2022 NFL Draft: Betting on the second overall pick

The NFL Draft is four weeks away, and today we will turn our focus to the futures market around the second overall pick.

We’ve already highlighted the betting odds for the first pick, which you can read here.

Status of the Second Pick

As of this writing, the Detroit Lions own the pick, but reports coming directly from Detroit suggest the Lions may not be the ones using this selection, which both complicates and simplifies things.

It complicates projecting a pick based on need, as we would not know which team is using this draft pick.

However, it can simplify our view of this betting market by examining which player is worth trading up for.

This is a strange year to be at the top of the draft, especially if you’re looking to maximize your haul in a trade-down.

Typically it is a quarterback that a team is moving up to select, but this year’s class lacks that can’t miss, tantalizing prospect.

The teams at the top (Texans, Jets, Giants) also do not really have a pressing need at the quarterback position, which may bring some confidence, misguided or not, from teams like Carolina at six, Atlanta at eight or Seattle at nine that they can sit tight and have a chance at a guy like Malik Willis.

Second overall pick betting odds

Before we dig in to the best betting options, here is a quick look at the top of the board. DraftKings and FanDuel both offer this betting market, and we will highlight which sportsbook has the best odds for each selection.

  • Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE (+250 DK)
  • Travon Walker, EDGE (+250 DK)
  • Malik Willis, QB (+500 FD)
  • Kyle Hamilton, S (+700 FD)
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE (+1200 DK)
  • Ikem Ekwonu, OT (+2000 FD)
  • Evan Neal, OT (+2000 FD)
  • Derek Stingley, CB (+2500 FD)
  • Ahmad Gardner, CB (+2500 FD)
  • Jermaine Johnson, EDGE (+5000 FD)

Hutchinson is expected to go first to Jacksonville, so let’s not mention him again here.

Travon Walker has been picking up a ton of steam, now owning the second-best odds to go first overall. Walker’s appeal appears to be his testing measurables, his involvement on Georgia’s National Championship defense and his versatility to play any position on the defensive line.

If the Lions Use the Pick

If Detroit stays here at No. 2, my best take on the situation is to expect the pick to be an edge-rusher.

Dan Campbell places a heavy emphasis on building through the trenches, a team-building approach I agree with.

I’m starting to see some serious smoke that Jermaine Johnson could rise up this board more than he has and go to the Lions here.

The key thing to know about edge-rusher Johnson is that he absolutely dominated at the Senior Bowl.

The Lions website has been publishing “Meet the Prospect” articles, highlighting Johnson and mentioning they haven’t seen someone dominate at the Senior Bowl like that since Aaron Donald.

That is some high praise.

The kicker on why I think the Lions may have built up an infatuation for Johnson is that they were the ones that coached him at the Senior Bowl. They got a firsthand look at his play and may have fallen in love with the player.

At +5000, this is currently feeling like the best value I see.

Betting option: Jermaine Johnson second overall pick (+5000)

If Detroit Trades the Second Pick

If the Lions opt to move back in the draft, my impression is that someone will trade up to either secure a tackle it must have or lock up a quarterback.

I think both Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal are worth consideration in that scenario, at +2000 and +1200 respectively.

Malik Willis would be the passer selected here, should you want to go that route. I have a feeling Willis just isn’t good enough to trade up to No. 2 for.

The Texans seem likely to be in the market for a tackle at No. 3, and teams know that. That’s why I think tackle is in play with this pick if someone doesn’t want to lose their guy to Houston.

Betting options: Ickem Ekwonu +2000, Evan Neal +1200

Final Verdict

My emphasis here ends in the trenches, with Johnson offering us the best value for Detroit, followed by two tackle prospects in trade-up scenarios.

I am not buying that Travon Walker, who lacked the statistical production you’d want to see, is going to go this high. His rise in the market is noteworthy, but I don’t think the Lions will take him this high.

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