Who Will Be the First Defensive Player Taken in the 2021 NFL Draft?

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The opening round of the 2021 NFL Draft gets underway Thursday, April 29th, beginning at 8pm ET.

This year, the Draft will be top heavy with quarterbacks and other offensive skilled players. In fact, eight or nine of the Top 10 selections could all be offensive players. Only one defender is being projected to crack the Top 10.

With that in mind, NFL Draft betting has started with a prop bet asking the question as to which defensive player will get drafted first. Let’s huddle up and take a closer look at this 2021 NFL Draft wager.

Odds on Who Will Be the First Defensive Player Taken in the NFL Draft

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Patrick Surtain II (-120)
  • Micah Parsons (+200)
  • Jaycee Horn (+400)
  • Kwity Paye (+550)
  • Jaelan Phillips (+1200)

Patrick Surtain II (-120)

Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II is a second generation defensive back and will follow in his father’s footsteps by playing in the NFL. He’s a very talented corner with a skillset that will make him a Day 1 starter in the league.

Surtain is widely viewed as the top corner in the Draft and could go anywhere from 8th to 12th. Todd McShay has Surtain being taken 8th by the Carolina Panthers and Daniel Jeremiah has him going to the Eagles at 12th.

Micah Parsons (+200)

Parsons is my favorite defensive player coming out in this year’s Draft.

It’s not only because I’m a Penn State fan, who also attended the university, but it’s also because Parsons is an athletic freak, an intelligent player, and a top-notch student as well. He’s a highly regarded player by his coaches, peers, and scouts.

At his pro-day, Parsons ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, posted a 34 inch vertical jump and a 10’6” broad jump. Keep in mind, these are the numbers of a 6’3”, 245 pound linebacker. His blend in size, speed and athleticism could result in a steal for whoever gets him in the Draft.

Right now, Jeremiah has Parsons going to the Patriots at 15th and McShay has him going to the Eagles at 12th.

Jaycee Horn (+400)

Like Surtain II, Jaycee Horn is also a second generation player as his father Joe Horn was a talented receiver in the NFL.

Horn was a three year starter at South Carolina and has a great blend of size and length. He has experience outside and in the slot, which will make him even more appealing to NFL teams that place a premium on versatility.

McShay has Horn going 10th to the Cowboys and Jeremiah has him going 13th to the Chargers.

Kwity Paye (+550)

Paye had only 19 starts in college, but the Michigan edge rusher is a talented defender with power to push the pocket and quickness to get around the end.

He was highly praised as a team captain at Michigan and also has an explosive short-area burst. In 2019, he had 12.5 sacks in 12 games.

Paye is pegged to go 10th to the Cowboys by Jeremiah and 21st to the Colts by McShay. If he makes it down to the Colts, it would be a tremendous pickup for Indy as they already have a stout defense.

Jaelan Phillips (+1200)

Former Miami defender Jaelan Phillips is considered to be the most talented edge rusher in the NFL Draft by some pundits like Daniel Jeremiah who has him going 14th overall to the Vikings just one spot ahead of Parsons.

McShay has Phillips falling down to Buffalo at the 30th spot. That would be a huge win for the Bills who are in need of a talented pass rusher.

Phillips is also a solid run defender with great size and speed. One concern regarding Phillips is his injury history.

Which Defender Gets Drafted First?

Of these five players, Parsons has the highest ceiling as he could become one of the best linebackers in the league. With that said, edge rushers and corners are the premium positions on the defense. Teams need someone to get after the QB and someone to lock down opposing receivers.

I believe that this prop bet will come down to Surtain II or Horn. Both are very talented, but in the end, Alabama’s Surtain will be selected as the first defender in the NFL Draft.

He has the bloodline, the winning pedigree at Alabama, and is arguably the most pro-ready defensive back in this draft. At -120 odds, there’s also solid betting value with Surtain II.

Which Defender Gets Drafted First? –Surtain II (-120)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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