2022 NFL Draft order: Jets holding two of top seven picks
This is a look at the first-round order for the 2022 NFL Draft heading into Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind — teams 19-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.
NOTE: Arrows reflect movement from last week’s order.
Biggest needs: QB, CB, WR
Week 8 opponent: vs. Eagles
DP: Yes, Detroit needs a long-term answer at quarterback. The team must also upgrade a receiving corps that features 5-foot-8 journeyman Kalif Raymond as the top option.
Biggest needs: QB, WR, CB
Week 8 opponent: vs. Rams
CG: To say Brandin Cooks is getting a lion’s share of the action among Texans wide receivers is an understatement. He’s the lone true threat on the outside in Houston, which means the position should be high on the team’s priority list.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
Dolphins’ record: 1-6 (.543)
Dolphins’ Week 8 opponent: at Bills
See Pick No. 8 for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and Pick No. 10 for analysis of the Dolphins’ needs.
Biggest needs: WR, CB, S
Week 8 opponent: vs. Bengals
CG: With the NFL’s lowest-scoring offense, the Jets need an overhaul on that side of the ball around rookie QB Zach Wilson. Several New York receivers are pending free agents, and second-round rookie Elijah Moore hasn’t yet made any sort of splash.
Biggest needs: OG, WR, S
Week 8 opponent: at Seahawks
CG: Both starting guards, A.J. Cann and Andrew Norwell, can walk after the season. It’s not a premium position, but if free agency creates holes for the Jaguars at both guard spots, it will need quick and serious attention.
Biggest needs: OL, Edge, LB
Week 8 opponent: at Chiefs
DP: The early returns on rookie Azeez Ojulari have been very encouraging. Finding a complement for him off the edge could help take the defense to the next level.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Seahawks’ record: 2-5 (.578)
Seahawks’ Week 8 opponent: vs. Jaguars
See Pick No. 4 for analysis of the Jets’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks’ needs.
Biggest needs: QB, OL, DB
Week 8 opponent: at Broncos
DP: The offensive line hasn’t been the problem in Washington, but will the Football Team be able to keep some of its key pieces up front? All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff and offensive tackles Charles Leno Jr. and Cornelius Lucas are in a contract year.
Biggest needs: DB, Edge, OL
Week 8 opponent: at Lions
DP: The Eagles’ pass defense is a mess right now, and an anemic pass rush is one of the main culprits. Philadelphia has the fourth-lowest pressure rate in the league over the past two weeks (18.4%) and is the only team that played two games in that span and failed to register a sack.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
49ers’ record: 2-4 (.476)
49ers’ Week 8 opponent: at Bears
Dolphins’ biggest needs: OL, RB, TE
CG: The Dolphins’ struggles in the run game go beyond troubles on the offensive line. The running back position could use an upgrade, as well; a lot is being asked of the smallish Myles Gaskin (194 pounds).
NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis of the 49ers’ needs.
Biggest needs: OL, CB, QB
Week 8 opponent: at Falcons
DP: The Panthers aren’t giving up on Sam Darnold … yet. It’s pretty obvious Matt Rhule won’t stand pat if his quarterback keeps trending in the wrong direction.
Biggest needs: CB, WR, S
Week 8 opponent: at Chargers
CG: Having cut Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots’ defense needs to add a top-flight cornerback. There’s no pending free-agency exodus, but no New England cornerback has graded in the NFL’s top 50 at the position this season, per Pro Football Focus.
Biggest needs: QB, LB, Edge
Week 8 opponent: vs. Washington
CG: Von Miller is a pending free agent, and Bradley Chubb is missing a large chunk of the season due to injury for the second time in three years. It could be a much different look at edge rusher for Denver next year, and there might be an open door for a rookie.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Contingent on Carson Wentz playing 75% of team’s snaps; Wentz has played 99% of snaps entering Week 8)
Colts’ record: 3-4 (.458)
Colts’ Week 8 opponent: vs. Titans
See Pick No. 8 for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Colts’ needs.
Biggest needs: OT, CB, S
Week 8 opponent: vs. Giants
CG: Protecting Patrick Mahomes is paramount to the Chiefs’ hopes of continuing to make the deep playoff runs they’ve enjoyed in recent years. At offensive tackle, both Orlando Brown and Mike Remmers have deals that expire this offseason. Along with a leaky defense, it’s an obvious priority.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE CHICAGO BEARS
Bears’ record: 3-4 (.653)
Bears’ Week 8 opponent: vs. 49ers
See Pick No. 9 for analysis of the Giants’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Bears’ needs.
Biggest needs: Edge, OL, QB
Week 8 opponent: vs. Panthers
DP: Atlanta has scrapped its way to a .500 record heading into Week 8 despite producing the fewest QB pressures (46) and lowest pressure rate (20.8%) of any team. Imagine what the Falcons could do with a pass rush that was at least average.
Biggest needs: QB, CB, interior OL
Week 8 opponent: at Browns
CG: It’s a draft-need double whammy for the Steelers at the cornerback position: 1) potential free-agency departures loom, and 2) they’ll need to upgrade even if they retain who they have. PFF’s current grade for Steelers pass coverage ranks in the bottom quarter of the league.
Biggest needs: CB, Edge, LB
Week 8 opponent: vs. Cowboys
DP: It won’t be first in the pecking order of needs for Minnesota, but linebacker is a spot to keep an eye on with two of the three starters at the position in a walk year.
Biggest needs: TE, DT, Edge
Week 8 opponent: vs. Steelers
CG: Myles Garrett is once again playing at an elite level, but he’s Cleveland’s only proven edge rusher under contract beyond this season. Without a force of a talent opposite Garrett, the Browns would be asking for more double-teaming against their star.
Biggest needs: DL, WR, Edge
Week 8 opponent: vs. Dolphins
CG: It’s looking like the Bills have found an edge rusher with nice upside in rookie Greg Rousseau. Depth is important at that position, however, and GM Brandon Beane could take another dip into the edge rusher waters next spring.
Biggest needs: OT, DB, WR
Week 8 opponent: vs. Buccaneers
DP: The Saints have a glaring need for more juice at wide receiver. Plus, Kenny Stills and Tre’Quan Smith are impending free agents.
Biggest needs: WR, DT, TE
Week 8 opponent: vs. Patriots
CG: The Chargers haven’t gotten much production from their defensive tackles this season, and two of them — Christian Covington and Linval Joseph — are ticketed for free agency.
Biggest needs: OG, DT, LB
Week 8 opponent: Bye
CG: Denzel Perryman and Cory Littleton can play the run at linebacker, but that’s a skill of diminished value in a pass-happy league. Coverage has been the problem — the Raiders could use someone roaming with more range and instincts on passing downs.
Biggest needs: LB, TE, C
Week 8 opponent: at Colts
CG: With Ben Jones in the final year of his contract, the center position could need offseason addressing. It would be less of a concern if there was an obvious slide-over answer on the roster, but among the Titans’ top guards, there is little if any center experience.
Biggest needs: CB, TE, S
Week 8 opponent: at Jets
CG: The way the Bengals’ offense is lighting up the scoreboard (27 points per game), draft needs in Cincinnati should lean toward defense. Vonn Bell is having a strong year at safety, but it takes two at that position, and Jessie Bates is a pending free agent.
Biggest needs: DT, OL, Edge
Week 8 opponent: Bye
CG: By season’s end, standout OT Ronnie Stanley will have missed 26 games and played only seven since 2020 thanks to two season-ending ankle injuries. His health and the pending free agency of starting center Bradley Bozeman make the offensive line a potential area of concern.
Biggest needs: S, DL, WR
Week 8 opponent: at Vikings
DP: Dallas has needs at both cornerback and safety, but the latter could be more pressing come draft season with the team’s top three players at the position headed for free agency.
Biggest needs: WR, Edge, LB
Week 8 opponent: at Cardinals
DP: It will likely fly under the radar given the offseason drama that might ensue in Green Bay, but edge rusher is a position to watch with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith carrying large cap numbers in 2022.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS
Rams’ record: 6-1 (.469)
Rams’ Week 8 opponent: at Texans
See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Lions’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams’ needs.
Biggest needs: OL, CB, RB
Week 8 opponent: at Saints
DP: GM Jason Licht will be investing in some cornerback prospects over the next couple years. Carlton Davis is in the final year of his deal and Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean and Ross Cockrell are all due to hit the market after next season.
Biggest needs: Edge, CB, RB
Week 8 opponent: vs. Packers
DP: Arizona’s ground game continues to give the offense a boost, but it might be tough to keep the 1-2 punch of James Conner and Chase Edmonds together in 2022. Both have contracts that expire after this season.
TEAMS CURRENTLY WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Contingent on Carson Wentz playing 75% of team’s snaps; Wentz has played 99% of snaps entering Week 8)
Biggest needs: OT, WR, CB
Week 8 opponent: vs. Titans
CG: Michael Pittman has established himself as the WR1 in Indianapolis. He’s already surpassed his 2020 rookie numbers in terms of yardage and touchdowns. The wide receiving picture for the 2022 Colts beyond Pittman, however, is blurry at best.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE DETROIT LIONS
Biggest needs: OL, CB, LB
Week 8 opponent: at Texans
DP: The Rams showed a lot of confidence in third-round rookie linebacker Ernest Jones by trading veteran Kenny Young to the Broncos on Monday. L.A. will need to at least add depth at the position in the offseason.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK GIANTS
Biggest needs: OL, WR, CB
Week 8 opponent: vs. 49ers
DP: Finding an explosive target for Justin Fields should be high on the to-do list for the first team in 13 years to go the first seven games of a season without posting 200-plus passing yards. Also on the to-do list: Crafting an offense that can take advantage of the talent it has at receiver.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
Biggest needs: CB, WR, Edge
Week 8 opponent: at Bears
DP: If Brandon Aiyuk doesn’t receive Kyle Shanahan’s message and turn things around, he could be fighting off a rookie to keep his job in 2022.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS
Biggest needs: DB, OL, TE
Week 8 opponent: vs. Jaguars
DP: New Orleans was able to expose some of the flaws with the Seattle offensive line, sacking Geno Smith five times (hitting him eight times total) and recording nine tackles for loss on Monday night.
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