Updated: 4/28/2022 11:57 PM ET
The 2022 NFL Draft Is Finally Here!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a dynasty fantasy football junkie or just a casual NFL fan, today is a special day for football. This is a day where rebuilding franchises like the New York Jets, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons can fill the vast number of holes on their roster while elite organizations like the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers can find the missing pieces to their NFL championship puzzle. This is a day where players like Ikem Ekwonu, Sauce Gardner and Kayvon Thibodeaux become household names while former top picks like Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield get moved in a blockbuster NFL Draft Day trade. The action will be fast and furious and Fantasy Alarm, in conjunction with our friends from Yahoo Fantasy Football, will have you covered with every first-round NFL draft pick and analysis for both reality and fantasy football.
NFL Draft Live 2022 - First Round Reactions & Analysis | Fantasy Alarm
Pick 1.01 - Jacksonville Jaguars
Travon Walker, DE Georgia Bulldogs
Analysis: Following an impressive performance at the combine, Travon Walker rocketed up draft boards and for good reason. He's incredibly fast for someone his size, and he's versatile enough to occasionally drop into coverage. There are some questions surrounding his ability as a pure edge rusher as he was often asked to play inside the tackles at Georgia, but he should develop quickly with the right training. The Jaguars had been rumored to be taking Walker for over a week now and this time the fire ended up following the smoke. They pair him with Josh Allen as a newly potent pass rush tandem.
Pick 1.02 - Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson, DE Michigan Wolverines
Analysis: After coming back from a gruesome leg injury suffered in his junior season, Aidan Hutchinson terrorized opposing offensive linemen in 2021. He moves with incredible speed and agility for someone his size, and you can never count him out until the play is over. He recorded a whopping 14 sacks and 10 tackles for loss last season, and he will no doubt turn in an impressive rookie season in the NFL.The Lions were 30th in the league in team sacks last season, so the addition of Hutchinson will immediately improve Detroit's defense.
Pick 1.03 - Houston Texans
Derek Stingley Jr., CB LSU Tigers
Analysis: Derek Stingley Jr. has arguably the highest upside of this draft class and he’s now the first cornerback off the board. He put together an amazing freshman season on LSU’s national champion squad, but the rest of his college time was derailed a bit. The dreaded Lisfranc injury and COVID disruptions limited him to just 10 combined games over the past two seasons. However, plenty of notable players like Julio Jones and Marquise Brown have made full recoveries from the Lisfranc injury – so Stingley still projects to be one of the top players in this draft. He has ball-hawking talent with the length and speed to develop into a lock-down corner for the Texans. New head coach Lovie Smith starts his tenure in Houston with added talent in the secondary.
Pick 1.04 - New York Jets
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB Cincinnati Bearcats
Analysis: Everyone knows the famous stat on the man they call "Sauce" at this point - despite starting as a true freshman and playing 38 games, he never allowed a touchdown. He also says he doesn't drink or smoke and he is completely dedicated to his craft. On top of all that, he's 6'3" with a 33 1/2 inch reach. As an ideal of a CB prospect as they make them. The Jets secondary has been a major pain point over the past few seasons and this is a big step forward towards improving that weakness for Robert Saleh.
Pick 1.05 - New York Giants
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE Oregon Ducks
Analysis: There's no doubting his pure physical ability, but a puzzling showing at the combine raised questions about Kayvon Thibodeaux's work ethic. He had immediate success at Oregon, tallying 10 sacks as a true freshman, but he never really developed to the next level. It will be interesting to see if the Giants can get him to take the next step. Wink Martindale's scheme is blitz heavy so that could help take the pressure off him in the easy-going.
Pick 1.06 - Carolina Panthers
Ikem Ekwonu, OT North Carolina State Wolfpack
Analysis: Ikem Ekwonu thrives in run-blocking, earning a 93.8 PFF grade in 2021. He's best suited at left tackle, and he could use development in his pass-blocking game, but he's a beast in the run game. Ekwonu's 18 big time blocks were the most in the Power Five. In 2021, the Panthers gave up the fifth-most sacks in the league with 52, a cringe-worthy average of 3 per game, so Ickey's presence should improve their line immediately.
Pick 1.07 - New York Giants
Evan Neal, OT Alabama Crimson Tide
Analysis: After going with Kayvon Thibodeaux with their first pick at No. 5, the Giants go offensive line here to give Daniel Jones more protection upfront. As far as pure physicality goes, it's hard to argue anyone ranks higher than Evan Neal in this O-line draft class. He has the ability to play guard but is much better suited to playing either left or right tackle at the next level. His versatility should translate well to the NFL and make him valuable for the Giants. Neal can start right away in New York after starring on Alabama’s line the past couple of years.
Pick 1.08 - Atlanta Falcons
Drake London, WR USC Trojans
Analysis: If you like alpha wide receivers, London is the player for you. London put up a ridiculous 88/1,084/7 line in only eight games before fracturing his right ankle. London might not have the elite upside, but there's always a place in the NFL for split-end "X" receiver types who are long and have versatility in the slot as well. Atlanta helped fill in their wide receiver gap early with a big body playmaker.
Pick 1.09 - Seattle Seahawks
Charles Cross, OT Mississippi State Bulldogs
Analysis: After allowing 44 pressures in his 2020 season, Charles Cross showed huge improvement in 2021, only allowing 14 hurries and two sacks. He's best suited as a left tackle, as he's only played four snaps in his three years at Mississippi State at right tackle, and he may need to develop his run blocking skills, but his raw talent is undeniable. After trading their franchise QB Russell Wilson way, the Seahawks now need to rebuild and start again. The best way to do that is through the trenches and they got one of the top three.
Pick 1.10 - New York Jets
Garrett Wilson, WR Ohio State University Buckeyes
Analysis: After the Falcons chose Drake London with the 8th overall pick, the Jets selected Garrett Wilson. Ridiculously productive with the ball after the catch, Wilson keeps that inside/outside versatility that's becoming a staple of the entire receiver class. Has an extra gear when it comes to his initial burst and separation, with the elite speed to blow by defenses. Despite his lack of bulk, plays stronger than 183 lbs. as he fights through traffic and defenders. Look for a Wilson to Wilson connection in New York for years to come.
Pick 1.11 - New Orleans Saints - Acquired via trade with Commanders
Chris Olave, WR Ohio State University Buckeyes
Analysis: After trading up to this pick with Washington, the Saints go wideout in Chris Olave. The Saints should use one of them to bolster an unproven and inconsistent receiving corps outside of Michael Thomas (who's coming off an injury). Chris Olave is arguably the best deep-ball threat in the draft and can step in and produce right away for New Orleans. The field-stretching ability, NFL-caliber speed, and elusive route-running were on full display at Ohio State as Olave was regularly a TD waiting to happen every time he touched the ball. Just imagine Jameis Winston connecting with Olave on multiple long TDs this season. Olave seems to be the forgotten man amongst Ohio State wide receivers when you factor in names like Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but don't make that mistake.
Pick 1.12 - Detroit Lions - Acquired via trade with Vikings
Jameson Williams, WR Alabama Crimson Tide
Analysis: If it wasn't for the ACL tear in the National Championship game, we'd likely be talking about Williams as the consensus top wide receiver in this class. Williams hits home runs with his elite speed, but it's not just long speed. His burst is unmatched by anybody in this class and he gains separation from opposing defenders with ease. The Lions now have an alpha wide receiver to complement Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Pick 1.13 - Philadelphia Eagles - Acquired via trade with Texans
Jordan Davis, DT Georgia Bulldogs
Analysis: Jordan Davis is a monster of a man, and that's exactly what you want in an interior lineman. He's impossible to block in single coverage, but he also holds up well in double coverage. He may not be as effective of a pass-rusher as some of the other prospects in this class, but he excels at run defense. Davis has the skill set and size to be an immediate impact player in the NFL. The Eagles run a 4-3 so they need athletes up the middle and Jordan Davis, with his absurd 4.78 forty-yard dash, is the perfect fit.
Pick 1.14 - Baltimore Ravens
Kyle Hamilton, S Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Analysis: Hamilton is far and away the top safety prospect in this draft and for good reason. Watch a few minutes of his tape and you'll see a guy who can do everything from intercepting passes and taking them to the house to coming off the edge for a big fourth-down stop behind the line. Safety hasn't been considered a "premium" position in the league in recent years, but for the Ravens, whose secondary was completely decimated last season, he will be a huge asset.
Pick 1.15 - Houston Texans - Acquired via trade with Eagles
Kenyon Green, OG Texas A&M Aggies
Analysis: Last year the Jets selected Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round; a versatile lineman who could play guard or tackle on either side. Well, that player this year is Kenyon Green from Texas A&M. That versatility is what makes him so valuable as there aren't many teams who couldn't find a spot for him.
Pick 1.16 - Washington Commanders - Acquired via trade with Saints
Jahan Dotson, WR Penn State Nittany Lions
Analysis: Dotson was supremely productive at Penn St. and features quality speed, and athleticism, but not much in the way of play strength. Everything else is superb, like his in-air athleticism and route-running. He can do everything you ask, including playing X, Y, and Z as well as coming out of the backfield & in special teams. Washington pairs Dotson with Terry McLaurin, and Wentz gets another weapon in the passing game. We'll see if Dotson can start Day 1 based on the lack of depth at the position.
Pick 1.17 - Los Angeles Chargers
Zion Johnson, OG Boston College Eagles
Analysis: If you are going to take a guard or center with an early selection, they need to be able to start day one. And that's what you are getting with Zion Johnson. In his entire college career, playing 2,288 snaps, he only allowed three sacks. He's the best pure guard in this draft. The Chargers have beefed up their line in recent years with Corey Linsley and Rashawn Slater and now they get arguably the best guard on the board.
Pick 1.18 - Tennessee Titans - Acquired via trade with Eagles
Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas Razorbacks
Analysis: After trading AJ Brown to the Eagles, the Tennessee Titans selected Treylon Burks. Burks combines size and bulk with the skill set of a smaller receiver. Everybody has already anointed Burks as the "next Deebo Samuel", but he's a great fit for what teams want to do with the football in today's NFL. With such a wide-open WR class, this three-year starter shows split end, slot, and even backfield versatility in his resume that is an attractive replacement for AJ Brown.
Pick 1.19 - New Orleans Saints
Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa Panthers
Analysis: If a team if looking for improvement in their run-blocking game, they need look no further than Trevor Penning. He earned an insane 99.9 grade on PFF on the 338 run-blocking snaps he took in 2021. He's also an effective pass-blocker, giving him a well-balanced profile that many NFL teams covet.
Pick 1.20 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett, QB Pittsburgh Panthers
Analysis: With all the news on his hand size (or lack thereof), people have seemingly forgotten that Kenny Pickett had an incredible final season at Pittsburgh. His passer rating improved from 84.8 in 2020 to 116 in 2021, and a big part of this leap was his accuracy in the pocket. He does need to work on getting the ball out, but as a whole, his skill set should translate well to the NFL and the Steelers. Pickett is likely to sit behind Trubisky at first, but if Trubisky stumbles out of the gate, look for Pickett to try and pick up the pieces. We know there are weapons there for the Steelers, so he enters a great situation.
Pick 1.21 - Kansas City Chiefs - Acquired via trade with Patriots
Trent McDuffie, CB Washington Huskies
Analysis: Statistically, this guy did everything you want to see from a corner. In fact, in 37 games, he never let up a single game of 40+ yards. The only concern with him is size as typically you want your outside corners to have more reach (he is 5'11" with arms measuring 29 3/4th inches). At the very least he will have a career in the slot or as a second CB. The Chiefs traded up to get their guy which is surprising since the Patriots also needed a cornerback. But a great value for a guy who was clear top three.
Pick 1.22 - Green Bay Packers
Quay Walker, LB Georgia Bulldogs
Analysis: The Green Bay Packers added another linebacker to their front seven with Quay Walker. After waiting his turn to earn a starting position at Georgia, Walker turned in a solid senior season for the Bulldogs. He recorded 67 tackles and 1.5 sacks during 2021, and he developed his skill set as the season progressed. He has a tendency to get locked up when blockers find him, but that's something pro coaches can help him get over.
Pick 1.23 - Buffalo Bills - Acquired via trade with Ravens
Kaiir Elam - T, CB Florida Gators
Analysis: Buffalo doesn't have many glaring team needs, but building depth in the secondary was clearly a priority for a team that wants to win a Super Bowl this season – especially with all the QB talent in the AFC. At 6-foot-2 and 30+ inch arm length, Kaiir Elam has the bigger size to play the outside as a physical cover corner who regularly caused trouble for opposing SEC wideouts and quarterbacks while at Florida. He has the speed, with a 4.39 forty-yard dash, that puts him in the top 90th percentile. Plus, Elam has proven performance on tape against tough SEC competition. He’ll add depth right away to a Bills secondary that is clearly valuing the defensive backfield to compete in the AFC arms race.
Pick 1.24 - Dallas Cowboys
Tyler Smith, OT Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
Analysis: Tyler Smith is a pure force to be reckoned with in the run game. While he has some work to do in pass protection, he has natural talent and power in blocking big defenders. According to PFF, Smith led the FBS in big-time blocks in 2021, beating out first-rounders like Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu. Given the injuries that Cowboys have had on the line, Smith is a solid pick for a team that lost Connor Williams and La'El Collins. You can never have too many offensive linemen.
Pick 1.25 - Baltimore Ravens - Acquired via trade with Bills
Tyler Linderbaum, C Iowa Hawkeyes
Analysis: He's a little smaller than your typical lineman but you would never know it by looking a Tyler Linderbaum's film. He was the highest-graded center in college football each of the past two seasons, earning a 95.4 PFF grade in 2021. During that season, he only allowed one sack, two hits, and four hurries on 908 snaps. The Ravens did a LOT of moving around in this draft to end up where they did but there were rumors of Linderbaum sliding coming in. They get their guy as the best center out there as well as extra capital.
Pick 1.26 - New York Jets - Acquired via trade with Titans
Jermaine Johnson, DE Florida State University
Analysis: The Jets traded up to lock up a big-time edge rusher with pure sack potential in Jermaine Johnson II. He compiled 14 sacks during his 2021 season as well as 9 tackles for loss. There is a lack of tape outside of 2021, as he played for a community college for two years and then didn't land a starting role at Georgia, but his speed and physicality speak for themselves.
Pick 1.27 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Acquired via trade with Buccaneers
Devin Lloyd, LB Utah Utes
Analysis: After going Travon Walker at No. 1 overall, the Jaguars trade up with the Bucs and go with linebacker Devin Lloyd. The Jacksonville defense needs all the help it can get and Lloyd can be a roving, playmaker in the middle for years to come. Lloyd had a monster season at Utah in 2021, racking up 90 tackles over 849 snaps. He's a well-rounded athlete with length and speed, but he does sometimes take chances -- which has led to a 12.5% career missed tackle rate. However, this is probably the only negative thing you can take away from Lloyd's profile. He possesses the athleticism and instincts to be productive in both pass coverage and run-stopping with Jacksonville.
Pick 1.28 - Green Bay Packers
Devonte Wyatt, DT Georgia Bulldogs
Analysis: Like so many of Georgia's defenders in this draft, Devonte Wyatt blended in to the scheme rather than show out on his own, Still, he put together an impressive senior season, totaling four sacks and six tackles for loss. He has incredible explosiveness off the line that is uncharacteristic for a player his size, and he used that to send the guards off their block.
Pick 1.29 - New England Patriots - Acquired via trade with Chiefs
Cole Strange, OL University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
Analysis: Strange is a player that is likely to go to a specific scheme as he's great in zone blocking schemes but struggles a bit with man-on-man pass pro situations. He projects to play either guard or center at the next level. The Patriots had an opportunity to take cornerback, a position of need, but traded back with the Chiefs of then took a corner. They fill another need at interior offensive line with a guy who can play guard or center.
Pick 1.30 - Kansas City Chiefs
George Karlaftis, DE Purdue Boilermakers
Analysis: The Chiefs needed to add an explosive playmaker, and they got a top-tier talent in George Karlaftis. He didn't run the 40-yard dash at the combine, but the rest of his numbers confirmed the highlights he put on film. He has enormous power off the line, and he can adjust that power quickly as his target changes direction. However, he still has some development to do, especially in the run game.
Pick 1.31 - Cincinnati Bengals
Dax Hill, S Michigan Wolverines
Analysis: Like so many AFC teams in this draft, the Bengals strengthen their secondary for this season and beyond. Safeties Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell are set to be free agents next year, while cornerback Eli Apple is on a one-year deal. Daxton Hill but he also has the ability and athleticism to play either cornerback or safety for the Bengals. At Michigan, he showed the versatility to man the deep zone from the safety perch or cover slot receivers in a nickel-type role. Hill projects to be more of a "hybrid" in the NFL but will add depth and versatility to the Cincy secondary.
Pick 1.32 - Minnesota Vikings
Lewis Cine, S Georgia Bulldogs
Analysis: Cine has everything you want in a safety in terms of size, speed, and athleticism. He lays the wood in the run game and, according to Pro Football Focus, he only missed 11 tackles on 159 career attempts. He'll look to be a strong safety in the NFL spending a lot of time in the box.
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