The draft makes everyone better.
New players join the roster. They’re younger, maybe even more talented, and many times headed toward positions of need. Even if there’s an occasional bust – and there usually is – the draft is an annual boon for NFL teams and their fans.
And with the COVID pandemic raging, this year’s virtual draft reached an all-time record of more than 55 million viewers over the three-day event, according to NFL.com. The average audience of 8.4 million was a 35 percent increase over the 2019 numbers.
Eagles, Steelers embrace offense with top picks
Everyone was excited to finally see some sports. And for fans of the Eagles and Steelers, a few draft picks for the offense added even more pizazz.
In this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks‘ Pick Play, we’ll recap the draft and take a look at what impact the new picks may have on the futures odds at Pennsylvania sports betting apps.
Will Jalen Reagor help push Wentz over 27.5 passing TDs?
With the 21st pick in the first round, the Philadelphia Eagles selected TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor, whose father Montae, played eight seasons in the NFL as a defensive lineman.
The younger Reagor is a speedy, slightly undersized (5’11” – 206 pounds) wideout who may spend a lot of time in the slot position. His addition should add some electricity to the Eagles passing game. FOX Bet has Reagor at 22-1 to be this season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
And if you’re interested in futures numbers, FOX Bet has Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz’s touchdown total listed at 27.5. His passing yardage number is set at 3,925.5.
Jalen Hurts has heavy Rookie of the Year odds
In the second round, the Eagles selected a backup for Wentz in Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts is expected to be more of a red-zone and short-yardage specialist, who shouldn’t threaten the starting job.
He’s a long shot to win the NFL’s offensive Rookie of the Year with 60-1 odds at FOX Bet.
Steelers hope new receiver can energize offense
Pittsburgh didn’t have a draft pick until the second round thanks to the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade last year. With pick No. 49, the Steelers selected Notre Dame receiver Chase Claypool, a big and fast wideout (6’5″ – 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash), who should help an offense that often sputtered last season.
Claypool, who was born in British Columbia, is a welcome target for Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben missed most of last season due to injury, but is ready to return this year. FOX Bet has Roethlisberger’s passing touchdown total at 27.5 and his passing yardage mark at 4,049.5.
Claypool is 40-1 at FOX Bet to be this season’s offensive Rookie of the Year.
Pittsburgh adds RB depth with McFarland
In the fourth round, the Steelers returned to the offense again, picking Maryland running back Anthony McFarland at No. 124.
McFarland is only 5′ 8″, but has some elusive speed (4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and playmaking ability. He figures to be a change-of-pace back behind starter James Conner.
With a defense that was among the best in the league last year, an improved offense could lead the Steelers to a much better season this fall. DraftKings Sportsbook has Pittsburgh’s win total at 8.5.
Now, we wait
Now, the NFL Draft is over. The waiting game returns.
But as we all wait for news about the upcoming football season, there are plenty of futures bets to hold our attention.
There are player props on touchdowns and yardage. And team win totals that suddenly seem just a little easier to reach.
Because the draft made everyone better.