How the first wave of NFL free agency impacts the 2022 NFL Draft

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The first wave of NFL free-agent signings is well underway, and with every transaction comes a ripple effect on the 2022 NFL draft.

No team has been busier in free agency than the Jacksonville Jaguars, who own the first overall pick this April. Some of their early transactions have provided a clue about that first selection, too.

Their decisions to place the franchise tag on offensive tackle Cam Robinson and sign guard Brandon Scherff to a massive contract suggests they won’t use the No. 1 pick on an offensive lineman. There’s been speculation that the Jaguars were leaning toward either Alabama’s Evan Neal or North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu, but that narrative is about to change.

Instead, we may end up right back where we started with Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson being the pick. It would make sense for Jacksonville to use their first selection on a defensive player after making such massive investments on the offensive side of the ball in free agency.

Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on The Draft Network, NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

Follow him on Twitter: @BryanPerezNFL