1) Houston Texans – QB Bryce Young (Alabama)
The defending Heisman winner has another year at Tuscaloosa but should be considered the favorite to be the No. 1 pick next year. If the Texans are bad enough under Lovie Smith to get the No. 1 pick, it would be hard to justify continuing to ride with Davis Mills.
2) New York Jets – EDGE Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama)
I actually think the Jets will be pretty good next year after the insane draft of Joe Douglas and his team. With 4 picks in the top 36, they took my #3, #5, #16 and #27 players in the draft from CB Sauce Gardner, EDGE Jermaine Johnson II, WR Garrett Wilson and RB Breece Hall. Will Anderson Jr. would have been the clear No. 1 player in this draft and could be in contention for the No. 1 overall pick even in a strong QB year.
3) Detroit Lions – QB CJ Stroud (Ohio State)
Stroud will also be in contention for QB1 in this class, but we’ll see how he adapts after losing Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. He still has Jaxon Smith-Njiba, so I expect him to be fine. If he can continue his upward trajectory, he could be No. 1 overall next April.
4) New York Giants – QB DJ Uiagaelei (Clemson)
He hasn’t been as consistent as you’d like to see, but I’m betting on a great turnaround season for Uiagealei. The Giants wouldn’t choose Daniel Jones’ 5th-year option, so they’ll be firmly in the quarterback market next year.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State)
He’ll have a lot more opportunities this year, but Smith-Njigba would be a welcome addition to a squad that just paid top dollar for Christian Kirk!
6) Carolina Panthers – QB Tyler Van Dyke (Miami)
Do we really believe Matt Corral or Sam Darnold is the guy? Expect a new HC who will want to bring in his guy.
7) Atlanta Falcons – DT Jalen Carter (Georgia)
The Falcons have a ton of holes and continue to replenish talent along the defensive line.
8) Seattle Seahawks – EDGE BJ Ojulari (LSU)
The Seahawks need help on the EDGE and Ojulari has juice to make an impact on Day 1. Keep an eye on them as a QB team as well.
9) Chicago Bears – WR Kayshon Boutte (LSU)
Finally, they get help from Justin Fields! Boutte is a dynamic point guard who could give Jersey Jerry’s nemesis a legitimate No. 1.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers – OT Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State)
The Steelers have a makeshift OL and will need to build it to protect new Franchise QB Kenny Pickett.
11) Washington Commanders – CB Kelee Ringo (Georgia)
Commanders must invest any premium capital in the secondary in the 2022 draft, so I took them out the corner of Athens, GA in early 2023.
12) Miami Dolphins – EDGE Robert Beal (Georgia)
They’re going to have to tackle the setter a bit more in a split with Josh Allen, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones. Beal is what they should need next year.
13) Philadelphia Eagles – CB Tony Grimes (North Carolina)
Darius Slay rises an age ago and Grimes could inject some youth into the Birds secondary.
14) Minnesota Vikings – CB Eli Ricks (Alabama)
The Vikings went Andrew Booth Jr. in Round 2, but this could be Patrick Peterson’s last year, so they’ll have to keep investing in the secondary. Ricks will benefit from top-flight training and could go even higher in the 2023 draft.
15) New England Patriots – DT Justin Rogers (Kentucky)
The Pats get a big Kentucky run tamper at Rogers that helps them get back to their roots on D.
16) Las Vegas Raiders – LB Trenton Simpson (Clemson)
This of course assumes that Will Compton announces his retirement after this upcoming season.
17) Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints) – OT Zion Nelson (Miami)
The Eagles continue to build the trenches, an area they didn’t address in the 2022 draft. Lane Johnson is starting to get long in the tooth, but they can still kick Nelson inside to begin.
18) Tennessee Titans – EDGE Nolan Smith (Georgia)
Surprisingly, the Titans didn’t take an EDGE rusher in the 2022 draft and opted to back Bud Dupree and Harold Landry. Smith gives them a shot in the arm to position.
19) Indianapolis Colts – QB Will Levis (Kentucky)
Matt Ryan is not the long term answer. Levis has some buzz around him and it could be a good game midway through the 1st round.
20) Arizona Cardinals – DT Bryan Bresee (Clemson)
The Cards continue to rebuild their defensive line and Bresee can help them get an inside push and stop the run.
21) Cincinnati Bengals – OT/OG Nick Broeker (Ole Miss)
The Bengals will need to continue to build the O-Line around Joe Burrow and Broeker has positional versatility.
22) Baltimore Ravens – DT Siaki Ika (Baylor)
The Ravens were hoping for Georgia DT Jordan Davis and narrowly missed. Next year they could target Ika who weighs nearly 350 pounds. so they can return to their roots.
23) Los Angeles Chargers – S Jalen Catalon (Arkansas)
Derwin James will be a free agent after the season and it could be a cost saving measure because although he is an amazing talent, it would be hard to pay top dollar for a guy who misses an average of 4 games a year.
24) Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos) – OT Ryan Hayes (Michigan)
They just drafted Charles Cross 9th overall, but they will have to keep building what has always been a very porous O-Line.
25) Dallas Cowboys – WR Marvin Mims (Oklahoma)
Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson are both gone, so Dallas will look not too far from home to find Mims at the start of next year’s draft.
26) OhUston Texans (via Cleveland Browns) – TE Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)
Texans general manager Nick Caserio comes from New England, where they value Tight Ends. I would expect ‘Baby Gronk’ Michael Mayer to be a coveted piece for Texans.
27) Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco 49ers) – WR Jordan Addison (Pitt)
Tyreek Hill was a big win, but they’ll have to keep developing their weapons for Tua Tagovailoa and certainly not Tom Brady.
28) Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams) – CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
Jeff Okudah can’t seem to stay healthy, so the Lions need more help at Corner. Porter Jr. makes sense here in this pick that was part of the Matthew Stafford deal.
29) Green Bay Packers – WR Josh Downs (North Carolina)
Will the Packers really draft an early WR to help Aaron Rodgers? Nah probably not.
30) Kansas City Chiefs – CB Clark Phillips III (Utah)
Trent McDuffie was a great pick this year, but they still need help in Corner. Jarious Sneed is also in the final year of his contract in 2023.
31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers-EDGE Derick Hall (Auburn)
At 6’3″ and 251 pounds, he had 9.0 sacks and 12.5 TFL as a junior for the Tigers. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka looks like a stallion like EDGE, but Shaq Barrett is starting to get up a while ago. age, so they take Hall around 1 as a rotating piece.
32) Buffalo Bills – RB Bijan Robinson (Texas)
The Bills took James Cook in the draft this year, but he’s more than a 3rd back. Robinson can help haul the mail to Buffalo.