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Barkley Sitting Atop the 2018 NFL Draft Odds

Barley Sitting Atop the 2018 NFL Draft Odds - Bovada Sportsbook

After closing out a record-setting collegiate career with a 137-yard, two-touchdown performance in Penn State’s 35-28 Fiesta Bowl win over the Washington Huskies, Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley declared his intention to make the leap to the NFL and has emerged as a +170 favorite to be selected first overall on the 2018 NFL Draft odds.

Barkley played a critical role in the Nittany Lions’ recent return to respectability. The 21-year-old running back  racked up 1,903 total yards and 21 touchdowns last season, and leaves Penn State as the school’s all-time rushing touchdown leader with 43. Barkley also garnered Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors in each of the past two seasons, and sat among the Heisman Trophy betting favorites for most of the 2017 campaign.

Quarterbacks dominate the rest of the way down the odds on who will be drafted first in the 2018 NFL Draft. USC passer Sam Darnold closely trails Barkley at +240, ahead of Wyoming’s Josh Allen at +400, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield at +550, and UCLA’s Josh Rosen at +700, while the odds of any other going first overall lag at +1500.

Darnold led the Trojans to their first Pac-12 conference title since 2008 last season, tossing for 4,143 yards and 26 scores, and is pegged as a +140 favorite to be the first of the four pivots to get picked at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26.

The 20-year-old also threw five touchdowns while leading USC to a record 25th Rose Bowl victory in January 2017, but failed to find the end zone in the Trojans’ 24-7 loss to Ohio State as 9.5-point underdogs in this year’s Cotton Bowl.

Allen demonstrated his ability to run the Wyoming offense in his first year as the squad’s starter in 2016, leading the Cowboys to their first-ever Mountain West Conference title. The 21-year-old also tallied 1,812 yards and 16 scores while powering the squad to a 7-3 start last season, before seeing his campaign cut short by a shoulder injury.

 

Mayfield Trailing on NFL Draft Betting Odds

Mayfield captured headlines and the 2017 Heisman Trophy last season. The 22-year-old displayed a steady hand in three years under center at Oklahoma, and racked up an impressive 43 touchdowns and 4,627 passing yards in 2017. However, Mayfield failed to lead the squad to a win in two College Football Playoff appearances with the Sooners.

The two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year sits back of Darnold as a +300 bet to be the first drafted among the four leading passers, but is perched as a strong -165 favorite on the NFL Draft betting odds to be selected no later than fifth.

Mayfield is not the only Heisman Trophy winner that could go high at this year’s NFL Draft. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson enjoyed a sensational campaign in 2016, connecting on 30 touchdown passes, and running for an additional 21 scores, while leading the Cardinals to a tie for first place in the ACC Atlantic Division.

Jackson followed up with 45 total touchdowns as a junior last season, and sits as an intriguing +135 wager to be among the top 32 players selected at next month’s draft.

 

*Odds as of March 8, 2018

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