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Odds for the 2023 NFL Draft are all over the place. Betting markets fluctuate by the minute based on reports from NFL insiders. This is the least predictable NFL in recent memory.
That said, Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson to go 3rd at +650 makes enough sense to take a flyer on. As of Thursday afternoon, the Arizona Cardinals have the 3rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Wilson was 3rd by the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook to be selected with the 3rd pick Wednesday. At that time, Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. was the favorite to go 3rd at +250. Johnson’s teammate, QB C.J. Stroud was behind him at +275.
Once Cardinals QB Kyler Murray made it known he wanted Johnson on Arizona’s offensive line, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Johnson drifted up to the favorite to go 3rd in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Stroud became the favorite on draft day when reports surfaced that the Tennessee Titans were interested in trading up with the Cardinals to select the Buckeye QB.
Obviously, if this trade goes through, there’s no way Wilson goes 3rd overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Plus, it’s not crazy to think other teams could trade for the 2nd or 3rd pick to take Kentucky QB Will Levis.
However, when considering the chunky odds of this market and factoring in Arizona’s team needs, you can make a strong case for betting …
Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson goes 3rd in the 2023 NFL Draft
Edge rusher is a position of need for the Cardinals. They were 12th in pressure rate in 2022 but Arizona’s defense had the 2nd-highest blitz rate. I.e. the Cardinals couldn’t get pressure without dialing up blitzes.
Arizona let eight defenders from its front-seven walk in free agency. The Cardinals leader in sacks, J.J Watt at 12.5, retired in the offseason. Arizona only signed two defensive linemen and one edge rusher in free agency.
Furthermore, I’m convinced the Houston Texans select Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. at No. 2. Houston hired a defensive head coach, DeMeco Ryans.
Ryans played for Alabama and Anderson is the best defensive prospect on the board. In fact, Anderson was mocked to go in the top-3 of the 2023 NFL Draft years ago.
Wilson is the 2nd-best pass rusher available
Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Anderson is the best edge rusher available in the draft. But, Wilson’s 89 grade by NFL’s Next Gen Stats at the scouting combine ranks right behind Anderson’s 90 score.
According to NFLMockDraftDatabase.com, Wilson to go 3rd in the 2023 NFL Draft is the most likely result. That site aggregates thousands of mock NFL drafts and hundreds of big boards.
Given the trade reports, it makes sense why Levis has higher odds (+550) than Wilson to go 3rd in the NFL draft. But, the Cardinals won’t trade out of 3rd because, as my colleague Dan Zaksheske puts it: “[Arizona] can’t find anyone to dance with”
Also, the Cardinals won’t listen to Murray’s draft advice to take Johnson. Arizona already bent over backwards for Murray in contract negotiations and trading for WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown.
The Cardinals don’t need offensive linemen as badly as pass rushers. They re-signed two offensive linemen this offseason and acquired two more. Both Cardinals’ offensive tackles graded above-average in their positions, according to Pro Football Focus.
BET: Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson to go 3rd in the draft (+650)
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