The 2022 NFL Draft is set to start Thursday night in Las Vegas, and without obvious star power at quarterback or at the skill positions, and little consensus at the top of the order, anything could happen once the Jaguars are on the clock with the first pick.
It should be a busy few days for the Patriots, who are scheduled to make nine picks, although coach Bill Belichick has never been shy about trading down and acquiring more selections. The Patriots are likely to target the offensive line and the defensive side of the ball with their choices, starting at No. 21.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the draft.
What time does the 2022 NFL Draft start?
Round 1: Thursday, 8 p.m.
Rounds 2-3: Friday, 7 p.m.
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, noon
Teams have 10 minutes to make a pick in the first round, seven minutes in the second, five minutes in rounds three through six, and four minutes for the seventh round.
When will the Patriots pick in the first round?
With the Patriots selecting 21st, expect them to be on the clock around 10:45 p.m.; the Colts made the 21st selection just after 10:50 p.m. in 2021.
Where is the 2022 NFL Draft?
The draft is in Las Vegas as the NFL looks to make one of its marquee events something of a spectacle. Las Vegas was initially slotted to host the draft for the first time in 2020, but the in-person festivities were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How can I watch the 2022 NFL Draft?
The draft will be broadcast on NFL Network, ABC, ESPN, and ESPN Deportes.
What picks do the Patriots have in the 2022 NFL Draft?
The Patriots have nine picks — five of their own, plus four acquired via trade — but those numbers could change because of the team’s penchant for draft-day trades.
Here’s where the Patriots stand as of Tuesday night:
⋅ No. 21 (Round 1, pick 21 of the round)
After posting a 10-7 record and falling to Buffalo on wild-card weekend, the Patriots will pick in the mid to late stages of most rounds, starting at No. 21 overall.
⋅ No. 54 (Round 2, pick 22)
⋅ No. 85 (Round 3, pick 21)
⋅ No. 127 (Round 4, pick 22)
⋅ No. 158 (Round 5, pick 15)
Acquired this month from the Dolphins with wide receiver DeVante Parker.
⋅ No. 183 (Round 6, pick 4)
Acquired Monday from the Texans, along with the seventh-round pick.
⋅ No. 200 (Round 6, pick 22)
⋅ No. 210 (Round 6, pick 32)
Acquired in August from the Rams, along with a 2023 fourth-round pick, for Sony Michel.
⋅No. 245 (Round 7, pick 24)
What is the first round order?
4. NY Jets
5. NY Giants
7. NY Giants (from Chicago)
9. Seattle (from Denver)
10. NY Jets (from Seattle)
13. Houston (from Cleveland)
15. Philadelphia (from Miami)
16. New Orleans (from Indianapolis through Philadelphia)
17. LA Chargers
18. Philadelphia (from New Orleans)
19. New Orleans (from Philadelphia)
21. New England
22. Green Bay (from Las Vegas)
27. Tampa Bay
28. Green Bay
29. Kansas City (from San Francisco through Miami)
30. Kansas City
32. Detroit (from LA Rams)
Here’s the complete order of the 2022 NFL Draft. This page will be updated throughout the draft as the selections are made.
Who are the top prospects?
There isn’t a surefire top pick this year like Trevor Lawrence was in 2021, but most draft experts expect the opening picks to be used on the defensive side of the ball.
The closest thing to a consensus No. 1 is Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, perhaps the cream of an excellent pass-rushing crop. Few assets are more valuable than an elite edge rusher, and Hutchinson seems like the surest thing on that front, a special athlete with a 6-foot-7-inch frame who dominated the Big Ten. Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux is the other top-tier pass-rusher, having spent much of the fall wreaking havoc in Pac-12 backfields. Georgia’s Travon Walker is another option in the mix for the No. 1 pick, an excellent run-stopper up front whom some believe has more to offer as a pass rusher than he did in his role with the national champion Bulldogs.
If a team wants to bolster its offensive line, tackle Ickey Ekwonu (NC State) might be the first off the board; Evan Neal (Alabama) is another offensive lineman who should go early. Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is the best corner available and could crack the top five, while wideouts Jameson Williams out of Alabama and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson are skill position guys with the best chance of being picked in the top 10.
One of the draft’s biggest talking points has been the dearth of obvious star power at quarterback. Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Mississippi’s Matt Corral; a team could talk itself into any of them, but Lawrence, Andrew Luck, or Joe Burrow they are not, and this quarterback class is a far cry from 2021′s much-discussed crop.
The Globe’s Jim McBride has been profiling some of the top players at each position. Here is a look at the series.
What do the mock drafts say about the Patriots?
Here’s where some experts think the Patriots might go with their first choice, with most expecting the Patriots to shore up the defense:
⋅ ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
⋅ NFL Network’s Peter Schrager: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
⋅ NFL.com’s Charles Davis: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
⋅ NFL.com’s Maurice Jones-Drew, Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr, and CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
⋅ The Globe’s Ben Volin has the Patriots taking Booth in the first round; you can see his first-round mock draft here.
By the numbers
0: The number of draft-day trades the Patriots made in 2004. It’s the only draft in which the Patriots haven’t made a draft-day trade under Bill Belichick.
5: The Patriots are selecting 21st overall for the seventh time. Things didn’t work out for running back Laurence Maroney (2006) in New England, but Daniel Graham (2002) was a productive tight end on two Super Bowl winners, Chandler Jones (2012) blossomed into a Pro Bowl pass rusher in New England, and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (2004) is finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame this year.
8: New England has chosen at least one offensive lineman for eight straight drafts.
15: After making two selections from Alabama (Mac Jones and Christian Barmore) and two more from Oklahoma (Ronnie Perkins and Rhamondre Stevenson) in 2021, the Patriots have selected multiple players from the same school on 15 occasions.
23: Boston College (23 players) and Michigan (22) are favorite targets for the Patriots.
83: The Patriots have made 83 draft-day trades in 22 drafts under Bill Belichick, 19 more than any other team.
Amin Touri can be reached at email@example.com.