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The 10 Biggest Questions Entering the 2022 NFL Draft

by Matt Barbato | @realmattbarbato | Featured Writer
Jan 27, 2022

The NFL has become a year-round league where there’s always news and rumors churning. And the offseason has become just as dramatic – if not more dramatic – than the regular season.

And while the 2022 NFL Draft is still a few months away, the changes and transactions that occur between now and the end of April will surely shape what teams do on draft day. Here are the 10 biggest questions entering the 2022 NFL Draft:

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1. What happens in New Orleans?
The New Orleans Saints are a franchise staring into the abyss. In just two years, they’ve lost the franchise QB and head coach who kept them in contention for the past decade-plus. With Drew Brees and Sean Payton gone, what do the Saints do?

My guess is, tear it down. The Saints are in salary cap hell and don’t have a long-term answer at quarterback, something they could address with the 18th pick in the draft. But with Michael Thomas‘ status with the team up in the air, the New Orleans offense is currently Alvin Kamara and not much else. And the guy who helped Kamara become an elite tailback is no longer there. The Saints could be one of the league’s worst teams in 2022.

2. Where does Brian Daboll end up?
Let’s start with the news that might come the soonest. It seems Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is the top offensive mind on the head coaching carousel this year. Now the question is, where will he end up? As of right now, the New York Giants appear to be the favorites. But basically every team with a vacancy has expressed interest. If Daboll winds up in New York, it could be great news for Daniel Jones, who would benefit from being coached by the coordinator who helped develop Josh Allen into one of the league’s best passers. Basically, the quarterback of the team Daboll goes to could become a rising star.

3. How will the Eagles handle their three first-round picks?
The Philadelphia Eagles are in a position to fortify a roster that earned the seventh seed in the NFC playoffs. Philadelphia has needs across all three levels of their defense. But the bigger question will be whether Philly holds true to their word and sticks with Jalen Hurts. The Eagles possess the 15th, 16th and 19th picks in the draft and can do a lot of things with them.

Philadelphia is in prime position to land a veteran quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson via trade. Or, they could use one of their three picks on a prospect. In his first mock draft, ESPN’s Mel Kiper did not have Philadelphia taking a QB. But a lot can change come draft season. And with no truly elite quarterback prospects, Philly will be in range to land one of the top prospects in this year’s class. Philadelphia will be a team to watch this offseason.

4. Do the Steelers draft the heir to Ben Roethlisberger?
Ben Roethlisberger’s career is mercifully over. Now, the Steelers must find a long-term answer under center. And no, the answer is not Mason Rudolph. If Pittsburgh doesn’t get involved in the Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, or Russell Wilson sweepstakes, they certainly could add a passer with the 20th overall pick in the draft. Pittsburgh needs to rebuild its offensive line, but they have plenty of playmakers to become a good situation for a rookie QB. This offense could get better now that Roethlisberger’s gone.

5. What will Miami do with Tua Tagovailoa?
Now that Brian Flores is gone, perhaps Tua’s job security in Miami is safer. However, it’ll likely depend on who the Dolphins hire as their head coach. Tagovailoa hasn’t been bad in his first two professional years. And it feels like his organization is writing him off too soon. But a new head coach could see things otherwise and opt to trade him to a team that misses out on a QB during the offseason. Whatever happens, will certainly impact rising star receiver, Jaylen Waddle.

6. Will the Patriots target a receiver in the first round?
One thing is clear: if the Patriots are to get the most out of Mac Jones, he needs better weapons. Jakobi Meyers is a keeper, and he hauled in 83 passes for 866 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrick Bourne is a nice piece. But the Pats need a guy. They need their Ja’Marr Chase. And the 2022 draft class is deep with receiving talent. In his new mock, Kiper sent Alabama stud receiver Jameson Williams to the Pats. Imagine that reunion of Alabama products?

7. Will Russell Wilson get out of Seattle?
The Seahawks have a dynamic quarterback. They have dynamic receivers. But they’re mired in an antiquated offensive system led by Pete Carroll. It looks as if Carroll has kept his job despite a really ugly 2021 season. But Seattle’s star quarterback still might be dissatisfied with the organization’s direction. Even worse, Seattle doesn’t have a first-round pick this year after trading it to the Jets for Jamal Adams. Could they consider trading Wilson to a team like Philadelphia, accruing a bounty of picks, and starting fresh with a rookie under center? And would that hamper the values of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett? Changes could be coming in Seattle.

8. Does Deshaun Watson get moved this offseason?
This involves a lot of legal speculation that I won’t get into here. But if Watson is cleared of any wrongdoing, he’ll instantly become the most sought-after quarterback on the market. Watson is an elite quarterback when all is well. Imagine what he could do in Philadelphia, or Green Bay, or maybe Tampa…?

9. Will Tom Brady actually hang ’em up?
Is Tom Brady’s iconic career over? He certainly didn’t commit to playing in 2022, saying he’ll need to speak with his family about his future. But I get the sense Brady will return for what might be his farewell ride with the Buccaneers. Brady can still play at a high level despite his most recent performance against the Rams. The Bucs will undergo some changes and departures this offseason, but they’re still one of the best teams in the league. I anticipate the Bucs will go all in for one more season with Brady at the helm.

But what if he does retire? What will the Buccaneers do with a roster that’s still good enough to win a title? Do they pursue the next best option in Aaron Rodgers? Do they entrust their championship fate with a rookie? The possibilities are endless should Brady call it a career.

10. Do Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams leave Green Bay?
Does it actually happen? Is this year really the last ride for Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams? After coming up short in the divisional round again, do the Packers tear it down and go young? I suspect Rodgers will want out of town given Green Bay’s roster and cap situations. However, escaping Green Bay will be harder for Adams, who the team can franchise tag this offseason. Obviously, so much of Adams’ value is tied to playing with Rodgers. And his fantasy value could crater if Jordan Love is under center.

My guess is the Packers part ways with Rodgers for a bounty of draft picks, then slap the tag on Adams, who promptly holds out. In an offseason filled with uncertainty, this will be the biggest story to follow.

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Matt Barbato is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matt, check out his archive and follow him @RealMattBarbato.

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