The NFL draft just got a lot more interesting. This year’s first round was the most wide-open in recent memory, and it will continue to be so going into this weekend. With four teams expected to pick within 10 picks of each other, anything is possible. Let’s put together what we expect for next week and beyond with our complete 2022 NFL Draft Tracker
The “nfl draft 2022 order” is the next year’s NFL Draft. The draft will be held in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, April 25th.
A month before the NFL draft in 2022, a record eight clubs will not make a first-round selection, having all traded away their top picks.
Given how many high-profile players have lately been dealt for draft picks, this might be the way things go in the future. The NFL is primarily a “win-now” sport, and clubs who think they are on the verge of making the Super Bowl seem to be more eager than ever to deal with valuable draft selections.
It’s also not a hint that clubs are giving up on the near future by parting with their players. Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs was traded to the Miami Dolphins for five draft selections, including this year’s first-round pick. However, they were able to compensate for the loss of performance at the position by signing free agents Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Kansas City also has six selections in the top 103, giving it a chance to target wide receiver further if it sees fit.
How might each of the eight clubs who did not have a first-round selection improve in this draft? We asked each team’s NFL Nation writer to identify their draft needs, then asked ESPN analyst Jordan Reid about a prospect who would be available when those teams make their initial picks (teams are listed in order of their first pick).
CHI | CLE | DEN | IND | IND | LV | LAR | MIA | SF Order of the whole draft
What happened to their first-round selection? Justin Fields was traded to the New York Giants in exchange for a draft selection in 2021.
Nos. 39, 48, and 71 are the top selections.
The Bears welcomed free agents Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown to their receiving corps, but it wasn’t enough to fill out a room led by Darnell Mooney. In prior years, the second round has produced excellent receivers (A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, and Tee Higgins, to name a few), so here is the ideal location for the Bears to use their first selection to add another option for quarterback Justin Fields.
They could use their other second-round pick to address receiver again, but general manager Ryan Poles could prefer to use it to bolster depth at cornerback or on the offensive line with the pick acquired when Khalil Mack was dealt to the Chargers. Courtney Cronin (Courtney Cronin)
George Pickens, WR, Georgia, is the best possibility for No. 39. The Bears don’t have any reliable targets other than Mooney. Pickens, a 21-year-old route runner and hands catcher, is one of the most promising prospects in this draft class. He possesses the 6-foot-3 body, route maturity, and catch radius to come in and contribute right away for the Bears. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? Carson Wentz was traded to PHI in exchange for him.
Nos. 42, 73, and 83 are the top selections.
The Colts have their quarterback in Matt Ryan, but they still lack receivers outside of Michael Pittman Jr. for him to pass to. With T.Y. Hilton unsigned, Zach Pascal departing free agency, and Parris Campbell still to show he can remain healthy, expect them to address receiver in the draft (he has missed 34 games in three seasons).
Ryan should be a step up over Carson Wentz, but he’ll struggle to be productive without reliable receivers. Mike Wells’ remark
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State, is the best prospect at No. 42. Watson has checked every box throughout the pre-draft process, and his performance at the Senior Bowl and combine, when he ran a 4.36-second 40-yard sprint at 6-foot-4, 208 pounds, has propelled him up the draft boards. Along with Pittman, he might be a cornerstone for Indianapolis. The former FCS star matches several of the criteria set out by general manager Chris Ballard and might aid Ryan in his first season. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? HOU acquired him in exchange for Deshaun Watson.
Nos. 44, 78, and 99 are the top selections.
The Browns’ biggest needs remain the same as they were before free agency, despite the quarterback change from Baker Mayfield to Deshaun Watson. Despite the arrival of Amari Cooper in a trade with the Cowboys, they still need to improve their wide receiver group. To complement All-Pro pass-rusher Myles Garrett, they also need to add young talent to the defensive line.
There aren’t many gaps on Cleveland’s roster. It may not have any if it can handle these two issues. Jake Trotter’s remark
Perrion Winfrey, IDL, Oklahoma, is the best potential for No. 44. The Browns, who are in desperate need of a penetrating 3-technique tackle in the center of their defense, are a great match for Winfrey. He was outstanding in the Senior Bowl after an uneven 2021 season, displaying a strong first-step burst and giving interior offensive linemen fits. He’s one of the most talented tackles in the class. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? In 2021, he was traded to MIA to make room for Trey Lance.
Nos. 61, 93, and 105 are the top selections.
The 49ers have three selections on Day 2 to help rebuild both lines, with guard Laken Tomlinson and defensive tackle D.J. Jones going in free agency. Their most pressing needs are on the offensive line’s interior, where a guard who can also play center would be ideal, and on the defensive line, where another edge rusher to supplement Nick Bosa is required.
From there, San Francisco should be free to pursue the best prospect available, but further assistance in the secondary, a pass-catcher, or even another offensive lineman would be beneficial. Nick Wagoner is a writer.
Roger McCreary, Auburn CB, is the best possibility at No. 61. This is an interesting corner that might assist a team with a variety of problems. McCreary can play in the slot or on the perimeter, and he might be a good Day 2 addition to a defense that has already signed Charvarius Ward in free agency. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? Russell Wilson was traded to Seattle in exchange for him.
Nos. 64, 75, and 96 are the top selections.
The Broncos have four unrestricted free agents: cornerbacks Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, and Nate Hairston, as well as safety Kareem Jackson, who all started at least one game last season. That’s quite a few photos that haven’t been replaced yet. The Broncos did add K’Waun Williams, who will likely play nickel cornerback, and they feel second-year safety Caden Sterns is ready for increased playing time. However, the secondary depth chart is rather weak, and although the Broncos will continue to explore for free agents, the secondary will need some attention in the draft as well. Legwold, Jeff
Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State, is the best prospect for No. 64. With the penultimate pick in Round 2, Denver may take advantage of a deep cornerback class. Emerson, who stands 6-foot-2 and has long arms, is exactly the kind of cornerback that general manager George Paton has been looking for at his past stops. Emerson, who plays on the other side of Pat Surtain II on the depth chart, has starting potential. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? Davante Adams was traded to GB in exchange for him.
Nos. 86, 126, and 164 are the top selections.
The Raiders’ most pressing need is to run the ball back with an offensive line that enabled Derek Carr to be sacked 40 times last season. The aim now, according to head coach Josh McDaniels, is to teach and improve the players on the roster. Jermaine Eluemunor and Brandon Parker were re-signed by the Raiders, but they still need reinforcements, which should be available in the middle rounds. Gutierrez, Paul
Ed Ingram, IOL, LSU, is the best prospect at No. 86. Ingram is a tough defender who can play either guard position. As a run blocker, he has good hands and is aggressive, and as a pass protector, he is adept at reading and attacking defensive systems. Ingram seems to be a late-Day 2 pick who might see action as a rookie and ultimately develop into a reliable starter. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? Tyreek Hill was traded to Kansas City in exchange for him.
Nos. 102, 121, or 125, 158 are the best bets.
The most pressing needs: It may seem that taking the easy way out is the best option, but Miami is in a position to draft the finest prospect available. The Dolphins used free agency to fill deficiencies at wide receiver, running back, and offensive line, and they could use a developing interior offensive lineman, preferably one who has played center. They might also play linebacker or safety for depth.
Chris Grier, the general manager, has had a successful offseason and enters the draft with no urgent needs. — Louis-Jacques Marcel
Cameron Jurgens, IOL, Nebraska, is the best prospect at No. 102. In a wide or outer zone concept, there aren’t many better player-to-team matches than Jurgens. His mix of strength and footwork would be a fantastic match in coach Mike McDaniel’s system, which depends on winning with angles. He is one of the most physically talented center prospects we’ve seen in years. Reid’s comment
What happened to their first-round selection? In 2021, he was traded to DET in exchange for Matthew Stafford.
Nos. 104, 142, and 175 are the top selections.
Los Angeles might start searching for offensive line depth late in the third round, with Andrew Whitworth retiring and Austin Corbett going through free agency. It will find something for another discussion, but it may spend the rest of its life hunting for another Whitworth.
The Rams will have one selection in each of the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, before three in the sixth and two in the seventh, to attempt to develop an offensive line for the future. Josh Weinfuss (@JoshWeinfuss)
Cole Strange, IOL, Chattanooga, is the best prospect at No. 104. Cole is a contender to cross-train as both a center and a guard, since the team is in need of a new guard to replace Corbett. His skill set is best suited in a system that incorporates zone-blocking principles because of his power and quickness as a blocker. To replace Whitworth at left tackle, the Rams will very likely have to seek elsewhere. Reid’s comment
The “2022 nfl draft first-round picks” is the list of players that will be drafted in the first round. It is important to know which teams are picking these players so you can plan out your team.
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