Trade, Trade or Stay in the 2022 NFL Draft: Best Plan for All 32 Picks in the First Round

The 2022 NFL Championship is approaching, and unlike in years past, no one had even a faint idea of ​​how the first round would play out. There is consensus on the likely #1 public pick, for sure, and you’ll find a lot of the same names in the top five or so through dummy drafts. But there’s plenty of uncertainty even among high-profile positions like quarterback, with Kenny Beckett, Malik Willis and Matt Corral all vying to get off the plate first.

With this in mind, we decided to make each of the 32 first-round picks and suggest what each team should do in each slot: trade up, down or stay. Some clubs are in a better position to move on to top talent. Others may benefit more from collecting additional assets. Here’s how we advise their decision makers:

Ordinarily, we would say dip just because even after another veteran spending spree, they can use all the choices they can get. But with 12 selections on hand, the task here is simple: secure the best person. Michigan will likely go through with the rush Aidan Hutchinson, who could pair up with Josh Allen to give Jacksonville a legitimate D streak.

2. Black: trade down

If they really like the quarterback here (see: Malik Willis), they should think long and hard about pulling the trigger. If not, they’d be better off expanding their picks group, especially with the other first group (#32) on deck.

3. Texas: Stay

Amusing calls to move down wouldn’t hurt, but they already have two-thirds and forty-two. With top talent needed at nearly every position, they must sit tight, add an overhand tackle or pass the pace, and then find another rookie in 13th.

4. Airplanes: trade down

Maybe interfering (Ikem Ekwonu) or overbearing edge (Kayvon Thibodeaux) is worth it, but with another crack in one of the first races in 10th place, they can move down and pick another pick on day two or two as they try. To speed up its rebuilding.

5. Giants: Back Trade

Like the Jets, they’ll certainly have a chance of getting extra time or a faster pass, but with two more places to be picked later, why not ask for performances from QB teams in need? After they’re out of a salary cap setting, they need all the extra ammo they can get their hands on.

This is a popular spot for QB prospects, and if it’s sold out on Willis or Kenny Pickett, you could do worse. But given that most QB prospects look the same in terms of risk/reward, they should prioritize rebuilding the venture capital – they don’t pick again until the fourth round – and swing into the QB later in the first round.

7. Giants: Stay

We’ve had them trade again from fifth, so that’s the key point to secure an instant start, either when interfering or in any defensive position. Gardner’s sauce, Kyle Hamilton, or Nakobi Dean sauce will all make toy making additions.

Many have suggested trading cuts, but they already have second- and third-round picks after deals for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones last year. By sitting tight, they guarantee themselves a shot at the top of the QB – Willis is the most tempting long-term bet – or the playmaker, either in attack (Garrett Wilson?) or defense (Jermaine Johnson II?).

Armed with a pair of high second rounds after the Russell Wilson deal, they have the potential to shake up the top ten, either to add Wilson’s successor (Willis Matt Corral?) or get a fresh left-handed tackle or #1 corner.

10. Airplanes: Stay

If they’re going to drop from fourth, as suggested above, they should stick with that, and make sure they leave day one with a top 10 talent, most likely at the wide receiver or accelerating edge or back corner.

Staying in position and adding the best defense on the board would be fine, but after dealing with a pair of picks for new QB Carson Wentz, they should consider going down to collect arrows.

There is a real case to do for each scenario here. If you think it’s a spacer, why not move around to secure one of the top corners? If you’re taking a long view, why not add choices so the new administration can prepare for life outside of Kirk Cousins? In the end, they can probably stay put, hold on to their other choices and continue to land on the edge of the plane or man cover.

13. Texas: Stay

More than most teams with multiple firsts, they desperately need talent at every position. By picking at No. 3 and No. 13, they should be able to at least add one impact starter to their 2022 squad.

14. Crows: Trade

They could easily sit back and roll with the best pass or corner, but with two third-round hits and five fourth-kicks, they shouldn’t hesitate to play with Top 10 talents like Sauce Gardner or Jermaine Johnson second.

15. Eagles: Stay

It all depends on who’s available, but after moving one of the first three to 2023 in a big swap with the Saints, they should take a breath and secure their first day start or long-range game in defense or away. Andrew Booth Jr. and Jordan Davis are two names to watch.

16. Saints: Trade

After swapping multiple picks with Eagles to add the first, they might as well double up and ensure they get whoever they want, whether in QB (Kenny Pickett? Matt Corral?) or elsewhere, like outside wide or out front.

After their great performance in Free Agency, they can’t sit idly by, right? Offensive or defensive tackle may fall into their arms, but they have every reason to be aggressive, building around Justin Herbert to win now.

18. Eagles: Trade Down

They’re pushing their chips until 2023, when QB may reappear on their radar. If they sit tight and pick #15, they should look to tackle again, this time to collect an extra pick for the second day while sliding a little downhill on the first.

19. Saints: Stay

They would probably use this as part of a big transition from #16 (see above), but a better plan would probably address multiple needs simultaneously, and it’s best to leave the first round with new, longer-range options on intervention and wide reception.

A trade-off may be the only way to secure one of the best odds in QB, but are we sure? By being patient, Pittsburgh will likely have at least a crack in the first round of QB, whether it’s Corral, Willis or Desmond Ridder, without mortgaging the additional 2022 picks they don’t have.

Do they intend to compete with bills this year? Or stay ahead of the dolphins? If so, they would be wise to consider moving down – and giving themselves a few shots to fill in the holes in the corner and back – like making a splash up top.

With the first extra step of the Davante Adams deal, they should be as active as possible trying to swing higher, mostly to replace Adams wide. Whether it’s Drake London, Treylon Burks or Chris Olave, they need Aaron Rodgers’ immediate help.

For two consecutive years, they treated a free agency like 2017, giving priority to veterans/injured veterans. They are also without a fourth and fifth round. In the deep WR class and rusher class, they can afford to slip lower and add another pick or two.

They can use online O-line help, and should be able to find some here. Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green both make sense as plug and play rangers. WR or rusher can also be on the table.

25. Billing: Stay Fired

In this deep WR class, they can sit tight and wait for a high probability like Jameson Williams or Jahan Dotson to reach their arms. Josh Allen should be satisfied regardless.

26. Titans: Stay

This is a place to watch for a surprise QB pick, but it’s also perfect for being patient and seeing any of the higher OT slides or WRs. Don’t rule out moving on to the top if they’re really interested in finding a successor to Ryan Tannehill.

Their roster has already been properly compiled for a legitimate playoff. No need to impose any minor problems and give up valuable future choices to move into the top 25. Keep tight and support the depth away from the edge or in the front.

28. Packers: Stay

This is assuming they don’t combine this with the number 22 to move up. If the Packers can leave Day One with a new receiver, as well as a new offensive tackle or quick pass, Brian Gutekunst should be saluted.

29. Bosses: Trade

With the first two at their disposal after the Tyreek Hill deal, Kansas City is preparing to move on. The Chiefs are in winning position now as long as Patrick Mahomes is under center, so jumping on other teams to add a higher WR makes a lot of sense.

30. Bosses: Hold on

Someone will be excited to get back to round one here, but the Chiefs have plenty of extra choices after dealing with Tyreek Hill. If they can handle WR with number 29 (or by trading), they can add rusher or Cornerback help here.

31. Bengals: Trade down

They’re obviously still in a winning position now at their Super Bowl exit, but in a draft where the last first-round picks are completely unpredictable, they shouldn’t add an extra pick or two to drop a few spots and give someone else a fifth year option.

32. Black: Keep

Trading down is totally smart, but let’s say they are really intrigued by the QB who is still on the board (Desmond Reader?). Locking in a signal caller’s fifth year option would be smart.