2022 NFL Draft Props: Wide Receivers and Running Backs

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2022 NFL Draft Props: Wide Receivers and Running Backs

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been itching for some betting opportunities on NFL events since Super Bowl LVI concluded with the Rams beating the Bengals two months ago. The NFL Draft is quickly approaching on April 28-30, which is our one chance to bet on an actual NFL event before preseason action gets going in August.

Unfortunately, most states, including my home state of Pennsylvania, don’t allow betting on the draft since it’s not an actual sporting competition. I may be making a trip to states like New Jersey or West Virginia, which allow wagers on NFL Draft props. Hopefully, you live in or near one of the states that are allowed to offer betting lines on this year’s draft or you have access to an off-shore account.

Since I don’t have access to draft lines in Pennsylvania, I’ll be using lines that are being offered in New Jersey and at off-shore sportsbooks for the purposes of this article. If you can, make sure to shop around for the best lines and odds if possible. You’re going to see more volatility between sportsbooks with an event like the draft than you’ll see on game lines during the season.

I plan on updating these NFL Draft Prop articles and my Best Bets multiple times before the end of April so check back throughout the month.

Note: We’re thrilled to offer Greg Cosell’s rookie profiles once again as part of our 2022 NFL Prospect Guide. I’ve included a small piece of his analysis for each player listed below. Be sure to subscribe to our guide to get his complete analysis for over 100+ players.

Article updates since initial April 14 posting

  • Jelani Woods writeup and Best Bet added on April 27.

Wide Receivers

Jameson Williams, Alabama

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): 21st overall (Patriots), WR3

  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): 10th overall (Jets), WR1

  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 19th overall (Saints), WR3

  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): 17th overall (Chiefs), WR4

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Williams' 2021 season ended in the national championship game with a torn ACL, but his tape showed him to be the most explosive vertical receiver in college football, with the accelerating deep speed to get on top of and run away from corners consistently and the easy ability to track the ball. Williams possesses a natural quickness and explosiveness to his movement that was evident in his route quickness and his ability to separate on intermediate routes, in addition to his outstanding run-after-catch ability…The bottom line is Williams is a big play waiting to happen, and those kinds of explosive traits are always in demand in the NFL. Williams was a fun player to evaluate, and if his knee checks out well he will be a first-round pick. There are not many receivers with his flat-out vertical speed and big-play ability, and that makes him an impact receiver and game-changer.

Draft Props to Consider

Jameson Williams to be the first WR selected (+900, Caesars, placed on April 5), to be a top-10 pick (+1500, DraftKings, placed on April 5), and under 16.5 draft position (-115, DraftKings, placed April 12) — Williams was regarded as a potential top-10 pick before he tore his ACL in the national championship game. He’s expected to be running by the Draft and he said he could be ready for the start of training camp. Dane Brugler tweeted on March 30 that multiple teams have Williams as this year’s WR1, and elite explosive vertical WRs regularly go a little higher than expected as we’ve recently seen with Jaylen Waddle in 2021 and Henry Ruggs in 2020. I’m rolling the dice that one of those teams that has him as the WR1 will select him early before the likes of Garrett Wilson and Drake London and potentially in the top 10. At the very least, teams like the Commanders (No. 11), Eagles (No. 15), and the Saints (No. 16) should strongly consider selecting him in the first half of the Draft.

Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): Eighth overall (Falcons), WR1
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): 11th overall (Commanders), WR2
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 10th overall (Jets), WR1
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): Fourth overall (Jets), WR4

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Wilson fits today's NFL in that he can line up both outside and in the slot and has extensive experience in both locations, and his natural quickness as a route runner with his three-level ability and outstanding run-after-catch traits with vision and elite balance make him a valuable asset in the passing game. Not only can Wilson win as a conventional route runner, but you can create schemed and manufactured touches for him to get him the ball in space. Wilson's target volume will be a function of team and scheme and how he is deployed within a given system. Keep in mind when Stefon Diggs came out of Maryland, few saw him as a #1 receiver in the NFL and he has clearly become that in the Bills' system. Wilson possesses some similarities to Diggs, and it would not surprise me if he became the #1 target for a diverse passing team.

Draft Props to Consider

Garrett Wilson over 10.5 draft position (+100, BetOnline) — Wilson is the most complete receiver in this year’s draft class with his ability to work both outside and inside while also possessing the skills to win at all three levels of the field. At NFL Mock Draft Database, Wilson is the consensus eighth pick to the Falcons and the consensus ninth overall prospect. I’m slightly higher on Jameson Williams to go ahead of Wilson and Drake London, and the market is starting to shift in Williams’ direction, but I could easily see multiple WRs going in the first 10 picks to keep me away from this bet. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wilson lands in Washington at No. 11 to team up with Terry McLaurin, whom he replaced at Ohio State in 2019. Commanders HC Ron Rivera doesn’t typically travel for Pro Days, but he made the exception for Ohio State where he got a close-up look at Wilson and his teammate Chris Olave (as well as a boatload of other Buckeye prospects).

Drake London, USC

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): 10th overall (Jets), WR2
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): 15th overall (Eagles), WR3
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 18th overall (Eagles), WR2
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): Eighth overall (Falcons), WR3

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

London enters the NFL with extensive experience playing both outside and the slot, and his location versatility will be a positive for the long, athletic savvy WR. London is a size and length and hands receiver with smooth, fluid movement and an understanding of how to position his body to create just enough space to catch the ball…London is a smooth, savvy receiver with an excellent feel for creating space versus off man coverage and finding voids in zone coverage, but there will be questions as to his separation quickness at the top of his route stem versus quality NFL man-to-man coverage (although separation quickness is different for long receivers than it is for shorter receivers). London's ability to make tough, contested catches cannot be discounted (that's a strong trait) so the question as teams project and transition him to the NFL is whether he can thrive as a boundary X, or is he better suited as a movement Z or slot receiver where he can get free access off the ball?

Draft Props to Consider

Drake London over 10.5 draft position (-115, FOXBet) — I’m leaning toward London falling outside the top-10 pick for much of the same reasons I laid out for Garrett Wilson in his blurb. London has the size of a traditional X receiver at 6’5”, 210 pounds, but there are concerns if he can create enough separation to consistently win while lining up on an island. At NFL Mock Draft Database, London is the consensus 10th pick to the Jets and the consensus 13th overall prospect, and his draft position has drifted into the teens in recent weeks (per Grinding the Mocks). I’m already heavily invested in Williams outperforming his expected draft position with several props or else I would consider adding London to go over his current draft position props.

Chris Olave, Ohio State

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): 22nd overall (Packers), WR4
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): 16th overall (Saints), WR4
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 22nd overall (Packers), WR4
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): 11th overall (Commanders), WR3

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Olave is a smooth, fluid route technician who is at his best working with free access off the ball, allowing him to use his vertical stem to set up and move corners off their spot. He has excellent route quickness and a good feel for the pace and tempo of routes, and that results in Olave working in space and making the effective quick speed cuts that define his game. There will be questions about Olave's competitive toughness and his ability to make tough catches in the middle of the field, with the concurrent ability to catch through contact. Another question will be whether Olave will be seen as a vertical receiver as he transitions to the NFL, and I'm not certain that he will be, although his route running nuance and stride length will get him on top of corners at times. Run-after-catch is another concern, with the tape not showing much of that trait at all…Olave is efficient and consistent, but at this point he best projects to the NFL as a smooth complementary receiver in a well-schemed passing game that gets him in space.

Draft Props to Consider

Chris Olave over 17.5 draft position (-114, FanDuel) — Olave’s expected draft position has been in the late teens for most of the last 10 months outside of a few weeks in February and early March when he fell into the 20s (per Grinding the Mocks). Our Greg Cosell wouldn’t include Olave at the top of this year’s WR class based on his analysis, and he’s lost a bit of steam compared to the likes of Garrett Wilson, Drake London, and Jameson Williams over the last few months. As noted in Wilson’s writeup, Commanders HC Ron Rivera actually hit the road for Ohio State’s Pro Day to get a close-up look at Olave and Wilson, and Rivera was spotted getting some one-on-one time with Olave. I believe Olave is most likely to be taken in the 18-24 pick range where Philly, New Orleans, Green Bay, Arizona, and Dallas each pick in that span, but the Commanders at No. 11, the Eagles at No. 15, and the Saints at No. 16 are each needy for WR help to scare me away from this prop for now.

Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): 23rd overall (Cardinals), WR5
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): 17th overall (Chargers), WR5
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 25th overall (Bills), WR5
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): 23rd overall (Cardinals), WR6

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Burks is a high-level prospect as you project and transition him to the NFL with an outstanding size/speed profile that can mismatch corners and the versatility to line up in multiple locations in the formation, including the backfield…Burks has excellent play speed which is only enhanced by his size and stride length, and he has big hands to snatch the ball out of the air on contested catches, both in the middle of the field and along the sideline. Burks possesses outstanding run-after-catch traits with his size, athleticism, and competitiveness and he will be the kind of receiver that teams look to get the ball to in space with room to run. Burks is one of the best receiver prospects in this draft class. It will be interesting to see if teams see a little Deebo Samuel and Cordarrelle Patterson in the way Burks can be deployed with his formation versatility, his size, and his running traits.

Draft Props to Consider

Wide receivers drafted in the first round: Over 5.5 (-158, FanDuel) — The wide receiver market has slowly been getting out of control before Jaguars’ GM Trent Baalke blew it all to shreds by handing Christian Kirk a four-year, $72 million with $37 million guaranteed. Few evaluators, if any, would consider Kirk as a top-15 player at the position, but his $18 million annual average salary puts him among the league’s best receivers. Top WRs Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill had to go elsewhere to get their stacks of cash and Stefon Diggs also saw a significant pay raise this off-season. On the flip side, more rookie WRs are stepping into the league and having immediate success. We could see more general managers elect to select WRs in the first round this year to have access to five years of team control instead of paying exorbitant salaries to the league’s best WRs. This year’s class is lacking a true stud like Ja’Marr Chase, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s relatively deep at the top of the class. Garrett Wilson, Drake London, and Jameson Williams are virtual locks to be selected in the first round while Burks, Chris Olave, Jahan Dotson, George Pickens, Skyy Moore, and Christian Watson are each candidates to also be selected in the first round this April.

Jelani Woods, Virginia

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): N/A
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): N/A
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 88th overall (Cowboys), TE3
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): N/A

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Woods is just scratching the surface of what he can become as a receiving TE at the next level, with his rare size/movement/hands/body control/run-after-catch/competitiveness profile. Woods does not have a lot of experience as a receiver, and he is still learning the TE position as he is playing it, but it is evident from the tape that there is much to like and develop. Woods is a plus athlete with outstanding size and stride length and the build-up speed to be a factor on vertical routes and crossing routes, in addition to the ability to post up defenders and go above the rim to make both tough contested catches and snatch the ball out of the air with his wide catching radius. Very few TEs are purely explosive, and Woods falls into that category, but his appealing combination of stride length, build-up speed, and wide catch radius make him a vertical seam dimension in an NFL passing game in addition to being a red-zone weapon with his body control and ability to go up and get the ball.

Draft Props to Consider

First Tight End Drafted: Jelani Woods (+1200, UniBet, placed April 27)Tre McBride is the heavy favorite to be the first tight end selected at -400 odds and Woods is a longshot for good reasons. McBride led all FBS TEs with 90 receptions and 1121 receiving yards as a senior, which earned him the John Mackey Award, which is awarded to the nation’s best TE. Meanwhile, Woods had fewer caches (75) and yards (959) over the course of 33 career games between Virginia and Oklahoma State. The reason Woods could go before McBride is because of what he could become at the next level. Per Relative Athletic Score, Woods is the most athletic tight end out of 998 players to enter the Draft since 1987. Our Greg Cosell also called him “one of the more intriguing overall prospects” in this year’s Draft. Woods received little hype before Dan Graziano’s report the day before the Draft that the Packers have done a “lot of work” on Woods. Other teams are likely sniffing around Woods as a potential pick in the first two rounds if the Packers are doing their due diligence. McBride’s draft position is set at 51.5 right before the Packers pick at No. 52 so Woods certainly has plenty of time to be selected ahead of McBride if a team is intrigued enough by his incredible athletic profile.

Running Backs

Breece Hall, Iowa State

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): 25th overall (Bills), RB1
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): 25th overall (Bills), RB1
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 43rd overall (Falcons), RB1
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): 50th overall (Jaguars), RB1

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Hall has the look and feel of a professional runner as you project and transition him to the NFL, with his extensive experience in both zone and gap scheme concepts. He has a high-level combination of patience and decisiveness, with a smooth, fluid, gliding feel to his running…Hall has light feet for a good-sized back, and while his cuts were sharp, they looked effortless, free, and natural with his easy burst and acceleration. He has such a nuanced feel for when to be patient and when to accelerate, and that is something you cannot teach. Hall can also be a three-down back in the NFL with his soft hands and his run-after-catch traits. He has the ability to run a more multiple route tree out of the backfield at the next level (angle routes, wheel routes, H seam), and he has shown that he can be detached from the formation. In short, Hall is my #1 running back in this draft class. He is the total package as a prospect.

Draft Props to Consider

Running backs drafted in the first round: Under .5 (-175, Bet365) — Running backs have been drafted in the first round in each of the last seven drafts with 12 backs total going on Day 1 in that span. That run could come to an end this season with few teams having pressing needs at the position in the back half of the draft. The Cardinals at No. 23, the Bills at No. 25, and the Buccaneers at No. 27 are the only teams with stronger needs at the position, and those teams’ needs at the position are more about depth issues than the need for a front-line starter. The Cardinals and Buccaneers have enough issues at other positions to likely forgo drafting a running back in the first round, which leaves the Bills as the biggest concern to select a running back on Day 1. Buffalo’s roster is as complete as any roster in the league and running back could be seen as the team’s biggest weakness. Devin Singletary stepped up as a bell-cow back late last season, but it took the Bills a long time to give him that role. They also drafted Zack Moss in the third round in 2020 a year after they drafted Singletary in the third round. Buffalo isn’t totally sold on Singletary being the solution in its backfield, but I’d still be surprised if their sharp front office would bypass the opportunity to strengthen their secondary or either of their offensive lines.

Kenneth Walker, Michigan State

Latest Mock Drafts

  • Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network (March 22): N/A
  • Peter Schrager, NFL Network (April 19): N/A
  • Dane Brugler, The Athletic (April 15): 57th overall (Bills), RB2
  • Todd McShay, ESPN (April 5): 57th overall (Jaguars), RB2

Greg Cosell’s Prospect Guide Analysis

Walker will transition well to the NFL with his compact, low-to-the-ground build and his piston-like feet that seemingly never stop moving. Walker has outstanding lateral quickness and suddenness to make decisive, sharp cuts and the contact balance to work through the first and second levels of the defense. What consistently stood out with Walker was his tenacity and competitiveness as a runner, as he lowered his pads and attacked defenders, finishing runs with anger…There is a little bit of "jazz musician" to Walker with his free-flowing, look-for-space running approach and his improvisational ability to work off-script and find room to run. Walker possesses the size and running traits to be a feature back and high-volume runner in the NFL. The question is what Walker can give you in the passing game, and that is an open question at this point.

Draft Props to Consider

First Running Back Selected: Kenneth Walker (+280, FanDuel)Breece Hall will most likely be the first running back selected this year, but the odds have shifted a bit too much to create some value on Walker to be the first back taken. Walker’s +280 odds imply just a 26.3% chance he’s selected as the first running back, which seems a bit low when there’s so much uncertainty on who teams will draft once you get outside the first 15-20 picks. It takes just one team to prefer Walker and to be on the clock in the late first round or early in the second round to cash this bet. D’Andre Swift was the slam-dunk first back to be selected in the 2020 Draft at -225 odds, but we cashed in Clyde Edwards-Helaire at +1000 odds when the Chiefs selected CEH at the end of the first round. I’m strongly considering adding this prop as another longshot RB to be drafted first. I’m going to hold out to see if we can get some more intel before the Draft comes around, but this prop is on my shortlist of potential bets. There might be too much value to pass up if Walker’s odds creep any higher.

Brolley’s Best Bets

  • First Tight End Drafted: Jelani Woods (+1200, UniBet, placed April 27). Risk .5 units to win six units.

  • Jameson Williams under 16.5 draft position (-115, DraftKings, placed April 12). Risk 2.3 units to win two units.

  • Jameson Williams to be the first WR selected (+900, Caesars, placed on April 5). Risk .5 units to win 4.5 units.

  • Jameson Williams to be a top-10 pick (+1500, DraftKings, placed on April 5). Risk one unit to win 15 units.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.