The NFL held its annual draft this past weekend in Las Vegas. However, the biggest news coming from the three-day event wasn’t any particular pick that’s set to turn a mediocre team into the next Cincinnati Bengals. Instead, it was the trades made during the first round that continued a trend of teams moving star wide receivers.
In an offseason that already saw stud wideouts like Tyreek Hill, Amari Cooper, and Davante Adams land on new teams, Thursday saw the Tennessee Titans send playmaking receiver AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for a first-round draft pick. Then, just moments later, the Baltimore Ravens dealt Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Titans dealing AJ Brown was just as shocking as the Kansas City Chiefs dealing Tyreek Hill to Miami and the Green Bay Packers shipping Adams to Las Vegas. In all three instances, the wideouts are about to end their rookie contracts and their old teams decided they could not afford to extend them.
The trades are a product of the value NFL teams are placing on the passing game. The days of three yards and a cloud of dust are a thing of the past. Today three-receiver sets dominate the league, keeping defensive units on their heels. At the same time, though, the league’s salary cap makes it hard for teams to keep talented units intact for more than just a couple of years.
Buffalo Bills Still Super Bowl Favorites
The draft did little to change the odds for teams to win next year’s Super Bowl.
At FanDuel, the odds on the Flutter brand sportsbook’s top selections did not change. The Buffalo Bills remain the +650 favorite to win, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the unretired Tom Brady the second choice at +750.
Among the top echelon of teams on the FanDuel oddsboard, only Dallas had any movement. Odds on the Cowboys lengthened slightly from +1600 before the draft to +1700 after Saturday.
Down the board, there were a couple changes due to the trades. The Titans saw their odds lengthen to +3000 from +2700 after the trade, but the Eagles dropped from +4400 to +3500. In the aftermath of Thursday’s first round, FanDuel took more action on Philadelphia winning it all, spokesman Kevin Hennessy said in a statement Friday.
Also, as a result of the Brown trade, Hennessy noted FanDuel dropped the odds on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts winning the 2022 MVP award by half to +2500.
Over at the SuperBook, the Bills remain at +700, where they were nearly two months ago. But now Buffalo is a co-favorite with Tampa Bay, whose odds shortened from +6000 before Brady’s comeback.
The Kansas City Chiefs were next, along with the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, at +800 in early March. However, after trading Tyreek Hill to Miami, the Chiefs odds now at +1200 at the SuperBook.
Receivers Among Rookie of the Year Favorites
Getting back to wide receiver, when it comes to next season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, several sportsbooks like a pass catcher to take home the award.
Drake London was the first receiver picked in the draft, going eighth to the Atlanta Falcons, and the former Southern Cal standout is the +500 favorite to win the award at Caesars Sportsbook. At DraftKings, London is available at +550.
BetMGM has London and Kenny Pickett, who the Pittsburgh Steelers took as the only quarterback in the first round, at +650. FanDuel has Pickett and London at +600.
Treylon Burks, the first-round pick Tennessee made after trading AJ Brown, is available at BetMGM and FanDuel for +750. Caesars and DraftKings have the former Arkansas Razorback at +700.
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