There has been a change in regards to which player is the betting favorite as the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Just a few weeks ago when we looked at the odds for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, two pass-rushers were the +105 co-favorites: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, the 2021 Heisman Trophy runner-up, and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux. Now, neither is the favorite to be the top pick, presumably by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Although it’s important to note for purposes of winning on that NFL prop, it only matters who goes first and not to which team.  That said, there has been little chatter of the Jaguars trading out of that spot and there’s no sure-fire franchise quarterback in the class worthy of another team giving up a fortune in draft picks to move to No. 1.

Lawrence Must Be Protected

Jacksonville took Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall in 2021 and trevor lawrence qb with jaguars jersey after nfl draft Lawrence had a very uneven first season, but it certainly wasn’t all on him. The Jaguars were poorly coached by since-fired Urban Meyer and their offensive line was terrible, so Lawrence rarely had time to throw and took a beating. He tied for the NFL lead with 17 interceptions – with the Rams’ Matthew Stafford, who won a Super Bowl.

Thus, the Jaguars’ No. 1 priority this offseason should be upgrading in front of Lawrence and now Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal is the -175 favorite to be the top overall pick on the night of April 28 from Las Vegas. The NFL Combine is this week, but most top prospects opt to skip that and work out at their own Pro Day on campus. Neal has said he’ll participate in interviews at the Combine but will wait until his Pro Day on March 30 to work out for scouts.

All-Star Neal Favorite for First Draft Pick

The 6-foot-7, 350-pound Neal was a second-team All-American this past season and accounted for a team-high 34 knockdown blocks. Neal is versatile, too, as during his career with the Tide played both left and right tackle and left guard. Teams generally don’t take an offensive lineman No. 1 overall without plans to stick him at left tackle and protect the QB’s blindside (unless the quarterback is a lefty; Lawrence isn’t).

The last offensive lineman taken No. 1 overall was Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. He has had a good but not great NFL career. There is talk the Jags could sign the free-agent Fisher as well this offseason.

Jacksonville also took an offensive tackle in Round 2 last year in Stanford’s Walker Little, but that shouldn’t preclude them from selecting Neal if they believe he’s a better fit immediately than either Hutchinson or Thibodeaux. There is another offensive lineman available on this prop: NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu at +700.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virginia and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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