Mock Draft Setup
The mock draft order is as it currently is following the Divisional Round of the playoffs. There were no trades allowed. Because of this, some players fell further than they may have given a lack of positional need. As the draft approaches, it will be easier, and more accurate, to project trades.
Where players are currently slotted is a very fluid process, and will change a lot as the draft cycle continues. All-star games, the NFL Draft Combine, pro days, and team interviews will significantly move players up and down the board. This 2022 NFL mock draft was composed with the help of our friends over at NFL Mock Draft Database. With that being said, let’s get started on my 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.
2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
The Jacksonville Jaguars desperately need help at every position except for quarterback. With Kayvon Thibodeaux, they get a great combination of ability and positional value. Thibodeaux provides scheme flexibility for whatever they want to run, as well as being an exceptional talent at the position. He isn’t as skilled as previous number one overall selections at edge rusher, but he is still very good.
2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Aidan Hutchinson not only fills a need but is also a good quality player at a high-value position. Hutchinson is a good scheme fit and also fits into the type of player and personality that this Detroit Lions’ staff values.
3. Houston Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Derek Stingley missed a good portion of this past year, after only playing in seven games the year before. However, as a freshman, he was one of LSU’s best players when they won the National Championship. He is a good cover corner for a team in the Houston Texans that desperately needs help at every position.
4. New York Jets: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
While the New York Jets are getting back Carl Lawson, they still will need someone opposite him, and George Karlaftis is the top edge rusher on the board. He has prototypical size for the position and has a high floor as well as a decently high ceiling.
5. New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
The New York Giants are in desperate need of offensive line help, and Ikem Ekwonu is one of the best in this draft. Some have Ekwonu as their top offensive lineman. The Giants have a need at multiple offensive line positions, and Ekwonu will best help them get the five best linemen on the field.
6. Carolina Panthers: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Evan Neal is the top guy at the position and is very athletic. He won’t be one of the top tackles in the league immediately like Rashawn Slater and Tristan Wirfs have been the past two drafts, but he can start right away and be an upgrade for the Carolina Panthers. It isn’t ideal to rely on a third round pick to start at left tackle.
7: New York Giants (via Bears): Kyle Hamiton, S, Notre Dame
Kyle Hamilton is not only the best safety, he’s the best player in the draft. With their second pick in the draft, they go with the best player available. The Giants’ safety room isn’t terrible, but Hamilton would be an instant upgrade.
8: Atlanta Falcons: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
The Atlanta Falcons need a play-maker on defense outside of A.J. Terrell, and David Ojabo has insane upside to become just that. Ojabo is only in his fifth year of playing football and is already showing a good amount of polish, coupled with insane athletic traits.
9: Denver Broncos: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
The Denver Broncos have everything to be a contender outside of quarterback. People connected to the NFL have said that Kenny Pickett will be the first quarterback drafted, and with all the elite talent in the draft gone, they can now reasonably take the risk on a quarterback prospect.
10: New York Jets (via Seahawks): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
While Andrew Booth has fallen for a lot of people, with his physical tools he still has a very good chance to be the second corner off the board. The New York Jets have very little at corner, with no true starting-caliber players. Booth can come in, play immediately, and develop his technique under a good coaching staff.
11. Washington Football Team: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Washington survived this season without free-agent addition Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Sam Howell is a good fit in Scott Turner’s offense. Washington has decent play-makers and a solid offensive line. The defensive back seven still needs some work, but this can provide a stable offense for them to rely on.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
The Minnesota Vikings have been playing a very old Patrick Peterson at cornerback. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner provides some youth, length, and athleticism and is an instant starter specializing in press coverage.
13. Cleveland Browns: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Garrett Wilson is a solid athlete and fantastic after the catch. He’s also very good at the catch-point. The Cleveland Browns need a lot of help in the wide receiver room and could end up selecting multiple receivers in this draft. There’s a lot of competition for wide receiver one, and this was down to three players for me. He edged out Treylon Burks as a route runner. Jameson Williams’s injury drops him just below Wilson.
14. Baltimore Ravens: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The Baltimore Ravens have a deep threat in Marquis “Hollywood” Brown as well as a potential top receiver in last year’s first-round pick Rashod Bateman, both paired with star tight end Mark Andrews. The Ravens could still use one more pass catcher to help Lamar Jackson, and Jameson Williams has an argument to be the best one in this class.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Philadelphia needs a corner opposite Darius Slay, who himself is getting older. Kaiir Elam can be a good fit opposite Slay and has prototypical size and athleticism. The Eagles have a lot of picks and could end up trading one of these. While they typically try to bolster the trenches, the Eagles’ first selection is to fix what has been a weakness of theirs over the past few years.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts): Demarvin Leal, iDL, Texas A&M
With the Eagles’ second selection of this 2022 NFL mock draft, they go to their bread and butter and add to the trenches. While DeMarvin Leal has fallen since the summer, he still has a lot of athletic upside and has All-Pro potential. Leal will be transitioning from playing base end to a more interior role. He may have to add some additional weight in the NFL
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
The Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive line was majorly upgraded with first-round pick left tackle Rashawn Slater and center Corey Linsley added in free agency. They still need to upgrade the right side of the offensive line. Charles Cross is a left tackle for Mississippi State, but his movement skills and pass blocking ability are worth drafting despite having to flip over to the opposite side.
18. New Orleans Saints: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The New Orleans Saints have a ready-made offense for a rookie quarterback. While they need to upgrade their pass catchers, their offensive line and running game are near the top of the NFL, and Sean Payton is a top-notch play-caller. Matt Corral is a player that Payton can develop to eventually be a solid starting quarterback.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Eagles go back to the trenches for their third pick of this 2022 NFL mock draft. Jason Kelce may be retiring at center, and while Landon Dickerson can play center, he has the versatility to be a good guard — where he played this season. Tyler Linderbaum is a similar center to Kelce and can be a plug-and-play starter. The main concern is weight. Linderbaum will be able to do a lot of what Kelce does for the team.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
The Pittsburgh Steelers need a new quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger retiring. Malik Willis has a lot of upside. Mike Tomlin has talked about the need for mobility for a modern quarterback, and Malik Willis possesses good mobility and running skills.
21. New England Patriots: Jordan Davis, iDL, Georgia
The New England Patriots have always loved big, strong, run-stuffing nose tackles. That is a spot-on description of Jordan Davis, who also adds more pass-rushing upside when in good shape. Davis is going to be an outstanding two-down player for a long time in the league and will make an instant impact.
22. Las Vegas Raiders: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Treylon Burks has an argument for the top receiver in the class. He is outstanding after the catch and has the versatility to line up all over the field. The Las Vegas Raiders have a decision to make whether to rebuild or simply retool. If they retool, they have a good quarterback in Derek Carr and need to put another play-maker next to Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Arizona desperately needs cornerback help, and Trent McDuffie is one of the best in the draft. Marco Wilson has athletic upside, but may not be a long-term starter. Byron Murphy has good inside-out versatility. McDuffie will be a day one starter and provides scheme versatility.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M
The Dallas Cowboys had struggles on their offensive line with a lot of injuries. Connor Williams struggled at left guard, and Kenyon Green can plug and play there. Green can help keep Dak clean, and that needs to always be the goal with a franchise quarterback.
25. Cincinnati Bengals: Darrian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
The Cincinnati Bengals have had a very good season, but their number one issue has been their offensive line. They have a solid left tackle in Jonah Williams, but they need everything else, and Darrian Kinnard has the versatility to play guard or tackle. He can come in and start at right tackle immediately.
26. Miami Dolphins (via 49ers): Drake London, WR, USC
The Miami Dolphins need wide receiver help to be able to better evaluate Tua Tagovailoa. Jaylen Waddle was great as a rookie, and Drake London provides a different dynamic opposite him. Drake London can be a better version of what they have had in DeVante Parker.
27. Buffalo Bills: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
The Buffalo Bills need a cornerback opposite Tre White, and they have for years. While they haven’t shown a willingness to fix the need, after a year without White, they may value the depth of the corner position more than before. Kendrick was previously at Clemson before transferring to Georgia this past year. He made a jump across the board while at Georgia.
28. Detroit Lions (via Rams): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Detroit Lions already picked edge rusher, Aidan Hutchinson, at 2, and now will look to go best player available. Chris Olave is a very good wide receiver prospect. While he probably won’t be a superstar, he has a very high floor. The Lions currently only have Amon-Ra St. Brown as a receiver going forward.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Devin Lloyd will provide a lot of athleticism to the Kansas City defense. While they don’t necessarily have the biggest linebacker need, Lloyd would be an instant upgrade and start next to last year’s second round pick Nick Bolton. Lloyd is simply the best player available.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
The Tampa Bay Bucs drafted an edge rusher in the first round last year, but Drake Jackson allows them to maintain a good rotation at the spot. He can rush standing up or from a three-point stance, and can be a quality addition for if they lose Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency this off-season.
31. Tennessee Titans: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
The Tennessee Titans have had a need at linebacker. Rashaan Evans has been a disappointment. The Titans have gotten solid production out of later picks but could use an infusion of athleticism at the position. Dean is a good value at this spot, and while undersized, he is still a good blitzer and solid against the run.
32. Green Bay Packers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
We round out this 2022 NFL mock draft with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been injured across the offensive line this season, and Penning can be a good fit to either play right tackle for Billy Turner or can sit behind David Bakhtiari for a while until Turner becomes a free agent after next season.