The college football season has officially come to an end, and the NFL season is not too far behind. That means it is time for us to start looking towards the 2022 NFL Draft, and some of the players that will be featured in it. As we get closer to the actual NFL Draft I will be increasing the length of my mock drafts. This is my second mock draft of the year, and we are still going to be keeping it light. Below is my current NFL Big Board (Top-60).
We now have 24 of our 32 draft picks set, and the rest I have based on how I think the match ups will play out. While these are still subject to change, feel free to argue who I have winning, what in my DM’s on Instagram. Other than that, let’s get to it!
1. Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars
If I was Jacksonville I would prefer to trade down from the 1st overall pick. HOWEVER. This is a world where the Jaguars cannot trade out of the 1st overall pick. Hutchinson & Thibodeaux are freaks off the edge but honestly the Jaguars have a lot of potential already there. Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson still have time to prove their worth. They did just get the honor to draft Trevor Lawrence, so I think it’s the best decision to protect him immediately.
Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson haven’t given Jacksonville any reason to not upgrade at the position. Offensive line is also a great position to have “too much” talent at, especially when talking about tackles. Evan Neal has been amazing at the University of Alabama, and proven himself against top talent from a young age. Neal will not just keep Lawrence upright, he will give the young quarterback more time to read the field and make plays.
2. Aidan Hutchinson, Edge Rusher/DE, Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson to the Detroit Lions would be an A+ move. The Lions could use an upgrade on the edge as no one has more than five sacks this season. Hutchinson had 14 sacks this year along with 10 more QB pressures. I would be confident in Hutchinson being able to step right into the starting line up for the Lions and push for 10 sacks as a rookie.
The cherry on top? He is a Michigan kid born and raised, groomed through the Wolverines football program. Depending on how you feel about Matthew Stafford the Lions have been without a superstar since 2015. Aidan Hutchinson has tons of marketing upside for a team that lacks a real star. This could be Detroit’s Nick Bosa or possibly even Myles Garrett.
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge Rusher/OLB, Houston Texans
I truly think Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best prospect in this draft class. I love Aidan Hutchinson but I really think Thibodeaux’s potential is still miles away whereas I don’t know how much more you get out of Hutchinson. Thibodeaux is bendy, fast, athletic, and has a great personality to boot. I think the Texans would be wise to just take the best player on the board, and continue on with their rebuild.
Thibodeaux has the upside to be a Myles Garrett type pass rusher. You plug him into Greenard’s role and bring in Greenard and use him as a rotational pass rusher. Possibly until Kayvon Thibodeaux gets his feet under him in the NFL you would use him as the rotational pass rusher, but either way you add a ton of athleticism on the edge.
4. Derek Stingley Jr., Cornerback, New York Jets
Derek Stingley Jr could be the biggest question mark in this draft class. On one hand he has shown everything he needs to prove he is an elite cornerback prospect. On the other his biggest enemy is his own health and unavailability. If Derek Stingley tests come back healthy he should be one of the best prospects in this draft class.
New York Jets fans are probably hesitant to draft another possible injury prone CB after what happened with Dee Milliner. Rightfully so, but Stingley is worth the risk. This defense will be able to get after the quarterback thanks to Saleh’s defensive mind alone, but the Jets need to secure the secondary asap. If you bring in a playmaking defensive back like Stingley this allows the defense to capitalize off a stressed quarterback. Saleh also won’t have to stress as much as he did with the 49er’s secondary because of the pure talent thrown into the secondary in New York.
5. Kyle Hamilton, Safety, New York Giants
Kyle Hamilton could easily come off the board to the Jets but luckily for the Giants he falls slightly to them in this mock draft. You truly can place Hamilton wherever you would like on defense. I believe if the Giants wanted to play him at the free safety position he would be able to wreak havoc once the ball is in the air.
Adoree Jackson, James Bradberry, and Aaron Robinson are all young talented cornerbacks locked in for New York. I think Hamiltion would be a great addition to a NYG secondary that already has great pieces there. They also have players like Xavier McKinney, Julian Love, and Jabril Peppers that they can rotate in the secondary as well. Kyle Hamilton can give you someone that makes this secondary elite, and extremely hard to score on.
6. Matt Corral, Quarterback, Carolina Panthers
Matt Corral has been one of my biggest risers in the draft after looking at the quarterback position closer. Out of all the quarterbacks in this draft Corral has shown the most NFL level passes I have seen thus far. I think he could have the best arm in this class, and his ability to move around the pocket is a nice plus. He has a lot of the same characteristics that got Zach Wilson so much draft hype last season.
Matt Rhule really can’t afford to have another down year in Carolina. If the Carolina Panthers are still looking to be competitive I think Corral would be the best pick for them here. D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey give the Panthers plenty of weapons for a rookie quarterback to still have success. On top of that I think all of their skill sets complement what Corral does very well.
7. Tyler Linderbaum, Offensive Lineman, New York Giants (CHI)
With the Giants second first round selection they address the offensive line. This is debatably the Giants biggest issue right now, and I think With Andrew Thomas already there this gives the Giants two very athletic tackles to bolster the offensive line with.
Daniel Jones may be gone after this season but no quarterback prospect is really worth a Top-10 pick this year. It would be wise to continue to build the roster until you can plug a young quarterback in successfully. By using this draft class to just add the best players available the Giants will make Daniel Jones life easier. They also can still look to find a quarterback in 2023 if it remains a problem.
8. Garret Wilson, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
Calvin Ridley is most likely out of Atlanta and that leaves the receiving room very bare. Kyle Pitts did have a successful rookie season, but Russell Gage cannot continue as their WR1. Even if Calvin Ridley does find his way back to Atlanta, it never hurts to get more receivers when you have a quarterback like Matt Ryan.
Garrett Wilson is a freak athlete, and should fill Ridley’s role seamlessly. His route running won’t be as sharp as Ridley is one of the best in the NFL, but Wilson could still emerge as a No. 1 option for the Falcons as a rookie. As long as the Falcons remain committed to pushing for success with Matt Ryan, they should continue to give him as many weapons as possible.
9. Sam Howell, Quarterback, Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos might be the most loaded roster picking inside the Top-10. Their offense is stacked with weapons, and even the offensive line isn’t terrible either. The defense could use some help but they are still able to make plays when needed. They really are just missing a quarterback.
During his senior season Howell looked pretty dang good alongside some other NFL level prospects. Unfortunately you can’t really say the same about either his talent, or the talent around him for 2021. Sam Howell is a great prospect for a team that is looking to win now. I think his ceiling might be lower than someone like Malik Willis but you’ll see a return on your investment quicker with Howell. You might be giving up some potential for quick and early success though.
10. Nakobe Dean, Linebacker, New York Jets (SEA)
Rob Saleh is a defensive oriented coach that probably wants to due some major upgrading to his defense. Nakobe Dean is an athletic freak who flies to the ball on nearly every play. Stop the run, rush the passer, or even step out in coverage; he will do it all. He could very much be the Fred Warner of this New York Jets defense.
C.J. Mosley has been a very big waste of money for the Jets, and it is time to move on. New York has been fielding trade calls for Mosley and it just seems best for both sides to part ways. Dean gives them someone to immediately plug into his role as a starting outside linebacker. He is a heck of a lot cheaper, younger, and might even be able to perform at a more consistent level at that.
11. Malik Willis, Quarterback, Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team is in a similar position as the Carolina Panthers. They have a pretty solid roster in a division that is really still wide open for the taking. The Eagles and Cowboys had good seasons but they were by no means head-over-heels better than Washington. With the rebranding that they are currently doing it would just feel right for them to try and get themselves a new franchise quarterback.
Malik Willis does have the most question marks in this quarterback class, but he doesn’t have to play immediately in Washington. Taylor Heinicke is under contract for one more season, and can be the stop-gap QB for Willis. If he can get a few of his ticks ironed out of his game Washington could have themselves the best quarterback in this draft. Luckily for them it is more of the decision making that turns off scouts from Willis, and that is at least something you can fix. Whereas some quarterbacks in this draft are decently polished, but are almost already at their ceiling, and may not push your franchise forward very much. If you can get Willis more consistent, you got yourself a franchise quarterback.
12. DeMarvin Leal, Defensive Lineman, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are another team that really could go a handful of different directions here with their first round pick. Defensive line might seem like the biggest need for Minnesota immediately but drafting DeMarvin Leal could provide the biggest impact to their roster. The defensive line for Minnesota is currently a very big question mark outside of Danielle Hunter. Leal can provide pass rush from the interior or off the edge, and is a great run defender too. I think he would line up nicely from someone like Dalvin Tomlinson and also take double teams away from Danielle Hunter.
Many Vikings’ fans would love to see them move on from Kirk Cousins and upgrade the quarterback position but that really isn’t too realistic for them in this draft class. Especially if you take in the fact that Mike Zimmer is most likely going to be gone this off-season, you might as well see what Cousins can do with a different head coach.
13. Drake London, Wide Receiver, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are in a pretty sticky situation with Baker Mayfield, and their future. This draft class does make it easier on them considering there probably isn’t anyone better than Baker Mayfield at 13th, nonetheless though. Wide receiver is still a pretty decent need for the Browns, and would give Baker no excuses with his 5th year option.
London is a big target wide receiver with one of the biggest catch radius’ that Baker Mayfield has ever worked with. In theory that should help negate the seriousness of Baker Mayfield letting throws get away from him. Yes you obviously want your quarterback to be accurate but you also need to do a good job at hiding his weaknesses.
14. Ikem Ekwonu, Offensive Line, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore was one of the most cursed rosters in the NFL this year with all the injuries they have succumbed to. They lost more than six starters to serious injury this year, and still managed to fight for a playoff spot. This is obviously still a really talented roster, but they could definitely find a few spots to upgrade. Offensive line, cornerback depth are two of the major positions.
Alejandro Villanueva is without a doubt the weakest link in this offensive line, and Ikem Ekwonu would immediately be able to replace him. He is a violent run blocker, and flashes his strength often on film. I think he also offers potential to be moved inside as a guard, but I firmly believe he can play right tackle for the Ravens. Icky does need to work on his pass blocking sets but I think his skill set mixes extremely well for what Baltimore does.
15. Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles (MIA)
The Eagles have three 1st round selections this year, and have the possibility to flip this roster around. In most draft classes I would be leaning heavily towards packaging them to move up for a QB. This year not so much. While they could still be in the Deshaun Watson/Russell Wilson race, that is impossible to predict currently. Jalen Hurts has proven himself to be something the team can build around.
Cornerback might not be the biggest need for Philly but Ahmad Gardner is just too talented to skip over here. The Eagles have to go against some pretty talented receivers in the NFC East and most teams have more than one reliable option to throw to now. By adding Sauce Gardner to a unit with Slay, Steven Nelson, and A’Vonte Maddox this now gives the Eagles something to work with in the secondary.
16. Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles (IND)
If you’re Philadelphia here I feel like you have to be ecstatic at this point. Not only do you get one of the best cornerbacks in the draft, you now get debately the best linebacker too. Both positions were pretty big needs coming into the draft, and if this happens, Philly knocks it out the park.
Devin Lloyd is a very instinctive linebacker, and gives them a major upgrade at whatever spot they would like to use him. I really think he could play inside, or outside linebacker. He plays sideline to sideline and reminds me of a smaller Leighton Vander Esch. Lloyd moves well enough in coverage for him to not be much of a liability.
17. George Karlafits, Defensive Lineman, Los Angeles Chargers
The year ended in possibly the most heartbreaking way if you are the Chargers but there is no question this roster has talent. Especially on the offensive side of the ball. The defense has pieces too with Derwin James, Joey Bosa, Asante Samuel Jr, and Nassir Adderley but they need more.
George Karlaftis was a game wrecking defensive end at Purdue despite being pretty much the only guy they needed to game plan for on defense. He continuously beat Big-Ten tackles and was able to bully offensive lineman just off his strength alone. I think if you pair him with Joey Bosa you would get after the quarterback way more often than the Chargers do currently with Jerry Tillery.
18. Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints
The Saints taking a receiver just makes too much sense, especially if Williams is still on the board. Tre’Quan Smith is not someone who should be receiving a bulk of the receptions in your offense. He is decent, but not that decent. Michael Thomas could very well be out the door soon too, it feels like that will always be on the table for him.
If it wasn’t for a late season ACL injury I really don’t think Jameson would even be here still. He is extremely talented and can be used in a lot of the same ways you see Justin Jefferson being used in Minnesota. I think best case scenario in 2022 is Jameis Winston comes back healthy, and remains the starting quarterback for the Saints. With or without Thomas; New Orleans needs to make sure they continue to keep that wide receiver room deep.
19. Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Philly already addressed the defense with back to back picks. Offensively there really isn’t too many options the Eagles could go here. Kenny Pickett is the only quarterback left on the board and I don’t think he is the guy to try and replace Hurts with. Wide receiver is really the only option they could go without completely reaching.
Treylon Burks is a physical freak of a wide receiver. He gives this Eagles receiving room a completely different skill set compared to your options that are already there. He is a walking mismatch for the Eagles, and gives Jalen Hurts a lot bigger target than usual to throw to. Burks is still a threat to make big plays after the catch too, and makes the Eagles more dangerous in the red zone.
20. Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
How perfect would this be. The University of Pittsburgh star quarterback becoming the next QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It would be a great fit for more than just the cliche story lines behind it too.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best defenses in the NFL thanks to T.J. Watt not being human. Despite a very lack luster year offensively, that defense carried the Steelers to a playoff birth and a 9-7-1 season. Just because Big Ben’s time is up in Pittsburgh doesn’t mean the window is completely closed for them. I think if you add someone like Kenny Pickett to this kind of roster, you could still remain competitive. Pickett is the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft I think, and would come into an offense with plenty of weapons.
21. Charles Cross, Offensive Tackle, New England Patriots
Charles Cross falling to No. 21 would be the ultimate New England Patriots move. I currently have Cross as one of the Top-15 players on my board, and the No. 2 offensive tackle available. Somehow though he falls to the Patriots where they take the best player available.
Trent Brown had the right side of the offensive line pretty locked in but I think you can still find a spot for Cross in the line up. Brown is a free agent this offseason, and might not even return to the team. Isaiah Wynn could slide inside to guard and allow Cross to play left tackle. Wide receiver would be a viable option here too but I think receiver is a position they can target in free agency.
22. Kaiir Elam, Cornerback, Las Vegas Raiders
It has been a tough year for the Raiders to say the least. Not only did they lose a 1st round pick in Henry Ruggs, they also had two cornerbacks make stupid decisions off the field too. Not to mention the early firing of Jon Gruden. In a season full of plenty of on the field success Las Vegas overall roster has gotten weaker than when it started in the year.
You have to worry about plenty of talented receivers in the AFC West, and it would be smart to stack up the secondary to fight that. Casey Hayward Jr is a bandaid in this cornerback room, and outside of him the talent is very thin. Adding Kaiir Elam would immediately give you a starting cornerback opposite of Hayward.
23. Jordan Davis, Defensive Tackle, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals definitely made the right move drafting Kyler Murray, and adding Kingsbury’s offense. Now they need to focus on the other side of the ball to make things easier for Murray and Co.
Jordan Davis is a massive human and would be a great addition to this defensive line that already has J.J. Watt, Zach Allen, and Chandler Jones coming off the edge. Not only does Davis naturally plug up running lanes; he has been able to provide a good amount of interior pressure this season too.
24. Kenyon Green, Offensive Lineman, Dallas Cowboys
Well, looks like this year wasn’t the year, once again. In surprising fashion we saw the Cowboys just fail to get momentum as a unit with penalties, dumb play calling, and slightly poor officiating. Overall I wouldn’t blame this loss too much on a lack of talent but rather just poor coaching/preparation.
That is not to say the Cowboys don’t have holes they need to plug. Offensive line could be one of the biggest, especially if you don’t think Tyron Smith will be around much longer. Kenyon Green is someone I believe will make his living inside as an offensive guard, but he has taken plenty of snaps as a tackle too. He would give Dallas some depth at tackle for emergency, but also provide an immediate upgrade at guard. Connor Williams has consistently cost the Cowboys with his mistakes on offense, and I think it is about time for him to be removed from the starting line up.
25. Bernhard Riamann, Offensive Tackle, Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals proved everyone wrong with selecting Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell last year. It paid off immensely, but the offensive line still could use an upgrade. Joe Burrow is coming off one of the best seasons in Bengal’s history, and it’s time they protect him. He is also coming off a pretty gnarly knee injury that can never happen again if you want him to remain a “franchise center piece”.
Riamann might play for a MAC school but when he was faced against Power-Five defenders, he held his own. I really like his pass blocking ability, and I think he has tons of upside considering he is relevantly new to the offensive tackle position. He transitioned from tight end roughly two seasons ago, and you can see it on tape. He moves very well for someone his size, and gets down the field with ease, and has great bend to him. Riamann will also be visibly outmatched sometimes and be completely run through by a defender. I believe some extra weight to him, and more reps at the position will turn him into a potential Pro Bowl offensive tackle.
26. Trevor Penning, Offensive Tackle, Miami Dolphins (SF)
Brian Flores catching the ax really makes this Miami pick tough. They already could address a few positions, but now that Flores is gone I think you can add quarterback to that list too. Fortunately for Tua this doesn’t look like the draft class to be looking for an upgrade at quarterback.
Somehow even after investing plenty of draft picks over the past two years towards the offensive line, it could still use help. Tagovailoa has already shown that he has an issue with injuries. If Tua does remain the starting quarterback next season Miami obviously must keep him healthy. Liam Eichenberg looks to be solid over at left tackle, but right tackle is still very much in the air. Trevor Penning gives the Dolphins someone to throw opposite of Eichenberg, and hopefully keep Tua’s pocket clean.
27. Trent McDuffie, Cornerback, Buffalo Bills
Cornerback is definitely the position Buffalo wants to address in this draft. Especially with Tre White going down with such a late ACL injury. As of right now the Bills starting cornerbacks are Taron Johnson, and Levi Wallace. They have two legit safeties, and a very solid starting cornerback but absolutely no depth at the position.
Trent McDuffie is a great scheme fit for the Bills that will most likely be able to slide in as a starter Day 1. The Bills have gotten to the point to where they will be annual contenders in the AFC, but they now need to focus on beating teams like the Chiefs, Packers, and Bucs. Assuming Tre White comes back healthy this now gives Buffalo a pretty scary secondary considering they have one of the best safety duos in the NFL already.
28. Andrew Booth Jr., Cornerback, Detroit Lions (LAR)
Detroit solidified the defensive line with the first 1st round pick, now it is time to address the back end. Unfortunately for the Lions Jeff Okudah has not lived up to expectations, and could possibly see himself off this roster very soon. The Lions need to continue to address cornerback until they can get it right.
Now with Aidan Hutchinson getting after the quarterback the Lions will have a cornerback that should buy Hutchinson time to get there. Booth flashed very well in zone coverage but also was able to show his ability to stick to receivers too. I think if Okudah ever does pan out these two could make for a very annoying duo to opposing quarterbacks.
29. David Ojabo, Defensive End, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has put almost all their eggs into one basket, and they are on the verge of it coming back to bite them. Right now they need to continue finding a way to get after the passer and make life easier on the offense. That is how they ended up winning the Super Bowl last year, and it has been proven in the past to be a timeless method.
David Ojabo is someone that could easily go in the Top-15 picks of this draft, and is an extremely raw prospect. William Gholston and Jason Pierre-Paul are both players that possibly could be replaced in the near future. Wide receiver has quickly become very thin for the Bucs too but I don’t think the need to garner a first round selection just yet.
30. Kingsley Engabore, Edge Rusher, Kansas City Chiefs
Obviously the Kansas City Chiefs are built on the offensive side of the ball. Last year they completely revamped their offensive line, and put together a very solid unit.
Kingsley Engabore wreaked havoc in the SEC during his three year career with the Gamecocks. I really believe you could use him as a rotational pass rusher, bring in Chris Jones, and really make life hell for quarterbacks. Also he gives the Chiefs flexibility to get rid of Frank Clark’s contract if they ever look to do so.
31. Roger McCreary, Cornerback, Tennessee Titans
The Titans have one of the best overall rosters in the league if you look at it head to toe. There really isn’t a glaring need. However, cornerback is still probably the team’s biggest red flag right now. Tennessee brought in Bud Dupree to rush the passer alongside Harold Landry last offseason. If they can get a little more talent in that secondary things will be very difficult for offenses going forward.
Roger McCreary now joins Kristian Fulton and Elijah Molden in a very young cornerback room. Janoris Jenkins will not be with the Titans much longer, and Caleb Farley might not be someone Tennessee can trust to stay on the field. Worst case scenario Farley comes back full strength and now you have a loaded secondary with a very solid pass rush.
32. Jahan Dotson, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers
Next season Aaron Rodgers is gone, and likely so is DaVante Adams. It will be a total rebuild of the offense, and possibly the defense too. With that being said there are a few ways the Packers can look, and I think wide receiver would be a smart one. There is a very slim chance Rodgers stays, but until he is gone I would try my hardest to make things hard to leave.
Jahan Dotson is exactly what this offense could use, and what they have been missing since they had a prime Randall Cobb. His ability to take short passes and turn them into big gains is very coveted in the NFL. Dotson will make it very hard to just focus on Adams which could make things very messy for defenses. He also has speed that will take the top off defenses and allow the Packers even more field to work with. His sure hands are also a plus; he catches the ball like it is a marshmallow.