2022 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-42
The NFL Draft is just a few days away and a lot has changed with the class since the Rams took home Super Bowl 56. In this mock we will cover at least the first pick for every team in the league, with the exception of the Rams who don’t pick until the end of round 3. That takes us to pick #42 from the Indianapolis Colts.
Is Travon Walker really going to end up as a Jaguar and 2022 first overall pick? Our friends over at Caesars certainly think so.
For those of you that may be unfamiliar with sports betting and odds-making, this is an implied probability of 71.4% that Travon Walker will be the 1st overall pick. So if there are any of you out there that think that implied probability is off and feel there is some value to be had, click here and go sign up for Caesars to take advantage!
But now, let’s get to the mock!
1. Travon Walker (EDGE) – Jacksonville Jaguars
Six total sacks for perhaps one of the best defensive teams in college football history isn’t going to have Jaguars fans too excited. Walker has really ascended over the course of the pre-draft process. He tested incredibly well, putting up ridiculous numbers. He played a lot of inside technique off tackle, when the Jaguars move him outside he’ll find plenty of production.
2. Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE) – Detroit Lions
If you think Dan Campbell is passing on this guy then you don’t know Dan Campbell. I see Hutchinson as a very safe pick, I don’t see the Lions looking back on this saying “damn, we really screwed this up”. He’s got great technique and plays with a high-motor but he’s not going to wow you with athletic traits. But for a team that needs to stock the cupboards with OKG’s (Our Kinda Guys), this is Dan Campbell’s kind of guy.
3. Kyle Hamilton (S) – Houston Texans
This is the pick that could go in any type of direction. The Houston Texans need absolutely every position filled on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. They’ve got two picks in the top-13 to get the process started. I’m not going to call Kyle Hamilton Derwin James, because I don’t think he can defend as well in man coverage. But he is a unicorn that can be that ball hawk over the top or jam the middle of the field against the run. The Texans desperately need this type of player on defense.
4. Ikem Ekwonu (T) – New York Jets
If the Jets want to make sure that Zach Wilson is the QB of the future, they need to invest in the offensive line. Wilson was the worst quarterback in the NFL last season under pressure. This guy cannot do what Joe Burrow did in 2021. Ekwonu has the competitiveness and athletic ability to make an impact instantly and the traits are there to develop into a great pass protector.
5. Evan Neal (T) – New York Giants
The Giants managed to completely avoid the offensive line in last years draft. Most notably, drafting WR Kadarius Toney in the first round, who they apparently are now looking to trade. They were the third worst pass blocking o-line in football, only behind the Dolphins and Falcons. What better way to shore this up then a Nick Saban coached tackle? Don’t forget that new HC Brian Daboll worked under Saban as well.
6. Malik Willis (QB) – Carolina Panthers
This is another one of those picks that I just can’t see going any other way. Perhaps Matt Rhule is higher on another quarterback, but there isn’t a doubt in my mind that is the position they will be selecting here. If things don’t pan out again in Carolina then this will be Rhule’s last season. The quarterback position is what is holding this team back and Willis has ridiculous arm talent that to me makes him the only QB worth this early of an investment.
7. Kayvon Thibodeaux (ED) – New York Giants
If the Giants made these two selections with their picks they would automatically be the winners of this years draft in my eyes. This “character concern” bullshit that’s been growing over Thibodeaux is nothing to be concerned about. He was such a difference-maker at Oregon and has the type of first step is going to make him a double-digit sack guy. Sure he’s lean, but he’s still a 3-down player in the NFL.
8. Jermaine Johnson (ED) – Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are yet another team that could go in a number of different directions with this pick. But with so many holes on the roster the best place to start is in the trenches. Johnson finished the 2021 season with 12 sacks and 18 tackles for loss, he was the only thing at Florida State that provided any type of consistency. The Falcons are in desperate need of help here after finishing with the league’s lowest sack percentage by a significant margin in 2021.
9. Ahmad Gardner (CB) – Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks fans, trust me, you do not want to be drafting a quarterback on day 1 or 2 of this years draft. There are two excellent prospects waiting for you in the 2023 draft. So it needs to be a best player available type of approach. Gardner had one of the best careers that a cornerback can have, not giving up a single touchdown. He’s a natural leader that has all the personality traits to make a smooth pro transition.
10. Garrett Wilson (WR) – New York Jets
How’s this for a first round haul Jets fans? The best offensive tackle and wide receiver prospect belong to New York. Like I said earlier, if you really want to find out what Zach Wilson is made of then give him all the tools he needs. If it doesn’t work out, then the next guy is in a prime position to make it happen. Wilson is such a smooth route runner in and out of his breaks, he and Elijah Moore will form a dynamic young duo for years to come.
11. Derek Stingley Jr. (CB) – Washington Commanders
12. Charles Cross (T) – Minnesota Vikings
13. Jameson Williams (WR) – Houston Texans
14. Devonte Wyatt (DL) – Baltimore Ravens
15. Drake London (WR) – Philadelphia Eagles
16. Trevor Penning (T) – New Orleans Saints
The Saints traded up for this pick and it seems to me like they did it to jump the Chargers for a tackle to replace Terron Armstead, with Penning being the expected target. This leaves them with the 19th pick to address wide receiver.
17. Chris Olave (WR) – Los Angeles Chargers
18. Devin Lloyd (LB) – Philadelphia Eagles
19. Treylon Burks (WR) – New Orleans Saints
20. Desmond Ridder (QB) – Pittsburgh Steelers
Ridder seems to be generating a lot of buzz leading up to the draft. He throws the ball with great intent and a lot of zip. I didn’t see him rising this high in the pre-draft process but I think Mike Tomlin is willing to take a chance on him if Malik Willis is off the board.
21. Andrew Booth Jr. (CB) – New England Patriots
22. George Pickens (WR) – Green Bay Packers
23. Tyler Linderbaum (C) – Arizona Cardinals
24. George Karlaftis (EDGE) – Dallas Cowboys
25. Jordan Davis (DL) – Buffalo Bills
26. Jahan Dotson (WR) – Tennessee Titans
27. Zion Johnson (G) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
28. Bernhard Raimann – Green Bay Packers
29. Trent McDuffie (CB)- Kansas City Chiefs
I didn’t expect to mock McDuffie this far down the draft board, but every year there is one of those guys. Perhaps someone makes a trade up to get him while he’s falling. But this would be a major hit for the Chiefs at a position of clear need.
30. Travis Jones (DL) – Kansas City Chiefs
31. Kenyon Green (G) – Cincinnati Bengals
32. Kenny Pickett (QB) – Detroit Lions
Dan Campbell is so shocked to see his #1 ranked quarterback still available at the end of the first round that he can’t resist taking him here.
33. Nakobe Dean (LB) – Jacksonville Jaguars
34. Kaiir Elam (CB) – Detroit Lions
35. Jalen Pitre (CB) – New York Jets
36. Daxton Hill (CB) – New York Giants
37. Arnold Ebiketie (EDGE) – Houston Texans
38. Drake Jackson (EDGE) – New York Jets
39. Tyler Smith (T) – Chicago Bears
40. David Ojabo (EDGE) – Seattle Seahawks
41. Lewis Cine (S) – Seattle Seahawks
42. Sky Moore (WR) – Indianapolis Colts