Everything to Know About the 2022 NFL Draft Starting Tonight

The NFL Draft will take place from April 28 to 30 in Las Vegas

Travon Walker #44 of the Georgia Bulldogs leaves the field at the conclusion of the game against the Missouri Tigers at Sanford Stadium on November 6, 2021 in Athens, Georgia., Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson watches during warm ups before the Orange Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game against Georgia, in Miami Gardens, Fla
Travon Walker (left) and Aiden Hutchinson. Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty; Lynne Sladky/AP/Shutterstock

The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday night, and professional football fans around the country will finally meet their teams' next big stars.

So far, the offseason has been busy with big names like Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos) and Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns) finding new homes after leaving their longtime franchises.

With the 2022 season scheduled to begin in September, the Draft — taking place April 28 to 30 — offers a chance for teams to upgrade their roster with a collection of college talent.

"This is a meat and potatoes Draft featuring a deep class of outstanding lineman on the offensive and defensive side of the ball," agent Leigh Steinberg of Steinberg Sports & Entertainment tells PEOPLE of this year's Draft, which is being held in Las Vegas for the first time.

"The class has great talent with as many as six wide receivers going in the first round — but probably only two later first-round quarterbacks, and no first-round running backs," he adds. "So not much glamor and pizzazz. Fans will be less excited but will appreciate the building block picks in the future."

For the 2022 NFL Draft, the first pick of the night will go to the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed by the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, New York Jets, and New York Giants (click here for ESPN's entire Draft order).

The Jaguars, who selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, are widely expected to pick defensive end Travon Walker out of Georgia for the No. 1 selection on Thursday night.

"Jacksonville desperately needs an outside pass rusher, and Walker has the highest upside of any defensive player in the Draft," Steinberg says about how he thinks the Draft will play out.

A defensive end from Michigan, Aidan Hutchinson, will likely be selected by the Lions with the second pick, says Steinberg, who has represented the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft eight times.

"In a pass-happy league, putting pressure on the quarterback is critical," Steinberg explains. "Aidan was the most productive player in the Draft and has a non-stop motor that never quits."

Rounding out the first 10 selections are the Carolina Panthers, the Giants with their second pick, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks. The Jets will have another opportunity to select a player with the 10th pick of the Draft.

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Whether it's Walker or Hutchinson that gets selected first, Steinberg says a player that goes No. 1 will have to have several important traits.

"The most common pick is a franchise quarterback," he says. "Someone that a team is able to build around for the next 10 to 15 years, and who they can win because of rather than win with. A player who in adversity — has thrown two interceptions, the crowd is booing, the game is getting out of hand — and at that moment can compartmentalize, adopt a quiet mind, tune out extraneous stimuli, and elevate his level of play to take a team to victory."

Adds Steinberg, "If a defensive lineman is the pick, this player must be a devastating pass rusher that can disrupt another team's offense. There can be no questions about work ethic, consistency, and circumspect behavior away from the field. If the pick is an offensive lineman, it needs to be a left tackle who can protect the passer and be a bedrock for that line for years to come."

The first round of the Draft will begin at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday and will air on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network. Rounds two and three will take place on April 29, and air at 7 p.m. EST on Friday. Rounds four to seven are scheduled for April 30 at 12 p.m. ET.

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