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2021 NFL Draft Betting Props: Examining the first non-QB drafted market

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) reacts after a first down catch and run against the Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

We’re closing in on the 2021 NFL Draft, and with that, the grading of the many draft props we’ve placed since the markets opened after the Super Bowl. These markets have been pretty fluid over the past few weeks. For example, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields went from the favorite to be the San Francisco 49ers‘ pick at No. 3 to a big underdog to the favorite again.

It’s pretty clear that the first three picks in the draft will be quarterbacks, a feat the NFL has not achieved this century. Once those three, and possibly the fourth signal-caller, are off the board, the next question is: Who will be the first non-quarterback selected? 

Below are the most likely players to be the first non-quarterback drafted, with prices courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

TE Kyle Pitts, Florida +125 (break-even probability 44.4%)

Not since the 49ers selected Vernon Davis in 2006 has there been a tight end prospect with the hype Pitts has garnered — and for good reason. His athleticism score is the best in his class by quite a bit, and his college-to-pro projections (below) give rise to statistical comparisons such as Greg Olsen, Charles Clay, Delanie Walker, T.J Hockenson and Davis.

Rookie-year projections for Pitts, assuming a downfield passing game and a 50/25/25 slot/inline/wide target split.

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