How did Hollywood Howie do?
The NFL Draft aftermath gives Philadelphia Eagles fans and New Jersey sports bettors a speculation menu for the upcoming season. It’s been provided by Howie Roseman, one of the league’s most aggressive and unpredictable general managers.
Roseman has now brought prime-time entertainment to the last two NFL drafts.
He’s an administrative version of throwing deep on first down, stirring the debate pot with surprise draft-day moves.
Gamblers are learning not to fall asleep on an Eagles draft, regardless of where they pick.
It’s the A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith show
New Jersey bettors now have several months to ponder the effects of Roseman’s last barnburner, the deal to get Tennessee Titans receiver A.J. Brown.
Roseman packaged the 18th and number 101 picks to obtain the proven deep threat, who will get a $100 million, four-year contract extension.
Without losing a member of his own team, Roseman has forged a potent receiving duo in Brown and DeVonta Smith. That’s quite a complement to the league’s top rushing offense.
The Brown saga was a different version of Roseman’s 2021 on-the-clock audible to obtain Smith. From the No. 12 position, he made a deal with the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys to take the 10 spot. Philadelphia leap-frogged the New York Giants in 11th and secured the Heisman Trophy winner.
When Smith outplayed Kadarius Toney, whom the Giants took with their later first-round pick last season, it was a “W” for Roseman.
His second “W” may have been a massive swap of draft-pick selections with the New Orleans Saints a while back. Roseman then used some of his cushion, packaged it to get Brown and upgraded the Eagles offense.
Philadelphia Eagles 2022 draft picks
The Brown deal is the residual news-maker, but the rest of the draft could prove to be interesting too.
Here’s who the Eagles got:
- First round, pick 13: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
- Second round, pick 51: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
- Third round, pick 83: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
- Sixth round, pick 181: Kyron Johnson, LB, Kansas
- Sixth round, pick 198: Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU
Are we seeing A.J. Brown prop bets already?
It did not take DraftKings Sportsbook long to make a prop out of the Brown trade.
Brown’s over-under for touchdowns at 6.5, with the under at +100 and the over at -135. He had five TD’s and 865 yards last season, so this number is in the ballpark.
Yardage for Brown is projected for 1009.5 with -115 on either side.
New Jersey sports bettors will cast a two-sided look at this. Both Brown and Smith may receive fewer passes because they will offset each other and be part of an Eagles ground-first attack.
But there may be more scoring chances, even with fewer targets, because opposing defenses can’t key on either one of them.
Bettors will seek prop deals regarding Smith. They will look to see if there is a “soft” total, meaning something projected below their own expectations, inviting an “over” bet.
Caesars Sportsbook also weighing in on the Eagles
Caesars Sportsbook has Davis at +1200 to win Rookie of the Year. Dean is even further down at +2500 on a board led by Detroit Lions defensive end Aiden Hutchinson, +350.
Caesars lists the Eagles’ over-under total of 9, the same number as the team’s 2021 total. The over is -105, the under is -115.
There is still debate, however, over the Eagles’ draft selections
Why did the Eagles spend their first pick on Davis, who only appeared in 38% of the defensive snaps for Georgia last year and who is rarely used on third down?
What was the idea in taking Jurgens, an heir apparent to All-Pro center Jason Kelce, at No. 51?
Why not address defensive needs?
Good thing Roseman later took Dean, but is that pectoral injury a real concern?
All of it is debate fuel for mini-camp, the preseason and the lead up to the regular season.
The Eagles also locked up priority undrafted cornerback Mario Goodrich from Clemson.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, quoting Goodrich’s agents, reported that the Eagles gave Goodrich a $217,000 bonus to sign. That’s the largest bonus they’ve ever given an undrafted free agent.
Spending money on undrafted free agents, going against the mock-draft grain and using draft picks to entice deals means he will always try something _ win or lose.
Roseman’s strategy: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. A proven player will be worth the risk of a couple of draft picks. And if a GM has amassed a bank of picks, they can be used like free bets at a sportsbook.
Eagles fans and bettors know this team will never sit pat. That’s important in maintaining off-season interest.
Avello says Eagles ‘did pretty well’
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, believes the Eagles, New York Giants and New York Jets helped themselves.
And that the Dallas Cowboys did not.
“I think the Jets had a great draft, the Giants had a pretty good draft and the Eagles did pretty well too,” Avello told PlayNJ.
“But the Cowboys usually do awful. I don’t know why. They think they are doing such a great job and they really are not. The owner (Jerry Jones) is too involved in what they should be doing.
“It’s like a war room and he is sitting right there. I am not sure they are getting the best production that way.”
Avello added that the draft betting volume was promising, similar to a low-level NFL game.
Before the real games start, bettors will assess this draft, many times.