With the 2022 NFL Draft set to kick off on Thursday in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. ET, here's my final projection for Round 1.
I know Aidan Hutchinson could end up as the selection here, but signs are pointing to Walker being the pick. The Jaguars are willing to bet on his upside.
If Hutchinson doesn't go first, I can't imagine he gets past the Lions with this selection.
The Texans are the mystery team in this draft. Ekwonu has the positional versatility to fit in right away on Houston's O-line.
The Jets need difference-makers. Gardner has an elite mix of size, length and ball skills.
The Giants could go with Kayvon Thibodeaux here, but pairing Neal with Andrew Thomas gives them a solid, young tackle duo to better protect Daniel Jones.
I could see the Panthers trading a future pick to move ahead of the Giants and select Evan Neal. If they stay at No. 6, Cross makes sense. Or they could attempt to trade down. There's still a possibility Carolina looks for a QB here, as well.
The Giants' WR corps is very average. Wilson reminds me a lot of Stefon Diggs, a player general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll worked with in Buffalo.
The Falcons can afford to be patient with Williams as he works his way back from the ACL tear he suffered in the national championship game. He would form a dynamic combo with Kyle Pitts.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
This pick is likely to be traded to a team coming up for a wideout. The Jets could block that move by handing over a fourth-round pick to move up one spot and guarantee they get their guy.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH NEW YORK JETS
This was a tough one! I envision three players being in play in this scenario: Thibodeaux, Derek Stingley Jr. and Malik Willis. I can't see Pete Carroll passing on a talented edge rusher after trading back into the pick that Seattle originally sent to the Jets in the Jamal Adams deal.
The WR run continues with Washington adding yet another Ohio State product.
Stingley could go as high as No. 3 overall. I can't see him falling beyond this selection.
Johnson is a perfect fit in head coach Lovie Smith's scheme. He could rack up 8-to-10 sacks during his rookie campaign.
I know this pick won't fill one of the most pressing needs for the Ravens, but they always lean toward drafting the best player available. Davis or Trevor Penning would make sense here, but I'll stick with the massive SEC DT prospect.
Hamilton is my No. 5 player in the 2022 draft class. This would be an absolute steal for Howie Roseman and the Eagles.
Penning would take over the left tackle position as a rookie for the Saints. He will need some time to adjust to the NFL level, but he has all of the raw tools necessary to succeed.
The Chargers have done an impressive job of remaking their defense this offseason. Elam has some ups and downs on tape, but he offers outstanding size, speed and upside.
McDuffie is one of my favorite players in the draft class. He's smart, tough and instinctive. He'd fit in beautifully across from Darius Slay.
Lloyd didn't run as fast as evaluators hoped, but he plays with outstanding vision and aggression. The Saints could use the Utah product in a variety of ways as he learns on the job from Demario Davis.
The Steelers should know everything there is to know about Pickett, the former Pitt star. He could come right in and compete with Mitchell Trubisky for the starting position this fall.
Johnson just feels like a New England fit. He's smart, versatile and tough.
Maybe this is the year Aaron Rodgers finally gets his first-round wideout. Burks has the size and run-after-catch skills they have always coveted in Green Bay.
The Cardinals need to address their pass rush in this draft. Karlaftis can win on the edge or inside.
Dotson has the best hands in the draft class and he'd help offset the team's wide receiver departures from the offseason.
I can't find another prospect capable of having a bigger impact for the Bills at this selection. Hall would be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
The Titans have been mentioned as a sleeper to draft a QB in Round 1. I believe they are more likely to take an offensive lineman here or trade out of the first round.
The Bucs are another team that could look to trade out of the first round. They don't have any glaring needs, but Hall would be a fun interior pass rush addition.
Walker could go much earlier than 28th overall on Thursday night. Defensive coaches are in love with his explosiveness and length.
The Chiefs could easily package picks to move up for a wideout. If they stay here, I expect one of their first-round selections to address the pass rush.
Pickens has tremendous raw talent, but he's battled injuries and some questions about his maturity. Andy Reid and Brett Veach can afford to take a risk and gamble on his talent.
This just feels like a good fit. Ojabo, who suffered an Achilles tear at Michigan's pro day, would likely be healthy in time to help Cincinnati into the postseason, and the Bengals have always had an affinity for Big Ten prospects.
I could see Willis going in the top 10 or he could land all the way down here at No. 32. His draft range is a great example of what we can be certain about in this draft: absolutely nothing.