As it stands right now, entering Week None, the current top ten picks of the 2022 NFL Draft are slated to be:
- Lions 0-8
- Eagles (via Dolphins) 1-7
- Houston 1-7
- Jacksonville 1-6
- Jets 2-6
- Giants 2-6
- Washington 2-6
- Eagles- 3-5
- Giants (via Bears) 3-5
- Jets (via Seahawks) 3-5
It should also be noted, in terms of trade capital, that the Dolphins pick twelfth (via 49ers), and the Eagles pick again at 14 (via Colts)
Despite being higher in most statistical categories, the Lions are just barely worse at winning than the Texans. Unfortunately, they haven’t had the pleasure of beating up an unprepared college coach fresh out of an unorganized offseason program, which appears to be Houston's only recipe for outplaying opponents. Keep patience, fellow Texans fans. Detroit won’t have a chance to record their first win this week since they have a bye.
The attention should turn to the potential of losing out on not only the first overall pick, but also the second pick in the draft this year. This Texans-Dolphins game has bigger implications than just the looming Deshaun Watson trade rumors. The winner of this game essentially will forfeit the second pick to the loser, further pushing themselves away from the top. A lot can change is this league weekly, so it’s dangerous to look too far down the horizon when predicting. Insteas, we shall break the remaining nine weeks into three game chunks to look for immediate needle moving games.
Lets look down the road for who the bottom five teams will be playing three weeks out:
Detroit- BYE, Steelers, Browns
With the exception of the Falcons in Week Sixteen, t’s hard to imagine the Lions having a better chance to claim their first win until they play the inconsistent Bears following the Browns game. I don’t want to waive the 0-16 to 0-17 flag just yet, but dropping their next two games out of the bye week could set a course for history being made by this MAN Campbell led team for all the wrong reasons.
Miami- Texans, Ravens, Jets
Aside from the previously mentioned importance of the Houston game tomorrow, Miami plays both divisional games against the Jets within the next six weeks for AFC East altering implications. Throw in the fact that the Fins are in store for a rough Thursday Night Football against Lamar Jackson after the Texans game, and these divisional bottom feeder games could shift the tide for Brian Flores’ career, for better or worse. The Eagles will be watching.
Houston- Dolphins, BYE, Titans
For all this talk about Houston being first overall pick hopefuls, there is a legitimate chance when things are all said and done they are barely clinging on to a top five selection. Assuming David Culley’s squadron is able to rally around TyGOD Taylor to defeat the underachieving Dolphins and lessen the probability towards the second pick, they potentially could see their third overall standing uprooted if a season sweep of the bumbling Urban Meyer led Jaguars occurs.
Jacksonville- Bills, Colts, 49ers
Speaking of the AFC South jester’s court, Trevor Lawrence's glimmering progress since his hazy Houston debut has been flat out muffled by Jacksonville's bottom of the barrel tier defense. A close win against the Dolphins shows me the Jags can beat up or compete with lesser teams. Overall, a good sign for the eventual Lawrence revenge game to decide who truly loses the division, though it becomes hard to find an opportunity for a second Urban Meyer win in these upcoming games.
New York Giants- Raiders, BYE, Buccaneers
In a word: Yikes! If Daniel Jones is looking for a confidence-builder, it may have to be the relief he finds on the training table during the bye week after Maxx Crosby has his way with him.
It’s not all bad for the technology inept fighting Joe Judges, though. As it currently stands, with each team holding at least two first rounders within the top fifteen, we are set to have three teams (Eagles, New York Jets, and Giants) control the tides of the most crucial position on the draft board. These next few weeks are where mock drafts are going to get even more wacky and creative with trade up theories.
Who do you need to jump in order to land your preferred edge or quarterback of choice? As much as this signal-caller class is bemoaned by analysts and the league alike, we could see things shape up like the 2015 NFL Draft, as opposed to the infamous 2013 class many are drawing comparisons to. With multiple division rivals set to play each other in the coming weeks, important dominoes are set to fall, with their varying directions having strong leverage tied to each outcome.