The hype surrounding the 2023 NFL draft is ramping up as the days turn to hours before the madness begins. We all thought Bryce Young to the Carolina Panthers was a done deal, but now things are up in the air making this year’s draft anyone’s guess as to who’s going No. 1. We look at who could be first wide receiver drafted in the first round. Below, we continue our NFL odds series with a prediction for the first wide receiver drafted in the first round.
This wide receiver class isn’t as star-studded as in years past. There is unquestionably great talent but there are a ton of question marks for most that hoping to be drafted in the first round. The odds-on favorite of this year’s class barely played his last year of college ball due to a nagging injury and the others after him have holes in their games leaving them all with question marks. With that said, let’s take a look at who will be the first wide receiver drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Here are the 2023 NFL Draft odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
2023 NFL Draft Odds: First wide receiver drafted in first round
Jaxon Smith-Njigba: -420
Zay Flowers: +600
Jordan Addison: +1100
Quentin Johnston +1300
Jaxon Smith-Njigba is undoubtedly the favorite to be the first wide receiver to be drafted in the first round. Even with only playing three games last year due to injuries he’s still on top of this year’s draft class among wide receivers. In his last full season at Ohio State in 2021, Smith-Njigba had 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Most believed he would be the consensus top wide receiver in the draft even without playing more than three games for the season. For this, Smith-Njigba decided to rest his injuries and just sit out the remainder of the season to get ready for the NFL draft. Let’s see if it pays off for him on draft night.
Zay Flowers has a small chance to take the top spot ahead of Jaxon Smith-Njigba. There has been a lot of chatter surrounding the Boston College prospect. He has shown consistency in his college career playing 11+ games in all four seasons and has steadily improved year by year. If any of the teams have questions about Smith-Njigba’s durability they could shift their focus on Zay Flowers who has shown to be a proven commodity.
Jordan Addison was second in odds to be the first wide receiver drafted back in February but now is sitting at fourth. That is due to the rise in the stock of Smith-Njigba and Flowers. Addison still has the potential to be something special as we saw in his 2021 season when he played at Pittsburgh with the now quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers Kenny Pickett.
During that year he won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for being the nation’s best wide receiver and ended up with 100 receptions and 1,593 yards with 7 touchdowns that season. The last three Fred Biletnikoff Award winners were drafted in the top half of the first round.
Quentin Johnston was the odds-on favorite to be the first wide receiver drafted in the first round of this year’s draft. Now he is fourth on the betting odds to be drafted as the first overall wide receiver in round one. He has the longest frame out of any of the other top wide receivers in the draft standing in at 6’3″ with 35″ arms. He is a receiver that has top speed and can go up for those contested catches better than those who are projected to be drafted ahead of him. Johnston is a deep threat that teams can stretch the defense with.
2023 NFL Odds: First wide receiver to be drafted in first round prediction
I am never keen on laying the chalk on something as volatile as the NFL draft but it should be pretty safe that Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the first wide receiver off the board. He is the most versatile and most ready now to make an impact wide receiver in this year’s draft.
2023 NFL Odds: First wide receiver to be drafted in first round: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (-420)
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