Craig’s Final 2022 Mock Draft

Craig’s Final 2022 Mock Draft
Reading Time: 14 minutes.

The NFL Draft is pretty much upon us, so here it is – Craig’s final 2022 mock draft.

Let’s get straight into it shall we.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

I can barely believe I’m writing this but it sure does seem as though Travon Walker is going to be the pick for the Jaguars. This is a huge gamble for Jacksonville. Walker is my #16 overall prospect and doesn’t have the production on tape that others at his position do.

Having agreed a 3-year contract with Cam Robinson and drafting Walker Little in the second round last year, I can’t see this being an offensive tackle. That leaves the premier edge rushers as the potential choices for the Jags.

Trent Baalke and Doug Pederson clearly believe they’ll be given time and that means they’re going rogue. Travon Walker is going to have to live up to his athletic upside.

2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

The Detroit Lions must be rubbing their hands with glee. The local Michigan guy with the personality to fit exactly what Dan Campbell wants from his team is going to land right in their lap.

This is a team that wants to get tougher and play with a chip on its shoulder. Aidan Hutchinson brings that and a whole lot more. He’s incredibly athletic and arguably the most polished pass rusher in this draft.

3. Houston Texans – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Quite how the Texans aren’t picking first overall is beyond me – this franchise is clearly the most dysfunctional in the NFL and it isn’t even close. Possibly the only redeeming feature Houston now has to offer us is Lovie Smith’s beard.

Though they’ve brought back Laremy Tunsil, the Texans could still stand to improve their offensive line. Adding Ikem Ekwonu here would give them the best run blocking left tackle in this draft.

With a young QB in Davis Mills under center, being able to run the ball is crucial. So this pick makes a lot more sense than I’d usually expect the Texans to use!

4. New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

After spending their first four draft picks on the offensive side of the ball last year it will come as no surprise to anyone if the Jets focus heavily on retooling their 32nd-ranked defense in the early rounds of this draft.

With that in mind I thought about going with Kyle Hamilton here – the Falcons showed last year that if you believe in an elite talent then drafting them as high as number 4 overall is no bad thing.

But with one of the elite edge rushers still on the board here in the form of Kayvon Thibodeaux, he surely has to be the pick. Robert Saleh’s defense is all about using the front four to get pressure and then playing solid if unspectacular coverage. Thibodeaux projects as a perennial double digit sack guy in this defense.

5. New York Giants – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Giants would be delighted to see Evan Neal still available when it’s their turn to pick. They’d run the card up to the podium faster than Daniel Jones was getting sacked last season.

If the Giants are serious about their belief in Daniel Jones then new Head Coach Brian Daboll is going to have to find ways to improve the supporting cast around their quarterback as well as looking to get Saquan Barkley back to something close to his best running the football.

One common denominator between the two is the offensive line – a group that underperformed in 2021 and will need to be improved if this franchise is going to start taking steps in the right direction.

Neal gives them the flexibility of being experienced on both sides on the offensive line and would help put their best five out there.

6. Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

If there’s one thing the Panthers absolutely have to do it is to get better at quarterback. Sam Darnold is clearly not the answer they were looking for when they traded for him last year.

The newly-nicknamed Kenny Pickle (if you don’t listen to our Podcasts then you really should!) makes the most sense in terms of readiness to play. But he’s not in my top three QBs in this draft and I really do feel this would be one heck of a reach.

However, Matt Rhule simply has to hit on a QB or he’ll be out of a job soon. So the Panthers have almost found themselves forced into a corner with a need to win now and that means making a potentially bad decision here.

Kenny Pickett becomes the newest member of the Carolina Panthers in Craig’s Final 2022 NFL Mock Draft

7. New York Giants – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

I spent a long time trying to settle on this pick. The Giants would surely love to address their pass rush and create a defense more like the one they had during their recent Super Bowl wins.

But Wink Martindale’s defense requires his secondary to be able to cover well and that means having some good cornerbacks. Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner has played a huge amount of press man coverage and famously hasn’t given up a touchdown in the last couple of years.

His skill set would suit this defense perfectly and he brings a toughness to his game too. Evan Neal and Sauce Gardner would be a great pair of draft choices for the Giants.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

The Falcons demonstrated their commitment to adding talented players regardless of position when they drafted Kyle Pitts as high as they did last year. That approach to roster building worked for Terry Fontenot’s Saints and so he’s likely to stick to what he knows when it comes to making this pick.

Atlanta needs to improve its defense and has been a poor pass rushing team for the last few years. So with Jermaine Johnson continuing to receive a lot of buzz off the back of an excellent 2021 season, it is easy to join the dots here.

9. Seattle Seahawks – Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

This is the first of the picks the Seahawks have obtained from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade.

They could well have their choice of quarterback but they seem committed enough to Drew Lock to not reach for a guy here. Instead they choose to address another need and this pick comes down to Derek Stingley or Charles Cross.

Stingley is who I think they’d go for with this pick. His 2019 tape demonstrates what he is capable of when fully healthy, so there is no doubting his talent.

This is going to be a multi-year rebuild for the Seahawks so adding the best player available here makes an awful lot of sense.

10. New York Jets – Drake London, WR, USC

After getting their pass rusher at 4 overall, the Jets need to start building their offense around Zach Wilson. Last year’s second overall selection would love to have a guy like Drake London in his offense.

London would give them a big, physical target – the kind of guy opposing corners hate playing against. His length would also give them a major red zone presence.

11. Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

I said a long time ago that the newly named Commanders had shown a propensity for going with veterans at the quarterback position in recent years and that I wasn’t convinced that would change this year. So it came as no surprise that they made a move from Carson Wentz rather than consider a QB here in the draft.

So why not take one of the only blue chip players in this draft?

Kyle Hamilton is my #1 overall player but falls here due to positional value. This picks screams Ron Riveria all over.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

I’ve had the Vikings going cornerback in pretty much every other mock I’ve done this year. But with Stingley and Gardner both off the board, Minnesota chooses to look in a different direction with this pick.

In this final mock draft I’ve got them addressing their defensive line and taking Devonte Wyatt from Georgia. They’ve already invested some money in improving their pass rush, but why not add a guy who can add to that from the interior of the defensive line?

13. Houston Texans – Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

The Texans have been linked with a whole bunch of cornerbacks in recent times, particularly during the DeShaun Watson trade talks. This pick comes to them from the Browns as part of the package put together for the former Clemson star.

And having taken Ickey Ekwonu earlier on, adding Andrew Booth here would give them a great addition to their secondary.

People seem to forget Booth when talking about this CB class. There really isn’t much of a gap at all between Stingley, Gardner and Booth, so this is a great spot for him.

14. Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The chance for the Ravens to add the most athletic nose tackle ever known to have existed may well be too much to pass up. Davis scored a perfect 10 on the RAS scoring system, which is frankly ridiculous for a man of his size.

Jordan Davis just screams Baltimore Ravens, doesn’t he?

Jordan Davis goes to the Baltimore Ravens in this Mock Draft.

15. Philadelphia Eagles – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

With two of the next four picks, the Eagles need to play this smart and go with the guy they think the Saints and Chargers might have most interest in.

That would surely be a wide receiver and with only Drake London off the board, the Eagles find almost themselves with the pick of the wide receiver group here.

Garrett Wilson has all the right traits to be an elite WR1 and could quickly become Jalen Hurts favourite target.

16. New Orleans Saints – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

With Terron Armstead heading to Miami in free agency, the need at offensive tackle for the Saints is pretty obvious. Armstead was elite when it came to pass protection so why not replace him with a guy who has shown the same skill set in college.

Charles Cross’ stats when it comes to pass protection are just insane. His footwork, hands and all-round skill set are incredibly polished and while he’ll need some work in the run game, he’d be an excellent fit here.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

“Herbert looks…throws downfield for Olave…Touchdown Chargers.” Be ready to hear that call over and over again after the Chargers draft themselves the cleanest route runner with the deep speed to boot in this draft.

Chris Olave is my WR1 for precisely those reasons. And with no offensive linemen worth taking at this point, adding an extra weapon for Justin Herbert makes a whole lot of sense.

18. Philadelphia Eagles – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Trent McDuffie is all over the place on people’s boards but I get the impression that he appeals to the Eagles. Whilst his arm length is below what is generally needed to be a successful cornerback in the NFL, his intangibles are off the charts.

He’s one of the smartest prospects out there and uses his brain to more than make up for his smaller stature. Corner is such a position of need for the Eagles that I can see them taking a chance on the upside here.

19. New Orleans Saints – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

With their second pick of the night, the Saints look to address another need on their roster and build around Jameis Winston.

Jameson Williams picked up an ACL injury late in the 2021 season but otherwise could very easily have been the first wide receiver off the board. His deep speed would be a nice complement to what New Orleans already have with Michael Thomas (aka. slant boy).

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Malik Wills, QB, Liberty

The Steelers tend to be terrible at hiding their love for certain prospects and they went as far as taking Malik Willis and his entire family out for dinner this year.

They’re also dealing with the retirement of Big Ben Roethlisberger and have an uncertain future at the quarterback position.

Malik Willis is not going to be ready to start in week one, and maybe barely at all in year one. But his arm talent and huge upside mean he’s the second QB off the board. The Steelers are known for their patience too, so this is a great landing spot for Willis.

21. New England Patriots – Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College

Bill Belichick loves nothing more than drafting players who make their money in the trenches.

And with Zion Johnson still on the board and offering a host of versatility across the offensive line, this pick just makes so much sense.

22. Green Bay Packers – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Green Bay tends to draft for value rather than need, and that’s why I’m not convinced they will find themselves taking a receiver in round one this year. Even with the Devante Adams trade meaning they have a clear need, I’m not expecting them to move away from their usual draft rules.

And with Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis having slid down the board slightly, the Packers would surely pick him here. With Zadarius Smith having left in free agency, Karlaftis would be a great replacement and arguably add more versatility to this defense.

23. Arizona Cardinals – Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

There’s been some weird posturing going on in the desert between the Cardinals and Kyler Murray over the last few months – presumably as both sides dwell on the disappointment of not meeting the lofty goals they’d set for themselves in 2021.

One area the Cardinals need to improve in order to make Murray happier is surely their offensive line.

Tyler Linderbaum doesn’t fit every NFL team’s scheme, but with a smaller QB under center someone like Linderbaum would likely be a help. He’s also within my top 5 when you take positional value out of the equation, so this is a great addition of talent by Arizona.

24. Dallas Cowboys – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you yet another Jerry Jones pick.

Burks would give Dak Prescott something very different to work with. He’s a bit of a gadget receiver who you want to get the ball in the hands of. His YAC abilities are second to none in this draft class and his wingspan means he catches basically everyone.

I wrote in the season that Treylon Burks is a cheat code. With a high level QB throwing to him, his ceiling is incredibly high.

Treylon Burks
Will Jerry Jones take yet another player from his alma mater?

25. Buffalo Bills – Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

The Bills have got one of the strongest rosters in the entire NFL at the moment and don’t have a huge number of pending free agents to worry about losing either, giving them a huge amount of flexibility around how they approach the draft.

But if you saw the Chiefs beat the Bills in the playoffs, you know how much Buffalo needs to improve in its secondary.

Dax Hill can play safety and nickel corner equally as effectively and would give the Bills an interesting piece to weave into their defense.

26. Tennessee Titans – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

If any linebacker is going to be drafted in round one it will be Utah’s Devin Lloyd.

The Titans are a good team who have been able to bring back pretty much everyone and so can afford to make a bit of a luxury pick here.

Lloyd is a natural defensive leader, will play all three downs and offers great versatility. Plus he’d be playing for a former elite level linebacker – what better place for him to land?

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut

This pick might come as a bit of a surprise for some, but Travis Jones has elite level athleticism and a huge amount of upside for teams to tap into.

Lined up alongside Vita Vea, Travis Jones is likely to pose major problems for opposing offenses. There will be no way that teams will be able to block both guys effectively.

28. Green Bay Packers – Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M

The rich continue to get richer, and though the Packers still don’t find themselves taking a receiver they do end up with another talented player falling into their laps.

Kenyon Green would give Green Bay a number of options on the offensive line. He’ll be best at either guard spot but could get you out of a game at tackle in an emergency.

29. Kansas City Chiefs – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

I’m not as high on Trevor Penning as some, but he makes a lot of sense at this point.

The Chiefs invested heavily in their offensive line last year but right tackle is the one spot that they still don’t really have nailed down.

Trevor Penning is a proper old-school, aggressive, mauling type of right tackle. Adding him to an already much-improved group would be the final piece to the puzzle.

30. Kansas City Chiefs – George Pickens, WR, Georgia

After seeing the Packers trade away their star wide receiver and not replace him in the first round, the Chiefs elect not to follow that same strategy.

George Pickens would have been talked about in with the top five receivers in this draft had he not been injured for most of 2021. His upside is such that he could be a team’s WR1 and if he ends up in Kansas City he surely couldn’t ask for a better landed spot.

31. Cincinnati Bengals – Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

The Bengals continue to have needs along their offensive line. But with the lack of value here and other needs that they can also address, they look to another high value position here.

That leads them to taking Boye Mafe, the Minnesota edge rusher. Aside from Trey Hendrickson the Bengals pass rush group doesn’t really stand out so the chance to add a guy with significant amounts of athletic upside will surely appeal.

32. Detroit Lions – Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

The Lions have the final pick of the first round courtesy of the Matt Stafford trade and this may well be the spot at which they look to find their QB of the future.

I firmly believe that the Lions asked for Sam Howell and Malik Willis to be on their squad in the Senior Bowl because they had their eyes set on drafting one of them.

Howell is my QB1 and with the chance to sit behind Jared Goff for a while, I think this is a great landing spot for him.

Round Two

# Team Player College Position
33 Jacksonville Jaguars Lewis Cine Georgia S
34 Detroit Lions Nakobe Dean Georgia LB
35 New York Jets Kaiir Elam Florida CB
36 New York Giants Arnold Ebiketie Penn State EDGE
37 Houston Texans David Ojabo Michigan EDGE
38 New York Jets from Carolina Brandon Smith Penn State LB
39 Chicago Bears Jahan Dotson Penn State WR
40 Seattle Seahawks from Denver Tyler Smith Tulsa OT
41 Seattle Seahawks Matt Corral Ole Miss QB
42 Indianapolis Colts from Washington Skyy Moore Western Michigan WR
43 Atlanta Falcons Kyler Gordon Washington CB
44 Cleveland Browns Logan Hall Houston DT
45 Baltimore Ravens Nicholas Petit-Frere Ohio State OT
46 Minnesota Vikings Roger McCreary Auburn CB
47 Washington Commanders from Indianapolis Christian Watson North Dakota State WR
48 Chicago Bears from Los Angeles Chargers Martin Emerson Mississippi State CB
49 New Orleans Saints Chad Muma Wyoming LB
50 Kansas City Chiefs from Miami Perrion Winfrey Oklahoma DT
51 Philadelphia Eagles Christian Harris Alabama LB
52 Pittsburgh Steelers Sean Rhyan UCLA OT
53 Green Bay Packers from Las Vegas Khalil Shakir Boise State WR
54 New England Patriots Darrian Beavers Cincinnati LB
55 Arizona Cardinals Nik Bonitto Oklahoma EDGE
56 Dallas Cowboys Bernhard Raimann Central Michigan OT
57 Buffalo Bills Breece Hall Iowa State RB
58 Atlanta Falcons from Tennessee Kenneth Walker Michigan State RB
59 Green Bay Packers Channing Tindall Georgia LB
60 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trey McBride Colorado State TE
61 San Francisco 49ers Tariq Woolen UTSA CB
62 Kansas City Chiefs Jaquan Brisker Penn State S
63 Cincinnati Bengals Cole Strange Chattanooga IOL
64 Denver Broncos from LA Rams  Leo Chenal Wisconsin LB

Round Three

# Team Player College Position
65 Jacksonville Jaguars Jamaree Salyer Georgia IOL
66 Detroit Lions Jalen Pitre Baylor S
67 New York Giants John Metchie III Alabama WR
68 Houston Texans Troy Andersen Montana State LB
69 New York Jets Nick Cross Maryland S
70 Jacksonville Jaguars from Carolina Jalen Tolbert South Alabama WR
71 Chicago Bears Drake Jackson USC EDGE
72 Seattle Seahawks Haskell Garrett Ohio State DT
73 Indianapolis Colts from Washington Desmond Ridder Cincinnati QB
74 Atlanta Falcons Alec Pierce Cincinnati WR
75 Denver Broncos Darian Kinnard Kentucky OT
76 Baltimore Ravens Kingsley Enagbare South Carolina EDGE
77 Minnesota Vikings Isaiah Likely Coastal Carolina TE
78 Cleveland Browns Quay Walker Georgia LB
79 Los Angeles Chargers Abraham Lucas Washington State OT
80 Houston Texans from New Orleans Calvin Austin III Memphis WR
81 New York Giants from Miami  Isaiah Spiller Texas A&M RB
82 Atlanta Falcons from Indianapolis Carson Strong Nevada QB
83 Philadelphia Eagles Kerby Joseph Illinois S
84 Pittsburgh Steelers David Bell Purdue WR
85 New England Patriots Cameron Thomas San Diego State EDGE
86 Las Vegas Raiders Coby Bryant Cincinnati CB
87 Arizona Cardinals Cam Taylor-Britt Nebraska CB
88 Dallas Cowboys Myjai Sanders Cincinnati EDGE
89 Buffalo Bills Phidarian Mathis Alabama DT
90 Tennessee Titans Jeremy Ruckert Ohio State TE
91 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sam Williams Ole Miss EDGE
92 Green Bay Packers Bryan Cook Cincinnati S
93 Kansas City Chiefs Amare Barno Virginia Tech EDGE
94 San Francisco 49ers Dylan Parham Memphis IOL
95 Cincinnati Bengals Marcus Jones Houston CB
96 Denver Broncos from LA Rams  Rasheed Walker Penn State OT
97 Detroit Lions Ed Ingram LSU IOL
98 New Orleans Saints Josh Paschal Kentucky EDGE
99 Cleveland Browns Max Mitchell Louisiana-Lafayette OT
100 Baltimore Ravens Brian Asamoah Oklahoma LB
101 Philadelphia Eagles from New Orleans DeMarvin Leal Texas A&M DT
102 Miami Dolphins from San Francisco  Damone Clark LSU LB
103 Kansas City Chiefs Romeo Doubs Nevada WR
104 Los Angeles Rams Akayleb Evans Missouri CB
105 San Francisco 49ers Kyren Williams Notre Dame RB

So there you have it. Let us know what you think on twitter – either @ninetynineyards or @UK_draft

Why not try out our Mock Draft Simulator below and see what you can come up with? And don’t forget to check out our brilliant Draft Talk podcasts too!

2022 Season Kick Off Show Ninety-Nine Yards

  1. 2022 Season Kick Off Show
  2. DRAFT TALK – 1st Round Preview
  3. DRAFT TALK – Final Mock Draft Madness
  4. DRAFT TALK – QB Special
  5. DRAFT TALK – Top 5 TE + LB
  6. DRAFT TALK – Top 5 CBs + S
  7. DRAFT TALK – Top 5 OT + IOL
  8. DRAFT TALK – Matt Waletzko Interview Special
  9. DRAFT TALK – Top 5 EDGE + DTs
  10. DRAFT TALK – Top 5 RBs + WRs

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