Post-Combine NFL Draft Odds: Barkley Now No. 1 to Browns?

Doug Upstone

Thursday, March 8, 2018 3:22 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 8, 2018 3:22 PM UTC

With all the pomp and circumstance out of the way from the NFL Combine, we can take a break for awhile from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and anyone from the NFL Network who was overstating everything.

The fact of the matter is NFL teams want outrageous athletes who don't have outrageous behavior. They want football players who do amazing things, but they don't want workout warriors who turn into busts. And they try and evaluate intelligence and willingness to learn, but they really don't like players with extreme intelligence.

In the end, the NFL Draft is a beauty contest based on want and need. If 31 teams think you are ugly, but only one club finds you attractive, you become a first-round draft pick. (example: Tim Tebow)

What do we know about April's draft that we did not know going into the NFL combine? Let's explore a few of Bovada's NFL Draft props.

Who Will Be Drafted First Overall?
  • Saquon Barkley 7/4
  • Sam Darnold 14/5
  • Josh Allen 7/2
  • Baker Mayfield 11/2
  • Josh Rosen 7/1
  • Any Other Player 14/1

At this time, indications are the Cleveland Browns will take the Penn State running back Barkley or look to trade the No. 1 overall pick. Talk radio football experts are saying the Browns would make a huge mistake by taking Barkley because you cannot win in this league without a top-notch quarterback. Cleveland has not shown any indication it knows what it is doing. With four picks among the first 35 selections, the Browns cannot afford to mess up this golden opportunity. They need a quarterback, a stud running back and two defensive players whom are starting within two years. Make smart decisions and turn the franchise around.

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Who Will Be First QB Drafted?
  • Sam Darnold 8/5
  • Josh Allen 11/5
  • Baker Mayfield 14/5
  • Josh Rosen 13/4

This order appears correct by the available information in the marketplace, but is it right? It is hard to imagine USC's Darnold is not the first quarterback taken, though there are knocks on his longer motion and tendency to force passes.

Scouts were drooling over Wyoming's Allen since he's 6'5, can make every throw and he has the biggest hands of any quarterback in this draft. The downside: He is too raw to start playing immediately and is most similar to Blake Bortles, who has taken a long time to even reach this point. Buyer beware.

Oklahoma's Mayfield is officially 6-foot-1, and while Drew Brees has enjoyed a Hall of Fame career smaller pocket-passers have to be in the right system.

The fourth choice is UCLA's Rosen. He's the most accomplished thrower, a cool but fiery competitor, with a mouth and an unconventional thinker by NFL standards. As Peter King of said: "NFL teams don't like rich kids." King also said: “There are red flags in that you have to try to figure out if you can coach him, if he’s coachable, and what kind of teammate he’s going to be, when it’s all said and done. And does he need football and love football? There are some teams that believe in him, and there are some teams that are very hesitant.”

Pretty funny stuff from teams that have drafted JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart and Johnny Manziel in recent years to play quarterback.

Draft Position: Baker Mayfield (O/U 5.5)

Not that something will not change, but there are no indicators the 2017 Heisman winner is thought to be a Top 5 pick and might fit better further down the board with Miami or Arizona.

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They said he couldn’t play football without a hand. He played. They said he couldn’t play big time college football. He did. They said he probably shouldn’t be invited to the combine. He was. Shaquem Griffin just ran the fastest 40 for a linebacker in 15 years.

— The Football Life🏈 (@TheFBLife) March 6, 2018

Draft Position: Shaquem Griffin (O/U 110.5)

Honestly, have no idea about the biggest story from the NFL Combine, but if players are measured on skill, talent and heart, here is one person rooting for the UNDER and hoping the former UCF linebacker with one hand has a long career.

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