With the 2022 NFL Draft taking place in Las Vegas this week, we’re taking a look at the odds on which player is expected to be the first overall pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars have the option of taking any rookie available after finishing last season with a 3-14 record and opinions are varied on who they should select.
Bwin’s 2022 NFL Draft odds on which hot prospect will come off the board first on April 28 have fluctuated wildly, with three different favourites at various times.
Here are the current leading candidates:
TRAVON WALKER @ 1.63
The 21-year-old edge rusher only became a starter in his final year with Georgia but played a major part in the Bulldogs claiming National Championship glory by beating Alabama. The 6ft 5in defensive end then wowed onlookers at the NFL Scouting Combine, including a 4.51 seconds 40-yard dash. With just 9.5 sacks in only 29 college games, Walker is far from the finished article, but his explosive athleticism will have suitors drooling over how good he could become. Playing opposite Josh Allen for the Jaguars would certainly be a nice fit.
AIDAN HUTCHINSON @ 2.35
Finished second behind Alabama quarterback Bryce Young in the 2021 Heisman Trophy voting and many feel he is the safest all-round bet at the defensive end position due to also being strong at stopping the run. Hutchinson would have been a hot favourite to go first in most NFL Draft predictions had Detroit not slipped back by beating Green Bay in the final round of fixtures, as he was born in Plymouth and represented the Michigan Wolverines with great effect during a stellar college career. The Lions would no doubt love to see him still on the board at number two.
IKEM EKWONU @ 11.0
Jacksonville already have an elite-prospect quarterback in Trevor Lawrence after taking him first in 2021, so if the Jaguars don’t trade down the order, protecting the former Clemson signal caller could be their main priority. That would make the NFL Draft odds for North Carolina offensive tackle Ekwonu interesting and this 6ft 4in, 320lb man-mountain picked up several top awards in college.
EVAN NEAL @ 17.0
Alabama OT Neal is generally regarded as the most polished performer at this position. The 21-year-old weighs in at 350lb and at 6ft 7in has the size and athleticism to shine on either end of the line.
KAYVON THIBODEAUX @ 26.0
The 21-year-old defensive end has the speed off the mark to wreak havoc on any offensive line and at 6ft 5in and 258lb, no quarterback wants Thibodeaux bearing down on them. The Los Angeles native has enjoyed almost celebrity status since being a stand-out high school performer and shone for the Oregon Ducks until an ankle injury hampered his final campaign. Was the early odds-on favourite in this market but has drifted alarmingly.
MALIK WILLIS @ 41.0
The last four top NFL Draft picks have all been quarterbacks, with Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield coming before Lawrence. That made it 18 of the past 24 number one selections coming from the signal caller fraternity. The general consensus is that no playmaker is worthy of such a high spot this year, but Willis is rated the pick of the bunch in terms of potential upside.
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