The time for speculation and mock drafts is over: The 2022 NFL draft kicks off in Las Vegas on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
Over the course of three days and seven rounds, the 32 NFL teams will select 262 prospects to join the league. The league awarded 39 compensatory picks to this year’s draft, with seven picks awarded to six teams: the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers (who got two), Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles. Angeles Rams, as part of an initiative to reward diverse hiring of head football coaches and chief executives (general managers).
How to view the draft
The first round of the draft will air on ABC, ESPN and the NFL Network and will be streamed through the NFL and ESPN mobile apps. Rounds two and three will take place on Friday starting at 7 pm and rounds four through seven will take place on Saturday starting at noon.
Equipment to consider
For the second year in a row, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the No. 1 overall pick. Jacksonville (3-14 last season) has a total of 12 draft picks and needs help at almost every position. The team’s biggest priorities are on the offensive and defensive lines, but they could also be looking for a wide receiver.
With picks No. 2 and 32, the Detroit Lions are looking to fill out their defensive line, and a new cornerback could be in their future. They are among eight teams to have two first-round picks. Another, the Houston Texans (Nos. 3 and 13), may be looking for a wide receiver.
The New York Jets currently have five draft picks in the first three rounds, including the fourth and 10th picks. Along with the New York Giants, who have the fifth and seventh picks, the Jets are said to be interested in trading some of their existing draft stock to acquire a veteran player. (With teams reportedly buying wide receiver Deebo Samuel and quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo, there are options.)
Eight teams — the Rams, 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Browns, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders — do not have first-round picks.
players to watch
Of the 262 prospects, only 20 will attend the event in Las Vegas. They include Aidan Hutchinson, a defensive end from Michigan who finished second in Heisman Trophy voting and is listed as a possible No. 1 pick; Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon quarterback; North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu, a fast and agile All-American offensive tackle; and Alabama’s Evan Neal, who for three seasons with the Crimson Tide played left guard and both tackle positions.
Travon Walker, a defensive lineman from Georgia and another contender to be picked first overall, will participate remotely. This year’s first round is expected to be short on quarterbacks — only Liberty’s Malik Willis and Mississippi’s Matt Corral will be available in Las Vegas — and most of the prospects in the job are projected to be taken after the first round. . The Carolina Panthers, the No. 6 overall pick, are believed to be the first team that can draft a quarterback.
But with no consensus on the top picks in the first round, prepare for surprises.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.