This will not be a typical NFL Draft. There is no unanimous number one pick, there is no quarterback that teams are feening over, and there is not a truly standout player that is seen as “the guy.” This could be an extremely trade-heavy draft with teams opting to stockpile picks rather than spend a ton of capital on one guy. Here is our first-round pick predictions for the 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker, Defensive End – Georgia
This pick seems to have changed 20 times over the last few months, but the sportsbooks are now offering Walker as the highest odds to go off the board here. The Jags have a ton of needs, and maybe they trade back, but Walker would be a great fit. It felt like Aidan Hutchinson was a lock here for quite some time, but most reports are leaning Walker here.
2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson – Defensive End – Michigan
This is a dream scenario for Detroit. They get the player who is likely the most talented in this draft and they get the hometown kid. Anytime you can get a guy born in your state who also happened to attend the biggest university in the state, it’s a total win-win situation.
3. Houston Texas – Ahmed (Sauce) Gardner Jr. – Cornerback – Cincinnati
Gardner is my favorite defensive back in this draft although many will also point at Derek Stingley Jr. Gardner has not faced as many off-field issues and has been a team captain for the most successful Cincy teams in recent memory. The Texans will have so many options with this pick.
4. New York Jets – Garrett Wilson Jr. – Wide Receiver – Ohio State
The Jets have needs all over the board but getting some offensive help and building a strong wide receiver room should be a priority. They pick again at number 10 so grabbing the most talented wide receiver in the class is doable at number four.
5. New York Giants – Evan Neal – OT – Alabama
The Giants have an offensive-minded first-year head coach, and he wants to help his quarterback and his running back who can’t stay on the field. There is a lot of debate over who the top offensive lineman is, but I love Neal.
6. Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett – QB – Pittsburgh
I don’t think Kenny Pickett or any of the QBs in this class are top-10 picks, but I also know that Matt Rhule is likely sweating over his job security, and he knows one good quarterback can change his fortunes in Carolina.
7. New York Giants – Kayvon Thibodeaux – DE – Oregon
It felt crazy to imagine Thibodeaux falling this far even a few months ago but the market isn’t that high on him and with the Giants picking twice in the top-10, they can go best available here instead of looking at a dire positional need. They wouldn’t mind adding a guy who can get to the QB.
8. Atlanta Falcons – Drake London – WR – USC
The Falcons have 10,000 needs and QB is definitely one of them, but right now they have quarterbacks on the roster, they don’t have many wide receivers. They can go a lot of different directions with this pick, but London was an absolute stud at USC and can replace Calvin Ridley.
9. Seattle Seahawks – Charles Cross – OT – Mississippi State
You could make an argument that the Hawks should draft a QB with this pick, but they seem to like Drew Lock and one of their biggest issues over the last five years has been the offensive line. Cross is a massive figure who will help secure the line in his rookie year.
10. New York Jets – Derek Stingley Jr. – CB – LSU
Stingley Jr. is definitely a risk considering he has had a fair share of off field issues, but this is as far as the Jets will let him drop, grabbing a guy that has the potential to turn into a Jalen Ramsey or next-level cornerback at this level. He has tons of skill.
11. Washington Commanders – Chris Olave – WR – Ohio State
They grab the best wide receiver available and help new QB Carson Wentz.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Hamilton – S – Notre Dame
Hard-hitting safety to shore up the Vikings defensive backfield.
13.Houston Texans – Ikem Ekwonu – OT – North Carolina State
Unanimous All-American and awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best blocker in the ACC.
14. Baltimore Ravens – Jameson Williams – WR – Alabama
The Ravens need another weapon for Lamar Jackson. Williams could have been the top guy in this draft had it not been for an ACL tear in the National Championship game.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Jermaine Johnson II – DE – Florida State
Transfer from Georgia excelled in only year with the Seminoles.
16. New Orleans Saints – Malik Willis – QB – Liberty
The Saints get a developmental QB who can learn behind Jameis Winston for a year.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Davis – DT – Georgia
Won the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Outland Trophy as a senior in 2021.
18. Philadelphia Eagles – Treylon Burks – WR – Arkansas
This might be a reach for Burks, but nothing that would shock us out of Philly.
19. New Orleans Saints – Tyler Smith – OT – Tulsa
You might not know his name now, but you will soon. His play is violent and physical.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Andrew Booth Jr. – CB – Clemson
The Steelers miss out on the top two QBs and opt for the best remaining DB.
21. New England Patriots – Devin Lloyd – LB – Utah
Long and athletic linebackers have earned the eye of NFL scouts and Lloyd fits this bill.
22. Green Bay Packers – Trevor Penning – OT – Northern Iowa
This small school lineman packs a big school punch.
23. Arizona Cardinals – Jahan Dotson – WR – Penn State
This will likely be a reach, but AZ needs to stock its wide receiver room and make Kyler Murray happy.
24. Dallas Cowboys – George Karlaftis – DE – Purdue
The Cowboys need another pass rusher and Karlaftis was a machine at Purdue.
25. Buffalo Bills – Trent McDuffie – CB – Washington
A pesky press-man defender with the tools to excel in zone. He can play outside or from the slot.
26. Tennessee Titans – Zion Johnson – OG – Boston College
He has knock-back pop at the point of attack with the ability to win the block in a test of strength.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devonte Wyatt – DT – Georgia
The Bucs lost a ton of production on the defensive line this year and need to go young now.
28. Green Bay Packers – Daxton Hill – S – Michigan
Hybrid safety/nickel with an outstanding blend of speed, explosiveness, and coverage versatility.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – David Ojabo -DE – Michigan
A top-10 guy but got hurt, the Chiefs can wait for recovery and take the best pick available.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Christian Watson – WR – North Dakota State
Possesses a combination of size and speed. Needs to elevate his game against bigger, faster players.
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Linderbaum – C – Iowa
Won the Rimington Trophy and was named a unanimous All-American in 2021.
32. Detroit Lions – Lewis Cine – S- Georgia
Plays with an urgent, downhill approach, which leads to memorable collisions.