Who Will Be The First Pick In The 2022 NFL Draft?

Who Will Be The First Pick In The 2022 NFL Draft?

Matthew Stafford and the Rams did it in Super Bowl 56. They fended off the pesky Cincinnati Bengals and won the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium. Now it’s time for 2022 NFL Draft betting, specifically NFL Draft futures and the NFL Draft betting odds. Just when you thought that your NFL betting experience is done until next season.

The Rams were a popular Super Bowl pick after they traded for Stafford in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff and a first-round selection in the draft. It was well worth it, as Stafford put the Rams over the top and the killer instinct that they lacked with Goff at the controls.

The next notable events on the schedule are the combine and then the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. NFL Draft betting continues to draw more and more interest over the years.

The first-round is scheduled for April 28, and then the final round is on April 30. It should be a good time in Vegas, though if you’ve ever been there on New Year’s Eve, it’s a bit of a congestive mess.

This is a long time coming in Las Vegas. The draft was originally planned for 2020, but then Covid-19 struck, and the league went virtual. Without preparations for 2021, the NFL pushed the Las Vegas draft to this year.

NFL Draft Betting Value
What makes this draft so enticing is that there isn’t a clear No. 1 contender to go off the board. Last season it was an easy one with Trevor Lawrence.

Usually, by this time, there is a good idea of who is going first, but there is more of an unknown in 2022.

That’s not true in the shadows of Super Bowl 56. This looks like a three-player race between two edge rushers and an offensive lineman. It doesn’t sound all that interesting without a quarterback or wide receiver in the mix, but betting on the draft, provides better value.

I’m not interested in betting a -1000 favorite, so most first overall NFL draft bets aren’t worth my time. This year, the 2022 NFL Draft odds are worth investigating. Head below for NFL Draft betting odds and our first pick prediction.

Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan Wolverines) – EDGE

Aidan Hutchinson is a top contender to be the 1st pick in the draft. He quietly rose up the draft board through the season, and then exploded to the top after taking over against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The difference was that Michigan had a Joey Bosa clone on their side, while the Buckeyes didn’t. Hutchinson recorded 7 tackles and 3 sacks in the 42-27 win over Ohio State. In the Big Ten Championship, he also came up big to hold Iowa to only 3 points in a 42-3 win.

His presence in the College Football Playoff was held in check, as Georgia prepared well for him coming off the edge. In his final start as a collegiate athlete, his Wolverines lost the game, 34-11.

It didn’t go well for Hutchinson in the Orange Bowl, but that doesn’t take away from his special season and accomplishments. He finished with 62 tackles, 14 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. That doesn’t account for the quarterback hurries, either.

Aidan Hutchinson Is A Natural Born Leader
What would make Hutchinson attractive to the Jacksonville Jaguars? He would immediately change the team culture in the locker room.

Hutchinson is a hard worker that will seek to improve his game. There was no leadership in the room with Urban Meyer leading the ship into the ground.

Hutchinson would immediately give the Jaguars a voice in the locker room. Not bad for a guy that is going to contribute on the field as well. Hutchinson is worthy of going off the board first in the draft, but will new head coach Doug Pederson want to protect Trevor Lawrence instead of an edge rusher?

NFL Draft Odds

Evan Neal (Alabama Crimson Tide) – Offensive Tackle

The Jaguars invested in Trevor Lawrence in the draft last season. Jacksonville made him the first overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was a heavy favorite on the NFL Draft betting odds, and it went as planned.

However, the Jaguars had no offensive line to help keep Lawrence in the pocket. He was regularly running around trying to make something happen with little protection.

Lawrence’s ability to move around saved him from getting beat up too badly in his first season. Focusing on the offensive line to give Lawrence a better opportunity in the pocket would be a good idea.

A very good offensive lineman is available for the Jaguars with the first pick. Evan Neal put together a tremendous campaign for the Crimson Tide.

He’s a whole lot of man, as Neal stands at 6’7” 350 pounds. Neal’s footwork is outstanding for a guy his size out of his stance. He was NFL-ready last year and didn’t need to be in college.

Neal was the No. 1 offensive lineman out of school as a five-star recruit, and he could very well be the first NFL player selected in the 2022 draft.

Pederson has stressed the Jaguars must protect Lawrence, and with a mountain like Neal available, this might be the best value for the NFL Draft.

With the Jags getting the first pick, Neal makes a lot of sense. If the Detroit Lions had the first pick, I’d lean heavily towards Hutchinson. Neal might have the edge despite the odds suggesting Hutchinson is the top pick.

NFL Draft Odds

Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon Ducks) – EDGE

Athletic freak Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of two edge rushers that could be the first pick in the draft. He had the favorite NFL Draft betting odds to go be the first selection before Aidan Hutchinson had his late-season surge.

Athletic Freak Up Front
Thibodeaux is an athletic freak that can drop back in coverage or win off the edge to sack the quarterback. He can get off the line fast and can do everything asked of him on defense. Thibodeaux at times carried Oregon this season.

The Ducks were not as talented as they appeared sometimes, but it helped when Thibodeaux was in the picture running down quarterbacks and running backs. Thibodeaux finished with 35 tackles, 7 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.

He doesn’t have the numbers to match Hutchinson, but he’s athletic and going to impress at the NFL combine. All of his numbers should look good at the combine.

If Thibodeaux flourishes, which I believe he will in the combine in March, Doug Pederson could be tempted to give the Oregon Duck a serious look. His athleticism should translate well in the NFL and might be too tough to pass on.

NFL Draft Odds

First NFL Draft Pick Prediction

I liked Aidan Hutchinson to be the first going in the draft earlier in the year. This is when the Lions were winless and well on their way to the first selection in the draft.

However, the Lions started winning, and the Jaguars stole the first pick with a record of 3-14. It works out well for the Lions, who are probably going to get their guy anyway.

The Jaguars have a glorious opportunity to build the foundation around Trevor Lawrence. Giving him an offensive tackle of Evan Neal’s caliber has the potential to change everything for the Jaguars.

Doug Pederson hasn’t been shy about building up the trenches to help Lawrence. He has already made statements regarding how important it is to have a strong offensive line.

Neal makes too much sense for the Jaguars. If they are drafting for need, he is certainly the first pick. I’m going to give the Alabama offensive lineman the nod and the best value for the first overall pick in Las Vegas.

Give me Neal on my NFL draft betting card to go first to the Jaguars.

Top NFL Draft Pick Prediction
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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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