This is a look at the first-round order for the 2022 NFL Draft heading into Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind — teams 19-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.
NOTE: Arrows reflect movement from last week’s order.
Biggest needs: QB, CB, WR
Week 9 opponent: Bye
DP: The Lions are on pace to lead the league in yards allowed per pass attempt for the second straight year, and the team’s nightmarish situation at cornerback continues to be a main culprit. Detroit is giving up 9.3 yards per toss, which would be an all-time high in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
Dolphins’ record: 1-7 (.542)
Dolphins’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Texans
See Pick No. 9 for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and Pick No. 13 for analysis of the Dolphins’ needs.
Biggest needs: QB, WR, CB
Week 9 opponent: at Dolphins
CG: Take your pick when it comes to draft needs in Houston, but the cornerback position is a dire one. So far, a handful of free agents-to-be have done little to inspire a new contract from the Texans.
Biggest needs: WR, CB, OG
Week 9 opponent: vs. Bills
CG: The cornerback spot is one of many big concerns in Jacksonville. With C.J. Henderson traded away, Tre Herndon a pending free agent, and second-round draft pick Tyson Campbell having a rough go as a rookie, the Jaguars need much more stability than Shaquill Griffin can provide at a premium position.
Biggest needs: QB, OL, DB
Week 9 opponent: Bye
DP: No team has allowed more passing touchdowns than Washington (20), which gave up 21 all of last season. Upgrades are needed in the secondary for a squad that has one of the worst coverage units in the league.
Biggest needs: OL, Edge, LB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Raiders
DP: The Giants’ defense has played much better over the past couple weeks, but the unit still has a glaring need for a playmaker on the second level.
Biggest needs: WR, S, Edge
Week 9 opponent: at Colts
CG: With the Jets’ offensive line showing improvement, we shine a light this week on the situation at edge rusher. In a word, it’s been weak, and Carl Lawson’s 2022 return from an Achilles injury doesn’t by itself satisfy long-term concerns.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Contingent on Carson Wentz playing 75% of team’s snaps; Wentz has played 99% of snaps entering Week 9)
Colts’ record: 3-5 (.516)
Colts’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Jets
See Pick No. 9 for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Colts’ needs.
Biggest needs: DB, Edge, OL
Week 9 opponent: vs. Chargers
DP: Adding depth to the offensive line should be a priority, especially if Jason Kelce doesn’t return for a 12th season with the team.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Seahawks’ record: 3-5 (.542)
Seahawks’ Week 9 opponent: Bye
See Pick No. 7 for analysis of the Jets’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks’ needs.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE CHICAGO BEARS
Bears’ record: 3-5 (.597)
Bears’ Week 9 opponent: at Steelers
See Pick No. 6 for analysis of the Giants’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Bears’ needs.
Biggest needs: Edge, OL, QB
Week 9 opponent: at Saints
DP: Atlanta allowed the highest pressure rate of any team in Week 8 (56.7%) and failed to record a sack against one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The Falcons have to get better inside the trenches.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
49ers’ record: 3-4 (.464)
49ers’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Cardinals
Dolphins’ biggest needs: OL, RB, TE
CG: If the Dolphins can’t bring back Mike Gesicki, there is no serious receiving threat returning for 2022 at the position. It’s not an area where Miami can afford a backward step.
NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis of the 49ers’ needs.
Biggest needs: CB, Edge, LB
Week 8 opponent: at Ravens
DP: While the Vikings’ offense underperformed in another big game on Sunday night, the defense doesn’t have the depth to withstand injuries to Patrick Peterson and Danielle Hunter. This group is searching for answers after allowing Cooper Rush to throw for 325 yards.
Biggest needs: QB, LB, Edge
Week 9 opponent: at Cowboys
CG: Denver just picked up significant draft capital in the Von Miller trade, adding second- and third-round selections. If the Broncos want to move up in the first round for a quarterback, they should have the ammo to do so.
Biggest needs: CB, LB, S
Week 9 opponent: at Panthers
CG: New England’s look at linebacker could be vastly different in 2022. They’re getting long in the tooth at this spot, and their one young up-and-comer, Ja’Whaun Bentley, is in the last year of his deal.
Biggest needs: DT, Edge, LB
Week 9 opponent: at Bengals
CG: The Browns’ need at linebacker will be pronounced if the club is unable to re-sign both Malcolm Smith and Anthony Walker. Cleveland appears to have hit a draft home run with rookie Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but more depth at the position could be in order.
Biggest needs: OT, CB, S
Week 9 opponent: vs. Packers
CG: Rashad Fenton has impressed in Kansas City at one cornerback spot. But there are questions elsewhere at a position where depth is critical, including pending free agency for Mike Hughes and an injury-plagued 2021 for Charvarius Ward.
Biggest needs: OL, CB, QB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Patriots
DP: They’ve added depth at corner during the season, but beyond their promising rookies, the outlook at the position is murky with Stephon Gilmore and Donte Jackson due to become free agents and A.J. Bouye reportedly being discussed in trade talks.
Biggest needs: WR, DT, TE
Week 9 opponent: at Eagles
CG: Free agency could leave the Chargers thin at tight end, and QB Justin Herbert is too good not to have a dangerous target at this position. An upgrade could be a game-changer for the young star passer.
Biggest needs: QB, CB, interior OL
Week 9 opponent: vs. Bears
CG: Pittsburgh’s offensive front will need some offseason re-tooling. Inside, OG Trai Turner’s deal is up, and center Kendrick Green has struggled as a rookie. If a youth movement at quarterback is coming and the club leans even more on young RB Najee Harris, he’ll need his share of holes between the tackles.
Biggest needs: DB, TE, OL
Week 8 opponent: vs. Browns
CG: With a franchise quarterback in place, particularly one who’s already overcome an ACL injury, pass protection should be an annual priority in Cincinnati. Jonah Williams’ career is off and running at left tackle, but there could be free-agency holes to fill elsewhere at guard (Quinton Spain) and right tackle (Riley Reiff).
Biggest needs: DL, WR, Edge
Week 9 opponent: at Jaguars
CG: With offseason decisions to make on several players along the defensive line, this is an area where Buffalo could face heavy turnover. As well, DT Ed Oliver, who hasn’t matched the hopes for a former top-10 pick, enters his fourth year in 2022 and could be gone in ’23 if the club doesn’t pick up his fifth-year option.
Biggest needs: DT, LB, OG
Week 9 opponent: at Giants
CG: The Raiders could use a true road grader at offensive guard to help align an inconsistent rushing attack with Derek Carr’s passing exploits. Rookie Alex Leatherwood has looked more comfortable at guard since a failed run at tackle, but he’s not played enough guard yet for the Raiders to know exactly what they have in him.
Biggest needs: OT, DB, WR
Week 9 opponent: vs. Falcons
DP: We mentioned Marcus Williams’ impending free agency in this space a couple weeks ago, but the potential losses in the secondary extend beyond him. Ken Crawley and P.J. Williams, who made the game-sealing pick-six in Sunday’s win over the Bucs, are in a contract year, too.
Biggest needs: DT, OL, Edge
Week 9 opponent: vs. Vikings
CG: The Ravens will have some offseason decisions to make at defensive tackle, not the least of which will be whether to re-up with the ageless Calais Campbell, who continues playing well at 35. With Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis reaching the end of their deals as well, the draft might have to be their answer.
Biggest needs: LB, TE, C
Week 9 opponent: at Rams
CG: Across the board at linebacker, the Titans could be gutted by free agency. Outside, Harold Landry is looking like he could be a very expensive keep, as he’s well on his way to a career year. Inside, Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown could be gone, as well.
Biggest needs: OL, CB, RB
Week 9 opponent: Bye
DP: Their recent draft picks at running back have yet to pan out, so the Bucs might have to go back to the well. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who’s been entrusted with five carries this season, is the only Tampa Bay RB under contract beyond this season.
Biggest needs: S, DL, WR
Week 9 opponent: vs. Broncos
DP: Sunday’s game offered another reminder that the Cowboys are in excellent hands with their top two wide receivers, but depth at the position could become a question mark this offseason. Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown have contracts that expire in 2022.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS
Rams’ record: 7-1 (.391)
Rams’ Week 9 opponent: vs. Titans
See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Lions’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams’ needs.
Biggest needs: WR, Edge, LB
Week 9 opponent: at Chiefs
DP: It’s been well over a decade since the Packers invested a first- or second-round pick in an inside linebacker. They could have a big need at the position if they don’t re-sign De’Vondre Campbell.
Biggest needs: Edge, CB, RB
Week 9 opponent: at 49ers
DP: Arizona should be scouring the draft market for cornerback help with Robert Alford in the final year of his deal and Byron Murphy a year away from free agency.
TEAMS CURRENTLY WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK GIANTS
Biggest needs: OL, WR, CB
Week 9 opponent: at Steelers
DP: The cupboard is bare at cornerback outside of Jaylon Johnson, with Khalil Mack‘s absence on Sunday further exposing the Bears’ vulnerability in the back end.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Contingent on Carson Wentz playing 75% of team’s snaps; Wentz has played 99% of snaps entering Week 9)
Biggest needs: OT, WR, CB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Jets
CG: The Colts’ 2021 leader in snaps at cornerback, Kenny Moore, has graded as the 86th-ranked CB in the NFL this season, per Pro Football Focus. Between that and Xavier Rhodes’ pending free agency, the Colts should enter the offseason with cornerback high on the priority list.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE DETROIT LIONS
Biggest needs: OL, CB, LB
Week 9 opponent: vs. Titans
DP: We look to the future every week in this space, but the Rams are focused on the now. After trading for Von Miller, they hold four picks in the 2022 draft, the fewest selections of any team. Keep this in mind, though: NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein projects they’ll receive five compensatory picks next year.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
Biggest needs: CB, WR, Edge
Week 9 opponent: vs. Cardinals
DP: The 49ers will need more explosiveness off the edge opposite Nick Bosa if they’re going to get back to playing the kind of defense that led them to the Super Bowl a couple years ago.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS
Biggest needs: DB, OL, TE
Week 9 opponent: Bye
DP: No team that’s played eight games this season has fewer receiving yards via their tight ends than the Seahawks (254), and their top two players at the position are impending free agents. The good news is the 2022 draft is shaping up to have a strong class at the position.
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