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GoldSheet NFL News and Notes | March 9

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Tony Pollard

Off-Season NFL News and Notes

As each week passes, we are closer and closer to the start of the new league year in the NFL.  The new league year kicks off on March 13th, and there will be an abundance of storylines that bettors and fans should make note of for the 2023 NFL season. Each week at the GoldSheet, Eric Pauly will analyze key NFL news and notes and give his expert opinion.

2023 NFL Combine – Recap

The 2023 NFL scouting combine has come and gone, and some players who tested boosted their draft stocks tremendously. As a result, the betting market has also reacted to the combine, with the odds of prop categories such as No. 1 overall pick, first QB taken, and first WR taken, all-seeing moves in response to combine performances.

For starters, Anthony Richardson put his athletic arsenal on display in Indy. He ran a blazing fast 4.43 40-yard dash, he had a 40.5″ vertical jump, and he had a 1.53 10-yard split. As a result, the betting market has shown more support for Richardson being drafted No. 1 overall and is the first QB taken. It is also expected that the Bears will now trade out of this pick to a more QB-needy team.

Bryce Young did not throw at the combine, but he is still favored to be the first player drafted and be the first QB taken in the 2023 NFL draft. However, he was measured at just 5’10”, and his 204 LB weigh-in is definitely the heaviest he will be. Young’s stock will rise or fall more at his pro-day this April.

Jalen Carterwho is dealing with off-the-field issues, left the combine to turn himself in for a warrant issued in Georgia. He returned to the combine and was able to meet with teams, presumably to discuss what happened the night a Georiga staffer and former Bulldog died in a car accident.

Jaxson Smith-Njigba dealt with injuries all of last season, but he is fully healthy, and he put on a show in Indy. Smith-Njigba is not a burner, but he is a technical route runner, and his skills were on full display. He has now emerged as the favorite to be the first wide receiver drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Will Levis is a polarizing prospect as teams would draft him with a focus on his traits over his production. Not to say Levis had a poor combine, but other passers had much better days than Levis did. He can still wow teams in meetings and at his pro day, but Levis’ shot of being one of the first players drafted seems to be long gone.

2023 NFL Draft Odds Update and Analysis

As we just mentioned, the combine has affected the NFL Draft betting markets. Here are some of the bigger changes as a result of combine performances.

First WR Drafted:

  • Jaxson Smith-Njigba is now -130 to be the first WR Drafted
  • Quentin Johnston, the favorite before the combine, is now +275 to be the first WR drafted
  • Zay Flowers (+600) has surpassed Jalin Hyatt (+650) to be the first WR drafted

First QB Drafted:

  • Bryce Young went from -190 to -250 to be the first QB drafted
  • CJ Stroud went from +300 to +250 to be the first QB Drafted
  • Anthony Richardson went from +500 to +300 to be the first QB Drafted
  • Will Levis went from +600 to +1300 to be the first QB Drafted

First Overall Pick:

  • Bryce Young went from -160 to -200
  • CJ Stroud went from +350 to +300
  • Anthony Richardson went from +650 to +380
  • Will Anderson went from +650 to +1300
  • Jalen Carter went from +2500 to +5000
  • Will Levis went from +750 to +1500

Team to Make the First Overall Selection in the 2023 Draft:

This market is interesting considering the Bears own the No. 1 pick, but alas, here are the odds:

  • Houston Texans -135
  • Indianpolis Colts +225
  • Carolina Panthers +300
  • Chicago Bears +750
  • Atlanta Falcons +1200
  • Las Vegas Raiders +1200
  • Seattle Seahawks +1600

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

NFL Notable Player Transaction News and Notes

It was a busy week in the NFL with teams preparing for the start of the new league year. Daniel Jones and Geno Smith signed extentions, Tony Pollard and Saquon Barkley recived franchsise tags, and Frank Clark and Robbie Anderson were cap causalities.

The biggest news of this week was the Ravens using the non-exclusive franchise tag on MVP QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson is not represented by an agency, his agent is his mother. While I am not going to debate the intracacies of NFL contracts, and who should be dealing with them, it is fair to wonder how this situation would be shaking out if Lamar used an experienced agent.

Nonetheless, below is a list of major players who were tagged, cut, or signed extenstions so far:

  • Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens, Non-exclusive franchise tag
  • Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders, Non-exclusive Franchise tag
  • Evan Engram, TE, Jaguars, Non-exclusive franchise Tag
  • Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys, Non-exclusive franchise Tag
  • Saquon Barkely, RB, Giants, Non-exclusive franchise tag
  • Derek Carr signed a 4-year $150 million deal with the Saints
  • Daniel Jones, QB, Giants, signed a 4-year $160 million extenstion
  • Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks, signed a 3-year $75 million extension
  • Donovan Smith, T, Buccaneers, was cut
  • Eric Kendricks, LB, Vikings, was cut
  • Frank Clark, DE, Chiefs, was cut
  • Robbie Anderson, WR, Cardinals, was cut
  • Shaq Griffin, S, Jaguars, was cut

For all information about transactions from all 32 NFL teams, take a look at our Transactions tracker.

Other NFL Notes

  • The Jets are meeting with Aaron Rodgers and hope to trade for the former MVP.
  • Multiple teams, for unknown reasons, have stated they have no interest in QB Lamar Jackson
  • DC Billionare Mitchell Rales is partnering with 76ers’ owner Josh Harris to try to buy the Commanders
  • Calvin Ridley, who was suspended by the NFL for gambling, has been reinstated and will play next year for the Jaguars