NFL Draft Position Betting: Will Ladd McConkey Be Selected in the First Round?

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
NFL Draft Position Betting: Will Ladd McConkey Be Selected in the First Round?

The opening round of the 2024 NFL Draft -- hosted in Detroit, MI -- will have no shortage of offensive players selected, and that should pertain strongly to the wide receivers.

However, for Georgia Bulldogs wideout Ladd McConkey, he appears to be on the fringe of Day 1 and Day 2. McConkey has plenty of productive attributes to bring to a professional franchise, but the current class is especially deep at WR.

Interestingly, 2024 could tie the NFL Draft's all-time record of seven receivers taken in the first round. Prospects Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze are considered top players here, but other WRs like Brian Thomas Jr., Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy will also be in demand at the draft. And so will McConkey.

FanDuel Sportsbook has you covered with various NFL Draft odds, and in particular, player draft-position over/unders. For McConkey, FanDuel lists a position total of 34.5. Based upon that, the UGA receiver will not come off the board until the beginning of Round 2.

With the draft starting this Thursday (April 25th), let's take a look at both sides of this market for McConkey -- will he be drafted before or after the 35th overall selection?

NFL Draft Odds

Ladd McConkey Draft Position Over/Under

Why Ladd McConkey Could Go Before Pick 34.5 (+106)

The odds (+106) at FanDuel Sportsbook currently indicate that McConkey is less likely to be drafted prior to pick No. 35. Still, there is certainly an argument to be made for the 6-foot receiver going earlier.

Over three seasons in Athens, McConkey compiled 119 catches. For his most recent campaign, he did well to post a reception clip of 15.9 YPC. Additionally, his speed and hands make him a candidate to contribute in the return game.

At the 2024 NFL Combine, McConkey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, which was a top-10 mark for receivers this year. His ability to run at an elite level will harbor solid interest from organizations, particularly in the slot. McConkey runs crisp routes with hard breaks, and that skill can be amplified from the middle of the field.

When McConkey played between the hedges, his work ethic and commitment to film was already at a professional level. With appropriate size, speed and dedication for his position, he can make a fine NFL player.

According to Pro Football Focus' market-implied mock draft, McConkey will be taken 31st overall by the San Francisco 49ers, which would cash an under 34.5 play. The Niners are still looking to agree on a new contract with second-team All-Pro WR Brandon Aiyuk, but if that changes, McConkey would be an appropriate pick for San Francisco at the spot.

Why Ladd McConkey Could Go After Pick 34.5 (-140)

As noted, it remains more probable that McConkey gets selected on Friday rather than Thursday. Still, the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook have more faith in him going later than 34th overall. Simply, if he is still on the board after the second pick of Round 2, over 34.5 (-140 odds) bettors will rejoice.

McConkey can run like the wind, but he is not the strongest player on the field. That could present issues when dealing with NFL press coverages. Various pre-snap motions or playing in the slot can palliate that to an extent, but that will be dependent on McConkey's specific arrival situation.

Interested teams might be deterred from the two-time CFP national champion because of his injury rap sheet. Notably, McConkey was forced out of the 2022 SEC title game with knee tendinitis (which may or may not have lingered into 2023).

Last year, McConkey missed four contests with back soreness and a fifth game due to a sprained ankle. Given the strong presence of artificial-turf fields throughout the league (approximately 50%), those ailments could resurface. For reference, teams in the NFC South or AFC East tend to play on grass much less often.

Circling back, McConkey is a really solid receiver, but he's still considered to be behind several other mentioned wideouts in this class. Players like Harrison, Nabers, Odunze, Thomas and others make the incoming WR market extremely expansive.

Only once prior have we seen seven WRs taken before pick No. 33. Is that the sort of rate we can expect for the 2024 draft? Of course, McConkey can fall to the second round while still cashing the under here, but that warrants him going within the first two selections of Day 2.

For reference, the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots currently hold the 33rd and 34th overall picks. As it is now, either receiving corps could use a jolt of energy and talent.

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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.