Draft Pick Predictions

By: Dan Hampton

The draft is only a day away and many football fans are gearing up to see what their teams will do to improve their rosters. As for fantasy football, the famous 2 words will be met…. landing spot. With so many prospect reports, combine results, game films, and group chat arguments about who’s going where, or who the best receiver is, our questions will soon be answered.

The 2022 draft class is deep in receivers, has question marks on the quarterbacks, has one stud running back, and a couple ‘could be’ guys. In this exercise, I will be taking a guess at where the top 12 Superflex rookie picks could be going in the actual draft for landing spots. These picks and landing spots are off my own rankings, with spots I feel could happen and by going through team depth charts. The order of my list will go through where they are picked in the actual draft, and I will put my fantasy 1st round Superflex value with the pick as well. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Atlanta Falcons at 8th overall select:
Jameson Williams WR Alabama

Williams has been dubbed as possibly the best receiver in this class, but a torn ACL in the national championship game has his return to the field uncertain. Williams is a game changing receiver with great speed and big play ability. Some player comparisons to him are Deshaun Jackson and watching him on the big play, it makes sense. Atlanta has shown to take Alabama receivers in the 1st round, as Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley have been previous selections. Atlanta can also wait for Williams to get healthy as the team isn’t projected to be very good this season.

My 1st round ranking 1.07

New York Jets at 10th overall select:
Drake London WR USC

A big bodied receiver who excels at the contested catch, also has good speed, strong hands and is not afraid of traffic. London’s comparisons have been to Mike Evans. He would be a good downfield presence for the Jets and a nice complement with 2nd-year receiver Elijah Moore. London projects as a wide receiver 1.

My 1st round ranking 1.03

Washington Commanders at 11 select:
Garrett Wilson WR Ohio State

Wilson is my favorite receiver in this class and he can do everything well. He doesn’t have good size, but he’s not small by any means. At Ohio State, he averaged a touchdown per game and is a smooth route runner that can find the open space and play all over the field. Calvin Ridley is a player comp that’s been floating around, as he can ease in as the team’s secondary receiver and gain experience to become the number 1 option in a couple of years. Although he didn’t play with current receivers Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel, he would be joining 2 Buckeye alumni on the Commanders receiving core.

My 1st round ranking 1.02

Philadelphia Eagles at 15 select:
Treylon Burks WR Arkansas

Before the combine, Burks was the fantasy player that was garnering the most buzz and excitement. After his 40 time of 4.55, the buzz started to fade, but it shouldn’t as the combination of size and speed should make Burks a good receiver in the NFL. The player comps have been all over the place from Deebo Samuel to N’Keal Harry to A.J Brown. At Arkansas, he was the primary offensive player and was manufactured touches to get him the ball. The gameplay speed that he has, doesn’t do justice. One downside was the number of routes he ran, but Arkansas wasn’t exactly a powerhouse program.

My 1st round ranking 1.04

New Orleans Saints at 16 select:
Chris Olave WR Ohio State

Another Buckeye receiver taken in the 1st round yet he is different than Garrett Wilson. Olave always seems to be open and is probably the best route runner in this class. He has the ability to play at every level as well and is very reliable. Olave projects to be a very safe receiver and better suited as a very good wide receiver 2 in the NFL. Landing in New Orleans will be a great fit for him as he’d be playing opposite Michael Thomas. With his ability to get open, he should be very successful. Olave has been compared to Emmanuel Sanders, who was a fantastic wide receiver 2 for Denver.

My 1st round ranking 1.06

New Orleans Saints at 19 select:
Kenny Pickett QB Pittsburgh

Pickett had a breakout season in 2021 and set career highs in all categories. The running joke with “small hands” shouldn’t be a problem in the Superdome or NFC south with warmer climate games. Not projected to be a starter right away, Pickett does have a good football IQ which can serve him well. He has decent size and good scrambling ability, although doesn’t project as a runner. His passing is above average with a decent passing percentage. One comp I’ve heard is Andy Dalton, who is currently the backup on New Orleans. Projected as an above-average future starter isn’t a bad thing.

My 1st round ranking 1.10

Pittsburgh Steelers at 20 select:
Malik Willis QB Liberty

Picked by many to be the first quarterback taken off the board and even the 1.01 in some Superflex rookie drafts. Willis has a cannon of an arm and is a fantastic runner yet he is lacking some football IQ, he is a very raw talent. In Pittsburgh, he would have the means of a fantastic organization to succeed at the next level. Pittsburgh has made it known that they like Willis, who has the skill set of a former quarterback in Kordell Stewart and would be an instant fan favorite. A year with a clipboard and learning from Mike Tomlin could make Willis a star in this league.

My 1st round ranking 1.08

Detroit Lions at 32 select:
Matt Corral QB Ole Miss

With the last pick in the 1st round, the Lions take Matt Corral. Corral is a natural athlete and has what it takes to be a quarterback in the NFL. He has an above-average arm and good running skills, although tends to take a big hit more often than he should. This could be a problem against stronger and bigger players at the next level. Like the previous quarterbacks taken, Corral would be best served to sit for a year, especially with incumbent Jared Goff having the contract size to be the starter.

My 1st round ranking 1.11

Detroit Lions at 34 select:
George Pickens WR Georgia

If Pickens wasn’t injured for most of last season or rumblings of some off-field issues, he certainly could be in the running for the best receiver in the class. Pickens has decent size and great speed, coupled with excellent big play ability. His peak season was as an 18-year freshman and he still has room to grow. If the injuries are behind him and the off-field stuff, Pickens can be a field stretcher for the rebuilding Lions. Having a comp to Bulldog alumni A.J Green, there is plenty to like.

My 1st round ranking 1.12

Houston Texans at 37 select:
Breece Hall RB Iowa State

Hall is the top running back prospect in the draft and should go 1.01 in most rookie drafts. Hall has a 3-down skill set and loves to score touchdowns. His streak of 24 games in a row is an NCAA record. A 3-year starter at Iowa State with 5.5 YPC and 50 rushing touchdowns, plus being involved in the passing game, Hall checks all the boxes. Not to mention, running a 4.38 at the combine, just showed he is ready to take his game to the next level. Hall will get every opportunity in Houston to get a good workload right away. Some comps have been a better David Montgomery to a lesser Jonathan Taylor, which is a safe pick if you have the 1.01.

My 1st round ranking 1.01

New York Jets at 38 select:
Kenneth Walker III RB Michigan State

After transferring from Wake Forest, Walker had a fantastic JR season in East Lansing. He put up over 1,600 yards and over 6 YPC, culminating with a 4.39 40 time at the combine, Walker showed he can be a solid runner. Walker wasn’t used in the passing game, yet in New York he would provide a solid early-down set to move the chains and be a great committee back with Michael Carter. Walker got better as the game went on and does have a nose for the end zone too.

My 1st round ranking 1.05

Atlanta Falcons at 58 select:
Isaiah Spiller RB Texas A&M

A 3-year starter with good size and 3 down skill set, Spiller should fit in just fine in Atlanta where there is little competition. Spiller was considered for the 1st running back off the board before a minor injury leading up to the combine prevented him from going through many of the drills. He lacks some big-play ability yet makes up for it with good vision, allowing the play to develop, as well as his willingness to put his head down and get the extra yardage. Overall, Spiller could be a low-end fantasy RB2 with some comps as a low-end Le’Veon Bell.

My 1st round ranking 1.09    

There are my thoughts on the possibilities of some of the landing spots for some of the dynasty Superflex top rookies in this upcoming draft. I could have gone a couple more predictions, as I’m sure many would like to know what receivers are going to Green Bay and Kansas City, I just don’t see a higher upside than the guys I listed above, although it’s very close. Hope you enjoyed the read and if I get a couple of these right, I would be more than happy and considered this a success.

Dan Hampton

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