PSO: 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0


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Drew R. Abrams, Sports Columnist, Editor

The NFL regular season concluded on January 9 and thus locked in the draft order for the first eighteen picks in April’s draft.  The Jaguars secured the number one overall pick despite a dominant win against the Colts and the Eagles have back to back picks in the top half of the draft.  While many things are certainly going to change, here are some preliminary projected draft results.


Pick 1-Jacksonville Jaguars/ Evan Neal, OT (Alabama)

The expectation is still for Jacksonville to take an edge rusher with the first pick, but on paper this doesn’t make a ton of sense.  The Jaguars have little talent on their offensive line, but they have two talented and promising edge rushers in Josh Allen and K’lavon Chaisson.  Neal is an absolute monster of a man at six foot-seven and three hundred and fifty pounds.  He had a fantastic season protecting Heisman winner Bryce Young and now he heads to Jacksonville to protect Trevor Lawrence.

Pick 2-Detroit Lions/ Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge (Oregon)

The choice now comes down to Hutchinson or Thibodeaux.  Lions general manager Brad Holmes is a gifted scout who discovered both Amon-Ra St. Brown and Cooper Kupp in the mid rounds, and it doesn’t seem likely that he prefers the overrated Hutchinson over the physical freak that is Thibodeaux.  While it might be beneficial for Detroit to trade down in the draft, they hold their spot here and take the Oregon edge rusher who has drawn comparisons to Myles Garrett.

Pick 3-Houston Texans/ Aidan Hutchinson, Edge (Michigan)

If a steaming pile of garbage was a football team, it’s the Houston Texans.  But they do like to invest in their defensive line and edge rushers, and they do that once again by drafting the Heisman-candidate Hutchinson.

Pick 4-New York Jets/ Kyle Hamilton, S (Notre Dame)

Just like every other team that picks high in the draft, the Jets have serious holes to fill and despite having a relatively adequate group at the safety position, they select Kyle Hamilton.  Hamilton is a physical freak for a safety at six-four and had a fantastic season for Notre Dame.  He should be a future staple for a Jets defense that hasn’t been good in some time.

Pick 5-New York Giants/ Kenyon Green, OL (Texas A&M)

The Giants have been trying and failing to address their offensive line struggles for years now with the ill-advised signing of Nate Solder a few years ago and the botched pick of Andrew Thomas.  Hopefully they can finally get this one right and help protect Daniel Jones or whoever is going to be under center for them come the new season.  

Pick 6-Carolina Panthers/ Tyler Linderbaum, C (Iowa)

Matt Paradis isn’t getting any younger and even if the Panthers decide to stick with their current center, Linderbaum can play other positions on the offensive line.  Even though Iowa ended the year with an abysmal offense, Linderbaum helped them to great success early in the season and will be an asset to any team that decides to take a chance on him.

Pick 7-New York Giants/ George Karlaftis III, Edge (Purdue)

The Giants have been without a dominant edge rusher for sometime, and Karlaftis has the potential to be just that.  Although he is the third edge rusher taken, there probably isn’t much of a talent gap between him and Hutchinson and many would argue that Karlaftis is actually the better of the two.  He is a big, powerful guy with strong hands who is reminiscent of old school pass rushers and should provide an instant impact for the New York Football Giants.

Pick 8-Atlanta Falcons/ Ikem Ekwonu, OL (NC State)

The Falcons desperately need an edge rusher and were amongst the worst teams in generating pressure on the opposing quarterback this year, but with the top three edge rushers gone they instead address their second biggest need with the offensive line.  Ekwonu has proven to be versatile and could play either guard or tackle.

Pick 9-Denver Broncos/ Matt Corral, QB (Ole Miss)

It’s very clear that neither Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock is the answer in Denver, a team that has been historically bad at identifying talent at the position over the last few years.  Denver is considered by many to be a complete product with the exception of a quarterback they can win with, so they take a swing here on the Ole Miss product in Corral.  Though he is far from a complete product, his ability to extend plays both with his arm and his legs should excite NFL scouts.

Pick 10-New York Jets/ Derek Stingley Jr., CB (LSU)

The Jets need a lot of help on defense, so they double dip in the secondary and take Stingley, who is an interesting prospect.  Although he had a great freshman season, he has been injured for a large part of the last two seasons, which makes him a bit of a wildcard.  But he is considered to have the most upside out of all of this year’s corners and the Jets don’t seem to have a problem with making high-risk, high-reward picks.  Just ask Zach Wilson.

Pick 11-Washington Football Team/ Garrett Wilson, WR (Ohio State)

Outside of Terry McLaurin, Washington doesn’t have a whole lot in the way of offensive firepower.  This pick was almost Charles Cross, but Washington seems to be set for now at tackle, but their receiver room needs to be set up for whoever is their quarterback next year.  Wilson was the best receiver in the nation this year due to his excellent route running and became the first receiver off the board.

Pick 12-Minnesota Vikings/ Trent McDuffie, CB (Washington)

A bright spot on an underwhelming Washington team, McDuffie is the second corner off the list and heads to Minnesota.  Minnesota hasn’t had a lockdown corner in sometime and with veteran Patrick Peterson on a one year deal, it makes all the sense in the world to try and restore this once great Minnesota defense.

Pick 13-Cleveland Browns/ Drake London, WR (USC)

Cleveland has some issues and many are speculating that Baker Mayfield might be done as their quarterback.  But there is also a hole in their offense left by the fact that they don’t have a serious threat at WR1.  Jarvis Landry is a jack of all trades, Donovan Peoples-Jones hasn’t done enough to prove that he can be the go-to option, and tight end Austin Hooper has been disappointing.  London is a massive receiver at six-five and he presents an instant red-zone threat for a run-happy Browns team.

Pick 14-Baltimore Ravens/ Charles Cross, OT (Mississippi State)

The Ravens were plagued by injuries in ridiculous fashion this season.  After back-to-back season ending injuries to Ronnie Stanley and the trade of Orlando Brown JrThe Ravens may see it fit to redress the position before things go catastrophic up front.

Pick 15-Philadelphia Eagles/ Nakobe Dean, LB (Georgia)

Historically, the Eagles don’t draft linebackers in the first round, but Dean is too good a player to pass up.  Although he may be slightly undersized, he was a massive asset for Georgia’s defense.  His exceptional speed allows him to penetrate offensive lines with relative ease and he can fall into coverage as well as anyone.  Even though Alex Singleton had a good year, the Eagles linebacker core still needs to be addressed in a big way.

Pick 16-Philadelphia Eagles/ “Sauce” Gardner, CB (Cincinnati)

Gardner was Cincinnati’s best player during their storybook season.  Although Cincinnati got stomped by Alabama in the playoffs, Cincinnati didn’t go down without a fight and Gardner is a big reason why.  Gardner has not allowed a single touchdown to be scored against him in his college career.  As such, the Eagles select a surprisingly underrated prospect to pair with pro-bowler Darius Slay this upcoming season.

Pick 17-Los Angeles Chargers/ Jordan Davis, DL (Georgia)

Davis is a physical freak at six and a half feet tall and is a premier run-stopper, something the Chargers desperately need.  The Chargers were among the worst run defenses in the league, and selecting Davis would go a long way in fixing that.

Pick 18-New Orleans Saints/ Chris Olave, WR (Ohio State)

New Orleans needs a quarterback, but their window of contention is closing quickly after narrowly missing the playoffs in their first Brees-less season.  Meanwhile, their receiving core currently only has three or four players signed to contracts, and who knows if Michael Thomas will ever be back.  The Saints need someone to catch passes, and in light of Jameson Williams injury, Olave becomes that guy.

Pick 19-Philadelphia Eagles/ Jaquan Brisker, S (Penn State)

The Eagles are the first playoff team to have three first round picks, and they use their final one to address a hole in their roster that may open up in the near future.  Anthony Harris has been disappointing and is only on a short-term deal, and veteran safety Rodney McCleod is getting up there in age, and it doesn’t look as if K’Von Wallace is going to pan out.  With Brisker, the Eagles try to replace the Malcom Jenkins-sized hole that has been in their secondary for a couple of years.

Pick 20-Pittsburgh Steelers/ Kenny Pickett, QB (Pittsburgh)

The Steelers are going to be in desperate need of a quarterback as Big Ben has all but admitted he’s retiring after this season, and so the Heisman finalist Pickett stays in-state and goes to run Mike Tomlin’s offense.

Pick 21-Cincinnati Bengals/ Devin Lloyd, LB (Utah)

Cincinnati has problems at safety and offensive line as well, but the best of both of those position groups are long gone by this point.  Lloyd is the second best linebacker in the class and was a bright spot on a face-less Utah team.

Pick 22-New England Patriots/ Jameson Williams, WR (Alabama)

Williams suffered what could be a serious injury in the National Championship Game against Georgia, but he is expected to retain a first-round grade for the time being.  The Patriots should be able to re-sign their corners before they hit free agency, but right now they have next to nothing in the way of receivers.

Pick 23-Miami Dolphins/ Bernhard Raimman, OT (Central Michigan)

Raimman is a late first to early second round prospect, but the Dolphins have some desperate needs at offensive line and need to take someone who can protect Tua.  Rain Man could be that guy.

Pick 24-Las Vegas Raiders/ Demarvin Leal, DL (Texas A&M)

The Raiders are going to need to address their defensive line eventually as they can’t lean entirely on Maxx Crosby.  Leal was an All-American for a Texas A&M team that actually had a pretty good year.

Pick 25-Buffalo Bills/ Kenneth Walker III, RB (Michigan State)

It’s becoming clear that Devon Singletarry isn’t the answer for the Bills, and with both the offensive and defensive lines picked over at this point, they take the ex-Spartan Walker.  Walker could function well in a pass-first Buffalo offense where he could be trusted to both run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield.

Pick 26-Arizona Cardinals/ Kaiir Elam, CB (Florida)

Arizona needs some help in the secondary despite Budha Baker, and Elam has fallen far enough down the board that picking him should be a no-brainer for an Arizona team that isn’t exactly known for their defense.

Pick 27-Tennessee Titans/ Darian Kinnard, OL (Kentucky)

Kinnard going in the first is a bit of a stretch, but everyone seems to need offensive linemen this year and at this point the class has been picked over to a crazy level.

Pick 28-Detroit Lions/ Sam Howell, QB (North Carolina)

The Lions are in desperate need of a quarterback, and even though Jared Goff is still under contract for another year, Howell could be the perfect project for Detroit.  He has good accuracy, good scrambling ability, and a high football intelligence.

Pick 29-Dallas Cowboys/ Roger McCreary, CB (Auburn)

Despite Trevon Diggs emerging as an interception machine, he still gives up a ton of yards.  The Cowboys would be wise to continue to build on a defense that is still average at best.

Pick 30-Kansas City Chiefs/ Trevor Penning, OT(Northern Iowa)

The Chiefs were forced to hastily rebuild their offensive line this past season, and they took a big step in returning it to functionality by selecting Penning, who can hopefully pair nicely with Orlando Brown Jr.

Pick 31-Tampa Bay Buccaneers/ Treylon Burks, WR (Arkansas)

The Bucs are now likely going to be without both Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin next year, leaving only Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski as legitimate receiving threats for Tampa Bay.  With most of the other position groups set, the effort to restore Tom Brady’s weapon locker begins.

Pick 32-Green Bay Packers/ Jahan Dotson, WR (Penn State)

Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers might both be out of Green Bay after this season, and without Adams the Packers receiving core is among the worst in the league.  The Packers may be on the verge of a rebuild, and Dotson could be a nice piece for the future.