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Betting on How Many Wide Receivers Will Be Picked in the First Round of the 2021 NFL Draft

| April 27, 2021 3:05 am PDT

An April 20th mock draft generated by Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. listed seven wide receivers coming off the board in the first round.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft 3.0 has just four wideouts being selected on day one.

It’s clear that three WRs are mortal locks to hear their name called in round one, and a handful of others are in consideration.

Before we attack this prop, let’s address the odds.

Odds for How Many WRs Will be Drafted in the First Round

Over 4.5-250
Under 4.5+170

The prices attached to this prop will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Be sure to shop your lines vigorously to not leave equity on the table.

Those are the variables; the constant is the “4.5” number. The line for how many wide receivers will be drafted in the first round is stuck at 4.5 at all of the top US betting sites.

Do you agree with “@MoveTheSticks” that the under is the play – Jeremiah is arguably the most competent and thorough mock drafter in the entire industry. Or are you leaning toward the theory presented by McShay and Kiper?

It’s time to dive in.

WRs Who Are Locks to Be First-Round Picks in 2021

  • Ja’Marr Chase
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • DeVonta Smith

You will not find a respectable mock draft that doesn’t have this trio of WRs going in the first round.

Furthermore, you’ll be hard-pressed to locate a mock where Chase, Waddle, and Smith aren’t all gone by the 16th pick.

For this particular draft prop and the question that’s being asked, we don’t have to get into where these individuals will land or which WR gets drafted first.

We can simply assert that they’ll each be taken by the midway point of day one and move on.

Wide Receivers Who Could Be a First-Round Pick in 2021

  • Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
  • Rashod Bateman, Minnesota
  • Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU
  • Kadarius Toney, Florida
  • Rondale Moore, Purdue

I see five other wide receivers (outside of the consensus top-3) who have a legitimate shot at getting picked in the first round. Specifically, the first three who are listed.

The closer we get to April 29th, the fewer mocks you’ll find sans Elijah Moore, Rashod Bateman, and Terrace Marshall Jr. being targeted in round one.

Among the teams picking in the latter portion of the first round who could be pursuing a receiver, multiple teams come to mind.

  • Tennessee Titans (#22)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (#25)
  • Baltimore Ravens (#27)
  • New Orleans Saints (#28)
  • Green Bay Packers (#29)

Peter Schrager has the Bears taking Rashod Bateman at #20, while I’ve seen Elijah Moore to the Bucs (#32) in other highly regarded mocks.

The point being – more than half the teams picking between 20 and 32 are in the market for a wideout.

If you want to bet the over in this prop, all you need is two of those teams to ultimately pull the trigger.

Predicting How Many WRs Will Be Drafted in Round 1

Over 4.5-250

The 2021 wide receiver class is incredibly robust, so much so that it has been likened to last year’s remarkable crop of rookie wide receivers.

Remember that six WRs were plucked in the first round in 2020, and don’t forget that Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. (both WRs) led off the second round at no.’s 33 and 34, respectively.

We may not see eight wideouts go in the top 34 this time around but I am having trouble committing to any scenario that involves fewer than five being drafted in the top 32.

I alluded to the triumvirate locked into the top 16; Mike Mayock could very well take the fourth wideout at #17. Could a wide receiver be in the cards for Miami (#18) and/or Washington (#19) – absolutely.

Green Bay desperately needs help at the wide receiver position, and have you seen the Saints WR depth chart? Woof.

Rather than go off on a tangent about the dependability of Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harris, I’ll just say Sean Payton will be taking a hard looking at upgrading his wide receiving corps with the 28th pick in the upcoming draft. My trusted colleague, Noah Davis, tends to agree.

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We are talking about a bevy of franchises picking in the second half of the first round that need a pass-catcher. If you throw Dyami Brown into the mix, we’re talking about nine wide receivers with first-round grades in some form or fashion.

After not even blinking at the -300-lay price for “over 4.5” at BetOnline, I quickly jumped on the over at XBet laying just -250. I suggest you do the same.

Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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