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The 2022 NFL draft already has a clear-cut top overall prospect, but as has been the case many times before, it’s highly likely that player won’t be the No. 1 overall pick.
Teams picking at the top of the draft usually need a franchise quarterback before they can worry about any other position, which means Oregon edge defender Kayvon Thibodeaux isn’t the best bet to be next year’s top selection.
Just how far could he fall?
In the latest 2022 NFL mock draft from Pro Football Network, Thibodeaux lands at No. 3 overall with the Jacksonville Jaguars, after North Carolina’s Sam Howell (No. 1 overall, Houston Texans) and Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (No. 2 overall, Detroit Lions) put quarterbacks in each of the first two spots.
The Jags have bigger needs elsewhere, but after landing their own franchise passer in Trevor Lawrence in this year’s draft, getting another elite prospect like Thibodeaux for the defensive side of the ball would be a huge win, regardless of need.
Another intriguing pick in this mock happens at No. 4 overall, where the New York Jets pass up LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. for a different SEC corner, opting for Florida’s Kaiir Elam instead.
It’s a decent wait for the next quarterback off the board in this mock after Howell and Rattler, as Liberty’s Malik Willis lands with the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 18 overall. He’s the only other quarterback that makes the cut, as other top passers like USC’s Kedon Slovis, Nevada’s Carson Strong and Georgia’s JT Daniels fail to appear in this first-round projection.
To check out the full mock draft at Pro Football Network, click here.