The NFL never takes a break which is why even though the Rams beat the Bengals on Feb. 13 to win Super Bowl 56, already football fans and handicappers have turned their attention to the 2022 NFL Draft. The draft doesn’t happen until April 28. Odds, though, have already posted on which player will go to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first pick. Check predictions, along with current NFL Draft odds, for the first five picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
NFL Updated Draft Pick Odds – First Pick Odds and Top 5 Predictions
2022 NFL Draft
- When: April 28 – April 30
- Where: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
- TV/Streaming: ESPN/ESPN+/ABC/NFL Net
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Ikem Ekwonu +450 – NC State
We should first settle the main argument. Do the Jaguars, who require help at every position, go defense or offense with the top pick?
We think offense. The Jaguars hired Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl as HC of the Philadelphia Eagles, for their latest rebuild. Pederson is comfortable with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.
But he also knows that having Lawrence does no good if he can’t keep Trevor healthy. So expect Pederson to pull the trigger on either Evan Neal from Bama or the top predicted pick, Ikem Ekwonu from NC State.
Why Ekwonu over Neal? The buzz on Ikem has been deafening and we haven’t even gone through the Combine yet. Also, Ekwonu can play every position along the line except for center. He’s a converted guard, which means Pederson can rearrange his offensive line and play Ekwonu where he best fits.
2. Detroit Lions – EDGE Aidan Hutchison +164 – Michigan
It’s too early to draft a quarterback. Not only that, but when he could show his stuff, Jared Goff actually played well with Detroit.
The Lions aren’t far away from having a decent team. Aidan Hutchison takes them a step further. He’s a dynamite edge rusher with a never-ending motor and should excel in Detroit’s schemes.
3. Houston Texans – OT Evan Neal +147 – Alabama
Houston appears happy with David Mills at quarterback, which is a good thing because to jump start their offense or rebuild their defense, the Texans must try and get a king’s ransom for Deshaun Watson.
Protecting Mills, or Watson if he ends up starting, is a priority. Neal fits the mold. He’s a gigantic left tackle who protected the Heisman Trophy winner from getting knocked around by ferocious SEC defenses.
If the Jags draft Neal with the first pick, the Texans will go with Ekwonu.
4. New York Jets – OT Charles Cross – Mississippi State
A third offensive lineman in the top four picks in the draft? Yep. Opponents sacked Zach Wilson 44 times in the BYU product’s first season under center.
Wilson got hit so much that he had to sit out 4 games. Every NFL fan on the planet knows the only way to keep your quarterback from having a short career is to protect him. The Jets will be doing cartwheels at Allegiant Stadium if Neal or Ekwonu falls to fourth. If both have already picked up their cap and jersey, Cross will get the call.
5. New York Giants – EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux +440 – Oregon
Most had Thibodeaux going first up until the final month of the regular season. That’s when it became clear that the Jacksonville Jaguars were a lock to get the first pick in the draft.
The Jags must protect Trevor Lawrence. Thibodeaux could go to the Lions with the second pick, but Kayvon didn’t produce as much as Hutchison did.
Not only that, Hutchison is a Wolverine. Detroit Lions fans will go crazy if the franchise doesn’t select Hutchison.
So there’s a real chance the former top pick falls all the way to five. No worries for Kayvon. The New York Giants should be on the improve and the defense isn’t nearly as bad as Detroit’s. So Thibodeaux could have success ala Micah Parsons because he may not see as many double-teams as Hutchison will see with Detroit.