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The NFL is almost back! Round 1 of the NFL Draft kicks off live from Las Vegas on Thursday, April 28th at 8PM EST with the Jaguars on the clock. Deebo Samuel has recently demanded a trade from the 49ers, which has the biggest potential to shake up this draft. Let’s dive into the Final Mock Draft from WagerEdge.
Mock Draft Picks (1-10)
|#3||Texans||OT||Ickey Ekwonu||NC State|
|#8||Falcons||WR||Garrett Wilson||Ohio State|
|#9||Seahawks||OT||Charles Cross||Mississippi St|
|#10||Jets||WR||Drake London||Southern Cal|
Mock Draft (1-10) Notes:
Top 5 Picks unchanged from NFL Draft: Futures Values, Odds & Picks on 4/24/22 below:
Pick #1 (Jaguars) – Jacksonville is widely projected to select someone to bolster their defensive line with the top pick. Michigan EDGE Aidan Huchinson is the heavy favorite at -200, but the Jaguars have held their cards close and there has been traction around Georgia DL Travon Walker also being considered. At +200, Walker could be a nice value to lock in as the 1st overall pick.
Pick #2 (Lions) – The Lions are also projected to be addressing the defensive side of the ball in Round 1, and I’m expecting them to select whoever falls to them between Huchinson and Walker. If Walker goes 1st overall, it’s almost a complete lock that Huchinson goes to the Lions. But if Huchinson goes #1, I think much more is in play for Detroit all the way down to QB, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Malik Willis come off the board given all the raw talent he displayed at his Pro Day.
Pick #3 (Texans) – Houston seems content to enter the season with 2021 3rd-rounder Davis Mills under center, and should look to protect the Stanford alum with an infusion of talent on the offensive line. I think this pick comes down to the best tackle available in the draft, which is likely an argument between NC State’s Ickey Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal. Both players would bring a massive boost to Houston’s offense, and I see real value in Ekwonu being taken 3rd at +180.
Pick #4 (Jets) – Sauce Gardner looks to be the premier cant-miss CB in this draft and I’d be surprised to see him fall out of the Top 5. With all the offensive threats that are being stockpiled in the AFC East, the Jets would be smart to draft a shutdown corner here. But then again they are the Jets, so a shiny object like a WR could also be in play for them. Either way I’d hope they’d go with the no-brainer and take Sauce, and you’d get +350 odds to predict that.
Pick #5 (Giants) – The big personality of Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux has apparently rubbed some evaluators the wrong way, but he has been discussed in some circles as the top overall talent in this draft class. I really think Thibodeaux could be in play for the Lions at #2, and doubt he’d fall past the Giants if he makes it this far. The odds are solid for him to go 5th overall at +350, and he flaunts the strength and athleticism to be a difference-maker in the NFL.
Malik Willis – I’ve been bullish about Willis at every turn, and I’m really banking on a team to push their chips all-in on his upside early on Day 1. Carolina would be wise to address their offensive line at pick #6, but to alleviate a huge anxiety point for its fanbase, I would love for the Panthers to nab Willis here. Malik to the Steelers makes far too much sense in this draft, but I also think he’s a candidate to get selected in a trade up scenario.
Top 10 WRs – I think the 1st 2 WRs off the board will be Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson and USC’s Drake London. This exceptionally deep WR class could yield a record 7 WRs in Round 1 and they come in all shapes and sizes. It’s hard to determine what type of WR each team sees as the best fit (speed and route running vs size and length, etc.), but Wilson’s all-around game and alpha-male-wiring make him a steal for Atlanta at Pick 8. Drake London to me looks like a carbon-copy of Mike Evans and would also be a nice binky for Zach Wilson and the Jets.
Mock Draft Picks (11-20)
|#11||Commanders||S||Kyle Hamilton||Notre Dame|
|#12||Vikings||EDGE||Jermaine Johnson II||Florida State|
|#13||Texans||CB||Derek Stingley Jr.||Louisiana State|
|#14||Ravens||OT||Trevor Penning||Northern Iowa|
|#19||Saints||WR||Chris Olave||Ohio State|
Mock Draft (11-20) Notes:
Derek Stingley Jr. – He might be the best CB in this draft class and could easily vault into the Top 10, potentially to the Seahawks. I could also see interest in Stingley Jr. to the Commanders or Vikings at Picks 11 and 12, so the Texans would get a steal if he fell to Pick 13.
Trevor Penning – Penning’s tenacious competitive nature reminds me of Logan Mankins when the Patriots took the 7x Pro Bowler 32nd overall in the 2005 Draft. He’d be a great fit anywhere, but with the Ravens’ run-heavy offense funneling through Lamar Jackson, Penning would bring an immediate infusion of attitude and toughness.
Jameson Williams – Should have been a Top 10 pick if it weren’t for the ACL injury he suffered in the NCAA Championship Game, yet via social media he seems far ahead of his rehab schedule. Williams transferred from Ohio State to Alabama last season, and should join his fellow teammates Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave as a trifecta of former Buckeyes selected in Round 1. The Saints would love to see Williams fall to them with picks at 16 and 19, and I think the Eagles recognize that, and beat them to the punch.
More WRs! – Treylon Burks and Chris Olave are by no means merely consolation prizes on Day 1. Both the Chargers and Saints should be looking to capture value by seeing which WRs fall to them as teams are addressing other needs. The multi-threat ability of Burks to line up anywhere from the backfield to the slot to the X, would be a highly versatile option for any team, and I think he’d excel on the Chargers with Justin Herbert. Olave is as NFL-ready as any WR in this class, and would bring a big boost to the Saints’ offensive arsenal as a complement to Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas.
Mock Draft Picks (21-32)
|#22||Packers||WR||Jahan Dotson||Penn State|
|#23||Cardinals||RB||Breece Hall||Iowa State|
|#24||Cowboys||OG||Zion Johnson||Boston College|
|#25||Bills||RB||Kenneth Walker III||Michigan State|
|#26||Titans||OG||Kenyon Green||Texas A&M|
|#27||Buccaneers||CB||Andrew Booth Jr.||Clemson|
Mock Draft (21-32) Notes:
Jahan Dotson – With the void created by Davante Adams’ departure, a WR for the Packers is a no-brainer in Round 1. Dotson could easily outproduce the WRs drafted ahead of him, and would become an instant favorite of Aaron Rodgers. I love this fit and so does Kay Adams.
Kenneth Walker III – Everyone is projecting Breece Hall to the Bills, but why not Walker III? He’s arguably more versatile and a better receiving option, which would fit really well with Josh Allen and everything the Bills do. This guy can do it all and will be a highly productive NFL player wherever he lands.
More from NFL Draft: Futures Values, Odds & Picks on 4/24/22 :
Breece Hall – The only competition for Hall to not be the top RB selected seems to be with former Spartan Kenneth Walker III, who has showcased some impressive hands on film. But I believe Hall is the most well-rounded RB prospect in this class, and few can compare to his college production. In 2020, Hall and Najee Harris were the only college RBs to score 20+ TDs, and Hall also lead Division 1 in rushing yards. Despite the devaluing of the position, I expect him to be off the board in the mid-to-late first round.
Nakobe Dean – Utah’s Devin Lloyd is a heavy favorite to be the first LB selected at -450, but I think Dean has the higher NFL-upside based on his strong work ethic and high football IQ. Dean has received glowing feedback from teams in his pre-draft visits for his cerebral ability to process information, and he seems to possess all the intangibles to lead a defense. Of all the elite prospects coming out of the University of Georgia in this draft class, Dean could easily become the best pro of the bunch.