With the 2022 NFL Draft coming up, news and rumors are flying around some of the biggest prospects. Here is the latest we are hearing around the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ikem Ekwonu, and more.
2022 NFL Draft News and Rumors: Will the Jaguars select Travon Walker or Aidan Hutchinson?
While there’s a minority that continues to speculate the Jaguars could still take an offensive lineman with the first pick of the draft, the consensus is that they’ll go with one of the pass rushers, Aidan Hutchinson or Travon Walker — but which one? Sources continue to tell me that Trent Baalke wants Walker, but owner Shad Khan prefers Hutchinson.
I’m also told the Jags are close to signing Cam Robinson to a long-term extension and that an announcement could come soon.
What position will Ikem Ekwonu play on Sundays?
What position on the offensive line does Ikem Ekwonu project to on Sundays? While I think it will be right tackle or guard, several people near the top of the draft tell me the team that selects Ekwonu will initially use him at left tackle. If he doesn’t pan out, they’ll have an All-Pro left guard on their hands.
Draft stock risers include Luke Goedeke and Josh Ezeudu
Multiple sources tell me Goedeke could land in the early part of Round 2, as teams like him as a flex lineman who can play either guard spot, center, or tackle. Goedeke is drawing a lot of interest from the Jaguars, Houston Texans, New York Giants, and Chicago Bears.
Ezeudu won’t get out of the third from what I’m told, and he could land in the late part of the second round. His official-30 visit list includes the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and Bears.
Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard, projected by teams at guard, is likely to be drafted later than most expect. While some feel Kinnard is a Day 2 pick, I’m hearing he won’t be selected until the fourth round at the earliest.
Where will Boye Mafe potentially end up?
Boye Mafe has been regularly mocked to the Kansas City Chiefs at the end of the first round, and I’m told general manager Brett Veach was a huge fan of the Minnesota pass rusher before Senior Bowl practices even started. The fandom increased manyfold after Veach saw what Mafe was able to do during the three days of practice.
Teams believe Mafe was limited by the Minnesota defensive system. Yet, he really showed his versatility and potential when used in multiple schemes at the Senior Bowl, where his game was allowed to open up.
Will the Texans shock everyone with the third overall pick?
In every draft, something off-the-wall usually takes place that few expect. Many didn’t believe the Niners were taking Trey Lance over Mac Jones. So what’s the craziest rumor I’m hearing at the top of the draft four days out? The Houston Texans could throw everyone for a loop by taking Derek Stingley Jr. with the third pick.