NFL Draft 2022 Rumors: Aidan Hutchinson No. 1 to Jaguars 'Far from a Slam Dunk'

Adam WellsApril 7, 2022

Michigan defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson (31) participates in a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
AP Photo/Steve Luciano

Aidan Hutchinson is the betting favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are still keeping their options open with three weeks left before they have to make the selection. 

NFL.com's Peter Schrager has the Jaguars taking Hutchinson with the top choice in his first mock draft, though he noted hearing from people around the league that the pairing is "far from a slam dunk" at this point. 

As the pre-draft process has gone on, the consensus among draft analysts is the Jaguars are leaning toward the University of Michigan edge rusher with their first pick.

DraftKings Sportsbook has Hutchinson as a -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100) to be the first player off the board. He is the only player with a negative betting line at this point. 

Georgia defensive end Travon Walker has the second-best odds at +300 to go No. 1 overall. 

The Jaguars hosted multiple players in Jacksonville this week as the front office and coaching staff continues to evaluate options leading up to the draft.

Hutchinson and North Carolina State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu both met with the team on Monday, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Jacksonville is the sixth team in NFL history to have the No. 1 pick in back-to-back years. The last team to do it was the Cleveland Browns in 2017 (Myles Garrett) and 2018 (Baker Mayfield). 

Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, has all the makings of a franchise quarterback. He struggled amid all the chaos last year with 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions as a rookie. 

This is a crucial draft for the Jaguars as they look for a quick reset after Urban Meyer flamed out in spectacular fashion last season. Doug Pederson is taking over as head coach after going 42-37 in five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-20. 

Hutchinson finished second in last year's Heisman Trophy voting. The 21-year-old recorded 16.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 14 games for the Wolverines in 2021. 

The Jaguars are 15-50 in four seasons since reaching the AFC Championship Game in 2017.