We’re at about the three-quarter mark of the NFL season and a month before the College Football Playoff, the perfect time to check-in on the 2022 NFL Draft. Here’s my updated Mock.
1. Lions KayVon Thibodeaux – EDGE, Oregon
While much has changed at the top of the big board, Thibodeaux has maintained his stance as the #1 prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Stands to reason that he lands at pick #1 for a team that is desperate for talent at almost all position groups.
2. Texans Kenny Pickett – QB, Pittsburgh
Pickett is trending in the right direction. He’s got a great set of tools and managed to put them all together for a really productive senior season – one that ended with an ACC Championship.
KENNY PICKETT FAKED THE SLIDE AND RAN 58 YARDS FOR THE TD 😱 pic.twitter.com/EypNNJZYHE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 5, 2021
The selection of Pickett is a big step forward for a Texans’ team that desperately needs to solidify its quarterback situation.
3. Jaguars Aidan Hutchinson – EDGE, Michigan
Aidan Hutchinson is on a roll and is considered by many to be the #1 overall player in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s made a strong case but I’m not ready to pull the trigger on him just yet.
The Jaguars’ 2020 first-rounder K’LaVon Chaisson hasn’t caught on yet but if he does, Chaisson, Josh Allen, and Hutchinson would form an insanely talented group of edge rushers.
4. Jets Kyle Hamilton – S, Notre Dame
The Jets are another team that need help at basically every position group. This Hamilton selection would add both talent and leadership to Robert Saleh’s young defense.
5. Jets (Seattle) Evan Neal – OT, Alabama
Up again, the Jets select another bookend to protect Zach Wilson. Evan Neal and Mekhi Becton would form easily the largest pair of tackles in the history of the sport.
6. Giants Derek Stingley Jr – CB, LSU
Stingley hasn’t been very productive the last two years, largely due to injuries. However, his 2019 tape is some of the best we’ve ever seen at the cornerback position.
7. Giants (Chicago) Tyler Linderbaum – IOL, Iowa
After solidifying their defensive backfield, the Giants add some much-needed talent to their offensive line. Linderbaum would be an immediate upgrade over Billy Price.
8. Falcons Jameson Williams – WR, Alabama
The Falcons added Kyle Pitts in April but lost Julio Jones and potentially Calvin Ridley. It’s clear from their lack of production that this offense is still in need of some outside WR firepower. Matt Ryan can still win this team games. He just needs a little help. Jameson Williams can help.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 4, 2021
9. Panthers Matt Corral – QB, Ole Miss
Joe Brady has been given the boot and we’re not sure what this offense will look like going forward. Whatever the system will be, Corral should be able to run it effectively.
He’s got scheme-versatile tools and the mental capacity to be efficient from day one. Say hello to your new face of the franchise.
10. Vikings George Karlaftis – IDL, Purdue
Speaking of scheme versatility, Karlaftis can be effective anywhere from the 3-tech to the wide-9. I listed him as an interior defensive lineman, as I feel that’s where he ultimately fits in best, though Karlaftis is capable of supplementing the production of either Danielle Hunter or Everson Griffen.
11. Saints Charles Cross – OT, Mississippi St
The Saints are in the worst cap situation in the league and will likely be parting ways with All-Pro LT Terron Armstead. They’ll need to find his replacement.
Cross may be in the early stages of his development but this Saints’ team isn’t ready to win right now. Cross would be the first addition to a Saints’ roster that’s clearly in rebuild mode.
12. Eagles Malik Willis – QB, Liberty
Wllis is an absolutely dynamic QB prospect and the Eagles already have the script for his style of play. He should be an upgrade over Jalen Hurts, though that may take time.
If properly eased in, the Eagles could have their next Donovan McNabb.
Malik Willis is going to be a hard projection. How much of his issues are on Willis and how much are on the surrounding talent and scheme? If you can make real progress in correcting his issues, you’re looking at a Lamar Jackson type impact player pic.twitter.com/bfOcGyuJHm
— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) November 29, 2021
13. Eagles (Miami) Kingsley Enagbare – South Carolina
We’re thirteen picks into the 2022 NFL Draft and we’ve already seen three teams with back-to-back picks – how cute.
With the second of what will likely be three first-rounders, the Eagles beef up their pass rush. They could use an upgrade over Derek Barnett. Even at just 25 years-old, it already feels like the former first-rounder has been disappointing the Eagles for 10+ years.
Enagbare is a player I’m higher on than most. He has all the tools needed to become an elite NFL pass-rusher.
14. Broncos Sam Howell – QB, North Carolina
The Broncos have failed to replace Peyton Manning for six-straight years but that shouldn’t deter them from taking another shot here with Sam Howell.
Howell is a fantastic ball-carrier with a live arm and excellent leadership traits. He’ll be a top-16 selection and potentially a day-one starter for the right team.
15. Raiders Ikem Ekwonu – IOL, North Carolina St
Ikem Ekwonu is the most powerful blocker in this draft class. Fifteen is late for him but the Raiders aren’t complaining. They need to get back to their 2017 form when they had the top offensive line in the NFL. Selecting Ekwonu here would go a long way in addressing that need.
16. Browns Garrett Wilson – WR, Ohio St
It may be a hard truth to swallow but Donovan Peoples-Jones is the most talented wide receiver to play for the Browns this season. DPJ is a solid deep threat but the Browns need a receiver that can not only be trusted in the short and intermediate levels of the field but also produce after the catch. Garrett Wilson fits that exactly.
17. Eagles (Indianapolis) Nakobe Dean – LB, Georgia
Three picks in and the Eagles finally address the biggest need on their roster – off ball linebacker. Nakobe Dean is a three-down performer who will pair nicely with a banger like TJ Edwards.
18. Steelers Carson Strong – QB, Nevada
Ben Roethlisberger will likely be moving on after this season but the Steelers are in position to draft his replacement at pick #18. Strong has some insane arm talent and could develop into the best quarterback in this class.
19. Dolphins (San Francisco) DeMarvin Leal – IDL, Texas A&M
DeMarvin Leal could be exactly what the Dolphins need. With Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips, and Emmanuel Ogbah already in place, this could be a very dangerous defense.
20. Football Team Chris Olave – WR, Ohio St
Make that three OSU wide receivers for the Washington Football Team. Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel are a decent pair but this passing game is still missing a receiver that can separate consistently. As the best route-runner in this class, Chris Olave is exactly what WFT needs.
21. Bengals Jordan Battle – S, Alabama
The Bengals may choose to part ways with their free safety, Jessie Bates, who’s underperformed on his contract year. Jordan Battle would be a solid replacement. He’s got the length and athleticism to patrol the centerfield at the NFL level.
22. Chargers Drake London – WR, USC
If the Chargers are forced to let Mike Williams walk, Drake London would be a good candidate to replace his production. He’s got the best catch radius in the game and can win in contested situations against almost anybody.
Drake London leads the country with 19 contested catches…
He hasn't played since October 30th 😧pic.twitter.com/eihh1UPO0N
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 4, 2021
23. Bills Kaiir Elam – CB, Florida
The Bills have been overly reliant on UDFA Levi Wallace and Tre’Davious White will spend the offseason rehabbing an ACL tear. It’s probably time for the Bills to look for some help at the cornerback position. Kaiir Elam would be fantastic value at pick #23.
24. Lions (LA Rams) Jahan Dotson – WR, Penn St
Jahan Dotson isn’t the flashiest receiver in this class but he’s very solid. He’s got great hands, knows how to separate, and has enough juice to create big plays after the catch. He’d walk into camp as the Lions’ #1 receiver.
25. Cowboys Jordan Davis – IDL, Georgia
The Cowboys could use a big run-stuffing nose tackle. Jordan Davis is the biggest and most powerful of all the run-stuffing nose tackles. Davis doesn’t add much as a pass-rusher but could be the most valuable two-down defender in the league.
26. Chiefs Treylon Burks – WR, Arkansas
Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce have been the only legitimate receiving threats on the Chiefs roster over the last 5 years. Treylon Burks could be the missing piece. He’s a size/speed/explosion freak that should be able to contribute from the slot and the outside.
27. Ravens Andrew Booth Jr – CB, Clemson
The Ravens need to add another cornerback that’s capable of producing consistently from man coverage. Booth possesses all the traits to suggest that he can fill that role at the NFL level.
28. Buccaneers Ahmad Gardner – CB, Cincinnati
On the flipside, Gardner has been insanely productive in zone coverage, which is what the Bucs prefer. Gardner shuts down throwing lanes with his length and he pairs that with fantastic ballskills.
29. Titans Drake Jackson – EDGE, USC
The Titans can get by with Harold Landry and Denico Autry, though neither is the most explosive edge-bender. It would be enormously beneficial if they were able to add an athletic, polished pass-rusher like Drake Jackson.
30. Packers Trent McDuffie – SLOT, Washington
The Green Bay Packers are not tied to any particular need but could still use a boost to a couple of position groups They could be looking for an upgrade over Chandon Sullivan. Trent McDuffie is not only my #1 slot defender but also my BPA at pick #30.
The NFL Combine will be huge for McDuffie. It may be the deciding factor on what position he plays at the next level. Most of his snaps were at outside corner but he may be better suited inside. There’s a chance that McDuffie falls beneath some height thresholds. His long-speed is a question mark. He also lacks the desired redirect strength for press assignments.
However, McDuffie is fantastic in a phonebooth. The three-year starter may have the best combination of feet and hips of any defensive back in this class. He should test quite well in agility and explosion drills. He partners that with fantastic eyes, football IQ, and both field and alignment awareness.
Trent McDuffie in off man coverage, playing the comeback on third and long.
Receiver over strides which makes this a bit easier but he's breaking on this route on the receivers plant step. Fluid pedal and a nice break, really sticky rep in coverage away from the ball. pic.twitter.com/lsU2IQjHlu
— Derrick (@Steelers_DB) December 4, 2021
McDuffie is always in stride with his man. He’s been targeted just 36 times this season on 296 coverage snaps, per PFF. Only 16 of those targets have been completed for 111 yards with 0 TDs and 5 PBUs. On the rare occasion that McDuffie allows a completion, he’s always in position to make a quick tackle.
Tackling is an area where McDuffie has shined for the Huskies. He consistently wraps up and can get to the spot in space. Run support is definitely a positive for him.
It’s all adding up to a slot designation for Trent McDuffie. If he falls to the Green Bay Packers at the end of the first round, they’d be wise to give him a call.
31. Patriots Roger McCreary – CB, Auburn
It’s a run on cornerback as we near the end of day one. The Pats are in need of a contributor opposite JC Jackson. They’ll need a stellar athlete that meets all the size thresholds to stay sound in their man-heavy defense. Roger McCreary could be right man for the job.
32. Cardinals Kenyon Green – IOL, Texas A&M
The Cardinals could use one more piece to their offensive line. Kenyon Green can play basically any spot along the starting five. Draft him now. Find his fit later.