Eight more months is all that stands between right now and the moment that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is booed in Nashville to open the 2019 NFL Draft.
That’s still a ways out but OddsShark has released its opening odds on who will be the No. 1 overall pick.
Opening odds to be the 1st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (@betonline_ag):
Ed Oliver -150
Nick Bosa +275
Justin Hebert +750
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) September 25, 2018
Let’s dig into the possibilities.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston -150
Oliver is the early favorite to be the No. 1 pick and I can’t say I disagree with the idea. He’s currently the No. 1 prospect on my board and is truly a rare talent.
While the debate over his true size will be inevitable until we see an official measurement at the NFL Scouting Combine, his on-field ability is off-the-charts. Interior pass rush and penetration is at a premium in the NFL right now and Oliver has Aaron Donald-like ability in that regard. His hand usage, power, flexibility, motore and burst is special. He’s among the most disruptive football players I have ever seen.
He has the upside to become the face of an NFL defense and he plays a premium position.
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State +275
As lame as 1A/1B propositions are, it truly fits here. You’d see no gripes from me if Bosa ends up being the No. 1 pick over Oliver or anyone else.
What’s likely pushing Bosa down the liest in the current odds is his recent injury that is expected to keep him sidelined until November. He recently underwent major surgery on a core muscle and he won’t be reevaluated until November per ESPN’s Adam Rittlenberg. Given Bosa’s NFL valuation, his return for the Buckeyes could be contingent on Ohio State’s status as a playoff team. With so much on the line, it would come as no surprise to see Bosa’s next snap to be in an NFL game.
Showcasing advanced hand technique, a relentless motor, outstanding play strength, fluid mobility and suddenness, Bosa has the upside to become one of the NFL’s best pass rushers. He’s an exceptional run defender and the total package when it comes to what the NFL is looking for in edge defenders.
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon +750
In three of the last four years, a quarterback was selected No. 1 overall and the early favorite to be that guy in 2019 among QBs is Herbert. On the heels of a near-flawless performance against Stanford, he is positioning himself to be QB1 in the 2019 Draft.
In terms of size, mobility and arm strength you won’t find a more desirable package than Herbert and he’s shown tremendous growth with his accuracy, processing and decision making skills so far this season. Scouts have raved to our staff about his intangibles.
If a QB-needy team owns the top pick, it would be hard to envision them passing on a prospect like Herbert in today’s QB-driven NFL.
The Field +175
After Oliver, the second most likely scenario based on the opening odds is any other player not named Nick Bosa or Justin Herbert.
Haskins is only a redshirt sophomore which plays into this discussion but his traits and the way he is playing this season are impossible to ignore. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Haskins has a sturdy frame and a big arm. He zips the ball with velocity and is rhythmic with his footwork and mechanics. I also really like what I’ve seen from him in terms of accuracy and ball placement. He has the makings of a No. 1 overall pick but that being in 2019 is the question mark.
Williams comes into play primarily because I believe the Arizona Cardinals will be the owners of this pick. Fresh off selecting QB Josh Rosen in last year’s draft, building the offensive line to adequately protect him would be a wise utilization of its resources.
If there is an offensive lineman worthy of the No. 1 pick it’s Williams. He plays with exceptional footwork, technique and is a tenacious blocker. While he isn’t overly long or nimble, he operates with tremendous balance and body control while doing well to square up his opponents. He is a scheme-versatile prospect that should be a fixture for his team’s OL for years to come.