In the latest FPC NFL Mock Draft, defensive players dominate the top of the draft but four quarterbacks are taken in round one.
It is time for the fourth FPC NFL Mock Draft of the season with just a few weeks away from the real thing.
Within the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, you will see reaches and confusing picks. Yet, this draft, as a whole, could be better than most of the recent years. Overall, the draft possesses game-changing talent at just about every position. What it lacks in quarterback depth, it excels everywhere across the board. Fans of the following teams should enjoy this first round, due to the diverse nature of the talent assembled.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aiden Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
The former Wolverine standout immediately adds another dimension to the Jags’ defense. Granted, the team tallied thirty-two last year, the Jaguars need another cornerstone defender. With Josh Allen already there, Hutchinson brings the natural rush ability and aggressiveness to the fold. Jacksonville loaded up on offense during free agency. Now, the defense takes the stage.
2. Detroit Lions: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
For the balance of this century, the backend of the Lions’ secondary lack an identity. Detroit tried and fail multiple times to craft an identity. Hamilton presents the Lions with an instant playmaker on the backend. Blessed with the ability to not only cover, he shows the needed aggression to drive down on backs in the run game. Hamilton, his ability and presence grants Detroit the needed infusion and identity.
3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Lovie Smith thrived, coaching the Tampa 2 at various stops during his career. One of the hallmarks is twitchy edge rushers that fire upfield and terrorize quarterbacks. Now, that isn’t to say that Smith did not evolve his scheme in the ensuing years. However, disrupting the quarterback remains the first goal of any defense. Athletically, the former Oregon product screams off the edge with a burst, footwork, and the ability to close down.
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4. New York Jets: Derek Stingley, Jr, CB, LSU
At four, the Jets need to hit on this pick. Facing the Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins six times a season makes this pick crucial to their immediate success. With Stingley, New York can set him out of that proverbial island and focus on other areas of the field. Mirroring, hip flip, and late hands make him the best available corner in this draft class.
5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
If the Giants want to successfully move the ball and score points, blocking must improve. Regardless of believing in Daniel Jones or not, the Giants barely scored fifteen points a game. Furthermore, if they want Saquon Barkley to regain his post-injury form, assembling a quality offensive line starts now. Neal, a cornerstone tackle, possesses the handwork and mass to thwart a bull rush, bust the feet, and agility to stop a wide rush.
6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
Matt Rhule’s tenure hangs by a thread. The Panthers’ owner, David Tepper is an impatient billionaire. Rhule, considered an offensive mind, fails to generate anything positive offensive. Much like the Giants, Carolina cannot block a soul up front, limiting their offense. Ekwonu makes complete sense here. A Charlotte native that seems excited about playing at home, Ekwonu’s blend of heavy hands and drive blocking will open holes for the skill position players.
7. New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
On the other side of the ball, the Giants lack secondary help. James Bradberry could leave via trade at any moment. As a result, the secondary would suffer immensely. Meanwhile, Sauce Gardner enters the league without surrendering a single touchdown Over two-thousand snaps and no one scored. Granted, that will not continue in the NFL, but Gardner athletic palette screams shutdown corner. First, the arm length will see physicality throughout the play. Next, the ability to stay hip-to-hip allows him to stay active in a play.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Another homecoming that fills a need. Granted, the Falcons could’ve selected Malik Willis. However, for a unit that only tallied eighteen sacks a year ago, the Falcons need immediate help. Plus, Walker’s ability off the edge will help take the focus of Grady Jarrett on the interior. Atlanta needs help everywhere, why not start building by adding a pass rusher.
9. Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
No, Drew Lock is not the answer to any question in regards to the future. Instead, Willis could sit for a few games, get up to speed, and begin the new era of football. With his mobility and ability to make every throw, Willis automatically connects with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.
10. New York Jets: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
If you subtract the fifteen sacks from their three defensive tackles, the Jets accounted for only eighteen sacks. Under those circumstances, edge help needs to be at the forefront of this team’s mind. Johnson, make no mistake, is all about getting to the passer. He brings a quick first step and surprisingly serious power to his rush. With disruption in the middle, Johnson can look forward to a double-digit sack rookie campaign.
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11. Washington Commanders: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
After trading for Carson Wentz, the Commanders need to give him another target. Terry McLaurin established himself as an elite wideout. Now, they need to bookend him with talent. Wilson will stretch the field and win underneath as well, giving Washington much-needed balance as they traverse the winnable NFC East.
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12. Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Wahington
Although the team brought Patrick Peterson for another year, his best days are far behind him. Minnesota must start a youth movement in the secondary. The ultraquick McDuffie possesses the speed and technique to stay with a receiver at all three levels. With the Packers looming as a perennial nightmare, the Vikings need to fortify the cornerback position.
13. Houston Texans: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Without a doubt, Lovie Smith, a linebackers coach at heart wants to immediate fix. The former Utah product flashes the technical acumen, ball skills, and coverage ability to be a linchpin of the new Houston defense. You won’t see too many rookies that seamlessly fit into the personality of their coach.
14. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
As Brandon Williams exits, the middle of that front seven needs another stout presence. In the vein of Haloti Ngata, Davis will command attention, crushing the pocket from the interior, allowing the edge rushers to eat when the quarterback tries to escape. Davis, offers burst, power, and agility, traits that don’t usually apply to nose tackles.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Karlaftis arrives with a full toolbox and pro-ready mindset. While he will not jump out athletically, hand placement, timing, and awareness will help him at the next level. The Eagles need a better rotation with edge play. Karlaftis profiles as a low-risk prospect that will blend into their plans.
16. Philadelphia Eagles: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
T.J. Edwards posted 130 tackles in 2021. Also, he allowed 78.8 percent completions to whomever he covered. In that case, the option to choose Dean, a better tackler, hitter, and cover linebacker feels like a no-brainer. With three picks in the first round, Philadelphia can really rebuild under Nick Sirianni.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
If you watch the last Chargers game of 2021, you will see the right tackle repeatedly failing to stop anyone. Raimann gives the offense another protector with above-average feet, hands, and demeanor. The AFC West, overnight, became a murderer’s row of talented pass rushers.
18. New Orleans Saints: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
With the departure of Terron Armstead, the Saint need a blindside protector to keep whoever serves as the quarterback for the long term. Cross played in the pass-heavy offense of Mike Leach in Starkville. With this in mind, New Orleans selected the former Bulldog to anchor their rebuilding offensive line.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
As Darius Slay and most of the backfield ages, Philadelphia must address the problem. In Cine, they would benefit from a safety that can differentiate between hitting and tackling. Cine delivers the shot when necessary. Mostly, he will take a crisp route and operate under the age-old theory of ” last line of defense”
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
If reports from various sources prove correct, Pittsburgh felt strongly about adding the former Tarheel. In the NFL, Howell will have to do less than carrying an entire offense on his shoulders. When right, you will see an accurate passer, throwing dots all over the field, a passionate leader that really tries to bring the most out of his team.
21. New England Patriots: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Despite suffering a knee injury that ended his career at Alabama, Williams appears ahead of schedule. With that surgically-repaired joint, Williams reunites will Mac Jones, allowing the Patriots to take another step into the new era. Wiliams’ familiarity with Jones’ approach should pay dividends early.
22. Green Bay Packers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Due to the Adams trade, the Packers will select the player poised to be their first option for years to come. Olave stayed four seasons in Columbus, crafting his game from strictly a deep threat to a well-rounded receiver that excels at all the depth and possesses solid, if not spectacular hands.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Drake London, WR, USC
Now, with Christian Kirk and Julio Jones elsewhere, the Cardinals must find someone to pair with Deandre Hopkins. In London, they see a big-bodied receiver with the ability to body defenders and give the offense another threat to take the heat off their number one wideout.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
With Randy Gregory leaving for Denver, the Cowboys need that third piece of the pass rush puzzle. Wyatt, a lightning-fast three-technique could give Dallas interior disruption that it seriously lacked. Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence need help in the middle. Wyatt’s burst prevents quarterbacks from climbing the ladder in the pocket.
25. Buffalo Bills: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
Despite his surgery to repair a sports hernia, Booth makes sense here. Teams already attempt to throw away from Tre While. Why not make them pay for it/. Booth profiles as a corner that will do the dirty work, like run support, in order to get the job done. The AFC East will feature each team with two receiving threats on the outside.
26. Tennessee Titans: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The Titans have Ryan Tannehill. At 34, he reached his ceiling and now the team looks stuck. After 2022, his dead cap number drops from fifty-seven to eighteen million. Why not bring an apprentice along to take the reins. Ridder’s athleticism improved touch, and outstanding velocity could give the Titans a franchise quarterback to build around.
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27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
In contrast to widely-held beliefs, Tom Brady cannot play forever. In that case, the need to groom an understudy becomes a reality. Corral checks the boxes for everything except the ideal size. What he does bring in spades is the ability to adapt to a situation and find ways to succeed. Tampa found their heir apparent. Now, how long will that take to ascend to the throne?
28. Green Bay Packers: Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
The breakup of the Smith brothers, left a gaping hole in the Green Bay pass rush. Moye, screaming off the edge will challenge quarterbacks to make quick throws. Moye, physically pliable enough to add to his rush repertoire would be an early candidate to post double-digit sacks.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes connected on a myriad of big plays that broke defenses. Now, a new chapter starts. Burks doesn’t possess Hill’s blazing speed. However, he possesses burst combined with his size and long strides. Mahomes doesn’t need to be precise in his throws.
30. Kansas City: Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
After Tyrann Mathieu left, the Chiefs must find a twitchy safety that can serve many purposes. Hill will run with just about any wideout, but will also fly downhill to smack a running back. Kansas City will always need to bolster its defense. With such a quick-strike offense, the defense will see plenty of field time. The NFL requires versatile secondaries, in this time of multiple receiver sets.
31. Cincinnati Bengals: Roger McCreary, CB Auburn
Eli Apple, to the untrained eye, is a disaster. His style of play comes with a recipe because opponents cook him. Instead, the battle-tested McCreary will challenge receivers from snap to whistle. He does not lack confidence and will give the Bengals a competitor.
32. Detroit Lions: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Although Dan Campbell exudes a ham-fisted toughness, the Lions also need speed. The versatile Dotson slides as easily in the slot as he could on the outside. Jared Goff needs receivers that will stretch the field and keep drives moving forward. Dotson may not be the bigger wideout, but he competes and will give Detroit the dynamic athlete they sorely lack.
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