As the 2021 NFL season enters the final weeks of the regular season, we’re getting even closer to next year’s draft. The 2022 NFL Draft will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas from April 28 to April 30.
Naturally, there’s going to be talk about who experts and fans think will be selected with the first overall pick. While nothing is guaranteed at the event, sportsbooks like BetOnline have odds on who is favored to go at No. 1. At -150 odds, BetOnline is favoring Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson to be taken first overall at the 2022 NFL Draft.
Hutchinson was an absolute monster throughout the 2021 NCAA college football season. The senior defender suited up in 13 games for the Wolverines, finishing with 58 total tackles, with 15.5 of them being for a loss. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Hutchinson had a whopping 14.0 sacks. Considering how he had just 3.5 in his previous 22 collegiate games, that just goes to show how much of a monster he was.
Hutchinson also wowed college football fans by finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting. He was up against three other quarterbacks and even though he didn’t win, he still received 78 first-place votes.
Another factor that could play into Hutchinson going first overall at the 2022 NFL Draft is that the Detroit Lions will likely hold the No. 1 pick. Being from Michigan, he already said that he’d be a “hometown hero times two” if he got to play for the Wolverines AND Lions. With Detroit needing help on defense and no need for a quarterback that early, it’d be far from shocking to see Hutchinson end up there.
2022 NFL Draft First Overall Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, December 17
- Aidan Hutchinson (-150)
- Kayvon Thibodeaux (+200)
- Matt Corral (+800)
- Kenny Pickett (+800)
- Malik Willis (+1600)
- Evan Neal (+1600)
- Carson Strong (+2800)
Kayvon Thibodeaux First Overall Odds
At +200 odds, Oregon Ducks DE Kayvon Thibodeaux has the next best chance at going first overall at the 2022 NFL Draft. While he missed two games due to an ankle injury early in the season, Thibodeaux still finished his sophomore campaign with 49 tackles (12.0 for a loss), 7.0 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles.
Up until a few weeks ago, BetOnline favored Thibodeaux to go first overall at the 2022 NFL Draft while Hutchinson wasn’t really on the radar to do so. Nevertheless, the latter’s impressive performance as of late has catapulted him into the conversation. Still, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a chance that the Lions won’t consider taking Thibodeaux. He’s a dynamic player who can change a game at the drop of a dime. He’s going to be a force in the NFL for years to come (as long as he stays healthy) and is more than worthy of first overall status.
Corral, Pickett 2022 NFL Draft Odds
While it seems like a long shot, both Matt Corral and Kenny Pickett share +800 odds to be the No. 1 pick at the 2022 NFL Draft.
When it comes to Corral, he’s been involved in the conversation since the beginning of the season. The Ole Miss Rebels QB had a season to be proud of, however, his 3,333 passing yards and 20 touchdowns were both lower than his statistics last year despite playing two more games in 2021. Still, he did set new career highs in rushing yards (597) and TDs on the ground (11).
On the other hand, Pickett had his best season as a Pittsburgh Panther in 2021. He finished with 4,319 passing yards on 497 attempts, also throwing 42 touchdowns — three more than he had over his previous 39 games combined. The senior QB finished third in Heisman Trophy and has all the potential to be an everyday quarterback at the NFL level.
Keeping that in mind, draft analysts and experts just don't see Pickett and Corral as a franchise quarterback that you take first overall. They’re certainly first-round talents, however, Hutchinson and Thibodeaux are more valuable to the teams with higher draft packs. Nevertheless, you can never say never when it comes to the NFL.