Happy 2022 NFL Draft week. According to multiple reports, the back end of Thursday’s first round may welcome a flurry of activity in regards to the quarterback class. The NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral are candidates to be selected towards the completion of Round 1. As things stand, Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett are favorites to be the first two quarterbacks off the board. Pelissero reports that various teams are interested in potentially trading back into the first round in order to land the services of their desired quarterback, specifically jumping the Detroit Lions at 32nd overall, who may possess interest in selecting a developmental signal-caller of the future with the final selection on Thursday night. The fifth-year contract option qualifies as an excellent financial reason for quarterback-needy teams to get their guy in the first round.
The 2022 NFL Draft promises to be one of the most unpredictable and wild drafts in recent memory due to the lack of clear cut quarterbacks at the top. There’s seemingly a different flavor for every team that needs a signal caller in this draft.
With our eyes on Thursday’s impending action, we’ve identified three teams near the back end of the first round that may consider executing a trade in an attempt to land their preferred quarterback.
Surprise! If the Lions are legitimately interested in drafting a quarterback with the No. 32 overall selection, and are aware that various teams may be interested in leapfrogging them for the right to do so, what exactly stops the Lions from executing a deal of their own? Lions General Manager Brad Holmes owns an abundance of draft capital – Detroit enters the 2022 NFL Draft with eight overall selections, five of which are top-100 picks.
Detroit is largely expected to pass on the opportunity to draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall selection in favor of drafting a defensive playmaker instead. Should they possess interest in selecting an eventual successor to Jared Goff, the Lions could put together an intriguing package that potentially includes the 32nd and 34th overall selections while executing a slight trade-up. Holmes and the Lions would be foolish to anticipate simply selecting their desired quarterback at 32.
If the Lions own a true first-round grade on a quarterback, Holmes should feel comfortable becoming rather aggressive in an attempt to guarantee he lands the signal-caller his heart ultimately desires.
Seahawks General Manager John Schneider essentially ushered in a rebuilding period when he agreed to trade disgruntled franchise quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in exchange for three veteran players and several immediate and future draft selections. Seattle has largely ignored the quarterback position since then. The Seahawks aren’t expecting to legitimately contend for the division title in 2022, but it would qualify as a surprise if Schneider and Head Coach Pete Carroll felt comfortable entering the impending campaign with just Drew Lock and Geno Smith at the quarterback position.
The Seahawks currently own back-to-back selections in the second round (No. 40 and 41 overall). Their draft capital, when paired with an obvious need at the position, makes the Seahawks prime candidates to trade back up into the back end of the first round. Seattle is unlikely to select a quarterback with the ninth overall selection due to a lack of value. The Seahawks could however select an offensive lineman with that selection before executing a trade and drafting their quarterback of the future towards the end of the first round.
The Tennessee Titans currently own the 26th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. Figuring out what the Titans plan to do with that selection has qualified as a particularly difficult exercise. General Manager Jon Robinson has spent the offseason preaching about the requirement to place starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill in an environment better suited for success by securing upgrades across the offensive line, and at the pass-catching positions. Robinson stayed true to his word by acquiring Austin Hooper and Robert Woods in the offseason.
That line of thinking should have the Titans targeting an offensive linemen or wide receiver at No. 26 overall, but the Titans have also done an extensive amount of homework on this year’s quarterback class. Tannehill’s contract becomes easily movable following the conclusion of the 2022 campaign, and the Titans could decide to select their quarterback of the future immediately. Tennessee attended the pro days of every top quarterback prospect and brought a few of them into their facilities for private Top 30 visits. Should Tennessee have interest in drafting a quarterback, and if other teams view the Titans as a threat to take a signal-caller at 26, Tennessee may have to execute a slight trade up in order to land their desired target. The lack of a second-round pick makes life difficult for the Titans, but we can’t completely rule out a potential willingness to draft a quarterback.