2022 NFL Draft: Mock Draft 2.0, The Day Before The Draft
The mock draft 2.0 is here. We are one day away from the start of the 2022 NFL Draft. 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 1.0 from February, this edition has 4 QB's going in round one, with three in the top ten. I have three edge rushers going in the first three picks; mix and match as you wish. I have five total edge rushers going in round one. The first WR off the board is at pick ten overall to the Jets. I have six total WR's going in the first round. Check out the Football Scout 365 NFL Draft Big Board 1). Jacksonville Jaguars (Edge Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan 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. 2). Detroit Lions (Edge Travon Walker, Georgia) 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 of players and go with Edge Travon Walker. 3). Houston Texans (Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon) 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 (OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State) 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. 5). New York Giants (QB Malik Willis, Liberty) The Giants will break the internet, but as I alluded to earlier, the Giants have a new head coach and have yet to secure Daniel Jones's 5th-year option. The Giants have an opportunity to draft their QB of the future. The strong-armed athletic Malik Willis makes a lot of sense in this spot, and if the Giants do not trade back, why not give your first-year head coach Brian Daboll a QB with similar traits to his former QB in Buffalo (Josh Allen). Malik Would enter the league with an opportunity to play in a QB-friendly scheme, and if they move on from Daniel Jones, he can be mentored by Tyrod Taylor as he gets acclimated to the speed of the NFL. 6). Carolina Panthers (QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh) The Giants break the internet with pick five, followed by the Panthers saying we are not confident in Sam Darnold. Since February, the logical pick for me has been QB in this spot if you can get Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett. If neither is available, I would consider Desmond Ridder. I believe teams take their shot on QB's earlier than expected due to positional need and the idea that if they don't take their shot now, teams like the Saints and the Steelers are looking to make their move. 7). New York Giants (OT Evan Neal, Alabama) The Giants just secured their QB of the future; now it's time to ensure he can stay upright. With OT Evan Neal dropping this far due to some late medical information, the Giants get a massive steal and a potential ten-year player that can play both tackle positions. 8). Atlanta Falcons (QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati) 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 guy (Desmond Ridder) who profiles similar to Ryan Tannehill. 9). Seattle Seahawks (CB Ahmad (Sauce) Gardner, Cincinnati) Here we are again, another team with a need at QB, and they fell short of snagging one of the top three in this class. The Seahawks are primed to trade back, but in this mock, we are going to go with one of the best available at a position of need and a position that has a lower bust rate. 10). New York Jets (WR Jameson Williams, Alabama) 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 Derek Stingley Jr. LSU) The Commanders have only 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 at CB with our top-rated CB due to his high ceiling, Derek Stingley Jr. 12). Minnesota Vikings (CB Trent McDuffie, Washington) Another trade candidate, but assuming they remain in this position, they can work on solidifying their secondary. McDuffie is the third-best option at CB and can play a versatile role in the NFL, flipping inside and outside at CB. 13). Houston Texans (OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State) They drafted edge at three overall; now, they can help their second-year QB stay upright by snagging one of the top OT prospects. If Davis Mills does not work out, you still have a centerpiece at OT heading into the 2023 NFL Draft. 14). Baltimore Ravens (OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa) 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 Chris Olave, Ohio State) 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. The Saints decide to go with the consensus pick and route running savant Chris Olave. 17). Los Angeles Chargers (IOL Zion Johnson, Boston College) 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 (S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame Pick two in round one for the Eagles, and they have an opportunity to fill a massive need in their secondary with a player who can play three different roles on your defense. I don't believe Hamilton falls this far, he is too good, and his ceiling is arguably the highest of any player in this draft. If he is available, this is an easy decision. 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 Sam Howell, UNC) 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 (WR Drake London, USC) 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 George Pickens, Georgia) With the Patriots intercepting Drake London, the Packers have an opportunity to snag the athletically gifted George Pickens from Georgia. If Pickens can remain healthy, he can be an instant impact player in year one with Aaron Rodgers. 23). Arizona Cardinals (Edge Jermaine Johnson, FSU) After losing Chandler Jones to free agency, the Cardinals need to add a pass rusher in this spot. If Jermaine Johnson makes it this far, it feels like a perfect fit. The Cardinals could go after some IOL help in this spot, but they can likely get a guy in the later rounds to help fill that need. 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 (IOL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M) The Titans have needs throughout, but one glaring need is on the interior of their OL after the departure of David Quessenberry. What better option than Texas A&M IOL Kenyon Green. Green can play both IOL and flip outside to play tackle. He is a great run blocker that can provide an immediate impact as a rookie on the interior. 27). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LB Devin Lloyd, Utah) 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. 28). Green Bay Packers (S/NB Dax Hill, Michigan) After snagging the explosive WR George Pickens, 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 Jahan Dotson, Penn State) The first of back-to-back draft picks, the Chiefs need a WR. The issue in this draft position is that you are left with more slot or z off ball style WR's unless you believe you can develop Treylon Burks into a more physical outside player. 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. If I cannot get an edge, I like here, or if I choose to wait, I might take IDL Devonte Wyatt out of Georgia. 30). Kansas City Chiefs (Edge Boye Mafe, Minnesota) The first of back-to-back draft picks, the Chiefs need a WR. The issue in this draft position is that you are left with more slot or z off-ball style WR's unless you believe you can develop Treylon Burks into a more physical outside player. 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. If I cannot get an edge, I like here, or if I choose to wait, I might take IDL Devonte Wyatt out of Georgia. 31). Cincinnati Bengals (CB Kaiir Elam, Florida) 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. 32). Detroit Lions (LB Nakobe Dean, 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, and with that said, I believe they can fill a massive need in the middle of their defense by snagging Georgia LB Nakobe Dean.