FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Although we’re less than a month away from the first round of the NFL Draft, there’s still a lot to settle when it comes to the top four quarterback prospects.
Will Ohio State’s CJ Stroud be the first QB to hear his name? Or will it be Bryce Young from Alabama? After a stellar combination, Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson’s chances have also dropped significantly.
Lately, there has also been talk of Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker moving up the draft. Perhaps the aging volunteer can give the most coveted prospects a hard time.
Betting on the draft is fun and the uncertainty saves us a few dollars. As for landing spots for each of the top quarterbacks, here’s where I put each of these guys to land.
CJ Stroud: -285 to be first overall pick at Panthers (bet $10 to win $13.50 in total)
During Frank Reich’s tenure as head coach and league coordinator, he always had a muscular and strong quarterback. I believe that trend will continue with Stroud being drafted to Carolina.
He had Carson Wentz in Philadelphia and again in Indianapolis. Reich also had Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Jacoby Brissett on season-long stints at Indy. Stroud is 6-foot-3, weighs 214 pounds, and has a rocket arm. He fits the mold of the type of franchise quarterback Reich has always sought.
I also don’t believe the Panthers would trade to draft an outlier in Bryce Young. Although Young is the closest QB to this draft, his height and weight are concerning.
Stroud to the Panthers, while juicy from a betting standpoint, will be the first choice.
Bryce Young: -225 to be second choice for Texas (bet $10 to win $14.44 in total)
With Stroud off the board, the Texans will take on Young to stabilize the franchise.
Houston needs a leader like Young to command position and provide a guiding hand. Young is ready to play now and can start the offense early under new coach DeMeco Ryans.
The Texans will be happy to draft him.
Anthony Richardson: -150 to be the third overall pick (bet $10 to win $16.66 overall)
With less than four weeks to go until the first pick is announced, we’re getting signals that this project will be full of chaos, unlike others we’ve seen recently. While some think the chaos will start at the second pick if the Texans don’t pick a quarterback, I think it starts at the third pick.
The Arizona Cardinals have the third pick in this draft and don’t need a quarterback. They would gladly accept the additional draft picks to build their roster and back down if that opportunity presented itself.
The teams that seem to be candidates for this type of trade are the Colts and the Seahawks at four and five. Both of these teams could clearly use a quarterback to build the future of their franchises, so I’ll keep an eye out for them for this slot.
I can also see the Ravens going to three after trading Lamar Jackson to the Colts and using that draft pick to get another franchise quarterback.
There seems to be some smoke with the Patriots interested in Richardson, and while a trade doesn’t look very similar to Belichick, they might want a Mac Jones upgrade.
Finally, could the Vikings plan a life without cousins and take that leap for Richardson?
Either way, I don’t see it going over three.
Bryce Young vs CJ Stroud: Who is the best QB in the NFL Draft
Fox Sports’ RJ Young and Rob Rang discuss the best QBs in the NFL Draft.
Will Levis: +1500 to be written by Minnesota Vikings (bet $10 to win $160 in total)
The list of teams potentially interested in drafting Will Levis from Kentucky is long. The Colts, Seahawks, Raiders, Titans and Bucs are five teams that could reasonably be in the market for a quarterback. And betting on one of them to draft Levis wouldn’t be a bad bet.
The Vikings and Kirk Cousins are going their separate ways after this season. He’s overpaid to earn a playoff victory in five seasons. And with a relatively new general manager who inherited from Cousins, it’s the perfect project to choose his replacement.
If Levis is on the board at No. 23, the Vikings can draft him with the full intention of letting him sit for a season to learn the NFL game and improve his footwork and accuracy without the time pressure of game.
Levis can then assume the starting role in 2024.
I think the value in Levis at 16-1 for the Vikings is where I’d sprinkle pizza money if you’re looking for a long bet.
Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started as a right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @GeoffSchwartz.
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