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Watching and Wagering on the Jets Draft

Joe Douglas

The Jets are in prime position to improve their roster later this month.  Set to pick at 4th and 10th in the draft, the Jets are one of the power players heading into April 28th in Las Vegas.  Most analysts expect the Jets to fill a weakness at cornerback with many publications sending Ahmad Gardner from Cincinnati to New York with one of the picks.  Wide Receiver, Defensive Line, and Safety are most commonly cited as areas the Jets will seek with one of their top-ten picks.  The names being volleyed around include Garett Wilson and Drake London at receiver. Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker, both defensive linemen, are thought to be in play for the Jets inside the top ten.  Kyle Hamilton and Derek Stingley, who would upgrade the Jets defensive secondary nicely, are frequently mocked to the Jets in mock draft.  One position that has gotten absolutely no consideration by draft analysts is quarterback.

Zack Wilson is being given every opportunity to command the Jet offense and prove himself to be the franchise quarterback. The Jets have made significant investments in free agency to provide Wilson with the chance to succeed. So, there’s no way a quarterback goes at 4th or 10th in the draft, right? If you’re headed to Vegas to watch, the possibility that a quarterback goes at 4th or 10th is a nice value play. If you aren’t headed to Vegas, you can still get in this action without a retail bookmaker. Online betting is exploding and odds for the draft are available now. For that reason, the value is high, and making the draft pay off nicely doesn’t require much risk. Playing a quarterback coming off the board is a nice angle for April 28th.It may seem like we’re making a case for the Jets to dump Zack Wilson and take one of the available signal callers at four or ten.  That’s not what we’re thinking.  Our angle has to do with general draft uncertainty and a dearth of top-tier quarterback talent in this year’s draft.  This year’s draft is weak in regard to quarterback depth.  With so many teams desperate to solidify the quarterback position, the Jets are certain to find multiple teams willing to swap much more than the established pick values for both of the Jets spots.  The books have posted odds expecting the Jets to make both of their selections, but the value the Jets can receive in a trade in a year with so few top QB’s available may be too much to pass on.  It a reasonable possibility and one you can make pay off for you personally.  It is likely that you’ve never considered betting the draft, but this may be the year you should get off the sidelines. The draft is easy to bet on.

The odds to go first in the draft garner the most attention.  Here are the current odds for the draft’s first pick:

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson (-300)

Georgia DL Travon Walker (+350)

N.C. State OL Ikem Ekwonu (+1200)

Alabama OL Evan Neal (+1200)

Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (+2500)

Liberty QB Malik Willis (+2500)

Here are the odds for the second pick:

Georgia DL Travon Walker (+230)

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson (+250)

Liberty QB Malik Willis (+450)

Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (+500)

Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton (+750)

The third pick shakes out this way:

N.C. State OL Ikem Ekwonu (+180)

Alabama OL Evan Neal (+280)

Georgia DL Travon Walker (+550)

Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton (+750)

Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (+900)

Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner (+900)

The Jets spot at number four has these prospects listed as the favorites:

Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux (+225)

Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner (+350)
Georgia DL Travon Walker (+400)
Florida State DE Jermaine Johnson II (+430)
Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton (+1000)
Alabama OL Evan Neal (+1000)
N.C. State OL Ikem Ekwonu (+1000)

The shortest odds of any player for the 4th spot still pays more than 2-1.  The longest among the top selections is 10-1.  One of the quarterbacks coming off the board at the fourth spot is likely to stand at more than 15-1.  Not too bad considering it is probable that several teams looking to land a quarterback this year have probably already been in touch with the Jets to discuss what it would take to pry away the fourth pick, and the phones will be lighting up on draft day.  The Jets can’t dismiss the opportunity to stockpile draft capital with so many areas of need.  Without a special talent on the board the Jets feel like they must have, trading out makes a lot of sense for where this team stands in its development.

If the Jets do make a selection at four, and one of more of the draft’s top-rated quarterbacks remain available at ten, take a look at where the odds stand on Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett.  During the draft, teams will get more desperate and more willing to sweeten their offers.  Competition for the tenth slot will drive the cost higher.  The Jets may find exceptional value trading out at ten with a team that wants to swoop in and grab Willis or Pickett.

There is a lot to be excited about entering the draft.  The Jets seem to finally be headed in the right direction.  Gang Green has made several nice moves in free agency, and the draft should be very interesting.  Check out the Jets upcoming opponents.   The season schedule will be released shortly after the draft, and books will have week one lines up shortly following the schedule publication.

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Nick Ferraro

This Article Was Written By Nick Ferraro

Nick Ferraro


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