NFL Draft 2022: Selection Order and Projections for Hottest ProspectsJanuary 16, 2022
NFL Draft 2022: Selection Order and Projections for Hottest Prospects
While NFL football fans are still in the throes of Super Wild Card Weekend, with two games already played and the Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots headed home for the season, the league must take a look to the future to the 2022 draft.
As teams lose in the playoffs, they are forced to triage their seasons and come to a conclusion as to why they fell short.
From there, those teams can try to address those concerns in the draft and select a player who can help them take a step forward toward the ultimate goal: a Super Bowl title.
Here's a quick look at the updated draft order and projections for the hottest prospects.
Updated 2021 NFL Draft Order
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Detroit Lions
3. Houston Texans
4. New York Jets
5. New York Giants
6. Carolina Panthers
7. Chicago Bears
8. Atlanta Falcons
9. Denver Broncos
10. Seattle Seahawks
11. Washington Football Team
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Cleveland Browns
14. Baltimore Ravens
15. Miami Dolphins
16. Indianapolis Colts
17. Las Angeles Chargers
18. New Orleans Saints
19. Philadelphia Eagles
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. New England Patriots
22. San Francisco 49ers
23. Las Vegas Raiders
24. Arizona Cardinals
25. Cincinnati Bengals
26. Buffalo Bills
27. Los Angeles Rams
28. Dallas Cowboys
29. Kansas City Chiefs
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
31. Tennessee Titans
32. Green Bay Packers
Projected draft order via Tankathon
Prediction: Kayvon Thibodeaux Goes No. 1 Overall
If he's honest, it's likely that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence would like to forget his rookie year.
The former No. 1 overall pick threw for 3,641 yards, 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
His head coach Urban Meyer was an unmitigated disaster and was fired, and the Jags finished the season with the worst record in the league at 3-14.
Which is why they find themselves with the No. 1 pick in the draft for the second year in a row.
So how should they use the pick?
If Jacksonville believes that Lawrence is the generational quarterback that it rolled the dice on last season, the franchise should use the pick at another position.
They have numerous deficiencies to address, but for this draft, they should shore up their defense with a player like Kayvon Thibodeaux.
The defensive end out of Oregon had 49 total tackles, 35 solo tackles and seven sacks this past year and would bring the kind of athleticism and strength that the Jags are missing.
Some might say that the Jacksonville should select a player who can protect Lawrence's blind side like Evan Neal, but many analysts believe that Thibodeaux has a higher ceiling. And in the NFL, defense does win championships.
Prediction: 3 Offensive Tackles Will Go in the Top 10
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league.
And with the way these guys are airing it out now more than ever, they need time to throw the ball.
That's where the offensive tackle comes in.
Alabama's Evan Neal is at the top of list in this draft class at the OT spot.
With his size and ability to neutralize pass-rushers, Neal is a player whom the Houston Texans can't pass up at No. 3.
Right there with Neal is Ikem Ekwonu out of North Carolina State and Charles Cross out of Mississippi State.
Ekwonu has all the tools to be an All-Pro pass protector and is indispensable in the run game. Look for the New York Giants to take him at No. 5.
The Carolina Panthers have a laundry list of issues to address in this draft. One of them is a quarterback protector. That means they'll likely opt for Cross, who already has great skills as a pass-blocker and looks like he can grow at the position.
Matt Corral Will Be the 1st Quarterback off the Board
There are a lot of high-profile prospects at the quarterback position in college football, but most of them won't be available in this draft.
Because of that, there won't be a quarterback selected within the top 10 picks.
But that doesn't mean there aren't some talented gunslingers on the board.
After having quite the collegiate career at Ole Miss, Matt Corral will be the first quarterback taken in this draft.
The Washington Football Team will select Corral with the No. 11 pick. It could use his presence in the pocket and his proven decision-making under pressure.
Corral injured his ankle in the Sugar Bowl, so that could be a deterrent for Washington. If it does prove to be too much, though, look for them to take Kenny Pickett out of Pitt.