With the 2022 NFL Draft approaching, there are more question marks than in previous seasons, particularly when it comes to Thursday night’s first round.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars | Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia Bulldogs
Picking at the top of the draft for the second straight year, the Jacksonville Jaguars and general manager Trent Baalke get their stud athlete/pass rusher in Travon Walker.
2. Detroit Lions | Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan Wolverines
Detroit brings home Michigan product Hutchinson and is a perfect match for the culture that coach Dan Campbell is attempting to build in his second year.
3. Houston Texans | Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon Ducks
Once a favorite to go No. 1 overall, Thibodeaux’s athletic upside kind of blows you away. A low motor is one of the concerns, but he is the type of player around which you can build a defense.
4. New York Jets | Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati Bearcats
Ahmad Gardner has top-end speed, illustrated by his 4.41 40-yard dash. He never allowed a touchdown in single coverage for his career, including vs. Alabama in the national semifinal.
5. New York Giants | Ikem Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State Wolfpack
Fans will want the Giants to swing for the fences. He might get some flak for not being flashy enough, but Ikem Ekwonu gives new sheriff Brian Daboll an instant starter on the offensive line.
6. Carolina Panthers | Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Panthers
Ken Pickett might be the best pure quarterback in a class that admittedly isn’t strong. Panthers coach Matt Rhule recruited Pickett at Temple and won’t have to do much to convince ownership.
7. New York Giants | Jermaine Johnson II, Edge, Florida State Seminoles
Johnson was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year with 12 sacks after transferring from Georgia. This is the spot for Daboll to swing for the fences and Johnson II is the perfect pick.
8. Atlanta Falcons | Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes
In a stacked WR class. Garrett Wilson was a star at Ohio State, catching 70 balls for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. Atlanta needs another weapon with Calvin Ridley suspended.
9. Seattle Seahawks | Evan Neal, OT, Alabama Crimson Tide
A three-year starter at Alabama, Evan Neal has experience at both right and left tackle. A stud athlete and AP second-team All-American, this pick-and-play tackle gives Seattle stability.
10. New York Jets | Drake London, WR, USC Trojans
Drake London’s highlight tape shows off his incredible athleticism at 6-foot-4.. You won’t see a lot of separation on his routes, but the Jets get a big weapon for second-year QB Zach Wilson.
11. Washington Commanders | Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Some could argue Kyle Hamilton is the can’t-miss prospect in this draft. His tape at Notre Dame is nothing short of spectacular. Hamilton could step in on Day One and start for Washington.
12. Minnesota Vikings | Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU Tigers
In 2019, Derek Stingley was considered one of the nation’s best cornerbacks. He tore a ligament in his foot in late September, but looked good at LSU’s Pro Day. He could be a steal.
13. Houston Texans | Charles Cross, OT, Miss. State Bulldogs
At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, Cross is an absolute unit. While he may not possess the top-end athleticism of others, he still deserves to be in the conversation for best tackle in the draft.
14. Baltimore Ravens | Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah Utes
Lloyd seems like he’s the perfect fit for the Ravens. At Utah, Lloyd played like he was shot out of a cannon. He has a nose for the ball and also possesses great instincts in the passing game.
15. Philadelphia Eagles | Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington Huskies
There are corners who just don’t get the ball even thrown their way. That’s Trent McDuffie. A third-team AP All-American with six pass breakups, he could prove to be a shutdown corner.
16. New Orleans Saints | Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide
There was no bigger home run threat in college football last season than Jameson Williams. He hauled in 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 TDs. He also had two kickoff returns for scores.
17. Los Angeles Chargers | Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia Bulldogs
A senior on Georgia’s defense, Davis made waves at the combine when he ran a 4.78 40-yard dash at 6-foot-6, 340 pounds. He won both the Chuck Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy.
18. Philadelphia Eagles | Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas Razorbacks
Treylon Burks has the size and speed to become one of the league’s better wideouts. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Burks hauled in 66 passes for 1,104 yards and 11 TDs on a run-first team.
19. New Orleans Saints | Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
A relentless force at 6-foot-7, 330 pounds, Penning is athletic enough to set the edge and is one of the best in the country at finishing blocks. He’s a plug-and-play starter for New Orleans.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers | Malik Willis, QB, Liberty Flames
Coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have been in on Malik Willis for a while. While not the best passer in the class, Willis showed great athleticism and production as a runner while at Liberty.
21. New England Patriots | Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia Bulldogs
Nakobe Dean possesses top-end technique along with great quickness and above-average acceleration. He was born to play for the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick.
22. Green Bay Packers | Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes
Chris Olave is one of the draft’s best receivers and offers a mix of top-end speed and smooth route-running. He ran a 4.39 40 and can fill a need for Aaron Rodgers sooner than later.
23. Arizona Cardinals | Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State’s Jahan Dotson was one of the best route runners in college. The upside a player like Dotson brings to an offense will be too much for coach Kliff Kingsbury to pass up here.
24. Dallas Cowboys | Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M Aggies
The Cowboys need offensive line help and get it here with the 6-foot-4, 325-pound Kenyon Green. He has experience playing at tackle, but it’s as a guard where his skill set is valued.
25. Buffalo Bills | Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson Tigers
At 6 feet, 200 pounds, Andrew Booth has ideal corner size and plays better with the ball in front of him in zone coverage than press coverage. He has the physical tools to be an NFL starter.
26. Tennessee Titans | Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa Hawkeyes
If Tyler Linderbaum was an offensive tackle, he’d likely go in the top 10. With as much as the Titans will run the ball,, this pick makes too much sense for coach Mike Vrabel to not consider.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia Bulldogs
Another major standout from Georgia’s defense, Wyatt earned first-team All-SEC honors with seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He could possibly develop into a Grady Jarrett type of DT.
28. Green Bay Packers | Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut Huskies
A typical nose tackle at 6-foot-5, 333 pounds, Travis Jones was possibly the only good thing UConn had going last season. He’s drawn comparison to Johnathan Hankins of the Raiders.
29. Kansas City Chiefs | Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
The 6-foot-5, 208-pound Watson has a 38.5-inch vertical jump and ran a 4.36 40. The senior had 43 catches and seven TDs for a 14-1 team that won the FCS national title last season.
30. Kansas City Chiefs | George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue Boilermakers
The position of pass rusher will be more pivotal for the Chiefs due to all of the quarterback talent in the AFC West. Not strong vs. the run, Karlaftis projects to be more of a pass-rush specialist.
31. Cincinnati Bengals | Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida Gators
After watching Eli Apple get torched in the Super Bowl, the Cincinnati Bengals address the need with the selection of Kaiir Elam. The 6-foot-2 Elam earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2020.
32. Detroit Lions | Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati Bearcats
Ridder is simply a winning player. There’s nothing about his game that’s going to drop your jaw, but he’s effective. He has been likened to Alex Smith and that feels like a perfect comparison.
Take a look at the NFL Draft 2022 Show: