Kielar’s 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Kielar’s 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

by January 28, 2022 0 comments

The Super Bowl is quickly approaching and picks 1-28 in the 2022 NFL Draft are now set. A lot can change before now and the end of April, but mock drafts are always in season. Other than the four teams still alive in the playoffs, the rest of the NFL and their fanbases are looking ahead to their futures. Let’s dive right into it.

1) Jacksonville Jaguars – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Hutchinson is the best overall player in the draft, and despite the Jaguars needing offensive line help, they go with the top player on the board. While Jacksonville still has Josh Allen on the edge, they only had 32 sacks in 2021. Hutchinson was a force in his final year at Michigan, as his 14 sacks helped him boost his draft stock in a big way. Allen plus Hutchinson would be a scary duo for opposing quarterbacks.

For more on Hutchinson, check out our scouting report on him.

2) Detroit Lions – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

At the beginning of the season, Thibodeaux was the consensus number one prospect. It is still very close between him and Hutchinson, so the Lions would be happy with either. Detroit desperately needs help in getting to the quarterback. They are losing their leading pass rusher Charles Harris, who had 7.5 sacks. Thibodeaux would pair well with a healthy Romeo Okwara for a dominant duo.

3) Houston Texans – Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

The Texans will need a new quarterback at some point in the near future, but they really need to rebuild the defense. Davis Mills did play well enough to be the starter in 2022, but he doesn’t look the part of a franchise quarterback. However, this isn’t a terrific quarterback class and no one is worth picking here. So, Houston turns to tremendously improving the secondary that ranked in the bottom 10 for completion percentage and passing yardage allowed in 2021. Booth has great ball skills and plays solid run defense.

For more on Booth, check out our scouting report on him.

4) New York Jets – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Jets need to re-work their offensive line in a major way. While Mekhi Becton is expected to be 100 percent in 2022 after missing most of his sophomore season due to injuries, he needs help protecting Zach Wilson. Neal is far and above the top offensive lineman in the draft and would fit very well alongside Becton.

For more on Neal, check out our scouting report on him.

5) New York Giants – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The Giants’ new general manager, Joe Schoen, said in his introductory press conference on Wednesday that he wants to build the team around Daniel Jones. That could certainly change if the cards fall for them to trade for Deshaun Watson, Rodgers, or Russell Wilson. But what better way to stick to his word than by drafting the top receiver in the draft and giving Jones a key weapon. The Giants are severely lacking at the receiver position and Wilson would be a massive upgrade.

For more on Wilson, check out our scouting report on him.

6) Carolina Panthers – Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

The Sam Darnold experiment failed miserably for the Panthers and they need a new quarterback. Corral is by no means a no-brainer and neither are any of the quarterbacks. But with some development, he can turn into a star with his dual-threat abilities. The Panthers recently hired Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator which raised some questions. But his work as an offensive coordinator was never the problem, it was as a head coach for the Giants.

7) New York Giants (via Chicago) – Kyle Hamilton, SAF, Notre Dame

The Giants shift to the defensive side and boost their secondary with the best safety in the draft. While the Giants have more pressing needs at defensive and offensive lines, going for the best player available wouldn’t be the worst thing. Hamilton is a sure thing, while Jabrill Peppers is likely gone and Logan Ryan is entering his age-31 season. Adding Hamilton with Xavier McKinney would create a great tandem on the back end.

For more on Hamilton, check out our scouting report on him.

8) Atlanta Falcons – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Dante Fowler won’t be re-signed by the Falcons and Adetokunbo Ogundeji is only going into his second year. The sophomore pass rusher will need someone monstrous on the other side to take some of the weight off his shoulders. Karlaftis will make an impact from the jump and really improve the Atlanta defense.

*** TRADE ALERT ***

Green Bay Packers receive picks 9, 40, 63, 2023 1st, 2023 3rd, and Jerry Jeudy. Denver Broncos receive Aaron Rodgers and pick 28.

9) Green Bay Packers – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

One of the most intriguing storylines to follow this offseason will be the quarterback trade market. Aaron Rodgers is one of the biggest names after he and the Packers lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round. The Broncos need a quarterback and pull it off by sending a haul to Green Bay. Jeudy would be a great piece for the return as Devante Adams is a free agent. In addition to that, they pair the 2020 first-round pick with one of the top receivers in the draft.

For more on Olave, check out our scouting report on him.

10) New York Jets (via Seattle) – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Jets need someone to pair with Bryce Hall at outside cornerback. So, they shift to the defense in their second top ten pick. Stingley is rated by many as the number one corner in the draft, so getting him here would be a steal. The only knock on him is that he has a concerning injury history, as he missed most of his junior year after getting foot surgery. But when healthy, the Baton Rouge native is a lockdown corner.

For more on Stingley, check out our scouting report on him.

11) Washington Football Team – Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M

Washington needs a new quarterback as Taylor Heinicke is definitely not the future. But with Corral already off the board, there is no one worth taking here. The Football Team fields some calls on trading down, but ultimately stays put. Whoever the quarterback is in 2022, they need time to work, and right guard Brandon Scherff will likely walk in free agency. Green is a versatile and consistent offensive lineman who will be impactful from day one.

12) Minnesota Vikings – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The Vikings need to replace the outgoing veteran cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexanders. What better way to do that than to add some “Sauce”. The cornerback class is a fairly deep one, but after seeing two of the top ones already go, the Vikes pounce on their opportunity. Gardner has moved swiftly up the rankings and is a speedy, lockdown capable cornerback.

For more on Gardner, check out our scouting report on him.

13) Cleveland Browns – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The receiver room in Cleveland is very thin and it needs a spark. 2022 third-rounder Anthony Schwartz wasn’t much of a factor his rookie year and Jarvis Landry could be cut to save cap as it would save over $16 million. Even with Landry back, Baker Mayfield needs weapons. Despite tearing his ACL in the National Championship, Williams is a top-five receiver. The talent is there on tape, and he is a steal at 13 as he would have gone top ten before the injury.

14) Baltimore Ravens – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The Ravens lost six straight to close out the season after losing Lamar Jackson, causing them to miss the playoffs. Improving the offensive line won’t let them avoid injuries altogether, but it’s a start. Cross is one of the better offensive linemen in the draft, as he only allowed 16 pressures on 719 pass-block attempts in 2021. Jackson would be very happy to have someone who can protect his blindside as well as Cross can.

15) Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami) – David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

Brandon Graham is coming off a ruptured Achilles and Derek Barnett is set to be a free agent. If the Eagles are to build the pass rush back up, they should target that with one of their three first-round picks. With Ojabo, it’s only a matter if he can unlock his full potential after he showed how high his ceiling can be in 2021. What better player to help him along than Graham, who is also a Michigan alum and wound up unlocking his full potential.

For more on Ojabo, check out our scouting report on him.

*** TRADE ALERT ***

Las Vegas Raiders receive pick 16. Philadelphia Eagles receive picks 22 and 86. 

16) Las Vegas Raiders (via Indianapolis, Philadelphia) – Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia

The Eagles pick up an extra third-round pick as they feel that the player they want will be there at 19. The Raiders are losing starting defensive tackles, Quinton Jefferson and Johnathan Hankins to free agency, so they need to find replacements. Las Vegas finds an opportunity to trade up and doesn’t want to miss its chance to get one of the top defensive players. Davis was a force at Georgia and could wreak havoc on the interior for the Raiders.

For more on Davis, check out our scouting report on him.

17) Los Angeles Chargers – Demarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

The Chargers had a terrible rush defense in 2021, allowing the third-most rushing yards. Leal stands at a massive 6’4″ and 290 pounds and had 58 tackles with 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks this season. He would be a huge step in improving Brandon Staley’s defensive front, which he mentioned would be at the center of the team’s offensive plans.

18) New Orleans Saints – Drake London, WR, USC

The future is uncertain in NOLA after Sean Payton announced his retirement. On top of that, there is a question of who will be under center in 2022. Whoever it is, they will need a true number one receiver as Michael Thomas is likely gone and was a disappearing act this year. London suffered an ankle injury mid-season but was the best player on the field when healthy. He would help open things up on the run-oriented Saints’ offense.

For more on London, check out our scouting report on him.

19) Philadelphia Eagles – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The Eagles had a much improved secondary this season, but are losing both starting safeties and cornerback Steven Nelson to free agency. Darius Slay was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and needs a solid running mate. Elam has scheme flexibility and would pair well with Slay. Avonte Maddox and Zech McPhearson are also under contract but could both play in the slot while Elam plays on the outside.

For more on Elam, check out our scouting report on him.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers – Tyler Linderbaum, iOL, Iowa

The Steelers need to protect Ben Roethlisberger‘s predecessor. Linderbaum is the best center in the draft and possesses all the right traits, such as physicality and aggressiveness to give defensive linemen fits. 2021 third-round pick Kendrick Green could transition back to guard, where he primarily played in college, while Linderbaum takes over at center.

For more on Linderbaum, check out our scouting report on him.

21) New England Patriots – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The Patriots are being mocked for drafting a wide receiver at this pick, but there really isn’t one worth picking here. They focus on building back up the defense that is losing starting linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley to free agency. Lloyd was dominant at Utah this season and has the skillset and versatility fit for a Bill Belichick defense.

For more on Lloyd, check out our scouting report on him.

22) Philadelphia Eagles (via Las Vegas) – Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

The Eagles continue to focus on the defense by boosting another position that was solid this season. They got top-level play from Alex Singleton and the breakout performances of T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor. But they are still missing that “oomph” from the position. Dean was a destructive linebacker and run stopper for the championship-winning Bulldogs and would start from day one. For what it’s worth, the Eagles haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round since 1979 when they drafted Jerry Robinson out of UCLA. But with three first-round picks and a stacked linebacker class, they should put an end to avoiding linebackers early.

23) Arizona Cardinals – Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

Chandler Jones is an impending free agent and the Cardinals have to add youth to their pass rush as Markus Golden is a free agent after the 2022 season. While Johnson was at Florida State last season, he is another dominant defender that spent time at Georgia. He had 11.5 sacks this season.

For more on Johnson, check out our scouting report on him.

24) Dallas Cowboys – Daxton Hill, SAF, Michigan

The Cowboys will see three of the four safeties on their roster head to free agency, including the two starters. Even if Dallas is able to re-sign one of the starters, Hill would replace the other after he had a career-high 69 tackles and two interceptions his last year at Michigan.

For more on Hill, check out our scouting report on him.

25) Buffalo Bills – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

The Bills’ weakness on defense was exposed in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, in their cornerback position. Tre’Davious White needs someone opposite him as Levi Wallace is a free agent (and got burned by Tyreek Hill). McDuffie would provide for a talented corner on the opposite side of White.

26) Tennessee Titans – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Another Senior Bowl invite, Penning allowed just 13 quarterback pressures and one sack in 12 games this season. He is a versatile lineman who could slot at either tackle position. David Quessenberry allowed a league-leading 11 sacks this year, so Penning would slide into his spot.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Vita Vea is currently the only key player set to return on the Bucs’ defensive line, so they need to add another player to run with him. Walker was another one of Georgia’s dominant defensive players as he had 7.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks.

28) Denver Broncos (via Green Bay) – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State

After trading for Rodgers, the Broncos need to boost their offensive line to help him. Ekwonu played both guard and tackle and was all-conference. In Denver, he would likely slide in at right tackle as that is the weakest of the offensive line positions.

For more on Ekwonu, check out our scouting report on him.

*** TRADE ALERT ***

Pittsburgh Steelers receive pick 29. Cincinnati Bengals receive picks 52 and 84. 

29) Pittsburgh Steelers (via Cincinnati) – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

The Steelers see Pickett continue to fall and decide to jump back into the first round. Cincinnati feels that they can get the offensive line help in the second round. The quarterback just makes too much sense for the Steelers as they keep him in state and still grab him late in the first round.

30) Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco) – Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

The Dolphins already have a number of offensive linemen that can move around to multiple positions. To finish their rebuild on the line, they add another versatile tackle who blocked for Heisman finalist CJ Stroud. Petit-Frere moved to left tackle after playing right tackle in 2021 and could play either spot in the NFL, or wherever the Dolphins feel is the best fit.

For more on Petit-Frere, check out our scouting report on him.

31) Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles) – Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

The Lions get their quarterback after seeing two others go off the board earlier. Strong had a solid junior season at Nevada and has one of the best arms in the class. He will be participating in the Senior Bowl next week, which will be another chance to show off his talent and raise his stock. Jared Goff is under contract through next season, so Strong could sit behind him for a year if necessary.

32) Kansas City Chiefs – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

The Chiefs lack true playmakers on offense outside of Hill (and obviously Patrick Mahomes). Dotson is a dynamic weapon with many skills and had a tremendous season despite inconsistent quarterback play. He had his first 1,000-yard season and had 12 touchdown catches.


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