NFL Draft rumors 2022: Tracking the latest leaks, news, trade buzz before Round 1

This year’s draft is all about pressure.

That’s because the top prospects and one of the deepest talent pools in the 2022 NFL Draft is the edge and the defensive end group: Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, Georgia’s Travon Walker and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux figure to be the first three edge defenders off the board, but in which order is anyone’s guess.

That decision comes down to the Jaguars: There’s a number of different scenarios for the top overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, and the top 10 could plunge into utter chaos depending on what happens with that top pick. While 

While this year’s first-round class is expected to be light on passers, a pair of quarterbacks could go in the top 10: Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett and Liberty’s Malik Willis are jockeying for position to be the first quarterback taken. One could be off the board as early as No. 6 to the Panthers.

Leading up to the first round on Thursday night, here’s all the latest buzz surrounding what teams may do with their top selections.

MORE NFL DRAFT: TSN’s 7-round mock | Top 200 big board

2022 NFL Draft rumors

Texans want second top-10 pick

Date: April 28
Source: Adam Schefter, ESPN

Houston enters draft night set to pick third and 13th overall, but the Texans might try to package No. 13 with other assets in an effort to land a second-top 10 pick “if the right player is there,” says ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Deebo Samuel could be on the move tonight

Date: April 28
Source: Rich Cimini, ESPN

Trades figure to play a key role in how the first round shakes out, and it won’t just be draft picks moving back and forth. Many expect the Browns to move Baker Mayfield sometime during the draft, and Deebo Samuel could still be in play as well despite 49ers GM John Lynch saying earlier this week he “can’t imagine wanting to move on from Deebo.” Rich Cimini of ESPN reports that the possibility of a Samuel move to the Jets “ain’t dead yet,” with New York and San Francisco perhaps waiting to see who is on the board at No. 10 overall, when the Jets are scheduled to make their second pick of the first round. 

‘Craziest draft’ in years on tap

Date: April 28
Source: Adam Schefter, ESPN

Yes, even those inside the game are expecting the unexpected as the 2022 NFL Draft begins Thursday. A longtime front-office executive told Adam Schefter: “This is the craziest draft I’ve seen in 30 years.” Look for plenty of trades and other surprises as teams try to make the most of an unpredictable draft class. 

USC’s Drake Jackson could be ‘surprise first-round pick’

Date: April 27
Source: Adam Schefter, ESPN

Don’t be too surprised if USC edge-rusher Drake Jackson hears his name called in the first round. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Jackson’s agent said multiple teams expect the linebacker/defensive end to be a “surprise first-round pick” on Thursday. Jackson finished the season with five sacks, eight tackles for loss, 37 total tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. He is ranked No. 65 on The Sporting News’ Top 200 big board.

Texans almost certainly using No. 3 pick, No. 13 not so certain

Date: April 27
Source: Jim Trotter, NFL Media

The trend of teams using their early picks looks like it will continue at No. 3, with GM Nick Caserio saying he’s “99 percent” certain the Texans will be picking at No. 3. No. 13, however, is less clear, with Caserio putting the odds at “50 to 60 percent,” per Jim Trotter of NFL Media. Caserio added the Texans have talked to six to eight teams about No. 13.

Jaguars making No. 1 pick, could be a surprise

Date: April 27
Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

It looks like the Jaguars will be making the No. 1 selection, but who it might be will surprise many. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “most general managers and coaches” expect Georgia’s Travon Walker to go at No. 1 overall to the Jags. 

Falcons eyeing a quarterback

Date: April 27
Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

The Falcons could be looking forward to 2023 with their QB position. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Falcons are interesting in taking a quarterback, despite having Marcus Mariota under contract. Atlanta currently picks at No. 8 overall and could come away with one of Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.

Eagles interested in moving up

Date: April 26
Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

With two first-round picks, the Eagles don’t seem willing to stick with where they’re at on the board. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Philly brass, though, has made it clear they’d like to scoot up the board just a bit come Thursday night.

Cowboys could spring for falling prospect

Date: April 25
Source: Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated

The Cowboys could look to bolster their pass rush by way of the draft: Albert Breer reports that Dallas could jump up for Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux if he slips in the top 10. Dallas currently picks at No. 24 overall, so it would take a fair amount for them to shoot up into striking range for Thibodeaux.

Ikem Ekwonu may not fall past No. 4

Date: April 26
Source: DJ Bien-Aime, NYDN

The Jets are planning to build a wall for Zach Wilson. The New York Daily News reports that GM Joe Douglas won’t pass on Ikem Ekwonu if he’s available with the No. 4 overall pick.

Panthers, Ravens eyeing an offensive tackle

Date: April 26
Source: Aaron Wilson, 

The Panthers and Ravens both have their eyes on Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning, per Aaron Wilson. Penning is a polarizing prospect, with some feeling he may be more suited for Day 2 than the first round.

 

Texans could be eyeing LSU star

Date: April 26
Source: Ian Rapoport, ESPN

Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the rumors. Houston currently holds the No. 3 overall pick, and have done a lot of work on LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley is considered to be one of the best cornerback prospects in the draft, but two years of injuries and uneven tape may have tanked his draft stock a bit.

Eagles want another ‘Bama wideout

Date: April 25
Source: Todd McShay, ESPN

Roll Tide: A year after taking DeVonta Smith with their first-round pick, the Eagles “prefer” Alabama’s Jameson Williams, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay (citing NFL executive sources). 

Not a lot of top-end talent, report says

Date: April 25
Source: Tom Pelissero, NFL Network

Expect unpredictability in the first round: NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that some teams have less than 15 players with first-round grades. The back half of the first round should lead to chaos.

Many teams have fewer than 20 players on their boards with first-round grades, which is in line with other recent draft classes; some have fewer than 15. General managers and other high-ranking executives foresee an unpredictable Round 1 — and that’s especially true in the back half, once the most celebrated prospects are gone.

Steelers looking to work the board

Date: April 25
Source: Steelers GM Kevin Colbert

The Steelers may be looking to make a move — or several — on Thursday night. Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert maybe let slip some draft day plans, saying the team will “guesstimate” what it’ll take to move up and down the order.

“We’ll guesstimate what it’ll cost to move from 20 to 7 and from 20 back down to 32,” Colbert said on Monday.

Jermaine Johnson: Top-10 pick?

Date: April 25
Source: Jordan Raanan, ESPN

Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson is a first-round lock, but he may also be a top-10 pick. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that teams feel that Johnson could end up as the best pass rusher in the draft, and could end up as a top-10 selection, maybe even top five.

Civil war in Jacksonville

Date: April 25
Source: Tony Pauline, PFN

The Jaguars are locked between a few players for the No. 1 overall pick, and Pauline reports that owner Shad Khan and GM Trent Baalke are vying over the pick. Khan reportedly wants Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson while Baalke prefers Georgia’s Travon Walker.

A Jaguars surprise?

Date: April 25
Source: Peter King, NBC Sports

The Jaguars could be making a bit of a “surprise” at the top, according to NBC Sport’s Peter King. King reports that something unexpected could be coming out of the draft at No. 1 overall. That, coupled with Doug Pederson’s recent comments that the Jaguars “better be right” with the No. 1 pick makes it seem as though something is brewing in Jacksonville.

Trade downs galore, says Adam Schefter

Date: April 25
Source: Adam Schefter, ESPN

ESPN’s NFL insider reports that the first round could be loaded with trade downs, with a number of teams looking to back out of their spots in the first round. Considering this draft isn’t top-heavy with elite talent, it makes sense. But, it takes two to tango.

Seahawks could be eyeing a passer

Date: April 24
Source: Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network

The Seahawks could still be looking for quarterback help, per PFN’s Tony Pauline. Pauling reports that Seattle could look to move back into the first round to snag a quarterback prospect. 

Kayvon Thibodeaux could be a top-five lock

Date: April 22
Source: Matt Miller, ESPN

Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux has a floor of No. 5 overall, per ESPN’s Matt Miller. Thibodeaux is widely considered to be one of the top three EDGE talents in the draft, but rumors of red flags surfaced during the pre-draft process.

Kenny Pickett has ‘no upside,’ an AFC executive says

Date: April 21
Source: Tom Pelissero, NFL Network

If you want a “mother f—er” to play right now, then Kenny Pickett is your guy, but be wary of the upside — or lack thereof. An AFC executive told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that Pickett has “no upside,” but is still the most pro-ready quarterback of this draft.


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