Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, which takes place from April 28-30, The Game Day’s NFL writers share their bold predictions for the draft board and picks.
Which draft position classes will be undervalued or overvalued on draft day? Who’s the Round 1 pick who will shoot up draft boards?
Scroll to read our TGD staff’s NFL Draft bold predictions from Marcus Mosher, Adam Kramer, Frank Ammirante, Anthony Cervino, Scott Engel, Kev Mahserejian, and Nick Roberts.
NFL Draft Bold Predictions 2024
7 WRs will be drafted in Round 1.
Despite this class not having a Ja’Marr Chase- or Jaylen Waddle-level prospect, there are going to be a ton of receivers selected in Round 1. With the wide receiver market getting out of control, teams are going to want to get the fifth-year option of control at receiver.
So look for as many as seven receivers to be selected in Round 1 with a possibility of 10 being selected in the first 50 picks. There is even a chance that five receivers are drafted inside of the top 20 selections. So look for receivers to come off the board early and often on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft. — MARCUS MOSHER
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Jameson Williams will be the first WR drafted.
Jameson Williams is getting a ton of buzz in draft circles of late and we’re seeing that reflected in the betting market. Williams was once +700 but is now about +300 to be the first WR drafted, depending on the sportsbook.
This is a WR with good size at 6-foot-1 and the speed to take the top off an opposing defense. He put up 11 touchdowns of 30 or more yards this past season.
The Falcons at 8 could make sense given their dire need at WR. There are also the Jets at 10, who are looking to add more weapons for sophomore QB Zach Wilson. Williams would pair nicely as the deep threat with Kyle Pitts or Elijah Moore. — FRANK AMMIRANTE
No WRs will be selected in the top 10 picks of the first round.
If I want to get even bolder, I would say that no quarterbacks or wideouts will be taken. But we know the NFL is stir-crazy at the most important position in all of sports, so we will likely see a team reach for a signal-caller early.
For wide receiver, this draft is loaded with them. However, this draft is also chock-full of talent along the offensive and defensive fronts — including EDGE rusher — and contains outstanding cornerback talent early on.
The top 10 to be rounded out by offensive tackles, defensive linemen, and EDGE rushers with a few corners sprinkled in. But watch out: Once we hit Pick 11, expect to see a run on wide receiver for the duration of the first round. — ANTHONY CERVINO
Three QBs will be taken in the Top 10.
There is so much conjecture about how this is not a good QB class, and I have even seen a mock or two where almost no QBs or none or taken. Reality, however, says the position is a significant need for several teams, and options other than rookies are extremely limited.
The pre-draft predictions of many touts and experts are never fully on point. That is just the nature of the draft. So why pass on a major need when it’s been proven that QBs like Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott were not highly heralded either?
Draft choices can be lottery tickets, so they must be used for what is needed and could turn out to be better than expected.
The Saints will trade up, and the Steelers may leap into the Top 10. Carolina is desperate, and Seattle wants someone to compete with Drew Lock.
The Falcons and Lions could also be in the QB mix. Maybe Baker Mayfield gets traded before the draft, but up to six teams legitimately need a QB, and any of the incoming top few guys could exceed expectations. — SCOTT ENGEL
The Kansas City Chiefs will trade up to select Jameson Williams.
After trading Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs have a need for a game-breaking wide receiver. And the good news is that they have enough draft assets to be able to trade up for one.
The Chiefs currently own the 29th and 30th picks in the first round, and they have two second-rounders and two third-rounders. I predict they’ll trade the 29th pick along with a second-rounder, third-rounder, and fourth-rounder to Philadelphia in order to move up to 15th overall.
Williams is coming off knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and would likely be a top-10 pick otherwise, so the Chiefs will be getting an elite talent by moving up the draft board here.
The Alabama star will likely start the season on the PUP list, but the Chiefs have enough depth with Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to wait for Williams. — NICK ROBERTS
3 EDGE rushers will be drafted within the first 4 picks.
The 2022 NFL Draft is unconventional due to its lack of top-heavy talent. There are certainly a plethora of good and even great prospects available but given the lack of clarity at QB, the trenches are getting pushed up.
Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux cemented themselves as top-10 picks this draft while a dark horse in Georgia’s Travon Walker has risen from nowhere. Once discussed as a mid-to-late 1st, Walker has been mocked as the first overall pick at times and could easily find himself in the top 4 come draft day.
With teams always in need of help rushing the passer, this trio of EDGEs could round out the top of the draft. — KEV MAHSEREJIAN
Matt Araiza will be the highest-drafted punter ever.
A contending team won’t be able to resist. Araiza, who shattered NCAA records with his punting this year while also excelling on kickoffs and kicking field goals for San Diego State, will be selected sometime in the third round.
Bryan Anger was selected No. 70 by the Jaguars overall in 2012. He is the highest-drafted punter to date. Araiza will be selected earlier by a team with plenty of NFL pieces already intact - a team that can afford the luxury of adding this kind of specialist.
That team will inherit a lefty punter with a wealth of gifts. — ADAM KRAMER