Bettors Hammering Evan Neal as Top Pick of the 2022 NFL Draft

Evan Neal NFL Draft Red Background

  • Evan Neal is the most popular bet to be the top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft with 33% of the tickets and 43% of the handle.
  • Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson is the current betting favorite at BetOnline with his +160 odds.
  • The only other players linked to the Jaguars in most mock drafts aside from Neal and Hutchinson are Kayvon Thibodeaux (+250) and Ikem Ekwonu (+550).

Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal is the most popular bet to be the top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

According to the online sportsbook BetMGM, Neal at +175 odds has 33% of the total betting tickets and 43% of the total betting handle in the said betting market.

Currently, he has more than double the number of betting slips written for Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson (16%), who is the betting favorite to be the top pick of this year’s draft at +165. Neal also has tripled the betting handle for Oregon Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux (14%) who is third in the current odds board at +350. Thibodeaux has the third most tickets at 12% while Hutchinson has the third most betting handle at 13%.

Blindside Protector for Trevor Lawrence

The reason why Neal is the most popular bet is need. The Jacksonville Jaguars will be picking first in the NFL Draft for the second straight season. Last year, the Jags made Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Now the Jaguars have a long list of needs – wide receiver, pass rusher, offensive tackle, tight end, and linebacker.

Practically, they have a need everywhere except QB, where Lawrence is set. But if they are sold on Lawrence being the QB of the future, then they are expected to build around Lawrence and go heavy on offense in the draft. Many draft experts believe that the best way to start would be to get the best available blindside protector for Lawrence. By getting their QB the best protection possible, the Jaguars would give Lawrence a legit shot at taking a step forward in his sophomore season.

Neal fits the bill and is the best player in the draft class to fill that void. The 6-7 350-pound former five-star recruit would be an immediate starter for the Jaguars should they not tag left tackle Cam Robinson and let him hit the free-agent market. Aside from his versatility ( Neal played 3 different positions in three seasons), he has uncanny quickness for his size and has tremendous power to dominate from the point of attack.

Hutchinson is Betting Favorite

As stated earlier, Hutchinson is the betting favorite to be picked first overall at +160 via the BetOnline App. The Michigan edge rusher would be a viable partner for Josh Allen, especially since 2020 pick K’Lavon Chaisson has been a bust. Hutchinson had 18.5 sacks during his collegiate career, including 14.0 during the 2021 season.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is third in the latest odds board at +250 and like Hutchinson, he is a pass rusher and like Hutchinson, he is expected to be a Day 1 starter. Thibodeaux played three seasons for the Oregon Ducks and totaled 126 tackles and 19 sacks. His drawback is his size as he is just 6-5 tall and 258 pounds.

The only other player linked to the Jaguars in the mock drafts is NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu who is an offensive tackle like Neal. Ekwonu is currently listed at +550 and he was the only third unanimous All-American in NC State history. The 6-4 320-pounder allowed only 2 sacks in a total of 820 snaps at left tackle.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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