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2022 NFL Draft: Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett Listed as Favorites to be First Quarterback Drafted

The Liberty and Pittsburgh passers are expected to be the first quarterbacks taken during the NFL Draft in April.

Who will be the First Quarterback Drafted in 2022?

Bettors looking to wager on the NFL Draft should not expect a significant amount of quarterbacks to be selected among the first 32 picks.

Since 2000, 65 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round, with nine signal-callers selected in the opening round the past two years. However, bettors will not see more than three passers tabbed on the opening night during the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas.

Over the last several months, oddsmakers have come to believe that two quarterbacks have strongly worked their way into consideration for the First Round, Liberty's Malik Willis and Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett.

Let’s take a deeper look at one of the more popular markets.

Odds for First Quarterback Drafted in 2022

According to oddsmakers, this year’s NFL Draft will not be filled with early quarterback talent in the first round. Bettors witnessed five quarterbacks selected in the first round last year, with three passers coming off the board in the first three picks. Trevor Lawrence was selected at No. 1 overall, followed by Zach Wilson to the Jets at No. 2, Trey Lance to the 49ers at No. 3, Justin Fields to the Bears at No. 11 and Mac Jones to the Patriots at No. 15.

In this year’s draft, the oddsmakers at SI Sportsbook have set the over/under betting projection at 2.5 quarterbacks selected in the first round with the ‘over’ moderately juiced at odds of -150. To simplify this market, if bettors believe that more than 2.5 quarterbacks will be chosen in round one, they will need to risk $150 dollars to win $100.

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There are two players rumored to be strongly in the mix to be drafted in the first round of the 2022 draft: Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett. The remaining crop of Mississippi's Matt Corral, Cincinnati's Desmond Ritter and North Carolina's Sam Howell fill out the top remaining cast.

Currently, we see two clear front runners in Willis (-150) and Pickett (+138) to come off the board first in the quarterback futures betting market at SI Sportsbook.


Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (-150)

After struggling to earn the starting spot for the Auburn Tigers, Willis transferred to Liberty and enjoyed two successful seasons for the Flames. The dual-threat talent not only threw for 5,117 passing yards and 47 touchdowns in two years at Liberty, but he also added 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground. Willis is the top overall betting favorite (-150) to be selected first among all quarterbacks later this month.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (+138)

Pickett made a tremendous leap in his senior season throwing for career-highs in passing yards (4,319), touchdowns (42) and completion percentage (67.2%). The former Pittsburgh Panther standout, heavily linked with the Carolina Panthers at pick No. 6, could land inside the top ten. Pickett could offer solid value at healthy plus odds to be the first signal-caller to hear his name when Roger Goodell is at the podium.

Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.

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