The draft is right around the corner. As of today, 4/14/22, we are officially two weeks away from the 2022 NFL draft. Since we are in the middle of mock season, I thought I would give my take. With that being said, here is my first mock draft for the 2022 NFL draft.
Mock Draft Trades
Before we start off, let’s go over the trades I have set up for this mock draft.
- The New York Giants trade the 5th and 173rd overall picks to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the 16th and 19th overall picks in the 2022 draft. The Saints seem to be gearing up for some sort of big move, and I think this could potentially be it. The Giants are all in on Daniel Jones, so giving him the best team possible should be their biggest goal in this draft.
- The Seattle Seahawks trade DK Metcalf to the Green Bay Packers for the 22nd, 53rd, and a 2023 fourth round pick. It looks like DK could be moved, and Green Bay NEEDS a number one target. Seattle is in rebuild mode and could look to add draft capital.
- Seattle trades the 72nd pick in the 2022 draft for Baker Mayfield and pick 223. Though this doesn’t have anything to do with the first round, I am adding this to clarify that I don’t think Seattle will roll with just Drew Lock next year, but it won’t be a 1st round rookie in my opinion.
- The Giants trade down again, this time they trade their recently acquired 16th overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 29th, 62nd, and 251st pick. The Chiefs are in desperate need of a future star at WR, and at picks 29 and 30 it looks unlikely they will be able to obtain one in the first round. The Giants gain more draft capital, but still end up with three first round picks in the draft. If they play their cards right, the Giants could run away with the best draft weekend.
Keep in mind, these are just mock draft trades, there is a good chance none of these happen. Yet at the same time, any of them can happen.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – EDGE Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan)
Aidan Hutchinson could possibly be the closest thing to a “sure thing” of any 2022 prospect. Hutchinson brings a combination of power, speed and motor to the table, and the Jaguars NEED to hit on this pick. There have been rumors that Balke goes in a different direction, but I don’t buy it.
2. Detroit Lions – EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)
Dan Campbell’s personality made him very popular with fans. The honeymoon is over, and it’s time to win. Here at 2nd overall in my mock draft, I think Kayvon Thibodeaux is the answer. There is a reason he was viewed as the #1 player in the class for so long. Yes, he has his issues on and off the field. But I don’t necessarily think overconfidence is the worst thing in the world. Fans and media were the ones who gave him that confidence after he was the consensus 2022 #1 overall pick right after the 2021 draft. He has a high ceiling and unreal athleticism, let’s let him grow into the shoes WE picked out for him.
3. Houston Texans – OT Evan Neal (Alabama)
Evan Neal is one unique specimen. He has the versatility of playing tackle on either side and is an athletic freak. The Texans may consider moving on from LT Laremy Tunsil at some point in the future, and Neal could easily slide over to replace him. The Texans need just about every position. It is looking like they will be rolling with Davis Mills, so getting him some sort of protection up front has to be on their radar.
4. New York Jets – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (Cincinati)
The Jets are in need of cornerstone pieces. Sauce Gardner could be right behind Aidan Hutchinson in being closest to a “sure thing”. Gardner is big and athletic, the perfect combination for a lockdown corner. 4th could be viewed as too high for Gardner, but if the Jets love him and don’t want to roll the dice on him making it to them at 10th overall, they should pull the trigger.
5. New Orleans Saints – QB Malik Willis (Liberty)
And here we have our first big trade up of the mock draft. The Saints made the move to gain an extra first round pick after their trade with the Eagles. This has led many to believe that they are gearing up for something big. The Saints have no answer as to who their QB of the future will be, and Willis could be just that. I believe the threat of their division rivals needing a QB at 6th could ultimately drive them to make this deal. He doesn’t have to start right away, and he will be able to learn behind Jameis Winston.
6. Carolina Panthers – QB Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)
The Panthers missed out on Willis, but that may not be the worst thing ever. It is no secret Matt Rhule is on the hotseat this season. A more pro ready QB could be exactly what the Panthers need. Pickett would potentially thrive with the skill players the Panthers have; Carolina could be his best option.
7. New York Giants – OL Ikem “Ickey” Ekwonu (NC State)
Ikem Ekwonu is an absolute mauler, and the Giants should be celebrating if Ekwonu falls to them at 7th overall. He has versatility to put him at guard or tackle and is a menace in the run game. The Giants need to sure up their offensive line since they are all in on Daniel Jones. Adding Ekwonu is a big step in the right direction of the Daboll era.
8. Atlanta Falcons – EDGE Travon Walker (Georgia)
Yes, the Falcons have a huge hole at WR. But they also have little to no pass rush. There have been rumors that Walker could go as high as 1st overall, and he definitely could. In my mock draft though, I have him “slipping” a bit down to 8th. Walker stays in Georgia and comes to aid a depleted pass rush.
9. Seattle Seahawks – OT Charles Cross (Mississippi St)
There is a reason Russell Wilson wanted out, and it wasn’t due to a lack of WRs. The Seahawks need to address their offensive line, and Charles Cross at 9th overall would be perfect. To reiterate, I have Baker Mayfield heading to Seattle, so getting him or whoever they start at QB some protection needs to be their #1 priority.
10. New York Jets – WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio St)
The Jets need to give Zach Wilson a true #1 target. In this mock draft, I have them missing out on a trade for DK Metcalf, who I personally think will be the only rumored young star WR moved if there are any. So, the Jets will settle with who many believe is the #1 WR of this class. Garrett Wilson’s speed paired with Zach Wilson’s arm would be a fantastic dynamic to develop the young Jets QB.
11. Washington Commanders – S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)
There are questions about Hamilton’s acceleration. I believe that Hamilton can succeed in the NFL, either playing as a safety, playing in the box, or even playing in that “star” position that Jalen Ramsey plays sometimes. Washington could land Hamilton, who many believe is the best player in the draft. I’d like to separate that from being close to a “sure thing”. His struggle to get up to max speed could limit what he can do at safety in the NFL, but his skillset is the highest of any prospect in the draft. Regardless of who takes him, it will be interesting how he is used at the next level.
12. Minnesota Vikings – CB Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)
Derek Stingley is very similar to Kayvon Thibodeaux in terms of draft stock. He was widely regarded as a lock for going top three, and by far the best at his position going into the 2021 season. Now, he is fighting to keep that spot, with many believing there is a better alternative to take. The Vikings could use another difference maker in their secondary, and the addition of another LSU star could give the Vikings future cornerstones at important positions.
13. Houston Texans – LB Devin Lloyd (Utah)
The Texans have a relatively underrated pass rush, so I don’t think that will be where they go here at 13th overall. Linebacker Devin Lloyd is versatile and could be the green dot for the Texans for the next decade. Lloyd flies around and is a sure tackler. Adding the top linebacker to what is probably their weakest position group would be a fantastic way to finish the 1st round for the Texans.
14. Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Jermaine Johnson II (FSU)
The Ravens would benefit from adding a pass rusher in the draft this year. Calais Campbell is about done, and it isn’t a position of strength at the moment. Johnson ran a 4.54, his athleticism is something you can’t teach. The Ravens are known for their scary defenses and Johnson feels like a potential future Raven.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Trent McDuffie (Washington)
The Eagles secondary could use an addition, and McDuffie would really benefit playing with Darius Slay Jr. He is an experienced corner who is always on alert, the Eagles need to add a corner in the draft and McDuffie is the best one available.
16. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Jameson Williams (Alabama)
Kansas City needs to add a weapon for Patrick Mahomes. They currently have the 29th and 30th picks in the 2022 draft, but I have them trading up in my mock draft. It is unlikely they are able to land a premier receiver at their current spots, trading up to 16th overall isn’t insane. They just gave up their speedster, Tyreek Hill. I think they could add another one in Jameson Williams. While he won’t play next year, he still could easily be the best wideout from this class in five years. By giving up the 29th overall pick, as well as the 62nd and 251st picks, the Chiefs use some of their draft capital to get a future star for their offense. But they would still have a fair amount of capital.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa)
The Chargers need to upgrade their offensive line, and the addition of the bully Trevor Penning would be a phenomenal selection. Penning can is just flat out mean, and he proved that at the Senior bowl. Not only in the games was he dominant, but the practices were where he really shined. Protecting Justin Herbert is very important, and I think Penning would do a fine job protecting him.
18. Philidelphia Eagles – WR Chris Olave (Ohio State)
Another Ohio State off the board in my mock draft. There have been rumors swirling that the two OSU wideouts could potentially be the first two off the board at the position. While I am not sure if that will be the case, that just shows how much upside there is to drafting one of them. Giving Jalen Hurts another weapon would at the very least tell the Eagles if he is their guy for the future or not. If they all succeed together, great you found your guy. If not, at least you will have a good WR group for the next QB.
19. New York Giants – LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)
I know, shocker. This selection for the Giants isn’t being traded. I am mainly having them trade back so many times to show how they could have the best draft of all the teams if they play their cards right. Dean is a fantastic run stopper, and he was the leader of the great Georgia defense. Dean would be a fantastic addition to help build a winning culture in New York.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – IDL Jordan Davis (Georgia)
While many expect the Steelers to go quarterback here at 20, I would expect them to shoot for one in the second round. They have Trubisky for two years and should look to add a player that can help them win now. Jordan Davis is a unicorn, he is gigantic, but quick. He is a nightmare for running games and could be the next Vince Wilfork, maybe with even higher upside. There are questions about his stamina, but we have to remember how good that Georgia pass rush was. Was he not an every down linemen because he wasn’t able to? Or was it because he wasn’t asked to?
21. New England Patriots – WR Drake London (USC)
Here at 21st in my mock draft, I have the Patriots getting the guy that N’Keal Harry was supposed to be. London has a huge frame, and is great at grabbing 50/50 balls. Although he is big, he can still stretch the field. I think the Patriots could look to add a pass catcher to help develop Mac Jones.
22. Seattle Seahawks – EDGE George Karlaftis (Purdue)
With the first round pick they got for trading DK in my mock draft, the Seahawks take the freak athlete, George Karlaftis. Karlaftis could easily be taken higher if a team determines they need a pass rusher, but I have him landing here at 22nd.
23. Arizona Cardinals – CB Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson)
Andrew Booth Jr. is an interesting prospect and should transition to the next level rather well. Arizona needs help in their secondary, and the addition of another corner could really help lessen the load for the top players of the group.
24. Dallas Cowboys – WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas)
I don’t know how many people have Dallas taking a wideout here, but I’m willing to take a swing. I think someone like Bernhard Raimann could be the pick here, to bolster up the offensive line. But when you look at the Cowboys wide receiver group, it’s slim. I would also like to note that Jerry Jones is an Arkansas guy. I am sure he has enjoyed what he has seen from his soon to be fellow alumni.
25. Buffalo Bills – IDL Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)
We don’t typically expect to see two interior defensive linemen taken in the first round. We definitely don’t expect two interior defensive linemen to be taken from the same school in the first round. This is how good the Georgia defense was. Wyatt has gotten sneaky comparisons to Aaron Donald. Though that is almost an impossible comp, I believe it more due to his stature. If Wyatt, who is a good athlete, can learn to use multiple things as a strength like Donald does, he could be a top player for years to come. Buffalo could use an interior defensive lineman to sure up that front, and Wyatt is a perfect candidate.
26. Tennessee Titans – G Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)
The Titans need a guard, their offense is almost purely based around the run game. Kenyon Green has been mocked all over the place in the past year, anywhere from the top 10 to the back end of the first. The Titans should be ecstatic if Green falls to them, if OL is where they are looking to go.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – G Zion Johnson (Boston College)
Another guard off the board in the mock draft. Tampa lost two guards this past offseason, but added Shaq Thompson to replace one of them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Buccaneers go with a guard in the first round of the 2022 draft. Zion Johnson should be able to plug and play at the beginning of the year.
28. Green Bay Packers – DB Daxton Hill (Michigan)
The Packers don’t have much depth in their secondary, and they don’t have many defensive backs locked up for the future. In this mock draft, they have already traded for DK Metcalf. So, I think they could go with another position of need. Daxton Hill played a lot of slot in college, as well as safety. His versatility makes it much easier to take him, knowing he can successfully play multiple positions.
29. New York Giants – EDGE David Ojabo (Michigan)
This is another one of my bigger swings. This pick was obtained from the Chiefs after they traded up to select Jameson Williams in this mock draft. After trading down twice, the Giants have gathered more draft capital, and they still have had three picks in the draft. This enables them to take the best player available with their third pick of the 1st round. David Ojabo was originally a top 10 pick in this year’s draft until he tore his achillies, making it unlikely he plays a snap next year. The Giants actually have two picks inside the top 10 and were probably debating on selecting Ojabo. Here, at 29th, you don’t have the pressure of him being great right away, as you already have had two selections before it.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – CB Kaiir Elam (Florida)
The Chiefs need to make a move at corner after losing Charvarious Ward in free agency this offseason. Kaiir Elam is tall for a corner, standing at 6’2. He is athletic, and has multiple games started under his belt. After making a move for a WR earlier, the Chiefs can refocus and draft a position of need here at 30th overall.
31. Cincinati Bengals – C Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)
We don’t usually wee a center go off the board in round 1, but that’s how good Linderbaum is. He may be a top three offensive lineman in this draft, but the position he plays hurts his stock. The Bengals could use the finishing piece, and a dominant center is that piece. Quarterback/center continuity is a real thing, and the addition of Linderbaum is a good combination in the making. The Bengals could move ted Karras over to guard and their offensive line would be set.
32. Detroit Lions – QB Desmond Ridder (Cincinati)
The Lions need a QB of the future, as Jared Goff is not that. When we look at who Dan Campbell would value here at 32, I feel one needs to take Desmond Ridder into consideration. Ridder helped bring a team that was nowhere, into the college football playoffs. He has the “it” to him. He’s sneaky athletic, and comfortable in the pocket. I would not be surprised at all to see Desmond Ridder taken as the third quarterback off the board, and I think you could make an argument for him to be the second off the board.
My full mock draft:
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