NFL Draft Betting: How Many Cornerbacks Will Be Selected in Round 1?

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic

The sporting action is largely geared toward basketball and baseball during this time of year, but for gridiron diehards, the 2024 NFL Draft can't come soon enough.

With the annual event taking place in Detroit for this season, football's draft (April 25-27) is very near. As always, there are myriad looming questions and storylines to dive into. Still, this draft is tougher to gauge than most. The opening round is projected to have a heavy emphasis on offense.

FanDuel Sportsbook has you covered with various NFL Draft odds. For the sake of this article, let us focus on the defensive backfield -- how many cornerbacks will be selected in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft?

Notably, quarterbacks are expected to dominate the initial picks before giving way to other offensive positions. We'll likely have just one defensive player taken in the top 10, and it will probably be an edge rusher rather than someone for the secondary.

With April 25th looming quite closely, let us sift through the incoming class of corners; will there be six or more CBs selected on Day 1?

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Settlement is based on position classification.

NFL Draft Odds

Total Number of Cornerbacks Drafted in Round 1 -- Over/Under 5.5

Over: +290 | Under: -440

Despite the many headlining offensive players in this draft, the incoming crop of defensive backs is stellar. When looking at the cornerback position specifically, I am expecting to see anywhere between four and six CBs drafted next Thursday.

Due to the influx of passing the football in today's NFL, having capable and dependable cornerbacks is paramount to team success. For many franchises, that translates to taking talented DBs simply when/if they are available.

Immediately, the odds in this market point to under 5.5 cornerbacks being drafted in the opening round (-440). As noted, we probably won't see any CB have their name called in the top 10, but it is possible. From there, picks 10 to 20 should show some love to the defensive backs. Either way, is there a case to be made for the over (+290) here? draft analyst Bucky Brooks and Pro Football Focus both have three corners being selected by the time the 22nd overall pick comes around. The two lists concur that Quinyon Mitchell (Toledo Rockets) and Terrion Arnold (Alabama Crimson Tide) are the most in-demand DB prospects for 2024. They should be first-round picks barring something unforeseen.

Mitchell plays the game with impressive physicality. He immediately brings NFL-level size and skills. At the 2024 NFL Combine, Mitchell showcased his strength, pacing all corners with 20 bench-press reps. As for Arnold, whose draft position over/under at FanDuel Sportsbook is 15.5, he boasts high-end athleticism and intuition. In 2023, Arnold earned All-American accolades. Mitchell isn't listed in the draft position over/under market but has -115 odds to be the first cornerback drafted.

After the aforementioned pair, there are several other cornerbacks who could be first-round selection. Dynamic defenders Nate Wiggins (Clemson Tigers), Kool-Aid McKinstry (Alabama) and Cooper DeJean (Iowa Hawkeyes) all have the potential to thrive on Sundays. Wiggins ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash at the recent combine while DeJean can fill positional needs at various spots -- CB, S, nickelback, punt returner, etc. McKinstry brings NFL-grade tackling skills along with 42 games of SEC experience under his belt.

McKinstry's draft position over/under is set at 29.5. DeJean's is listed at 22.5,and Wiggins' is at 26.5. Going by those lines, each is expected to come off the board in Round 1.

That brings us to five cornerbacks drafted on Day 1. However, many experts are also keen on Iowa State Cyclones DB T.J. Tampa (whom designates as a corner). For any teams needing help near the back end, Tampa has great height (6-foot-1) and length (32 1/8" arms) for the position. He could be a late-first fit for either the Detroit Lions (29th) or San Francisco 49ers (31st). Tampa might be the player who swings this market.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, there are markets on which position specific teams will choose with their first pick. When it pertains to S.F. and Detroit, cornerback (+430) is listed at the third-shortest odds for the 49ers while the Lions have CB labeled as the favorite (+130). Along with Motor City, three of the other 22 available teams in the market have CB as the favorite: the Indianapolis Colts (15th), Jacksonville Jaguars (17th) and Philadelphia Eagles (22nd).

The Las Vegas Raiders (13th) could also take a corner with their initial pick, showing +185 odds to do exactly that. If Vegas does not trade up for a quarterback, they could target Arnold or Mitchell for help in the secondary. Incidentally, that could create a ripple effect for CBs to come off the board a little earlier than expected.

In each of the past two seasons, four CBs were selected on the first day of the draft. 2024 appears positioned to produce five cornerbacks in Round 1, but there is a fair chance that six end up being chosen if Tampa goes next Thursday.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.