2022 NFL Mock Draft (V2) Post Free Agency

Image Credit (Junfu Han/USA Today Sport)

The 2022 NFL Draft is 34 days away and I am very excited as the draft is one of my favorite parts about sports. As a hype up for the draft, many including myself, love to make mock drafts predicting where which player will be taken. This is my 2nd version of my Mock Draft for the 2022 NFL Draft. Similar to my first Mock, I will not be including draft day trades as I feel it is too early for analysts to predict. So, here we go and we will start with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are now on the clock…

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE/EDGE Aidan Hutchinson

I don’t understand why some analysts are projecting the Jaguars to take an offensive tackle, they just tagged Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor was good last season, as well. This pick needs to be on defense and I still believe this pick is going to be either Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson. Thibodeaux had a bad performance in the Senior Bowl, but he is still battling for the 1st pick. In my opinion, he is no longer the safest prospect to take at DE/EDGE, Aidan Hutchinson is, for now. If the draft was held today, the Jaguars would pick Hutchinson to help fix their defense.

V(1) Mock Draft – DE/EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux

2. Detroit Lions – DE/EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)

While Thibodeaux did not do well coming out of the Senior Bowl, I just don’t see how the Lions pass on him at #2. The Lions desperately need to fix this defense. Trey Flowers got released and the Lions need to find a replacement. So the DE/EDGE position should be on the top of the list for the Lions to improve in the offseason. A great way to do that is through the NFL Draft by selecting Thibodeaux.

V(1) Mock Draft – DE/EDGE Aidan Hutchinson

3. Houston Texans – OT Evan Neal (Alabama)

The Houston Texans have a ton of needs to fill on this team, but apparently, the Texans may be looking to improve the offensive line. Rumors came out that the team is interested in trading OT Laremy Tunsil, for some reason. I don’t know why the Texans would want to do it as he was the best player on offense for them last season. But, if it is true, then the Texans may look at taking an offensive lineman at this selection and I think the clear cut best tackle to take is Evan Neal. He is a genetic freak at 6’7” and 350 lbs. Neal moves very well for a guy his size. It is also a good idea to protect whoever the QB is for the Texans next season. But who knows what this pick will be as I have no idea what the Texans plan is this offseason. I will again ask, why is Jack Easterby still a part of the Texans organization?

V(1) Mock Draft – DE/EDGE George Karlaftis

4. New York Jets – CB Derrick Stingley Jr.

Not going to change the pick as the Jets still need to improve their cornerback core. The Jets did sign DJ Reed to a contract which helps, but the team still needs more help at cornerback; it is still a weak point on their defense. Drafting Stingley Jr. would be a big help. He has a ton of potential being a shutdown corner with his excellent instincts, size, ball skills, and cover ability.

V(1) Mock Draft – CB Derrick Stingley Jr.

5. New York Giants – OT Charles Cross (Mississippi State)

As long as Carolina still has the 6th overall pick, the Giants would be making a mistake not picking an offensive lineman. In my opinion, Ikem Ekwonu is more of a guard than a tackle and the Giants have a bigger need at tackle than they do at guard, especially with the signings of Guards Matt Gono and Mark Glowinski in Free Agency. So, with this pick, I take a player who has a more solidified position at tackle and I feel Charles Cross is that player to help protect Daniel Jones.

V(1) Mock Draft – OT Evan Neal

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

I am not changing this pick here, either. This makes all the sense in the world for the Panthers to select Ekwonu. The Panthers desperately need to get a guard to help protect Sam Darnold, or whoever the QB will be for them. Although they did sign Austin Corbett to the team, they could use another guard on the other side as Pat Elflein was not good at all last season.

V(1) Mock Draft – OT Ikem Ekwonu

7. New York Giants (from Chicago Bears) – DE/EDGE Travon Walker (Georgia)

I would have kept this pick as David Ojabo, but he recently suffered an injury at his Pro Day and there is no word yet how severe it is. I still think the Giants need to go defense with this pick and they have done next to nothing as of me writing this to fix the pass rushing situation. I now have the Giants taking Travon Walker with this pick, as he has risen in the draft board rankings due to how well he did at the combine. The Giants need speed at the DE/EDGE position and Walker, at the combine, proved that he could fit those needs with his 4.51 40 yard dash.

UPDATE: Ojabo suffered a Torn Achilles

V(1) Mock Draft – DE/EDGE David Ojabo

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

Yes, the Falcons need a receiver since Calvin Ridley got suspended for betting on games, but Kyle Hamilton falling to the 8th pick would be too much talent for the team to pass up. I am not changing this pick as Atlanta still needs to improve their secondary. It was an absolute train wreck last season, excluding CB AJ Terrell. The team did sign CB Casey Heyward in Free Agency, but the Falcons still need a safety as both Erik Harris and Duron Harmon were not signed to new contracts. Yes, I know Matt Ryan was recently traded but I have a feeling that they will tank next season to get their franchise QB, as they have a ton of bigger needs at the moment.

V(1) Mock Draft – S Kyle Hamilton

9. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) – QB Malik Willis (Liberty)

I would be shocked if the Seahawks decided not to take a QB with this pick. I doubt that they would want to enter the season with the current QB’s on their team. Drew Lock is a scrub QB, Jacob Eason did not impress, and Geno Smith, If he re-signs, is not the guy. I have the Seahawks take the safest QB in the draft in Malik Willis. This pick would have been Kenny Pickett but I have a feeling his hand size could have him drop in the draft.

V(1) Mock Draft (*At the time Denver had the Pick)- DT Jordan Davis

10. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) – IOL Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)

Yes, I know the Jets signed Laken Tomlinson to a new contract, thus eliminating the need for a guard, but there is still uncertainty with the center position and if Connor McGovern will be kept for next season. If the Jets release/trade him, it clears around $9 million in cap space. If they were to do that, then Tyler Linderbaum would be a fantastic selection to fully solidify and complete the Jets offensive line rebuild. That is, if Mekhi Becton can stay healthy. It is still too early to tell what this pick will be but I am very high on Linderbaum in this draft class, as he could fit at center or guard.

V(1) Mock Draft – IOL Tyler Linderbaum 

11. Washington Commanders – WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State)

I doubt Washington drafts a QB now, with the team acquiring Carson Wentz via trade. What would be a good idea is to surround him with receivers to throw the ball to. Plus, excluding Terry McLaurin, name me a consistent and dependable receiver on this team, and don’t say Curtis Samuel because he can’t stay healthy… Exactly. You can’t. So the Commanders go with the best receiver in the draft to give Wentz more tools to succeed on offense.

V(1) Mock Draft – QB Kenny Pickett 

12. Minnesota Vikings – CB Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)

Not changing the pick here as the Vikings desperately need to fix their secondary, especially at cornerback, as looking at the current corners on their roster, it is clear that they don’t have a #1 shutdown corner. They can draft and develop one in Ahmad Gardner, who is rising the ranks and had an impressive combine performance. He showcased how smooth his hip fluidity was during drills at the combine.

V(1) Mock Draft – CB Ahmad Gardner 

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

Last mock, I said that the Texans need to get pass rushers on this team during the offseason. So far it is a position largely ignored by the team which I don’t understand. Oh, right. Jack Easterby is still there, for some reason. I still need an explanation as to why he is. Since they have not signed one, it is best to just draft one in Karlaftis, who would be a great fit in Lovie Smith’s defense.

V(1) Mock Draft (*At the time Cleveland had the Pick)- WR Garrett Wilson 

14. Baltimore Ravens – CB Andrew Booth Jr (Clemson)

This pick has to be on either the offensive line or at cornerback. The Ravens did sign Morgan Moses on the offensive line, which is a big plus to help protect Lamar Jackson, but they have not done much in the secondary, excluding bringing in Marcus Williams. Williams is more of a fit at safety so the Ravens have to find a cornerback that they can trust this year, who is durable. Yes, I know that Booth did not participate in the combine due to a quad injury, but reports came out that it is not serious and he was only held out as a precaution. Booth would be a good fit on the defense and boost the depth in the secondary.

V(1) Mock Draft – OT Daniel Faalele

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins) – DT Jordan Davis (Georgia)

Even though the Eagles have Fletcher Cox at DT he is not the long term option for them. Heck the team decided to release him at one point of the season and luckily were able to re-sign him to a 1 year contract. It might be time to find his replacement and at this spot Jordan Davis may be too good for them to pass up. He would be a great benefit to Philadelphia’s defense due to how great of a run stopper he is, being 6 ‘6’’ and 340lbs.

V(1) Mock Draft – OG Kenyon Green

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

I am not going to change the pick here as the Eagles did not do much to improve the cornerback position during free agency. Excluding a declining Darius Slay, and maybe Avonte Maddox, they don’t really have much talent on their team at the cornerback position. McDuffie would be a great addition to the secondary, with his versatility and his explosiveness. It would surprise me if the Eagles don’t use a 1st round choice on cornerback at all.

V(1) Mock Draft – CB Trent McDuffie 

17. Los Angeles Chargers – WR Chris Olave (Ohio State)

Mike Williams re-signing was an important move for the Chargers to do this offseason. A big issue that is potentially on the horizon is that Keenan Allen could suffer a regression soon, as he is turning 30 in April. Allen has not been the most durable receiver throughout his career. Besides Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, can you name me another receiver on this team, without looking it up on Google? The Chargers give Justin Herbert another receiver to throw the ball to by selecting Chris Olave.

V(1) Mock Draft – CB Andrew Booth Jr

18. New Orleans Saints – OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa )

This is the Terron Armstead replacement on the offensive line. The team is still restructuring their cap space and honestly it is really amazing how the Saints have been doing it. I give kudos to GM Mickey Loomis. I think it is always a smart idea to build an o-line and give any QB more protection. Penning can help, as he is very athletic for a player his size, at 6’7 and 322 pounds. He will be a force to reckon with wherever he gets drafted.

 V(1) Mock Draft – OT Charles Cross

19. Philadelphia Eagles – LB Devin Lloyd (Utah)

No change here. I legit can’t name a linebacker on the Philadelphia Eagles not named Haason Reddick, who signed a 3-year, $45 million contract. The Eagles need another linebacker and like I said in my V1 mock draft, this has been a position of need for the Eagles for many years. The Eagles changed that with this selection, taking the best linebacker in the draft, which is Devin Lloyd.

V(1) Mock Draft – LB Devin Lloyd 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I love what the Steelers have been doing during the offseason. It is amazing what a team can do when they are not heavily relying on an old, overpaid, injury prone quarterback that should have retired years ago. Now, I like the Mitchell Trubisky signing but am not sold on him as the long term QB for the team. I see the Steelers drafting Kenny Pickett, who played in the same arena for many years and has a lot of characteristics that you want in a QB. In the last mock, I had Pickett go to Washington, which obviously is not happening anymore. His hand size could make him fall in the draft to this pick and the Steelers would be crazy to pass on Pickett at this spot.

V(1) Mock Draft – QB Malik Willis

21. New England Patriots – CB Roger McCreary (Auburn)

This is the J.C. Jackson replacement on the defense. The Patriots did not do much to improve the secondary and replace Jackson via free agency, excluding signing Terrance Mitchell as a depth piece. I don’t blame them as they spent a lot of money last offseason in free agency. Luckily, the NFL Draft is here and the Patriots can draft a corner to replace him. I see the Patriots selecting McCreary in this spot, as he is a strong tackler and has excellent ball skills, like J.C. Jackson.

V(1) Mock Draft – DT DeMarvin Leal 

22. Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas Raiders) – WR Drake London (USC)

The Packers desperately need help at receiver now that they traded Davante Adams. It would be super poetic if the 1st Round Pick they acquired in the Davante Adams trade was used to select a rookie receiver. In my last mock, I had the Packers taking London 28th overall and I have the Packers doing the same, but just with this selection instead. It would be too good to pass up on a 6’5” receiver that runs smooth routes and has good hands.

V(1) Mock Draft (*At the time Las Vegas had the Pick)- WR Chris Olave

23. Arizona Cardinals DE/EDGE Jermaine Johnson (Florida State)

Arizona made a mistake last season not drafting an DE/EDGE rusher with a high draft choice. This year they won’t make this mistake, as the Cardinals have to find the Chandler Jones replacement on defense. Since Travon Walker’s stock has been rising, I have them taking the best DE/EDGE rusher available and it is Jermaine Johnson. Johnson is very athletic and has a smooth pass rushing technique.

V(1) Mock Draft – DE/EDGE Travon Walker 

24. Dallas Cowboys – OT Daniel Faalele (Minnesota)

As I said in my V1 mock draft, I am very high on Daniel Faalele in this draft. With a guy his size, 6’9’’, 379 pounds, he is very athletic and quick when he is on the field. The Cowboys need to get another offensive tackle to give Dak Prescott more protection and have another player as a backup option if Tyron Smith goes down with injury. I feel Faalele can be that player and the Cowboys would regret passing on him. I still wonder if Dallas can draft a head coach with this pick?

V(1) Mock Draft – OT Trevor Penning

25. Buffalo Bills – CB Kaiir Elam (Florida)

The Buffalo Bills had to upgrade three positions this offseason. The first was at the interior offensive line, where they did a great job, signing Rodger Saffold via free agency. The second was at running back, which they made a solid addition bringing in Duke Johnson. The third is at cornerback, which the Bills did not do much in free agency to improve. Luckily, the Bills have the draft and I see them absolutely going cornerback with this selection, taking Kaiir Elam. The Bills showed last season that they did not have a lot of depth at corner once Tre’Davious White went down with a Torn ACL. Elam helps fix that problem.

V(1) Mock Draft – CB Roger McCreary

26. Tennessee Titans – OG Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)

This is the Rodger Saffold replacement on the offensive line to help protect QB Ryan Tannehill. The Titans need a guard more than a tackle and it will help give Derrick Henry more opportunities for him to run in the offensive line by opening holes. Kenyon Green is a great selection for the Titans as he is a consistent run blocker and a strong pass protector.

V(1) Mock Draft – WR Treylon Burks

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

No change in this pick. With Tom Brady back for next season (sad face), the Buccaneers have another shot at getting to another Super Bowl. I would not use a 1st round pick on offense as there is still a lot of work that has to be done to improve the defense, especially in the secondary. It was the Buccaneers biggest weakness. Like I said, Brisker is a very physical defender, smooth with his hip fluidity, and does a great job in coverage. The Buccaneers would get a boost with Brisker on their defense.

V(1) Mock Draft –  S Jaquan Brisker 

28. Green Bay Packers – LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)

This pick could go either way, but the Packers desperately need to find a linebacker for their defense. In fact, the Packers have had this need at middle linebacker since they lost Blake Martinez years ago. So it is time with this selection to finally get a replacement for him by drafting Nakobe Dean, who has strong leadership, quickness, and playmaking abilities.

V(1) Mock Draft – WR Drake London

29. Kansas City Chiefs (from Miami Dolphins via San Francisco 49ers) – WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas)

One of these two 1st round picks for the Chiefs has to be at wide receiver, especially since the Chiefs no longer have a number 1 receiver in Tyreek Hill, who got traded to the Miami Dolphins. With this pick the Chiefs select Treylon Burks, who is very athletic, has a strong leaping ability, and is a strong playmaker. His strongest attribute is his hands. Did you know that Treylon Burks needs a custom 4XL gloves to play football. Big hands are a benefit for receivers, especially when reaching to catch the football. The Chiefs need a player like Burks on their offense.

V(1) Mock Draft (*At the time Miami had the Pick) – OT Rasheed Walker

30. Kansas City Chiefs – DE/EDGE David Ojabo (Michigan)

Look, I know. David Ojabo recently suffered a Torn Achilles and will miss time to heal up, but that does not mean that he will be out the entire 2022 NFL Season. Keep in mind Cam Akers came back after he suffered his Torn Achilles last season. Anything is possible. Plus, Ojabo is just too good for the Chiefs to pass on and when healthy, he is a wrecking ball on the football field. He is extremely explosive and will have an impact as a pass rusher. The Chiefs desperately need one to have another one beside Frank Clark.

V(1) Mock Draft – DE/EDGE Jermaine Johnson 

31. Cincinnati Bengals – S Daxton Hill (Michigan)

This isn’t really a need for the Bengals but this is a pick that should be made to get leverage. This selection gives the Bengals leverage in the Jessie Bates saga, as he was recently franchise tagged and could hold out until he gets a new deal from the team. Worse for worse, this wouldn’t be a bad pick to get depth for the secondary and Hill could be a solid partner for Bates in the safety position. Hill has solid awareness and is very fast on the field.

V(1) Mock Draft – OT Nicholas Petit-Frere

32. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams) – WR Jameson Williams (Alabama)

The Lions already focused on defense, getting a pass rusher with their first selection. They have a lot of holes on defense, but on offense, the Lions desperately need to get another receiver. They signed DJ Chark, which is a good move to pair with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond, but I would not call either of them No. 2 receivers. If I were the Lions, I would surround Jared Goff with as many weapons as the team can get and Jameson Williams would fit as a No. 2 receiver. He has quick feet, a lot of speed, and has a strong ability to be open in space.

V(1) Mock Draft – LB Nakobe Dean

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