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2022 NFL Draft: Mock Draft 2.1, Draft Day Edition

The mock draft 2.1 is here. Today is the day. Today's mock draft will have zero trades, though I highlight spots teams might want to trade out of. It is a first-round only mock draft, and I focus on team needs and players that I would draft in each spot based on team situation or scheme.

Compared to the mock draft 2.0 from a day ago, this edition is more of a "gut feeling" edition. I will draft based on tea leaves, while also considering the team's needs.

1). Jacksonville Jaguars (Edge Travon Walker, Georgia

The current conversation about who the Jags should select number one overall is a hot topic. Travon Walker checks all the boxes with his measurables and possesses a similar athletic profile to Miles Garrett. Walker has the ceiling to go number one overall and is 4th overall on our big board, but Aidan Hutchinson (number one on our board) also checks a lot of boxes and provides the high floor and instant impact potential. Hutchinson is also an athletic marvel with production to match. The Jags ultimately go with the walker upside here, but we believe Hutchinson might be a player that provides a more immediate impact.

2). Detroit Lions (Edge Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan)

There is real trade appeal in this spot for the Detroit Lions, who can go many different ways. CJ from the Football Scout 365 NFL Podcast made an excellent argument for Malik Willis in this spot a week ago. I believe there are enough teams high enough on Willis to make a move here. But if the Lions keep the pick, don't be surprised if the New York Giants make a move for that two spot to secure the big-armed Malik Willis. The new Giants headman (Brian Daboll) might want a fresh start at QB and a rookie deal. But today, the Lions secure the more logical pick and go with the hometown prospect.

3). Houston Texans (CB Derek Stingley, LSU)

Two of the top three teams in the draft have a need at QB, but the Texans appear to be moving forward with 2nd year QB Davis Mills. The Texans have their eyes on the 2023 QB class, which is fair, but you might kick the tires if you can go QB in this spot. You can go several ways by skipping QB here, DB's Ahmad Gardner and Derek Stingley, OT Ikem Ikwonu, or Evan Neal. I believe this is an area you can go with Edge again, and you have Kayvon Thibodeaux still available in this spot.

4). New York Jets (CB Ahmad Gardner UC)

The logical pick for any of these teams is to protect their best assets, and with Zach Wilson entering year two and questions surrounding Mechi Becton's health, the Jets can use this pick as insurance to secure the OL. But with two top ten picks, the Jets can afford to draft an impact defender and wait to draft an OT.

5). New York Giants (Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon)

In the mock 2.0, we took Malik Willis, today's mock has an elite edge rusher falling into their laps.

6). Carolina Panthers (OT Ikey Ekwonu, NC State)

Yesterday, I discussed that the Panthers would go QB in this spot. Today, I want to go best available OT. Let's pretend that Ben McAdoo really meant what he said about Darnold being "the guy".

7). New York Giants (OT Evan Neal, Alabama)

In the mock 2.0, we took Malik Willis, they grabbed an elite edge rusher at pick 5, now let's add protection to help out Daniel Jones.

8). Atlanta Falcons (QB Malik Willis, Liberty)

A month or so ago, I mentioned that it was clear the Falcons are tanking for Bryce because he is so nice, or C.J. Stroud because he makes the crowd loud. Here we are at pick 8, and I am considering a QB. A few months back, I would have never considered three QB's in the top ten. But the data and the mindset have changed. The reality is you cannot bank on waiting a year for two college QB's who are not can't miss. We are not talking about Trevor Lawrence's level of talent at QB in 2023 (yet), and that's why you cannot waste time making a move. The Falcons are a prime trade-back candidate, but if not, go with the best available QB.

9). Seattle Seahawks (OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State)

Here we are again, another team with a need at QB, and they might fall short of snagging one of the top two in this class. The Seahawks are primed to trade back. Seattle has a choice, go with Kenny Pickett, take a shot on Desmond Ridder, or simply fill another need.

10). New York Jets (OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa)

The Jets have a lot of needs; they can go CB in this spot, and they could also choose to go with another OT. But it's time to break the seal on the WR's and go with our top guy out of Alabama. You have a premiere tackle and an elite offensive weapon to pair with your second-year QB.

11). Washington Commanders (CB Trent McDuffie, Washington)

The Commanders have six picks in the draft, so they have to make them count. Trading back for more capital might be a great route to go. But assuming they remain at pick 11, they start by filling a position of need, if one of the top OT's is available it's a no-brainer, they could go with the best available CB, and obviously, everyone thinks they go WR here.

12). Minnesota Vikings (Edge Jermaine Johnson, FSU)

Another trade candidate, but assuming they remain in this position, they can work on solidifying their secondary, or they can go with the best available edge assuming one of the higher tier guys falls.

13). Houston Texans (S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame)

In mock 2.0 they drafted edge at three overall; in mock 2.1, today, they drafted a CB at pick three. Kyle Hamilton is still on the board. Go get him.

14). Baltimore Ravens (IOL Zion Johnson, Boston College)

The Ravens are negotiating with Lamar Jackson to extend or sign a new deal, and how they draft can have an adverse effect on how these negotiations transpire. We believe that even if Ronnie Stanley returns at full health, they still need to solidify their OL.

15). Philadelphia Eagles (WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State)

With Chris Olave available, the Eagles decided to go with his former Ohio State teammate. Olave is similar stylistically to Devonta Smith, and even though most coaches can make that work, it feels like Garrett Wilson falls into the "better fit" category. You now provide Jalen Hurts with a much-needed field-stretching weapon to go with Smith.

16). New Orleans Saints (WR Jameson Williams, Alabama)

The Saints have many options without a QB on the board that you'd consider in this spot. You can go WR in this spot, OT, or the best available defender. With a need at WR, the Saints can afford to wait, but the availability of top-tier talent to pair with Jameis Winston might be too hard to pass up.

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

The Chargers can make a flashy pick to add a WR, or they can go with a potential 10-year player on the interior of their OL. Protecting Justin Herbert has to be a priority, but I can see the Chargers feeling the need to add a WR in an already loaded division full of big-time playmakers.

18). Philadelphia Eagles (LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia)

Pick two in round one for the Eagles. In the 2.0 mock, we had Kyle Hamilton available. Today, we have the versatile Georgia LB.

19). New Orleans Saints (IDL Jordan Davis, Georgia)

The Saints made some low-cost additions in Kentavius Street and Jaleel Johnson. Still, neither moves the needle, and David Onyemata is in a contract year. Adding a dominant force like Jordan Davis into the middle of your defense is a no-brainer.

20). Pittsburgh Steelers (QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt)

The Steelers have Mitchell Trubisky at QB, a solid WR group just waiting to be unlocked, and one of the top young RB's in football. The Steelers will take a QB assuming Willis, Pickett, or Ridder are in this spot, but would they reach for Sam Howell or Matt Corral? They will need to trade into the top ten based on our current mock to get what they want at QB. So let's assume, for the sake of argument, they are unable to procure a trade-up move, they can wait until round two, or they can reach here. With a pick at 52, they can try to wait out Nevada's Carson Strong or trade back in round one to trade up in round two. I say all of this, but they might reach at pick 20.

21). New England Patriots (LB Devin Lloyd, Utah)

The Patriots have solidified their WR group in recent years with names like Nelson Agholor and DeVante Parker (sarcasm). While both players are solid, neither will be WR1 material; maybe Parker can get there, but their need at WR is evident, and I will not allow myself to overthink this pick. The Patriots make a splash by going with USC WR Drake London, a player many believe can be the first off the board.

22). Green Bay Packers (WR Drake London, USC)

Yesterday, we had George Pickens in this spot after Drake London went to the Pats.

23). Arizona Cardinals (IOL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M)

After losing Chandler Jones to free agency, the Cardinals need to add a pass rusher. The Cardinals could go after some IOL help in this spot.

24). Dallas Cowboys (Edge George Karlaftis, Purdue)

The Cowboys can go many ways; one popular route is to draft another LB and then move Parsons to the edge or to draft an edge player and move Parson's around as needed. I believe that regardless of who you draft, Parson's still moves around to confuse offenses. So what route makes sense? They could draft a WR, or maybe consider IOL? The logical pick is edge defender. Get a guy that frees up Parson's.

25). Buffalo Bills (CB Andrew Booth Jr. Clemson)

The Bills have a need at CB with questions surrounding the health of Tre’Davious White. If White is healthy, I'd consider drafting a RB. The Bills looked into CMC and almost brought in J.D. McKissic until it fell through. They have an apparent interest in versatile RB's. That leads me to believe they might be interested in one of the top RB's in this class. I have mocked Kenneth Walker in this spot, and it would make sense to go with the more proven receiver at RB Iowa State's Breece Hall. But it's the need at CB that is glaring and will ruin the fun for me in this spot; let's hope the Bills can turn around at pick 57 and land RB Rachaad White from Arizona State.

26). Tennessee Titans (WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State)

The Titans have needs throughout, but one glaring need is on the interior of their OL after the departure of David Quessenberry. But with the two top IOL's off the board, the Titans can add a versatile WR.

27). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Edge Boye Mafe)

With the Bucs (potentially) moving on from Jason Pierre-Paul, the need to fill the void is quite significant. They could also use CB depth. I really like Devin Lloyd due to his versatility; he rushes the passer, and you can move him to the edge when needed. He does not possess the NFL Combine speed of a Micah Parson's, but he has more size than a Nakobe Dean and is a downhill player who can help vs. the run. If Lloyd is not available, they could go with Boye Mafe.

28). Green Bay Packers (S/NB Dax Hill, Michigan)

After snagging WR Drake London, the Packers can fill a need or go the best available. I'm filling a need with one of the best available by taking versatile Safety/Nickel Dax Hill out of Michigan. Hill played more Nickel than deep safety in 2021, and that's why he is so appealing. He has good length with elite 4.3 speed and can become a very good nickel at the NFL level.

29). Kansas City Chiefs (WR George Pickens, Georgia)

I like George Pickens here, but he has moved up on my board, and I would like to pretend that he is higher on actual NFL GM draft boards. With that said, I am concerned about the edge position, and the Chiefs need to add secondary depth.

30). Kansas City Chiefs (CB Kaiir Elam, Florida)

I like George Pickens here, but he has moved up on my board, and I would like to pretend that he is higher on actual NFL GM draft boards. With that said, I am concerned about the edge position, and the Chiefs need to add secondary depth.

31). Cincinnati Bengals (Edge David Ojabo, Michigan)

The Bengals are not making a top-ten pick, and that feels different. If you are a Bengals fan, you might not even be awake for the first time in a long time when the pick is announced. With that said, the Bengals need IOL help and CB help, but they may be able to wait and get a steal right here with Edge David Ojabo.

32). Detroit Lions (IDL Devonte Wyatt, Georgia)

After snagging a top edge at pick two, the Lions have their eyes on another defender to bolster their defense. With needs at CB, IDL, LB, and WR, the Lions have a lot of early-round draft capital to work with.

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