The NFL Draft Combine begins tomorrow.
From March 1-7, 324 of the top prospects hoping to hear their names called by an NFL team will be in Indianapolis for the annual NFL Draft Combine. You can watch some of the workouts on NFL Network March 3-6.
The Combine has been under fire since the Super Bowl, but a resolution was reached so most of the top players will work out and interview.
The oddsmakers love Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson as the favorite for the No. 1 overall pick. But what do we think? And what do you think? Here’s how we see the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft playing out.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The Jags could go one of two directions here: an elite edge rusher in Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeau or an offensive tackle. We’re thinking they opt to protect Trevor Lawrence, which then begs the question: who is the top offensive lineman in this draft? It could be Neal, Ikem Ekonu or Charles Cross at tackle. We’re taking Neal at No. 1.
2. Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
We’re sticking with a Michigan man staying home to become the face of the defense in Detroit. The value is there, but so is the character and the Lions could use a guy like Hutchinson. If he makes it past the Jags, this should be a no-brainer for the Lions.
3. Houston Texans
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
The Texans are a hot mess, but their new head coach loves him some defense. And Lovie Smith would be thrilled to get an electric pass rusher like Thibodeaux to create havoc in opposing backfields.
4. New York Jets
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
We’re locked in on the Jets taking Hamilton, but we’re increasingly skeptical that he’ll make it to their second pick in the first round at No. 10. So selecting him here solves a roster issue and also opens the door them to potentially get creative with their next pick.
5. New York Giants
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State
What is painfully clear to anyone who watched the Giants this year (and the previous few years) is they need to protect their quarterback(s) better. And when their failure to develop Daniel Jones was specifically mentioned by ownership after the season, you have to know fixing the offensive line is a significant need. This is a great pick for Big Blue.
6. Carolina Panthers
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Another pick we’re locked on is the Panthers needing a quarterback. In fact, the Panthers needing a signal caller could make the Giants’ pick at No. 5 a valuable asset if a team wants to offer them a king’s ransom to grab Pickett in front of Carolina.
7. New York Giants (from CHI)
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
This is another pick that could go a few directions. There’s good depth in the pass rush department in this draft class and the Giants could look there. But the Giants also need someone in the middle of their defense making an impact. Because of the depth in this draft at EDGE we’re targeting an inside linebacker here.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Drake London, WR, USC
With Calvin Ridley likely gone, the Falcons could look to replace him with an explosive player who dominated when he was healthy in 2021. London is a big-time target who gets it done — even when the defense knows he’s getting the ball thrown his direction.
9. Denver Broncos
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
We’ve been all over the board with Denver’s pick, and they might be a team desperate enough to make the Giants an offer to get in front of Carolina. Willis is a tempting prospect who might show out well enough this week in Indy to make his spot at the No. 2 quarterback in the class a lock.
10. New York Jets (from SEA)
Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Iowa
We’re going with an interior offensive lineman for the Jets here. We’ve mocked London to them previously, but he’s off the board here. The Jets have some work to do at tackle, but Linderbaum may be the best overall offensive lineman in this draft class and would solidify the inside of their offensive line immediately.
11. Washington Commanders
Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi
Like Denver and Carolina, quarterback is the clear need in Washington. The question is whether or not they a) trade up to get the top player at the position, or b) feel good enough about the second or third prospect in what is considered a relatively soft class to take him here. We think they will, and Corral is intriguing enough for them to take a shot.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Derek Stingley, Jr., CB, LSU
Minnesota has a new front office and their coaching staff has turned over, so we’ll see how they play free agency and the draft. What we do know is their defense needs a lot of help, and the top corner in this class being available could make this a no-brainer for them. They could also go with a defensive lineman or linebacker, however.
13. Cleveland Browns
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
The Browns could need an entirely new receiver corps before the new season opens. And most of the top prospects are available still at this point. But this class has some good depth and the Browns would likely be better served to wait until the second round to take an impact receiver and use this pick on a beast to make their defensive front more lethal.
14. Baltimore Ravens
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Ravens would likely love to have Davis available here. And they might look to help their offensive line with Cross still on the board. But Lloyd is a potentially dominant inside linebacker, and we don’t need to remind fans in Baltimore how different a defense can look when there’s a game-changer at that position.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (from MIA)
George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
16. Philadelphia Eagles (from IND)
Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
The Eagles have three first-round picks this year and we think they’re going to work on their defense early and often. Gardner might be the first corner off the board, and Karlaftis is a strong edge rusher who would be a great fit in the Eagles’ system. They’re back on the clock at No. 19.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
The Chargers will be looking to add strength to their defensive line, and Leal is a really tough prospect. He can play inside or outside and has a great motor. His versatility could be incredibly valuable for the Chargers.
18. New Orleans Saints
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
With one former Buckeye receiver — Michael Thomas — moving on, the Saints need to replace him. So why not go back to Columbus for another really good receiver? Wilson is a home run threat who will help their offense. We’re not ready to take a fourth quarterback in the first round yet, so the value is better at receiver here.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
A retirement opened a huge hole on the Eagles’ offensive line, so with their third pick they’ll look to fill that need. Green graded out exceptionally well in the SEC this past season and would start Day One in Philly.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
We’re still not ready for a fourth quarterback to come off the board, so while the Steelers might want to add a young player to their mix we’re thinking they opt to protect whomever is under center here. Cross could be gone in the top ten overall picks, so him being available here is tremendous value for Pittsburgh.
21. New England Patriots
Andrew Booth, Jr., CB, Clemson
The Patriots traded away their best corner so they need to replace that in their secondary. Booth is regarded as the No. 3 prospect at the position by most analysts and has good size and speed to work into the defensive scheme in New England.
22. Las Vegas Raiders
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Vegas needs to replace a receiver and corner who are no longer with the team because of legal issues. But they also need to improve their offensive line. This pick could go anywhere, but Penning is a rising prospect who could jump into the mix and help them run the ball better. Again, the depth at receiver and corner in this class gives the Raiders the patience to take the best player on their board here, and Penning fills another need.
23. Arizona Cardinals
David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
The Cardinals are another team that needs help on every level of their defense. With a few intriguing corners still available, they might opt to go that direction, but they might be thrilled that Ojabo is still available at this point. He would help their pass rush immediately.
24. Dallas Cowboys
Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
Another edge rusher who, like Ojabo, could easily be gone by this pick. Walker played really well on a loaded Georgia defense this past season and would be a strong add to the Cowboys’ pass rush. Dallas could look for help in the inside of their offensive line or in their secondary here as well.
25. Buffalo Bills
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Sure, another Georgia defender in the first round. But Buffalo struggled against the run too often this past season and needs an anchor to improve their defensive front. Wyatt is a beast who, like his former teammate Davis, could hear his name called in the first round.
26. Tennessee Titans
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
This is a fascinating pick. The Titans can’t be thrilled with how their season ended, and now we’re getting to a place in the draft that a fourth quarterback coming off the board isn’t crazy. Will they look to draft a future starter here to have a fifth year of control? Or will they help the current offense by giving Ryan Tannehill a tight end weapon? We’re leaning on the addition of a skill position player here.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
Tampa’s roster could look dramatically different next year; almost half of their starters are heading to free agency and Tom Brady is retired (for now). So where will the Bucs go with their first pick? We’re looking at an impact defensive end from up the road at Florida State. He would replace Jason Pierre-Paul very well.
28. Green Bay Packers
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
What will Aaron Rodgers do? And will Davante Adams leave as well? Those two decisions will impact this roster — and their division — more than any storyline in the NFL this offseason.
29. Miami Dolphins (from SF)
Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
The Dolphins need everything. Offensive line, linebacker, receiver are all on the table here. But Thomas is a player with a big motor who could see his draft stick either skyrocket or plummet based on the combine this week.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
The Chiefs need to help their offensive line and their secondary. They also might need to add depth at receiver, but we’re looking for them to do that later. Gordon’s a solid corner prospect who would help them immediately.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
What was painfully clear for the Bengals during the postseason was the need to protect Joe Burrow. Johnson is a fabulous guard who also played some center at the Senior Bowl who could do either for the Bengals. He’s nasty, and they need that in front of their franchise quarterback.
32. Detroit Lions (from LAR)
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Here we are with QB4 in the draft. The Lions have another selection at 34 overall, so they’ll be right back on the clock early on Day Two. Ridder’s an interesting prospect who could use a year or two of development, which is why you take him here and not in the second round; the fifth year of control is why we go quarterback for the Lions to close out the first round.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars — Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
34. Detroit Lions — Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
35. Houston Texans — Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
36. New York Jets — Jalen Wynermyer, TE, Texas A&M
37. New York Giants — JJ Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
38. New York Jets (from CAR) — Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
39. Chicago Bears — Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
40. Atlanta Falcons — Arnold Ebiketie, OLB, Penn State
41. Denver Broncos — Boye Mafe, OLB, Minnesota
42. Seattle Seahawks — Dax Hill, DB, Michigan
43. Washington Commanders — Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
44. Minnesota Vikings — Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati
45. Cleveland Browns — Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
46. Baltimore Ravens — Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
47. Miami Dolphins — Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
48. Indianapolis Colts — Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
49. Los Angeles Chargers — Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
50. New Orleans Saints — Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
51. Philadelphia Eagles — Damone Clark, LB, LSU
52. Pittsburgh Steelers — Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
53. New England Patriots — Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
54. Las Vegas Raiders — Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
55. Arizona Cardinals — Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
56. Dallas Cowboys — Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
57. Buffalo Bills — Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
58. Atlanta Falcons (from TEN) — Jaxson Kirkland, OL, Washington
59. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
60. Green Bay Packers — Drake Jackson, DE, USC
61. San Francisco 49ers — Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
62. Kansas City Chiefs — John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
63. Cincinnati Bengals — Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
64. Denver Broncos (from LAR) — Darien Butler, LB, Arizona State
65. Jacksonville Jaguars — Nik Bonnito, EDGE, Oklahoma
66. Detroit Lions — Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
67. Houston Texans — Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
68. New York Jets — Logan Hall, DL, Houston
69. New York Giants — Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
70. Jacksonville Jaguars (from CAR) — Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
71. Chicago Bears — Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
72. Atlanta Falcons — Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
73. Denver Broncos — David Bell, WR, Purdue
74. Seattle Seahawks — Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA
75. Washington Commanders — George Pickens, WR, Georgia
76. Minnesota Vikings — Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
77. Cleveland Browns — Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
78. Baltimore Ravens — Jamaree Salyer, OL, Georgia
79. New York Giants (from MIA) — Marquis Hayes, OL, Oklahoma
80. Indianapolis Colts — Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
81. Los Angeles Chargers — Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
82. Houston Texans (from NO) — Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
83. Philadelphia Eagles — Cade Otten, TE, Washington
84. Pittsburgh Steelers — Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
85. New England Patriots — Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
86. Las Vegas Raiders — Dontay Demus, Jr., WR, Maryland
87. Arizona Cardinals — Haskell Garrett, DT, Ohio State
88. Dallas Cowboys — Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State
89. Buffalo Bills — Brandon Smith, OLB, Penn State
90. Atlanta Falcons (from TEN) — Travis Jones, DT, UConn
91. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
92. Green Bay Packers — Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
93. San Francisco 49ers — Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
94. Kansas City Chiefs — Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
95. Cincinnati Bengals — Andrew Steuber, OT, Michigan
96. Denver Broncos (from LAR) — Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
97. Detroit Lions (comp) — John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
98. Baltimore Ravens (comp) — Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
99. Pittsburgh Steelers (comp) — PJ Mustipher, DT, Penn State
100. San Francisco 49ers (comp) — James Cook, RB, Georgia
101. Los Angeles Rams (comp) — Lecitus Smith, OG, Virginia Tech