2022 NFL Draft: Malik Willis Falls, 7 Receivers, Runners?

What will happen in the 2022 NFL Draft is anything but predictable. We take a look at a handful of possible amazing moves that could happen.

LAS VEGAS – We are one day away from the long-awaited 2022 NFL Draft!

This year, there is definitely no consensus on No. 1 in the general election, as it has gone back in recent months from Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan to Travon Walker of Georgia in recent days and even some talks on Ikem Ekwonu of NC State.

Similar to the guess work being done on selection number 1, this is expected to be a somewhat unpredictable draft. Aren’t they all?

If you haven’t already, check out the Ultimate NFL Mock Draft 2022, presented by the Locked On Podcast Network and Audacy. This unique simulated draft includes first round selections made by experts from the local Locked On team, with analysis and information from experts on Audacy and Locked On drafts.

All six episodes are free and available wherever your podcasts are.

Locked On has a daily podcast covering all 32 NFL teams, find yours today!

Let’s get into what could be some surprises in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

No quarterback selected in the top 10

It doesn’t happen often. In fact it hasn’t even happened since 2013 when EJ Manuel was the first quarterback selected in the 16th overall.

But, this is potentially a year in which it could happen. Throughout the year, the narrative has been that this is a weaker-than-normal quarterback draft class, and a big one is expected next year, when Bryce Young of Alabama and CJ Stroud of Ohio State are available.

Liberty’s Malik Willis got most of the talk to be the first quarterback selected. But, if the Panthers at No. 6 decide to go a different route and not select a QB, we may not see a quarterback selected from the top 10.

In the latest simulated draft of the Locked On NFL Draft podcast, hosts Eric Crocker and Ryan Tracy made Willis fall in the top 10 and, in fact, be selected by the New Orleans Saints for 16th place.

Locked On has a daily podcast covering all 32 NFL teams, find yours today!

7 wide receivers selected in the first round

Vegas fixed the total wide receivers selected in the first round at a total of 6, but is it more likely than seven seven?

Obviously, there are many teams looking to upgrade the wide receiver in the draft with this kind of strong receiver draft.

There hasn’t been a draft with seven receivers taken in the first round since 2004. Six have been taken several times since then, but never seven.

Jameson Williams, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Drake London are the four draft receivers who are virtually consensual first-round picks. But, there are also many others that are considered first round selections. That includes Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson. If those six are selected, it only takes one more receiver to sneak into the back of the draft, where there are several teams in need of receivers, including the Packers, Chiefs, Bucs and Lions.

That player could be Sky Moore of Western Michigan, Christian Watson of North Dakota State or George Pickens of Georgia.

The Saints change, but not for a quarterback

After the Saints traded to the Eagles to win an extra selection in the first round, they are now picking at numbers 16 and 19. Initial speculation was that the Saints could pack those two options to change and get quarterback Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.

But Locked On Saints podcast presenter Ross Jackson spoke about the possibility that the Saints could be replaced by an offensive tackle that escapes the top 10, such as Charles Cross of Mississippi or the security of Notre Dame Kyle Hamilton .

Jackson thinks the Saints are happy with Jameis Winston for now, and will look to improve on their other needs greatly in the first round.

Locked On has a daily podcast covering all 32 NFL teams, find yours today!

Three QBs selected 20-32 picks

Could there be a race at the end of the first round for the quarterbacks? If Malik Willis is selected ahead of selection 20, as many expect, there could still be three other first-round quarterbacks selected in the draft.

Those names are Matt Corral of Ole Miss, Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh and Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati.

The 20-year-old Steelers could look to select a quarterback like Desmond Ridder or Kenny Pickett, following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger and the tragic death of Dwayne Haskins just a few weeks ago.

Other teams that could be looking to be late for the quarterback are the Tennessee Titans, if the draft doesn’t fall on them. Tyler Rowland, host of Locked On Titans podcasts, had Tennessee select Matt Corral in the Ultimate Mock Draft after the board failed him. The Detroit Lions are another team that could be looking to select a quarterback of the future with their 32nd overall selection from the Rams in Matthew Stafford’s exchange.

Otherwise, there could be some teams exchanging in the first round. Brian Peacock at the Peacock and Williamson NFL Show argued that the 27-year-old Bucs could be candidates in return. A team could try to sneak in there for a QB. The Packers also have two options in the 20s, they could look to go back to 28 for the right price.

Runner selected in the first round

There was little speculation that a runner would be selected in the first round of the draft, with options likely to come in the second round of Iowa State Breece Hall and potentially Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State.

But could one of them sneak into the first round? It would be necessary to go back to 2014 to find a draft where a runner was not chosen in the first round.

There’s been some noise lately that the Buffalo Bills may be interested in a runner-up in the No. 25 pick, with their lack of career play. This could come in the form of Hall or Walker.

The Bills are really the only team that makes sense to select a runner in the first round, but if the board doesn’t fall for it, the Bucs might also be interested in bolstering their career game in the No. 27 pick.

Locked On has a daily podcast covering all 32 NFL teams, find yours today!

2022 NFL Draft: Malik Willis Falls, 7 Receivers, Runners?

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