NFL Draft Betting: Who Will Be the Second Overall Pick?
As with most drafts where there is a consensus number-one pick, the 2021 NFL won't really start until the number-two selection.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are almost a lock to take former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. But who the New York Jets, the team currently in possession of the second overall pick, will take at No. 2 is still up in the air.
FanDuel Sportsbook has odds on which player will come off the board second. Let's take a look at a few of the betting options.
Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: -180
Playing a full season in 2020 did wonders for Zach Wilsons draft stock. After two seasons with Brigham Young, Wilson was the owner of a 63.6% completion rate, 3,960 passing yards and 23 touchdowns at an average of 7.9 yards per attempt. In 2020, Wilson upped his game in a big way, completing 73.5% of his passes at clip of 11.0 yards per attempt on his way to 3,692 yards and 33 scores. Wilson also ran for 10 scores in 12 games in 2020.
These feats have made him something of a darling of #DraftTwitter, and as a result, he's currently the favorite to be the second player taken at the end of April.
His deeds this past fall have given him collegiate numbers that far excel those posted by Sam Darnold -- notably in yards per attempt and completion rate. Wilson also threw only two more interceptions across his three seasons than Darnold managed in his final season with USC (13 to 15).
If the Jets are committed to beginning another new era at quarterback, Wilson could well be the man to bring about the end of the Darnold experiment.
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +270
Wilson is not the only quarterback the Jets could take. Justin Fields' two seasons of work with Ohio State make him worthy of consideration at this spot.
Over the last two seasons, Fields racked up 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns for the Buckeyes at an astonishing 10.8 adjusted yards per attempt. He threw just nine interceptions. Fields would bring an big-time element of mobility, as well, as he totaled 867 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns over 2019 and 2020. He finished third in the voting for the Heisman in 2019 and seventh in 2020.
There may be a perception that Ohio State quarterbacks are just not as good in the pros, which could -- fairly or not -- count against Fields in April. If the Jets are looking at track records, the school that produced such NFL luminaries as Troy Smith, Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett, and Dwayne Haskins cannot be reasonably classed as a quarterback factory. But that ultimately may not matter much at all, especially since Fields played under a different head coach than those previous OSU passer.
Fields is going to be taken early, whether the Jets take him or not.
Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +800
If the Jets decide to stick with Darnold, they could wind up trading this pick. But if they keep the pick and don't take a quarterback, they may look to beef up the supporting cast around him. That makes offensive linemen Penei Sewell of Oregon a possibility at No. 2.
Great left tackle prospects don't grow on trees, and Sewell seems to be as good as we've seen for quite some time, according to some pre-draft reports. The Jets invested a first-round pick in Mekhi Becton in 2020, and Becton was one of the few success stories in a dismal campaign for Gang Green in 2020. His play protecting the blindside of both Darnold and Joe Flacco could convince the Jets to look past Sewell. The Draft Network believes that Sewell could potentially have a future at guard, but the second overall pick is not the place to be taking a guard when your team has more needs than it knows how to address.
Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +2200
If addressing the protection around Darnold isn't the Jets' top priority, perhaps getting him some more playmakers is an approach they will entertain. Landing the top wide receiver in the class would certainly fit that particular bill.
Ja'Marr Chase didn't play in 2020, but the last time we saw him, he was lighting up college defenses as part of the a title-winning LSU squad in 2019. Chase caught 84 balls for 1,780 yards with Joe Burrow and company that season, scoring 20 touchdowns along the way.
Jamison Crowder was the only Jets receiver to catch more than 30 balls a year ago. Pairing Chase with second-year wideout Denzel Mims would give the Jets a pass-catching duo worthy of the name, and it could go some way toward making the Jets' offense watchable with Darnold under center.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +5000
Remember how the Miami Dolphins were #TankingForTua as they hoped to land Tua Tagovailoa in 2020, but then they played just well enough to take them out of the race for the first overall pick. But then other factors led to Tua dropping and ending up with the Dolphins anyway?
Could something similar happen for the Jets? Maybe the Jaguars, with Urban Meyer running the show, have fallen head over heels for Wilson, or Fields, or Trey Lance? Maybe they want to give Gardner Minshew a chance to succeed with Penei Sewell watching his blindside? Or maybe they'll make Kyle Pitts the first tight end ever to be taken with the first overall pick?
Maybe -- but no.
I find it hard to believe that the Jets will use this pick on any position other than quarterback. In my eyes, Darnold has not shown enough for me to expect great things just because Adam Gase is no longer calling the offense for the Jets.
If they do not want to take a quarterback with this pick, then I think they are duty-bound to trade it away to a team who would most likely take a quarterback. So I firmly expect a signal caller to follow Lawrence, and if pressed, I would take Wilson at his odds. But I won't be stunned if it's Fields.