FPC 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Welcome to the second installment of Full Press Coverage’s NFL Mock Draft series. A new mock will publish each Monday until the real thing takes place on Thursday, April 28th at 8:00 am EST. As for now, this is FPC 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0.
In the first installment of the FPC Mock Draft series, the Detroit Lions went with a quarterback early. However, in version 2.0 of the Mock Draft, Detroit instead selects a defensive player with the second overall pick. In fact, no quarterback was taken until the sixth overall selection. However, the Lions do have an extra first-round pick, so we shall see what they can accomplish with that.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan (6’7″, 260 pounds)
With the first overall pick, the Jaguars select Aidan Hutchinson, edge rusher from Michigan. Without a rock-solid quarterback, no team traded up to the top of the draft. Therefore, Jacksonville is “forced” to take an elite defensive player coming off an impressive 2021 season. Hutchinson’s 14.0 sacks were not only great, but they helped Michigan get to the College Football playoffs. The Jaguars will be hoping for similar NFL success with Hutchinson.
2. Detroit Lions: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon (6’5″, 253 pounds)
As mentioned in the introduction, the Lions select an edge rusher. It would be the first time since the 2000 NFL Draft that two defensive players went first and second overall. To make it happen, the talented Kayvon Thibodeaux would likely have to convert from his defensive end position in college to fit Detroit’s current 3-4 scheme. However, listed at only 253 pounds, Thibodeaux has the lean frame and athleticism to become an outsider linebacker in the NFL.
3. Houston Texans: OT Evan Neal, Alabama (6’7″, 337 pounds)
This is a case of best player available meets team needs. The Texans offensive line ranked last in Adjusted Line Yards, a metric used to quantify running efficiency. They need to infuse the unit with talent and Evan Neal is an elite lineman prospect. He played at one of the most pro-style offensive systems in college. Therefore, the expectation would be that Neal would immediately start for Houston at either left or right tackle.
4. New York Jets: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State (6’4″, 310 pounds)
Much like the team selecting third overall, the Jets need help on the offensive line. Ikem Ekwonu could provide that, and he offers versatility to play either inside or outside. That way, the Jets aren’t pigeonholed into addressing specific offensive line needs, and instead, focus on getting the best possible collection of players.
5. New York Giants: EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia (6’5″, 272 pounds)
Knowing that the Giants have another top 10 pick (more on that soon) they could truly afford to ignore team needs and go with the best player. Luckily for them, an elite athlete on the board also fills an important role as a pass rusher. Travon Walker is one of seven players in this class with a Relative Athletic Score of at least 9.99. Considering that this is a top-five pick, the Giants take a shot for the absolute upside, hoping for an impact in the all-important pass-rush department.
6. Carolina Panthers: QB Malik Willis, Liberty (6’0″, 219 pounds)
As mentioned in the introduction. The first quarterback off the board goes to Carolina. The Panthers select the talented and mobile quarterback Malik Willis. Given their current situation, the team really has nowhere to go but up at the quarterback spot. Carolina still has Sam Darnold on the roster so this could be a camp battle for the starting job. However, the Panthers could also go the 49ers route from last year. Basically red-shirt their small school quarterback and give him a season to learn the pro game. Either way, Carolina takes a shot on Willis, even coming out of Liberty.
7. New York Giants (from CHI): OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State (6’5″, 307 pounds)
The Giants received the seventh overall pick from the Bears as part of the Justin Fields trade. And while they went after a high-end defensive prospect in the fifth spot, this time they turn to the offense. Much like the other New York team, the Giants select an offensive lineman after spending a top ten pick just a couple of years ago. But because they did that, Charles Cross could enter the NFL and play right tackle, instead of needing to immediately protect the blindside.
8. Atlanta Falcons: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame (6’4″, 220 pounds)
Before long, the defensive back run will be here. For now, safety Kyle Hamilton is the first player from the secondary selected. Hamilton provides big-play ability, as showcased by his 8 interceptions at Notre Dame. He can also contribute in the run game with 138 tackles in 31 career games in college. The Falcons are likely looking for an upgrade at either starting safety spot and Hamilton could be an answer.
9. Seattle Seahawks: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh (6’3″, 217 pounds)
The Seahawks traded away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson. Included in the package that they received from Denver is the ninth overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. At number nine in this mock, Seattle selects Wilson’s potential replacement in Kenny Pickett. Even as rookie, Pickett brings four years of starting experience from college into the NFL. That could help him transition quickly to the pros playing for a team that may need him to start from day one.
10. New York Jets (from SEA): CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati (6’3″, 190 pounds)
After addressing the offense with their first pick, the Jets select on the defensive side this time. There are two cornerbacks in this 2022 draft class that could potentially be top ten selections. In this particular mock, only one gets that distinction and just makes the top ten. Of the top two cornerbacks, Ahmad Gardner appears to be the more durable one, only missing four games throughout his collegiate career. Garnder has the size and skills to go up against opponent’s top options, which the Jets will be looking for.
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11. Washington Commanders: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (6’0″, 183 pounds)
One of the latest trends in the NFL is drafting a college wide receiver to pair with a former teammate. Now, Washington would not quite be doing that, but it’s close. Typically teams match a quarterback, but in this case the Commanders select wide receiver Garrett Wilson from Ohio State. He would join a pass-catching corps led by former Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin. After acquiring a new quarterback via trade, Washington drafts Wilson as another offensive weapon.
12. Minnesota Vikings: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia (6’6″, 341 pounds)
Earlier, when writing about Travon Walker, I mentioned the Relative Athletic Score and how only seven players had a grade of 9.99 or greater. Well, Jordan Davis is one of only three players in this 2022 draft class with a perfect 10 in the RAS metric. At the twelfth overall pick, the Vikings would add an impact player to their defensive line. During prior seasons in Minnesota, the defensive line was not only a strength for the team, but also contained depth. Davis could immediately contribute as either a starter or a rotational piece as a rookie.
13. Houston Texans (from CLE): EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue (6’4″, 266 pounds)
Playing a 4-3 defense, the Texans want their edge rusher to be defensive ends. Listed at 6’4″ and 266 pounds, George Karlaftis provides that body type. However, it is his impressive play in college will likely make him a first-round selection. In this particular mock, Karlaftis ends up with an AFC South team. As one of the most powerful and technical pass-rushers in the draft, he would be a tremendous addition to the Houston defensive line.
14. Baltimore Ravens: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa (6’7″, 325 pounds)
Going back to Football Outsiders’ offensive line metrics, the Ravens ranked 29th adjusted line yards and 29th in adjusted sack rate. So Baltimore’s line did not meet performance expectations in both the run game and in pass protection. That is where Trevor Penning could come in and immediately contribute to both facets of offensive line play. If the Ravens made this selection, it would likely mean Pennig would start at right tackle during his rookie season.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Mia): CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU (6’0″, 190 pounds)
For their inaugural of three first-round picks, the Eagles grab arguably the most talented player left on the board. When writing about Ahmad Gardner, I mentioned that there were two cornerbacks who could potentially go in the top ten of the NFL Draft. Well, injuries cause Derek Stingley to fall to the fifteenth selection, as he has only played in 10 of a possible 23 games over his final two collegiate seasons. Philadelphia currently has a couple of solid starting cornerbacks, but could use another one, specifically on the outside. As long as he can remain healthy, Stingley should be able to start on the perimeter as a rookie.
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16. Philadelphia Eagles (from Ind): LB Devin Lloyd, Utah (6’3″, 237 pounds)
After getting the fifteenth pick in a trade with the Dolphins, the Eagles also acquired the very next selection from the Colts. At the sixteenth spot in the 2022 NFL Draft, Philadelphia take another defensive player. This time they address their linebacking corps with Devin Lloyd. During his final season in college, Lloyd showcased all of his tools in the linebacking belt. Not only did he produce 111 tackles, but Lloyd also chipped in the pass-rush with 7 sacks. Likely the Eagles would play him primarily as an inside linebacker.
17. Detroit Lions (from LAC): QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss (6’2″, 212 pounds)
Chargers sent 2022 1st (17th overall)
Lions send 2022 1st (32nd overall) + 2022 3rd (66th overall) + 2023 3rd
This is the first trade fabricated for this Mock Draft. From the Lions perspective, they trade up to get ahead of the Saints in order to secure what they hope is their quarterback of the future. For the Chargers, they make this trade to acquire extra assets. A couple of third-round selection should be enough to move down 15 spots while still getting access to a fifth-year option with Matt Corral. Without any glaring needs, and no obvious can’t miss players available, the Chargers decided to push back their decision for now.
18. New Orleans Saints: QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (6’3″, 211 pounds)
After getting sniped by the Lions in a trade-up, the Saints still secure a quarterback for the future. Desmond Ridder is a raw prospect but possesses tremendous athletic upside. He led his team to the College Football Playoffs in 2021 and appears to have the intangibles to quarterback men in the NFL. However, he may need to sit and learn to start his professional career. This is almost perfect considering that New Orleans has a quarterback under contract who is a great rushing threat. So in theory they could start Taysom Hill early in 2022 and eventually transition to Ridder without changing much of the offense.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Drake London, USC (6’4″, 219 pounds)
With their natural first-round pick, the Eagles switch gears. After going defense with the two selections that they traded for, Philadelphia addresses the offensive side of the football at nineteen. In a draft class full of potential impact wide receivers, Drake London brings an impressive size to the NFL. The Eagles could certainly add someone with that body type to their wide receiver room. It would give Philadelphia a true outside threat, forcing opponents to defend the entire field.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M (6’4″, 323 pounds)
Over the last couple of seasons, the Steelers have lost all of the pieces that once made up a rather impressive offensive line. Now, the team needs to rebuild the entire foundation. While they have signed some veteran free agents, Pittsburgh will still likely look to the draft to address the offensive line. Kenyon Green gets the green light from the Steelers to join their line.
21. New England Patriots: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington (5’11”, 193 pounds)
In recent seasons, one staple of the Patriots defense has been a shutdown cornerback. Trent McDuffie has the athletic traits that could lead him to bing a first-round pick. Specifically for New England, they would covet McDuffie’s high football IQ. He could start right away and make an impact in pass coverage and in the run game.
22. Green Bay Packers (from LV): WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas (6’2″, 225 pounds)
One of the most stunning recent NFL transactions was the Packers trading away Davante Adams to the Raiders. Green Bay could immediately look for a replacement using one of the picks they received from Las Vegas. Treylon Burks would be a perfect fit for the Matt LaFleur offensive system. As the Packers have shown over the past three seasons, the slot receiver is a key part of the LaFleur. Burks had tremendous production playing in the slot during his college career, so he could join the team and contribute immediately. Because of Burks’ size and speed combination, he could also be used as an outside wide receiver by the Packers. Moving pass-catchers around the formation in another mark of the LaFleur offense.
23. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State (6’5″, 254 pounds)
The Cardinals came closer last year as they made the playoffs for the first time under the current coaching regime. A key piece or two and Arizona could make some noise in the post-season. An additional pass-rusher might be just the way to spend their 2022 first-round pick. If they select Jermaine Johnson, the Cardinals would infuse some out speed to their pass-rush. Adding any athlete like Johnson would be good for any team, especially when they can play football so well. He can get after the quarterback, but can also contribute in the run game as evidenced by his 70 tackles during the 2021 season.
24. Dallas Cowboys: C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa (6’2″, 296 pounds)
For a team whose identity has been tied to its offensive line, it has been some time since the Cowboys addressed the unit in the first round. Back in 2014 was the last time Dallas used their first selection on the offensive line. But that streak ends in this Mock Draft. While the Cowboys still have a couple of stalwarts along the line, they invest their first-round pick on the unit. Tyler Linderbaum gets the call from Dallas with the hopes that he can become their center of the future.
25. Buffalo Bills: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State (6’0″, 187 pounds)
Looking at the Bills roster, there are not any massive needs. A team like Buffalo, with championship aspirations, will likely look to select the best player available. Chris Olave would be a welcomed addition to an already impressive passing attack. Continuing to reinforce a strength is key for the Bills to help reach their lofty goals. This is especially true when the wide receiver position is one of the most important on the football field.
26. Tennessee Titans: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama (6’1″, 179 pounds)
One of the biggest issues surrounding Jameson Williams’ draft stock is his injury. A late-season ACL may jeopardize a portion of his 2022 season. The range where I expect wide receivers of Williams status to be drafted will be primarily the end of the first round. However, in the range, we typically find contending teams that may be looking for immediate contributions from rookies. The Tians could absorb the blow of Williams missing out on games simply because of their offensive philosophy. Tennesse will likely attempt to win games with their rushing attack. If they can make the playoffs, it is in the post-season that the Titans would want to most utilize Williams and his speed as an extra dimension to their attack.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia (6’3″, 304 pounds)
The Buccaneers couldn’t keep running it back entirely, every year. While they have managed to retain several key pieces, Tampa Bay does have some holes to fill. Most of the defensive starters from last season are slated to return, except along the defensive line. Specifically, defensive end. Even though Devonte Wyatt was part of a 4-3 system in college, he should be able to play in the Buccaneers 3-4 front. He fits into a similar body-type tier as some of Tampa Bay’s defensive ends from 2021.
28. Green Bay Packers: OG Zion Johnson, Boston College (6’3″, 312 pounds)
For the second selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Packers stay on offense. It is remarkable how close to consistent the Green Bay offensive line has been considering how many key pieces they have lost over the last few seasons. But now, it is catching up, as there is virtually no depth on the line. The Packers address that here with the versatile Zion Johnson. Listed as a guard, Johnson could play multiple positions along the line, a trait that Green Bay highly coverts.
29. Miami Dolphins (from SF): LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia (5’11”, 229 pounds)
Nakobe Dean possesses a well-rounded game and can fill all of the responsibilities of a linebacker. He can tackle, he can blitz and get after the quarterback, and he can cover in space. While his college team ran a 4-3 defense, Dean has the skill-set to fit into the Dolphins 3-4 system. He could theoretically play either inside or outside linebacker for Miami, which adds to his value. Selecting a linebacker in the first round, the Dolphins would likely want him to contribute on all three downs. Dean has that ability so he should be worth taking in this range.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson (6’0″, 194 pounds)
At the end of the season, specifically the playoffs, the Chiefs defense was exposed. More than anything some help on the back end might be the most pressing need if Kansas City wants to return to the Super Bowl. Adding to their cornerback room, the Chiefs select Andrew Booth. He possesses the skill-set to eventually become Kansas City’s top shutdown corner. This situation would be the best of both worlds. Booth would be joining a team with a few established veterans to learn from and not be forced into facing opponent’s top receivers immediately as a rookie.
31. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida (6’1″, 191 pounds)
Just like the previous team, who the Bengals beat in the playoffs, Cincinnati’s season ended after allowing a lot of pass-catching production in a post-season game. The Bengals secondary has many solid pieces, but they could potentially use one more starting cornerback. Kaiir Elam could contribute immediately, if not as a starter then as a rotational piece.
32. Los Angeles Chargers (from LAR): OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan (6’6″, 303 pounds)
This is part of the result of the trade-up earlier by the Lions. Arguably one of the Chargers’ biggest needs is a right tackle of the future. In this Mock Draft, their gamble pays off and the Chargers land Bernhard Raimann with the final pick of the first round. The converted tight end may still require some adjustment time upon arriving in the NFL. But if Raimann can hit on his athletic potential, then the Chargers will truly be content with this trade down, and this pick.
Thank you for reading FPC 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL Draft Content available on Full Press Coverage.
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