Bleed the Bookie: DRAFT MONTH!
Mike McKittrick (@McKittrickM)
Almost two months after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, Bleed the Bookie is back! With the lack of sports due to the ongoing pandemic, the one thing all football fans and most sports fans have to look forward to is the NFL Draft. With the NFL providing some entertainment in the form of the draft, those who enjoy sports gambling can use this as one of their sole opportunities to bleed their bookie.
Since this is a Giant-centric blog, it's only fair that I analyze the potential options the Giants may draft. Today, we'll look at three possible draft options: OL Tristan Wirfs Iowa, OL Mekhi Becton Louisville, and LB Isaiah Simmons Clemson. Tristan Wirfs is arguably the best fit for the Giants. Wirfs got a 6.48 combine grade, ranking fourth among all OL. He set a combine record for the vertical jump for OL at 36.5" as well as having the high marks for OL in the 40-yard dash. He has incredible strength but tends to have trouble holding blocks. He may not be the most polished lineman in the draft, but he could have the highest ceiling among the top lineman.
Next is Mekhi Becton, an absolute specimen standing at 6'7 and 364 lbs. Although he did not participate in all of the combine events, he was fairly impressive in the ones he did compete in, marking a 5.1 in the 40 (1.77 second 10-yard split) as well as 23 bench press reps. His overall strength and size help him win battles in the trenches but tends to lack the lateral quickness and body control that comes with his size. Teams will inevitably overlook his struggles due to his pure size.
Finally, there is Isaiah Simmons, a do-it-all LB from Clemson. I'm predicting he will be the best athlete on the board when the Giants pick at 4th overall. Simmons showed out at the combine, having the fourth-best combine grade of all players and the best of all participating linebackers. He had the fastest 40 yard dash of all linebackers at 4.39 and a vertical jump of 39". Standing at 6'4 and 238, he is a projected pro bowl talent. His first step is second to none and gives him an incredible edge on the competition. However, there are various things I find as issues. I think the Giants could use more help on the offensive line rather than at linebacker. Secondly, many people question where exactly he would play, as he has lined up in multiple positions all over the defensive side of the ball. He will more than likely end up as an interior linebacker, but his lack of playing time at one set position could hinder his transition to the pro level.
Finally, let's look at the odds here: Tristan Wirfs is at +250, Simmons at +260, and Becton at +340. Gettleman does have the option to trade down from 4th overall, but I doubt that will happen. Furthermore, with his history of drafting potential home run hitting type players in the first round, I think he takes Simmons here. That is going to be my bet.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Around the rest of the draft, I LOVE the options here. The first bet I like is who goes third overall. The third pick is exceptionally intriguing to look at. Do the Chargers/Dolphins trade up to 3 to get Tua? It is definitely a possibility. But I still think the Lions hold the pick and draft Jeff Okuduh out of Ohio State. With the loss of CB Darius Slay and head coach Matt Patricia standing on his last legs, he either needs to make a pick or get a giant haul for it. Considering the Dolphins would have to give up three first-round picks over the next two years to move up two spots for a guy that is most likely going to be there at 5, I think everybody will stay put. This could be a cheaper replacement for Slay, who provides the same type of production. I expect to see Okuduh in silver and blue, cashing +195.
With the assumption that the Giants take Simmons at 4, there is a big hole to be exposed in this system. Three linemen, Wirfs, Mehkti, and Jedrick Wills, all have an over/under of 8.5 for their draft position. The only team that needs a lineman would be Arizona at 8. I think they sacrifice size for speed in a spread offense by taking Wirfs. You can play it safe and take all three overs and have a better chance of profit, or you can bet Wirfs to go inside the top 8. I think he is an excellent fit for a Cardinals offense that revolves around a mobile quarterback. I am taking the following bets in regards to offensive linemen:
Tristan Wirfs u8.5 (-130), Jedrick Wills o8.5 (-112), Mekhi Becton o8.5 (-126), Tristan Wirfs first lineman taken (+160)
Finally, we move back to the defensive side of the ball and look at the safety position. Xavier McKinney and Antoine Winfield Jr. were both named to AP All-American teams in 2019. Winfield has the better combine numbers, but more question marks surrounding his health, as injuries derailed two of his final three seasons at Minnesota. However, the talent is too obvious to pass up. I think, at the very least, he gets drafted 32nd overall by Kansas City, if not sooner. Take o1.5 safeties drafted in the first round. Pretty good value at -122.
- Isaiah Simmons 4th overall (+260) for 1 unit
- Jeff Okuduh 3rd overall (+195) for 1 unit
- Tristan Wirfs first lineman taken (+160) for 1 unit
- Tristan Wirfs u8.5 draft position (-130) for 1.5 units
- Jedrick Wills o8.5 draft position (-112) for 1 unit
- Mekhi Becton o8.5 draft position (-126) for 3 units
- O1.5 safeties taken in the first round (-122) for 2 units
Odds are via Fanduel Sportsbook as of 4/1/2020. Lines prices are subject to change at the discretion of the sportsbook.