NFL Draft 2022: Latest Odds, Expert Mocks and Predictions for Round 1

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 27, 2022

NFL Draft 2022: Latest Odds, Expert Mocks and Predictions for Round 1

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Fellow football fanatics, we made it.

    Well, almost.

    The wait for the 2022 NFL draft is all but over, as the first round begins Thursday night. Much sooner than later, your favorite franchise will soon tie its hopes to the latest batch of up-and-comers, a small portion of which will soon help populate the league's galaxy of stars.

    To help tide you over until the actual talent grab, we'll examine the latest draft odds you need to know, scan the latest mocks for the most up-to-date information and provide a few predictions ahead of Thursday night.

Latest Draft Odds

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

    No. 1 Pick

    Travon Walker -200 (bet $200 to win $100)

    Aidan Hutchinson +250 (bet $100 to win $250)

    Ikem Ekwonu +450

    Evan Neal +2500

    Kayvon Thibodeaux +5000

    Derek Stingley Jr. +10000

    Charles Cross +10000

    Kenny Pickett +10000

    Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner +10000

    Kyle Hamilton +10000

    Malik Willis +10000

    Jermaine Johnson II +10000


    Total Defensive Players in Round 1

    Over 15.5: -125

    Under 15.5: -105


    Total Offensive Players in Round 1

    Under 16.5: -120

    Over 16.5: -110


    Total Quarterbacks in Round 1

    Over 2.5: -200

    Under 2.5: +150


    First Quarterback Selected

    Malik Willis -190

    Kenny Pickett +170

    Desmond Ridder +1000

    Matt Corral +1800

    Sam Howell +4000


    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Expert Mock Roundup

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    Andy Nelson/Associated Press

    The best way to gauge the temperature of any draft—but particularly one as wide-open as this—is casting a wide net for expert mocks. For this expert roundup, we're digging into the latest mocks from's Charles Davis, USA Today's Nate Davis and The Athletic's beat writers.

    The Davis drafts feature the same first four selections. The Jacksonville Jaguars grab Georgia edge-rusher Travon Walker at No. 1, with the Detroit Lions staying in state and selecting Michigan edge Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2. Then, it's NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu to the Houston Texans at No. 3 and Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner at No. 4.

    The Athletic's mock, meanwhile, rather incredibly matches zero of those picks. Hutchinson goes first overall, with Greg Auman explaining, "this feels like more of a sure-thing pick than a gamble." The Lions go with an edge-rusher at No. 2, but this time it's Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Texans go offensive tackle with Alabama's Evan Neal, leaving the Jets to pounce on Ekwonu at No. 4.

    At No. 5, all three mocks have the New York Giants adding an offensive tackle. Neal is the pick at USA Today, while The Athletic and put Mississippi State's Charles Cross in that spot. Walker is next off the board at The Athletic after a mock trade that has the Philadelphia Eagles trading up with the Carolina Panthers (at the cost of picks 15 and 51) to get him.

    Rather than recap all of the picks, we'll fast forward to the quarterbacks, since any time is a good time to talk signal-callers.

    The Athletic's mock is the only one featuring three quarterbacks, surprisingly starting with Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 13. The Panthers pick up Pitt's Kenny Pickett at No. 15 (one of the picks added in the mock trade), while the Pittsburgh Steelers pounce on Liberty's Malik Willis at No. 20.

    Over at USA Today, it's Willis leading the group as the No. 7 pick to Pittsburgh (in a mock trade with the Giants for No. 20 and the next year's first-round pick). The Titans take Pickett at No. 26. Finally, has Willis going to Pittsburgh at No. 20 and Pickett landing in Detroit at No. 32.

Round 1 Predictions

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    Kendall Warner/Associated Press

    No Shocks at the Top

    Walker has been building momentum long enough that it would be more surprising if he isn't taken No. 1 than if his name is the first called. Hutchinson then becomes an obvious choice (and a draw at the gate) for Detroit. Throw the offensive tackles and Gardner into the next few picks, and the early selections will fall mostly in line with expectations.


    More Than 2 QBs Will Be Taken

    Every quarterback in this class has question marks, which is why there's no real consensus with the group. It's also possible that Willis and Pickett are the only signal-callers who receive first-round grades from most front offices, so it's understandable to expect a quiet night for the quarterback class.

    Still, this is the NFL. This league is obsessed with quarterbacks—and rightfully so. There are more than two franchises with some kind of questions about their current and/or long-term plans at the position. Those questions will increase the temptation to address the position in the first round, and at least three of them will be unable to resist that temptation.

    If forced to predict an order, Willis will lead the class, Pickett will land somewhere close behind and Ridder will round out the group of first-rounders.


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