With just days until the NFL Draft, Draft Talk’s Stu releases his final mock draft of the 2022 Draft cycle. How much has changed since Mock 1?
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Jaguars GM Trent Baalke has form for picking Edge rushers with high upside (see Smith, Aldon) at the top of the draft. That trend continues here with the Georgia Bulldogs man.
2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson – EDGE – Michigan
Much like we saw last year when Penei Sewell fell into their lap, the Lions front office will be high-fiving and cheering when they turn the card in. Hutchinson is a Lions type player and they will be delighted they have snared him here.
3. Houston Texans – Derek Stingley – CB – LSU
The Texans are in the position to sign any player at any position given the dearth of talent on their roster. Stingley has re-established himself as a name at the top of draft boards over the last few weeks and the Texans hope they get the 2019 version.
4. New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux – EDGE – Oregon
Thibodeaux is player with tremendous potential and too much has been made of character concerns in the weeks leading up to the draft. The Jets need help in rushing the passer and Thibodeaux gives them explosion off the edge
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (via NYG) – Malik Willis – QB – Liberty
It’s been no secret that Mike Tomlin admired Willis when at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. The Giants would be happy to take extra some capital into next year when they may be looking to grab their ownp we QB of the future. This trade makes sense for all parties involved
6. Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett – QB – Pitt
The Panthers take yet another swing at the QB position after multiple recent high-profile fails. Pickett, whilst limited in his upside, might be the most ‘pro-ready’ QB in the draft and might just do enough to save Matt Rhule’s job at least for another year
7. New York Giants – Ahmad Gardner – CB – Cincinatti
‘Sauce’ had a tremendous time with the Bearcats, and rose to prominence in 2021. Given the way new Giants DC Wink Martindale likes to blitz, having good corners is paramount to defensive success. Gardner is one of the top CBs in the draft and would fit nicely here
8. Atlanta Falcons – Garrett Wilson – WR – Ohio
Although WR is not where I’d go if I were the Falcons, the cupboard is bare in the receiver room with Calvin Ridley suspended and Russell Gage off partying with TB12. The Falcons need someone else other than Kyle Pitts to catch the ball, and Wilson seems a safe bet in the NFL
9. New Orleans Saints (via SEA) – Evan Neal – OT – Alabama
The Saints acquired draft capital for a reason. With the board falling this way, the make their move and snare an offensive tackle to replace Armstead and bolster an already stout offensive line
10. New York Jets – Ickey Ekwonu – OT – NC State
The Jets would be turning cartwheels here. Drafting Ekwonu at 10 – who they could’ve easily drafted at 4 – is a dream scenario. With question marks over Mekhi Becton’s long-term future, Ekwonu can either start as guard or tackle immediately.
11. Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton – S – Notre Dame
The Commanders simply go BPA here in taking Safety Kyle Hamilton. A do-it-all player in the secondary. Hamilton will fit in with whatever role they wish to deploy him on a young, potential laden defence
12. Minnesota Vikings – Jermaine Johnson – EDGE – FSU
The Vikings select Johnson, who for me is the most-well rounded edge rusher in the draft. Explosive in pass rush, stout in defending the run he gives the Vikings a great complement to Za’Darius Smith and the natural replacement when they decide to move on from Danielle Hunter
13. Houston Texans – Charles Cross – OT – Mississippi
The Texans are on the board again. When needs are so plentiful, it makes sense to look at the trenches. Laremy Tunsil looks to be sticking around, but Tytus Howard as struggled on the other side. Cross is a smooth pass protector who could start on the right and move to the left if/when Tunsil upsticks
14. Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis – DT – Georgia
Is there anyone who is more a ‘Raven’ in this draft that the behemoth that is Jordan Davis? In a division where running the ball is paramount, Davis will aim to solidify the interior of the Ravens defence
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Andrew Booth – CB – Clemson
The Eagles need help on the periphery on both sides of the ball. Here they find a running mate for Darius Slay. Booth is an athletic corner, with all the traits required to be successful at the position
16. Seattle Seahawks (via NO) – Devin Lloyd – LB – Utah
Having released Bobby Wagner during the off-season, this feels like the kind of picks the Seahawks (not necessarily me) would make at this position. Lloyd is a dynamic linebacker with ‘get home’ pass rush ability as well as plenty of instincts in the open field
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Devonte Wyatt – DT – Georgia
In a pass happy AFC West, pairing Devonte Wyatt with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa would allow the Chargers to drop plenty into coverage. A penetrating style DT who has gone under the radar on the Georgia D-line, Wyatt ticks all the boxes
18. Philadelphia Eagles – Drake London – WR – USC
Devonte Smith gave the Eagles a shifty route runner last year, now they add a big bodied receiver with a huge catch radius to complement this. Jalen Hurts would certainly be happy to have a big target to get him out of trouble when needed
19. New Orleans Saints – Jameson Williams – WR – Alabama
Jameson Williams is not only a field stretcher, but has the potential to be a complete receiver at the next level. The Saints need to upgrade at the position. Adding Williams to Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara gives the Saints plenty of talent at the skill positions.
20. New York Giants (VIA PIT) – George Karlaftis – EDGE – Purdue
The Giants need someone to rush from the edge if they are going to implement their new defensive scheme effectively. Karlaftis has seen his stock tumble over the last few months, but he still has plenty to offer and seems a ‘fit’ for the Giants
21. Kansas City Chiefs (VIA NE) – Chris Olave – WR – Ohio
The Chiefs are going through somewhat of an evolution on offence. Chris Olave gives them an explosive threat – he is dynamic, with excellent route running skills. Given the bigger bodied receivers the Chiefs have snapped up, he will not be expected to carry the load, but rather use his skill set to explosive effect. The Patriots are happy to accumulate some draft picks in later rounds.
22. Green Bay Packers – Trevor Penning – OT – Northern Iowa
Trevor Penning is a one-man wrecking crew in the run game. With Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon on the roster, the running game will certainly be featured in Green Bay. This move also would allow Elgton Jenkins to move inside, where I feel he is better suited
23. Arizona Cardinals – Zion Johnson – G – Boston College
The Cardinals need to keep Kyler Murray happy. One way to do this is by adding one of the top interior O-linemen in this draft. Johnson can easily slot into either guard spot for now, and even take over at centre when Rodney Hudson eventually moves on.
24. Dallas Cowboys – Kenyon Green – G – Texas A&M
Previously an area of strength for the Cowboys, the O-line has somewhat diminished over the last couple of seasons. Step forward Kenyon Green. Green can play multiple spots across the O-line and is a rugged competitor. Maybe not the flashy pick that Jerry may covet, but certainly a sensible one
25. Buffalo Bills – Kyler Gordon – CB – Washington
The Bills have been so close to making that final step over the last couple of seasons. Opposite Tre White, they don’t really have much at corner. In a bit of surprise, The Bills choose ‘the other’ Washington cornerback.
26. Tennessee Titans – Desmond Ridder – QB – Cincinatti
QB is a sneaky need for the Titans. They haven’t been able to progress in the playoffs with Ryan Tannehill under centre. Ridder offers a similar skill set but comes at a much cheaper price down the road. Freeing up some capital may allow the Titans to add some further pieces to the roster moving forward
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Daxton Hill – S – Michigan
The Bucs have invested at the safety position in the off-season, but that shouldn’t stop them from drafting a do-it-all type player in the secondary. Hill can line up at numerous spots in numerous schemes and gives the Bucs a player to hang their hat on for the long-term.
28. Green Bay Packers – George Pickens – WR – Georgia
Having lost Devonte Adams via trade to the Raiders, the Packers look to secure a number 1 receiver. There are some injury and character concerns with Pickens but he won’t be phased stepping into the role, and has the ability to be a true WR1 on the perimeter.
29. New England Patriots (via KC) – Lewis Cine – S – Georgia
The Patriots covet the secondary positions perhaps more than most. Cine is a violent, physical hitter who plays downhill with a purpose. His outstanding ability on special teams is certain to have caught the eye of a certain Mr Belichick.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Arnold Ebiketie – EDGE – Penn State
The Chiefs could do with some pass rush to aid Chris Jones on the interior. Frank Clark has not panned out as the Chiefs envisaged when they traded for him. Ebiketie is a densely built, twitchy athlete on the edge with excellent power than could be a real nuisance for opposing tackles
31. New York Jets (via CIN) – Jahan Dotson – WR – Penn State
The Jets passed on a receiver in their early picks – loading up in the trenches – however, they package together some of their day 2 capital to dip back in and snare a shifty playmaker in Jahan Dotson
32. Detroit Lions – Matt Corral – QB – Ole Miss
The Lions take a flyer on a QB with the 5th year option available. Corral has plenty to like but requires a bit of seasoning. A year behind current incumbent Jared Goff certainly wouldn’t do him any harm.
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