NFL Mock Draft Setup
The 2022 NFL Draft is coming up in just under two weeks. There have already been multiple trades involving first round picks. Eight teams have multiple first round picks. In order to provide realistic trades, I used nflmockdraftdatabase.com‘s mock draft simulator to find realistic trade packages. To see how it’s changes from the last mock draft, view Mock Draft 1.0 here. With that being said, let’s get started with my 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0.
NFL Mock Draft 2.0
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Travon Walker is a freak athlete who is also a good run defender. However, he hasn’t done a ton as a pass rusher. He only had 5 sacks on 381 pass rush snaps according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). PFF also has him at a 10.8% pass-rush win rate.
However, Walker has positional versatility. He has lined up as a 1-tech all the outside, and has even occasionally dropped into coverage. The Jaguars should go with a safer option, but it’s been rumored that Baalke could very well go Walker instead.
2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan
Aidan Hutchinson is an elite athlete as well and has much more pass rush production. According to PFF he had 14 sacks and a 25.4% pass-rush win rate. He needs to improve technically as well as play with more bend and flexibility, but he has the tools to be a great player. He is not a finished product, but is worthy of a top ten pick.
3. Houston Texans: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Evan Neal is a powerfully built tackle who was on Bruce Feldman’s freak list. Even though he didn’t test, we know he would’ve been one of if not the top testing tackles in this draft. He is probably the safest of the tackles, with experience at both guard and tackle as well as playing on the left and right sides of the line. He is a better pass blocker than Ekwonu and a better run blocker than Cross, and can be a fit in any system due to his elite size and athleticism.
4. New York Jets: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
Ikem Ekwonu is a mauler in the most pure sense. He is a very good run blocker, and has the movement ability to be a good pass blocker as well. He has positional flexibility along the line and can be an asset for the Jets regardless of where they put him. If they want, they can play him at guard for this year and kick him out to tackle after George Fant is gone, or play him there immediately.
The New York Giants have traded the fifth overall pick and a 2023 third round selection to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for picks 20 and 52 as well as a 2023 first round pick.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Malik Willis has the highest upside of any quarterback in this draft. That statement holds zero meaning as there’s only one other player with a realistic shot at becoming an average NFL starter. His athleticism and running ability provide a solid floor and his arm talent is worth letting him develop as a passer. He needs to improve his accuracy, decision making, and pocket presence.
Pittsburgh is the perfect place to allow him to develop. They can let him sit behind Mitchell Trubisky. They need to improve their offensive line between this off-season and next, but they have the receivers and defense to support him in his development.
6. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
The Panthers have nothing at quarterback. They have Sam Darnold on the fifth-year option this year, but desperately need a starting caliber quarterback to have a shot at saving Matt Rhule’s job. Personally, I don’t believe Kenny Pickett has the ability (I would compare him more to a Teddy Bridgewater-level quarterback, who they ironically brought in Sam Darnold to replace) but the Panthers have a lot of connections to Pickett.
Rhule recruited Pickett while he was at Temple and owner David Tepper is a Pitt booster. If they pass on a quarterback here, they could trade for Baker Mayfield instead.
7. New York Giants: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
The Giants are in need of a right tackle, and Charles Cross is the top tackle available. While he has only played on the left side, he has apparently been training on the right side. Cross is a good pass protector, but could use work in the run game.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
The Falcons get a steal in Kayvon Thibodeaux. Reportedly, NFL teams are concerned with his personality, but he is a fantastic player. He should be at the very least in the discussion for the first overall pick, if not the actual selection. He is a great athlete with a lot of upside.
9. Seattle Seahawks: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Sauce Gardner looks like the dream corner for Pete Carroll. Gardner has shown the ability to be a lockdown man-cover corner and has the athletic potential to be an elite zone corner as well, especially in Seattle’s cover three scheme.
10. New York Jets: Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State
Jermaine Johnson was an elite pass rusher in his single season at Florida State after transferring from Georgia. Johnson can be a high-end edge and was very productive, as well as having elite athleticism.
11. Washington Commanders: Drake London, WR, USC
The Commanders have invested at quarterback with the acquisition of Carson Wentz and will look to add another play-maker opposite Terry McLaurin for him to throw to. Drake London is a tall, big-bodied receiver who can be either a deep threat or operate in the quick game with run-after catch ability. London has experience both on the outside and in the slot.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Derek Stingley is an elite prospect at corner who should go top half of the first round despite injury concerns. Stingley is recovering from a Lisfranc injury that caused him to miss most of last year. He had an elite freshman year, and has had injury issues since. The Vikings desperately need a starting corner, and Stingley can start opposite of former LSU Tiger Patrick Peterson.
13. Houston Texans: Kyle Hamilton, Saf, Notre Dame
Kyle Hamilton is an elite prospect at safety. The position isn’t highly valued, and some people have athleticism concerns despite a 9.33 RAS. Hamilton has the versatility to do whatever you ask him to, and the Texans simply need the most talented player, which is what Hamilton is.
14. Baltimore Ravens: George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue
George Karlaftis has the size and strength to be a good run defender and to be a quality pass rusher. Karlaftis could be versatile enough to be either a 4-technique end for them or a stand-up edge rusher. His arms are a concern for some, but Karlaftis is athletic enough to make up for it.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Jameson Williams is an elite downfield threat who can help stretch the defense for what was a very condensed Eagles offense. Williams is coming off a torn ACL, but could be back early in the year, most likely by week 6 at the latest.
16. New Orleans Saints: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
The Saints lost left tackle Terron Armstead in free agency, and Trevor Penning is an athlete worth taking a risk on. However, Penning has penalty issues and needs technical refinement. Penning is a project, but the Saints have had a good offensive line track record.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, iDL, Georgia
The Chargers don’t necessarily “need” Jordan Davis. They signed Sebastian Joseph-Day to fill the roll they would use Davis in, but Davis is an elite athlete who is dominant against the run and has pass-rush upside as someone who can collapse the pocket. He needs to maintain the weight he was at the Combine to be in good enough shape to be a consistent, every down player.
The Chargers have heavily invested in the defense, and Davis would be one of the last pieces they need, along with a linebacker. If the right offensive tackle is available, they could go that route, or select a receiver as well.
18. Philadelphia Eagles: Devonte Wyatt, iDL, Georgia
Devonte Wyatt is another elite athlete from Georgia who can be a high upside, penetration-style 3-Tech. Wyatt can be in a rotation with Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox — who is in the last year of his contract — as well as second year players Milton Williams and Marlon Tuipulotu.
19. New Orleans Saints: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The Saints currently have Jameis Winston, but they could possibly get out with an $11.2 million dead cap, saving $4.4 against the cap, or keep him for just $15.6 million. Desmond Ridder is a decently high-floor (for this class) quarterback who could eventually be a solid starter.
20. New York Giants (from Pittsburgh): Andrew Booth Jr.,CB, Clemson
The Giants need good corners in Wink Martindale’s system, especially with the possibility of a James Bradberry trade. Andrew Booth is just that, and they also added an additional second-round pick, and swapped a third round pick in next year’s draft for a first round pick.
21. New England Patriots: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Kaiir Elam can be a solid replacement for JC Jackson for the Patriots. Elam has all of the physical traits needs to be a good press-man corner as well as a having good upside in zone.
22. Green Bay Packers: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Treylon Burks is a fantastic fit in the Packers offense. He provides a dynamic play-maker who is lethal with the ball in his hands. Burks tested decently well considering his size, but he has fallen a bit because of previous testing expectations.
Arizona Cardinals trade pick 23 to the Kansas City Chiefs for picks 29 and 94.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Chiefs traded up with the Cardinals in order to make sure they got their guy. Wilson can be an excellent play-maker and is a good route runner. He also adds good speed, and can make big plays after the catch.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M
The Cowboys offensive line struggled with health last season, and with the release of La’el Collins, they have needs at multiple spots on the line. Kenyon Green has tackle and guard flexibility, but is best as a guard.
25. Buffalo Bills: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Bills don’t necessarily have a need at receiver, but this could be very beneficial for the efficiency of their already elite offense. Olave is a great number two receiver and gets to play with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Jamison Crowder.
26. Tennessee Titans: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
Tyler Smith is not worth a first round pick. However, it certainly seems like he will be one come April 28. With that being said, Smith is an interesting project worth development and the Titans have a need along the offensive line.
27. Tampa Bay Bucaneers: Zion Johnson, iOL, Boston College
Zion Johnson is a plug-and-play guard who will be important for the Bucs as they make another Super Bowl push. He can be a quality starter as a rookie and has Pro-Bowl upside. Johnson is a near-perfect prototype for what you seek in a guard. He is a bit on the short side, but has great arm length. He could use some technical refinement, but is a great prospect nonetheless.
28. Green Bay Packers: Daxton Hill, Saf, Michigan
Daxton Hill is an extremely versatile safety. He can play in the box, as a single high or two-high safety, as a nickel defender, and perhaps even as an outside corner. Hill is best either as a nickel or as a two-high safety. The Packers could use him as a nickel defender as a rookie before having him take over for Adrian Amos if they want.
29. Arizona Cardinals (from Kansas City): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
This one is fairly simple. The Cardinals have a massive hole at cornerback. Trent McDuffie is a very talented corner who will fall a bit due to concerns about his arm length.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Boye mafe, Edge, Minnesota
The Chiefs need help both along the defensive line and in the secondary, as well as at receiver. Boye Mafe is a high-upside dart throw at a position that you simply cannot get outside the first round, except on rare occasions.
31. Cincinnati bengals: Tyler Linderbaum, iOL, Iowa
Tyler Linderbaum is the best center in this draft. However, he will fall due to concerns about his size and scheme fit. He is a zone-run only center due to his small size, but in that system he will be an excellent run blocker. He will struggle slightly as a pass-protector, but he is very talented and the Bengals need all the offensive line help they can get.
They will be able to allow Ted Karras to compete with Jackson Carmen for the last guard spot, and then their offensive line will go from one of the worst in the league to above-average.
32. Detroit Lions: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Devin Lloyd may not be available at this pick. Lloyd will probably be the first linebacker off the board, but due to positional value and other team needs, he fell in this mock draft. The Lions simply need the best football players, preferably on defense. Lloyd is one of the top ones available, and fits the Lions team personality. And that concludes my 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0.