NFL: Who Will Be the Number One pick in the 2024 NFL Draft?

NFL Sports News


  • The 2024 NFL Draft will take place over three days, April 25-27, in Downtown Detroit.
  • As always, it looks like a quarterback will go No. 1 with sportsbooks having odds on it being Caleb Williams of USC, Drake Maye of North Carolina or Jayden Daniels of LSU.
  • Another quarterback to watch in the NFL Draft is University of Michigan star JJ McCarthy, who led the Wolverines to the 2023 national title.

The NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is in the books. Say whatever you want about how much it means - or doesn’t - the NFL knows how to package events and turn them into something that gets media attention.

There’s a definite buzz this year entering the top of the Draft and just who will be the number one pick. Michigan Sportsbooks have odds on the first pick and all sorts of prop bets on various players, positions and what team will draft what position first. And a lot can change between now and April 25 in Detroit when the first pick is made.

What Do Oddsmakers Say? 

Each Michigan sportsbook has a different approach to what odds they put up for the NFL Draft.

Caesars has markets on each of the top three picks. They have USC quarterback Caleb Williams as the favorite to go first (-1400), with Maye and Daniels tied for second (+800) to be drafted first. Maye is the favorite to be picked second (-140). Daniels is the top pick to go third at +140.

BetMGM has the same markets for the first three picks, again with Williams the top pick to be the, uh, top pick at -1200. But they also have markets on which team will draft Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (Broncos, Vikings and Falcons all at +500).

The Who and the What for No. 1 

Expect those odds for the top pick to change dramatically in the next six weeks. Why? Because it’s still not clear who exactly is going to be the team doing the drafting.

The Bears have the top pick, thanks to a trade with the Carolina Panthers last year. They already have a young starting quarterback in Justin Fields, so will they trade out of the No. 1 pick and keep Fields? Or will they dump Fields somewhere else (the rumor in Indianapolis was to Atlanta) and take Williams.

Washington has the No. 2 pick and will almost definitely go quarterback, but which one? The Patriots are third on the clock, and they likely will take a QB as well. Arizona has the No. 4 pick, and they don’t need a quarterback.

Then it becomes how do you rank the QBs? Williams won the Heisman in 2022 after throwing for 4,537 yards and 42 touchdowns, but his team struggled last year. Maye is more of a pocket passer, who threw for 24 touchdowns last season. Daniels started two years at Arizona State before transferring to LSU. He won the Heisman in 2023 after amassing almost 5,000 yards of total offense.

Each of the three QBs has a strike. Williams didn’t win. Maye isn’t thought of as super athletic and Daniels is somewhat small.

Where Will JJ McCarthy Go? 

Michigan football fans watched plenty of JJ McCarthy the last two years. The best thing you can say about him is he’s a winner - just one loss with the Wolverines as a starter, but he doesn’t pass the eye or numbers test.

McCarthy threw for 2,991 yards and 22 TDs last season, far behind Williams and company. He’s not really a running threat, but he clearly does win. How do NFL teams see McCarthy? Where and when he goes in the NFL Draft will be a much talked about storyline for the next six weeks.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.