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CJ Stroud Favored to Go First in the 2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Odds First Player Selected Odds by CashBet Sportsbook

On the whole, the 1983 NFL Draft will go down in history as the best for quarterbacks.  Dan Marino and Jim Kelly headed a star-studded list of historic signal callers.  However, the 2023 NFL Draft may rank among the best for quarterbacks in its own right.  CJ Stroud from Ohio State has emerged as the betting on NFL favorite to go first in the draft.  But Bryce Young of Alabama is right behind and may overtake Stroud.  And then Anthony Richardson of Florida and Will Levis of Kentucky are right behind.

2023 NFL Draft Odds – First Player Taken

When:  Thursday, April 27, 2023, 7 p.m. ET

2023 NFL Draft Odds First Player Selected Odds:  CJ Stroud -330, Bryce +240, Anthony Richardson +900, Will Levis +5000, Will Anderson +15000

CJ Stroud Emerges as Front Runner  

Carolina sent significant draft capital and wideout DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears to get the No. 1 pick.  Now the Panthers are a near lock to select their favorite franchise quarterback.  The bold move comes after years of subpar quarterback play.  In turn, owner David Tepper has grown tired of the type of play.

Concurrently, CJ Stroud’s odds to be the No. 1 pick quickly moved in the online sportsbook market before the trade announcement.  Once the trade was announced, Stroud became the new favorite to be the top selection.

NFL observers agree that Carolina is targeting either Stroud or Bryce Young.  Moreover, fans are connecting the dots that lead to Stroud.  Coach Frank Reich’s quote about what he looks for in a quarterback matches Stroud’s strengths.  Furthermore, Reich’s history of starting QBs with “prototypical” size is at least notable, considering Young’s small stature.

An emphasis on accuracy seems to rule out Anthony Richardson and Will Levis.  Also, it doesn’t seem like Tepper is willing to be even more patient than he has on these high-ceiling prospects to develop.  Late on, the Panthers sent their entire staff to the Pro Days of Stroud and Young.  Offensive coordinator Josh McCown’s effusive praise for Stroud is also worth noting.  Consider the commentary that came before getting hired in Carolina.

Bryce Young Emerges With Respect

Accordingly, most betting on football observers believes that Bryce Young will be Houston’s pick, assuming he is available.  They believe the Texans will see Young’s potential deficiencies mitigated because Houston plays at least ten games each year indoors.  Additionally, amid a full rebrand of the team, the Texans need a “face of the franchise.”  Houston wants a star to build the team and the fan support around.

Also, there are NFL bets connections between the team’s front office with Nick Saban, who coached Young.  Namely, Lance Zierlein, who is very plugged into the Texans, seems to believe that Young is who the team covets most, even if Stroud is available.  The Texans pick again at Pick 12.

Anthony Richardson Lurks in the Shadows

Now if the draft goes as expected, the Colts will be left with deciding between Anthony Richardson or Will Levis.  Both are seen as high-ceiling prospects with great traits.  Although each has some flaws that may take a minute to be refined.

Equally important, it has become apparent that NFL teams are more enamored with Levis than fans.   Consider his underwhelming 2022 season to battling injuries, among other things.  Draftniks believe that either player could be the pick.

However, the gambler’s current NFL Betting odds lean toward Richardson is based on new coach Shane Steichen.  The former Eagles offensive coordinator played a role in developing Jalen Hurts as a passer.  In turn, that would be the hope for Richardson, who has the potential to be a lethal, dual-threat QB.

It is true that Although Richardson is a massive gamble for a first-year head coach.  But Steichen may have a comfort level here that few other coaches would.  Additionally, Colts owner Jim Irsay may also want to swing for the fences.


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