The 2022 NFL Draft is upon us, taking place from April 28-30. On that Thursday, 32 of the best college football players will hear their names called and have their lives changed forever as they become members of the National Football League.
Typically, the top overall draft pick in the NFL Draft is essentially locked in long before we hear the player’s name called. But that doesn’t look to be the case in 2022.
With the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting first for the second straight season, after having taken Trevor Lawrence at Number 1 in last year’s NFL Draft, the NFL odds for the #1 pick aren’t as much of a landslide as in seasons past.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the odds to be the first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, then give our predictions and best bets for the #1 pick.
NFL Draft Odds for #1 Pick
- Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (-250)
- Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia (+250)
- Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (+1200)
- Ikem Ekwonu, OT/G, North Carolina State (+1200)
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon (+2500)
- Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (+3300)
- Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (+5000)
- Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State (+6600)
NFL Number 1 Pick 2022 Best Bets
Here are a couple of predictions and best bets for the #1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
NFL Draft Best Bet #1 Pick: Aidan Hutchinson (-250)
Aidan Hutchinson is the obvious best bet to be the top overall draft pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The edge rusher from Michigan possesses both tremendous quickness and power and should be an every-down player in the NFL immediately. He’s shown the ability to get after the quarterback and play the run at a high level, both essential qualities for a top NFL pick.
As stated above, the Jaguars don’t need a quarterback, so the trend of a quarterback going #1 overall in today’s pass-happy NFL doesn’t make sense this year. However, after getting someone that is capable of throwing the ball and leading the offense, arguably the next most important position in today’s NFL is getting someone who can chase after said passer. Hutchinson is the best at doing that in the 2022 NFL Draft, making him my best bet for the #1 pick.
NFL Draft Best Bet #1 Pick: Travon Walker (+250)
If you’re not betting Hutchinson and want to take a chance on another player, it doesn’t make sense to change positions. The Jaguars aren’t likely to trade this draft pick, and the only other player that fits the Jaguars at #1 is Travon Walker.
To make the case for this pick, we must talk about the tendencies of Jags general manager Trent Baalke. He was in San Francisco when the team decided to pass on the players that were considered projected to go at their given draft position. Instead, he opted to draft athletic freaks that he felt possessed amazing potential due to their physical gifts — i.e. Aldon Smith, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner.
So Walker fits the bill. He isn’t as skilled, talented or NFL-ready as Hutchinson, but he put on an amazing performance at the NFL Combine. Walker measured 6-foot-5 and 272 pounds, while running a 4.51-second 40-yard dash. Walker also had a 4.32-second 20-yard shuttle, 35.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-3-inch broad jump.
There is no doubt he is one of the top edge rushers in the 2022 NFL Draft, and I like Walker’s odds at +250 since it’s possible Baalke believes his ceiling is higher than that of the odds-on favorite Hutchinson.
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