It’s Monday, and the NFL Draft Is Already Getting Funky.
Take everything you know about the 2022 NFL Draft, and sprinkle on some extra mystery.
It’s draft week in professional football, one that will be topsy-turvy, mainly because monsters-of-rock rookie quarterbacks aren’t slated to go off the board in the Top 10. Because the 2022 class of quarterbacks is so underwhelming per draft scouts, the rest of the draft board is a chunky and squiggly question mark. Usually at this time, some picks in the Top 10 are just obvious — but not this year.
And there is no better way to commence a funky draft week than a tweet illuminating the uncertainty of the first overall pick. Here is that tweet:
Out of nowhere, Georgia’s Travon Walker is now the consensus favorite to be the first overall pick per sportsbooks.
While Walker is a fabulous football player, he’s considered an “upside player,” meaning his skillset — in time — will be honed. When a team uses the first pick in a draft on a man, that player is typically a sure-fire, day-one-ready commodity. Think: Trevor Lawrence in 2021, and the Jacksonville Jaguars plan to start him immediately, which the franchise did.
For context, ESPN’s Jordan Reid has Walker pegged as the 11th-best player in the draft. This means he should damn near fall to the Minnesota Vikings at #12, not fly off the board with the first pick of the event. Still, Walker’s pizazz is climbing, and the draft is 3.5 days away.
Of course, all of this skylarking is marvelous for the Vikings. As an onlooker of the Vikings, write this down: You absolutely want kooky events to transpire before Minnesota walks to the podium with the 12th pick.
Why? Because the more oddities that occur, the likelihood of a blue-chip talent like Kyle Hamilton or Derek Stingley Jr. spikes. Plain and simple. You should want Walker to be picked by the Jaguars, spurring into motion a chaotic, what-the-hell first 11 picks.
The Vikings would then have the opportunity to sort the rubble and unearth a gem.
While you cheer for figurative violence on draft night, also wish for quarterbacks to find teams before the Vikings choose a player. If Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett are chosen before #12 — on top of this Walker-to-Jacksonville skullduggery — Minnesota is virtually assured of choosing between Hamilton, Stingley Jr., Drake London, and maybe Kayvon Thibodeaux.
This draft was never going to be serene — and the Monday morning sportsbook revelations are an affirmation.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).