Welcome to the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft!
SB Nation will be live for the first ten draft selections in tonight’s NFL Draft.
The Denver Broncos won’t be participating here on Day 1, but much of the rest of the NFL will be involved. Incredibly, seven teams have multiple first round picks in draft most consider a weak class on the front end. One veteran front-office executive via Adam Schefter noted that this might be the ‘craziest draft’ in 30 years. That combined with reports that many teams are desperate to trade back with only only a few, such as the Cowboys, looking to trade up.
This could lead to a lot of trades or very few trades. It certainly seems like there are plenty of teams looking to move back and not very many looking to move up. If the price to move up drops significantly due to that then we could see teams begin to make some deals. Either way, it is shaping up to be a wild ride in the first round.
Here are the final results for the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft with some instant analysis from our own AJ Schulte. Full Broncos futures available at DraftKings Sportsbook.
First Round - 2022 NFL Draft
|1||Jacksonville Jaguars||Travon Walker||EDGE||Georgia||If the Jaguars weren’t going to go with Kayvon Thibodeaux, Travon Walker was the right call after their recent extension with LT Cam Robinson. Walker’s production metrics get sneered at, but Georgia’s defensive scheme and coaching limited his pass-rushing prowess. However, Walker has all the tools in the world to be a superstar pass rusher and enters the league as an elite run defender. His pairing with Josh Allen and new Jags Defensive Coordinator Mike Caldwell should excite Jaguar fans everywhere who are desperately looking for solutions to the problems of Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry.|
|2||Detroit Lions||Aidan Hutchinson||EDGE||Michigan||The Lions had pretty poor pass-rush last season, and that’s something that cannot happen in a division with Aaron Rodgers. The Lions take the hometown hero who was one of the most disruptive players in CFB last season. They’ll have to change looks upfront to accommodate him, but it’s hard to argue that Lions fans won’t be pleased with this one.|
|3||Houston Texans||Derek Stingley Jr.||CB||LSU||Houston’s corner room and defense are pretty bare, and that’s something that cannot happen with Lovie Smith in town. They need as much talent as they can get defensively, and Stingley as proven he has the ability to go toe to toe with top receiver talent in the SEC. The AFC South doesn’t feature a ton of elite QB play, but if the Texans are serious about competing soon, Derek Stingley will help immensely.|
|4||New York Jets||Sauce Gardner||CB||Cincinnati||The Jets pulled a bit of a stunner, taking Sauce Gardner. The Jets have to be able to defend Josh Allen, and they needed corner help in a big way. Robert Saleh coveted Gardner’s ability to be a shutdown corner in his scheme, and the Jets grab their CB1 of the future.|
|5||New York Giants||Kayvon Thibodeaux||EDGE||Oregon||The second-best pass-rusher in the draft falls to the Giants there at 5. With DC Wink Martindale in town, pass-rush is critical, and they have to find ways to stop Dak Prescott. An elite pass-rusher doesn’t fall into people’s laps all that often, and Thibs and Ojulari gives the Giants a pass-rush that can contend with the best.|
|6||Carolina Panthers||Ikem Ekwondu||OT||NC State||The Panthers didn’t have their left tackle spot locked up, and now they do. After speculation about a quarterback, Carolina elects to make the smart call and draft one of the most physically gifted tackle prospects in years in Ikem Ekwonu. He and Moton are a formidable tackle duo that ought to make Carolina, and whoever their quarterback will be, feel better than they did last season.|
|7||New York Giants||Evan Neal||OT||Alabama||What an unreal haul for the Giants so far, nabbing the best pass-rusher and the best offensive tackle in the class. Whether they play him at left or right tackle, the Giants have secured an intimidating tackle duo with him and Andrew Thomas. What a start for new GM Joe Schoen.|
|8||Atlanta Falcons||Drake London||WR||USC||A bit of a surprise to be the first wide receiver off the board, London ends up a Falcon. He’s exactly the kind of receiver the Falcons need, given his route-running prowess, contested catch ability, and an excellent red zone threat. While the Falcons’ QB room is up in the air, London will help out whoever takes the snaps under center in a big way.|
|9||Seattle Seahawks||Charles Cross||OT||Mississippi State||Using the pick they got from the Broncos for Russell Wilson, the Seahawks select one of the most refined pass-protectors of the last few drafts. Whoever lines up under center has to feel good about having that kind of protection on their blindside, and gives the team their long-term left tackle.|
|10||New York Jets||Garrett Wilson||WR||Ohio State||The Jets were trying to pull Deebo Samuel with this pick, but instead they’ll turn and draft Garrett Wilson to pair with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. After going defense at 4, Joe Douglas turns around and adds another playmaker to the Jets offense for Zach Wilson. In a division with all that offensive talent, they need to compete with the big guns.|
|11||New Orleans Saints||Chris Olave||WR||Ohio State||Buckeyes go back-to-back here with the Saints trading up to take Olave. It’s a bit of an odd move to trade up for him, but the Saints had a clear and dire need at wide receiver and the capital to go up and get their guy.|
|12||Detroit Lions||Jameson Williams||WR||Alabama||The Lions paid a pretty penny to move up and grab an elite weapon in Jameson Williams, but it’s hard to argue it wasn’t worth it. Williams is an electrifying player who instantly upgrades that offense. While the medicals scared off some teams, the Lions put their chips all in and added a stud receiver in a room that desperately needed it.|
|13||Philadelphia Eagles||Jordan Davis||DT||Georgia||The Eagles haven’t made their love for Davis a secret, and they trade up over the Ravens to take the behemoth nose tackle. With Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave entering free agency in 2023, the Eagles needed a long-term monster on their interior that lets them run their scheme. He’s a freak of nature and should be a fun centerpiece for Philly for years.|
|14||Baltimore Ravens||Kyle Hamilton||S||Notre Dame||The safety room in Baltimore is really intriguing, with Kyle Hamilton entering a room that already had Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark in it. I’m not sure what Hamilton’s role will be with them, but it’s hard not to see Hamilton thriving in Baltimore.|
|15||Houston Texans||Kenyon Green||OL||Texas A&M||We knew the Texans were gonna do it, right? They needed guard help in a big way, but it’s really difficult to imagine a world where Zion Johnson wasn’t the better pick there.|
|16||Washington Commanders||Jahan Dotson||WR||Penn State||We knew Washington was in on taking a wide receiver, but Dotson certainly surprised many. He’s a fun playmaker who has the ability to challenge defenses vertically and after the catch, but we’ve got back-to-back stunners here. Dotson is used to tracking poorly-thrown balls, so he should fit right in with Carson Wentz.|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||Zion Johnson||OL||Boston College||The Chargers take two back to back OL in round one, and it’s hard to argue against it. Zion is one of the best linemen in this draft and is a plug-and-play guard. They need to continue to build around Justin Herbert, and an offensive lineman is the smartest way to do so.|
|18||Tennessee Titans||Treylon Burks||WR||Arkansas||The Titans use this pick to select their replacement for AJ Brown, who they traded to get this pick. While that’s…certainly an interesting decision, the Titans needed a weapon to replace Brown, and Burks was often compared to him throughout the draft process|
|19||New Orleans Saints||Trevor Penning||OT||Northern Iowa||The Saints needed a replacement for Terron Armstead, and while Penning isn’t Armstead, he is a physical and athletic tackle prospect who improved every year. He has some technique issues to clean up, but he was the best tackle on the board and has the upside to grow into a stud left tackle.|
|20||Pittsburgh Steelers||Kenny Pickett||QB||Pittsburgh||Well, Pittsburgh sure fooled everyone with this one. It felt like they were locked in on Malik Willis the whole way, but they took the hometown kid. It’s certainly an interesting call, but it’s no secret Pittsburgh needed to try and get a long-term QB this offseason.|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs||Trent McDuffie||CB||Washington||The Chiefs paid a premium to move up for McDuffie, but it’s hard to argue they didn’t need a guy of his talents. With the superstar talent in the AFC West, the Chiefs needed a shutdown corner who they can pair with L’Jarius Sneed.|
|22||Green Bay Packers||Quay Walker||ILB||Georgia||The first linebacker off the board, Quay is an intimidating and physical force over the middle of the field, and one of the few true MLBs in this draft. It feels just a tad rich, but the Packers needed a big boost in their run defense.|
|23||Buffalo Bills||Kaiir Elam||CB||Florida||The Bills haven’t disguised their love for the corner class, and they trade up some to take who many felt was the best corner left. A fluid and lengthy corner, Elam might just be the playmaker at corner the Bills need opposite Tre’Davious White to put them in the Super Bowl.|
|24||Dallas Cowboys||Tyler Smith||OL||Tulsa||The NFL can’t help themselves with raw, athletic tackles. Smith has a long way to go before he’s ready to play in the NFL, but he’s one of the most powerful tackles in recent memory and extremely young. If Dallas can get him to hit, they might have their Tyron Smith replacement long-term.|
|25||Baltimore Ravens||Tyler Linderbaum||C||Iowa||The Ravens are just too good at this draft stuff. Walking away with an All-Pro caliber center here is criminal, and the Ravens needed that kind of presence in the interior of their offense. That Ravens interior is built to dominate and bully opponents in the run game, and the Ravens didn’t make the same mistake other teams last season did by waiting on an elite center.|
|26||New York Jets||Jermaine Johnson||EDGE||Florida State||After the rumors circulated Johnson could go as high as 4th overall to the Jets, Johnson’s tumble down the draft board opened up the opportunity for Joe Douglas to go up and get his guy. Johnson will add an explosive presence to a defensive front that already features Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, and John Franklin-Myers.|
|27||Jacksonville Jaguars||Devin Lloyd||ILB||Utah||After trading Myles Jack, the Jaguars have been looking for a real MIKE linebacker. While it was rumored they were in on Quay Walker big-time, the board didn’t fall their way and they had to be aggressive. Lloyd is a versatile do-it-all kind of linebacker that should be an instant leader on the Jaguars’ defense.|
|28||Green Bay Packers||Devonte Wyatt||DT||Georgia||The Packers have been rumored to be in on a defensive lineman early, and they go for one here. Wyatt is a disruptive pass-rusher with a wicked first step and great movement skills for a player his size. The Packers have been looking to add some more pass rush help on the interior and they got it with Wyatt.|
|29||New England Patriots||Cole Strange||OL||Tennessee-Chattanooga||Uh...|
|30||Kansas City Chiefs||George Karlaftis||EDGE||Purdue||The Chiefs walk away with two excellent players at their biggest areas of need on defense. Adding Karlaftis finally gives the Chiefs a young superstar pass-rusher to pair with Chris Jones. Broncos fans should be upset with how well the Chiefs played tonight’s draft.|
|31||Cincinnati Bengals||Daxton Hill||S||Michigan||With Jessie Bates’s long-term future in doubt and a clear need in the DB room, the Bengals select do-it-all safety Dax Hill. His electrifying speed and playmaking ability is a joy to watch, and he should be a fan favorite early on.|
|32||Minnesota Vikings||Lewis Cine||S||Georgia||With the last pick of the night, the Vikings take a physical instinctive safety to pair with Harrison Smith. New DC Ed Donatell wants those intelligent kinds of safeties for his defense, and Cine fits that to a T.|