Mock Draft 1.0 - 2022 NFL Draft
First off, let's establish the obvious: We know nothing until NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the picks at the 2022 NFL Draft (or Twitter leaks the picks early).
Secondly, everything we say here is correct.
Okay, one of those two statements is false. But what we DO know...
It's mock draft season! This mock draft was completed without trades (separate mock draft coming WITH trades).
Several teams have multiple first round picks (Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Green Bay, and Kansas City). There is a good chance that at least one of these teams will trade picks to either add more picks for later, or move up to select the player they want most.
This mock is based off a mix of team needs plus best player available.
Without further ado, here is Mock Draft 1.0.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE - Michigan
Instant starter, instant impact from week 1. Potential for 10+ sacks for years to come. Evan Neal could be in player here if Jax wants to add even more to the O-Line.
2. Detroit Lions - Ikem Ekwonu, OT - NC State
With this pick, Detroit could be on to building one of the best run O-Lines in the NFL. EDGE Travon Walker is a mighty tempting pick here, though.
3. Houston Texans - Evan Neal, OT - Alabama
Houston needs an influx of talent. This is a great way to establish that.
4. New York Jets - Kyle Hamilton, S - Notre Dame
Hamilton could slip due to his 40-time, but I'm not buying it. Too talented to pass up on him.
5. New York Giants - Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE - Oregon
New York benefits from the mini fall from Thibodeaux to beef up the EDGE. I don't buy that he will fall outside the Top-10, or even the first five picks.
6. Carolina Panthers - Kenny Pickett, QB - Pittsburgh
What we do know: Carolina needs and wants a QB. What we don't know: When or how it'll happen... But... The Matt Ruhle/Kenny Pickett connection links these two together once more.
7. New York Giants - Charles Cross, OT - Mississippi State
One of the best OT and EDGE rushers in the same draft? The G-Men look strong with this rebuild.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Travon Walker, EDGE - Georgia
Walker could be as high as No. 1 overall. Will he be? Or is it a smokescreen? Either way, ATL needs pass rush help and are happy to see him slide.
9. Seattle Seahawks - Trevor Penning, OT - Northern Iowa
SEA could go QB here. But they need someone (many someones) to protect whoever will lead them. They wait to draft their QB.
10. New York Jets - Ahmad Gardner, CB - Cincinnati
NYJ may have to take Sauce at No. 4 if they want him. Here, it's a dream he falls to them. The top S and CB in the same draft? Zero complaints from Jets land this year.
11 .Washington Commanders - Garrett Wilson, WR - Ohio State
Washington could be a contender to trade down for a QB hungry team, but instead keeps the pick and takes the best WR in the draft. Not sold Wilson will last this long in reality, but new QB on the block Carson Wentz needs a weapon outside of Terry McLaurin. He gets just that.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Derek Stingley Jr., CB - LSU
Match made in heaven. Stingley Jr. can learn under the wings of Patrick Peterson. I think this is one of the easier picks in the draft if Stingley Jr. is still available at No. 12 overall.
13. Houston Texans - Drake London, WR - USC
Remember that influx of talent we talked about at pick No. 3 with Houston? They are at it again. Two top talents in the draft are Houston Texans.
14. Baltimore Ravens - Tyler Linderbaum, OT - Iowa
Linderbaum could be a top 10 pick if the draft falls a certain way and teams are desperate for OT talent (which many are), but Baltimore would be thrilled to nab him at 14.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Treylon Burks, WR - Arkansas
Another draft with a first round WR picked for the Eagles? Why not. Bolster the talent around Jalen Hurts and see what he can do with it. If Hurts isn't the guy, give whoever is the man under center another weapon for 2023.
16. New Orleans Saints - Malik Willis, QB - Liberty
So… NOLA made some pre-draft moves to sweep up and select Willis. The heir to Drew Brees after the bridge of Jameis Winston.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Jordan Davis, DT - Georgia
Run stuffer. Great player that will wreck havoc in an AFC West that needs players to stop high powered offenses. Davis is up to the task.
18. Philadelphia Eagles - Jermaine Johnson, EDGE - Florida State
I would be absolutely stunned if Johnson makes it this far. Johnson could be a top-10 player. And most certainly is a top-15 talent. But the Eagles find themselves striking gold.
19. New Orleans Saints - Jameson Williams, WR - Alabama
Concerns of the ACL injury are at large, but NFL teams know players can recover and be themselves. NOLA gets Winston (And Willis next year) a weapon.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Desmond Ridder, QB - Cincinnati
Surprise! Matt Corral could be the pick here, too. But we go with Ridder who can give Mitch Trubisky a run for the starting gig in year 1.
21 .New England Patriots - Devin Lloyd, LB - Utah
Loyd is a machine. A perfect cog in the defensive machine for New England. Maybe TOO perfect of a fit.
22. Green Bay Packers - Chris Olave, WR - Ohio State
Yadda yadda 2002, we know it's been 20 years since a first round WR for the Pack. That changes this year. Olave cannot be passed up. Day 1 starter for Aaron Rodgers & Co.
23. Arizona Cardinals - George Karlaftis, EDGE - Purdue
The 5th EDGE taken in round 1, Karlaftis could be inside the top-15 if teams want EDGE rushers as badly as it's being reported. Or he could fall further near the bottom of Day 1. Toss up pick for Arizona. Could go WR, too.
24. Dallas Cowboys - Nakobe Dean, LB - Georgia
This could end up being one of the best value picks of Day 1. Love this pairing. Dallas may be tempted to draft a wideout as well.
25. Buffalo Bills - Andrew Booth Jr., CB - Clemson
Give this defense another chess piece to use and create issues for opposing offenses. Also, never hurts to have more firepower to stop a loaded AFC.
26. Tennessee Titans - Kenyon Green, OL - Texas A&M
Possibility to play day 1 in TEN, versatile that can do so much. But this is also one of the hardest picks for me to project. The Titans are one of the more unpredictable teams in this draft.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Boye Mafe, EDGE - Minnesota
Stock rising, Mafe has a chance to be on a top-flight defense and blend in, giving him a year to cash in on teams not accounting for him. He is going to be a popular name floating around the mid-to-late first round.
28. Green Bay Packers - Devonte Wyatt, DL - Georgia
Thought maybe the Pack could double-dip at WR (Christian Watson comes to mind). But with Wyatt on the board, they call his name. We know Green Bay is a team that loves drafting best available. And this fits the bill. But, it also fills a second major need in round 1. Georgia's George Pickens could be a Day 2 selection for Green Bay at WR.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Jahan Dotson, WR - Penn State
Dotson or Christian Watson? Either way, Tyreek Hill's replacement is now aboard.
30. Kansas City Chiefs - Trent McDuffie, CB - Washington
Could double-dip here for KC at WR, but adding to a secondary is smart in the loaded AFC West. McDuffie is also a possible top-10 pick. So to see him at 30 would be a gem of pick. McDuffie falling this far has nothing to do with him, more so how teams are drafting.
31 .Cincinnati Bengals - Kaiir Elam, CB - Florida
Finding ways to keep pace with the AFC is going to be tough, but grabbing Elam at the end of round 1 is a great addition. They would have loved McDuffie to fall one more spot, but Elam is fantastic.
32. Detroit Lions - Daxton Hill, S - Michigan
QB or defense? Gut says Hill won't make it out of round 1, and Detroit needs playmakers. They get one to end the first day.