NFL Agent Predicts 'Wild 1st Round' of 2022 Draft Because Of Trade Activity

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2022

FILE - In this April 29, 2021, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, wearing a COVID-19 vaccinated sticker, speaks during the first round of the NFL football draft in Cleveland. The NFL has informed teams they could potentially forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players and players on both teams wouldn’t get paid that week. Commissioner Goodell said Thursday, July 22, 2021, in a memo sent to clubs that was obtained by The Associated Press that the league doesn’t anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can’t be rescheduled within the 18-week regular season. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
AP Photo/Steve Luciano

The predraft process has already seen several picks exchange hands via trades, and one agent thinks we've only reached the tip of the iceberg.

"It's going to be a wild first round," the agent told Peter King of NBC Sports. "A lot of teams think Friday night, Rounds 2 and 3, is the sweet spot of this draft, so you're going to see teams in the middle of the first motivated to deal down."

Eleven first-round picks have already exchanged hands, either via previous trades or deals made this offseason. The Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs have already made moves to add first-round selections since the beginning of the new league year.

While there have been drafts where more than half of the first-round picks have ultimately been swapped around, this type of movement in the predraft period is rare. Blockbuster trades of Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill have created a ripple effect across the league in what's become an increasingly intriguing draft.

A non-quarterback is set to go with the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 2017, and it's possible a quarterback is not taken in the first five picks for the first time since 2013. As teams continue to jockey for position across the draft board, it's almost certain a team needing a quarterback will move up to roll the dice on Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.

While they won't be involved in deals that include first-round picks, Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo seem likely to find new homes that include the exchange of draft picks this month. Mayfield has already been replaced by Watson as Cleveland's franchise quarterback, and the 49ers are set to move on from Garoppolo in favor of Trey Lance, who they traded multiple picks to move up and grab last season.