The 2022 NFL Draft picture became slightly clearer in Week 14, with a familiar team working its way toward the No. 1 overall pick.
Jacksonville (2-11), fresh off a 20-0 shutout by Tennessee in which top overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence threw zero touchdowns and four interceptions, has moved into the No. 2 spot in the latest draft boards, one game behind the Lions. That wasn’t the only indignity of the game, as first-year coach Urban Meyer — the subject of a blistering report that suggests he talks down to his coaches — was nearly as big a story following his team’s loss.
Meyer not only gave his former Ohio State assistant Mike Vrabel the cold shoulder following the loss, but also threatened to fire whoever leaked the details of Saturday’s report “within seconds.”
Elsewhere, the Raiders were thoroughly embarrassed by the Chiefs, resulting in them moving up one spot to No. 14 overall in the latest draft order. The Browns, despite nearly blowing a big lead, actually moved up a spot to No. 18 overall, one shy of a wild-card playoff spot.
Here’s how those games and more affected the latest NFL Draft order:
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NFL Draft order 2022
Here’s how the 2022 NFL Draft order stands after NFL Week 14 games:
(Last updated before the Week 14 “Sunday Night Football” matchup between the Bears and Packers.)
|4||New York Jets||3-10|
|5||New York Giants||4-9|
|6||New York Giants (via CHI)||4-8|
|8||New York Jets (via SEA)||5-7|
|10||Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA)||6-7|
|13||New Orleans Saints||6-7|
|14||Las Vegas Raiders||6-7|
— The Eagles currently hold three first-round picks.
— The Giants currently hold the Bears’ first-round pick, which was sent as part of an in-draft trade Chicago made to select quarterback Justin Fields in 2021.
— The Dolphins currently hold the 49ers’ first-round pick as part of a predraft trade. San Francisco selected quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3 overall in 2021.
— The Jets currently hold the Seahawks’ first-round pick as part of the Jamal Adams trade in 2020.
— The Eagles currently hold the Colts’ first-round pick as part of the Carson Wentz trade. (In order for the pick to turn into a first-rounder, Wentz must play ≥75 percent of snaps this year OR Wentz plays ≥70 percent of snaps and Indianapolis makes the playoffs.)
— Pick Nos. 19 through 32 are held by teams currently in the NFL playoff picture.
It’s a trio of pass-rushers who could steal the spotlight come April.
While there’s no surefire, No. 1-overall pick entering the 2022 NFL Draft, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Purdue’s George Karlaftis all could stake a claim as the best pass-rush presence in this year’s draft.
While Karlaftis’ stock has fallen behind the others, the question of whether Hutchinson has done enough to knock Thibodeaux off as the draft’s top-ranked edge defender is still unanswered: It doesn’t hurt, though, that Hutchinson had monster performances vs. Ohio State on Nov. 27 and in the Big Ten championship game.
In all, Hutchinson finishes the 2021 regular season with 14 sacks, and will have an opportunity to further strengthen his case for No. 1 overall in the College Football Playoff.
For quarterback-needy teams, the picture for passers has never been murkier: While there are some intriguing names entering the 2022 scene, no QB in the nation has yet to elevate into bona fide franchise passer status. North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Liberty’s Malik Willis and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral could all be first-round selections, but there’s a long, long way to go before names are called next April.