NFL reporters from across the USA TODAY Sports Network collaborated on a mock draft ahead of Thursday night’s first round. Here are their picks.
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan: Hutchinson is a safe pick with the potential to become a cornerstone on the Jaguars’ defense with Josh Allen. Hutchinson having that type of potential is too good for the Jaguars to pass up.
— John Reid
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon: The Lions have stressed culture fit in their latest rebuild, and for that reason, some wonder whether Thibodeaux is a match. If the Lions can get comfortable with Thibodeaux’s personality, they could have the draft’s best pass rusher.
— Dave Birkett
Travon Walker, DE, Georgia: With needs covering almost the entire roster and the team’s lone star, Laremy Tunsil, entrenched at left tackle, the Texans bet on upside, taking the athletic potential of Walker and hoping he can be the next superstar in a long line of franchise pass rushers in Houston.
— Joel Erickson
Travon Walker and Jermaine Johnson (seen here with Georgia in 2020) are projected to go in the top 10 in the USA TODAY Sports Network’s mock draft.
4. N.Y. JETS
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State: The Jets need an edge rusher more than anything, but with the top ones off the board, they go with the best player available in Ekwonu. He gives them insurance if Mekhi Becton is slowed by injury again. Ekwonu is a potential long-term starter.
— Andy Vasquez
5. N.Y. GIANTS
Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati: The Giants are in a rare spot picking again at No. 7, with only Carolina between them, so they wait on offensive tackle – their biggest need – and instead go with a lockdown corner who will fit perfectly in new DC Wink Martindale’s system. “Sauce” has all the tools to be special at the next level.
— Art Stapleton
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama: The Panthers see Evan Neal on the board and think back to when Neal was considered a favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick earlier in the draft…
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Author : USA TODAY Sports
Publish date : 2022-04-26 23:24:08
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