The regular season of the NFL is wrapping up this year and the teams are already preparing for the next year. And of course, a major part of building a team is the NFL Draft. Many new players from the collegiate level will be recruited to the NFL. Of course, the question remains to where these players will end up. And as such, here is a list of some of the most promising perspectives for the 2022 NFL Draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson
It would be unfair to let a single game define someone’s future career. He was a worthy prospect before a quiet game against Georgia, so he still should be now. It’ll be difficult to decide whether or not to pick Hutchinson or Kayyon Thibodeaux.
2. Detroit Lions — Pitt QB Kenny Pickett
Kenny Picket’s got a lot of the same traits that sent Joe Burrow so high up in the draft. A team in need of a QB like the Lions could easily benefit from a rookie player with the same chops as Burrow.
3. Houston Texans — Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux
Houston will either get Hutchinson or Thibodeaux. The two are really neck and neck. Whichever EDGE doesn’t get picked first is bound to get picked next. In the case of Thibodeaux, Houston would get a player who’s been considered a top pick for the last two seasons.
4. New York Jets — LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.
The Jets have two picks in the top 10 and they need impact players on both offense and defense. The best bet for a defensive player right now is shutdown CB Derek Stingley Jr. He missed out on most of last season due to an injury, but is still a worthy top five pick.
5. New York Giants — Alabama OT Evan Neal
The Giants also have a few top ten picks. They have plenty of needs to fill, but first they need to shore up their offense. Andrew Thomas has improved from his previous time as a rookie, but the Giants shouldn’t feel as though some new blood wouldn’t help out. An elite prospect like Evan Neal would be perfect for them.
6. Carolina Panthers — Ole Miss QB Matt Corral
The Panthers have been searching for a fresh franchise quarterback after their Sam Darnold experiment failed. Matt Corral will need some development, but he’s got the skill to make a real difference on the field.
7. New York Jets — North Carolina State OL Ikem Ekwonu
The Jets have yet to address their needs along the offensive line in order to protect their investment in Zach Wilson. And Ekwonu is a massive, athletic blocker, having earned all-conference honors as both a guard and tackle.
8. New York Giants — Cincinnati CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner
The Giants may have bigger needs, but they have a particularly noticeable problem in the corner. Cornerback “Sauce” Gardner has an excellent mix of physical and mental traits. He didn’t allow a single touchdown catch occur on his watch during his entire college career.
9. Washington Football Team — Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton
The Washington Football Team is also in need of a quarterback. Despite missing a lot of his last season due to an injury, Hamilton has a well-rounded skill set and a great deal of potential that makes him an excellent top ten pick.
10. Atlanta Falcons — Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis
The Falcons need a ton of help, but particularly with defense. One of the most complete EDGE players is George Karlaftis. He’s powerful and a technically sound defender. He can set the EDGE against the run and demolish the pocket as a pass rusher.
11. Denver Broncos — Utah LB Devin Lloyd
The Broncos have multiple needs along the front seven. And among the prospects, Devin Lloyd stands out amongst them. He has a rare combination of athleticism and instincts that makes him a rather impactful defender.
12. Minnesota Vikings — Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr.
Despite the investment they’ve put in the corner already, they still need a good player on the position. Mike Zimmer loves the size, length, and athleticism combo that players like Booth can bring to the table too. He’d be a perfect fit in Minnesota.
13. Cleveland Browns — Alabama WR Jameson Williams
The situation with their quarterback will be the biggest offseason storyline for the Browns. And whoever that quarterback ends up being, they’ll need an excellent wide receiver like Williams. He quickly established himself as one of the biggest threats in the nation this season and will likely be the first receiver off the board.
14. Philadelphia Eagles — Iowa OL Tyler Linderbaum
The first of the Eagles’ first-rounders this year, Linderbaum has an excellent combination of need and value. Jason Kelce’s nearing retirement so it’d be best to transition from one great player to another.
15. New Orleans Saints — Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
Even if Michael Thomas were to become the player he once was, the Saints will still need a good receiver to pair with him that can make it down the field. Treylon Burks is big and an athletic pass-catcher with a punishing play-style. People sometimes compare him to A.J. Brown.
16. Baltimore Ravens — Mississippi State OT Charles Cross
The Ravens traded away Orlando Brown Jr. and Ronnie Stanley had a season-ending injury. It’d be a good idea for them to get a new offensive tackle. Charles Cross is battle-tested, having played against the top competition in the SEC, and quickly developed into a dominant blocker.
17. Pittsburg Steelers — Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green
What the Steelers need the most is a quarterback. However, there isn’t anyone on this board left worth taking as a first round pick. To compensate, the Steelers should take a versatile blocker like Kenyon Green, who can play as either a guard or tackle.
18. Las Vegas Raiders — Georgia DL Jordan Davis
For the Raiders it’s all about maximizing impact and finding a prospect who can make a big, immediate impact. And that will lead them to Jordan Davis. He’s the anchor of the nation’s most dominant defense.
19. Philadelphia Eagles — Georgia LB Nakobe Dean
Dean is a fiery, three-down defender, capable of taking over games with his combination of athleticism and physicality. The Eagles will need to cover their defense at this point, adding the playmaker to their team.
20. Los Angeles Chargers — Michigan EDGE David Ojabo
The Chargers should focus on an EDGE rusher to pair with Joey Bosa for maximum value. And with Ojabo, you get exactly that. He’s one of the fastest-rising prospects in his class.
21. Philadelphia Eagles — Florida CB Kaiir Elam
And the last of their first-round picks for the Eagles should be Kaiir Elam. He’d pair well with Darius Slay as a cornerback. Elam’s lined up against the top talent in the SEC, acting as an incredibly skilled shutdown artist.
22. Miami Dolphins — Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
Despite investing some good resources in previous years, the Dolphins’ offensive line is still struggling. To bolster their forces, they need a good offensive tackle like Nicholas Petit-Frere. He had a stellar campaign in 2021 while playing for the Buckeyes.
23. New England Patriots — Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson
The Patriots need to focus on giving their new quarterback as many new weapons as possible. A wide receiver like Garrett Wilson would be more than capable enough and is worthy of being a first-round pick.
24. Arizona Cardinals — Sand Diego State EDGE Cameron Thomas
Chandler Jones is still a premier EDGE rusher in the NFL, but the Cardinals could use a long-term upgrade. Cameron Thomas is an underrated prospect in his class, with a well-rounded skillset that will make him an instant-impact player on the field.
25. Buffalo Bills — Kentucky OL Darian Kinnard
The Bills need a lot of help in their offensive line. Someone big that can fill multiple spots. Kinnard has proven to be one of the most effective and consistent performers this season, even against some of the nation’s best defenders.
26. Cincinnati Bengals — Auburn CB Roger McCreary
The Bengals’ biggest problem is at the corner. They really miss William Jackson III, but maybe McCreary can fill the void he left. While playing with the Tigers this season, he shut down some of the country’s most talented pass-catchers, almost regularly.
27. Dallas Cowboys — Ohio State WR Chris Olave
A high priority for the Cowboys would be replacing Michael Gallup, should he leave for more money and opportunities as a free agent. Olave is one of the most polished and pro-ready receivers in the deep class for this year. He’d be a perfect fit.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal
The Buccaneers have proven to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL these last couple of years. However, there is still a flaw in their strength. The defensive line isn’t getting any younger, so a versatile, new defender like Leal would be a perfect fit for the team.
29. Kansas City Chiefs — USC WR Drake London
Patrick Mahomes already has a great pair of weapons in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. However, adding another playmaker to the offense wouldn’t be a bad idea. London has, size, length, and athleticism that would make him a perfect addition to the Chiefs’ offense.
30. Detroit Lions — Purdue WR David Bell
The Lions have their quarterback, now they just need to upgrade his targets. Their team was destroyed by free agencies last offseason, so finding a big, athletic target like Bell would help bolster their ranks once again.
31. Tennessee Titans — Cincinnati EDGE Myjai Sanders
Harold Landry’s great, but the Titans are going to need a long-term plan for the other EDGE, outside of Bud Dupree. Sanders proved to be a top player with great athletic skills, especially when facing against top competition.
32. Green Bay Packers — Georgie EDGE Travon Walker
The Packers may be forced to say goodbye to either of their top EDGE rushers due to salary cap issues. That would mean that a replacement is a necessity. Walker has’t gotten nearly the amount of attention he deserves as a first-rounder, despite being an impact player for the most dominant defense in the country.