When it comes to sports news, no league is able to dominate the headlines quite like the National Football League. It doesn’t matter what day of the year it is, there is always a chance that the NFL will somehow find its way into the news.
Of course one of the biggest events surrounding the NFL is the draft, and the 2022 NFL Draft was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. This has turned into a three-day long event, and it’s hard to keep focus for all seven rounds.
The biggest focus is on the teams and players at the top of the draft, but the 2022 Draft class was considered to be weaker than most. That might be true towards the end of the first round, but there were still some great players selected at the top.
Here is a look at the first five picks of the 2022 NFL Draft, and how those players might fit into the NFL.
1. Travon Walker
The Jacksonville Jaguars held the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and that’s a position that they are familiar with. Going quarterback is always a solid option at number one, but the Jaguars were not a team that needed to select anyone at that position.
Instead the Jaguars selected defensive end Travon Walker from the University of Georgia. It’s never a bad idea to take the best defensive player from the best defense in college football, but this was still a bit of a surprise.
Walker shot up the draft boards after the combine after posting some ridiculous numbers at that event. The edge rusher is 6’5” and weighs 272 pounds, and he should be on the field to begin the 2022 season.
There was a little bit of drama and uncertainty with the top pick, but the Jaguars clearly upgraded on the defensive end.
2. Aidan Hutchinson
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was the consensus best player in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he “fell” to the Detroit Lions at number two. Hutchinson is from the state of Michigan and starred for the Wolverines at the collegiate level.
There was little doubt about who the Lions would take with this spot, especially as rumors about Walker going number one started to circulate. Hutchinson put up monster numbers in his final season at the University of Michigan and should be a candidate to win Rookie of the Year.
3. Derek Stingley Jr.
The Houston Texans were on the clock at number 3 and it was pretty apparent that they were going to go with a defensive player. New head coach Lovie Smith has a background in defense and he targeted Derek Stingley Jr. out of LSU.
Stingley is a 6’0” cornerback that is known for being extremely physical when covering receivers. The Texans came into this draft with several holes on their roster, but Stingley should cover up plenty of mistakes in the secondary.
4. Ahmad Gardner
The New York Jets had the number four pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and it was actually their first of two picks in the top-10. New York needed plenty of help heading into this event, and they decided to shore up their secondary with their first selection.
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was chosen out of the University of Cincinnati, and he was a player that draft analysts loved all throughout the 2021 season. The 6’3” cornerback was rated as the top player at his position and he will look to become a cornerstone for a franchise that needs to improve significantly.
5. Kayvon Thibodeaux
The first five picks in the NFL Draft were all on the defensive side of the football as the New York Giants went in that direction as well. Kayvon Thibodeaux, defensive end from Oregon, was the Giants selection at number five.
Most mock drafts had Thibodeaux as the top of the boards heading into the 2021 college football season, but he slid just a bit. The Giants will expect Thibodeaux to play every down for them on the defensive side of the ball, and he has explosive speed at that position.