Although the Jets were reported to have gone through a productive visit with Kayvon Thibodeaux, it is looking like they will not draft the Oregon-developed pass rusher if he is on the board at No. 4. Questions about Thibodeaux’s fit with the rebuilding team’s culture has led most to expect GM Joe Douglas to pass, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. Thibodeaux may be this draft’s most frequently discussed player, given his talent coupled with the attitude and effort concerns that dinged him during the draft lead-up. The Jets have recently been linked to Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson, a player they are believed to prefer to Thibodeaux despite the latter being graded higher by most experts. Johnson has generated buzz about becoming a top-10 pick, which would put the Jets to a decision at No. 4. The Georgia transfer might not be available when the Jets pick again (assuming they do not trade for a wide receiver) at No. 10.
On draft eve, here is the latest heading into the 2022 event:
- Another player on the top-five radar, Evan Neal is not believed to have been given a clean bill of health by every team. Hip and knee issues have given some teams pause, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. This could see the Alabama product, depending on where teams in the top 10 stand here, fall behind fellow high-end tackle prospects like Ikem Ekwonu and Charles Cross. Neal’s camp has pushed back on this, and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio adds the top-tier prospect was not asked to return to Indianapolis for the Combine’s medical recheck. Neal did not miss a game last season.
- Jerry Jones said recently he is willing to trade up from No. 24. How far up? The Cowboys might be prepared to part with notable draft capital, with NFL.com’s Jane Slater indicating Cross, Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning and USC wide receiver Drake London are names to watch regarding a Dallas move up. Cross and London have been mentioned often as top-10 picks, while Penning has his share of fans as well. Based on the targets listed here, the Cowboys would likely need to make a strong offer. It would be quite costly for the Cowboys to move into or near the top 10, but they have been eyeing O-linemen. Dallas holds one pick in each of the second and third rounds.
- On the subject of moves, which are mentioned often in the days ahead of a draft, teams have contacted the Giants about the No. 7 overall pick, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Seahawks are one of them, having shown interest in moving from 9 to 7. Seattle has often traded down in Round 1 under John Schneider, though the team has not enjoyed top-10 real estate since Schneider and Pete Carroll‘s first draft together (2010). Possessing needs at several spots, the Giants have been connected to using their No. 5 pick and trading down from 7.
- Texans GM Nick Caserio said Wednesday a 99% chance exists his team will stay at No. 3 and make a pick, but the team is more open to a move at 13 — the pick obtained via the Deshaun Watson trade. The second-year GM has spoken with at least six teams about the No. 13 choice, per NFL.com’s Jim Trotter (Twitter link). Many teams view first-round trades as likelier to occur after the top 10, Fowler adds.