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Cover 3: Bold predictions for 2022 NFL Draft


The crew upholds its annual tradition and makes bold predictions heading into the 2022 NFL Draft:

John Schmeelk: The first quarterback taken in the draft will be taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers. None of these teams take quarterbacks in the Top 20: Lions, Panthers, Falcons, Seahawks, Commmanders, or Saints. At least one of those teams – maybe two - will trade back into the final 10 picks of the first round to draft a quarterback. The Steelers might also move up a couple spots to grab Mallik Willis.

There will not be a trade-up in the Top 10 picks, although the Panthers have the best chance to move out. They have no picks until round four of the draft and desperately need capital. The first skill position player will be selected by the Jets with the 10th pick in the draft - it will be a wide receiver. There will be seven edge rushers and seven wide receivers taken in the first round, with a run on wideouts at the back end of Round 1. No tight ends will be selected before No. 55. Tyler Linderbaum will fall out of the first round.

Here's the whopper and you can't be sure to believe this – but why not? Derek Stingley will be the first cornerback taken.

Dan Salomone: Everyone knows what happens when you assume, right? And there have been a lot of assumptions about the Giants this year. There seems to be a foregone conclusion from fans and media that the team will take the best offensive tackle and edge rusher available – period, no questions asked. General manager Joe Schoen isn't going to force anything, though. That philosophy could lead to the Giants taking neither position in Round 1, which would surprise plenty of people.

"It's just the need, the value, where that is," Schoen said in his pre-draft press conference when asked about fixing the offensive line. "You've just got to make sure it mirrors up or you're going to be in the same boat. If you try to force it, it's not the right value, we're sitting up here next year saying the same thing. We needed a guard, so we reached for him, but the value wasn't right. You have to make sure when those two meet, they mirror each other, that's when you're going to make the best decisions."

Lance Medow: Let's go with two bold predictions for the price of one. A notable veteran player will be traded during the draft – perhaps Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield or Niners wide receiver Deebo Samuel will be on the move. Cleveland already acquired Deshaun Watson and signed Jacoby Brissett as his backup so Mayfield has no spot on the depth chart. If you're Cleveland, you might as well see if you can get some value for him at this point. Recent reports have indicated Samuel wants to be traded as he looks to secure a new contract and serve strictly as a wide receiver as opposed to a jack-of-all-trades. If the Niners don't think they can work things out, this year's receiver class is the best opportunity to find Samuel's replacement.

Speaking of wideouts, there will be a big run on that position in the first round with potentially seven players being selected and the aggressiveness to begin once we get through the Top 10 picks. Recent history has proven there's depth at the position and you can land a play maker beyond the first round; but the NFL is a pass-happy league and a receiver on a rookie contract is a luxury for a quarterback, so there's always interest to get good ones.

See which draft prospects remain on NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 150 list.


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