Post-Draft NFL Over/Under Win Totals
The NFL Draft isn’t like the NBA’s. By that, I mean an NFL team’s fortunes aren’t likely to go from terrible to terrific in one season just because of a draft class unless a one-of-a-kind quarterback is in the mix. Think guys like Andrew Luck a few years ago with the Colts or Dan Marino in the 1980s with the Miami Dolphins. Peyton Manning’s Colts were just 3-13 in his first season. It’s hard for rookies to make a monumental difference their first year in the NFL. With that said, let’s examine some updated wins totals on sportbook odds following the draft.
A Look at the Post-Draft NFL Over/Under Win Totals
Jacksonville Jaguars (7.5): This looks like a team hugely on the rise. The offense exploded last season and the Jaguars got arguably the two best defensive players in the 2016 draft — plus add 2015 first-round pick and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. after he missed all of last season injured — in linebacker Myles Jack and defensive back Jalen Ramsey. The Jaguars are committed to building a defense capable of complementing an electric offense that boasts the firepower to lead a playoff run. Gus Bradley and GM Dave Caldwell used the 2016 offseason to add some talented veteran free agents, but the team needed to acquire blue-chip prospects in the draft to spearhead a quick turnaround. Ramsey, who went No. 5 overall, and Jack are top-five talents with the athleticism, speed and playmaking ability to make splash plays all over the field. Ramsey can play multiple spots in the secondary — he lined up at corner, safety and nickel back at Florida State — but the Jaguars plan to start him at cornerback opposite Davon House, who set a team record with 23 pass breakups last season. Jack dropped to early in the second round because of concerns over his knee. He can cover tight ends, slot receivers and even an edge receiver at times.
Houston Texans (8.5): Houston won the AFC South Division last season but was embarrassed in the wild-card game. The Texans had one of the NFL’s better defenses but knew they had to upgrade offense. They did so in free agency with former Dolphins running back Lamar Miller and ex-Broncos QB Brock Osweiler. Houston focused on that side of the ball early in the draft. The Texans upgraded their speed and big-play potential on the perimeter with the additions of receivers Will Fuller (Notre Dame) and Braxton Miller (Ohio State). Fuller was the fastest receiver at the NFL combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds. He averaged 20.3 yards on 62 catches last season with the Irish and averaged more than 45 yards per touchdown reception as well. Fuller led all Power 5 conference receivers in receptions (17) and touchdowns (10) on passes thrown 20 yards or longer. Expect plenty of deep passes from Osweiler. Houston also added a likely starter in Round 2 in Nick Martin, a center/guard from Notre Dame.
Cleveland Browns (4.5): The Browns were the busiest team at the draft, making 14 selections through a variety of trades and they are loaded with high 2017 draft picks. And really this team isn’t even pretending on being all that competitive this year. That win total is the lowest of any team. Cleveland had perhaps the NFL’s worst group of receivers last year and focused there in the draft. Baylor’s Corey Coleman was the team’s first-round pick after the Browns traded down to No. 15. He was a two-time All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award in 2015, when he led the nation with 20 touchdown receptions, a Baylor single-season record. Another interesting pick was fifth-rounder Jordan Payton. He scored 12 touchdowns the last two seasons at UCLA, and he had very few drops. Payton had 78 catches as a senior, and is UCLA’s all-time reception leader with 201. So at least Robert Griffin III will have some targets.