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NFL Draft Odds for Offensive Linemen, Kickers

NFL Draft Odds for Offensive Linemen, Kickers 2 months 2 days ago #520447

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites for Friday 3/27/20
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NFL Draft Odds for Offensive Linemen, Kickers 2 months 2 days ago #520448

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2020 NFL Draft Odds for Offensive Linemen, Kickers
March 27, 2020
By Tony Mejia

Talented Tackles head the O-line crop
NFL Draft Betting Odds and Picks

They may play one of the least glamorous positions in sports, but few things are as vital to the fabric of a sport as what offensive linemen are tasked with on a football field. Blocking is essential, and those who do it at a high level at the college level are highly coveted since true quality is so hard to come by up front.

In the majority of cases, linemen are plugged in up front and have to get by on toughness, intelligence and technique if they’re not truly gifted. Those who are offer their teams a huge advantage. Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks and Indianapolis’ Quenten Nelson and Anthony Castonzo help form elite tackle-guard tandems that serve as the backbone of their teams’ attacks.

Centers Jason Kelce (Eagles) and Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers) have long been the best at their position.

Outside of Brooks (3rd) and Kelce (6th), all of the elite offensive linemen listed above were first-round selections.

Johnson and Castonzo, the highest-paid linemen, are followed in annual compensation by Las Vegas’ Trent Brown, Tennessee’s Taylor Lewan, N.Y. Giants’ Nate Solder, Washington’s Brandon Scherff, New England’s Joe Thuney, Arizona’s D.J. Humphries, Atlanta’s Jake Matthews and Philadelphia’s Brooks.

Only the Raiders’ Brown (7th) and Patriots’ Thuney (3rd) weren’t first-round picks.

Although there have certainly been plenty of busts who haven’t panned out, this year’s class does have a number of players who are being looked at as instant upgrades up front. Among rookies who will be expected to start immediately, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs and Alabama’s Jedrick Willis, Jr. are all highly-touted tackles.

Wirfs was the top offensive lineman in the Big Ten and Willis was best in the SEC. Both are listed at roughly 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds. Wirfs had a fantastic combine and Willis faced equally tough competition and is considered the most polished of this group.

Georgia’s Andrew Thomas is also listed at 6-5/320 and came into the season as one of the most hyped options up front and didn’t disappoint, but his ceiling is no longer considered to be as high as some of his peers. He’ll still hear his name called among the top 20 picks, but isn’t likely to go first at his position.

Becton started the most games, winning the job early as a true freshman, and is the largest option available at roughly 6-foot-8 and over 360 pounds. He blocked for Lamar Jackson early in his career and threw defenders around for the better part of three seasons but there are questions about his consistency since he’s still considered raw.

Although Becton would certainly be the top choice if scouts could be assured he’ll reach his potential, there are too many concerns over his lack of technique to expect he’ll go first. Wirfs, from the o-line factory that is Iowa, has the best combination of skill, strength and natural talent. When you consider that of all the Hawkeyes standouts who have excelled under Kirk Ferentz, he’s the first to start as a true freshman, doing so seven times in ’17.

Kickers are nowhere near as important as offensive linemen but are often taken for granted too. Although they typically don’t win you games, they can certainly lose them for you.

There could be as many as four kickers drafted since four teams employed kickers who made under 71 percent of their attempts for the season, but Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship is the top option. The reigning Lou Groza Award winner knocked down a 55-yard field goal in the Rose Bowl, an all-time record, and regularly knocked down long attempts.

Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass and Utah State’s Dominik Eberle also have a chance to hear their names called after excellent careers at smaller schools.

Odds provided by Fan Duel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)

Offensive Lineman Odds
Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa (Bet $100 to win $160)
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville +160
Jedrick Willis, Jr., OT, Alabama +260
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia +850
Josh Jones, OT, Houston +2500
Austin Jackson, OT, USC +6000
Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise St. +6000
Kicker Odds
Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia -175 (Bet $175 to win $100)
Dominik Eberle, Utah State +250 (Bet $100 to win $250)
Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern +350
JJ Molson, UCLA +1500
Sam Sloman, Miami (OH) +1500
Jonathan Song, TCU +2000
NFL Draft Predictions
Best Bet: Tristan Wirfs is first OT selected (+160)
Best Bet: Rodrigo Blankenship is first K selected (-175)
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