Lloyd, Gardner Top Odds to Be First LB, CB Taken in 2022 NFL Draft

Devon Platana

The 2022 NFL Draft begins in less than three weeks, kicking off on Thursday, April 28 from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As usual, several teams will be looking to improve their defensive units with this year’s prospects. Fortunately, there are some NFL-ready defenders to be drafted, especially when it concerns linebackers and cornerbacks.

Here’s a look at FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds to be the first linebacker and cornerback selected at the 2022 NFL Draft.

Odds to Be First Linebacker Drafted in 2022 NFL Draft

  • Devin Lloyd, Utah (-450)
  • Nakobe Dean, Georgia (+300)
  • Quay Walker, Georgia (+1100)
  • Christian Harris, Alabama (+2500)
  • Chad Muma, Wyoming (+5000)
  • Troy Anderson, Montana State (+10000)
  • Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma (+10000)
  • Leo Chanel, Wisconsin (+10000)

Odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Lloyd Heavily Favored After Standout Year at Utah

As the odds stand, Utah Utes LB Devin Lloyd is heavily favored at -450 odds by FanDuel Sportsbook to be the first linebacker taken in the 2022 NFL Draft.

There’s good reason for Lloyd to be as heavily-touted as he is. He was an absolute beast for the Utes last fall, recording career-highs when it came to total tackles (111), sacks (7.0) and broken-up passes (six).

Furthermore, Lloyd also recorded a personal-best four interceptions last season, which includes two of them being taken back for a touchdown score. Needless to say, Lloyd proved that he could do it all.

By the end of the 2021 NCAAF season, the 23-year-old defender was named first-team Pac-12 and All-American. Not only that but he was named the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and the MVP of this year’s Pac-12 Championship Game.

Most draft experts and analysts have Lloyd listed as being a top-10/15 pick this year, which is why it makes sense that he’s favored to be the first linebacker off the board.

Dean Second Behind Lloyd After National Championship Campaign

While Lloyd is the heavy favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds list, fans shouldn’t be surprised if Nakobe Dean (+300) is the first LB selected at the 2022 NFL Draft.

Dean is fresh off a CFP National Championship run with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Although succeeding as a team is always a bonus, the 21-year-old racked up his own fair share of accomplishments and accolades last Fall.

Dean received first-team All-SEC and unanimous All-American honors after finishing the season with 72 tackles (10.5 for a loss), 6.0 sacks, five defended passes and two interceptions.

A relentless motor helped Dean terrorize offenses throughout the season, resulting in him being the 2021 Butkus Award recipient for the top linebacker in all of college football.

The main thing that has people worried about Dean is his body frame. Standing 6-foot, he’s smaller than most NFL linebackers, which raises questions about if he can transition to the next level.

Odds to Be First Cornerback Drafted in 2022 NFL Draft

  • Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati (-430)
  • Derek Stingley Jr., LSU (+300)
  • Trent McDuffie, Washington (+1100)
  • Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson (+5000)
  • Tariq Woolen, UTSA (+10000)
  • Kyler Gordon, Washington (+10000)
  • Kaiir Elam, Florida (+10000)
  • Martin Emerson, Mississippi State (+10000)
  • Roger McCreary, Auburn (+10000)
  • Marcus Jones, Houston (+10000)

Odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Gardner Favored to Be First CB Drafted After Breakout Season

Fans could tell that there was something special about Ahmad Gardner ever since he arrived at the University of Cincinnati in 2019. While his role was limited early on, he got enough playing time in 2021 to finally breakout.

Garnder finished his junior season as a Bearcat with 40 tackles, four defended passes and three interceptions. Beyond that, he had no issue getting at opposing quarterbacks, recording a career-high 3.0 sacks.

If that wasn’t impressive enough, he only allowed 131 passing yards when targeted last season. On top of that, he continued his streak of not allowing a single touchdown pass over the course of his collegiate career.

By the time everything was said and done, Gardner was named first-team All-SEC for the third straight year. He was also named consensus All-American while also earning the title of AAC Defensive Player of the Year.

A lot of experts have Gardner pencilled in to be a top-10 pick this year, which seems fitting due to his present skills and the potential that he boasts. He can be a playmaker from Day 1 and that’s exactly what an NFL team is looking for in a rookie cornerback.

Stingley Sits Second Despite Injury Concerns

In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. being the top cornerback in the 2022 NFL Draft class.

After all, there’s plenty to like about him. As a freshman in 2019, Stingley helped the Tigers win the National Championship after having a consensus All-American campaign that saw him rack up 38 tackles, 15 defended passes and six interceptions.

Unfortunately, Stingley’s yet to reach those heights again due to a lengthy injury history. He’s played only 10 games over the last two seasons, which has caused his draft stock to drop.

Another concern is the fact that Stingley hasn’t recorded an interception since December 2019, causing his takeaway abilities to come into question. If he can’t make those plays at the NFL level, any team drafting him will likely be left disappointed.

Nevertheless, Stingley still has the second-best odds (+300) to be the first CB taken later this month. If his injury issues are a thing of the past, he has the potential to be a special player one day.

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