Kayvon Thibodeaux
Kayvon Thibodeaux, NY Jets, Getty Images

ESPN believes the New York Jets will pick first in the 2022 NFL draft

The 2022 NFL draft is very far away, but any football fan knows that time isn’t going to stop anyone from making early projections.

It’s just too much fun to theorize over. And besides, isn’t hope the name of the sports media game?

Recently, ESPN released their first projections for the 2022 draft order on Tuesday, and it’s no surprise who currently sits at the very top: the struggling New York Jets.

Right now, the top pick represents owning the rights to select Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, the next elite pass-rushing prospect to enter the NFL. Lots can change between now and April, but Thibodeaux currently stands alone at the top of this draft class.

With any luck, the Jets will be much farther down the draft board a month from now. Although, as things currently stand, following the team’s disappointing Week 3 blowout loss in Denver, they are seen as arguably the league’s worst team.

The ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) projects the draft order each week by simulating the remainder of the season 10,000 times. Per the FPI projections, the Jets have a 23.5 percent chance at securing the first overall pick, along with a 72.6 percent chance of landing in the top five.

Their average draft position ended up as 4.2. Close behind (or ahead, in this case?) are the Jacksonville Jaguars with an average draft position of 4.3.

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Evidently, it would appear that the teams with the top two picks in last year’s draft have made little progress through the season’s first three weeks.

ESPN FPI top 10 projected picks in 2022 NFL draft

  1. New York Jets
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars
  3. Detroit Lions
  4. New York Giants
  5. Houston Texans
  6. Atlanta Falcons
  7. New York Giants (via Chicago Bears)
  8. Washington Football Team
  9. Philadelphia Eagles
  10. Indianapolis Colts

It’s important to remember, however, that the FPI is merely a simulation based on three games, not a full-on prediction of how the season will play out.

In other words, plenty can change with a solid performance from the Jets on Sunday. Only time will tell what the draft order will really look like come April.

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Ian Roddy is a young Jets X-Factor writer who currently attends Loyola Marymount University. Email: iroddy@lion.lmu.edu

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