Betting Favorite for 2017 Leading Rookie Receiver May Surprise You

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 3:38 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 21, 2017 3:38 PM UTC

NFL teams will report to training camps in less than a month. Bookmaker has several player props available already, and today we look at which rookie WR among those offered will have the most receiving yards in 2017.

How Will Class Of 2017 WRs Stack Up?

There have been some tremendous rookie classes of receivers of late in the NFL. The 2014 draft gave us Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry and Davante Adams among others. The jury is still out a bit on the 2015 class. The first receiver taken, Oakland’s Amari Cooper, has been a stud. But guys like Kevin White (Chicago), DeVante Parker (Miami), Breshad Perriman (Baltimore) and Phillip Dorsett (Indianapolis) have left much to be desired – with White and Perriman having major injury problems.

No rookie receiver reached 1,000 yards last year, but there’s some intriguing talent there in the Saints’ Michael Thomas (led all rookies with 981 yards), Giants’ Sterling Shepard, Texans’ Will Fuller, Bengals’ Tyler Boyd and Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill. The jury is still out on the Browns’ Corey Coleman and Redskins’ Josh Doctson, both first-rounders, due to injuries.

So what will the Class of 2017 bring? BookMaker offers a prop -- one of  many currently available -- among three rookies as to whom will have the most receiving yards. The first receiver off the board in the draft was Western Michigan’s Corey Davis at No. 5 overall to Tennessee. Davis is +170 on this prop. Davis joined Randy Moss as the only Mid-American Conference wide receivers to go in the first round of the modern draft. Davis ended his career as the only FBS player with at least 300 catches, 5,000 yards and 50 TDs. He had an FBS record 5,285 yards receiving and was No. 2 with 52 TDs.

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Davis should start from Day 1, but there are two reasons why his numbers might be hurt some: 1) the Titans are one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL (only three teams had more than Tennessee’s 476 rushing attempts in 2016); 2) the Titans recently signed former Jet Eric Decker and he now projects as Marcus Mariota’s No. 1 target. Davis had ankle surgery a few months back but was full-go for the team’s minicamp.

The second receiver off the board back in April was the University of Washington’s John Ross at No. 9 to Cincinnati. He was the fastest guy in the 2017 draft as Ross posted the fastest 40-yard dash in the history of the NFL Combine, an official mark of 4.22 seconds. He beat the previous record of 4.24 set by running back Chris Johnson in 2008. Ross caught 81 balls for 1,150 yards and 17 TDs last year for the Huskies. He’s +260 on this prop. Ross also should start right away, but he’s the No. 2 by a long way behind All-Pro A.J. Green. Ross also has had some durability questions and had labrum surgery following the combine.

The Buffalo Bills took East Carolina receiver Zay Jones with the No. 37 overall pick and Jones is the -140 favorite on this NFL betting prop. Jones, the son of former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Robert Jones, set the NCAA single-season record last year with 158 receptions to go with 1,746 yards and eight TDs. His 399 career catches are an FBS record. He broke the record of former teammate Justin Hardy, who caught 387 balls from 2011-14. Hardy hasn’t done much in his two years with the Atlanta Falcons.

On the negative side for Jones, he plays in an even more run-heavy offense than Davis as Buffalo was second in the NFL last year with 492 rush attempts. That might come down a bit, though, under new coach Sean McDermott. The Bills pushed hard to sign free-agent WR Jeremy Maclin, which would have hurt Jones on this prop, but Maclin picked Baltimore. Jones projects as the clear No. 2 behind Sammy Watkins, but with Watkins’ injury history it’s probably only a matter of time before Jones is No. 1.

All three of these guys have knocks against them, but Davis is the best combination of size and speed so he’s my NFL pick. Plus Decker couldn’t stay on the field in 2016 due to injuries.

Free NFL Pick: Davis +170Best Line Offered: BookMaker
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