We are just two months away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and our attention has quickly shifted from Super Bowl LVI to the offseason. A quarterback has gone No. 1 overall in each of the last three drafts, but that trend could be ended this year with the Jacksonville Jaguars atop the draft order.
The Jaguars also picked No. 1 overall last season, selecting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top pick. They won't be taking a quarterback again, but you can never rule out a trade down should another NFL club become enamored with one of the signal-callers!
Below, we will break down the odds for which player will go No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft and give a few of our favorite bets to make. First, here's the top 10 candidates to go No. 1 overall, per Caesars Sportsbook.
DE Aidan Hutchinson
OT Evan Neal
DE Kayvon Thiboxeaux
OT Ikem Ekwonu
OT Charles Cross
QB Malik Willis
QB Kenny Pickett
S Kyle Hamilton
QB Matt Corral
CB Derek Stingley Jr.
A couple of takeaways from this list before we jump into the picks: It's possible there are only four "legitimate" candidates to go No. 1 overall. That's at least how Caesars Sportsbook sees it, as only four players have odds shorter than +1000. Second, the quarterback order is interesting. Malik Willis (+4000), Kenny Pickett (+5000) and Matt Corral (+8000) are the top three, and then Carson Strong and Sam Howell are a few spots further down the list at +10000. Putting money on a quarterback this year is not advised.
Now that you've seen the odds, let's get into a few best bets, starting with our favorite:
OT Evan Neal, +200: Getting Neal at +200 could be incredible value. It's interesting he's ranked No. 2 on this list, because he's going No. 1 overall in three out of our four CBS Sports NFL expert mock drafts. The consensus All-American could be a sure thing at the next level, especially considering the fact that he played multiple positions along the Crimson Tide offensive line and found success in each.
OT Ikem Ekwonu, +800: If you can't tell by now, I'm eyeing an offensive tackle going No. 1 overall. It would be a solid choice for the Jags to add protection and keep Lawrence upright as he continues to develop. Ekwonu is going No. 1 overall in Ryan Wilson's most recent mock draft, and he's been rising up draft boards for some time now.
DE Aidan Hutchinson, +160: If it's not an offensive tackle, I'll pick Hutchinson to go No. 1 overall. The Michigan product picked up All-Big Ten honors this past season and was named the 2021 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, as he set a program single-season record with 14 sacks.