The NFL Draft Combine opened eyes.
Since the beginning of the 2021 NFL season, we’ve been weighing in with our predictions for the 2022 NFL Draft. There have been changes to the draft order and the players climbing — and sliding — along the way.
This past week, we watched most of the top prospects work out in Indianapolis at the annual Draft Combine. Some players blew the crowd away; others left a lot to be desired. It was the biggest group job interview in professional sports, and the players showed out.
With the combine in the books, here’s how we see the first four rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft playing out.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
After the combine, we’re sticking with Neal as our No. 1 overall pick for Jacksonville. He’s physically imposing and the Jags need to protect their franchise quarterback.
2. Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
If he makes it to them at No. 2, this should be a no-brainer. We’ve been saying it for months and everything still holds: he’s a Michigan man who showed good character and tremendous ability at a position of need for the Lions.
3. Houston Texans
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State
This is a killer for the Giants and Jets, both of whom would love to get their hands on a player who could be swapped for Neal at the top of the draft. He’s a dominating lineman who would help the Texans’ offense in every way. They have lots of needs, but this is about the best player on the board.
4. New York Jets
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
He didn’t blow away the speed tests, but his instincts and playmaking ability make him the premier secondary player in this draft. We’ve had the Jets taking him all year, and we’re not wavering off that pick. And we don’t think he makes it to No. 10, to the Jets better take him here.
5. New York Giants
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
The Giants would love to get Ekwonu here, but we think he’ll be gone. If that’s the case, and Thibodeaux is still on the board, the Giants should jump at the ability to take a game-changing pass rusher.
6. Carolina Panthers
Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
We’ve had the Panthers taking a quarterback more times than not, but we continue to be underwhelmed by this year’s class. On the other hand, there are some potentially great corners in this draft — and Sauce is the best. He’s big and fast and has the attitude that sells tickets. Carolina could build around Gardner.
7. New York Giants (from CHI)
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Now the Giants come back and address their offensive line problems. Cross has been in the mix with Neal and Ekwonu as a consideration for the best offensive tackle in this class, and his workouts at the combine didn’t change that. If the Giants believe they need to be better up front, this should be an easy pick — and would make their first two picks a success.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
This is where the draft really starts getting interesting. Will someone feel strongly enough about a quarterback to feel the need to jump in front of Denver to pick one? If so, the Falcons would likely be happy to move back and address some of their needs later in the first round while adding picks. But if they stay, Walker is a tremendous athlete who would improve their defensive front.
9. Denver Broncos
David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
We’ve had Ojabo all over the board lately, wondering if teams would consider his production at Michigan a product of rushing opposite Hutchinson. But his workouts at the combine showed that he has all the physical tools to be an explosive player at the next level.
10. New York Jets (from SEA)
Drake London, WR, USC
There will be a lot of fans out there screaming for an interior offensive lineman here, but there’s good value in later rounds for the Jets at that area. There isn’t a 6-5 receiver who could potentially change an entire offense the way London has shown with a mediocre USC team around him. This would be a big swing for the Jets.
11. Washington Commanders
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
We’re now moving Willis to QB1 on our draft board and sending him to Washington. He’s a great athlete who can move and showed the ability to spin it with the best quarterbacks in this class. We do think the concerns about Kenny Pickett’s hand size are overrated, but Willis did enough to make a case for him being the first quarterback selected.
12. Minnesota Vikings
George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
A bull coming off the edge, Karlaftis would immediately step in and help improve the Vikings’ defensive front. The Vikings are in a transition right now and have a decision to make about their quarterback position, but their defense needs a lot of help.
13. Cleveland Browns
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Davis ran a faster 40 than Patrick Mahomes at 341 pounds. Read that again. He’s a physical freak who could be a game wrecker for Cleveland in their defensive front. This fills a need in a big way (pun intended).
14. Baltimore Ravens
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Penning had a terrific combine, building on previous performances that have made him a clear first round pick. His work over the weekend made him a top-half of the round candidate, and the Ravens need to protect Lamar Jackson better.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (from MIA)
Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
16. Philadelphia Eagles (from IND)
Derek Stingley, Jr., CB, LSU
With back-to-back picks here, the Eagles work on their defense. Lloyd is a playmaker inside who would become a captain of their defense almost immediately. Stingley, on the other hand, is a bit of an enigma. His freshman season made many believe he would eventually be a top-five pick. But two modest seasons and an inability to workout at the combine have hurt his draft stock. He would be a lottery ticket with huge upside for Philly here. But, with three picks in the first round, they can afford to make that leap.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
The Chargers’ defense left a lot to be desired this season, but their offense is a source of a lot of hope. So adding an impact player at linebacker makes sense and fills a need. Dean showed in the playoff that he’s a tremendous talent who can make plays all over the field.
18. New Orleans Saints
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
With such a remarkably fast, deep class of receivers, it feels crazy to wait until the 18th pick for the second receiver to come off the board. But that depth could give teams pause when jumping at a player in the first round when there aren’t as many impact players at other positions. The Saints need to replace Michael Thomas, and another Buckeye could be the perfect fit.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
Green is a dominant guard who replaces a long-time starter in Philly. After going defense with their first two picks, stability in their offensive line should be a priority here. And Green would be a good fit.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
They passed on Dan Marino 30 years ago, but we don’t think they’ll let a local quarterback get past them this time. Pickett has the ability to be a starter in the NFL and the Steelers need to replace Big Ben. Their offensive line needs help, but if Pickett slides this far he won’t slide any further.
21. New England Patriots
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Patriots could go corner here, but they need another target for Mac Jones. And with an incredibly deep group of corners, the Patriots will likely feel there will be good value for them at that position later in the draft. Olave is a potential superstar; he reminds us of Terry McLaurin.
22. Las Vegas Raiders
George Pickens, WR, Georgia
A guy who had limited snaps over the past two years showed enough at the combine to get people to buy into his ability to be a game changer at receiver. And Vegas has a history of loving sex appeal at skill positions. He ran well and has great size. He feels like a Raider kinda pick.
23. Arizona Cardinals
Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
This guy is as much a lottery ticket as anyone. He had limited snaps at Georgia before transferring to Florida State, where he was on a pedestrian team. But he has a ton of athletic ability and a big motor that will have him picked in the first round. The Cardinals need an edge rusher and he’s next on our board.
24. Dallas Cowboys
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
So Dallas is going to cut Amari Cooper after giving the bag to Dak Prescott. You don’t do that and then hope to replace him with an expensive free agent (again). So the Cowboys could look to another Alabama receiver to replace him early in the draft.
25. Buffalo Bills
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Wyatt clearly established himself as a wrecking ball at Georgia and performed incredibly well at the combine, making him a potential Day One selection. The Bills’ defensive front needs size, and depth, and Wyatt would help them be better against the run immediately.
26. Tennessee Titans
Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Harris ran in the 4.4s at the combine, excellent speed for a playmaking inside linebacker with better size than Dean. Tennessee needs to improve at linebacker and he could be an ideal pick here.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Iowa
Linderbaum could be a candidate for a top-ten overall selection. But you rarely see centers go that high, and with all of the skill and speed at other positions, it’s possible he slides. If he does, someone will likely move up to get him before the 27th pick. And Pittsburgh could use a new center; we have them going quarterback, however. Tampa needs to help their offensive line and this would be an exceptional pick.
28. Green Bay Packers
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
He didn’t turn heads with his speed at the combine, but Burks is an elite playmaker who has drawn Deebo Samuel comparisons. If the Packers are going to move on from Devante Adamas, this would be a strong pick to replace him in their offense immediately.
29. Miami Dolphins (from SF)
Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Mafe was one of the big winners at the combine. He ran incredibly well and showed really good mobility for a player with great size. His tape at Minnesota was terrific and his workouts confirmed that he’s a dangerous prospect. We have him jumping into the late first round and Miami could use an impact pass rusher here.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
Another huge winner at the combine, some feel Hill could transition from safety to corner at the next level. He could also be a dangerous weapon in the return game. And if there’s anything Kansas City loves, it’s speed. Hill has that, and good size. This would be a home run for the Chiefs.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
The Bengals need to protect Joe Burrow better. They have some other needs, but their first round pick should address their offensive line. Johnson worked out at both guard and center at the Senior Bowl and that versatility could help him earn a first round selection.
32. Detroit Lions (from LAR)
Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi
So we’re settling on three quarterbacks in the first round. Corral is a good prospect who throws a good ball and had a nice career at Ole Miss. Detroit comes back at 34 and can look to address another need there, but having five years of control of a potential franchise quarterback makes sense for a team that will eventually need a new signal caller.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars — Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
34. Detroit Lions — Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
35. Houston Texans — DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
36. New York Jets — Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
37. New York Giants — Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
38. New York Jets (from CAR) — Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
39. Chicago Bears — Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
40. Atlanta Falcons — Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
41. Denver Broncos — Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
42. Seattle Seahawks — Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
43. Washington Commanders — Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
44. Minnesota Vikings — Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
45. Cleveland Browns — Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
46. Baltimore Ravens — Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
47. Miami Dolphins — Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
48. Indianapolis Colts — Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
49. Los Angeles Chargers — Haskell Garrett, DT, Ohio State
50. New Orleans Saints — Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
51. Philadelphia Eagles — Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
52. Pittsburgh Steelers — Jaxson Kirkland, OL, Washington
53. New England Patriots — Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
54. Las Vegas Raiders — Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
55. Arizona Cardinals — Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
56. Dallas Cowboys — Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
57. Buffalo Bills — JJ Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
58. Atlanta Falcons (from TEN) — Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
59. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
60. Green Bay Packers — Sam Williams, DE, Mississippi
61. San Francisco 49ers — Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
62. Kansas City Chiefs — Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
63. Cincinnati Bengals — Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
64. Denver Broncos (from LAR) — Damone Clark, LB, LSU
65. Jacksonville Jaguars — Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati
66. Detroit Lions — David Bell, WR, Purdue
67. Houston Texans — Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
68. New York Jets — Jamaree Salyer, OL, Georgia
69. New York Giants — Jalen Wynermyer, TE, Texas A&M
70. Jacksonville Jaguars (from CAR) — Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
71. Chicago Bears — Logan Hall, DL, Houston
72. Atlanta Falcons — Andrew Booth, Jr., CB, Clemson
73. Denver Broncos — Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
74. Seattle Seahawks — Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
75. Washington Commanders — Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
76. Minnesota Vikings — Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
77. Cleveland Browns — Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
78. Baltimore Ravens — Darien Butler, LB, Arizona State
79. New York Giants (from MIA) — Cameron Jurgens, OL, Nebraska
80. Indianapolis Colts — Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA
81. Los Angeles Chargers — Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
82. Houston Texans (from NO) — Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
83. Philadelphia Eagles — Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
84. Pittsburgh Steelers — Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
85. New England Patriots — Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech
86. Las Vegas Raiders — John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
87. Arizona Cardinals — Brian Robinson, RB, Alabama
88. Dallas Cowboys — Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
89. Buffalo Bills — Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
90. Atlanta Falcons (from TEN) — Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
91. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State
92. Green Bay Packers — Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
93. San Francisco 49ers — James Cook, RB, Georgia
94. Kansas City Chiefs — Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor
95. Cincinnati Bengals — Nik Bonnito, EDGE, Oklahoma
96. Denver Broncos (from LAR) — Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
97. Detroit Lions (comp) — Andrew Steuber, OT, Michigan
98. Baltimore Ravens (comp) — John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
99. Pittsburgh Steelers (comp) — Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
100. San Francisco 49ers (comp) — Thayer Munford, OL, Ohio State
101. Los Angeles Rams (comp) — Marquis Hayes, OG, Oklahoma
102. Jacksonville Jaguars — Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
103. Cleveland Browns (from DET) — Justin Shaffer, OG, Georgia
104. Carolina Panthers (from HOU) — Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State
105. Seattle Seahawks (from NYJ) — Cade Otten, TE, Washington
106. Baltimore Ravens (from NYG) — Brandon Smith, EDGE, Penn State
107. New York Jets (from CAR) — Drake Jackson, DE, USC
108. Baltimore Ravens (from CHI) — Travis Jones, DT, UConn
109. Atlanta Falcons — EJ Perry, QB, Brown
110. Denver Broncos — Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
111. Seattle Seahawks — PJ Mustipher, DT, Penn State
112. Washington Commanders — Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
113. New York Jets (from MIN) — Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida
114. Cleveland Browns — Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
115. Baltimore Ravens — Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan
116. Miami Dolphins — Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
117. Indianapolis Colts — Ty Fryfogle, WR, Indiana
118. Los Angeles Chargers — Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
119. New Orleans Saints — Lecitus Smith, OG, Virginia Tech
120. Philadelphia Eagles — James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech
121. Miami Dolphins (from PIT) — DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
122. New England Patriots — Obinna Eze, OT, TCU
123. Las Vegas Raiders — Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
124. Baltimore Ravens (from ARI) — Logan Bruss, OL, Wisconsin
125. Dallas Cowboys — Luke Goedeke, OT, Central Michigan
126. Buffalo Bills — Zion Nelson, OT, Miami
127. Tennessee Titans — Dohnavan West, OG, Arizona State
128. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Kevin Austin, Jr., WR, Notre Dame
129. Green Bay Packers — Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
130. San Francisco 49ers — Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State
131. Kansas City Chiefs — Verone McKinley, S, Oregon
132. Cincinnati Bengals — Joshua Ezeudu, OG, North Carolina
133. Carolina Panthers (from LAR) — Mike Rose, LB, Iowa State
134. Baltimore Ravens (comp) — Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
135. Baltimore Ravens (comp) — Cade Mays, OL, Tennessee
136. Pittsburgh Steelers (comp) — Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
137. Tennessee Titans (comp) — Cole Rutner, TE, Nevada
138. Green Bay Packers (comp) — Tre Sterling, S, Oklahoma State
139. Cincinnati Bengals (comp) — Jalen Caralon, S, Arkansas
140. Los Angeles Rams (comp) — Jermayne Lole, DT, Arizona State
New York Jets Projected Draft Class
4. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
10. Drake London, WR, USC
36. Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
38. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
68. Jamaree Salyer, OG, Georgia
107. Drake Jackson, DE, USC
113. Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida
New York Giants Projected Draft Class
5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
7. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
37. Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
69. Jalen Wynermyer, TE, Texas A&M
79. Cameron Jurgens, OL, Nebraska