NFL Draft 2022: Latest Odds, Expert Mocks and Predictions for Round 1April 27, 2022
NFL Draft 2022: Latest Odds, Expert Mocks and Predictions for Round 1
Fellow football fanatics, we made it.
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
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
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 NFL.com'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 NFL.com 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, NFL.com has Willis going to Pittsburgh at No. 20 and Pickett landing in Detroit at No. 32.
Round 1 Predictions
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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