2022 NFL Mock Draft (V1) Post Conference Championship

Kayvon Thibodeaux
(Stephen Brashear/The Oregonian)

One of my favorite parts about sports is when player get drafted into the league. Now as a hype up to draft season almost every fan including myself loves to create mock drafts. This is my 1st version of my Mock Draft for the 2022 NFL Draft. I always wait until the Conference Championships have been completed as a majority of the draft order is set. Now keep in mind that in this mock draft I will not be including draft day trades as it is too early to determine it. So here we go and we will sart with the Jacksonville Jaguars who are now on the clock…

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE/EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)

Let’s be real for a second here unless the Jaguars trade this pick or a bad performance at the combine this selection is either going to be Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aiden Hutchinson. The Jaguars could use an excellent partner for DE/EDGE rusher Josh Allen. Yes they did in 2020 use a 1st round pick on DE/EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson but he has been terrible since the team drafted him. The Jaguars need any help they can get on defense and it would be foolish not to take pass rush help in the 1st round of the draft.

2. Detroit Lions – DE/EDGE Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan)

Since Thibodeaux is taken 1st overall it should be no surprise that the Lions will take Aiden Hutchinson with the next pick. The Lions have tremendous needs on defense especially at DE/EDGE. So of course they’re going to take Aidan Hutchinson as he is one of the best pass rushers in this class with minimal weaknesses with Thibodeaux. He is a can’t miss prospect and the Lions would be fools to pass on Hutchinson if h was available at #2.

3. Houston Texans – DE/EDGE George Karlaftis (Purdue)

This pick could go either or because I have no idea what the Houston Texans are even doing. Again I ask why is Jack Easterby still a part of the Texans organization? But I have a feeling that this pick is likely on the defensive side of the football. One this is for sure and that is the Texans need to get a good pass rusher. They made a mistake trading Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks for pennies on the dollar, and with the departure of JJ Watt plus Whitney Mercilus. I think the Texans will take the best pass rusher available and go with George Karlaftis. Especially with how athletic he is and with how strong his motar is. Karlaftis would be a  great piece on a team that is rebuilding.

4. New York Jets – CB Derrick Stingley Jr (LSU)

No question here as I don’t see this pick being anything excluding the secondary. The Jets absolutely need to get depth and players for their defense. Corner was their weakest position. Even though they have potential in Brandon Echols, Michael Carter, and Bryce Hall I don’t see them as number 1 corners yet. The Jets get a cornerback in the 1st round by taking the best player in Derrick Stingley Jr.

5. New York Giants – OT Evan Neal (Alabama)

The Giants offense is a mess and they made the wrong moves last season to build this team. Who knows what this team will do with Daniel Jones and I won’t be shocked if the Giants keep him. So what the next step should be is to build the offensive line. They have one tackle in Andrew Thomas who did a lot better than his rookie season. The whole Nate Solder saga has been a complete disaster and he is a free agent this offseason. The Giants should take another offensive lineman to protect Daniel Jones and see if he is the guy or not. Evan Neal is hands down the best offensive lineman in this draft and should do well as an immediate starter if properly developed.

6. Carolina Panthers – OT/OG Ikem Ekwonu (NC State)

Who knows what the Carolina Panthers will do at quarterback but one this is for sure. This offensive line is awful and that is what happens when you overpay for Pat Elflein and Cameron Irving (who stinks). I think Carolina will take o-line help here by selecting Ikem Ekwonu. Now I see a lot of people saying he would be a great fit at tackle but honestly I think he would be better placed as a guard. The Panthers absolutely need a guard on this offensive line and I feel Ekwonu would be a great fit.

7. New York Giants (From Chicago Bears) – DE/EDGE David Ojabo (Michigan)

The New York Giants are lucky to have two 1st round picks in the top 10. I see this pick being on the defensive side of the football. I do not see the Giants this early going on the secondary but with a pass rusher. The Giants were not that good applying pressure to the quarterback and could use another edge rusher to go across from Azeez Ojulari who impressed last season. Ojabo has the size, athleticism, and pass rushing techniques that is needed for a pass rusher.

8. Atlanta Falcons – S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)

Atlanta’s defense is a complete dumpster fire right now. Especially at secondary, excluding CB AJ Terell the secondary was just abysmal. If I am the Falcons here I would absolutely go defense here and Kyle Hamilton falling to 8 is just way too good for them to pass up as Hamilton is a physically talented player. Plus it would help the Falcons in taking the next step of their rebuild.

9. Denver Broncos – DT Jordan Davis (Georgia)

I have a feeling the Broncos could consider taking a quarterback here. Especially as Teddy Bridgewater is injury prone and Drew Lock stinks. I for now wont mock QB here because I have a feeling the broncos will acquire Aaron Rodgers in the offseason after the hiring of Nathanial Hackett. The Broncos defense did get better but one clear weakness was how weak there run defense was. I think the Broncos will add to their front 7 by selecting Jordan Davis who shines as a run stopper.

10. New York Jets (From Seattle Seahawks) – OC Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)

Many will think this pick is a reach but I am very high on Tyler Linderbaum in this draft. Especially he is very athletic, Quick to get into proper stance, he’s nasty, and plays with a ton of toughness. The Jets have not had a consistently good center since Nick Mangold retired. Yes Connor McGovern is okay but he is not the best option at center. Worse for worse they can move either of the two at guard once the team cuts Greg Van Roten The Jets o-line would be excellent with three 1st round pick o-lineman and George Fant as a result of this draft class.

11. Washington Commanders- QB Kenny Pickett (Pittsbergh)

This pick has to be quarterback. I am not confident with any quarterback that is currently on the Commanders roster. I like Taylor Henicke but I see him as a High level backup QB. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kyle Allen can’t stay healthy. I have Washington taking Kenny Pickett who I feel is the best QB in the draft. He has a lot of the characteristics that you want to see in a quarterback like accuracy, field vision, rocket arm, and great footwork. He does need to work on consistency and his hand size could be an issue but I would not be surprised if Kenny Pickett was the first QB to go in the draft.

12. Minnesota Vikings – CB Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)

This pick could go either or because I could see the Vikings deciding to blow it up. But I think this pick will definitely be on the defensive side of the football. Even though the vikings have had a bad track recored at cornerback I see the Vikings using there first round pick at secondary. Especially at secondary as it was abysmal the entire season. Out of the corners available I see the Vikings selecting Ahmad Gardner as he has great ball skils, coverage skills, and great athleticism that a team would want in a cornerback. Now he is a little raw and could use a bit more work but he would be an excellent edition to the Vikings secondary.

13. Cleveland Browns – WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State)

Ever since Odell Beckham Jr left the team to go be a ring chaser with the Los Angeles Rams the Cleveland Browns have not been able to replace him. Plus Jarvis Landry may also be leaving the Browns soon so they are going to have to give QB Baker Mayfield targets to throw the football to. I have the Browns at this spot taking the best receiver in the draft class in Garrett Wilson. Especially has he has strong playmaking abilities, great hand eye coordination, excellent body control and adjustment to catch the football.

14. Baltimore Ravens – OT Daniel Faalele (Minnesota)

If there is one thing that the Ravens proved to us is how injuries can derail a team and why you need depth at many positions. Offensive line being one and this team suffered when they traded OT Orlando Brown Jr to the Kansas City Chiefs. At least the Ravens got Odafe Jayson Oweh with that pick but offensive line is a big need for the ravens especially in protecting QB Lamar Jackson. Especially as the Alejandro Villanueva experiment did not work out as he suffered regression. This one will surprise you as I have the Ravens at this spot taking Daniel Faalele. Faalele is another player that I am very high on in this draft class. Especially with a guy his size 6’9’’, 379 pounds he is very athletic and quick when he is on the field. Faalele absolutely would be a great piece on any offensive line including Baltimore’s.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (From Miami Dolphins) – OG Kenyon Green (Texas Tech)

This is the Brandon Brooks replacement on the offensive line. As Brandon Brooks was an injury bug and had announced his retirement from the game as well. Plus it never hurts to use draft capital and invest in protection for any franchise QB. They need a player who can be a strong pass protector and a guy to open up holes for the run game to take advantage of. I believe Kenyon Green can do that.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (From Indianapolis Colts) – CB Trent McDuffie (Washington)

The Eagles absolutely need another cornerback to pair with Darius Slay on defense. McDuffie has the tools that you want in a cornerback. Especially as he is very versatile, physical, explosive, and has great foot quickness. The Eagles also need depth and youth at cornerback as well and I would be shocked if the Eagles don’t use a 1st round pick on cornerback.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – CB Andrew Booth Jr (Clemson)

This is the potential Chris Harris replacement on the defense. As Chris Harris is a free agent this offseason and even if he is signed he will be 33 years old next season. I like Asante Samuel Jr and he has promise but the Chargers are going to need another cornerback to pair with him. Andrew Booth can be that player as he has strong awareness, great ball skills, smooth hand techniques and foot quickness.

18. New Orleans Saints – OT Charles Cross (Mississippi State)

The Saints are most likely going to blow it up in the offseason as they are in cap hell. Entering their rebuild the best place to start their rebuild is building the offensive line. Especially as they will be protectors of the franchise QB which is a long term investment. Plus this will be the Terron Armstead replacement as he will be leaving in the offseason as his contract expires. Charles Cross would be a great replacement for him.

19. Philadelphia Eagles – LB Devin Lloyd (Utah)

The Eagles will absolutely use one of their 1st round picks on a Linebacker as it has been a need for a few seasons now. So with this pick the Philadelphia Eagles will take the best linebacker on the board and go with Devin Lloyd. Lloyd has strong instincts, good coverage abilities, an excellent communicator, and has good blitzing skills.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Malik Willis (Liberty)

The Pittsburgh Steelers maybe an incompetent organization that is lucky to have one of the best coaches in the league (Yes I will still admit that I was wrong about Mike Tomlin as I thought he should of been fired after that playoff loss against the Cleveland Browns where the Steelers played down to competition against a team that had improper practices for weeks and did not have head coach Kevin Stefanski on the sidelines). But they need to get a franchise QB and I highly doubt that Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins will be the guy. Heck they put in Ben Roethlisberger who could barely throw a football and walk to the sidelines over both of them. Now that Ben made the decision he should have made two years ago and retired from football the Steelers can finally look at the future and take their new franchise QB. I do believe that If Kenny Pickett is available that the Steelers would absolutely take him but since in this mock draft Washington took him I will go with the second best option for the Steelers in Malik Willis. 

21. New England Patriots – DT DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M)

While New England definitely improved this season there was just something missing on this defense. Especially with a defensive lineman who can help with the run game and being a pass rusher. With this pick New England decided to select the best player available in DeMarvin Leal who can have a big impact as a run stopper and being a pass rusher. Leal is also very agile as well.

22. Las Vegas Raiders – WR Chris Olave (Ohio State)

Ever since Henry Ruggs III suffered his fall from grace in the NFL the Raiders have been missing a number 1 receiver. Yes Hunter Renfrow is excellent but I see him as more of a slot receiver and DeSean Jackson has never been the same since he left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders at this spot take Chris Olave to fill the need at receiver. Plus Chris Olave is very fast and we know the Raiders organization is always a fan of selecting receivers based on their speed. Olave is also a smooth route runner as well which is a big benefit.

23. Arizona Cardinals – DE/EDGE Travon Walker (Georgia)

Arizona does what they should of done last season and get an edge rusher that can be the backup for JJ Watt and Chandler jones who both have durability issues plus are passed their primes. Plus Chandler Jones is a free agent this offseason and the Cardinals only have 5 million dollars in salary cap. So it will be tough to resign Chandler Jones so I think it would be beneficial to take Travon Walker here. Especially as Walker has strong pass rushing moves and solid awareness.

24. Dallas Cowboys – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Can the Dallas Cowboys draft a Head Coach with this pick? No. Well that sucks because that is one of the main reasons why Dallas could not advance further in the playoffs. Instead it is always a good idea to continue to protect the investment on the quarterback and select an offensive lineman. The o-line was a mess every time Tyron Smith was out due to an injury. I think it would be a smart idea to take an offensive lineman and Trevor Penning would be a great choice here as he has great athleticism with a guy his size at 6’7 and 322 pounds.

25. Buffalo Bills – CB Roger McCreary (Auburn)

There are three big needs for the Bills to upgrade in the offseason. The first is running back and I don’t see a running back going in the first round. Second is interior offensive lineman and I see the Bills waiting until the mid round of the draft to select an interior o-lineman. Third is at cornerback and that is where I see the Bills using their first round pick on. Especially when CB Tre’Davious White suffered his season ending injury it left a big hole on the bills defense and showed that they needed more depth at secondary. I have the Bills taking Roger McCreary as he has strong ball skills, great tackler, and smooth foot quickness.

26. Tennessee Titans – WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas)

I hate to say it but Julio Jones has undergone regression this season and his first season with the Titans was a disappointment. I don’t see Julio as a long term player on this team. The team needs to give Ryan Tannehill more receivers to through the football to that can stay healthy and consistent. Burks is athletically gifted and can be a playmaker. Plus Treylon Burks has great hands as well.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S Jaquan Brisker (Penn State)

This pick could go either or as the Buccaneers no longer have Tom Brady at Quarterback. But even when they had Tom Brady available the clear weakness with the Buccaneers is at the secondary position. I think Tampa should absolutely use a draft pick to build up the secondary and improve it by selecting Jaquan Brisker. He does a great job creating space, being very physical, has strong awareness, and has strong hip fluidity.

28. Green Bay Packers – WR Drake London (USC)

The Packers are absolutely screwed in this offseason as they will be entering cap hell. Especially at wide receiver as the Packers will most likely lose Davante Adams, Marquez Vandals-Scantling, Allen Lazard, and Equanimeous St.Brown in free agency. This pick absolutely has to be wide receiver to give Jordan Love or Aaron Rodgers (If he stays and I doubt he does). At this spot Green Bay goes with the best receiver available and selects Drake London from USC.

29.  Miami Dolphins (From San Francisco 49ers) – OT Rasheed Walker (Penn State)

The Dolphins offensive line last season was an absolute trainwreck excluding Liam Eichenberg. Unless Miami tradees down I doubt that the Dolphins don’t go o-line with there 1st round draft pick. The Dolphins need to protect quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as he was continuosly getting beaten up due to how bad the o-line was. I think this pick will be focused on getting more protection by getting another tackle in Rasheed Walker.

30. Kansas City Chiefs – DE/EDGE Jermaine Johnson (Florida State)

This pick has to be defense as there are a ton of weaknesses. I think the Chiefs should get a young pass rushing partner for Frank Clark. Johnson has solid athleticism, pass rushing moves, awareness, and great hands batting down passes. He would be a great fit on this defense and have an impact on this defense.

31. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Nicholas Petit-Frere (Ohio State)

Never hurts to build the offensive line and help protect franchise quarterback. I feel the Bengals could continue to do it by using a first round pick on Petit-Frere who was an excellent pass protector quick moving in and out of the offensive line, very athletic, and is nasty when making his blocks.

32. Detroit Lions (From Los Angeles Rams) – LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)

Many have projected the Lions to take a Quarterback here and they have points as I think Jared Goff is horrible. However I think the Detroit Lions can wait at QB later in the draft as they have the 34th overall pick. The Lions defense also has way too many weaknesses and I think it is more important to strengthen the defense. Especially at linebacker and no joke I legit could not name anyone that played linebacker for the Lions last season that was consistently good. A player who I feel has the potential to sneak in the 1st round of the draft is Nakobe Dean. He is a great playmaker and has strong foot quickness which helps his blitzes and going frome sideline to sideline. He has a lot of potential as well and can fit in the Lions defensive scheme.

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