NFL Draft Predictions for Each New York Team

Following a wild free agency period where huge player signings and blockbuster trades have transformed the flavor of the league, the 2022 National Football League (NFL) Draft is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 28. Now, all 32 teams will look to the seven rounds of the draft to round out their rosters and add franchise cornerstones for years to come. Such is especially the case for the New York Jets and New York Giants, who each have two picks among the top ten and a need to add talent to their teams. While no one knows for certain what each team will do, here are some predictions for how the first round of the draft will look for all three New York teams. 


New York Jets

The Jets are having a solid offseason so far with the signings of Pro-Bowl guard (G) Laken Tomlinson from the San Francisco 49ers and cornerback (CB) D.J. Reed from the Seattle Seahawks. However, after finishing with a dismal 4-13 record last year, the Jets still have player needs at multiple spots. Luckily, the Jets are in prime position to add more talent through the draft, possessing their own pick at No. 4 and Seattle’s pick at No. 10 from the Jamal Adams trade.

With the fourth overall selection, the logic seems simple for the Jets — get an edge rusher. 

The Jets have been lacking at the edge for decades, with their last star pass rusher being John Abraham from the 2000 NFL Draft. This year’s draft presents a strong defensive end class, and gives the Jets an opportunity to solve their long-standing problem. University of Oregon defensive end (DE) Kayvon Thibodeaux could fit right in with the Jets at No. 4. Thibodeaux recorded 19 sacks in 32 college games. His explosiveness as a pass rusher and consistency throughout college will make him a valuable addition to any team. Another option for the Jets is University of Georgia DE Travon Walker, who impressed in Georgia’s National Championship victory over the University of Alabama. Walker is a wild-card due to his raw pass rushing skills and inconsistent production, but possesses the pure athleticism to wow Jets head coach Robert Saleh.

Assuming the Jets do not trade for a veteran wide-receiver (WR) like San Francisco 49ers Deebo Samuel before the draft, they seem likely to add a receiver with the 10th overall selection. Jets quarterback (QB) Zach Wilson needs all the help he can get, and could use a new weapon next to budding second-year receiver Elijah Moore. Ohio State University WR Garret Wilson would be the perfect grab, as the best route runner in this draft class. University of Alabama WR Jameson Williams would also be an upgrade for the Jets. Williams is a true speed burner who gained 1,572 receiving yards last season before suffering a torn ACL in January that may push him down draft boards.


New York Giants 

After cleaning house of the previous regime and adding new general manager Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll, the Giants are looking to heavily revamp their squad’s future. Since most of their cap space is already locked up for 2022, the Giants will need to rely on the draft to add talented players. Similar to the Jets, the Giants possess their own pick at No. 5 and the Chicago Bears’ pick at No. 7 from the Justin Fields trade.

With the fifth overall pick, the Giants finally need to complete their offensive line rebuild. If the Giants want to give fourth-year QB Daniel Jones a real shot to prove himself, then they need to improve their 30th-ranked offensive line from last season (per PFF). Alabama offensive-tackle (OT) Evan Neal is the most NFL-ready lineman in the draft, measuring in at a behemoth 6’7” and 337 pounds (per NFL). Neal has experience at both right tackle and left tackle and would instantly be an impactful starter for the Giants. North Carolina State University OT Ikem Ekwonu has also gained buzz as a top prospect, due to his flashy pancake blocks and huge potential. Truly, the Giants cannot go wrong between Neal or Ekwonu.

Instead of selecting for a need, the Giants should take the best player available with the seventh overall pick. University of Cincinnati cornerback (CB) Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner could end up being the best player in this draft class when all is said and done. Gardner did not give up a single touchdown in his collegiate career, and pairs freakish athleticism with expert technique. University of Notre Dame safety (S) Kyle Hamilton also would be a star in New York, due to his range and ball-instincts. Hamilton would fit right into Giants defensive coordinator Don Martindale’s defense, which prioritizes the secondary.


Buffalo Bills

Unlike the Jets and the Giants, the Buffalo Bills will be competing for a Super Bowl this year due to their already stacked roster. Naturally, the Bills are confident in their squad and will be less reliant on the draft. After losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in an overtime thriller in the AFC Divisional Round last season, the Bills’ pick landed at the No. 25 selection in the draft.

One area in which the Bills could upgrade with the 25th overall selection would be a CB opposite pro-bowler Tre’davious White. Star QBs like Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert, and Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow have flooded the NFL, and could compel the Bills to further improve their pass defense. Clemson University CB Andrew Booth Jr. would also be a valuable addition. Booth caught five interceptions over his final 20 games in college. University of Washington CB Trent McDuffie should also intrigue the Bills with his physicality, if he lasts until their pick. 

However, I also wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills traded down from No. 25 to gain assets for next year. They have the flexibility as an already elite team to do so.