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2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

round one

April 11, 2022
Aidan Hutchinson
1.
Aidan Hutchinson - DE - Michigan
Player: The complete package at defensive end. Has the size (6-5, 260) and athleticism to be a force versus the pass and run.
Rationale: Would bring pass-rush (Jaguars ranked 28th in sacks last season) and leadership to a perennially bad Jacksonville defense.
Image: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire
2.
Kyle Hamilton - S - Notre Dame
Player: Once in a decade safety prospect — patrols the entire field. Fantastic instincts and football intelligence.
Rationale: A chess piece for defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. The concern over his 4.59 40-time is ridiculous — former All-Pro Kam Chancellor ran a 4.69.
3.
Evan Neal - OL - Alabama
Player: Massive (6-7, 337) blocker who can bully defenders in both the run and pass game. Good feet. Experience at guard, right and left tackle. 40 career starts.
Rationale: Houston should use this draft to build around Davis Mills. Laremy Tunsil at LT and Neal at RT would instantly become one of the of the league's better offensive tackle duos.
4.
Derek Stingley Jr. - CB - LSU
Player: Injuries have been a limitation over the last two seasons but he's arguably the most talented corner prospect since Jalen Ramsey.
Rationale: There's some risk with Stingley... but he's the Jets' best chance of keeping up with Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs in the AFC East.
Derek Stingley
5.
Ickey Ekwonu - OL - N.C. State
Player: Dominant run-blocker with a nasty playing style. Still developing as a pass protector. Excellent athlete for someone his size (6-4, 320).
Rationale: Brian Daboll can’t turn Daniel Jones into the next Josh Allen without better protection. Ekwonu can also help clear lanes for Saquon Barkley.
Image: Mingo Nesmith/Icon Sportswire
6.
Charles Cross - OT - Miss. ST
Player: Was arguably the top pass protector in CFB last season. Lacks power in the running game.
Rationale: Why reach for a QB when you can take a talented LT to protect 2023 No. 1 overall pick C.J. Stroud?
7.
Sauce Gardner - CB - Cincinnati
Player: CFB's preeminent lock-down corner — allowed zero touchdowns over his collegiate career. Impressive length (6-2) and speed (4.41).
Rationale: A key building block for new DC Wink Martindale — who places great value on the CB position.
8.
Kayvon Thibodeaux - EDGE - Oregon
Player: Natural born pass rusher. Has been hyped as a top-ten pick since his freshman season. As much talent as any defender in the draft but there are reportedly commitment-related concerns.
Rationale: All-Pro upside pass rusher for a Falcons' defense that finished last season with the fewest sacks (18) in the league.
Trent McDuffie
9.
Trent McDuffie - CB - Washington
Player: The most technically advanced cornerback in the class. Incredibly fluid. Excellent in run support. Brilliant football intelligence. Slightly undersized.
Rationale: Arguably the safest player in the draft. Instantly elevates a lackluster Seahawks' CB group.
Image: Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire
10.
Treylon Burks - WR - Arkansas
Player: Versatile playmaker — lined up outside, in the slot, and at running back for the Razorbacks. Explosive and powerful with the ball in his hands. Frequently compared to Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown.
Rationale: Jets OC Mike LaFleur spent 2019-2020 coordinating the 49ers passing game and will know how to maximize Burks' skill-set in a Deebo-type role.
11.
Garrett Wilson - WR - Ohio State
Player: Big-time playmaker — excellent at gaining separation and reeling in difficult passes. Dangerous after the catch.
Rationale: Carson Wentz needs the all the help he can get... an OSU duo of Terry McLaurin and Wilson holds lethal potential.
12.
Jameson Williams - WR - Alabama
Player: Elite speed. Arguably the best downfield pass-catcher in the draft. Recovering from an ACL tear suffered in January.
Rationale: Coming from the Rams, Kevin O'Connell understands the value of a loaded receiver group. Good luck to the secondaries tasked with stopping Jefferson-Thielen-Williams.
Trent McDuffie
13.
Drake London - WR - USC
Player: Nobody could cover him last season — led CFB in contested catches (19). Has some Mike Evans potential given his size (6-5, 210) and ball skills.
Rationale: More help for Davis Mills.
Image: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire
14.
Devin Lloyd - LB - Utah
Player: Do-it-all linebacker — excellent versus the run and highly effective in coverage. Can blitz off the edge too. Range and instincts are elite.
Rationale: Best player on the board. Will bring some heart and heat to Baltimore's defense.
15.
Chris Olave - WR - Ohio State
Player: Best route runner in the draft. Excellent ball skills. Great speed (4.39). NFL-ready playmaker.
Rationale: Week 1 starter opposite DeVonta Smith. Olave is as polished as a rookie wideout can be.
16.
Trevor Penning - OT - Northern Iowa
Player: Elite run-blocker. Massive length (6-7,330). Plays angry. Lots of raw power and strength. Impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl.
Rationale: Replacement for Terron Armstead at left tackle.
Jermaine Johnson
17.
Bernhard Raimann - OT - Central Michigan
Player: Recent convert from TE to OT. Fantastic size (6-6, 304), athletic ability, and raw power. Massive upside.
Rationale: Priority No. 1 is and always be to protect Justin Herbert.
Image: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire
18.
Nakobe Dean - LB - Georgia
Player: Undersized (5-11, 229) linebacker with the instincts to stop the run and the speed to cover RBs/TEs. Ranges all over the formation. Regarded as an excellent leader. Highly intelligent. 2021 Butkus Award winner.
Rationale: When's the last time the Eagles had an alpha at linebacker?
19.
Jahan Dotson - WR - Penn State
Player: Playmaker. Excellent speed (4.43) and ball skills. Instinctive route runner. Very difficult to cover. Undersized (5-11, 178).
Rationale: A big-play threat for Jameis Winston.
20.
Malik Willis - QB - Liberty
Player: High-upside dual-threat QB. Excellent arm strength/velocity. Dangerous runner. Accuracy and pre-snap reads are work in progress. Took too many sacks last season.
Rationale: Highest ceiling of the draft's QBs... can sit behind Trubisky as a rookie if need be.
Trevor Penning NFL
21.
Travon Walker - EDGE - Georgia
Player: 6-5, 275-pounder who runs the 40-yard dash faster than a lot of receivers (4.51). Powerful versus the run. Limited pass-rush production. Can play a variety of roles. Tape doesn't justify a top ten selection.
Rationale: Versatile edge setter for Bill Belichick with substantial developmental potential.
Image: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire
22.
George Pickens - WR - Georgia
Player: Missed most of the 2021 season with torn ACL. Has the size (6-3, 195), athletic ability (4.47), and ball skills to blossom into a WR1. Best season was as a freshman in 2019.
Rationale: Perhaps a bit of reach but the Packers are desperate at the position. Pickens has as much upside as any WR in the class.
23.
Jermaine Johnson - EDGE - Florida State
Player: Disruptive versus the run and pass. Checks boxes in terms of size and athletic ability.
Rationale: Chandler Jones replacement... Johnson tore up the Senior Bowl, tested better than Hutchinson at the combine, and had more sacks and tackles for loss than Thibodeaux and Walker.
24.
Jordan Davis - DT - Georgia
Player: Shockingly athletic for a 6-6, 360-pounder. Elite run defender. Has some pass rush upside.
Rationale: Instantly elevates Cowboys' run defense. Eats up blocks for Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence.
George Karlaftis
25.
Breece Hall - RB - Iowa State
Player: Big (5-11, 217), explosive runner (4.39). Plays with great patience and balance. Advanced pass-catching and route-running skills. Also solid in pass-pro.
Rationale: The missing piece in Buffalo is a consistently dangerous running back.
Image: Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire
26.
Zion Johnson - OG - Boston College
Player: Powerful interior lineman with great length and intelligence. Rarely penalized. Excels in both pass and run blocking.
Rationale: A replacement for Rodger Saffold at left guard.
27.
Arnold Ebiketie - EDGE - Penn State
Player: Explosive athlete with a relentless playing style. Consistently disruptive. Ready to contribute as a pass-rusher. Run defense not yet a strong suit.
Rationale: Pass rush wins championships.
28.
Devonte Wyatt - DL - Georgia
Player: High octane disruptor. Strong versus the run. Athletic enough to develop into a legitimate pass-rusher.
Rationale: Green Bay struggled against the run last season and could use a difference maker next to Kenny Clark.
Skyy Moore
29.
George Karlaftis - DE - Purdue
Player: Ultra-physical and violent off the edge. One of the more instinctive defenders in the class. Effective versus the run and pass. What he lacks in length, he makes up for in power.
Rationale: The Chiefs are in desperate need of some heat off the edge.
Image: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
30.
Kaiir Elam - CB - Florida
Player: Prototypical size (6-2, 190) and athleticism (4.39). Instinctive eyes. Physical. Excels in press-man.
Rationale: Talented replacement for Chavarius Ward.
31.
Tyler Linderbaum - C - Iowa
Player: One of the greatest centers in CFB history. Tape is near-flawless. Excellent athlete for the position — though a bit undersized (6-2, 296).
Rationale: Tough to pass on a corner here but Linderbaum has All-Pro potential. Ted Karras can move to left guard.
32.
Kenny Pickett - QB - Pitt
Player: Poised and accurate. More mobile than he looks. His small hands don't affect his ability to pass the ball... but he did lose 26 fumbles in 54 games.
Rationale: Competition for Goff... possible long-term answer... worth the risk at No. 32.
Round 2
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