The 2022 NFL Draft will commence tomorrow, April 28. It's a real weird class this year with not a lot of apparent top-end talent, but it seems to be very deep with contributors to be found in excess on days two and three.
The main event of the NFL offseason will surely deliver drama regardless. Here's some bold predictions about what'll happen tomorrow night.
A QB Goes Top 10
If anything can be said about this class, it's that it's very weak at quarterback. Last year saw five signal-callers go in the top half of the draft. This year, most mocks predict the first QB to go around the 20th overall pick. It wouldn't be surprising if only one or two quarterbacks got picked in the first round entirely.
But it remains the most valuable and important position in sports, and history indicates that when there isn't an obvious elite prospect, at least one team talks itself into a mediocre guy as their top pick (remember the Jake Locker/Blaine Gabbert draft?). The prediction here is that somebody decides Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett is the player they want and takes one of them in the first 10 selections. The Panthers seem the most likely culprit, but don't rule out a trade-up.
Travon Walker Tumbles
As the draft has approached, there has been a ton of noise about the Jaguars going full wildcard and bypassing the consensus top-two prospects to take Travon Walker with the first pick of the draft. It is not necessarily a bad pick, but Walker was a rotational player on a stacked Georgia defense with very little tape in regards to what NFL teams would want him to do. It's the kind of pick that makes sense for Trent Baalke; Walker is a measurements monster and does not come from the Jim Harbaugh school of football.
But it smells like a smokescreen. NFL teams love engaging in this cloak-and-dagger nonsense, and that's what the Jags are doing here. They'll go the obvious route and take Aidan Hutchinson, while Walker takes a tumble down the draft board and ends up available outside the top-10.
Multiple Draft Picks End Up at Rob Gronkowski's Vegas Party
Rob Gronkowski is hosting a rager of a party on Friday in Vegas to celebrate the NFL Draft, very much in the vein of his crazy Super Bowl party in Miami last year. Gronk, if anything, knows how to have a good time and how to capitalize on his presence, charging top dollar for admission. The prediction here is that more than one player selected on Thursday night will end up going viral for dancing at Gronk's big party. Because if you're going to celebrate achieving your NFL dreams, why not do it with the biggest partier in the NFL?
No Running Backs or Tight Ends Are Selected in the First Round
Do you know the last time neither a running back nor a tight end was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft? I'll give you a moment to garner a guess. You'll be wrong, but give a try. Go on.
It last happened in freaking 1959, when the NFL consisted of 12 teams. No running back or tight end was picked in the first round. Technically there was a fullback by the name of Nick Pietrosante selected, but no traditional RB. In every single draft since then, either a running back, tight end, or both has gone in the first round of selections. In what is assuredly our boldest prediction yet, that will not happen this year. Tight end is arguably the weakest position in the draft and you'll be hard-pressed to find even one prospect with a first-round grade. We all know what's happened to RBs over the last few years and there aren't any elite prospects in this year's grouping, either. The 2022 NFL Draft will make history.