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First Wide Receiver Selected NFL Draft Predictions & Odds 2021

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
10 min read
  • Despite sitting out the 2020 season, LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase is the favorite for this prop bet
  • Don’t count out DeVonta Smith, Alabama – some mocks have him as the 1st WR taken
  • Our longshot for this bet is the talented D’Wayne Eskridge of Western Michigan

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First Wide Receiver Selected Odds

Odds taken 27 April 2021 from DraftKings Sportsbook

Player/University Odds
Ja’Marr Chase, LSU -1000
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama +600
DeVonta Smith, Alabama +1000
Rashod Bateman, Minnesota +5000
Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State +25000
D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan +25000

Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

First Wide Receiver Selected Predictions and Picks

DeVonta Smith had an outstanding season – count on that to make the difference in this prop bet over Chase, who opted out.


DeVonta Smith, Alabama (+1000)

How to Watch NFL Draft 2021/2022

2021/22 NFL Draft Information
What NFL Draft 2021/2022
Where Cleveland, Ohio
When Thu, April 29 thru Sat May 1, 2021
How to watch NFL Network/ESPN

Favorites to Win

Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

This kid had an amazing 2019 for the LSU Tigers and played in the National Championship game, but Chase opted out of his 2020 season and told the media he was focusing on his upcoming professional career.

This could drop him a bit in some standings, but there is no doubt he can get the receiving job done, with 84 catches during the 2019 season for 1,780 yards and twenty touchdowns, not to mention he is most likely extra healthy after sitting out the season.

Many mock drafts have Chase as the first wide receiver taken, some with the Dolphins taking him with the third overall pick, others have the Lions selecting him as the seventh pick.

DeVonta Smith, Alabama

This speedy playmaker showed the world what he could do while earning the Offensive MVP honors at the 2021 CFP National Championship, the 6’ 1” 175 pound Heisman Trophy/Maxwell Award/Walter Camp Award/Biletnikoff Award winner (2020) ready to take his show to the bigs.

Smith spent four years catching balls for the Crimson Tide and posted 235 receptions for almost 4,000 total yards and 46 touchdowns plus he added a rushing touchdown during his senior season, and pro scouts see him fitting quickly and perfectly in most NFL schemes.

Some mocks have Smith taken as the second receiver behind Ja’Marr Chase, while others have him going third overall to the Miami Dolphins to add some breakaway speed to that receiver room.

Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Tough 2020 season for Waddle in Alabama after breaking his right ankle during a kickoff return against Tennessee in October, though he did return to the field in time to join his team in the CFP National Championship against the OSU Buckeyes.

In his three college seasons, Waddle recorded some impressive numbers that should translate in the NFL, posting 106 receptions for almost 2,000 total yards and 17 touchdowns in just 34 games while also rushing 4 times for another 17 yards.

Some mock drafts have Waddle going as the second WR behind Chase, predicting he could either go to the Lions with the 7th overall pick or to the Chargers with the 13th overall selection.

No Chance to Win

No disrespect intended, it is just that these two playmakers have little to no chance of being the first wide receivers selected, though each will most likely find an NFL home during the draft.

Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

This six-footer weighs 185 pounds and is 21-years old, a 2x First-Team All-Big player and a former First-Team all-American in 2018 who had a decent showing at the 2021 Senior Bowl.

After four seasons at Oklahoma State, Wallace posted 205 catches for 3,434 yards and 26 total touchdowns, showing speed down the field plus the ability to run precise routes and get loose after the catch.

Most mocks have Wallace going in the second round of the draft or later.

D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan

Another longshot for this prop bet but a playmaker worthy of an NFL roster spot, Eskridge played in the 2021 Senior Bowl and was named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year and First-team All-MAC in 2020.

Eskridge made himself useful in Western Michigan and posted a total of 121 receptions for 2,244 yards and 15 touchdowns while carrying the ball 12 times for 116 more yards.

Most mocks have Wallace going in the second round of the draft or later.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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