THE 2022 NFL Draft is shaping up to be the most intriguing in years.
It’s a class dominated by huge D-line men and receivers, with no standout quarterbacks eligible for the #1 overall pick.
Travon Walker, the Georgia Bulldogs’ standout defensive end, is now being widely tipped to be transferred to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.
The Jags have the No. 1 pick for the second straight season after picking play-caller Trevor Lawrence 12 months ago.
SunSport conducted their own mock draft ahead of Thursday’s first round – and the top of the board is dominated by players on the defensive side of the ball.
The top four picks in our mock draft are defensive ends, with the Jags Walker and Detroit Lions taking a big shot at polarizing talent Kayvon Thibodeaux.
One of the most gifted rushers in this class, Thibo finishes second in our draft despite recent reports that he might drop out of the top 10.
And the Lions could prove to be a match made in heaven considering he would be linked with former Ducks teammate Penei Sewell.
Next we have Jermaine Johnson II on the road to Houston who have gaps all over the place and could use a player who has posted 12 sacks in his only season at Florida State.
Long dubbed No. 1 in many mocks, Aidan Hutchinson has slipped in recent weeks despite the former Wolverine having a monstrous 2021 season.
AIDEN TO NEW YORK?
He accumulated 62 tackles, forced two fumbles and had 14 sacks to finish second to Bryce Young and win the Heisman Trophy.
But it was Walker’s stunning performance at the NFL Combine that earned him the No. 1 overall pick.
The 21-year-old Bulldog could give the Jaguars more upside potential in the long term, although Hutchinson’s relentless style benefits whichever team they choose.
In our scenario, that could be the New York Jets, who would appreciate such talent at this stage of the process.
Our top five is offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu, with the Giants getting much-needed protection for QB Daniel Jones.
Speaking of quarterbacks, Kenny Pickett will be a Carolina Panther if our mock draft plays out as predicted.
After missing a string of play-callers in the offseason, the Panthers get their hands on Pickett, who looks like a ready-made NFL starter.
LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was the best in the nation during his 2019 freshman season, and if the Giants can unleash that potential, he’s a bargain at No. 7.
While the Atlanta Falcons could be next in line for Garrett Wilson, their receiving corps has been decimated by the season-long suspension of Calvin Ridley.
Next we have Evan Neal heading to the Seahawks, with the versatile OT who can play both left and right tackles.
WILL SOMEONE TRADE?
And the Jets complete a successful opening of their draft by nabbing receiver Drake London in pick 10, giving New York a real playmaker threat in bottom field.
We’ll have to wait for the Pittsburgh Steelers to get on the board with the #20 pick before snapping another quarterback.
Malik Willis and the Steelers are a perfect match as Pittsburgh searches for a long-term replacement for the late Big Ben Roethlisberger.
Willis would be the perfect understudy for Mitch Trubisky this season and has the arm strength, mobility and leadership skills to succeed at Heinz Field.
Elsewhere, the Kansas City Chiefs grab a shock replacement for Tyreek Hill in the form of Jameson Williams at #30 pick.
Williams seemed destined to be a top-ten pick before tearing his cruciate ligament in the national championship game.
And in our scenario, things are going well for the Chiefs, who could potentially get a bargain without having to trade for it.
Another team looking for help is the Packers, who in our scenario finally win a WR in the first round of a draft.
The player in question is Arkansas star Treylon Burks, who visited Green Bay ahead of the draft and could step in on an offense nursing the loss of Davante Adams.
While the Lions could give QB prospect Sam Howell a shot, many are sneaking into the first round as the perfect reinforcement to learn from Jared Goff.
Below is our full NFL mock draft for the first round, with the Real Thing scheduled for Thursday, April 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
- Travon Walker EN – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Kayvon Thibodeaux EN – Detroit Lions
- Jermaine Johnson II EN – Houston Texans
- Aidan Hutchinson EN – New York Jets
- Ikem Ekwonu OT – New York Giants
- Kenny Pickett QB – Carolina Panther
- Derek Stingley Jr cb – New York Giants
- Garret Wilson WR – Atlanta Falcons
- Evan Neal OT -Seattle Seahawks
- DrakeLondon WR – New York Jets
- Kyle Hamilton S – Washington commanders
- Trent McDuffie cb – Minnesota Vikings
- Ahmed Gardner cb – Houston Texans
- Jordan Davis DT – Baltimore Ravens
- Chris Olav WR -Philadelphia Eagles
- charles cross OT – Saints of New Orleans
- Trevor Penning OT – LA chargers
- Devonte Wyatt DT -Philadelphia Eagles
- TylerSmith OT – Saints of New Orleans
- Malik Willis QB – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Andrew Booth Jr cb – New England Patriots
- Kenyon Green upstairs – Green Bay packers
- Georg Karlaftis EN – Arizona Cardinals
- Tyler Linderbaum OK – Dallas Cowboys
- Breece Hall RB – Buffalo Bills
- Zion Johnson upstairs – Tennessee Titans
- Travis Jones DT – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Treylon Burks WR – Green Bay packers
- Devin Lloyd LB – Chiefs of Kansas City
- Jamesson Williams WR – Chiefs of Kansas City
- Travis Jones DT – Cincinnati Bengal
- Sam Howell QB – Detroit Lions
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5211600/nfl-mock-draft-revealed-travon-walker-hutchinson/ The NFL’s mock draft was unveiled as Travon picked Walker for the 1st pick overall and Aidan Hutchinson left for New York