With the Super Bowl now in the rearview mirror, the full draft order is now set: the Bengals will have pick 31, and the Lions, thanks to the Matthew Stafford trade, will pick 32 in the Rams’ spot. The Eagles’ three picks in the teens get very interesting, and potentially very valuable, depending on other teams’ desperation to move up on the first round.
1. Jaguars – Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan
There are rumblings Jacksonville could go a different route with this pick, but that would not be wise. Hutchinson is the right call here.
2. Lions – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
I suppose you can flip-flop Hutchinson and Thibodeaux if you like. This is a great consolation prize for a team that needs help in a lot of spots.
3. Texans – George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue
Three straight edge rushers out of the gate? These teams have the top three picks for a few reasons, and one of them is a total lack of a pass rush. Houston, Detroit and Jacksonville were all bottom five in sacks.
4. Jets – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
The Jets have a golden opportunity to build up their roster, with two top-10 picks, and five picks in the top 69 selections. They go secondary with their first pick, tabbing Booth, whose skill and strength make him the top corner in the Class of 2022.
5. Giants – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Whoever drafts Hamilton is going to be very happy they did. Size, speed, smarts, he is the total package, and there’s a very good chance he will be just the second safety drafted top-5 in the last 30 years (Sean Taylor in 2004)
6. Panthers – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Carolina added Sam Darnold this offseason to compete with Cam Newton for the starting job. Olave will be a great target for whomever wins this roster battle.
7. Giants (via Bears) - Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The Giants went tackle last year with their first pick, and they’ve committed to Daniel Jones at QB, so here we go again. Neal is a monster at 6’6”, 360 pounds, and he’s already proven in Tuscaloosa to be versatile: he has started games at left guard, right tackle and left tackle for Nick Saban.
8. Falcons – Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi
Aaaaand there’s the first quarterback off the board. Matt Ryan will be 37 by the start of the regular season, and Atlanta gets a jump on the new era by grabbing Corral.
9. Broncos - Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
With Neal off the board, Cross is the next-best tackle out there. He is a very good pass protector, and has been compared to 2-time Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil.
10. Jets (via Seahawks) – Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
Some scout have Booth as the top CB in the draft, some have Stingley. The Jets take the guesswork out of it entirely and draft both players here.
11. Commanders – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
The Commanders (still sounds so weird to say) allowed more passing TDs than any other NFL team in 2021 (34). Rebuilding the secondary should be Job One for Washington GM Martin Mayhew, who himself played nine NFL seasons as a corner.
12. Vikings – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
At 6’6”, 340 pounds, Davis commands a double-team on virtually every play. Minnesota will plug Davis as the linchpin of a defense that finished 26th against the run.
13. Browns – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Cleveland felt the loss of Odell Beckham Jr in the passing game after they cut him loose mid-season. They’ll hope that returning Wilson to his home state will jump start the offense.
14. TRADE: Chiefs (from Ravens) – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
To move up to get Williams, the Chiefs sent to Baltimore the 30th pick, plus their second-round pick (#62) and a second-rounder in 2023. The first-team All-American would have likely been a top-5 pick if not for a torn ACL suffered in the National Championship game against Georgia.
15. TRADE: Chargers (from Eagles, via Dolphins) – DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
The Chargers’ run defense is one of the worst in the NFL, and they do a deal with the Eagles, jumping up two spots to grab Leal, who can line up anywhere along the formation and make an impact. For moving up two spots, the Chargers send the Eagles a third-round pick (#79).
16. Eagles (via Colts) – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Eagles have ignored the linebacker position for what seems like decades. That ends with the selection of Lloyd, an every-down player who shows very few weaknesses.
17. Eagles (from Chargers) – Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa
Howie Roseman loves to fortify his offensive line in the draft, and that tradition continues with this selection. Jason Kelce is seriously considering retirement, so the Birds need to be ready for life after the greatest center in team history.
18. TRADE: Cardinals (from Saints) – David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan
The Cards move up five spots in the first round, sending Arizona a third-round pick (#87) to grab Ojabo, an athletic freak with a high ceiling, but very limited experience in organized football.
19. Eagles – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
The Eagles upgrade their receiving corps with Dotson, a home run threat who really knows how to create separation. What he lacks in size (5’11”, 185), he more than makes up for in speed and elusiveness.
20. Steelers – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
Whoever lines up under center for Pittsburgh next season, his blind side will be well taken care of. Ekwonu was a unanimous first-team All-American for the Wolfpack at left tackle, and would be a Week One starter for most NFL teams as a rookie.
21. Patriots – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
A smart corner with NFL football in his blood – both his father and his uncle spent time in the league – he will fit in very nicely in a Bill Belichick defense.
22. Raiders – Drake London, WR, USC
Derek Carr needs some new and better weapons to survive in the AFC West, and London would be a nice addition. A big body who can bully opposing corners, run past them, or go up over them to bring down any pass.
23. Saints (from Cardinals) – Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Malcolm Jenkins is 34 years old, and Marcus Williams could be leaving in free agency. Safety could be a serious position of need for New Orleans, and they could do a lot worse than Brisker.
24. Cowboys – Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Winfrey will help strengthen the middle of a defensive line that began to show some cracks late in the season, and Micah Parsons can’t tackle everyone.
25. Bills – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Buffalo fortifies its #1-ranked pass defense with the selection of McDuffie, a well-rounded corner with superior ball skills.
26. Titans – Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
Tennessee needs to upgrade their offensive front, which allowed 47 sacks last season. They’ll get a boost with Green, who has experience at every position but center.
27. Buccaneers – Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia
Walker will be an exciting addition for Bruce Arians’ defense. He can do damage from any position along the line, and will only get better as he builds his skill set from a pass rush standpoint.
28. Packers – Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Green Bay prepares for life after Aaron Rodgers with the selection of Howell, as experienced as savvy a QB as there is in the draft.
29. Dolphins (via 49ers) – Nakobe Dean, LB Georgia
Miami gets a steal as Dean slips down the first round to them at 29. The Butkus Award winner should be a quick study as a WILL linebacker at the next level.
30. TRADE: Seahawks (from Ravens via Chiefs) – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Another first round trade involving the Ravens, as they flip pick #30 for Seattle’s second-round (#41) and third-round picks (#72).
31. TRADE: Falcons (via Bengals) – Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State
Atlanta sneaks back into the first round, sending this year’s second-round pick (#43) and next year’s second-round pick to Cincinnati, and get some help for the league’s worst pass rush (18 sacks in 2021).
32. Lions (via Rams) – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Detroit’s patience will be thin with Jared Goff after a lackluster 2021 season. They grab Willis, who can step in if 2022 goes like 2021.