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Treash: 8 predictions ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft

Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux, center, celebrates a second half stop against California. Eug 101521 Oregonfb 14

The 2022 NFL Draft may be under a week away, but unlike some years, the prospect layout is still incredibly murky. From the No. 1 overall pick to the quarterbacks, there’s still a lot of unknown in regards to what’s going to happen next Thursday night. As a result, draft predictions are tough to make, but that’s not going to prevent me from diving into the fray.

Below are eight bold predictions for the 2022 NFL Draft.

The top three picks are Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker — in that order

Between Walker’s rise and Thibodeaux’s puzzling fall, this top three scenario would catch some by surprise, but I think it will actually happen. 

Hutchinson is undoubtedly a safer option than Walker, as he wouldn’t have a long developmental process like the Georgia product. The former Michigan Wolverine and Heisman finalist is the clear best prospect in this class, as Hutchinson is fresh off a historic 2021 campaign that ended in an FBS-best 94.5 PFF grade and a record-shattering PFF wins above average (WAA) total. The latter beat out extraordinary seasons from Chase Young, Joey Bosa and Nick Bosa to be the best by an FBS edge defender in the PFF College era.

The Michigan edge defender always has a plan, as he knows how to set tackles up and consistently forces them to open the door to the counter back inside. His advanced pass-rushing skill set gives him one of the highest floors in this class, making him too good for Jacksonville to pass on.

Thibodeaux landing at No. 2 appears likely. He isn’t the most refined pass-rusher in the class, but that didn’t stop him from earning an elite 91.5 pass-rush grade in 2021. Considering the 6-foot-4, 251-pound edge defender has some outings where opponents schemed around him, that’s quite impressive. Thibodeaux boasts all the tools NFL teams desire on the edge and showed improvement throughout his college career. If he can continue on that path of refinement, he can be an NFL All-Pro.

New York Giants trade one of their first-round picks and recoup a 2023 first-rounder in return

This is something the Giants would love to do considering their quarterback situation, but it’s not going to be easy to pull off, as it necessitates a team falling in love with a top-10 prospect to the point that they are willing to invest multiple first-rounders to select him.

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