2022 NFL Draft player position best bets: Ekwonu is the real deal

Ikem Okwonu
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NFL· 2 weeks ago

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

NFL Draft week is here. The 2022 festivities get underway on Thursday night in Las Vegas. Who will go No. 1? Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and Georgia pass-rusher Travon Walker are the favorites, but they are by no means locks. When will the first quarterback be selected? There is no guarantee, but it will probably happen a lot later than usual.

Those questions and more will be answered soon enough. For now, let’s take a look at the best prop bets to be made on players’ draft position.

Kayvon Thibodeaux Over 4.5 (+135)

There is no denying Thibodeaux’s talent. However, there are growing concerns about his commitment to football and therefore his stock seems to have plateaued; it may even be falling. When NFL teams have clear concerns heading into draft day, bad things usually happen. I don’t anticipate Thibodeaux enduring some kind of Aaron Rodgers-esque wait in the green room, but falling out of the top 4 would be no surprise. His production at Oregon (he never had double-digit sacks in a single season) just did not match the talent level.

Sauce Gardner Under 5.5 (-125)

With the NFL becoming more of a pass-happy league year after year, the cornerback position is becoming more and more important. Although pass-rushers may be the most essential commodity for defenses to combat those kinds of offensive attacks, cornerbacks are not far behind. Gardner was nothing short of incredible this past season at Cincinnati. He allowed a mere 23 receptions on 320 coverage snaps receivers averaged just 6.6 yards on those 23 catches. In his entire collegiate career, Gardner did not give up a single touchdown. In 3 seasons, opposing QBs compiled an average passer rating of 30.4 when targeting him. He could go as high as No. 2 overall to Detroit.

Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Ahmad Gardner (1) resets between plays during practice at the Higher Ground training facility in West Harrison, Ind., on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021

Ikem Ekwonu Under 4.5 (-120)

Ekwonu has surpassed Alabama’s Evan Neal as the favorite to be the first offensive lineman (and first offensive player period) off the board. The former N.C. State standout stands at 6’4’’ and 310 pounds and he clocked a 4.93 40-yard dash at the combine. There are absolutely no off-the-field concerns with this guy, either. He was a standout in the classroom and the locker room while in college. Don’t underestimate the importance of being a high-character person in addition to being a great football player. Ekwonu is both; so he is a safe choice but also a home-run pick at the same time.

Matt Corral Over 33.5 (-135)

Let’s get right to the point: this quarterback class just isn’t very good. If QB-needy teams can help themselves, they will hold out for next year when Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are among those eligible to be drafted. If there aren’t any early reaches, Corral could very well slip into the middle stages of the second round. Heck, even Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett could have longer-than-expected waits. Even without taking his ankle injury into account, Corral would probably be a second-rounder. There are too many on-field and also off-field concerns to expect a first-round selection.

Pickswise 2022 NFL Draft content

Check out some of the great articles our news team has put together on the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft:

Pickswise is the home of NFL Picks. Be sure to check out all of our post-Super Bowl offseason coverage as we gear up for the 2022 campaign.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 on any NBA team, Get $150 in Free Bets if they win!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any team to win an NBA playoff game

Win $150 in free bets if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 on any UFC 274 fight!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any fighter to win at UFC 274

Win $150 in free bets if your fighter wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,100

Get up to $1,100 in First Bet Insurance!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.