NFL Draft Betting: Who Will Be the First Defensive Lineman/Edge Drafted?

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8

Draft night is only one day away as the 2024 NFL Draft is slated to kick off Thursday, April 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET. As usual, FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL Draft odds are taking big swings in the final week of preparation.

One of the available lines is which player will be the first defensive lineman/edge drafted? This has taken an interesting twist over the last day as the race at the top has gotten much tighter. Let's look at the latest odds for this market and highlight which player could be the best bet.

NFL Draft Odds

2024 NFL Draft - First Defensive Lineman/Edge Drafted
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Laiatu Latu+175
Byron Murphy+175
Dallas Turner+175
Jared Verse+1600
Chop Robinson+6000
Jer'Zhan Newton+7500
Darius Robinson+10000

Laiatu Latu, UCLA (+175)

Throughout most of the draft process, Laiatu Latu of UCLA has been viewed as the top defensive prospect. Yet, Latu has been consistently mocked from picks 15 to 20.

Latu was medically retired at Washington due to a neck injury and did not play in the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He transferred to UCLA where he would become a star, finishing his final season with 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.

Medical exams have carried a ton of weight for Latu. The former Bruin has the talent to be a top-10 selection. He has an exceptional repertoire of pass-rushing moves with elite hand usage, as highlighted by's Lance Zierlein. Latu figures to make an instant impact, for he carries the shortest odds to win Defensive Rookie of the Year (+700).

Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reported that most teams agree Latu is the most talented pass rusher of 2024, but his medicals are causing hesitation. Latu would have to find the right spot to be the first defensive lineman/edge drafted.

The odds are trending towards Latu being the first defensive lineman off of the board. He was +260 for this market on Tuesday and now sits at +175. The Atlanta Falcons will likely be the first team to take a defensive prospect with the eighth pick. Dallas Turner of Alabama has been the popular choice among mock drafts, but suddenly Latu is looming.

According to FanDuel, Latu is tied with Turner to be the No. 8 selection (+250). Charles Davis of also mocked Latu to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Latu to the Falcons is picking up steam, which suggests the franchise could be comfortable with his medicals. The talent is certainly there; I believe Latu is the best bet to be the first defensive lineman/edge selected.

Dallas Turner, Alabama (+175)

As previously mentioned, Dallas Turner has been the first defensive player off the board for virtually the entire process since the college football season ended. His odds went from +100 to +175 to be the first defensive lineman/edge selected over the last day. What has changed?

The opinion on Latu's medicals will carry the most weight for this market. There's a good chance that Turner goes after the UCLA product simply due to production. Latu had the top production score among all defensive lineman/edge prospects, per

Turner's biggest supporting point is his athleticism. He posted freakish numbers with a 4.46-second 40-yard dash, 40.5-inch vertical jump, and 10'7" broad jump. The former Crimson Tide edge rusher has the second-highest athleticism score at his position while Latu has the eighth-highest mark.

It could take some time for Turner to tap into his star potential, for he needs to improve his hand usage and counter moves. He's a somewhat raw prospect with high upside. Will a team opt for Latu's potential immediate production or Turner's enticing ceiling?

Byron Murphy, Texas (+175)

The dark horse of this tight race is Byron Murphy of Texas. He's the only defensive tackle in the conversation to be the first defensive lineman off of the board.

Murphy was named the 2023 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. His explosiveness has consistently drawn rave reviews. According to Zierlein of, Murphy does an excellent job of shooting gaps, has an impressive array of rushing moves, and has "elite" balance and flexibility.

Finding a fit for Murphy could be where this bet gets tricky. He's safely the top defensive tackle of the 2024 class; Murphy created distance from Illinois' Jer'Zhan Newton weeks ago. But is there a team within the top 10 picks that would swing on the Texas product?

Daniel Jeremiah of suggested that Murphy could be a top-10 pick last week, and ESPN's Adam Schefter claimed he could be the first defensive player selected. Atlanta already has an exceptional defensive tackle duo in Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata. Would selecting another interior D-lineman be wise when taking an edge rusher is a clear need?

I can't get past the idea of the Falcons taking an edge rusher for their 3-4 scheme. Murphy to the Chicago Bears at No. 9 could make a lot of sense, but winning this bet would require Atlanta to trade back. You'd be hard-pressed to find any mock draft with the Falcons not taking a defensive lineman. I'm not willing to take Murphy for this market because it could hinge on Atlanta trading back -- which some have suggested as a pick swap with the Indianapolis Colts.

Following the three shortest odds, Jared Verse of Florida State is +1600. On Tuesday, Verse was +850. Taking any players outside of Latu, Turner, or Murphy to be the first defensive lineman selected could be a fool's errand.

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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.