The 2022 NFL draft starts Thursday and continues until Saturday (ABC/ESPN/ESPN App). TheThey have the first draft pick and are one of eight teams that has two picks in round 1. , , , , , , .
When talking to coaches, scouts and general managers, there is more disagreement about the top 20 picks than there is a consensus quarterback. A quarterback has been selected as the No. 1 pick only four times in the 15 previous drafts. 1-pick —The In 2017, To the Texans 2014 To the Chiefs in 2013, and Jake Long to The 2008
You also have the ability to see all available draft prospects.
Rounds 2 and 3 will continue the draft on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. ET) and ends with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday (noon ET).
Here's the first round, as analyzed by ESPN NFL Nation journalists.
They chose him because: Walker's draft stock jumped after the combine. But, theWe were already impressed by the Georgia standout due to his versatility. In 2021, he could be a defensive end, defensive tackle, or linebacker. The Jaguars can also move him around to ensure the best matchup. The Jaguars can also use his athleticism to allow him to move into coverage if they want to do so. Walker was noted for playing his best football in two College Football Playoff games. He's a man who is a beast when it counts most.
Biggest question:Walker's 2021 record-breaking six sacks was a major accomplishment after only 3.5 in his two previous seasons. This raises concerns about Walker's one-year rise. Walker wasn't the best player in the Bulldogs' defense, that went to linebacker.This pick is less about Walker's potential, but more about the Jaguars projecting his potential. To a certain extent, every pick is made with this in mind. However, the Jaguars missed a player that most draft analysts believe will immediately make an impact and be a perennial double digit sack guy (Michigan). () for a player with 9.5 career sacks. Mike DiRocco
They chose him because:The Michigan player will remain at home. Let's face it, this is not the only reason for the pick. Hutchinson ticks all the boxes for the Lions. Hutchinson will be available immediately and has already created a fan base in the area that should bring people to Ford Field. This is a smart choice and fits in with the Lions' rebuilding plan.
Biggest question:Hutchinson, a 2021 consensus first-team All-American player and Heisman Trophy finalist was named the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner. Will that success translate to the next level? Hutchinson wasn't as good in the regular season but struggled against Georgia in the national semifinals. Is his performance going to be a disappointment against the better competition? Only time will tell. Eric Woodyard
They chose him because:Coach Lovie Smith stated earlier in the month, that the Texans can't play football as they want without making improvements at cornerback. While the Texans have added Steven Nelson as a veteran, Stingley was drafted with the No. Houston's dedication to the position is evident with Houston's No. 3 pick. Smith's defensive system is sure to benefit Stingley Jr. Stingley Jr. has just returned from surgery. He had surgery in September 2021 following a ruptured ligament in his left leg.
Biggest question: Could the Texans give quarterback Davis Mills more assistance? Let me start by saying that No. 3. Because the Texans have so much work to do on their roster. Houston needs to make sure Mills succeeds. Mills would have been protected by Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu, left tackle Laremy Tusil. Good news for the Texans! — Sarah Barshop
, CB, Cincinnati |
They chose him because of his personalityGardner is a tremendous talent and can play in a critical position. Gardner will allow the Jets to compete with the AFC East's best players. Gardner should begin opposite D.J. Reed is a major upgrade to the Bryce Hall/Brandin Echols team last season. Gardner has the traits that should make him an ideal fit in coach Robert Saleh's scheme – long body (6-foot-3), long arms (33 ½ inches) and 4.41 speed in the 40. He was a dominant player in college. Take this: He had 1,103 coverage snaps and allowed zero touchdown passes during his career. He was only targeted three times per game by 2021's quarterbacks, which made them afraid. His excellent ball skills (nine interceptions over three years) will be a welcomed addition to a secondary shortage of playmakers.
Biggest question: How about an edge rusher? The Jets had two options: Jermaine John from Florida State and Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon. Saleh's defense hinges on pass rush. Gardner was the right decision because Thibodeaux, Johnson and Johnson would've been reaches at Number. 4. Gardner is the big question. Can he lower the penalties? In college, Gardner was a handsy scout. He committed nine penalties in the past two seasons (including seven pass interference and holding calls). He's a great long athlete. A scouting source told him, “I don’t believe he can deal with quick, speedy guys.” — Rich Cimini
, DE, Oregon |
They chose him because of his personalityThey needed a dominant edge rushing player. This was how the Giants were built. Since 2015, they have had only one edge rusher (Markus Golden), who has a record of double-digit sacks. Thibodeaux was able to continue producing despite sustaining an ankle injury. His 17.8% pressure rate was third in FBS. In Wink Martindale's new scheme, he can also be used anywhere on the field. The Giants have two young, dangerous edge rushers in Thibodeaux (8.0 sacks last year as a rookie) and Azeez Ojulari, their second-round pick. This gives their defense an entirely new look.
Biggest question: How will Thibodeaux deal with the Big Apple? Thibodeaux's efforts and motivation during the draft process were discussed. Some suggested that Thibodeaux was more concerned about his brand than football. The Giants clearly didn't see that as a problem. They did not hesitate to pick the Oregon edge rusher as their first of two first-round selections. — Jordan Raanan
OT, North Carolina State|
They chose him because of his personalityThe Panthers could not have done it better, except for possibly trading down to add second day picks. The Panthers are trying to build a foundation, and the most important missing piece is a franchise left tackle. Ekwonu (6'4″, 310lbs) is the perfect candidate for a team that hasn’t drafted a tackle from the first round since Jeff Otah's 19th pick in 2008. Since Jordan Gross retired in 2013, left tackle has been an ever-changing position. Ekwonu is from Charlotte and played at Providence Day. You can pencil Ekwonu at left tackle on the line Scott Fitterer, general manager, has spent the offseason rebuilding.
Biggest question: How did he get to No. 6? This draft does not have a tackle who sticks with blocks for longer or has a more negative attitude about the position. Ekwonu is able to play tackle and left guard depending on his ability. This allows him to work on technique and pass protection. Ekwonu is a run-blocker and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo wants him to be. However, he has been inconsistent in his pass protection. However, the problem is not irreparable. Ekwonu is a remarkable storyteller. Because he resembled Ickey Woods, a former Cincinnati Bengals runningback, a youth coach called him “Ickey”. You can shuffle him into a starting job. — David Newton
, OT, Alabama |
They chose him because of his personality: The Giants are in dire need of offensive line support and were looking to add a tackle as soon as possible to their draft. Neal was the most likely player to be picked by the Giants at No. 5. 5 has a huge frame (6-7, 360), and is a skilled mover, which is a requirement in Brian Daboll’s system. He has also played right tackle at Alabama during the 2020 season. He is expected to play this position for the Giants. Andrew Thomas and Daniel Jones will be his bookend tackles, as well as Andrew Thomas, to protect Jones and any future quarterbacks. Last season, Neal only allowed one sack. It was in the national championship game against the University of Georgia. Sports Info Solutions reports that his pass blocking and run block improved in each of his three years at Alabama. Mel Kiper Jr. was the fifth-ranked player overall and his ranking of fifth makes perfect sense.
Biggest question: While there aren't many things to be nitpick about his game, several Scouts suggest that he is too much on the ground. Most of this was at the second-level. Scouts think it can be fixed with patience and more experience. It's not an athletic or physical limitation. Neal can dominate as a bull rusher-stopper and run-blocker. He is quick and has great footwork, which is a testament to his size. — Jordan Raanan
They chose him because of his personality: The Atlanta Falcons needed a wide receiver. Julio Jones was traded last season. Calvin Ridley has been suspended because of gambling. Russell Gage is at Tampa Bay. This draft was crucial for the Falcons to identify receiver talent. Arthur Smith, the head coach, likes big-bodied receivers. This makes it easy to draft the 6-foot-5 wide receiver.
Biggest question: Not many. London makes perfect sense for Atlanta in a market where the premium is increasing due to monster contracts awarded to Tyreek Hill, Christian Kirk, and others. The Falcons have to ask themselves: Who is going to rush the passer? It's something they will need to work out on Day 2. — Michael Rothstein
: 110 targets, 70 receptions, 904 yards, five TDs
They chose himOffensive tackle was the most important need for the Seahawks. Brandon Shell and Duane Brown are both unsigned. Seattle currently has only three tackles on contract. None of them have any significant starting experience. This is a long-term need. John Schneider, GM, has spoken often about how difficult it is to find star offensive linemen in today's NFL. This is especially true when you pick late in the first rounds like the Seahawks did for the majority of the past decade. They had a rare opportunity to grab that guy with a top-10 pick, and they couldn't pass it up.
Biggest questionCross will now play on which side. Due to his college background, which he played on the right side of in college, the chances are that Cross will choose the left side. Jake Curhan is a 2021 UDFFA. He played well last year while substituting Shell at right tackle. Cross is likely to be the pick of Florida State's Jermaine Jr II, possibly the best edge rusher currently available at No. 9. The Seahawks are also in need of this spot, but they have to have figured out that it will be easier for them to fill any other needs (and edge rusher) in the second round than tackle. — Brady Henderson
, WR, Ohio State |
They chose him because of his personality: The Jets have been searching for a WR1 in the past few weeks. Wilson is their potential star. He can be a player who can learn from QB Zach Wilson, Elijah Moore, and RB Michael Carter. He will be a vital component of the offense's explosiveness. He is extremely fast (4.38 in 40), and he also has exceptional body control and separation ability. He continued to improve at Ohio State. His final year was a great one with 70 catches for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. Since Santana Moss' 2001 debut, he is the Jets' first round receiver.
Biggest question: Does he have the strength to take the pounding? Wilson is just a shade short at 6′ and weighs in at 183 lbs. Another Ohio State receiver who is susceptible to injury is the last thing that the Jets need. Devin Smith was the second round pick in 2015. Only one of their top four receivers, Corey Davis (6-foot-3), is over 6-foot. Wilson had six dropped passes last season, which led to some problems. Another question: What happens to Denzel Mims? He was their 2020 second-round selection. He's best described as the WR5. It wouldn't surprise if he was traded. — Rich Cimini
: 108 targets, 67 receptions, 852 yards, five TDs
, WR, Ohio State |
They chose him because of his personality: After finishing 32nd in the league last year in passing offense, this was one of the clearest cases of filling an obvious need in the NFL Draft. They had to move up from No. They had to move up from No. 16 to No. 11 to make it happen, but they only had the to give up a third and fourth-rounder. While it is obvious that WR Michael Thomas and QB Jameis Winston will be back from injuries, the Saints still needed another dynamic pass catcher – and they got one with the 6-foot Olave, a 187-pounder. The Saints insist that they won't rebuild their team under Dennis Allen. Two aggressive trades were made over the last month by the Saints to add a player of immediate impact.
Biggest question: Like the rest of the NFL, the Saints passed on this quarterback. With their trades, they've used up draft capital. They traded away next year’s first-round selection among other things to acquire the Philadelphia Eagles 16th pick. They have given Winston a better chance of success. — Mike Triplett
:101 targets, 60 catches, 843 yards. Four TDs.
, WR, Alabama|
They chose him because: Wide receiver was a major need on the current roster. The Lions regime took advantage of Jameson Williams' aggressiveness to trade up for the 12th overall slot. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Lions receivers caught 24.5 percent of their tight-window targets in last season. This was the third-worst NFL statistic. Williams is an additional speedster that can provide a powerful weapon for Jared Goff.
Biggest question:How will Williams get better from an ACL torn? Although it is a risky move to gamble on someone who is still recovering from an injury, Williams's on-the-field talent cannot be denied. Williams was tied for eighth in FBS history with eight touchdown catches totaling 50+ yards in 2021. Eric Woodyard
Clay's 2022 projection: 83 targets, 51 receptions, 707 yards, five TDs
They chose him because of his personalityThe Eagles traded the 15th 124th, 162nd,162nd,166th and166th overall picks for Davis, the 6-foot-6, 345-pound anchor of Georgia’s championship defense. He's a rare measurable, running a fast 40-yard sprint at the combine in 4.78 seconds. He will be the offensive-line wrecking and pure nose tackle defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon is looking for with his hybrid scheme.
Biggest question: He was not a regular third-down player in college. This raises questions about his ability to be effective at this level as a run-stuffer. According to the Philadelphia brass, he is a disruptive force in passing and believes that he only was removed from the field because of Georgia's immense talent on defense. — Tim McManus
, S, Notre Dame|
They chose him because of his personalityKyle Hamilton was the Baltimore's best player by a large margin. There is no other reason to pick him. Eric DeCosta, the Ravens general manager, insists that he selects the best player possible. He also added this pick, which was a curveball. Hamilton was rated the No. Mel Kiper Jr. rated Hamilton as the No. 4 prospect. This is a surprise pick considering that the Ravens biggest free agent splash was safety Marcus Williams. Baltimore now follows suit with its sixth highest pick for a safety. Hamilton is versatile and can play nickel, which is where the Ravens are lacking. He is tied for fifth among Power 5 players with eight interceptions in the last year. Hamilton will immediately assist a Ravens defense that was last in the NFL for passing yards (4.986) and had the fifth-fewest interceptions (9.9) last season.
Biggest question: Why didn’t the Ravens address an even more urgent need? The Ravens had the opportunity to acquire a top-four prospect at these positions, as Baltimore's pass-rusher (Jermaine Johnson II) and cornerback (Washington's Trent McDuffuff). Ravens passed on Washington's Trent McDuffie, the draft's fourth-best passer (Jermaine Jr II), and Baltimore's third-best cornerback (Washington’s Trent McDuffie). Baltimore has always placed a premium on loading up in secondary. That has not changed with Joe Burrow or Deshaun Watson. — Jamison Hensley
, G, Texas A&M |
They chose him because of his personalityTexans will be focusing on Davis Mills' quarterback in 2022. Adding support to the offensive line is a first step. Last season, Houston's offensive line ranked 27th in pass block win rate, according to ESPN Stats & Info, and the team finished last in the NFL in rushing yards. Green's addition gives Mills more protection and puts him in a better position to succeed in 2022.
Biggest question: How does Green fit on an offensive line? Smith stated that he isn't focusing on individual positions but was concentrating on getting five of the best offensive linemen on the field. Green started at four spots on the offensive line for Texans A&M in 2021 and could be Houston's right tackle or play inside for the Texans next season. — Sarah Barshop
They chose him because of his personalitySince 2016, the Commanders' have not finished among the top 10 in offensive yards and points. Therefore, offense was necessary. Dotson, Terry McLaurin and Dyami brown now form a dynamic receiving group. This group is versatile because each player can be placed anywhere. Dotson can play indoors or outdoors; Washington coach Ron Rivera loved Dotson’s playmaking skills. Dotson is able to make plays at all levels, making quick passes for big gains and winning downfield with athletic grabs. Washington may also use him to return punts.
Biggest question: Play strength. His weight of 178 pounds is concerning. Washington can help to spread good talent among the teams. Dotson excels at working outside of the hashes. While this is not a problem as others can, it can limit Dotson. Washington could still use a physical receiver as a complement to his speed wideouts. Washington's coaches love Dotson for his playmaking abilities. — John Keim
Clay's 2022 projection: 80 targets, 49 receptions, 640 yards, four TDs
They chose him because of his personalityThe Chargers made it a priority to protect quarterback Justin Herbert before entering the draft. The Chargers strengthened the left side of their offensive team last year when they selected left tackle Rashawn Sloper with a first-round selection. Johnson was the top-rated prospect among guards in 2022's draft class by ESPN. They are now using their 17th round selection to snag Johnson. Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 312-pound prospect, will be able immediately to move to the right side.
Biggest questionJohnson will likely take over as right guard. So who will replace Johnson at right tackle. After signing Bryan Bulaga last year in free agency, the Chargers have had difficulty finding a spot at right tackle. Bulaga was injured and then was let go. Storm Norton was the right tackle for 15 games. However, it is not clear if Norton will continue to be the right tackle or if Matt Feiler will be moved from left guard into right tackle. He played that position with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lindsey Thiry
They chose him because of his personality: Titans select Burks to give them a wide receiver to replaceThe Eagles traded for the No. 18 overall pick. In the hopes of getting a new contract, Brown didn't report to Phase 1 offseason activities. Brown was not offered a top-dollar contract by the Titans. Burks is often compared to Brown for his ability to create yards after the catch. The Titans are heavily dependent on play-action passing, and have been successful getting Brown across the middle. Burks is the same sturdy player that can bounce off of tackles to gain more yards. Burks was a very productive player at Arkansas, as evidenced by his 11 touchdowns and a 91-yard catch & run.
Biggest questionBrown is being traded by the Titans to make room for a more explosive player on offense. Burks will have to step in as a rookie. It's not an easy task, even though the play styles are similar. Brown's trade will allow the Titans to take a huge risk, but it could save them upwards of $20million per season.Brown was their most important receiver during their time together. Tannehill now has to build the same level trust with Burks, and it must do so quickly. — Turron Davenport
99 targets, 62 receptions, 835 yards, six TDs
, OT, Northern Iowa |
They chose him because of his personalityWhen it came to meeting obvious needs, New Orleans was 2-for-2 Thursday night. Following the departure of Terron Arstead, the Saints lost Penning in free agency. Penning will be able to take over as their starting left tackle immediately. They supported Jameis Winston's replacement with Penning, and added Chris Olave as a wide receiver. It will also help a lot that Michael Thomas, the receiver, is back from his ankle injury.
Biggest questionPenning will need to jump from Northern Iowa's lower-level competition. This is not the same “sure thing”, as Penning was among the top 10 offensive tackles on Thursday night. There is no way that Penning can fill the enormous void left by Armstead. The 6-foot-7, 325-pounder has shown an appealing combination of athleticism as well as toughness which made him the consensus choice for the best offensive tackle this year. — Mike Triplett
, QB, Pitt |
They chose him because of his personality: Steelers did not want another Pitt franchise quarterback to leave like Dan Marino in 1983's draft. Pickett is a versatile prospect who has mobility, accuracy, size, and a strong vertical play. Pickett is a franchise quarterback with his confidence, leadership, and aggressive play. It's a crucial trait as Pickett replaces Ben Roethlisberger.
Biggest questionPickett was a Heisman finalist in 2021 after he threw 13 touchdowns each of his previous seasons, and 12 the year before. Can Pickett sustain and duplicate that success at the NFL? What time will he get to run the Steelers offense again? Steelers signedMason Rudolph has also been signed to a two-year contract in free agency. Pickett is the most NFL ready quarterback in the class. Will he be with Trubisky to begin in 2022 or will Pickett sit out a year? — Brooke Pryor
213 of 349, 2,312 yards, 11 TDs, 9 INTs; 31 carries, 124 yards, one TD (10 starts)
They chose him because of his personalityAfter losing Charvarius Ward to free-agent, the Chiefs were left with a short position at cornerback. They felt enough about McDuffie that they decided to take McDuffie up from the 29th. McDuffie should be a starter at Day 1. The Chiefs have given up three picks.
Biggest question: Did the Chiefs neglect big needs at wide receiver, defensive end? Without question, the Chiefs needed cornerback help. Will the Chiefs regret not securing DE Jermaine Jermaine Johnson to improve a pass rush that ranked 29th in the league for sacks last season, or will they? — Adam Teicher
They chose him because of his personality: The Packers had six receivers on the board and felt Walker was more valuable than any other WR7 they had. Tennessee traded A.J. Brown to the Eagles destroyed any chance of the Packers acquiring the last of their top receivers. The Titans took Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks at Number. 18. He was the sixth receiving pick between picks eight-18. De'Vondre Cameron has a running partner in this pairing, which gives the Packers an option to run De'Vondre. Campbell prefers to not have to cover tight backs and ends, but Walker provides excellent coverage. Brian Gutekunst continues the Packers' tradition of drafting defense in their first round. In fact, 10 of the Packers’ last 11 first-round selections were from that side of town.
Biggest question: Why didn’t the Packers trade for a receiver instead? But that doesn't necessarily mean they didn’t try. Gutekunst has never been afraid to deal in the first round. In three of his four previous drafts, Gutekunst traded in round one in all but two. — Rob Demovsky
, CB, Florida |
They chose him because of his personality: The Cornerback position was the weakest on a talented Bills roster going into the offseason. WithYou can leave in your own agency Elam is continuing to heal from a torn anterior cruciate ligament tear. This gives the Bills a corner of starting-caliber that will make them No. 1 defense in 2021 even better. For the second season, the corner, who is 6'1 and 191 lbs, achieved a 35.3% completion percentage as the primary defender. 50 attempts). Buffalo was aggressive in dealing with the defensive line in free-agent and now invests heavily in the defensive backupfield for the very first time since White 27th overall was drafted in 2017.
Biggest question: The Bills knew they needed help at cornerback. However, Andrew Booth from Clemson was still on their board. So, trading up to acquire Elam was the right decision. Elam, the last player on their team to earn a first-round grade, was the Bills' feeling. Elam didn't have a perfect college season but he doesn't lack speed. His 40-yard run was 4.39 seconds, which is quite impressive considering the number of talented receivers in the AFC East. There are no obvious major concerns. — Alaina Getzenberg
They chose him because of his personality: The Cowboys have a pressing need for offensive line after cutting right tackle La'el Collins. Also, left guard Connor Williams signed with Miami as a free agency. Smith could move from left guard to tackle, as the Cowboys haven't added an offensive-lineman in free agency. Mike McCarthy has a history of making college tackles guards in Green Bay (T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton). The Cowboys only had 14-16 first round grades on players. Therefore, they were likely to be wiped out by the 24th selection and couldn't find a trade willingly made.
Biggest question: Williams was last year's most-penalized NFL lineman (15 total, 12 accept). Smith was subject to 16 penalties (including 12 holding calls) at Tulsa last year. Smith is considered a great athlete, but it could take him time to improve. Recently, the Cowboys have had success with first-rounders in linemen with Travis Frederick (2013) and Tyron Smith (2011). Can he maintain that streak? And can Joe Philbin, offensive line coach, develop him? — Todd Archer
, C, Iowa |
, DE, Florida State |
, DE, Florida State |