NFL Draft rumors are starting to ram up with the 2022 NFL Draft closing in. From buzz surrounding the quarterbacks to who will be the No. 1 pick, there’s plenty to analyze from the rumor mill.
Even in a weaker draft class at the position, quarterbacks are often the focus. There’s not a consensus surrounding this year’s signal-callers and that means teams are divided on which passer they like better. Things are made even more interesting because the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers all have multiple first-round picks.
When is the 2022 NFL Draft?
The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. EST. Day 2 of the draft, Round 2 and 3, takes place on Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. EST. Finally, the NFL Draft will conclude on Day 3 with picks for rounds 4-7 made on Saturday, April 30 starting at 12 p.m. EST.
Keeping that information in mind, let’s dive into the latest NFL Draft rumors.
Travon Walker becoming the overwhelming favorite to be top pick in 2022 NFL Draft
For months it has been believed the Jaguars will either choose Aidan Hutchinson or a top offensive tackle at No. 1, but that might not be the case at all. If you put weight behind what betting odds suggest, Georgia’s Travon Walker is the top pick. According to PointsBet, Walker is a -400 favorite to be the top overall pick later tonight. Hutchinson has the next-best betting odds at +400.
Jacksonville Jaguars looking to trade down from No. 1
There truly is no consensus, even with less than 12 hours to go before the Jaguars are scheduled to make the top pick. There’s even some league sources who suggest general manager Trent Baalke is still hoping to trade down from No. 1, but isn’t receiving much interest.
Kayvon Thibodeaux could still go to Detroit at No. 2
There have been plenty of notes suggesting Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions aren’t enthused about Kayvon Thibodeaux, possibly due to a disagreement in mentality, but that may not be true. Lance Zierlein suggests Thibs is still a possibility to be the No. 2 overall pick, shrugging off other rumors as a smokescreen. Peter Schrager backs up this line of thought with what he’s heard as well.
Jets like Sauce Gardner at No. 4
According to Peter Schrager of NFL Network, the New York Jets are smitten with Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner at No. 4 and would even select him over the likes of Ikem Ekwonu, Aidan Hutchinson, and Travon Walker.
Giants still receiving calls about No. 7 pick
There’s been talk along that the New York Giants could make one pick and trade the other. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, that still appears to be the case. The Giants have been taking calls about their No. 7 pick and adds that the Seahawks at No. 9 could also be a team on the move.
Houston Texans trying to get two top-10 picks
The Houston Texans are already set to pick third on Thursday, now they want two top-10 picks according to Adam Schefter, who reports the team is trying to package No. 13 and others in order to move up the board. Doing so would add two blue-chip prospects to a roster in need of a quick turnaround.
Deebo Samuel to the Jets ‘not dead yet’
There’s still hope for New York Jets fans. Rich Cimini reported Thursday morning that the Deebo Samuel dream isn’t dead yet. He adds that seeing how the draft board falls once the Jets’ pick at No. 10 nears could be crucial to making a deal work for both sides. In this case, an outline for a contract extension would likely already have been discussed ahead of time.
David Ojabo’s torn Achilles not expected to hold him back
Unfortunately, Michigan pass rusher David Ojabo tore his Achilles at the team’s Pro Day, which is likely to knock him out for the majority, if not the entire 2022-23 football season. Nevertheless, this injury isn’t expected to hurt his chances of becoming an impact player in the future. He may no longer be seen as the potential top-10 pick, but a team could get a steal later in the first or on Day Two.
Evan Neal has medical concerns?
SI’s Albert Breer also noted some late medical concerns that have arisen regarding Evan Neal. The concerns reportedly center around some potential knee and hip issues, and even notes some teams have marked him to be a “notable medical risk“. Other reports suggest this couldn’t be further from the truth, as Mike Garafolo notes he hasn’t heard of the same red flags for the top Alabama prospect.
George Karlaftis’s draft stock all over the place
On Tuesday, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated passed along word that Purdue’s George Karlaftis’s stock has begun to slip, citing a lack of buzz about him in the first round. Yet other reporters suggest specific spots such as the Arizona Cardinals at No. 23, meaning the perception of Karlaftis is wide-ranging.
Minnesota Vikings considering trade up, with an eye on defense
With new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah running his first draft as the top decision-maker, picking at No. 12 comes with its own challenges. Just outside of the top-10, there’s no telling who might be available. This could prompt a trade up the board in order to secure their top choice. Two players they’re reportedly aiming for are Georgia’s Travon Walker and Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner according to Chad Graff of The Athletic. Of course, Walker landing at No. 1 could crash these draft plans.
50-60% chance Houston Texans trade down at No. 13
The Houston Texans appear locked in to make their first selection of the night during the first day of the 2022 NFL Draft, but their second one could be up for grabs. According to general manager Nick Caserio, there’s a “99% chance” they make the pick at No. 3, but only a “50-60% chance” they stay at No. 13, with roughly 6-8 teams putting feelers out for a potential trade. He did add the Texans are open to both moving up or down.
NFL Draft rumors: Chicago Bears want more draft capital
After trading their 2022 first round pick to the Chicago Bears last season in order to move up and select Justin Fields, new general manager Ryan Poles won’t have a pick until No. 39. Even then, the Bears sound more willing to trade down, than up. Poles on Tuesday – “I do think we will be in the business — depending on where it is and what it looks like — in moving back and trying to create more (draft capital).”
Atlanta Falcons looking to come out of draft with another QB
This time of year there are tons of smokescreens. What Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot stated on Tuesday actually has more credibility than most rumors this time of year. As of now, the Falcons have just Marcus Mariota and Feleipe Franks on the quarterback depth chart. There’s no way that stands once Week 1 rolls around, which Fontenot recently readily admitted: “We could come out of this draft with a quarterback. We want to add to that room”. Add them to the list.
Carolina Panthers comfortable with a couple QBs at No. 6
There’s rumors of a potential trade down for general manager Scott Fitterer, yet if the offers aren’t to his liking, the team would also have no issues taking a QB at No. 6. Speaking on Tuesday, Fitterer noted that there are a “couple” of quarterbacks he’s “comfortable” selecting right where they stand. Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, someone else like Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder? We may find out on Thursday.
NFL Draft rumors: More NFL teams looking to trade down
In a draft class many consider to be very deep, especially on Day 2, it should come as no surprise that teams want to build up their draft capital in the middle rounds. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, there are more clubs interested in dropping outside the top picks than those wanting to move up. In fact, per Schefter, multiple teams with top-15 picks inquired with those below them about draft-pick swaps.
Seattle Seahawks could move into Round 1 for quarterback
The Seattle Seahawks will likely be starting Geno Smith and Drew Lock in 2022, but they won’t be the only quarterbacks on the roster. NFL insider Tony Pauline reports there is a buzz around the league that the Seahawks will jump up late in Round 1 to draft a young signal-caller. The franchise could grab an offensive tackle with the 9th pick then package one of its early second-round selections with a Round 4 pick to move into the 28-32 range, snagging Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral or Sam Howell.
Jacksonville Jaguars might surprise with first pick
When the pre-draft process started, many counted on the Jaguars drafting Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 1 pick. As the pre-draft process unfolded, though, edge rusher Travon Walker emerged as a strong candidate to head to Jacksonville. Now, days before the pick is officially made, the Jaguars might have an even bigger surprise planned.
Four quarterbacks could go in Round 1
By now, it’s clear quarterback Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett and Desmond Ridder will likely be first-round picks on April 28. Now, per multiple reports, there’s a growing belief a fourth quarterback could be taken in Round 1.
One team to monitor, per NFL Draft insider Tony Pauline, is the Seattle Seahawks. Holding a pair of early second-round picks, the organization could move back into the first round to secure the fifth-year team option. It would likely be a decision between Sam Howell and Matt Corral. Howell might be a safer bet considering Corral’s red flags regarding his maturity.
Philadelphia Eagles expected to trade up in Round 1
The Philadelphia Eagles already made one trade this offseason involving first-round picks and another could be looming. According to NFL insider Mike Kaye, the expectation around the NFL is general manager Howie Roseman attempts to move up from No. 15 into the top-10 on Wednesday night. While there isn’t a specific target in mind, Philadelphia is likely wanting to land one of the top defensive prospects in the 2022 draft class.
Houston Texans keeping No. 3 pick
NFL teams spend months exploring every possible option with their first-round pick. It’s exactly what Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio has done since the pre-draft process started. Slated to make his first selection at No. 3 overall, Caserio admitted to reporters that the market for trading down isn’t there. So, the franchise will likely either select an offensive tackle or cornerback at that spot. As for the 13th pick, Houston’s phone lines are open.
“The reality is probably very few teams are going to want to come up to 3, just being honest, that’s okay. o, probably pick at 3. Then at 13, could we go up? Could we go down? Over the next week or so, you’re going to talk to different teams just more about positioning, about, ‘What’s their philosophy? What’s their willingness to move?”Houston Texans GM Nick Caserio on trade options with first-round picks
Related: Houston Texans mock draft
Malik Willis an option for Detroit Lions
Malik Willis learned what it’s like to be coached by the Detroit Lions at the Senior Bowl. There’s now increasing chatter it might have been a preview of what’s to come. The Lions are very much considering taking Willis with the 2nd pick, betting on his extreme upside with a shot at being the face of the franchise for years to come.
2022 NFL Draft rumors: Kyle Hamilton not a top-10 pick?
Entering the pre-draft process, most industry mock drafts and big board put Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton near the top of the class. According to PFN’s Tony Pauline, that’s a mistake. Teams reportedly identify Hamilton as a top-20 talent, far more likely to be selected in the 10-20 range than with a top-10 selection. Time will tell whether the buzz is right or some teams are hoping to put out smoke to try and get Hamilton to fall to them.
Kayvon Thibodeaux made strong impression on New York Jets
Holding the 4th overall pick, the New York Jets will be in a great spot to draft one of the top linemen on either side of the ball. Some around the NFL believe general manager Joe Douglas will use the selection on an offensive tackle. However, a recent visit with Kayvon Thibodeaux might change things.
“I heard it went awesome. Kayvon Thibodeaux came in and was spectacular. And by spectacular, not in the physical traits or on the board—spectacular in that, ‘I’m a team guy, I wanna be great.'”NFL Network’s Peter Schrager on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s meeting with New York Jets, via Good Morning Football
On pure talent, Thibodeaux might be the best player in the 2022 draft class. He’s only been knocked based on NFL Draft rumors suggesting he doesn’t always hustle and he might have a ‘me’ personality. However, the edge rusher clearly left New York feeling great about his character and he’s easily worth drafting 4th overall for a team that needs talent everywhere.
First quarterback being drafted at No. 6 pick?
Consensus evaluation on the 2022 QB prospects all believe there isn’t a passer worth a top-10 pick. Need and positional value are more important. Around the NFL, rival clubs believe the Carolina Panthers will bite the proverbial bullet and draft a quarterback with their top pick. We evaluated their best options.
Travon Walker viewed as best player in 2022 NFL Draft?
Following early speculation that the Jacksonville Jaguars might consider drafting Travon Walker with the No. 1 pick, there is now increased chatter about the edge rusher. According to NFL insider Tony Pauline, multiple teams view Walker as the best 2022 NFL Draft prospect. He lacked high-end production at college, but his athletic testing means there is sky-high upside.
Green Bay Packers eyeing multiple Round 1 wide receivers?
Even after signing Sammy Watkins, the Packers will be taking a wide receiver with one of their top picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Recently, Green Bay hosted North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson for a pre-draft visit. While he comes from a small school, the 22-year-old offers the size, athleticism and profile that checks off a lot of boxes Green Bay looks for at receiver. He’s considered a Round 2 talent, but the Packers might want to snag him early rather than lose him to another team.
Another name to keep an eye on is George Pickens. Fully recovered from a torn ACL suffered in March 2021, the former Georgia star offers immense upside. He, along with Arkansas wideout Tryelon Burks, met with the Packers. Burks is expected to be a top-30 pick, while Pickens is viewed as a top-40 talent.
Carolina Panthers discussing trade back from 6th pick
Many believe the Carolina Panthers will draft a quarterback with the No. 6 pick, given the dire issues at the position. However, the organization might be thinking about a very different move. According to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi, the Panthers have reached out to multiple teams to see if there is a worthwhile market for trading down.
It almost feels like a necessity for the Panthers. Operating without second- or third-round picks, Carolina is working with minimal draft capital. NFL Draft rumors are also heavily connecting the franchise to Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett, widely viewed as a player not worth a top-10 pick. Trading down would net more draft assets for the Panthers and they could draft Pickett in a more suitable range.
Desmond Ridder impressing teams in interviews
Desmond Ridder isn’t viewed as a consensus first-round pick. As the NFL Draft nears, though, things could change quickly. Ridder an a pro-style offense at Cincinnati and many believe he is the quarterback most ready to start in 2022. Furthermore, per NBC Sports’ Peter King, Ridder is really impressing teams over the last month during sit-down interviews and in the film room. One of the teams Ridder disclosed meeting with, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He could challenge Mitch Trubisky for the starting job, if Pittsburgh drafts Ridder with the 20th pick.
Derek Stingley Jr. meeting with Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans
Coming off a Lisfranc injury, LSU Tigers cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. needed a strong performance at his Pro Day to prove he should be a top-10 pick. The talented defensive back looked healthy in front of executives and scouts near the top of the 2022 NFL Draft order.
Stingley now has visits lined up with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and New York Giants. While no team is likely making a draft promise to Stingley, the teams meeting with him are a sign that he’s a safe bet to be a top-10 pick.
Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons among teams meeting with Matt Corral
Fully recovered from an injury suffered in his final game, quarterback Matt Corral is busy in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Corral is scheduled to visit the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints from April 11-16. A developmental quarterback prospect, Corral is a prime candidate for a quarterback-needy team to trade up for him at the end of Round 1.
Treylon Burks visits Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, New Orleans Saints
While Treylon Burks isn’t viewed as one of the upper-echelon receiver prospects in 2022, he is a projected first-round picks. Drawing a few stylistic comparisons to A.J. Brown and Donte Moncrief, the size-speed combo will land Burks in Round 1. According to Pro Football Network, Burks is scheduled for 11 visits and that includes meetings with the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.
Top 10 storylines for 2022 NFL Draft
New York Giants met with Travon Walker
One of the most fascinating prospects in the NFL Draft, Travon Walker’s athleticism is off the charts. However, it didn’t translate into much production at Georgia. Opinions on the defensive end vary, with some believing Walker is a top-20 pick and others thinking he could go No. 1 to Jacksonville. Either way, he visited the New York Giants and is a strong candidate to be selected in the top 10.
Related: 2022 NFL Draft prospect rankings
Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens looking into Kayvon Thibodeaux
Performing at the Oregon Pro Day, edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux saw plenty of NFL teams in attendance to get a better look at him. According to Tony Pauline, the Detroit Lions sent a large continent of personnel to scout Oregon’s top edge rusher. Additionally, Thibodeaux met with the New York Jets. One team to keep an eye on, amid rumors of Thibodaux falling, he reportedly had dinner with the Baltimore Ravens.
Kyle Hamilton could slide down 2022 NFL Draft
Many view All-American safety Kyle Hamilton as one of the best players in the 2022 draft class. It seems some NFL teams don’t share that sentiment. According to ESPN’s Matt Miller and Jordan Reid, Hamilton’s uneven performance at his Pro Day left some clubs with concerns about his athleticism. Miller thinks the concerns might be worrisome enough for some general managers that there’s at least a chance Hamilton – a potential top-five talent – falls outside the top-15 picks in Round 1.
Seattle Seahawks, Washing Commanders among teams interested in Sam Howell
Once viewed as a candidate for the 1st overall pick, a disappointing final season from Sam Howell at North Carolina pushed him down draft boards. There is still plenty of interest in the dual-threat quarterback. According to PFN’s Tony Pauline, the Washington Commanders, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in Howell. He’s currently viewed as a projected top-45 pick, but a team could trade up late in Round 1 to secure the fifth-year option.
Detroit Lions discussing trade down from No. 2 pick
Speaking to reporters this week, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes revealed the club is engaged in discussions with multiple teams about moving down from the No. 2 pick. This is normal before the NFL Draft, general managers want to explore every option available to them. As of now, though, the lack of a surefire QB talent makes it unlikely Detroit finds a deal to its liking for a trade down.
Pittsburgh Steelers need to trade up for Malik Willis?
One of the most popular NFL Draft rumors this year links Malik Willis to the Steelers. Now viewed as the best quarterback prospect available, NBC Sports’ Peter King writes that Pittsburgh will likely need to move up into the top-8 picks if it wants a shot at Willis.
Indianapolis Colts working out top-50 prospects
The Indianapolis Colts don’t have a 2022 first-round pick because of Carson Wentz, but they will pick 42nd overall because of their former quarterback. While it’s unknown exactly who general manager Chris Ballard will target, there is at least one target to keep in mind. According to PFN’s Aaron Wilson, Texas A&M defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal is visiting Indianapolis. The 6-foot-4 edge defender didn’t live up to the hype entering the 2021 season, when he was viewed as a potential top-15 pick. The physical tools are still attractive and could make him a draft-day steal if the Colts land him and develop him.
Related: 2022 Baltimore Ravens mock draft
Detroit Lions could draft Malik Willis with No. 2 pick
While many believe there isn’t a 2022 quarterback prospect worth a top-10 pick, that won’t stop a desperate team from drafting one. Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus wrote there is a ‘strong possibility’ Detroit takes Liberty quarterback Malik Willis with the 2nd pick. Viewed as a project talent, Willis likely would spend at least one season as a backup to Jared Goff. However, he is the only passer in the 2022 class with the raw talent to be a star.
D’Eriq King drawing interest from Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills
While the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys might not be in the quarterback market, they reportedly have their eye on a college football star. D’Eriq King, who starred at Houston and Miami, is reportedly drawing interest from the Cowboys, Bills and Seattle Seahawks (Pro Football Network).
Washington Commanders unlikely to spend first-round pick on QB
After trading two Day 2 picks to the Indianapolis Colts for Carson Wentz, it seems the Washington Commanders believe they’ve solved their quarterback problem. According to Ben Standig of The Athletic, the expectation around the league is Washington won’t draft a quarterback with the 11th overall pick. While it’s still possible the Commanders might target a passer in Round 2, they seemed locked in on Wentz.
Green Bay Packers meeting with Treylon Burks
The Davante Adams trade left the Green Bay Packers with a massive hole to fill, likely to be addressed in the 2022 NFL Draft. It’s a loaded draft class of pass-catchers with at least five expected to be taken within the first 30 picks. There is already one player known to be on Green Bay’s radar.
According to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus, the Packers have lined up a visit with former Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks. The 6-foot-2 weapon ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and drew some similarity comps to A.J. Brown by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. There will be plenty of competition for Burks as he’s also set to visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans.
Los Angeles Chargers interested in Jordan Davis
Joran Davis lit up the NFL Scouting Combine like few we’ve seen before, vaulting his draft stock from a top-25 pick into a consensus top-15 selection. He took part at the Georgia Pro Day, putting on another show for NFL scouts and coaches. According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the Los Angeles Chargers sent a heavy contingent to watch Davis and they aren’t even hiding their interest in him publicly. Interestingly, per Pauline, Los Angeles knows it must trade up to land Davis.
Red flags surrounding Kayvon Thibodeaux
Everyone viewed Kayvon Thibodeaux as the No. 1 prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft before this past season. A high-ankle sprain limited him in his final year at Oregon, but it’s not why teams are concerned. Faced with an opportunity to address worries about his effort level during the NFL Combine, Thibodeaux seemingly didn’t take advantage. Between a strange pro comparison to Jadeveon Clowney, made by Thibodeaux, to multiple NFL reporters saying Thibodeaux’s emphasis on his brand and not needing coaching to tell him what’s wrong with his game, things didn’t go well.
NFL Draft rumors: Pittsburgh Steelers interested in Malik Willis
In advance of free agency, the Pittsburgh Steelers were connected heavily to Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. Keep in mind, the sentiment around the league is a similar feeling to what happened before the 2021 NFL Draft. Pittsburgh didn’t keep its interest in Najee Harris a secret, with NFL Draft rumors about their interest in him found everywhere. Sure enough, the Steelers spent their first-round pick on the running back.
Mitchell Trubisky isn’t the long-term quarterback in Pittsburgh. He only signed a two-year contract, signaling that the organization views him as a bridge starter. Plus, paying him just $7 million per season makes it easy to cut bait after a year. Frankly, Malik Willis might be perfect for the Steelers.