Its Mocktoberfest! Welcome to my first mock draft of the 2022 season. It’s early, as we’re only a quarter-ish of the way through the NFL season, but it’s never too early for a mock draft.
1. Lions – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE Oregon
The concensus #1 overall prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft lands at the #1 spot. The Lions are at the beginning stages of a rebuild and this pick could easily be a quarterback but I’m not comfortable slotting any of the QBs at #1 overall right now.
2. Jaguars – Kyle Hamilton, S Notre Dame
Hamilton is a generational talent at the safety position. He can cover the likes of Travis Kelce and Darren Waller and successfully work downhill against the run. His ability to impact the game from the safety position is unmatched in this draft class. The Jags find the QB of their defense.
3. Giants – Derek Stingley Jr, CB LSU
I have less confidence in Stingley right now than I did prior to this season. He’s been fine when he’s been healthy but we haven’t seen him healthy very often. That goes back to last season as well. He’s approaching injury-prone status. Still, Stingley has flashed enough talent to take a chance on him early.
4. Falcons – Malik Willis, QB Liberty
Cue the Mike Vick comps. Willis presents a similar skillset to the former golden boy of the NFL. His arm strength and rushing ability stand out. Willis is definitely in the conversation for QB1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Malik Willis is strong, agile, and explosive. UAB generates quick pressure, but Willis turns a negative into a positive.
He has a special ability to create! pic.twitter.com/P8C4v5SZ9L
— Damian Parson 🏈 (@DP_NFL) October 2, 2021
5. Eagles – Evan Neal, OT Alabama
Injuries to the offensive line have been the storyline in Philly for years. Dillard, Peters, Brooks, and Johnson have all missed time over the last two seasons. It’s lead to Jalen Hurts being one of the most pressured QBs in the league.
Evan Neal is the top offensive lineman in this class and can play 4/5 positions. Take him now. Figure out where he fits later.
6. Steelers – Sam Howell, QB North Carolina
Ben Roethlisberger might be the worst starting QB in the league. It’s time for the Steelers to move on. Howell isn’t a perfect prospect by any means but there’s plenty of talent to work with. The Steelers have a plethora of weapons to help Howell step in and have immediate success.
7. Jets – DeMarvin Leal, IDL Texas A&M
I’m ready to designate Leal as an interior defender though he’s more than capable of permanently lining up on the edge. DeMarvin Leal is the type of player that Robert Saleh can develop a defense around. The Jets will line him up next to Quinnen Williams to form a scary defensive front.
8. Texans – Spencer Rattler, QB Oklahoma
Davis Mills looks like a really good backup QB. But that’s not gonna win the Texans games on Sundays. Spencer Rattler, on the other hand, CAN win them games. He’s an electrifying passer and playmaker that can be the focal point of a franchise. He needs to be reeled in but the talent is obvious.
9. Eagles (IND) – Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE South Carolina
It appears as though the conditions will be met to transition the Colts 2nd round selection that they gave up for Carson Wentz into a 1st round selection. The Eagles can use this pick to take the best player available. On my big board, that’s Kingsley Enagbare. He’s getting better everyday and might wind up the best player out of this draft class.
Just watch Kingsley Enagbare use his hands on the edge 😈@ojhodgkinson sees a player with excellent athleticism for his size and someone with an arsenal of pass-rush moves 👀
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 11, 2021
10. Saints – Kaiir Elam, CB Florida
It seems as though the M.O. of the Saints is to take shots at the QB position through free agency. Whether or not that’s a reliable business plan is up for debate but I’m banking on the Saints building their roster around the position.
Outside corner isn’t exactly a need with Des Trufant and Marshon Lattimore playing well but Lattimore’s natural position is as a slot/safety hybrid. The plan may be to transition him there, seeing as how Malcolm Jenkins will be 34 next season. Kaiir Elam has the potential to shutdown an entire side of the field. He’d be a good fit on the Saints’ defense.
11. Giants (CHI) – Kenyon Green, OT Texas A&M
After adding Derek Stingley Jr at pick #3 the Giants are on the clock again at 11. Obtaining reliable offensive linemen has to be high on their list of priorities. I’ve designated Green as an OT but he’s capable of starting tomorrow at 4 positions on an NFL offensive line.
12. Football Team – Carson Strong, QB Nevada
I thought the Football Team was setup for success with Fitzpatrick at QB but the plan backfired early. Taylor Heinicke is okay but much like the situation in Houston, he’s just not gonna win WFT many games.
Carson Strong isn’t ready to step in and right the ship for WFT right now but he’s got serious natural abilities. He’s a candidate to sit for a year while Heinicke plays the Football Team to a likely sub-500 record.
13. Eagles (MIA) – Ahmad Gardner, CB Cincinnati
Its pick 13 and we’ve already seen the Eagles three times. They’ve added to the trenches with Evan Neal and Kingsley Enagbare. Now it’s time to focus on the Eagles’ Achilles heel – the cornerback position.
I already feel bad for Ahmad Gardner – it seems as though every big investment the Eagles have made at the cornerback position has been an epic disaster – but Gardner could be the man to fix that. He’s a long, athletic corner with fantastic ball skills and a riser for the 2022 NFL Draft class.
14. Vikings – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE Michigan
This is likely Everson Griffen’s last season in Minnesota. They’ll need to find his replacement and Hutchinson looks like a perfect candidate. Hutch is a freak athlete that’s cranked it up to 11 this year. He’s a potential top-ten pick making this a great selection for the Vikings.
Every Monday when I review the tape, #Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson has a handful of plays where he makes the left tackle look awfully silly.
This week is no different… pic.twitter.com/QATslFZcwl
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 4, 2021
15. Patriots – Garrett Wilson, WR Georgia
This fanbase has been clamoring for a fresh set of hands at the receiver position. Enter Garrett Wilson, currently my WR1 in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Drops have been an issue but Wilson checks every other box.
16. Broncos – Matt Corral, QB Ole Miss
It’s clear that the Broncos are still a player or two away from reaching the promised land. Teddy has done fine this year but I don’t believe that he’s the long-term answer at the quarterback position. Matt Corral could be.
Corral has 1.5 seasons of high end QB play on his resume. He’s an elite athlete for the position and has a big enough arm to operate any offensive scheme. He doesn’t have as high of a cieling of other QBs in this class but I’m confident that Corral can develop into a top-16 performer at the position.
17. Bengals – Alex Linderbaum, C Iowa
Trey Hopkins is okay but he looks like more of a depth piece. Alex Linderbaum is the highest-rated IOL prospect since Quenton Nelson. He’ll be an immediate upgrade on an offensive line that needs a few more pieces.
18. Jets (SEA) – Chris Olave, WR Ohio St
The Jets snagged DeMarvin Leal at #7 but now it’s time to focus on the offensive side of the football. Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Elijah Moore. Yeah… I know. But aside from Davis, they’ve proven next to nothing. Injuries have made this a difficult position group to evaluate.
What we do know is that there are plenty of solid wide receiver prospects available here at pick #18. The Jets have the luxury of picking their favorite of the bunch. My money is on Chris Olave. He looks like he could start on the outside right now. The ceiling is a little lower but the guy is just so damned reliable.
19. Panthers – George Karlaftis, DL Purdue
The Panthers have improved their defense drastically but they’re still a few pieces away. George Karlaftis is a candidate to provide an upgrade over Morgan Fox, who’s just decent. Karlaftis is a powerful SOB that has enough juice as a pass-rusher to make a big impact on the game.
20. Titans – Drake Jackson, EDGE USC
Drake Jackson seems to have turned the corner this year. He brings it off the edge and would be a solid pass-rusher to pair with Harold Landry.
21. Raiders – Roger McCreary, CB Auburn
The Raiders will likely be in the market for Casey Heyward’s replacement, as the former Packer will be 34 years old next season. Roger McCreary could be the target. He’s a fluid mover that can turn and run and close on the ball in a hurry.
22. Dolphins (SF) – Ikem Ekwonu, IOL North Carolina St
The Dolphins have made some questionable draft-day decisions lately and that’s showing on the field. They can change that narrative by selecting ‘Icky’ Ekwonu at #22 overall. I’ve got him listed as an IOL but Ekwonu has had success at tackle at the college level.
He embodies the mauler trait and improved significantly as a pass-blocker this season. The Dolphins need to add another reliable blocker. That just might be Ikem Ekwonu.
NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu (6040, 320, Jr.) has been impressive so far this season. Ridiculous strength levels, athleticism, and urge to finish. Showed it all vs. Clemson. Reminds me a lot of Kelechi Osemele coming out of Iowa State. pic.twitter.com/E4ur1ZosWe
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) October 1, 2021
23. Cowboys – Trent McDuffie, SLOT Washington
The Cowboys may be looking for an upgrade in the slot. Trent McDuffie is the highest graded slot defender in this class and well worth a late-first round selection.
24. Chargers – Nik Bonitto, EDGE Oklahoma
Nik Bonitto is one of the top defenders in the NCAA but there’s reason to question whether or not his game will translate to the NFL level. His 6’ 3, 240-pound frame is concerning but Bonitto is a great athlete with awesome flexibility. He’s great against the run and in coverage. The Chargers can use his services after they failed to properly replace Melvin Ingram.
25. Cardinals – Perrion Winfrey, IDL Oklahoma
Adding a skilled pass-rusher like Perrion Winfrey to a defense that already has Chandler Jones, JJ Watt, and Markus Golden would be dangerous. This would be an unblockable front seven.
26. Browns – John Metchie III, WR Alabama
Metchie has serious long speed and is a nuanced route-runner. He can separate and has decent ball skills. The Browns could be in play for a new wide receiver with Jarvis Landry and OBJ not only getting older but also underperforming.
27. Packers – Drake London, WR USC
If the board falls this way, the Packers would be wise to take advantage of another strong wide receiver class. A second independent threat opposite Davante Adams would help this offense turn the corner.
Drake London could be the Packers’ target. He’s got great ball-skills and route-running ability all on a small forward type frame. He’s ascending big boards quickly and could potentially be the second wide receiver selected.
Drake London … 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/qgXZ15w0Lg
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 2, 2021
28. Ravens – Jordan Battle, S Alabama
The Ravens could use an upgrade on the back end of their defense. Jordan Battle is a do it all type of safety with a big frame and fantastic athleticism. He’d be a good fit at the end of the first round.
29. Buccaneers – Devin Lloyd, LB Utah
It’s possible that Lavonte David is finally showing his age. After a decade of solid production with the Bucs, he seems to have lost a step. I’m also not sold on Devin White, especially if David isn’t there to clean up after him.
The Bucs would be wise to dip into the LB pool. They could snag Devin Lloyd aka Devin 2.0. He’s a sideline-to-sideline athlete that shines on passing downs. He’s quietly moving up draft boards as he continues to stack solid performances.
30. Bills – Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas
Emmanuel Sanders will be 35 next season and it’s time to think about the future at WR2. Burks hasn’t shown much from the outside but he profiles nicely to the position. He’s a dominant athlete that’s dangerous after the catch. He’d form an excellent trio with Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley.
31. Lions (LAR) – Christian Harris, LB Alabama
The Lions would be wise to find an upgrade over Alex Anzalone. Harris could be that upgrade. We’re still waiting for him to develop his coverage skills but he’s solid in every other facet. He’s a day one starter that the Lions can move all over their front.
32. Chiefs – Myjai Sanders, EDGE Cincinnati
Myjai Sanders is yet to impact the game on a consistent basis but he’s ripe with potential. A freak athlete with a covetable frame, Sanders could develop into a serious pass-rushing threat. He’s the BPA at a position of need for the Chiefs.
Top 10 players Available
JT Daniels, QB Georgia
Zach Harrison, EDGE Ohio St
Jaquan Brisker, S Penn St
Adam Anderson, EDGE Georgia
Justyn Ross, WR Clemson
George Pickens, WR Georgia
Mike Jones Jr, LB LSU
Andrew Booth Jr, CB Clemson
Breece Hall, RB Iowa St
Nakobe Dean, LB Georgia