Former California High School Players Lead the Way in First Round of 2022 NFL Draft
California high school football led the way in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas.
Five former California high school players were picked in the first round.
Georgia and Texas had four former high school football players chosen each, followed by Florida, Iowa, Michigan, and North Carolina with two each. Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee each had one former high school player selected on Thursday.
The Jacksonville Jaguars chose defensive end Travon Walker No. 1 overall. Walker, who played his high school football at Upson-Lee High School in Thomaston, Georgia is the fifth former high school football player from Georgia to be selected as the top pick.
It’s the second year in a row that the Jags chose a former Georgian No. 1 overall. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who prepped at Cartersville High, was the top selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The other former overall No. 1 picks from Georgia are quarterback Cam Newton (Westlake HS) by the Carolina Panthers in 2011, running back George Rogers (Duluth HS) by the New Orleans Saints in 1981 and guard Ken Rice (Bainbridge HS) by the Buffalo Bills in 1961.
Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oaks Christian High School was the first of five Californians taken. The New York Giants chose the defensive end with the No. 5 overall pick.
The other former Californians taken Thursday night were wide receiver Drake London (Moorpark HS) by the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8, wide receiver Chris Olave (Mission Hills HS) at No. 11, cornerback Trent McDuffie (St. John Bosco HS) at No. 21 by the Kansas City Chiefs and linebacker Devin Lloyd (Otay Ranch HS) at No. 27.
One player picked in the first round enters the NFL with family ties to the league. The Buffalo Bills chose cornerback Kaiir Elam (The Benjamin School - Florida) at No. 21. Elam’s father Abram Elam was a safety in the league from 2005 through 2012 for four different teams. Kaiir’s uncle Matt Elam was a first round draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2013.
First Round Picks in the 2022 NFL Draft
|No. 1||Jacksonville Jaguars||Travon Walker||DE||Upson-Lee||Georgia|
|No. 2||Detroit Lions||Aidan Hutchinson||DE||Divine Child||Michigan|
|No. 3||Houston Texans||Derek Stingley||CB||The Durham School||Louisiana|
|No. 4||New York Jets||Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner||CB||Detroit Martin Luther King||Michigan|
|No. 5||New York Giants||Kayvon Thibodeaux||DE||Oaks Christian||California|
|No. 6||Carolina Panthers||Ikem Ekwonu||OT||Providence Day||North Carolina|
|No. 7||New York Giants||Evan Neal||OT||IMG Academy||Florida|
|No. 8||Atlanta Falcons||Drake London||WR||Moorpark||California|
|No. 9||Seattle Seahawks||Charles Cross||OT||Laurel||Mississippi|
|No. 10||New York Jets||Garrett Wilson||WR||Lake Travis||Texas|
|No. 11||New Orleans Saints||Chris Olave||WR||Mission Hills||California|
|No. 12||Detroit Lions||Jameson Williams||WR||Cardinal Ritter||Missouri|
|No. 13||Philadelphia Eagles||Jordan Davis||DT||Mallard Creek||North Carolina|
|No. 14||Baltimore Ravens||Kyle Hamilton||S||Marist||Georgia|
|No. 15||Houston Texans||Kenyon Green||G||Atascocita||Texas|
|No. 16||Washington Commanders||Jahan Dotson||WR||Nazareth||Pennsylvania|
|No. 17||Los Angeles Chargers||Zion Johnson||G||Riverdale Baptist||Maryland|
|No. 18||Tennessee Titans||Treylon Burks||WR||Warren||Arkansas|
|No. 19||New Orleans Saints||Trevor Penning||OT||Newman Catholic||Iowa|
|No. 20||Pittsburgh Steelers||Kenny Pickett||QB||Ocean Township||New Jersey|
|No. 21||Kansas City Chiefs||Trent McDuffie||CB||St. John Bosco||California|
|No. 22||Green Bay Packers||Quay Walker||ILB||Crisp County||Georgia|
|No. 23||Buffalo Bills||Kaiir Elam||CB||The Benjamin School||Florida|
|No. 24||Dallas Cowboys||Tyler Smith||OT||North Crowley||Texas|
|No. 25||Baltimore Ravens||Tyler Linderbaum||CB||Solon||Iowa|
|No. 26||New York Jets||Jermaine Johnson II||DE||Eden Prairie||Minnesota|
|No. 27||Jacksonville Jaguars||Devin Lloyd||ILB||Otay Ranch||California|
|No. 28||Green Bay Packers||Devonte Wyatt||DT||Towers||Georgia|
|No.29||New England Patriots||Cole Strange||G||Farragut||Tennessee|
|No. 30||Kansas City Chiefs||George Karlaftis||DE||West Lafayette||Indiana|
|No. 31||Cincinnati Bengals||Daxton Hill||S||Tulsa Booker T. Washington||Oklahoma|
|No. 32||Minnesota Vikings||Lewis Cine||S||Cedar Hill Trinity Christian||Texas|
Photo: AP/John Locher
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