CSB 2024 NFL Draft Betting Primer: First Pick Odds, Top Projected Canadians, Bills Projected Picks

As the rest of the sports world is transfixed on playoff rounds in both the NHL and NBA, fans of the NFL get a sneak peek at future stars when the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25.

While the first overall pick does not come with the kind of lead up intrigue that we saw last year, as Caleb Williams will almost certainly be picked by the Chicago Bears and currently sits at odds of around -10000, there is still plenty of room for speculation in the subsequent picks. 

So without further ado, let’s dive into the storylines surrounding this week’s draft and see if we can’t find some interesting betting lines to make the event all that more interesting!

Chicago’s on the Clock

Despite their failure to make the playoffs in 2023 and subsequent divorce from starting quarterback Justin Fields, Bears fans have to be feeling pretty dang good about the franchise’s fortunes right now. After dealing last year’s first overall pick to Carolina (for only the 12th time since the merger in 1967), Chicago was rewarded with a vast complement of draft picks, not least of all, the Panthers’ unprotected, 2024 first. 

Now surely at the time the Carolina brass didn’t dare think that they’d end up being the league’s worst team, especially after landing the prize they gave up the ransom of picks for, quarterback Bryce Young. But the worst team they were and Chicago finds itself ready to reap the ultimate reward.

That reward comes in the form of USC star QB Caleb Williams. A no-doubter at number one and a player deemed a generational talent by a number of scouts and league executives.

Described as “one of the most exciting quarterback prospects in recent memory”, Williams’ playing style captivates fans with its unorthodox, unconventional flair. A unique twist on quarterbacking that thrives on improvisation and jaw-dropping arm angles, the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat. This approach makes him incredibly elusive and tough to contain, positioning him as a potential NFL superstar.

The Panthers’ loss is now the Bears’ gain and maybe a little bit of wild circumstance is what it will take to break a longstanding curse at the quarterbacking position.

We’ll have to wait and see, but when Roger Goodell calls Caleb Williams’ name on Thursday the culmination of one wacky couple of years of Chicago football fortunes will have come to a satisfying fruition.

No. 2

In what is a surprise to no one, a trio of quarterbacks will ultimately make up the top three picks in the 2024 draft, just like they did in 2023.

LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Tarheel Drake Maye will duke it out for the honour of being second overall. And we shouldn’t balk at the second pick, as the man Carolina so famously passed on in C.J. Stroud has started his career markedly better than Bryce Young.

The edge here lies with Daniels, currently sitting at around -330 odds to be the No. 2 pick; the consensus is that he’ll beat out Maye. But there’s value to be found in picking the North Carolina product to end up in Washington instead of Daniels, particularly in a bet365 Bet Boost of +325 odds (up from +300). When you consider the recent scuttlebutt surrounding the Heisman Trophy-winning Daniels’ visit to Washington, you see that Washington chose not only to host Daniels at the Commanders facility, but Maye, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, and Washington’s (college) Michael Penix Jr. Daniels’ agent was reportedly not too impressed that Daniels wasn’t invited solo and instead was part of a larger group of prospective QBs. For someone coming off the highest single-season award in college football, Jayden likely saw this as a slight.

Whoever doesn’t land in Washington is virtually guaranteed to head to Foxborough at pick three, as the new-look Patriots aim to move on from Mac Jones and find their QB of the future to set new coach Jerod Mayo off on the right foot. 

The Case for Jayden Daniels

A dynamic, dual-threat, Daniels delivered one of the most outstanding statistical seasons in college football history, earning him the 2023 Heisman Trophy. He threw for 3,812 yards with 40 touchdowns and just four interceptions, while also rushing for 1,134 yards and adding 10 ground scores. He topped the nation in total yards (4,946), yards per game (412.2), yards per play (10.7), and total touchdowns (50). An exceptional performance worthy of college football’s highest honour.

The Case for Drake Maye

Size and strength are the usual superlatives when describing Maye. While not a shifty scrambler like the current QB meta dictates, if you were to design the perfect pocket passer, Drake Maye would be your blueprint. With his towering height, solid build, and cannon of an arm, he’s got the physical tools you want in a quarterback. But it’s not just about the physicality, Maye has the athleticism to make plays when the pocket collapses. As a two-time team captain, his calm and collected demeanour keeps him steady under pressure, and his smooth footwork allows him to navigate the pocket with ease.

I predict the order will be Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye but I’ll also be strongly considering staking Maye to go No. 2, especially with added value. Ultimately, it’s unlikely for Washington to deny a Heisman winner at this pick, but the bad blood created by Daniels’ visit with the Commanders could well have spoiled this marriage behind the scenes.

Top Three Predictions:

1. Caleb Williams (Chicago Bears)

Caleb Williams – 1st Overall Pick


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2. Jayden Daniels (Washington Commanders)

Jayden Daniels – 2nd Overall Pick


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3. Drake Maye (New England Patriots)

Drake Maye – 3rd Overall Pick


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I Suddenly Feel Very Old

Marvin Harrison was one of my favourite players in my younger years. In fact, I’d probably say he was my favourite non-QB, with my favourite player overall being the man throwing all those touchdowns to him, Peyton Manning. 

To sit here and write about his son, being an up-and-coming superstar talent at wide receiver, has aged me about 30 years in a few keystrokes. But time waits for no man – or football fan – so write I must. 

I will say that it’s pretty exciting to ponder the prospect of the son being even half as good as the father in this case. As the clear best offensive weapon in the draft outside of the QB position, Marvin Harrison Jr. is as much of a sure thing entering the draft as one can hope for. An elite talent who possesses the deadly one-two punch of size and speed (six-foot-three, runs a 40 in 4.39 seconds), he’s particularly explosive when separating himself from opposing defences and producing deep yardage plays, just like his father. Throughout college, throws to Harrison Jr. have resulted in a cumulative 125.2 QB rating. He makes passers better, and passers love finding him on the field.

Harrison is a wide receiver prospect like few others in recent memory. His physical attributes: a tall, slender frame with excellent length, are complemented by a remarkable combination of twitchy movement, top-tier ball skills, and athleticism. He’s explosive off the line, quickly closing the distance with cornerbacks and showing the acceleration to stretch defences vertically. His fluid, long strides allow him to pull away from defenders, and he has an uncanny ability to track deep passes, making him a constant big-play threat.

Despite his height, Harrison has the agility to sink his hips and make sharp cuts, creating separation in both short and intermediate routes. His hands are impeccable, showing refined technique and reliable body control. He adjusts easily to off-target throws, reaching down for low passes, twisting for those behind him, and even twisting in mid-air to secure catches without breaking stride. This level of flexibility and concentration makes him a reliable target, capable of gaining significant yards after the catch.

Harrison is not just a receiver who can stretch the field, he’s a dependable option for his quarterback in clutch situations. He knows how to find open spaces when plays break down, coming back to help his QB on scramble drills. His strong hands allow him to secure catches in traffic, providing a big target for quarterbacks under pressure. Additionally, his knack for reaching the end zone is evident in his 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Overall, Harrison’s combination of size, speed, skill, and strength make him a rare talent with the potential to become a game-changing receiver at the next level and he’ll likely end up catching passes from Kyler Murray in Arizona (fourth pick) or Justin Herbert in LA (fifth pick), where he’d be coached by another former Colts QB in Jim Harbaugh.

Marvin Harrison Jr. – First non-QB selected


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Upsetting the Apple Cart

As always, there are a few notable names in the top 10 players that could go earlier, or later than expected. As teams who have star players already in place find themselves in a position to trade their pick or reach for a position of need. Here’s a selection of a few players with the potential to spoil draft projections on Thursday.

Brock Bowers (TE)

The Georgia standout is a gritty pass-catcher with a powerful build and explosive athleticism. He’s a dynamic playmaker who lines up in various positions across the formation, with 40% of his snaps in the slot and another 11% out wide, creating mismatches and causing headaches for defences both as a receiver and blocker.

Bowers has a quick burst off the line, handling tight press coverage with ease, using nimble footwork and strong hands to shrug off defenders trying to disrupt his route. He’s a constant threat in the seam when lined up inside, but can also take over on the outside, burning slower linebackers with his speed or overpowering smaller defenders with his strength. With his versatility, Bowers is a game-changer who creates chaos for any defence he faces.

Could Bowers tempt a team to take him ahead of someone like Marvin Harrison Jr.? Though unlikely, his combination of size and skill have scouts dreaming of the ultimate in tight-end prototypes such as Travis Kelce, Dallas Clark and Rob Gronkowski.

Brock Bowers – Top 5 Pick


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Malik Nabers (WR)

Nabers is a highlight reel in the making. This LSU standout is a dynamic, high-octane wide receiver with a sturdy build and extended reach and was a big reason for QB Jayden Daniels’ Heisman win. In 2023, he averaged an impressive 17.6 yards per catch, demonstrating a combination of breakaway speed and lightning-fast acceleration that makes him a constant threat to defences. Nabers’s agility is what sets him apart; he’s incredibly swift in tight spaces, able to reach top speed in an instant and just as quickly slam on the brakes to shake off defenders. His sudden stops and sharp cuts on curl routes, dig routes, and comebacks often leave cornerbacks in disarray.

He can stretch the field with his straight-line speed but also has the finesse to create separation at will. His ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction with ease is reminiscent of a point guard crossing up an opponent on the basketball court. This unpredictability, combined with his quick feet and elusiveness, makes him a nightmare for defenders on two-way option routes. Once the ball is in his hands, he has the balance and agility to weave through traffic and turn short gains into big plays. Simply put, Nabers is a game-changer who can turn any catch into a touchdown threat.

Malik Nabers – Second WR Selected


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Laiatu Latu (DE)

Our first defensive standout on the board, Latu plays with an intensity that’s mostly unmatched. The UCLA standout possesses a rugged physique and has developed a dynamic pass-rushing arsenal built on speed, technique, and raw power. When he explodes off the line, his first-step quickness is a nightmare for offensive linemen.

Once engaged, Latu showcases a mastery of hand-fighting techniques, using an array of strikes and swipes to break free from blockers. His toolkit is filled with various moves: he slaps, chops, swims, spins, and even deploys a Euro-step to leave his opponent flat-footed. He can bull-rush through his adversaries or use finesse moves to skirt around them, and he does it all with relentless energy and aggression. His motor never stops, and when he gets the chance, he lowers his shoulder, plants his foot, and flattens his angle to reach the quarterback. This combination of speed, skill, and unyielding tenacity makes him one of the most disruptive pass rushers in college football.

Laiatu Latu – Top 10 Pick


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Jonathon Brooks (RB)

It’s fair to say that the running back position is in a lull. Once regarded as a cornerstone of a franchise nearly on par with the QB, backs have fallen out of the pecking order positionally. That being said, football fans all know that a superior runner can still dictate the pace of play, particularly if they possess pass-catching ability as well.

Jonathon Brooks is a towering presence at running back with a robust, athletic build and feet that move like lightning. A standout with the Longhorns, he’s known for his slippery running style, frequently leaving unblocked defenders grasping at air in the backfield. His running technique combines quick steps with a fluid lower body, allowing him to juke and weave his way out of tight spots. He uses subtle shifts and deceptive moves to leave would-be tacklers stuck in their tracks. His excellent balance and ability to withstand hits to his lower body without going down are noteworthy.

Brooks’ seemingly effortless stride hides his remarkable ability to elude defenders in the open field. He’s a patient runner, carefully sticking to his running lane while waiting for the ideal moment to cut and burst downhill. His quick acceleration allows him to reach the corner and outrun defenders to the outside. In the passing game, Brooks is a reliable target, catching the ball with ease away from his body, then quickly turning upfield to rack up extra yardage. He’s adept at maneuvering through defences like a skier through dense trees, breaking through arm tackles and charging into the second level. When it comes to pass protection, Brooks doesn’t shy away from contact, meeting blitzers head-on and holding his ground in the hole.

Jonathon Brooks – First RB Selected


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🍁 Can-Con at the Draft 🍁

A record five Canadians were selected in last year’s NFL Draft. And while that record likely wont to be broken in 2024, there are four standout Canadian players who have a good chance of being picked in this week’s draft class.

Theo Johnson

Theo Johnson emerged as a reliable receiving threat during his time at Penn State. The Windsor, Ontario native made his mark with 77 catches for 938 yards and 12 touchdowns over four seasons, solidifying his status as the premier Canadian prospect from the 2020 recruiting class. Johnson’s consistent performances on the field showcased the skill set that made him a standout at the collegiate level. These performances combined with an excellent draft combine, boosted Johnson’s stock, likely securing him a spot among the top 100 picks.

Isaiah Adams

Isaiah Adams stands out among Canadian football prospects because he began his collegiate career at Wilfrid Laurier, rather than heading straight to an American college. After his time at Wilfrid Laurier, he transferred to Garden City Community College, ultimately securing a spot on the roster at Illinois. Over the past two seasons, he’s proven to be a versatile asset for the Fighting Illini.

During his stint in the NCAA, Adams started at both tackle and guard, showcasing his adaptability. The Ajax, Ontario native has the reach required for a tackle, thanks to his nearly 34-inch arms, but it’s his raw strength and ability to drive defenders off the line in the run game that makes him ideally suited for guard. With a solid skill set and versatility, Adams is an underrated prospect who could be a seamless fit at left or right guard at the next level.

Anim Dankwah

Hailing from Brampton, Ontario, Anim Dankwah brings an impressive blend of size, length, and raw power, qualities that NFL general managers highly prize in a developing offensive tackle. Standing at nearly six-foot-eight with a weight of 353 pounds (Yowza!), his measurements are truly remarkable. Dankwah ranks in the 91st percentile for height, 97th for weight, 94th for wingspan (at 85.5 inches), and 82nd for arm length (35 1/8 inches). Simply put, there aren’t many bigger prospects than him.

Dankwah played five seasons for Howard University in Washington, D.C., appearing in 39 games. As he enters the 2024 NFL Draft, he brings with him three years of experience as a starter at left tackle. His performance peaked in his final season, as he allowed only 11 pressures throughout the 2023 campaign.

Tanner McLachlan

Tanner McLachlan established himself as a dynamic pass-catcher during his tenure at Arizona. Over two seasons, he hauled in 79 catches for 984 yards and scored six touchdowns, setting a new record for receiving yards among tight ends in Wildcats’ history. His impressive play demonstrated he could compete at a higher level, having joined Arizona as a walk-on from Southern Utah.

McLachlan’s performance at the NFL Combine also turned heads. The Lethbridge, Alberta native clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.61 seconds and leaped to a 35-inch vertical. His skill set suggests he’s an effective seam stretcher, who can line up in space and create mismatches with his athleticism.

The Buffalo 10

A wide swath of Canadian football fans are de facto Buffalo Bills fans. The proximity to Canada, paired with Buffalo’s recent success, has only intensified that love affair. The Bills are now aiming to keep their competitive window open as long as possible, and while GM Brandon Beane wrestles with an ever-narrowing cap crunch, the 2024 Draft can serve to bolster a team with serious championship aspirations. Buffalo owns 10 picks this year starting with No. 28 overall. Let’s take a look at the Bills’ most glaring needs.

Wide Receiver

Now that wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis have left, the position will be the prime focus for the Buffalo Bills at the No. 28 pick. Here’s a breakdown of the top receivers who are projected to be available when the Bills pick in the first round.

  • Adonai Mitchell

Mitchell is an imposing receiver, boasting a tall and lean frame with exceptional reach. His athleticism is smooth and fluid, allowing him to maintain impressive balance and body control. Off the line, he has a diverse arsenal of moves, utilizing quick footwork, lateral agility, and explosive cuts to get past press coverage, leaving cornerbacks in his wake, often tripping or struggling to keep up.

As a route runner, he creates separation with precision, demonstrating an ability to lower his hips, change direction rapidly, and accelerate without losing speed. His route stems are tricky for defenders, as he uses a combination of subtle shoulder and head feints, quick jukes, and well-timed push-offs to throw off tight coverage. He’s a nightmare on double moves, selling his fakes convincingly with step variations and weight shifts. This ability to deceive allows him to consistently find space in man-to-man situations, even against top corners. He’s also surprisingly nimble in tight spaces, excelling at quick routes like the whip.

Mitchell’s ball-tracking skills are top-notch, his ability to extend just that extra inch, much like DK Metcalf, can turn an ordinary play into a spectacular one. With his combination of size, agility, and skill, Mitchell is poised to be a game-changer on the field.

  • Brian Thomas Jr.

Yet another LSU product (I wonder if having a Heisman-winning QB boosts their draft stock at all?) Thomas is an explosive and agile wide receiver with an imposing build, featuring a long, tapered frame and extended arms. He’s a constant deep threat, averaging 17.3 yards per catch in 2023, thanks to his quick burst and elongated strides that allow him to cover ground rapidly on deep routes. His speed and agility enable him to beat cornerbacks with ease, creating separation that often leads to big plays. His smooth movements and ability to accelerate rapidly give him a unique edge over defenders. He has a natural ability to time his deceptive head and shoulder feints on routes like posts and corners, leaving defensive backs scrambling to keep up or forcing them to turn their hips too early.

Thomas’s ball-tracking skills are impeccable, especially on deep throws, where he excels at locating the ball over his shoulder. His 17 touchdowns in 2023, underscore his knack for finding the end zone and making crucial plays. This combination of physical gifts and refined skills makes him a dynamic asset on any offence.

Adonai Mitchell – Draft Position – OVER 27.5


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In addition to their glaring need at wide receiver, Buffalo will look to target a defensive lineman and a defensive back. Particularly ones that can jump into a pro team right away. Players like Illinois product Jer’Zhan “Johhny” Newton and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean will likely be in the Bills’ crosshairs.

Newton has a solid, robust build and powerful legs that drive his game. He plays with a low centre of gravity and excellent leverage, bursting out of his stance to shoot through gaps and wreak havoc in the backfield. His hand techniques are top-notch. He mixes in a variety of pass rush moves, to break free from blockers, often leaving them off-balance or on the ground. His bull rush is relentless, pushing offensive linemen back into the pocket and closing in on the quarterback.

DeJean meanwhile is a well-built defensive back with a solid, muscular frame and lightning-fast movement skills. As a former standout for the Hawkeyes, he brings an intense, aggressive playing style to the field, thriving in physical matchups. Though he spent most of last season as an outside cornerback for Iowa, he also frequently covered the slot and played in the box throughout the 2022 campaign, showcasing his versatility.