NFL draft live updates: Start time, trade scenarios, pick-by-pick analysis

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Liberty quarterback Malik Willis runs through passing drills during Liberty’s pro day on March 22.

(Kendall Warner / Associated Press)

A hot debate going into last year’s NFL draft centered on the Cincinnati Bengals, who needed to find immediate help for quarterback Joe Burrow: Would it be wiser for the team to use the No. 5 overall pick on an offensive lineman or wide receiver?

The Bengals opted to run with Ja’Marr Chase, Burrow’s former favorite target at LSU, and the rookie receiver was a catalyst in Cincinnati’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1988.

A year after the first three picks of the draft were used on quarterbacks, wide receivers will grab the spotlight when the first round plays out on Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas.

“This is the first year in a long time that you’re not talking about a quarterback going in the first five or maybe first 10 picks, and that’s the biggest storyline to me,” Red Rock sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “A lot of teams need dynamic wide receivers, and I think you’re going to see six — and maybe seven — go in the first round.”

A week ago, in my first mock draft for Point Spread Weekly, I projected seven receivers to go in the first round and recommended Over 5.5 (-165) — the opening number at DraftKings — as a best bet. The price has moved to -250.

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