1. Jaguars – Travon Walker, DL, Georgia
Travon Walker or Aidan Hutchinson? That is the question on everyone’s mind right now, and there’s reason to believe that the Jaguars war room is still wondering the same thing. If reports are true that general manager Trent Baalke loves Travon Walker (and I believe they are), then the former Georgia Bulldog will be donning the Teal & Gold.
2. Lions – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
WHAT? Would Dan Campbell and the Lions really pass on the hometown kid if he’s available? I say yes. The worst kept secret during the draft cycle is how infatuated general manager Brad Holmes is with the pass rusher from Oregon. If Thibodeaux is the guy, the Lions lock up the best pass rusher in the class.
3. Texans – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
General manager Nick Caserio is said to really like LSU cornerback Derek Stingley and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, but one can assume that Hutchinson being available would change things drastically. There has never been a draft to open with three straight pass rushers… until now. The Texans get a player that they never expected to be there at three.
4. Jets – Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Some prospect-team pairings are just meant for each other. Sauce Gardner and the New York Jets fit that to a t. The Jets have addressed nearly every need this offseason, giving them the luxury of going with the best player available. This became an even easier decision with a run of pass rushers to start the round. Sauce Island is on the way.
5. Giants – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Another shocker of sorts here with the Giants passing on Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal in favor for Charles Cross. It’s been reported that general manager Joe Schoen loves the left tackle from Mississippi State, citing his proficiency in pass protection as the leading reason why. They took Andrew Thomas in 2020, much to the surprise of many. A new regime, but the same outcome.
6. Panthers – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
This is where the draft really gets spicy. The Panthers have been desperate for a quarterback ever since Matt Rhule took over in Carolina. My gut says that they opt for another season with Sam Darnold (or another vet), and instead fill their second biggest need — left tackle. Ickey played college only a couple of hours away and is the best prospect on my Big Board. Highway robbery at six.
7. Giants – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
The Giants have been vocal about their willingness to move back if the opportunity presents itself. The problem is, I don’t believe that anyone is going to pony up an offer worthy of accepting. Cornerback James Bradberry will almost definitely not be on the roster week one, leaving a massive need at the position. Derek Stingley proved his health at his Pro-Day, clearing the way for the Giants to take him at seven as the successor to Bradberry.
8. Falcons – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
A quarterback! The Falcons have a lot of options at eight, but ultimately the upside of Malik Willis is too much to pass up. The dual-threat signal-caller won’t be rushed in Atlanta, considering the team signed veteran Marcus Mariota earlier in the offseason. A complete tonal shift from Matt Ryan to Malik Willis, reminiscent of the Ravens doing the same with Joe Flacco-Lamar Jackson.
TRADE: Saints send 16, 98, and a 2023 3rd
9. Saints – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The Saints traded up… and it wasn’t for a quarterback? Before you exit out, let me explain. New Orleans lost Terron Armstead via free agency, and currently do not have a starter at left tackle. The Saints did not expect Neal to make it to nine, so they jumped in front of the Jets to ensure they get their guy. With pick 19 later on, they’re not out of the QB hunt.
10. Jets – Drake London, WR, USC
The run on wide receivers begins. The Jets would have ran the card up if Evan Neal fell to 10. Instead, they face a dilemma. Should Jermaine Johnson be the pick? Or should they support their young quarterback even more with a superstar pass catcher? It is all about putting Zach Wilson in a position to succeed, and the jump ball maestro does just that.
11. Commanders – Garrett Wilson, WR, OSU
Kyle Hamilton falling to 11 threw a wrinkle into things for the Commanders. After contemplating taking the swiss-army-knife defender, Ron Rivera and company fight the temptation and take arguably the best wide receiver available to support new quarterback Carson Wentz. With Terry McLaurin-Garrett Wilson-Curtis Samuel lined up to start, maybe the franchise should have changed their name to the Buckeyes?
TRADE: Steelers send 20, 84, and a 2023 3rd
12. Steelers – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The second trade of the night features the Pittsburgh Steelers trading up to land their Big Ben replacement. Yes, they signed Mitchell Trubisky, but he is no more than a bridge. Ridder has a high upside, and a maturity that Mike Tomlin will love at quarterback. The Steel City is a perfect place for the former Cincinnati Bearcat to grow into a player that can lead the franchise into the future.
13. Texans – Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
The draft day tumble finally comes to an end for Kyle Hamilton. Considering the Texans have been consistently connected to Hamilton, this is another no brainer for Nick Caserio. Can you imagine the excitement in that draft room if they come away with Aidan Hutchinson AND Kyle Hamilton? This is a franchise changing haul.
14. Ravens – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
There is a solid chance that Jordan Davis comes off the board way before the Ravens make their way to the podium. However, with the way this board has fallen, Baltimore gets a perfect culture fit for the organization. Davis will be one of the best run stuffers in the entire NFL instantly, something that Jon Harbaugh loves to hear.
15. Eagles – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Much like the two teams before them, the Eagles get their guy without even having to maneuver the board. If it wasn’t for the ACL tear, it would be an entirely different story. By all accounts, Williams is on his way to a full recovery, and even if he has to miss a few weeks, that’s not going to stop Howie Roseman.
16. Seahawks – Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, FSU
This was a very difficult decision for me. Both CBs and the top-three pass rushers are gone, along with Willis and Ridder. Seattle has been heavily linked to Trevor Penning and Jermaine Johnson throughout the process, and with both available, I leaned towards the pass rusher because John Schneider hasn’t taken an offensive lineman in the first two rounds since Germain Ifedi in 2016.
17. Chargers – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Another tough call at the 17th pick. On paper, it’s obvious which way the Chargers should go here, but the temptation of adding a speedster like Chris Olave or a jack-of-all-trades option like Treylon Burks to the offense is worth considering. Ultimately, I go with the “boring” pick and slot Trevor Penning into the right tackle spot to protect Justin Herbert.
18. Eagles – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
If Trent McDuffie was a little bit bigger and a little bit longer, he’d be mentioned in the same breathe as Sauce and Stingley. McDuffie is the most refined in terms of technique at the position, owning an insanely high football IQ. While he does have a shorter reach than you want in an outside cornerback, his experience and savviness will allow him to succeed anyway.
19. Saints – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
The Saints nabbed their left tackle of the future by trading up for Evan Neal, and now they get a guy to build the offense around. I’m not as high on Pickett, but given the fact that the Saints play in perfect conditions at home, coupled with how good their roster is, this feels like the best case scenario. He will be the week one starter in New Orleans if selected.
20. Vikings – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
The Vikings wisely traded down, picking up a third rounder in both this draft and next years draft. They are rumored to love Trent McDuffie, but he’s no longer here. The team could look for an edge rusher, but instead I have them taking a more traditional cornerback. Booth is physical as all get-out and has every trait you look for at the position. I feel VERY good about this pairing if they do move down.
TRADE: Chiefs send 29, 94, and 135
21. Chiefs – Chris Olave, WR, OSU
You had to know it was coming eventually. The Chiefs are armed with 12 draft picks in 2022, including a pair of picks in each of the first four rounds. In this trade, the Chiefs come up in front of the Packers and take Chris Olave. Olave would be the best route runner on the team immediately (sorry Juju), and with his speed he could really be a problem for opposing AFC defenses.
22. Packers – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Well… this kinda sucks doesn’t it? Sure, Treylon Burks is still available but my instincts say that the Packers won’t force the wide receiver position at 22. Instead, they take a pass rusher to bolster the defensive line. The former Greece Water Polo National Team member has turned himself into one hell of a football player. Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed are fine, but Karlaftis brings much more of an upside.
23. Cardinals – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Cardinals are stunned to see Treylon Burks still available after four receivers came off the board before them. Cornerback and edge rusher are the biggest needs, but without a guy worthy of picking at those positions, the Cardinals get Kyler Murray another weapon. Burks should be able to do bunch of different things for the offense.
24. Cowboys – Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
Jerry Jones is an Arkansas alumni, so seeing Treylon Burks go right before him likely stings. It is probably for the best, though, because while the Cowboys could use an Amari Cooper replacement, they need help on the offensive line more. Kenyon Green played everywhere on the offensive line at Texas A&M. Dallas keeps him in state.
25. Bills – Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
Yea, I’ll be the one to do it. It’s easy to look back at the Chiefs taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round and use that as a reason for the Bills not to take Breece Hall. The thing is, if the Chiefs had taken Jonathan Taylor… would that still be the thought? Didn’t think so. Imagine how dynamic an offense with Josh Allen, Breece Hall, Stefon Diggs, and Dawson Knox would be. Sign me up.
26. Titans – Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
The Titans are a dark horse to watch for at quarterback. They don’t have the assets to trade up, but if the right guy falls to 26, do not be surprised to see him end up in Nashville. Unless Matt Corral or Sam Howell is that guy, then the Titans are out of luck. Zion Johnson isn’t a bad consolation prize, though. He can step into left guard immediately to replace the departing Rodger Saffold.
27. Buccaneers – Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
The Buccaneers are sitting in the perfect spot to either trade back, or to stand pat and take the best player available. Without a team offering to move up to 27, the latter option is more likely. Tampa Bay would like to add to the offensive line, but Kenyon Green and Zion Johnson are gone. So let’s address the other side of the trenches. Devonte Wyatt is the perfect partner-in-crime for Vita Vea.
28. Packers – Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
The Packers considered Daxton Hill heavily at 22, and much to their surprise, he’s still around for their second pick of the first round. Jahan Dotson and Christian Watson will be in heavy consideration, but the 20 year streak of the Packers not selecting a wide receiver in round one continues. With two picks in the second round, Green Bay still has plenty of resources at their disposal.
29. Patriots – Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
A linebacker makes the most sense for the Pa… wait a minute, Quay Walker??? Not Nakobe Dean or Devin Lloyd? Yep, you read that correctly. Walker is making a late surge up draft boards, and I believe the Patriots would take him at 21 if they stay put. Instead, they pick up extra draft ammo while still getting their guy anyway.
30. Chiefs – Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
I got one more surprise for you. The Chiefs could go so many different ways with this pick. Kyler Gordon, Boye Mafe, Arnold Ebiketie and David Ojabo will all be in the discussion, but Brett Veach has never been afraid to take a big swing. This time, it is on USC pass rusher Drake Jackson. Jackson is at least a full year younger than Gordon, Mafe and Ebiketie and isn’t dealing with an injury like Ojabo. He is raw, but has the total package in terms of traits. The Chiefs will bring out all of his untapped potential.
31. Bengals – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
It might be crazy to pass on Tyler Linderbaum here, I acknowledge that. However, the Bengals completely reshaped their offensive line this offseason by bringing in La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras. With Karras slated to start at center, and Linderbaum lacking the versatile to play guard, I went with arguably their biggest need: cornerback. I don’t have to tell you that Eli Apple is inconsistent at best and Chidobe Awuzie is better suited as a CB2. Elam has an NFL bloodline, with both his dad and uncle having careers in the league. Kaiir can be a shutdown corner at the next level, something the Bengals haven’t had in awhile.
32. Lions – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The idea of double-dipping and leaving the first round with Kayvon Thibodeaux and David Ojabo is so tantalizing. But alas, I have the Achilles injury dropping him into Day Two. The Lions could go with a quarterback here, but I have them taking a signal-caller for the other side of the ball. Devin Lloyd is considered the best linebacker prospect by many. Getting him at 32 is the perfect cap to a great night for Detroit.
33. Jaguars – C Tyler Linderbaum
34. Lions – S Lewis Cine
35. Jets – LB Nakobe Dean
36. Giants – EDGE David Ojabo
37. Texans – WR George Pickens
38. Jets – EDGE Boye Mafe
39. Bears – OT Tyler Smith
40. Seahawks – CB Kyler Gordon
41. Seahawks – QB Matt Corral
42. Colts – WR Skyy Moore
43. Falcons – WR Christian Watson
44. Browns – DT Travis Jones
45. Ravens – OL Bernhard Raimann
46. Vikings – EDGE Arnold Ebiketie
47. Commanders – S Jalen Pitre
48. Bears – DL Logan Hall
49. Saints – WR Jahan Dotson
50. Chiefs – LB Chad Muma
51. Eagles – LB Christian Harris
52. Steelers – OL Dylan Parham
53. Packers – WR Alec Pierce
54. Patriots – WR John Metchie lll
55. Cardinals – CB Roger McCreary
56. Cowboys – LB Leo Chenal
57. Bills – CB Tariq Woolen
58. Falcons – RB Kenneth Walker lll
59. Packers – WR Jalen Tolbert
60. Buccaneers – TE Trey McBride
61. 49ers – CB Damarri Mathis
62. Chiefs – S Jaquan Brisker
63. Bengals – OL Cam Jurgens
64. Broncos – DL Perrion Winfrey
65. Jaguars – LB Troy Andersen
66. Lions – QB Sam Howell
67. Giants – DL DeMarvin Leal
68. Texans – LB Channing Tindall
69. Jets – TE Greg Dulcich
70. Jaguars – TE Cade Otton
71. Bears – CB Cam Taylor-Britt
72. Seahawks – CB Coby Bryant
73. Colts – OT Abraham Lucas
74. Falcons – EDGE Nik Bonitto
75. Broncos – OT Daniel Faalele
76. Ravens – S Nick Cross
77. Vikings – DL Josh Paschal
78. Browns – WR Wan’Dale Robinson
79. Chargers – WR Calvin Austin lll
80. Texans – RB James Cook
81. Giants – TE Jeremy Ruckert
82. Falcons – CB Marcus Jones
83. Eagles – LB Brian Asamoah
84. Vikings – EDGE Alex Wright
85. Patriots – DL Phidarian Mathis
86. Raiders – OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
87. Cardinals – EDGE Kingsley Enagbare
88. Cowboys – WR Danny Gray
89. Bills – OT Darian Kinnard
90. Titans – QB Carson Strong
91. Buccaneers – CB Zyon McCollum
92. Packers – LB Brandon Smith
93. 49ers – OL Jamaree Salyer
94. Patriots – CB Jalyn-Armour Davis
95. Bengals – LB Darrian Beavers
96. Broncos – S Bryan Cook
97. Lions – TE Isaiah Likely
98. Seahawks – LB Damone Clark
99. Browns – OL Sean Rhyan
100. Ravens – LB JoJo DoMann
101. Eagles – WR Danny Gray
102. Dolphins – RB James Cook
103. Chiefs – WR Khalil Shakir
104. Rams – S Kerby Joseph
105. 49ers – EDGE Dominique Robinson