BetOnline has released its betting odds for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft and Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu is tied for the fourth-best odds to go first.
Sitting at 25/1 (+2500), Fashanu’s tied with Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt and Alabama defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry. They are behind a pair of quarterbacks in USC’s Caleb Williams (1/5, -500) and North Carolina’s Drake Maye (4/1, +400) as well as Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (16/1, +1600).
History suggests that some of those odds are a tad high, particularly those with Harrison Jr. and McKinstry. Only five wide receivers/tight ends have been taken first overall in the NFL Draft’s history, and none have been taken that early since 1996, when USC’s Keyshawn Johnson went to the Jets.
As for McKinstry, only one defensive back was ever taken first overall and that was back in 1956 when Colorado State’s Gary Glick was taken by the Steelers.
Further benefitting Fashanu is that since 1996, only three position groups have gone first overall.
From 1996-2023, a first-overall pick has been either a quarterback, a defensive lineman or an offensive lineman. But the offensive lineman has by far the longest drought of those three with Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher, taken by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, being the last one taken first overall.
Since Fisher’s drafting, there have been three defensive lineman and seven quarterbacks taken first overall. The most recent of each position was Georgia defensive end Trayvon Walker taken in 2022 by the Jacksonville Jaguars and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young taken in this past draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Offensive linemen are the fourth-most picked position group for first overall with six behind quarterbacks (35), running backs (23) and defensive linemen (16). History still suggests that it will be a long shot for Fashanu. Fisher and Michigan’s Jake Long – taken by the Dolphins in the 2008 draft – are the only offensive linemen taken first overall since the turn of the century.
If taken first overall, Fashanu would be the third Penn State player to get drafted first. The other two are former halfback Ki-Jana Carter – drafted in 1995 by the Cincinnati Bengals – and defensive end Courtney Brown – drafted in 2000 by the Cleveland Browns.
#PlayOfTheDay (1995): Penn State RB Ki-Jana Carter explodes for 83 yards on the first play of the Rose Bowl. Penn State would go on to defeat Oregon 38-20 and Carter would be the first selection in the 1995 NFL draft. pic.twitter.com/n8U4lJbJW4
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) November 4, 2020
The most by a school is five and is shared by Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC, though Notre Dame is the only one of those schools to not have a first overall pick since 2000, with its last one coming in 1972.
Penn State’s two picks are tied with eight other schools for the tenth most all-time. They trail the above four schools as well as Auburn (four), Stanford (four), LSU (three), Ohio State (three) and Texas (three).