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2022 NFL draft order: Top 24 picks set with Jaguars, Lions, Texans at the top

Jacksonville will have back-to-back No. 1 overall picks, while Detroit and Houston follow at the top of Round 1.

01/17/2022
Category:
Sports

11:25 PM ET

  • ESPN staff

The order for the top 24 picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL draftis set -- after a bit of Week 18 chaos-- with the Jacksonville Jaguarspicking No. 1 and the Detroit Lionspicking No. 2. Could both teams be thinking pass-rusher with their selections? NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks a pair of defensive ends 1-2 on his Big Board: Aidan Hutchinson(Michigan) and Kayvon Thibodeaux(Oregon). The Jags and Lions both won on Sunday to lock in the top two picks, followed by the Houston Texansat No. 3.

This draft, however, figures to take on a distinctly New York flavor early. Both the Jets(courtesy of a trade with Seattle) and Giants(via a trade with Chicago) have two picks among the top 10. The Jets will be on the clock at pick Nos. 4 and 10, while the Giants hold pick Nos. 5 and 7.

The Philadelphia Eagleshave three first-round picks, the most of any team, but the first one doesn't come up until No. 15 (via a trade with Miami). They also have pick No. 16 and a to-be-determined selection depending on how far they go in the playoffs.

The 2022 NFL draft will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, with the first round slated for April 28. Rounds 2 and 3 will take place on April 29, while Rounds 4 through 7 will be on April 30. The draft will be broadcast on ESPN, ABC and the ESPN App.

Check out the top 24 picks below, with Nos. 25-32 projected from the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI), which projects the order by simulating the rest of the season 10,000 times. (Team write-ups below have been updated from December).

1. Jacksonville Jaguars(3-14)

The Jaguars have a long list of needs: wide receiver, pass-rusher, offensive tackle, tight end, linebacker -- pretty much everywhere but quarterback and cornerback. But if the approach is to build around Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars could and should go heavy on offense ... after grabbing the pass-rusher of their choice at No. 1. -- Michael DiRocco


2. Detroit Lions(3-13-1)

With the No. 2 overall pick, it would make sense to go with an elite edge rusher who also fits the hard-nosed culture that coach Dan Campbell is trying to build in Motown. Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinsonwas a Heisman Trophy finalist, and he makes sense from a football perspective (in addition to being a local product), as does Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux.

The pick could be a foundational player for the Lions' future as they continue to rebuild, and they'll get another late first-round pick because they have the Rams' selection from the Matthew Stafford- Jared Gofftrade. Picking the right guys will be pivotal to the franchise. -- Eric Woodyard


3. Houston Texans(4-13)

The biggest question is whether Houston decides to use this pick on a quarterback. It's not a particularly great QB class, and rookie signal-caller Davis Millshas showed signs of life down the stretch of the season. Do the Texans go with a veteran option, give the ultra-affordable Mills another chance or draft the player the team hopes is the QB of the future? -- Sarah Barshop


4. New York Jets(4-13)

The Jets have nine picks total -- including four in the first two rounds -- so this has to be a franchise-altering draft. They will have two top-10 picks for the first time in the common draft era (since 1967), so it's a great opportunity to address their historically poor defense.

The Jets need a lot of help on the second and third levels, but they could end up with an edge rusher if one is the best player available. -- Rich Cimini


5. New York Giants(4-13)

So here is perhaps the lone positivefor the Giants heading into the offseason: They have a boatload of picks -- 10 to be exact -- in April's draft. They will have two picks in the top 10 of the first round (theirs plus Chicago's), their own second-rounder and two third-rounders.

That's a lot of draft capital at their disposal for a potential new general manager (if Dave Gettleman's time with the team comes to an end) to address the offensive line and find a high-end edge rusher. -- Jordan Raanan


6. Carolina Panthers(5-12)

The Panthers have a lot of needsand few high draft picks to fill them with after giving up their second-round selection for quarterback Sam Darnoldand third-round pick for cornerback CJ Henderson. The big question will be whether to reach for a quarterback in a thin QB class or begin rebuilding an offensive line that has only a couple of legitimate starters.

Missing on Darnold was a huge mistake, and likely not finding his replacement with the return of Cam Newtonmagnifies that even more since Carolina will be stuck with Darnold's $18.8 million fifth-year option in 2022. -- David Newton


7. New York Giants(via 6-11 CHI)

This pick goes to the Giants from the Bears' trade upfor quarterback Justin Fieldslast year. The Giants received the No. 20 pick (wide receiver Kadarius Toney) along with first- and fourth-round picks in the 2022 draft. -- ESPN staff


8. Atlanta Falcons(7-10)

The Falcons need, well, everything -- all the way from figuring out what the quarterback position will look like in the future down to the long-snapper. (Note: Don't use a draft pick on a long-snapper.)

Atlanta's roster construction will allow general manager Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith to go to almost any position on the board to match need with draft value. It's an intriguing place to be for a team trying to replenish talent in so many areas while also cleaning up the salary cap. -- Michael Rothstein


9. Denver Broncos(7-10)

The Broncos' biggest draft question is exactly the same as it was last April: What, exactly, is the team's plan at quarterback? The draft strategy will revolve around whether to attempt to sign or tradefor a veteran quarterback. They will have the cap space to do whatever they want in free agency, and they already have 11 picks -- including five in the top 100 -- in April's draft.

General manager George Paton, approaching the end of his first calendar year on the job, has repeatedly said how much he covets more draft picks instead of less. So it's unclear if he would consider a trade of multiple first-round picks to acquire a top-tier quarterback, if that's the route the team takes. -- Jeff Legwold


10. New York Jets(via 7-10 SEA)

This pick is a result of the Jamal Adams tradefrom July 2020. The Jets got two first-round selections in the deal; they used their 2021 picks from it to trade upfor guard Alijah Vera-Tuckerin the 2021 draft. -- ESPN staff


11. Washington Football Team(7-10)

Washington likes quarterback Taylor Heinicke, but the team will be on a serious quest to find a quarterback it views as a stronger long-term solution. Heinicke's play means it doesn't have to force a pick, but there will be interest in finding someone with a higher ceiling. Washington won't have a high pick, but this is not a draft with top-end quarterback talent. The organization has sought a long-term answer for years, starting 31 different players at the position since Mark Rypien led them to the Super Bowl following the 1991 season.

If not a quarterback, Washington could use more help offensively, whether at guard (if Brandon Scherffleaves) or wide receiver. A middle linebacker will be a priority, as well. -- John Keim


12. Minnesota Vikings(8-9)

Minnesota is drafting in the top 15, the team's highest pick since it selected cornerback Trae Waynesat No. 11 overall in 2015. Cornerback is once again a need for the Vikings, whose defensive retooling last offseason hasn't panned out the way the team expected.

A lot of Minnesota's offseason decisions hinge on quarterback Kirk Cousins' future and that of coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman, but finding a cornerback and an edge rusher will be priorities to help rebuild the defense regardless of who else stays or goes. -- Courtney Cronin


13. Cleveland Browns(8-9)

Since Week 5, the Browns scored over 20 points just four times, and they are in desperate need of some firepower at wide receiver. Odell Beckham Jr.was supposed to be that big-play threat. But with him now long gone, the Browns will have to take a hard look at addressing their need downfield offensively, including with their first-round pick. -- Jake Trotter


14. Baltimore Ravens(8-9)

The Ravens could draft a defensive lineman in the first round for just the second time in team history. It looks like Baltimore will have to rebuild its defensive front, because tackle Brandon Williamsis a free agent and end Calais Campbellcould retire. The other starter, Derek Wolfe, is 31 years old, and he missed the entire season with a back injury. The Ravens can only hope they can find the same success as they did in 2006, when they drafted future Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. -- Jamison Hensley


15. Philadelphia Eagles(via 9-8 MIA)

The biggest question facing the Eagles is whether to use one of their three first-round picks to acquire a quarterback or roll with Jalen Hurtsfor another season and build up the talent around him. This is not considered a particularly strong quarterback class, but some notable veterans could be available by trade, including Russell Wilsonand Deshaun Watson. Expect Philadelphia to explore all options.

This pick was originally Miami's, but it went to the Eagles in last year's deal that included the 49ers. -- Tim McManus


16. Philadelphia Eagles(via 9-8 IND)

This pick comes to the Eagles as a result of their trade with the Coltsfor quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz had to play at least 75% of the snaps for the pick to become a first-rounder. Philadelphia also received a third-round pick in the 2021 draft, which it used to trade up two spots with Dallas in Round 1 to take wide receiver DeVonta Smith. -- ESPN staff


17. Los Angeles Chargers(9-8)

The Chargers are fortunate to have a pick in every round in April's draft. They might want to find a better complement to linebacker Joey Bosaand fix their run defense. They are among the NFL's worst against the run. The defensive line will be a priority this offseason, as will the O-line. -- Shelley Smith


18. New Orleans Saints(9-8)

Quarterback will be an obvious consideration, since 2021 starter Jameis Winstonis a pending free agent and is now rehabbing from a torn ACL. But it will be hard for the Saints to land a surefire QB prospect in the draft considering the talent pool and where they'll be picking.

So perhaps they should focus instead on finding a desperately needed pass-catcher to help their 2022 quarterback. The Saints are one of the few teams who have missed out on the historic wide receiver draft classes over the past three years, drafting only one, a seventh-rounder. -- Mike Triplett


19. Philadelphia Eagles(9-8)

The Eagles finished with six wins in their final eight games, pushing them into a wild-card spot in the playoffs. They were blown out by the Bucs, however. Through Week 7 of the season, this pick was projected to land at No. 10 by the FPI. -- ESPN staff


20. Pittsburgh Steelers(9-7-1)

The Steelers need a quarterback. Whether through free agency, a trade or the draft, there will be a new starting quarterback next season. With a thin quarterback class, the Steelers are in an interesting spot. In addition to QB, the offensive line is once again a top priority, as is the D-line.

Before compensatory picks, the Steelers have just six picks and lack selections in the fourth and fifth round. General manager Kevin Colbert needs to get the most out of every single selection to avoid a complete rebuild. -- Brooke Pryor


21. New England Patriots(10-7)

After trading Stephon Gilmore-- and with his replacement, J.C. Jackson, scheduled for unrestricted free agency -- the Patriots should have cornerback high on their priority list.

And from a big-picture standpoint, after hitting on several picks in the 2021 draft -- led by quarterback Mac Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmoreand running back Rhamondre Stevenson-- the team must continue to feed the pipeline as it rebounds from a few subpar drafts from prior years. -- Mike Reiss


22. Las Vegas Raiders(10-7)

The Raiders have had seven first-round picks since 2018, and only one -- running back Josh Jacobs-- has been named to a Pro Bowl. Left tackle Kolton Milleris just the third Raiders first-rounder since 2005 to be signed to a second contract by the team; defensive end Clelin Ferrellis a special teams ace as a No. 4 overall pick; and safety Johnathan Abramis a hit-and-miss defender.


23. Arizona Cardinals(11-6)

With their top selection and a pair of Day 2 picks, the Cardinals can look to address a variety of positions that are scheduled to be hit hard by free agency, including running back, wide receiver, tight end and cornerback.

Arizona's top running backs, Chase Edmondsand James Conner, are slated to be free agents, as are wide receivers A.J. Greenand Christian Kirk, tight ends Zach Ertz, Maxx Williamsand Darrell Daniels, and cornerbacks Robert Alfordand Antonio Hamilton. More than a few of those players are likely to re-sign in free agency, but the Cardinals will have the draft capital to replace them, if needed. -- Josh Weinfuss


24. Dallas Cowboys(12-5)

The Cowboys' first six picks in 2021 were on defense, highlighted by linebacker Micah Parsons. They might need to take an early look at the offense in 2022, notably at every position along the line.

The real measure of the draft will be conducted by what they do in re-signing their own free agents, however. Defensive line and linebacker will be needs. In addition to the O-line, wide receiver could be a top need. The past two drafts have produced high-end talents in CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggsand Parsons. More of that will be in order, regardless of which side of the ball. -- Todd Archer

ESPN FPI's projections for pick Nos. 25-32

25. Miami Dolphins(via 9-8 SF)

26. Cincinnati Bengals(10-7)

27. Detroit Lions(via 12-5 LAR)

28. Buffalo Bills(11-6)

29. Kansas City Chiefs(12-5)

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(13-4)

31. Tennessee Titans(12-5)

32. Green Bay Packers(13-4)

(FPI projections are as of Monday at 11:25 p.m. ET)