Considered safe but unsexy picks, offensive linemen are the backbone of NFL offenses. When their names are called on night one of the NFL draft any given year, it’s rarely met with overwhelming cheer and adulation. Splashy picks at the skill positions get all the buzz, but drafting an offensive lineman is usually the more prudent choice for franchises in need.
That theme is likely to play out again this year, as the 2021 NFL Draft could feature more offensive linemen taken in the first round than any other position group. Just how many come off the board is an available prop bet over on BetOnline. Let’s dive into the possibilities.
Number of Offensive Linemen Drafted In Round 1
- Over 6.5 (+110)
- Under 6.5 (-150)
Those odds tell us that somewhere around 20% of the first round will be made up by offensive linemen. It’s a prevailing need for many teams league-wide, but which franchises are most likely eyeing the offensive trenches with its first-round pick?
The Draft Network lists offensive tackle or interior offensive line as a primary need for 19 teams—17 have a first-round pick. Two additional teams (Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals) have a primary IOL need that aren’t included in the previous group—although Houston does not have a first-round pick. If you want to add secondary needs at either OT or IOL (or both), every team in the NFL is listed except the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints. All in all, nearly every team in the NFL could use an offensive lineman, and more than half of the teams picking in the first round have a primary need for one.
Let’s now look at some recent mock drafts to see how things played out. The most recent mock from Trevor Sikkema had seven offensive linemen selected in the top 32. The mocks before that by Brentley Weissman and Drae Harris each had eight. The one before that by Kyle Crabbs had seven, and the one immediately after the first few days of free agency by Joe Marino had eight.
These are the offensive linemen with a chance to be selected on the first night of the draft on April 29:
- Penei Sewell
- Rashawn Slater
- Christian Darrisaw
- Alijah Vera-Tucker
- Sam Cosmi
- Liam Eichenberg
- Teven Jenkins
- Jalen Mayfield
- Dillon Radunz
- Landon Dickerson
Those 10 players all have a shot at being a first-round pick—Wyatt Davis and Creed Humphrey have an outside chance of going at the end of Round 1 too—and I believe seven or eight of them will have that dream realized. Too many teams have a major offensive line need and there are plenty of quality options available. That position in and of itself will be the biggest reason why this year’s draft will be considered offense-heavy.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 (+110)
Click here to wager on this bet or other NFL Draft props at BetOnline.
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