player on his board. It's Colorado State's Garrett Grayson, with Baylor's Bryce Petty right behind. One of those guys could go in the second round, but they won't slip into the first.
2015 NFL Draft Props: First Outside Linebacker Drafted -- Take Kentucky's Bud Dupree (+200) at BetOnline. I can't go chalk every time, can I? It seemed like Clemson's Vic Beasley (-300) was going to be the guy since the combine but of late Dupree has passed him on all these draft rankings. The thing that scouts like better about Dupree is that he could play as defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. He's bigger than Beasley and a better athlete, although Beasley can rush the passer better right now. I think either Dupree or Beasley goes No. 8 to the Falcons and that it's Dupree.
2015 NFL Draft Props: Draft Position of Dante Fowler Jr. -- Take the over (-200) at Bovada. This is just smart betting. Most analysts have Fowler, a defensive end from Florida, as the second-best player overall on the board behind USC defensive tackle/end Leonard Williams. Since we know that Winston and Mariota are going 1-2, that leaves Jacksonville to either win or lose this bet. And the Jags could take Williams or Alabama receiver Amari Cooper over Fowler, who won't get past Washington at No. 5 if Jacksonville doesn't pounce.
2015 NFL Draft Props: Total Offensive Players Vs. Defensive in Round 1 -- Take defensive (-115) at BetOnline. There are only going to be two quarterbacks and two running backs taken in Round 1. Probably five receivers, maybe six. Perhaps five offensive linemen. No tight ends. So that adds up to 15 offensive players at the most. That would leave 17 picks for defensive players because obviously a kicker isn't going in Round 1. I would expect 11 linemen/linebackers (Aaron recommended over 10 DLs/LBs prop at BetOnline) and six defensive backs.
2015 NFL Draft Props: Kicker or Punter Taken First -- Take punter (-115) at BetOnline. It seems easy to find a kicker these days; you can sign a guy off the street and he will hit 25-for-28 in the season. Plus, the NFL is lessening the impact of kickers with so few kickoffs returned these days and potentially the extra-point rule change. You will never see a kicker taken in the first round again like Oakland did with Sebastian Janikowski not too long ago. But if you can find a booming punter, that affects field position. Last year a punter went first as the Bears took Miami's Pat O'Donnell in the sixth round. This prop could be a push because the top kicking prospect also punts: Texas State's Will Johnson.
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