We’re not quite at Thanksgiving yet, but NFL teams looking towards 2022 have plenty to be thankful for.
The Lions didn’t lose! The Jets no longer have a QB controversy! The Jaguars are … well, they’re still the Jaguars.
With the NFL season entering championship rounds, plenty of bad teams are already looking past the winter and towards next spring, when the 2022 NFL Draft could, potentially, offer some franchise-altering players, even though it’s a little thinner on quarterback than in years past.
The teams at the top of the draft — the Lions, Texans and Eagles — may be in the market for finding a passer of the future. If not, there are several players who could offer plenty of help for a pass rush to help attack the other team’s QBs.
NFL Draft order 2022
Exiting the midway point of the 2021 NFL season, here’s how things stand entering Week 11 games.
(Last updated Nov. 14 after late afternoon games.)
|3||New York Jets||2-7|
|5||Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA)||3-7|
|6||New York Giants||3-6|
|7||New York Giants (via CHI)||3-6|
|8||Washington Football Team||3-6|
|9||Miami Dolphins (via SF)||3-5|
|10||New York Jets (via SEA)||3-6|
|15||Philadelphia Eagles (via IND)||5-5|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||5-4|
— The Eagles currently hold the No. 5 overall selection, traded to the from the Eagles as part of a pre-draft trade
— The Giants currently hold Chicago’s first-round pick, which was sent as part of an in-draft trade that the Bears made to select Justin Fields in 2021.
— The Dolphins currently hold San Francisco’s first-round pick as part of a pre-draft trade. The 49ers would select quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3 overall.
— The Jets currently hold Seattle’s first-round pick as part of the Jamal Adams trade in 2020.
— Pick Nos. 19 through 32 are held by teams currently in the NFL playoff picture.
While there’s no surefire top quarterback prospect entering the 2022 NFL Draft, there is a franchise-altering player; Oregon defensive end Kavon Thibodeaux, who’s spoken of in the same vein as another No. 1 overall pass rusher, Myles Garrett.
There’s an intriguing crop of quarterbacks who could wind up as first-round selections, including Liberty’s Malik Willis, Mississippi’s Matt Corral and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett. While anything can happen between now and next April, guys like Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell have seen their draft stock take a hit so far in 2021.
Otherwise, in addition to Thibodeaux, Aidan Hutchinson out of Michigan and Purdue’s George Karlaftis could be solid consolation prizes for teams looking for solid pass-rushing presence in the immediate.
LSU cornerback Derek Stingley could be the first defensive back off the board, in a draft that could be a little lighter on playmaking DBs.