Some people have all the preparation meets opportunity. As we enter the final hours leading up to the NFL draft, Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of those people. After weeks of seeing his name sliding down mock drafts, there’s suddenly a lot of smoke behind Thibodeaux being drafted by the Lions with the second overall pick.
He’s not the only guy riding a late wave up draft boards. Here are three players whose stock has skyrocketed in the past few days and could possibly smash their draft position props on BetMGM:
Kayvon Thibodeaux — EDGE, Oregon Ducks
Once favored to be drafted first overall, Thibodeaux’s stock went into free fall when questions arose about his passion for football. But multiple reports over the last few days have linked him to the Lions at No. 2, as well as the Jets at No. 4. Many of the local Detroit press seem convinced that Thibodeaux will be drafted second overall by the Lions. Detroit general manager Brad Holmes went to several of his games last year and, according to Thibodeaux, the two hit it off when they met at Oregon’s pro day.
The odds at BetMGM are reflecting these recent reports and sentiments. Thibodeaux is now +110 to go off the board at No. 2 and his draft position prop of under 4.5 is juiced to the tune of -135.
Here’s another player whose draft stock has bounced all over the place. The corner put on a show as a true freshman in 2019, ending the year as PFF’s highest-graded cornerback (91.7). His next two seasons were more of a no-show, with Stingley only playing 10 games due to COVID-19 and injuries.
Stingley quelled concerns about his health at his pro day, running a 4.37 40 and performing well overall. After his draft position prop opened at 12.5, it eventually dropped to 9.5 before being taken off the board completely. That’s likely the result of recent reports that the Texans are targeting Stingley with the No. 3 pick.
Houston‘s roster has more holes than an oil field. One of their pressing needs is cornerback. A lot of mock drafts last week had Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner going to Houston, but Lovie Smith likes physical corners and Gardner doesn’t fit that mold. That makes me believe the rumors that the Texans have Stingley above Gardner on their board. Stingley is now an even money favorite to be selected third overall.
Johnson was a fringe first-round pick two months ago, but he’s been creeping up into the single-digit picks in recent mock drafts. Every team picking in the top 10 needs an edge rusher and Johnson fits the bill so well that the Jets reportedly prefer him to Thibodeaux. Their dream scenario likely involves taking either NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu or CB Gardner at No. 4 and then hoping Johnson is still available when they draft tenth. That’s a tough gamble to take with the Giants, Falcons, and Seahawks all picking before then.
I could see the Jets taking Johnson fourth, or trading that pick back a few spots to draft him while scooping up some additional draft capital, or even taking someone else fourth and trading up a couple spots from No. 10 to complete their perfect scenario. Johnson’s draft position prop is currently set at 9.5.