The 2022 NFL draft, ie the league’s 87th annual “Player Selection Meeting,” and its myriad mysteries are finally here.
Perhaps appropriate that an event that leads so many teams to hit blackjack and comes up snake eyes for quite a few others is being staged for the first time in Las Vegas, which was originally supposed to host the draft in 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic scrapped those plans. The backdrop should make the visuals uniquely spectacular this year.
The intrigue should also be rampant given the number of trades that have already impacted the draft with more sure to follow. Make sure to follow the instant analysis here starting at 8 pm ET Thursday night, when the players start coming off the board.
No QB at No. 1?
The Jaguars, who selected Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence first overall last year, obviously won’t be taking another passer. Barring an unlikely trade of the selection, the 2022 draft will be the first since 2017, when the Browns took DE Myles Garrett, what won’t have a quarterback off the top. Ten of the past 13 drafts have been christened with a quarterback at No. 1.
USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis and Mike Middlehurst-Schwartz both released their final mock drafts this week … Davis good-naturedly complaining about the quality of Middlehurst-Schwartz’s Thursday mock as compared to his Wednesday version. Both agree Georgia DE Travon Walker will go No. 1 overall to the Jags, followed by Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson to the Lions. Middlehurst-Schwartz then goes off the rails … as most mock drafts anywhere tend to within the top five.
2022 NFL draft tracker: First-round picks
10. Jets (from Seahawks) –
18. Eagles (from Saints) –
19. Saints (from Eagles) –
28. Packers –
30. Chiefs –
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL Draft 2022: Live news, analysis on picks throughout first round