2022 NFL Draft: Round 1 Order, Odds and Sleeper Prospects to Monitor

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2022

2022 NFL Draft: Round 1 Order, Odds and Sleeper Prospects to Monitor

0 of 3

    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    The 2022 NFL draft is now less than two weeks away, and the one thing we know for certain is that we don't know quite what to expect.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are picking in the No. 1 slot for the second year in a row, but unlike in 2021, there is no clear-cut choice at the top of Day 1. Jacksonville could take one of the highly touted pass-rushers, one of its many first-round-worthy offensive linemen or trade the selection.

    "They could easily go pass-rusher, but it's the worst kept secret that Doug Pederson wants to go offense with that pick," one anonymous AFC coach told FanSided's Matt Lombardo.

    Right now, there's simply no telling in which direction the Jaguars will go, and that's just at pick No. 1. The rest of the first round remains clouded as well, and that only adds to the intrigue and the fun. We're likely to get surprises, positional runs and perhaps a flurry of trades at the back end of the first round.

    "I've heard this from a couple of draft rooms: Because of wide variety of opinions on board-stacking throughout the league, some team drafting in the 50s could see its 12th-rated player still alive at 30 and be motivated to jump up there," ProFootballTalk's Peter King wrote.

    Here, we'll dive into the current draft order, some of the latest draft-related odds—which provides an insight into how Vegas sees things playing outand examine a couple of sleeper prospects who just might sneak into the first round.

Current First-Round Order

1 of 3

    JASON DECROW/Associated Press

    1. Jacksonville Jaguars

    2. Detroit Lions

    3. Houston Texans

    4. New York Jets

    5. New York Giants

    6. Carolina Panthers

    7. New York Giants (from Chicago)

    8. Atlanta Falcons

    9. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)

    10. New York Jets (from Seattle)

    11. Washington Commanders

    12. Minnesota Vikings

    13. Houston Texans (from Cleveland)

    14. Baltimore Ravens

    15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami)

    16. New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis via Philadelphia)

    17. Los Angeles Chargers

    18. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)

    19. New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia)

    20. Pittsburgh Steelers

    21. New England Patriots

    22. Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas)

    23. Arizona Cardinals

    24. Dallas Cowboys

    25. Buffalo Bills

    26. Tennessee Titans

    27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    28. Green Bay Packers

    29. Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco via Miami)

    30. Kansas City Chiefs

    31. Cincinnati Bengals

    32. Detroit Lions (from Rams)

First-Round Draft Odds

2 of 3

    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    No. 1 Pick

    Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan 5-14

    Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia 3-1

    Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State 12-1

    Evan Neal, OT, Alabama 14-1

    Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon 20-1

    Malik Willis, QB, Liberty 35-1

    Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati 50-1

    Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh 75-1


    1st QB Selected

    Malik Willis, Liberty 8-14

    Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh 13-10

    Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati 12-1

    Matt Corral, Mississippi 16-1

    Sam Howell, North Carolina 25-1


    Total Defensive Players in Round 1

    Over 15.5 -125 (bet $125 to win $100)

    Under 15.5 -105


    Total Offensive Players in Round 1

    Over 16.5 -125

    Under 16.5 -105


    Total Quarterbacks in Round 1

    Over 2.5 -250

    Under 2.5 +190


    Total Running Backs in Round 1

    Over 0.5 +145

    Under 0.5 -190


    *Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Potential First-Round Sleepers

3 of 3

    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    George Pickens, WR, Georgia

    Here's an interesting tidbit from ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller that suggests we could see some positional runs in the early stages of the first round.

    "One source I spoke to this week expected notable names to be available 'into the teens' as quarterbacks and wide receivers dominate the top 15," Miller wrote.

    If there is a run on receivers, Georgia's George Pickens could be a name to watch on opening night. He's the 39th-ranked prospect on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department's big board, and the ninth-ranked receiver. However, he's big (6'3", 195 lbs) and physical and can win on the perimeter. Teams prioritizing receiver size are likely to be high on Pickens.

    According to The Athletic's Diante Lee, the Kansas City Chiefs have visited with Pickens, and they hold two picks at the bottom of the first round. Kansas City might be targeting him in Round 2, but it's a notable bit of smoke worth following.


    Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

    Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral is the 73rd-ranked prospect on the B/R board and possibly wouldn't be in the first-round conversation in a different draft class.

    However, it's looking increasingly likely that three quarterbacks will go in the top half of Round 1, or close to it.

    "One GM told me he sees three in the top 20," King wrote. "... Those three are likely Kenny Pickett of Pitt, Malik Willis of Liberty and Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder. I've heard very good things about Ridder's exchanges with teams over the past month, but each QB has his critics."

    Corral and North Carolina's Sam Howell are most likely to be the next quarterbacks off the board after Willis, Pickett and Ridder—Howell is the 82nd-ranked prospect on the B/R board.

    If a team believes that Corral (or Howell) can be a future starter, he could be drafted before the end of Round 1. Trading back into the bottom of Round 1 would allow a team to snag Corral and the fifth-year option that comes with a first-round selection.


    Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

    Based on the Vegas odds, it seems highly unlikely that we'll see more than one running back drafted in the first round—if that. Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III is the top-ranked running back on the B/R board and the 36th overall prospect.

    However, there's a chance that Iowa State's Breece Hall ends up being taken before Walker, and perhaps in the first. Hall is a versatile runner and a capable receiver out of the backfield, and that's going to appeal to a lot of teams.

    "Hall has the size, vision, footwork, and athleticism to be a productive RB in any type of run scheme, both from under center and the shotgun," Nate Tice of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

    The biggest knock on Hall appears to be his heavy college workload—718 carries in three seasons—but we've seen heavily utilized college runners like Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor still have NFL success.

    Neither Henry nor Taylor were first-round picks, and Hall is far from a lock. Like Pickens and Corral, though, he's a potential Round 1 sleeper worth following heading into opening night on April 28.