First WR drafted odds: Can an underdog make it 6 straight wins?
Frederick Breedon / Getty Images Sport / Getty

There might not be a worse omen in the NFL draft process than being the wide receiver projected to go off the board first.

No favorite has won since 2015 when the Raiders took Amari Cooper at No. 4. Since then, it's been a string of ringers.

Year Favorite 1st WR Taken
2016 Laquon Treadwell Corey Coleman
2017 Mike Williams Corey Davis
2018 Calvin Ridley D.J. Moore
2019 D.K. Metcalf Marquise Brown
2020 CeeDee Lamb Henry Ruggs

That brings our attention to LSU's Ja'Marr Chase, who overwhelmingly leads the pack for this year's draft in just a few weeks.

First WR to be selected during the 2021 NFL Draft

Player Odds
Ja'Marr Chase (LSU) -625
Jaylen Waddle (Alabama) +600
DeVonta Smith (Alabama) +700
Rashod Bateman (Minnesota) +5000
Rondale Moore (Purdue) +5000
Terrace Marshall Jr. (LSU) +5000
Kadarius Toney (Florida) +8000
Tutu Atwell (Louisville) +15000
Elijah Moore (Ole Miss) +15000
Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC) +25000
Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State) +25000
Nico Collins (Michigan) +25000
D'Wayne Eskridge (Central Michigan) +25000

The last time we saw Chase in action, he went off for nine catches, 221 yards, and a pair of scores over Clemson to help LSU nab a national title. Chase's 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019 both led the country. The 6-foot star sat out all of last season but still has a monster cushion over the rest of the field - his -625 odds imply an 86.2% win probability.

Trimming the fat

Frankly, everyone after Bateman is just filler, and we're only including the 50-1 long shot because he arguably has the highest ceiling and the ability to play both in and out of the slot.

That decision leaves us with a trio of SEC receivers and one player who deserves a flier.

Underdog to bet

Smith (+700) offers loads of value in a very random market that could change at the drop of a hat.

All he did was go off for 1,836 yards and 23 touchdowns en route to a Heisman trophy, much less on the most dominant program in the country.

The gap between Smith and Chase isn't as wide as the prices suggest, so getting this number on a player who's a fringe top-10 pick is a solid wager.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

First WR drafted odds: Can an underdog make it 6 straight wins?
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