The NFL Draft is in Cleveland starting Friday at 8 PM ET for the final weekend of April (29, 30) and the first day of May. Last season's draft was a viral experience hosted by NFL Commission Roger Goodell, but this year, we are back in person for a live event.
The hype around the draft is centered around the five quarterbacks more than likely slate to go top 10, but there is plenty of value outside of that position in the 2021 NFL Draft. Let's take a look at four different players to go Under their slated draft spots on PointsBet
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Najee Harris Under 28.5 (+100)
I was one of the vocal supporters to no running backs being drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but after speaking to a couple of sources, the hype around Alabama's Najee Harris and Pittsburgh is real.
The Steelers are committed to fixing its ground game and after losing James Conner to the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers are left with a running back committee of Anthony McFarland, Benny Snell, Kalen Ballage and Jaylen Samuels.
McFarland and Snell are likely the only safe roster options for the Steelers. Harris would be an ideal fit right away. At 6-foot-2 and 229 lbs, Harris brings compatible size to what the Steelers have liked in the past.
With Ben Roethlisberger on his last year or two, Pittsburgh will likely go for a running back or offensive lineman. Pittsburgh returns only two starting offensive lineman from last season's team and that will present issues at some point.
The only other team late in the first round with a real shot at grabbing a running back would be the New York Jets, one pick ahead of the Steelers.
Chances are the Jets will have too many holes to fill for a running back with the No. 23 overall pick. With that, I am betting on the Steelers to grab Harris at the No. 24 spot, bringing value to the Under 28.5 (+100) in what might be seen as risky, but as an easy hedge if you bet Pittsburgh to draft an offensive man for better odds.
Harris to be the first running back selected is -165, so the +100 is a better price and value, let's hope Pittsburgh makes the right decision.
Pick: Under 28.5 (1u)
Patrick Freiermuth Under 48.5 Draft (-120)
The Penn State product is not getting nearly the attention he deserves, but there are a few candidates to grab Patrick Freiermuth before the 49th overall selection.
Before a season-ending shoulder injury, Freiermuth recorded 23 receptions, 310 yards, 13.5 YPC and one touchdown in four games.
In his last two games, Freiermuth combined for 13 receptions and 204 yards against Maryland and Nebraska. In his first two seasons at Penn State, the junior tight end amassed 69 receptions, 875 yards and 15 touchdowns.
If Kyle Pitts of Florida were not the most talked-about tight end, it would be Freiermuth. The Jaguars (25, 33), Bills (30), Jets (34), Bengals (38), Panthers (39), Chargers (47) and Cardinals (49) are all contenders to grab him around or before his projection.
The Jets (23) and Saints (28) also own a late first-round pick (23) for exciting but far-fetched landing spots. The Chargers lost Hunter Henry and the Chargers, Jags, Jets, Bills, Bengals and Cardinals all will or already have their franchise quarterback, so an athletic red zone tight end will go a long way in their quarterback's development.
Either way, there will be a suitor, more than likely with a younger quarterback that will take a swing on Freiermuth before the 49th overall pick.
Pick: Pat Freiermuth Under 48.5 (1u)
Kyle Trask Under 75.5 (-115)
The Florida product had one heck of a season that will be remembered more for how it finished rather than how it started. Kyle Trask was on fire, throwing four or more touchdowns in six-straight games and three or more in nine-consecutive.
He threw three interceptions and no touchdowns in his final game versus Oklahoma, eventually being replaced in losing 55-20 effort. Trask finished the season with 43 touchdown passes, leading the NCAA, adding three rushing scores and eight interceptions to his resume.
While he will not be a first-round selection, Trask could certainly hear his name called in the second-round. The Patriots (47), Washington Football Team (51) and Bears (52) are the best bets to grab a quarterback, likely being either Trask, Kellen Mond or Davis Mills.
If Trask makes it to the third round, this could get dicey as a team would have to trade up or take a shot on him as a QB2, which is unlikely. However, of that group, I believe Trask is the better quarterback and in the right system, could be a starter for a few years.
If another team feels the same, bank on Trask going before the third round in a draft headlined by five top-10 quarterbacks. It will not take much to get him and he could be a nice stash on the bench soaking in information for a few years behind the right guy.
Pick: Kyle Trask Under 75.5 (1u)
Christian Barmore Under 23.5 (+110)
To be the First Defensive Lineman Drafted (+650)
I grabbed these odds before the podcast at +775, and now his odds are down to +650. Someone must be catching on!
Christian Barmore from Alabama has been flying under the radar and his draft stock is rising. Barmore is a 20-year-old, 6-foot-4 and 310 lbs interior defensive lineman that showed up BIG over the second half of the season.
Barmore made a name for himself in the final two games of the College Football Playoff. He recorded 10 tackles and two sacks versus Notre Dame and Clemson. Prior to that, he had five tackles and a forced fumble in the Rose Bowl versus Florida.
Over the final six games, he turned up his production for six sacks, 23 tackles and two forced fumbles. In his redshirt sophomore season, Barmore was named first-team All-SEC and Third-team Associated Press All-American, finishing with 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and a team-high eight sacks.
What could be the reason why he is drafted higher than the rest of the DL class despite being third in odds? How much do teams value interior guys compared to edge rushers?
Statistics value the edge rushers because they can get more sacks, strip-sacks and pressures on quarterbacks. Unless, you find a guy like Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox or DeForest Buckner, for example. The edge rusher is more likely to be selected.
Every team will value him differently compared to Jaelan Phillips, Kwity Paye and Gregory Rousseau. So ideal spots for him would be No. 11-17 spots for this to cash. A few teams think he has a lot of upside, but it is well-known he is viewed as a boom or bust candidate to most teams.
There is a chance Barmore could be the first DL taken for +650 odds, you do not have to bet much to make a great return on investment here.
The depth between Barmore and the next best defensive lineman could be 30-50 picks, so the Bama big man could hear his name called earlier than expected. I am also grabbing him to be drafted before the 23rd overall pick for +110 odds.
Pick: Barmore to be the first DL Drafted (0.25u), Under 23.5 (1u)
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