Players Selected Thursday in the First Round of the NFL Draft:
1) Jaguar – Travan Walker, 6 foot-5, 275 pounds, Georgia
The Breakdown: Speed and athleticism are prototypical for his size and build and he can probably add some weight without missing out on what makes him special. Need to work on pass-rush technique.
Fact: A one-year starter whose output (13 tackles for damage and 9 1/2 sacks) was fine playing as part of a deep rotation at Georgia.
Notable: The last team to take No. 1 in consecutive seasons was Cleveland, which picked up an edge rusher (Miles Garrett) in 2017 and a quarterback (Baker Mayfield) in 2018. The Jags go to QB (Trevor Lawrence) and then pass Rusher to Walker.
2) Lion – Aidan Hutchinson, 6-6, 265 pounds, Michigan
The Breakdown: Relentless and efficient pass rusher with a good combination of technique and assortment of moves. Overall athleticism is a notch below some elite pass runners who have gone into the top five in recent years, like the Bossa brothers.
Fact: The Heisman Trophy runner-up last season is the son of former Michigan defensive lineman and team captain Chris Hutchinson.
Notable: The last time the Lions picked a Michigan player was 18th-ranked OL Jeff Backes in 2001.
3) Texans – Derek Stingley Jr., 6-1, 195, LSU
The Breakdown: Strong man-to-man technique. Mirror plays balanced to the receiver. Can get lost in zone coverage and run support.
Fact: Stingley was an All-American as a freshman, but injuries (legs in 2021) and regressions from the rest of the defense cut short his next two seasons.
Notable: Matches the highest drafted cornerbacks in the Common Draft era. The last time the Texans selected a cornerback in the first round was in 2015 (Kevin Johnson, No. 16).
4) Jets – Ahmed Gardner, 6-2, 190, Cincinnatic
Breakdown: Tall, long armed and sharp. Moves his slim frame with ease and plays aggressively at the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t have a lot of power in his game and might be able to grab it, but the corner of the sauce was the definition of lockdown.
Fact: Did not allow TD reception in his three year college career.
Notable: Gardner is the most drafted player ever from Cincinnati and the first cornerback taken by the Jets in the first round since De Milliner (No.
5) Giants – Kywan Thibodaux, 6-5, 258, Oregon
The Breakdown: Bounces past blockers to play with supernatural explosions and lengths in the backfield. Tall, lean build doesn’t lend itself to weight gain.
Fact: The former five-star recruit looked set to be the first overall draft pick after the freshman season, but he never had a fully effective year amid injuries and a short pandemic season.
Notable: The Giants had not drafted a defensive end/edge rusher in the first round since taking on Jason Pierre-Paul (No. 15) in 2010.
6) Panthers – Ikem Ekwonu, 6-4, 310, State of North Carolina
The Breakdown: Light on his feet and able to shut down defenders with his long arms. Can be a little too aggressive at times – 10 penalties in his career – but it comes with a desirable toughness. Receives high marks for leadership and probabilities off the field.
Fact: Nicknamed Icky after a former Bengals run back Icky Woods by a youth football coach.
Notable: Ekwonu is the first offensive lineman taken in the first round by Carolina since Jeff Ota (No. 19) in 2008.
7) Giants (from Chicago) – Evan Neal, 6-7, 335, Alabama
The Breakdown: A remarkable combination of size and explosive athleticism. Balance and continuous blocks need to be more consistent, but as long as he keeps his weight under control, much is preferred.
Fact: Started 40 games and missed only one in his three-year career, ending as an All-American.
Notable: Alabama has made at least one first-round pick for 14 consecutive years, breaking the record set by Miami from 1995–2008.
8) Falcons – Drake London, 6-5, 210, Southern California
Breakdown: Huge catch radius with long arms and good hops. Makes lots of competitive catches and runs through tacklers after catch. Top-end speed is lacking and route running requires more precision.
Fact: Heisman was on his way to trophy consideration in 2021, before a fracture of his right ankle shortened his season.
Notable: After capturing TE Kyle Pitts No. 4 last year, the Falcons have been drafted a pass catcher for the second season in a row.
9) Seahawks (from Denver) – Charles Cross, 6-5, 310, State of Mississippi
The Breakdown: Good shape and length, plays with balance and patience as a cross pass blocker. Could use some bulk and his run blocking would need development after playing in a near-happy offense.
Fact: The blue-chip prospect from Mississippi elected to live in her home state over proposals from the state of Southern California and Florida.
Notable: Cross is Mississippi State’s first top-10 pick since the Eagles took RB Michael Haddix to No. 8 in 1983.
10) Jets (from Seattle) – Garrett Wilson, 5-11, 185, Ohio State
Breakdown: Highly efficient in tracking the flight of the ball. Works on edge with excellent footwork and has the speed and accuracy to run away from defenders. on the lean side.
Fact: Playing with other star receivers limited his output, but he caught 23 touchdown passes with 19 starts in 33 career games.
Notable: The Jets last took a receiver in the first round at Santana Moss in 2001
11) Saint (from Washington) — Chris Olev, 6-1, 188, Ohio State
The breakdown: The quickness to win from the melee line and the speed to get to the separation in the open field. Like his partner, Wilson, he lacks power, but is difficult to cover and tends to grab a lot.
Fact: Set an Ohio State record with 35 touchdown catches.
Notable: The last time the Saints selected an Ohio State receiver, it was Michael Thomas in the second round (47th overall) in 2016.
12) Vikings —-
13) Texan (from Cleveland) –
14) Crows –
15) Eagles (from Miami) –
16) Commanders (from Saints via Indianapolis via Philadelphia) –
17) Chargers –
18) Eagles (from New Orleans) –
19) Saint (from Philadelphia) –
20) Steelers –
21) Patriot –
22) Packers (from Las Vegas) –
23) Cardinals –
24) Cowboys –
25) Bill –
26) Titans –
27) Buccaneers –
28) Packers –
29) Head (San Francisco via Miami) –
30) Head –
31) Bengal –
32) Lion (from Los Angeles) –
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