The 2023 NFL draft comes our way on Thursday night in Kansas City. Speculation on which of the top QBs will go first overall has been dominating the conversation, but there will be plenty of other developments once the clock starts ticking.
For betting purposes, one intriguing category to dive into is which player will be the first pick at their respective position. There are clear favorites in a few spots, while some of the other races appear to be wide open. Check out the top NFL draft odds for the first player selected by position, including running back and wide receiver.
Positional 2023 NFL draft odds
There are a number of ways to bet on the NFL draft at legal online sportsbooks, and the odds continue to evolve for all of the options. Here are the latest odds from DraftKings Sportsbook for the first selection by position. All odds are subject to change.
First running back odds
- Bijan Robinson, Texas: (-20000)
- Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama: (+2000)
- Zach Charbonnet, UCLA: (+7000)
- Tyjae Spears, Tulane: (+8000)
- Tank Bigsby, Auburn: (+8000)
Robinson was a force out of the backfield for the Longhorns in his final college season. He carried the ball 258 times for 1,580 yards — an average of 6.1 yards per attempt — and rushed for 18 TDs. His performance at the NFL combine cemented his status as a top RB prospect.
Gibbs transferred to Alabama by way of Georgia Tech for his junior season, and he was a key cog in the Crimson Tide offense. He’s the clear favorite to be the second RB off the board. At last year’s draft, the New York Jets selected Breece Hall as the first back, in round two.
First wide receiver odds
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State: (-400)
- Zay Flowers, Boston College: (+350)
- Quentin Johnston, TCU: (+700)
- Jordan Addison, USC: (+800)
- Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee: (+3000)
Smith-Njigba’s final season with the Buckeyes was cut short after three games due to a hamstring injury. The previous season, he had 95 receptions for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns. He once again showed his potential with a standout performance at the combine.
The race to be the second WR off of the board appears to be competitive, as Flowers, Johnson and Addison have all built strong resumes. Looking back to last year’s draft, six wideouts went in round one, with the first one being Drake London at pick eight to the Falcons.
First tight end odds
- Michael Mayer, Notre Dame: (-115)
- Dalton Kincaid, Utah: (+100)
- Darnell Washington, Georgia: (+1000)
- Luke Musgrave, Oregon State: (+3500)
- Sam LaPorta, Iowa: (+5000)
Based on the betting odds, this is one of the most competitive races for the top spot by position. Mayer spent three years at Notre Dame, capping it off with 67 receptions for 809 yards and nine TDs in his junior campaign.
Kincaid is a senior and racked up 70 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns for his final college season. Last year, the first tight end off the board was Trey McBride in round two to the Cardinals. The previous year, Kyle Pitts was the fourth overall pick by the Falcons.
First offensive lineman odds
- Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State: (-450)
- Peter Skoronski, Northwestern: (+500)
- Darnell Wright, Tennessee: (+700)
- Broderick Jones, Georgia: (+1000)
- Anton Harrison, Oklahoma: (+5000)
Throughout the draft process, Johnson Jr. and Skoronski have been widely viewed as the top two OL prospects in this year’s class. Johnson Jr. is a 6’6”, 310-pound junior. Skoronski is also a junior and checks in at 6’4” and 315 pounds.
The two Big Ten linemen could hear their names called on night one of this year’s draft. There were eight linemen selected in round one last time out, led by Ikem Ekwonu to the Panthers at pick No. 6.
First defensive player odds
- Will Anderson, Alabama: (-400)
- Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech: (+350)
- Jalen Carter, Georgia: (+1200)
- Devon Witherspoon, Illinois: (+4000)
- Christian Gonzalez, Oregon: (+5000)
This is another competitive race to watch, as both Wilson and Anderson have made strong cases to be the first defender off the board. The two players were key parts of their respective defenses in college and have also been turning heads on the measurable front.
Carter is also a highly regarded talent. Off-the-field concerns have led to his stock taking a dip, but he could still hear his name on night one. Last year, the first five players off the board were defenders, led by Travon Walker to the Jaguars.
NFL draft odds for position totals in the first round
In addition to trying to forecast which player will be the top choice at a position, you can also wager on how many players of a specific position will go in round one. Here are the latest odds on those bets at DraftKings Sportsbook.
- QB: Over 4.5, +115; under 4.5, -145
- RB: Over 1.5, -350; under 1.5, +270
- WR: Over 3.5, -225; under 3.5, -180
- TE: Over 2.0, -380; under 2.0, +285
- OL: Over 5.5, -500; under 5.5, +350
- DB: Over 5.5, -225; under 5.5, +180
For another approach, you can place an over/under bet on how many players will be selected in round one on both sides of the ball.
- Offensive players: Over 16.5, -400; under 16.5, +300
- Defensive players: Over 14.5, +300; under 14.5, -400
If we look back to last year’s draft for some ballpark numbers, it was split down the middle for the 32 round one picks — 16 each on both the offensive and defensive sides.