the nashvillelou collection|
2022 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: December 20, 2021
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
My friends over at DraftKings (similar name but very different than what I do) have some great fantasy sports games that give you a chance to put your skills to the test in a really fun way. I strongly recommend DraftKings; they have been an excellent business partner for me and have some very entertaining games. Give them a try and let me know what you think.
Note: this draft order is based on the projected order as of this writing on Tankathon.
2022 NFL Mock Draft
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (6-7 350)
This projection anticipates the Jaguars trading down. Neal is the top offensive lineman on most draft boards at this point, but it's unlikely Neal would be selected at #1 overall. There's just too much demand for ultra high-end EDGE pass rusher prospects.
Neal would be an ideal fit for Jacksonville, which needs to provide QB Trevor Lawrence with better protection next year.
2. Detroit Lions - Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (6-6 265)
The Lions have two first-round draft picks in 2022. Hutchinson has had a monster 2021 season for the Wolverines, showing exceptional skill at pressuring opposing QBs on passing plays.
3. Houston Texans - Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon (6-5 260)
This anticipates the Texans trading up to get Thibodeaux at #1 overall. But the Texans and Jaguars are in the same division, which could complicate things if this order holds.
4. New York Jets - Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU (6-1 195)
The Jets have another selection at #8. Stingley is the favorite at this point to be the first defensive back selected in 2022, and he'd fill a key spot for the Jets.
5. New York Giants - George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue (6-4 270)
This is the first of two consecutive picks by the Giants. Karlaftis is an exceptional athlete who is adept at pass rushing, and you should know by now what that means in the modern NFL.
6. New York Giants (via Chicago) - Charles Cross, OT, Miss. St. (6-5 310)
Cross has performed well against some top-flight competition in the SEC. The Giants addressing both sides of their line is a distinct possibility with the consecutive selections.
7. Carolina Panthers - Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt (6-2 220)
Will Carolina find a new quarterback at this spot? If they have their pick of the field, it's a distinct possibility.
8. New York Jets (via Seattle) - DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M (6-4 290)
The Jets go defense again, selecting a versatile defensive lineman who would help boost the Jets' interior pass rush considerably.
9. Atlanta Falcons - Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (6-0 200)
20 touchdowns against only four interceptions for Corral in 2021. His accuracy remains strong, north of 68%.
If the Falcons retain incumbent QB Matt Ryan for 2022, they'd likely look elsewhere with this selection.
10. Philadelphia Eagles - Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (6-4 220)
This is the first of three first-round picks for the Eagles. Notice how this is becoming a trend in the NFL for teams which are rebuilding.
Hamilton is near the top of most big boards, and he actually represents considerable value falling to this spot. It's a great fit, as the Eagles need help at safety. They can address EDGE rushers later.
11. Minnesota Vikings - David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan (6-5 250)
One of the biggest risers of the season, Ojabo is a gifted athlete who had a breakout 2021 season with 11 sacks.
12. Washington FT - Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (6-1 215)
A transfer from Auburn, Willis is an interesting prospect. Exceptionally talented as a runner, Willis has the ability to do unique things from the quarterback position.
His 61.1% completion rate for 2021 concerns me, but what matters more is Willis demonstrating in workouts that he is able to throw with accuracy, particularly on the run.
13. Las Vegas Raiders - Chris Olave, WR, Ohio St. (6-1 190)
There are a few options here for the Raiders, but I could see this being the spot where a run on wide receivers begins.
Olave has tremendous speed, with a quick burst that makes him challenging to cover.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami) - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio St. (6-0 205)
This is the second of three first-round picks held by the Eagles. After addressing the safety position earlier, I anticipate the Eagles would opt for a wide receiver at this spot.
15. Denver Broncos - Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State (6-4 320)
Ekwonu has been a hot name as of late, a first-team All-American with an amateur wrestling background. Tremendous fighting spirit to go with a great size/agility combo. Ekwonu has the ability to play a variety of spots on the offensive line.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers - Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (6-3 290)
Linderbaum, a skilled center, would fill a need on Pittsburgh's interior offensive line.
the nashvillelou collection
17. Cleveland Browns - Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama (6-2 190)
It has been a huge 2021 for Williams, a transfer from Ohio State who has posted 1,445 yards and 15 TDs for Alabama thus far in 2021.
18. Baltimore Ravens - Trevor Penning, OL, Northern Iowa (6-7 320)
Perhaps the biggest riser in FCS this season, Penning has gained plenty of attention with a nasty streak and the size/agility to back it up.
Penning is slated to participate in the Senior Bowl, which should allow NFL scouts to get a closer look at what he can do at the next level.
19. New Orleans Saints - Drake London, WR, Southern Cal (6-4 210)
London was the highest-graded wide receiver in college football this season by PFF, a campaign that unfortunately ended abruptly via a fractured ankle in late October.
But the anticipation at this point is that London will be able to recover in time for pre-draft evaluations.
20. Buffalo Bills - Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (6-0 195)
McCreary had an excellent 2021 season for Auburn, and he will be one of several talented corners hoping to be drafted on night one.
21. Miami Dolphins (via SF) - Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio St. (6-5 315)
Petit-Frere has experience playing at both left and right tackle. The Dolphins need help at offensive tackle, and while Petit-Frere is still a work in progress in some ways, he has considerable potential as a pro.
22. Los Angeles Chargers - Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (6-6 340)
Davis is a true rarity, a run-stuffing defensive tackle who has unique physical gifts that make him remarkably difficult to block.
Most 330-340 pound run-stuffers end up not being drafted on night one. It's all about the pass rush. But Davis is a special talent.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (via Indy) - Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego St. (6-5 265)
With the third of three picks in this opening round, the Eagles finally address EDGE pass rusher with Thomas in this mock.
Thomas was the 2021 Mountain West defensive player of the year and is particularly adept at bringing pressure on passing plays.
24. Detroit Lions (via L.A. Rams) - Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (6-2 190)
Gardner's nickname is Sauce, but no gimmicks are needed when you're one of the best lockdown corners in college football.
And if the Lions draft an EDGE rusher at #2, they'd be in prime position to select Sauce at this spot.
25. Cincinnati Bengals - Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson (6-0 195)
Booth is a physical playmaker with considerable potential. Super athletic and lightning fast, with the on-field demeanor to match.
26. Tennessee Titans - Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (6-0 225)
The Titans will have some decisions to make at linebacker this upcoming off-season. This may prove to be a low projection, as Dean has been whispered as a potential top ten pick.
Dean has the athleticism, which by now you've noticed is a trait nearly every first-round projection has, but he is also great at reading and reacting.
27. Arizona Cardinals - Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida (6-2 190)
Elam is one of a number of viable options at defensive back in this scenario. He's very athletic, but what helps set Elam apart is his ability to quickly read and diagnose plays.
At 6'2" he has ideal height for a corner, though Elam's first-round chances will likely be connected with how fast his 40-yard dash times are during the pre-draft gauntlet.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (6-3 235)
It's hard to know what to expect with the Bucs, particularly with much of that riding on what Tom Brady decides to do.
I've been running Draft King for more than 18 years, and I'm three weeks younger than Brady is. I really don't see how he does it. Everything hurts more when you get older.
If I overdo it on cardio, I feel it for days. Meanwhile, there's Brady taking NFL-level beatings on a weekly basis.
As for Burks, he's a gifted receiver who would be a good fit in Tampa regardless of what happens with Brady and Gronk and the rest. Ideal height/weight to go with great hands and deceptive speed.
29. New England Patriots - Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (6-3 230)
Lloyd is the type of well-rounded, experienced prospect that would seem like a logical fit in New England. Lloyd showed notable improvement in pass coverage this season to go with a bevy of tackles for loss.
30. Dallas Cowboys - Travon Walker, DL, Georgia (6-5 275)
Walker is an interesting prospect in that he played defensive tackle at 290 pounds in his first two seasons in Athens, then cut down to 275 for the 2021 season to contribute more as an EDGE rusher.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn St. (5-11 195)
An ultra-fast slot wide receiver like Dotson would be particularly beneficial for the Chiefs. Dotson is very effective at creating separation between himself and his defender, and he has a knack for making difficult catches.
32. Green Bay Packers - Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St. (6-3 260)
McBride had a monster 2021 season for Colorado State, with six 100+ yard receiving games and 1,121 yards receiving on the year. Scouts will have plenty of chances to evaluate McBride at the Senior Bowl.
the nashvillelou collection