NFL Draft Sees Record First Round for Offensive Players

For the first time in NFL Draft history, six quarterbacks were taken in the first round. And they didn’t just go in the first round, they went in the first 12 picks. That is a record that is unlikely to ever be broken.

Helping to push the quarterback selections over the threshold was the most stunning pick of the night, when the Atlanta Falcons selected Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick.

It was just six weeks ago that Atlanta signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract that comes with $100 million in guaranteed money and a no-trade clause. Instead of selecting Rome Odunze, one of the best wide receivers in the draft, or taking their pick of any defensive player they wanted, the Falcons picked a player in the top 10 who they hope won’t play for at least two years.

It was a head-scratcher for the rest of the league, and a complete surprise to Cousins.

When the dust settled on the six quarterback picks, which easily beat the over of 4.5, you had Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye going 1-2-3 to the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders, and New England Patriots.

Penix Jr. went to Atlanta at No. 8. The Minnesota Vikings traded up to No. 10 and drafted J.J. McCarthy, and Bo Nix went to the Denver Broncos at No. 12.

The Las Vegas Raiders were the team without a seat on first round quarterback musical chairs, and not surprisingly, they are now the betting favorites to select South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler. It’s +140 that he goes to Las Vegas on Friday. The Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants are next at +500.

Wide Receivers Go Over

The line on wide receivers selected in the first round was 6.5, with seven or more wide receivers paying +230. Congratulations if you took the over. Seven wide receivers were selected for the first time since 2004, with three of the final five picks giving you the win.

The wide receivers selected in order were Marvin Harrison Jr, to the Arizona Cardinals, Malik Nabers to the Giants, Rome Odunze to the Bears, Brian Thomas Jr. drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to draft Xavier Worthy, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Ricky Pearsall, and the Carolina Panthers traded up to 32 and drafted Xavier Legette.

Is the pick by the 49ers a sign that Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk will be traded? That is the buzz heading into the second round.

Offensive Linemen Go Under

When looking ahead to the first round, we struggled to find 10 offensive lineman that would go in the first round. That made the under on 9.5 feel like the best bet, which it turned out to be. Nine offensive lineman were selected, contributing to the record 14 offensive players selected before the first defensive player was taken at No. 15. (The previous record was seven straight.)

The nine lineman selected paid +130. They were Joe Alt to the Los Angeles Chargers, JC Latham to the Tennessee Titans, Olu Fashanu to the New York Jets, Taliese Fuaga to the New Orleans Saints, Amarius Mims to the Cincinnati Bengals, Troy Fautanu to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jordan Morgan to the Green Bay Packers, Graham Barton to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Tyler Guyton to the Dallas Cowboys.

Drafting an offensive lineman has been compared to receiving socks and underwear for Christmas. It’s not the fun and fancy toy you want to take outside and show your friends. But you’ll get far more use from the socks.

First Running Back Selected

Not a single running back was selected on the first night of the draft, but it is a certainty that a few will come off the board on night two. Jonathon Brooks from Texas is the favorite to be the first running back selected at -150. Trey Benson from Florida State is second at +175. Blake Corum from Michigan is +750.

The Chargers need a wide receiver, but they are the team that is favored to draft Corum, in large part because of the presence of his former coach, Jim Harbaugh. The Cowboys are second at +500, with the Giants third at +800.

Buffalo Bills Draft Strategy

After trading away Stefon Diggs, the Buffalo Bills twice traded down on the first night of the draft, and right out of the first round, allowing three wide receivers to come off the board.

The Bills are heavily favored to pick a wide receiver when they eventually do pick, with WR paying -400.

The first-round trades weren’t that surprising, considering the depth available at wide receiver. It was a little surprising that the first of their trades was with the Chiefs. The last time Buffalo traded picks with Kansas City, the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes.

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