It’s officially draft day! The rumors will continue to come out leading to tonight’s 1st-round. All the hype and speculation on who will be the 1st pick, how many quarterbacks are going in the 1st-round, who will fall, and more importantly how many trades will happen tonight will be answered real soon. This is my perspective on what I think will happen tonight during the 2022 NFL Draft. Enjoy the ride!
1.) Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson EDGE, Michigan
To some surprise, Aidan Hutchinson is the pick for the Jaguars. The rumored pick of Georgia’s Travon Walker is fun to run with but the Jaguars are in need of Best Player Available(BPA), not a developmental prospect. The trio of Josh Allen, Aidan Hutchinson, and K’Lavon Chaisson is something the AFC South should be worried about for years to come.
2.) Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE, Oregon
I for one never believed in the rumors of Kayvon Thibodeaux falling out of the top 10. Thibodeaux is my 2nd ranked prospect of the 2022 draft class and is an actual need of position for the Detroit Lions. While the Lions could go quarterback to sit behind Jared Goff for one year, I don’t think a quarterback is worth a top 3 pick this year. Could they select a cornerback as a top 3 pick in back-to-back years? Maybe but I think those rumors were to try and drive up trade value for this pick if the Lions do attempt to trade it. If the Lions do trade this pick, watch out for the Carolina Panthers.
3.) Houston Texans: Ikem Ekownu OL, NC State
The Texans believe in Davis Mills and I can’t say I blame them. His rookie season wasn’t bad, in fact he might’ve been the 2nd best rookie quarterback behind Mac Jones last year. If the Texans believe in Davis Mills which I think they do, it’d be dumb not to select an offensive lineman with this pick. Ikem Ekwonu gives the Texans’ offensive line more flexibility as they can keep Laremy Tunsil as their Franchise left tackle and have Ekwonu start at right tackle or as an interior lineman.
4.) New York Jets: Travon Walker EDGE, Georgia
The Jets are in desperate need of a pass rusher here. While I’m not a huge fan of Walker, I see why NFL teams love the guy. He has a high motor and gives everything he has on every play. Robert Salah would be thrilled with this pick. Could the Jets go cornerback here? I don’t think they have a corner ranked over the top 3 pass rushers in this class.
5.) New Orleans Saints via NYG: Kenny Pickett QB, Pittsburgh
Saints send: 2022 1st(16), 2022 1st(19), 2022 5th(161)
Giants send: 2022 1st(5), 2022 5th(173)
The first trade comes in with the Saints trading both of their 2022 1st-round picks to the New York Giants to move all the way in front of their division rival Carolina Panthers. The only reason I see the Giants doing this is because they can now select either Evan Neal or Charles Cross with the 7th overall pick. As for the Saints? Well, this is the icing on the cake for them as they get their quarterback for the future by jumping the Carolina Panthers.
6.) Carolina Panthers: Charles Cross OT, Mississippi State
What do the Panthers do now that Kenny Pickett is gone? Well they could do three different things in this scenario. Stay and select who they believe is the best player on their board, stay and reach on a quarterback, or trade out of the top 10 to a team wanting to trade up for either Malik Willis or Desmond Ridder. In this scenario I have the Panthers staying at 6th overall and selecting who I believe they have as their top remaining player on the board.
7.) New York Giants: Evan Neal OT, Alabama
Here you go Giants fans, the offensive line is shaping up nicely if this happens. Andrew Thomas looks like a Franchise tackle the Giants hoped he would become. Now it’s time to solidify the right tackle with the 7th overall pick, which was sent by the Chicago Bears in the 2021 draft in their trade for Justin Fields. New Giants’ General Manager, Joe Schoen stated he’d be fine with moving back in this year’s draft if it’s the right price but does he do it with the 7th pick as well? I’m going to think that would be a hard no from the Giants as the top tackle on my board falls to them in a shocking way.
8.) Atlanta Falcons: Garrett Wilson WR, Ohio State
I would imagine Calvin Ridley is on the move next off-season. Knowing this, I have the Falcons selecting a wide receiver here. The #1 ranked wide receiver for me is Garrett Wilson. Wilson and Kyle Pitts would be fun to watch and hopefully make the Falcons’ offense a little exciting each week.
9.) Seattle Seahawks: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner CB, Cincinnati
With the top 3 tackles off the board, I think Jon Schneider and Pete Carroll would love to have a clone of Richard Sherman. They could go EDGE or reach on an OT here but I’m sticking with the corner from Cincinnati. While I think the Seahawks could use this pick, which was sent from the Broncos to select a quarterback, I think you go BPA and potentially trade back into the 1st-round for Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder if available.
10.) New York Jets: Drake London WR, USC
The Jets aren’t far from a potential playoff spot. I like what I’m seeing from Zach Wilson and I love what Robert Salah is building. They got one of my steals last draft when they selected Elijah Moore in the 2nd-round. Now, I have them selecting a Mike Evans clone in USC’s Drake London. London has the size and body frame to be their go-to guy in desperate situations.
11.) Washington Commanders: Jameson Williams WR, Alabama
This selection will come down to, if the Commanders are fine with Jameson Williams potentially missing most of the season, maybe even, the entire season. If they aren’t fine with that, expect Chris Olave from Ohio State to be the selection. However, I’m expecting the Commanders select a wide receiver in the 1st-round tonight.
12.) Minnesota Vikings: Derek Stingley Jr. CB, LSU
My #1 ranked cornerback falls to the 12th pick. The Vikings get a steal if this happens as I believe Stingley is a top 5 prospect. Stingley will be a top 10 corner one day and if this selection occurs, Patrick Peterson has a lot of teaching to do with the young man.
13.) Houston Texans: Chris Olave WR, Ohio State
To reiterate my point earlier, if Davis Mills is the future for the Houston Texans, the offense has to be the priority during the 1st-round. Just think how talented this wide receiver class is if 4 of them are selected in the top 15.
14.) Baltimore Ravens: Trent McDuffie CB, Washington
The Ravens have an interesting decision to make here. Do they go with the corner, pass rusher, or center here? Trent McDuffie is the pick over Jermaine Johnson and Tyler Linderbaum as I believe he fits perfectly in the Ravens’ defensive scheme. I also don’t necessarily believe reaching on an offensive lineman or pass rusher is the move this early.
15.) Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Hamilton SAF, Notre Dame
Kyle Hamilton is a top 10 prospect but falls to the 15th pick because of his poor combine performance. With the lack of secondary within the Eagles’ locker room, Hamilton is the pick. The Eagles potentially get the steal of the draft if Hamilton plays up to his potential.
16.) New York Giants via NO: Jermaine Johnson EDGE, Florida State
Jermaine Johnson is rising up draft boards and he could be as high as a top 10 selection. However, due to the Giants’ trade with the Saints, they are fortunate enough to acquire their future tackle and pass rusher within the first 20 picks.
17.) Los Angels Chargers: Trevor Penning OT, Northern Iowa
Another prospect on the rise is Trevor Penning. Penning to the Chargers has been mocked for several months after the Chargers cut Bryan Bulaga. It just makes sense to draft the best remaining tackle in the 1st-round.
18.) Philadelphia Eagles: Zion Johnson IOL, Boston College
I really wanted to mock a linebacker or cornerback here for the Eagles to beef up the defense, but the offensive line is getting old and they need to start building towards the future. Brandon Brooks retired this off-season, and Jason Kelce is on his way too. The future line consisting of Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Zion Johnson, and Lane Johnson could be a very good starting five, maybe even the best in the league one day.
19.) Kansas City Chiefs via NYG: Devonte Wyatt IDL, Georgia
Chiefs send: 2022 2nd(50), 2022 4th(121), 2023 1st
Giants send: 2022 1st(19), WR Kadarius Toney
The Chiefs are rumored to trade up in this year’s draft. While you would assume it’s for a pass rusher or maybe even a wide receiver, I’m going to suggest they want another defensive tackle to pair with Chris Jones. Derrick Nnadi is set to be a free agent next year and instead of re-signing him, why not upgrade? In the deal, I have the Giants trading out of the 1st-round completely while moving on from Kadarius Toney. The Chiefs offense would instantly replace Tyreek Hill minus the speed of course. The 2 and 4 are for Kadarius Toney while the 2023 1st is to move up ten spots.
20.) Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Willis QB, Liberty
The way it’s shaping up, the Steelers probably attempt to move up for Willis but aren’t able to. Willis gets a chance to play for one of the most notable franchises in the NFL. Mike Tomlin will not hesitate to play Malik Willis when he is ready.
21.) New England Patriots: Devin Lloyd LB, Utah
It’s so hard to predict what the Patriots do, I don’t think I’ve ever predicted a correct pick for them. Maybe this changes as Devin Lloyd, arguably the best linebacker in the draft, falls to the 21st pick. Lloyd is my LB2 behind Nakobe Dean, but Lloyd screams “Patriot” to me.
22.) Green Bay Packers: George Pickens WR, Georgia
With the trade of Davante Adams, the Packers have to go wide receiver here right?!?? If not here, expect them to take one with the 28th selection. However, if the Packers decide to give Aaron Rodgers a wide receiver, the best one available is Georgia’s George Pickens.
23.) Arizona Cardinals: Daxton Hill SLOT/SAF, Michigan
Versatility is the definition of the Arizona Cardinals’ defense. Imagine adding another versatile defensive prospect to go alongside Isaiah Simmons and Budda Baker. This is my dream landing scenario for Daxton Hill.
24.) Dallas Cowboys: Treylon Burks WR, Arkansas
Dallas wants to move up in the 1st-round, and rumor is it’s for a wide receiver. I don’t think Dallas has the assets they think they do to trade up for a top wide receiver. The next best thing would be Christian Watson or Treylon Burks with the offense Dallas is running. I’m going out and predicting it’s Treylon Burks.
25.) Buffalo Bills: Breece Hall HB, Iowa State
I’m not sure a halfback goes round 1 but if one does, it’s most likely going to be this selection. Buffalo hasn’t had a number 1 workhorse in years like Breece Hall can be. If they don’t go this route, look out for North Dakota State wide receiver, Christian Watson.
26.) Tennessee Titans: Desmond Ridder QB, Cincinnati
I think this is a shock to most people but not to me. Ryan Tannehill is a good quarterback, but I think Desmond Ridder can be better for this Titans’ team. Ridder would fit in well with this Titans’ scheme. If Tennessee decides they want to pass on a quarterback this year, look out for either Andrew Booth Jr. or Kaiir Elam as a cornerback selection.
27.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenyon Green IOL, Texas A&M
I think this is a no-brainer for the Buccaneers. They have a hole at guard and Kenyon Green would fit right in with this Tom Brady offense. It’s not the pretty pick but it’s the most important route they can go.
28.) Green Bay Packers: George Karlaftis EDGE, Purdue
Green Bay lost Za’Darius Smith in free agency this year. Replacing him with the power rush menace of George Karlaftis is a home run selection. Coming away with a wide receiver and pass rusher at the end of day 1 is a great day for the Green Bay Packers.
29.) Kansas City Chiefs: Arnold Ebiketie EDGE, Penn State
If David Ojabo was healthy, I’d place him here for the Chiefs. Instead, we go with the youngster in Arnold Ebiketie. It might not be a home run of a pick right now but the Chiefs are attempting to build a dynasty. Young prospects that can develop into a starting piece are what they should look to do with this selection.
30.) Seattle Seahawks via KC: Matt Corral QB, Ole Miss
Seahawks send: 2022 2nd(40), 2022 5th(152), 2023 3rd
Chiefs send: 2022 1st(30)
The Seahawks don’t really believe Drew Lock is the answer right? Well, I hope not, if Matt Corral is still here I fully expect the Seahawks to jump on the opportunity to pair DK Metcalf with someone he is comfortable with.
31.) Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum IOL, Iowa
The Bengals have to fix this o-line and the icing on the cake is selecting the best center prospect the NFL has seen in a few years. With the additions of La’el Collins and Alex Cappa, Linderbaum would thrive in this offense.
32.) Detroit Lions: Andrew Booth Jr. CB, Clemson
The Lions passed on a corner with the 2nd overall pick. But they end up getting a top 5 corner in the class. With the additions of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Andrew Booth Jr., this defense could thrive for years to come.