Image Credit (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
The 2022 NFL Draft is almost here and I am very excited as it is one of my favorite times in the NFL. Every draft that passes I always make bold predictions that I believe could happen during the draft. So I will go through my Top 10 Bold Predictions of what will happen during the 2022 NFL Draft.
10. The Carolina Panthers trade down from the 6th Pick and will be the only team in the Top 10 that trades down.
There are many teams that could trade down in the 2022 NFL Draft. Recent reports have suggested that a lot of Teams may move down from the draft but my prediction is that the Carolina Panthers will absolutely trade the 6th overall pick and the Panthers will be the only team in the Top 10 of the draft that will be trading down. It is pretty obvious why Carolina is likely to trade down as they don’t have a pick until the late 4th Round of the draft. Remember their 2nd and 4th round pick is New York Jets property due to the Sam Darnold trade and their 3rd round pick is Jacksonville Jaguars property due to the CJ Henderson trade. Carolina is still in a rebuild right now and the smart move is to trade down from the 6th pick and get extra draft capital to help build the team and maybe not overpay for a QB with the 6th Overall pick.
That is not all as I believe the Panthers will be the only team in the Top 10 that will be trading down. Yes, the Giants and Jets have two 1st round picks but they have to build the team up with their picks and it would be a mistake to pass on the Top prospects in this class. But besides that, I don’t see a scenario where a team trades down in the Top 10.
9. No Tight Ends will be drafted until the 3rd round of the Draft
I will be honest I am not a big fan of any tight end in this draft class. Now there are guys that I like Jeremy Ruckert from Ohio State, Charlie Kolar from Iowa State, Tre McBride from Colorado State, and as a sleeper I kind of like TE Lucas Krull from the University of Pittsburgh as he can be a solid blocking tight end. But I would not even touch any of them in the 1st or 2nd Round at all as I am not completely high on any of them. I believe that teams will wait until the 3rd round to select a TE.
8. 25% of the first-round selections will be Offensive Lineman.
There are a lot of talented offensive lineman prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class. In fact, I feel that a fourth of the selections that will be made in the 1st round will be on an offensive lineman. I believe 8/32 picks will be on the offensive line. So I will give players on the offensive line that are locks to go in the 1st Round OT Evan Neal (Alabama), Ikem Ekwonu (N Carolina St), Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa), Charles Cross (Mississippi State), OT Trevor Penning (Washington), and OG Kenyon Green (Texas A&M). That is six selections right there and I believe that there will also be two more o-lineman that will sneak into the 1st Round and be taken with a pick one being Daniel Faalele (we will get to him) and Zion Johnson (Even though I am not a big fan of him). The point is I see teams being smart in investing in the offensive line as this is a very deep class.
7. The Tennessee Titans will select a quarterback with the 26th pick.
Let's be real, the Titans are looking to eventually move on from Ryan Tannehill once they find a way out of his awful contract whether it is by making an Osweiler effect type of move. Tannehill is not the long-term option and the current backup for the titans is Logan Woodside and Kevin Hogan and they have not impressed. So the Titans will look to strengthen the future and get a true backup plan by selecting a QB in the 1st Round of the 2022 NFL Draft and start to plan to get out of Ryan Tannehill’s contract.
6. David Ojabo gets drafted in the 1st Round
Yes I know Ojabo suffered a Torn Achilles and is likely going to be out for a few months. But, David Ojabo is just way too good for any team to pass on. Plus RB Cam Akers came back later in the season after he suffered his Torn Achilles later on in the season. But when healthy David Ojabo checks the marks in a player you want as a DE/EDGE Rusher. It is just a shame he Tore his ACL as I once saw him as a Top 10 pick. Obviously, that is not going to happen but I absolutely see a team taking a risk and selecting Ojabo in the 1st round as the talent when healthy is just too good for anybody to pass
5. The Kansas City Chiefs Go Defense with both of their 1st Round Picks.
With the Chiefs trading Tyreek Hill for a first-round pick many including myself assumed that one or both of these picks could be focused on building the offensive line. But when fully analyzing the Kansas City Chiefs weaknesses it is clear the Chiefs need more help on defense than they do on offense. Yes, the Chiefs offense is great, and bolstering the offense would not be a bad idea. But there is an old phrase where Defense wins championships. Their defense was exposed as well in their playoff matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. With Mahomes' gigantic contract hitting the salary cap the Chiefs can use draft picks to build the defense while in a deep cap crunch. It makes a lot of sense for the Chiefs to improve the defense with the two 1st round picks they have this year by drafting two defenders.
4. OT Daniel Faalele and CB Tariq Woolen will sneak into the 1st Round of the draft.
No matter what draft comes out there is always one player that always sneaks into the 1st round of the draft. I believe in this draft there will be two players that will be the “surprising’’ selections in the 1st round of the draft. The two players that I am predicting that will sneak into the 1st Round of the draft are OT Daniel Faalele from Minnesota and CB Tariq Woolen from UTSA.
Now Daniel Faalele is one of two offensive linemen that I am very high on in this draft class. For a guy, his size to move so quickly and well in the line of scrimmage is just outstanding. He has a lot of strength when making blocks and a ton of upside. It would not be a surprise if a team took a shot and drafted Faalele in the 1st round of the draft.
On defense, I am high on CB Tariq Woolen from UTSA. Woolen has the athleticism, size, and ball skills that you want in a cornerback. Plus he has solid coverage skills and has a ton of upside as well. I would not be surprised if Woolen sneaks into the 1st round as a late-round pick.
3. Tyler Linderbaum gets drafted in the Top 20 in the NFL Draft
Yep if you have paid attention to the War Room videos you knew this one was coming. I am very high on Tyler Linderbaum in this draft. I think he is one of the best center prospects that I have seen in a draft class in a while. I think that Linderbaum is too good for a team to pass up and it would perplex me if Linderbaum is not a 1st Round Pick. In fact, I believe Linderbaum will get drafted as a Top 20 pick in the NFL Draft. Especially as teams in the Top 20 do need a center including the New York Giants (to help protect Daniel Jones or whoever their QB will be long term), Seattle Seahawks (A Rebuild should always start with the offensive line), New York Jets (If Connor McGovern gets cut), Houston Texans (They need anything and everything, Why is Jack Easterby Still a part of the Texans organization?), Baltimore Ravens (To give more protection for Lamar Jackson), and Philadelphia Eagles (To replace Jason Kelce next season, with a younger version of him). The point is there are teams that could use help at center in the Top 20 and his talent would be way too good for a team to pass on and enforcing the offensive line is a great investment for protecting the quarterback.
2. Aidan Hutchinson will go 1st overall and Kayvon Thibodeaux will go 2nd overall.
If you did not watch the War Room for DE/EDGE Rusher on Blitzalytics YouTube channel I stated that Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux have clinched the 1st and 2nd overall pick in the draft. Despite rumblings that have gone on about the Thibodeaux dropping and the Jaguars interest in Walker, I am keeping my prediction and still have Hutchinson going 1st and Thibodeaux going 2nd overall.
It makes no sense why the Jaguars would take an offensive tackle 1st overall due to how deep the offensive tackle talent is in this draft and the fact that Jacksonville already has two good offensive tackles in this draft class. The pick has to be on defense as it was a disaster last season. It would heavily improve with the selection of Hutchinson as I believe he is the more complete prospect between Walker and Thibodeaux. So Jacksonville does the right thing and selects another edge rusher that would be a great partner with Josh Allen. Hutchinson and Allen would be a scary duo on defense for teams to develop.
So Detroit is still on a rebuild. Here is why the Lions will go DE/EDGE with this pick and I will go ahead and ask. Name one DE/EDGE rusher currently on the Detroit Lions without looking it up? Exactly you can’t, So this pick is either going to be Thibodeaux or Walker and I just think Thibodeaux fits more in Detroit’s system than Walker does. Plus I feel Thibodeaux has fewer weaknesses than Walker does.
1. The Philadelphia Eagles trade up to select DT Jordan Davis in the 1st round
Now I have been hearing a lot of rumors that the Philadelphia Eagles are very high on Jordan Davis. It is hard not to blame them as this could be Fletcher Cox’s last season with the Eagles after they had that whole saga where the Eagles released then re-signed him to a 1-year deal. However, there are teams ahead of the Eagles that also have an interest in Jordan Davis. I have a feeling that in order to fully secure Jordan Davis the Eagles will trade up and select Jordan Davis. They have the draft capital to play with as they are the 6th ranked Draft Power team in this year's draft. The Eagles can trade a few of their picks to move a few selections to secure Jordan Davis on their team.