Travon Walker, a defensive lineman, was taken first overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 21-year-old defensive end and fellow pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson were the front-runners for the number one pick.
The Detroit Lions selected Hutchinson, who is also 21, with the second overall choice, and the top five picks were all defensive players for the first time since 1991. Walker did not attend the event, which was hosted after a two-year hiatus in Las Vegas, but he did watch it from a hotel in Atlanta.
The Jaguars got the top pick for the second straight year after selecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 2021, despite finishing with the NFL’s worst record. Last season, Walker stood out among the hundreds of NFL aspirants who competed in the US collegiate system, starting all 15 games for Georgia as they won the national title.
Kenny Pickett, a Pittsburgh graduate, was the lone quarterback selected in the first round, with the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting him with the 20th choice.
David Ojabo, a Nigerian-born Scot who grew up in the United Kingdom, was not among the top 32 choices in the first round, but the draft continues on Friday with the second and third rounds (midnight BST).
After the Covid-19 epidemic put an end to plans to hold the event in Las Vegas in 2020, all the glitz and glamour that comes with what is a life-changing day for many young athletes returned this year.
The draft was held digitally that year, and a watered-down version was held the next year, but this year it finally received the Las Vegas treatment, with a red-carpet stage created in front of the Bellagio fountains and the main stage built beside the Caesars Forum.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was predicted to go first earlier this year but fell down fans’ and pundits’ mock selections during the draft process, was among the 21 top prospects who attended the event.
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