Bet on NFL Draft Picks Performance in 2019 Season
It's an odd thing every year in the NFL offseason - we spend a whole lot more time, energy, and effort talking about and writing about where players are going to getting drafted than we do about how they are going to do with their new teams. It's like we are all tired and need a football break for a while as soon as the draft is over. But I'm not letting you have your nap. I want to think about what comes next. What we can expect from the freshly-minted millionaires. Specifically, I want to look at two groups, with help from the prop bets available at BetOnline - the guys who throw the ball, and the guys who attack the guys who throw the ball:
Rookie QBs to start in Week 1 - o/u 1.5: The first one is a gimme -- the only way Kyler Murray isn't starting the opener is if he can't walk. But is there another guy who could start? Daniel Jones isn't. We know that. Even the Giants aren't that dumb. Drew Lock isn't going to get the nod over Joe Flacco out of the gate - that's not why they drafted him. And Ryan Finley isn't getting the edge in Cincinnati. That means it all boils down to Dwayne Haskins in Washington. I am very high on him and think he will lead the team in starts by the end of the year. But the Redskins open with a tough stretch - they play Philly, Dallas, Chicago and New England in their first five games. It would make more sense to run Case Keenum out for those ones than to throw their rookie to the wolves. The under feels like the play here.
Kyler Murray - o/u 3,200 passing yards: It's a lazy parallel, but we can look at what the last first overall pick who was a Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma did as a rookie - Baker Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards despite having to wait two and a half games to get his chance. The other Heisman-winning first overall pick from Oklahoma, Sam Bradford, started all 16 games as a rookie, and he passed for 3,512 yards. Neither guy had a coach nearly as committed to the pass as Murray does. The over feels pretty comfortable here.
Kyler Murray - o/u 19.5 TD passes: This one is more interesting. Mayfield had 27 passes for TDs last year, but Bradford had only 18. This is a fairly aggressive number. But if you believe, like I do, that Murray will be the guy at the helm unless he is injured, then it is reasonable. Sure, the Cardinals are rebuilding an offensive line and a receiving corps on the fly. But 20 quarterbacks last year had more than 19.5 touchdowns. Do you think for a second that Kingsbury was hired to have his quarterback out passed by 20 other guys? Over.
Dwayne Haskins - o/u 7.5 starts: As I said, I'm a Haskins guy, so I like the over here. They are likely going to try to trade Colt McCoy or maybe even Case Keenum to open up the roster a bit. I don't really expect Haskins to start out of the gate for reasons we have already discussed. But it seems very likely he will be starting after the bye week at the latest, and there are seven games left by that point. And with things so tough early on for the team, they could easily be against the ropes much sooner than the bye, so Haskins could find his opportunity.
Daniel Jones - o/u 4.5 starts: Eli Manning is in the last year of his contract, and almost certainly the last year with the Giants - though nothing logical is certain with this team. The team learned a whole lot about how badly it can go trying to push Manning aside last year, though, and it's not like fans are going to be clamoring to see Jones. And it's not like there is going to be anything to save about this season. I suspect that they will let Manning play until he is beyond useful, and once he is done he will be done for good. And Jones needs to be ready, of course. The bye week comes with six games left, so the over is possible, but I still lean under here.
The Quarterback Hunters
Clelin Ferrell - over/under 5.5 sacks: Ferrell was a comical stretch with the fourth overall pick, and he joins a team that managed just 13 sacks last year. Gruden and company will be committed to using him to not make the pick look so preposterous, but six sacks is a lot to ask for a rookie - never mind a one under this kind of a microscope. I like the under. And, to be fair, I like the pessimistic side of virtually every Raiders prop out there right now. Gruden is the ringmaster of a clown show.
Josh Allen - o/u 7 sacks: The Jaguars had 37 sacks last year, with two defensive ends combing for 20 of them. They have a decent pass rush. Allen is fast, he's flexible in terms of where he can play and what he can do, and he has a clear nose for the QB with 31 sacks in college. He's going to get every opportunity here, and the team is going to be aggressive with him. It's a stout number, but the over is the only side to take.
More sacks in 2019 - Joey Bosa (-200) or Nick Bosa (+160): The elder Bosa had 10.5 and 12.5 sacks his first two years, respectively. He played only seven games last year but still had 5.5 sacks. He is easily good for double digits if he stays healthy. DeForest Buckner had 12 sacks for the Niners last year, but they didn't find a consistent pairing for him. The two most frequent guys to line up opposite Buckner, though, combined for 11 sacks. Joey got those 10.5 sacks as a rookie in just 12 games. Nick missed much of last season to injury. However, if he can return healthy this year and stay that way, then he could easily match or exceed that number in a full season. Joey is deservedly the favorite here, but the gap between the two isn't as big as the odds would suggest. The value is in Nick.
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