The NFL returns Thursday night with the opening round of the 2024 NFL Draft from Detroit. The draft is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze BetMGM Sportsbook’s NFL Draft odds for NFL prospects and tab who will be the first running back drafted — just one of many SportsbookWire’s expert NFL picks and predictions.

The league was shaken up this offseason with many different ground-breaking transactions as a result of the NFL free-agency deadline in mid-March. With many big names changing teams, there are many holes teams will look to fill Thursday night.

With many teams looking for running backs, there is a lot of talent in the upcoming draft class that leaves the door open to who will be selected first.

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NFL odds: First running back drafted

Provided by BetMGM Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday at 4:37 p.m. ET.

  • Jonathon Brooks: -150 (bet $150 to win $100)
  • Trey Benson: +300 (bet $100 to win $300)
  • Blake Corum: +450 (bet $100 to win $450)
  • MarShawn Lloyd: +700 (bet $100 to win $700)
  • Jaylen Wright: +900 (bet $100 to win $900)
  • Will Shipley: +3000 (bet $100 to win $3,000)
  • Braelon Allen: +5000 (bet $100 to win $5,000)

For more odds: See BetMGM Sportsbook

NFL Draft: Best bets

The pick – JONATHON BROOKS (-150)

With the best odds in the draft, the RB out of Texas has certainly demonstrated why he should be the first RB chosen Thursday. Similar to standout Texas RB Bijan Robinson, who was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2023 draft, Brooks has both power and elusiveness that many believe will translate to the pros.

He excels in forcing missed tackles from defenders and getting yards after contact. Brooks is also considered a dual-threat RB due to his ball-catching ability. He had 25 receptions for 286 yards last season with Texas.

Worth a shot – TREY BENSON (+300)

Benson and Brooks share a lot of similar qualities with their strength and elusiveness although Benson is considered more elusive than Brooks. His career missed tackles forced per attempt (0.39) ranks him 1st among all qualifying RBs since 2014.

The other big advantage the running back out of Florida State has over Brooks is health. Brooks only started 1 season at Texas due to playing behind Robinson and an ACL injury. While early RB selections have not always turned out to be fruitful in the past, selecting an RB with a former ACL injury may cause second thoughts meaning Benson would make a perfect selection instead.

Sleeper – MARSHAWN LLOYD (+700)

While Lloyd certainly does not possess the abilities that Brooks and Benson do, he led the draft class with 7.1 yards per attempt and was 1 of 5 FBS running backs with 100+ carries to average more than 7 yards per catch.

Lloyd may be worth a second look as a role player for certain teams more than an everyday back. The RB out of South Carolina and USC has shown potentially high upside in 3rd-down situations and ran a 4.46 40-time at the combine, showcasing his athleticism. While he wasn’t a big threat through the air in college, his yards-after-catch (YAC) ability could be just what NFL front offices are looking for.

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