Between a complete lack of snaps at the NFL level and the potential uncertainty surrounding playing time and usage, projecting rookie production for rookie signal-callers can be a real headache. It's why rookie quarterbacks can often be difficult to bet on.
Five quarterbacks were selected within the first 15 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft, the first time that’s happened since 1999. And for just the third time in NFL history, a quarterback was drafted with each of the first three picks.
It’s an exciting class headlined by Trevor Lawrence and a quartet of incredibly talented QBs in Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones, and therefore it presents an exciting opportunity for player total futures bets.
Quick history lesson: only four rookie quarterbacks have thrown for over 4,000 yards, and only 12 have thrown for more than 20 touchdowns.
As you can see above, DraftKings’ per-game projections for Lawrence, Wilson and Jones would be among the best rookie quarterback seasons ever and therefore should be considered optimistic. The odds are stacked against this year’s class, both figuratively and literally.
So, with that as an important reminder, let’s dive into each of the five first-rounders.
Editor's note: All odds have been sourced from DraftKings Sportsbook. Fields and Lance do not have player prop totals available because they will not be starting Week 1.
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TREVOR LAWRENCE (O/U 4,050.5 PASS YARDS, O/U 25.5 PASS TDS, O/U 13.5 INT)
Simply put, the Jaguars roster was bad in 2020. There’s a reason they were able to land Lawrence with the first pick in the draft.
However, the addition of Marvin Jones Jr. should make life a lot easier for the No. 1 overall pick, and Laviska Shenault Jr. and DJ Chark join him to form a trio of wide receivers who all recorded receiving grades of 70.0 or higher in 2020.
PFF projections have Lawrence throwing for 4,067.8 yards — right in line with Vegas, so no value there — along with 25 touchdowns and 16.7 interceptions.
What jumps out is the opportunity for an explosive downfield passing attack for Lawrence. Both Jones and Chark earned 90.0-plus receiving grades on targets over 20 yards downfield in 2020. And Lawrence’s arm strength will certainly unlock this part of the Jaguars’ offense and create even more room underneath for Shenault to create mismatches against slot corners and linebackers. Exciting stuff.
From a betting angle, PFF and DraftKings are right in line on Lawrence’s passing yards and passing TDs props, so avoid those. However, taking the over on 13.5 interceptions is solid value, especially if Lawrence is bombing away deep all game to Chark and Jones.
BEST BETS: Over 13.5 INTs