NFL News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Exploring the early favorites for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

Frank Ragnow (77) and the Detroit Lions take the field before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Ford Field on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Detroit Lions huddle

The reward for being the NFL's worst team in 2020 was Trevor Lawrence, the best quarterback prospect in some time. The reward for being the worst team in 2021? Well, that player will likely fall well short of Lawrence's hype.

Still, bottom-tier teams with no shot of contending for a Super Bowl should be striving for the No. 1 draft slot to avoid ending up in “quarterback purgatory,”  or building a roster around a subpar arm.

It’s early, but Oklahoma‘s Spencer Rattler has the skill set to be the next great prospect we talk about ad nauseam.

Now that the roster construction process of the NFL offseason is largely complete, we now know the frontrunners of the rebuilding process and those most likely to receive the highly coveted first overall pick in 2022. Let’s dive in.

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.


Notable Offseason Moves:

2021 NFL Draft Class:

R1 (7): OT Penei Sewell, Oregon
R2 (41): DI Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
R3 (72): DI Alim McNeill, NC State
R3 (101): CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
R4 (112): WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC
R4 (113): LB Derrick Barnes, Purdue
R7 (257): RB Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State

Lions Projected Starting Lineup for 2021
Offense Defense
QB Jared Goff DI Michael Brockers
RB D’Andre Swift DI Da’Shawn Hand
WR Breshad Perriman EDGE Trey Flowers
WR Tyrell Williams EDGE Romeo Okwara
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown LB Jamie Collins Sr.
TE T.J. Hockenson LB Jahlani Tavai
LT Taylor Decker CB Amani Oruwariye
LG Jonah Jackson CB Jeff Okudah
C Frank Ragnow Slot Mike Ford
RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai S Will Harris
RT Penei Sewell S Tracy Walker

Detroit ranks 32nd out of 32 teams in non-quarterback Wins Above Replacement (WAR) from 2020 on their current roster. Wide receiver was a pressing need for them in the 2021 NFL Draft, as they entered Day 1 with Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams — both of whom have just one single-season PFF grade north of 70.0 in six years — as their top two targets. And Detroit left the weekend in Cleveland with those two still being WR1 and WR2.

Instead, the Lions chose to build their team from the inside out by attacking the trenches with their first-, second- and third-round picks. That's not much of a surprise considering that new head coach Dan Campbell talked about how his squad will kick the opposition in the teeth and bite a kneecap off in his introductory press conference

With how much help quarterback Jared Goff got in Los Angeles from his supporting cast and scheme, things could get ugly in the short-term in the Motor City. In Goff’s four years with the Rams, he had the third-highest percentage of his passing yards come after the catch (49.6%) and ranked third-to-last in turnover-worthy plays (88).

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

NFL Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr