We have already established who are the best bets for the first offensive pick in the 2022 NFL draft, but who will be the first defensive players to be picked?
There are a lot of defensive ends, such as Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, & Kayvon Thibodeaux, who are already being favored as the first and second overall picks so there are no markets for these, but what about the other defensive positions?
We take a look at some of the best bets for defensive picks in the 2022 NFL draft.
First Linebacker Drafted
Devin Lloyd -500
With those odds, Devin Lloyd is the major favorite to be the first linebacker drafted with several teams eyeing him up. An impressive 111 tackles, eight sacks, and four interceptions in 15 games for Utah last year displays why he is hot property in the draft. Of course, while stats are nice to look at, it is the way he plays that has pricked up the most ears with him lauded for his disruptive play style.
Some have noted his suitability for modern schemes within the NFL and his potential to be a defensive matchup player on the big stage. The fact he has already shown his ability and still looks like he has a lot more to give makes him the perfect pick for a team in the first round looking for a new linebacker. The Baltimore Ravens are keen, but so are the Seahawks, so a Top 10 pick is looking good.
Nakobe Dean +400
Shorter and lighter than Lloyd, Nakobe Dean is a bit outmatched by his linebacker counterpart and doesn’t have the ideal build for this position. He makes up for this with fearless play and explosive power, which are evident in his impact stats. As such, while he is not an ideal linebacker in some ways, in others, he is exactly what teams want from a young prospect and his toughness is going to make a place for him in the top teams in the NFL. There have even been some comparisons with the likes of Steelers’, Devin Bush.
In fact, his appearance on certain teams would make him an instant upgrade to what they already have. For example, if the Detroit Lions were to bring him into the fold. While him being the Lions’ first pick is unlikely, if he is still around when it comes to their second first-round pick, he could edge the first-day picks at the late stages. There is a chance too that long before this, he could also find himself picked as Number 11 by the Commanders. This means that if for some reason the Ravens or the Seahawks don’t pick Lloyd, he could just upset the odds.
Quay Walker +1000
Walker is an even bigger outsider in this market but he is definitely a safe pair of hands that teams would be lucky to have. In 2021, he played all 15 games for the 2021 national champions, recording 67 tackles, 5.5 for loss with 1.5 sacks, and three pass breakups, on the Georgia Bulldogs’ path to glory. This puts him in good stead to be snapped up in the first or second round by a team looking for an instinctive linebacker.
He has maneuverability issues, which is not a surprise seeing as he is 6′ 4″ and weighs 241 lbs. Nevertheless, he is another linebacker rumored with the Detroit Lions, who are keen to find a new and consistent linebacker. The Jacksonville Jaguars, the Denver Broncos, and the New England Patriots could all be on the cards for him too.
First Cornerback Drafted
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner -590
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner is hot property in this year’s draft, and he has positioned himself as a longshot to be the first overall pick, as well as among the favorites for the second overall pick in the draft. This is well-deserved as he was the strongest player in his position last year, boasting 40 tackles, 4.5 for loss with three sacks, three interceptions, and four pass breakups in 14 starts
These efforts meant he picked up both the Associated Press All-American and American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year awards. He plays with an air of confidence and at 6′ 3″ he is ideally built for a linebacker. This is why he is not short of teams chasing him and is being tipped to be the “highest-drafted CB ever”. While he is an outsider to go in the top two, a more likely pick for him is fifth, possibly to the Giants.
Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner could be the highest drafted CB ever, and he’s worth it. https://t.co/vqTUfMXITP
— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 22, 2022
Derek Stingley +250
Stingley is a respectable bet if you don’t want to back the favorite in this market. Currently playing for the LSU Tigers, despite showing a lot of potential over the last three years, he suffered an ankle injury last season that meant he missed most of his team’s games, so it is a testament to his potential that he has still managed to place himself so highly in the Cornerback pick order.
Partly, it could be argued, due to him being ideally built for a defensive back and because he stands out as one of the best athletes in this year’s draft. Unfortunately, missing so much playing time will have some scouts worried. Nevertheless, an early pick is looking likely for Stingley. A reunion with Patrick Queen at Baltimore, or the Texans look like his best bet.
Second Safety Drafted
Daxton Hill -167
A player with a chance of taking the first pick is Michigan’s, Daxton Hill, who is rising up through the NFL drafts chance quickly. While he is the favorite to be second at the moment, there is a lot of speculation he might surpass Kyle Hamilton when we reach draft day – but he is more likely to go second and Hamilton is looking like a sure thing.
The younger brother of Raven’s Running Back, Justice Hill, football is in his blood. Seventy tackles, 4.5 for loss, two interceptions, and nine pass breakups in 2021 show the potential to follow in his brother’s footsteps in the big leagues.
He is a great bet for the first safety picked, but is looking likely to be the second safety drafted if not. Is a link-up with his brother at the Ravens possible? Anything is possible, but it is looking unlikely. However, a first-round pick definitely is. Probably either at 29th for Kansas City or 30th for Cincinnati are his two best bets for a day one pick.
Lewis Cine +285
Another defensive member of Georgia Bulldog’s 2021 championship team, Lewis Cine’s nine pass breakups, and 73 tackles was the squad’s highest, winning him third-team Associated Press All-American and second-team All-SEC honors.
He has proven himself on big occasions and has a mentality that look would suit the NFL game, so he would hit the ground running in any NFL squad. He looks likely to go towards the end of the first round with teams in need of a reliable safety depth, such as the Bengals interested. If not, he could easily end up as Lion’s second pick too.
Jaquan Brisker +500
Brisker is another safety who will be picked early doors but is looking more likely to get picked in the second round. His final season was somewhat hampered by his injury but he played through the pain to play 12 games where he recorded 64 tackles, two interceptions, five pass breakups, and a career-high six for loss so he is highly capable in his position,
Will be he the second safety drafted? It would look unlikely as some pundits have placed him as only the fifth available in this draft but should comfortably find a place to play his trade in the upcoming season. He has been most closely with the Green Bay Packers but he still probably wouldn’t be their first pick.
If you aren’t interested in individual position betting markets, you can bet on the first defensive player to be picked, or plenty of other player and team while check out all your options while betting on the NFL Draft on Unibet!