NFL Draft: Predicting the Top Picks and Highlight Props

By Jack Fitzpatrick
Liberty Flames quarterback Malik Willis (left) and Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder (QB13) pose during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft beings tonight from Las Vegas, Nevada at the Bellagio Hotel fountains with the First Round beginning at 8 PM ET. There has been no clear cut favorite to go first overall emerge as there has been in the past few years and NFL Mock Drafts are all over the place. 

Now, with just hours before Roger Goodell gets to the podium and announces the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft for the Jacksonville Jaguars it is anyone's guess who it will be. It could be EDGE Travon Walker from Georgia, EDGE Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan or someone else entirely. 

This Draft will feel different from ones in recent memory. This will be the first pick that won’t be a quarterback since Myles Garrett. Since 2015 all but one of the first picks in the NFL Draft have been QBs and since 2000 16 QBs have been drafted first overall. During that timespan we have seen four defensive ends/EDGE and two offensive tackles. 

Let’s dive into our own type of Mock Draft with looking at the projected draft order according to oddsmakers. 

Top Picks in the NFL Draft

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker (-225) - EDGE from Georgia
  2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson (-300) - EDGE from Michigan
  3. Houston Texans: Derek Stingley, Jr. (+200) - CB from LSU 
  4. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux (+175) - EDGE from Oregon
  5. New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu (+175) - OL from NC State 
  6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekonwu (+350) or Charles Cross (+400) - OLs from NC State and Mississippi State 
  7. New York Giants (from Chicago Bears): Ahmad Gardner (+250) - CB from Cincinnati

Interesting props

First QB Taken in the NFL Draft

After all the talk since the season ended, it appears Malik Willis from Liberty will be the first QB taken in this draft. His odds to be the first quarterback selected sit at -190, however if there is a team out there that really leaves Kenny Pickett from Pitt he could become the first QB taken. His odds atr +170. 

  • Desmon Ridder from Cincinnati +1000
  • Matt Corral from Ole Miss +1800 
  • Sam Howell from UNC +4000

First RB Taken in the NFL Draft

  • Breece Hall from Iowa State -250
  • Kenneth Walker III from Michigan State +200
  • Isaiah Spiller from Texas A&M +1500
  • James Cook from Georgia +2000 

First WR Taken in the NFL Draft

This position is one of the most intriguing in this year’s draft, outside of quarterback of course. Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Drake London, and probably not Chris Olave but let’s throw him in there, all have a shot at being the first WR taken in this year’s draft.

Between Wilson, Williams and London it is essentially a guessing game with who goes first. The Eagles select 16th plan to take Williams if he falls all the way to them, but also could trade up to take Williams if they love him enough. Garrett Wilson is pegged to the Falcons at 8 which makes sense now that Atlanta is without Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones and Kyle Pitts needs help. The Falcons though have so many holes that a WR in the Top 10 may not be the right move, they could trade back (maybe with the Eagles).

There are just so many storylines with where these WRs will be drafted this prop is the most fun. 

  • Garrett Wilson from Ohio State -130
  • Jameson Williams from Alabama +175
  • Drake London from USC +250
  • Chris Olave from Ohio State +1800

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