(Photo Credit: The Associated Press)
We are still a long way from the 2022 NFL Draft and we still don’t know who the top QB is going to be. We also have no clue what the order is going to be, but I think we all feel that Houston will probably be picking first. There are also few players that have proven themselves at a high level, so expect a lot of risers and fallers in the upcoming college football season.
1. Houston Texans – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge – Oregon
This pick should probably be a QB, but we still have no clue about the Deshaun Watson situation and how it will play out. So I decided to give them who many think is going to be the best player in this upcoming draft. Kayvon has been talked about being the best at his position to enter the draft since Myles Garrett, and Garrett also went first overall in his draft year.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal, OT – Alabama
Sorry Jags fans I know you just picked Trevor Lawrence, but I’m not a believer in your new coach or who he has protecting him at both tackle spots. Evan Neal is a big man who has played exceptionally well in his time at Alabama. The Jaguars would be smart to protect their new investment at QB if they want to be a successful team.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Stingley Jr, CB – LSU
The Bengals miss out on the best offensive tackle so they decide to continue reuniting old teammates. Their defense still doesn’t look good on paper and drafting a true shut down corner would go a long way in improving that side of the ball. Stingley would be able to come in right away and lock down the other team’s number one like he did as a true freshman at LSU.
4. Detroit Lions – Sam Howell, QB – North Carolina
Howell most likely wont be my top QB, but I do think he is the most likely first QB off the board at the moment. He has started for two years so far and has shown big play ability and has been the most consistent of all QBs in this class. He reminds me a lot of Baker Mayfield as he plays with a swagger, a lot of energy, and has a really strong arm.
5. New York Jets – Drake Jackson, Edge – USC
New York still has a lot of roster building to do even after getting their franchise LT and possible franchise QB. They recently signed Carl Lawson to play edge for them, but they could still use someone to play on the opposite side of him. Jackson has an excellent power to speed combo and would work well at setting the edge in the run game.
6. Denver Broncos – Phil Jurkovec, QB – Boston College
If this is where the Broncos are picking that means Vic Fangio will no longer be coaching this team. When teams hire new coaches they tend to bring in new QBs too. The Broncos chose not to go QB in the most recent draft and it is still a need for this team. Jurkovec is a big QB with a big arm, but is still a mobile guy.
7. Atlanta Falcons – Chris Olave, WR – Ohio State
I feel that as long as the Falcons have Matt Ryan they will always be trying to make a super bowl run. If they are picking this early again they should seriously consider a QB. They badly need youth at the position and Matty Ice is starting to decline. Olave though would’ve been a 1st round pick last, but decided to go back to school. Olave is a fantastic vertical threat who also knows how to manipulate and set up defenders in his routes.
8. New York Giants – Kyle Hamilton, S – Notre Dame
The Giants don’t necessarily need a safety, but this feels like such a steal at this point. Kyle Hamilton has been a standout player in each of the last two years and should only get better this year. Hamilton is a true game changer on defense and the Giants desperately need that.
9. Washington Football Team – Kedon Slovis, QB – USC
I don’t believe that Washington has checked the box for QB of the future. They have a really good roster other than the QB position. They should be trying to win now and in order to do that you need an established QB, so getting one should be top priority.
10. New York Giants (from Chicago) – Zach Harrison, Edge – Ohio State
Even after drafting Azeez Ojulari the Giants still have a need at edge rusher. The Giants get the luxury of making this pick, because of the Justin Fields trade. The Giants are one more edge rusher away from having one of the best defenses in the league.
11. Philadelphia Eagles – DeMarvin Leal, IDL – Texas A&M
The Eagles are committed to a long rebuild so they should go best player available. They possibly could go QB here, but I think Jalen Hurts shows enough to earn at least one more year as a starter. DeMarvin Leal can come in as a sub package player who will eventually replace Fletcher Cox.
12. Carolina Panthers – Rasheed Walker, OT – Penn State
Carolina has a pretty solid team with not many needs. This pick really depends on what Sam Darnold does this year. If he lives up to his potential I see the Panthers investing in the offensive line to help keep him protected.
13. Las Vegas Raiders – DJ Dale, IDL – Alabama
At this point I think that Gruden is only going to draft guys from big schools early. Him and Mayock have constantly pick Clemson, Ohio State, and Bama guys early. DJ Dale happens to play a position of need and is probably who Gruden will pick.
14. Arizona Cardinals – Kaiir Elam, CB – Florida
Arizona missed out on CB last year, so it will also be a need this upcoming year. Even though it looks to be a weak CB year, the Cardinals still get the top CB available. Elam just had a great year at Florida and look for him to improve even further.
15. Minnesota Vikings – George Karlaftis, Edge – Purdue
Minnesota still hasn’t been able to fill the edge position opposite Danielle Hunter since Everson Griffen left. Karlaftis is a big powerful edge who Mike Zimmer would love in his defense. This is a sneaky spot for QB, but I don’t see the Vikings taking one, unless Kirk Cousins is truly bad.
16. Los Angeles Chargers – Treylon Burks, WR – Arkansas
I see the Chargers replacing Mike Williams after this year and I would love to see them do it with Treylon Burks. I am a big fan of his and think he could be the top receiver in the draft. He’s been very good for a Razorbacks team that hasn’t been a good team in the SEC.
17. New England Patriots – John Metchie III, WR – Alabama
Get Mac Jones some receiving help. While he has two quality TEs he doesn’t really have much at the WR position. So why not reunite him with one of his top receivers from his lone year as a starter for the Crimson Tide. Metchie is a phyical player, but also shows some smoothness as a route runner.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Spencer Rattler, QB – Oklahoma
It feels like a fall for Rattler, but I will say I’m not as high on him as others. Rattler is worthy of being a first round pick based on talent alone, but he needs to improve his decision making if he wants to be successful in the league. Also being the heir to Big Ben wont be easy either, as it’s tough to be the guy that replaces a legend.
19. Cleveland Browns – Garrett Wilson, WR – Ohio State
There has constantly been talks of the Browns trading OBJ, and regardless of if they do trade him or not they still need a receiver. Garrett Wilson is coming off a great season for the Buckeyes and looked primed to become the number 1 receiver until Chris Olave returned to school. However, there will still be enough targets for Wilson to continue to show his talent and grow his game.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis) – George Pickens, WR – Georgia
If all goes well in the Wentz trade this pick will officially belong to the Eagles. The Eagles should continue building the receiving corps even after pick Jalen Reagor and DeVonta Smith. With the Eagles having three first round picks they could take a risk like Pickens who recently tore his ACL.
21. Dallas Cowboys – Jordan Battle, S – Alabama
Dallas has a dominant offense and should be looking to make most of their picks on defense. Jordan Battle would fit very well in Dan Quinn’s 4-3 Cover 3 scheme. He would get used very well as a thumper in the box and in coverage near the line of scrimmage.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami) – Christian Harris, LB – Alabama
This is the Eagles third pick and they still haven’t picked a LB yet. Arguably their biggest need, the Eagles have been weak at LB the last couple years. Christian Harris is the next of great Bama LBs in the NFL and the Eagles would be wise to draft him here.
23. Tennessee Titans – Jordan Davis, IDL – Georgia
As a Colts fan it pains me to give a rival a player that I love so much. Davis arguably should’ve been an early pick last year, but opted to return to school. Davis is an absolute ass kicker in the trenches and should be a phenomenal two gap NT in the NFL.
24. New York Jets (from Seattle) – Kenyon Green, OT/OG – Texas A&M
The Jets have LT and LG taken care of and now it’s time to take care of the right side of the line. Green can play either tackle or guard so that will help the team get their five true best starters on the field at any given time.
25. New Orleans Saints – Malik Willis, QB – Liberty
With Drew Brees officially retired, it leaves Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston as QB options. So it’s time for them to get some youth and excitement at the position. Malik Willis is almost like a human highlight reel and I was very excited watching his tape from last year. He has the possibility of being a very high riser this year.
26. Miami Dolphins (from 49ers) – Breece Hall, RB – Iowa State
The Dolphins missed out on RB last year, but it works out as they get the best RB this year. Breece Hall is coming off a fantastic year at Iowa State and could possibly be even better this year. He deserves to be drafted earlier than this, but it’s so hard to gauge where RBs get drafted now.
27. Detroit Lions (from LA Rams) – Brandon Joseph, S – Northwestern
This is 100% a best player available pick here. Brandon Joseph is a somewhat underrated safety who exceeds at playing in deep zones. The Lions currently don’t have this type of safety so this makes sense from a team need standpoint too.
28. Buffalo Bills – Isaiah Spiller, RB – Texas A&M
It was no secret that the Bills wanted to draft a RB in the draft last year, but they narrowly missed out. Spiller is probably better than both of those RBs that went round 1 last year anyway too. If the Bills could establish a true run game their offense would only become even more dangerous.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Zion Nelson, OT – Miami
The Ravens signed Alejandro Villanueva, but that is really only more of a one year fix than long term at RT. Enter Zion Nelson who is going to be a riser during this years college season and should find his name called in the first round come late April. He has the ability to play both tackle spots too.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jalen Wydermyer, TE – Texas A&M
It helps you to go best player available when you don’t have any starters to replace. I’m not sure if Gronk will come back for another season, but they can still pick Wydermyer here and groom him until he’s ready to start. The TE position will always be a primary staple in Bruce Arians offense so you better have a good one.
31. Green Bay Packers – Justyn Ross, WR – Clemson
Whoever is playing QB for the Packers needs some major WR help. The Packers have neglected the position for too long and if they want to take the next step they should address this position. Ross is still a large question mark because of injury, but you can’t deny the talent and if medicals clear he is worth the pick here.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Aidan Hutchinson, Edge – Michigan
Kansas City just rebuilt their entire offensive line in one off season and it was very impressive. Now it’s time for Brett Veach to turn his eyes to the defense and fill holes there. One of their biggest needs is edge rusher and I had Hutchinson as a late round 1 player before his injury in 2020. If he returns to form this would be a savvy pick by Veach and company.