The NFL had a busy first week of its new league year, with trades making a bigger splash than signings, highlighted by Russell Wilson, Davante Adams, and Deshaun Watson all getting traded. The moves resulted in the Seahawks, Packers, and Texans all adding first round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Mel Kiper is back with his first mock draft since just before the Combine got started. Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson remains locked in at the No. 1 overall pick and barring a trade, it’s hard to see that changing. DraftKings Sportsbook has Hutchinson listed at -400 to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Kiper has Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton going No. 2 to the Lions, which is a +350 occurrence at DK. He follows with NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu to the Texans at No. 3. Ekwonu is a +175 favorite to go No. 3 overall.
The notable trades of Wilson and Watson leave Seattle and Houston on the search for quarterbacks of the future. Notably, neither uses a first round pick on the position in what is viewed as a weak QB class. Kiper has the Saints selection Pitt QB Kenny Pickett at No. 18, the Steelers selecting Liberty’s Malik Willis at No. 20, and the Lions selecting Ole Miss’ Matt Corral at No. 32.
Below is the top ten in Kiper’s mock. The Seahawks at No. 9 is the biggest addition due to the Russell Wilson trade. Seattle had dealt away its first round pick at No. 10 in the Jamal Adams trade, so this gets them right back in the mix.
1. Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
2. Lions: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
3. Texans: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
4. Jets: Drake London, WR, USC
5. Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
6. Panthers: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
7. Giants (via CHI): Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
8. Falcons: Garret Wilson, WR (Ohio State)
9. Seahawks (via DEN): Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
10. Jets (via SEA): Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati