Who has the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Who has the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and who could potentially be selected No. 1 overall in April?

“With the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft …” These words will forever change every NFL franchise. Each team will welcome a new cast of characters from across the globe during the 2022 NFL Draft. Some NFL teams will change drastically more than others — the higher the team selects, the more talented players (theoretically) they’ll bring in.

So, who has the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft? Who has the chance to bring in some franchise-changing players so they won’t pick first overall again? And how many picks are currently locked in for the 2022 NFL Draft?

The first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft belongs to …

The Jacksonville Jaguars. Under a new head coach, that is, the Jaguars currently own the right to select first during April’s draft. In all likelihood, Jacksonville will maintain that first overall pick and add their top choice of any player in the 2022 NFL Draft pool.

How’d Jacksonville get the first overall pick?

The Jaguars’ failed experiment that was Urban Meyer’s head-coaching tenure ended in an NFL-worst 3-14 record. They had a season-low winning percentage of just .176. Jacksonville had wins over the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts. Their three wins were by a combined 21 total points, including two 3-point victories over Miami and Buffalo.

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With Trevor Lawrence entrenched as the team’s franchise quarterback, it’s safe to assume whoever the new head coach is will not be taking a quarterback with the No. 1 overall selection. The direction they go with that first pick will certainly dictate the rest of the draft.

Options for Jacksonville with the first pick

With about as many holes on their roster as any other team, the options to choose with the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft are plenty. Jacksonville has their choice, and they seem likely to select between the following players:

Those aren’t the only players they can choose, obviously, but those are the most likely candidates for the top overall pick. It’s as strong of an EDGE class that we’ve seen in some time — all three top edge defenders can change the face of a team’s defensive line. Neal presents a blindside protector for Lawrence for the next decade-plus. And Hamilton has the best range since Derwin James.

Current 2022 NFL Draft order

With Jacksonville selecting first, they “won” the race over the Detroit Lions. It was a tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers that gave the Lions the second overall selection. Here are the first 18 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft order.

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-14 (.176) | Strength of Schedule: .512
2) Detroit Lions: 3-13-1 (.206) | Strength of Schedule: .528
3) Houston Texans: 4-13 (.235) | Strength of Schedule: .498
4) New York Jets: 4-13 (.235) | Strength of Schedule: .512
5) New York Giants: 4-13 (.235) | Strength of Schedule: .536
6) Carolina Panthers: 5-12 (.294) | Strength of Schedule: .509
7) Chicago Bears (traded to the Giants): 6-11 (.353) | Strength of Schedule: .524
8) Atlanta Falcons: 7-10 (.412) | Strength of Schedule: .472
9) Denver Broncos: 7-10 (.412) | Strength of Schedule: .484
10) Seattle Seahawks (traded to the Jets): 7-10 (.412) | Strength of Schedule: .519
11) Washington Football Team: 7-10 (.412) | Strength of Schedule: .529
12) Minnesota Vikings: 8-9 (.471) | Strength of Schedule: .507
13) Cleveland Browns: 8-9 (.471) | Strength of Schedule: .514
14) Baltimore Ravens: 8-9 (.471) | Strength of Schedule: .531
15) Miami Dolphins (traded to the Eagles): 9-8 (.529) | Strength of Schedule: .464
16) Indianapolis Colts (traded to the Eagles): 9-8 (.529) | Strength of Schedule: .495
17) Los Angeles Chargers: 9-8 (.529) | Strength of Schedule: .510
18) New Orleans Saints: 9-8 (.529) | Strength of Schedule: .512

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. He is also the co-host of Between the Hashes, a college football and NFL draft podcast. You can find his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @CamMellor


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