One of the best draft sayings says – Big Boards are done with your eyes, Mock Drafts are done with your ears. Therefore, in my final Mock Draft, I will attempt to be as predictive as possible, ignoring my personal Big Board and focusing on my expectations of the draft. Each player’s name has been linked to my full scouting report on him.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker EDGE Georgia
This move has been trending for a while, and is now the odds-on favorite. Hutchinson is a much safer pick, but Walker has a higher ceiling. I don’t agree this is the right pick, but Trent Baalke’s issues with Jim Harbaugh have recently come to light, along with many rumors that the Jags don’t favor Hutchinson.
2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson EDGE Michigan
There won’t be a better fit or a more obvious pick in this draft. The Michigan kid who is also the best player in the draft would be a dream scenario for the Lions.
3. Houston Texans – Ikem Ekwonu OL North Carolina State
This pick is the biggest mystery of the draft. The Texans could go in so many different directions, and none would shock me. Still, I think Ekwonu fills the biggest need, and the opportunity to see what Davis Mills can do will help push them towards this pick.
4. New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE Oregon
It’s no secret Joe Douglas loves his pass rushers, and Robert Saleh definitely will agree there. This is a perfect fit.
5. New York Giants – Evan Neal OL Alabama
There have been rumors that the pick here could be Cross or Gardner, but I think the versatility that Neal offers will be too great a need for them to pass up.
6. Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett QB Pittsburgh
There is practically no pick that will convince me the Panthers will be better in 2022 than they were in 2021. The Pickett ties and rumors have been raging lately, and the Panthers staff has tried to drop subtle hints to drive us away from that conclusion. I’m not convinced.
7. New York Giants – Ahmad Gardner DB Cincinnati
This is easily the biggest remaining need after O-Line, and Gardner is a slam dunk selection.
8. PROJ. TRADE New York Jets (via ATL) – Derek Stingley Jr. DB Louisiana State
In the first projected trade of this Mock Draft, I think the Jets see Gardner go off the board and decide to leap-frog the Seahawks to get Stingley. Of course, the Falcons have no reason to pick specifically at 8, so they’d be happy to get more resources. There are only two difference-making Corners in this draft, and the Jets must get one.
9. PROJ. TRADE Green Bay Packers (via SEA) – Drake London WR South California
In another shocking projected trade, with the “Big 7” prospects off the board, there is a steep drop-off. The Seahawks are littered with roster holes, and have no reason to stay at this pick. The Packers, on the other hand, MUST get a big-time Wide Receiver, and they might all be gone by pick 22. With this trade, they can have their choice of the bunch. London makes the most sense, and fits the type of receiver the Packers usually favor.
10. PROJ. TRADE Atlanta Falcons (via NYJ) – Malik Willis QB Liberty
With needs all over the board and in such a poor division, betting on getting Bryce Young next year could backfire. Willis is widely viewed as the QB1 in this draft, and he will have the opportunity to learn behind Mariota.
11. Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton DB Notre Dame
One of the best players in the draft has fallen to 11, and he is exactly Ron Rivera’s type of player. Long and physical with great athletic traits, this is a slam dunk pick, and a perfect fit.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Jordan Davis DL Georgia
Many have the Vikings selecting a Corner with this pick, but I don’t think they reach for McDuffie. No elite player has fallen to them, so could see them taking the freakiest athlete available, who also happens to fill an underrated need.
13. Houston Texans – Jameson Williams WR Alabama
Continuing with the trend of boosting the offense to try out Davis Mills, Williams is a great pick. He might not be ready for Week 1, but getting the pre-injury WR1 in this class would be a steal.
14. Baltimore Ravens – Jermaine Johnson II EDGE Florida State
Pairing the productive Johnson with the project Odafe Oweh would give the Ravens a pass-rush duo they haven’t had since their Superbowl days.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Trent McDuffie DB Washington
The Eagles need to boost their secondary and their receiving corps. McDuffie is the only Top Tier Corner left, while there are many Top Tier receivers left.
16. New Orleans Saints – Charles Cross OL Mississippi State
The Saints seem to be primed to trade up, but for the life of me, I can’t come up with a slot they’d go up to, a player they’d go up for, or a team they’re likely to trade with. If they stay, getting Cross this late would be a dream.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Trevor Penning OL Northern Iowa
The only major hole on this roster is the Right Tackle position. While Penning is more of a Left Tackle, he has gotten buzz as one of the better linemen in this class. He has the skillset to jump to the other side.
18. Philadelphia Eagles – Treylon Burks WR Arkansas
They could take any of the remaining top receivers, but Burks is easily the best fit. Pairing his physicality and size with DeVonta Smith’s finesse and precision will give them a dynamic receiving group.
19. New Orleans Saints – Garrett Wilson WR Ohio State
After addressing the O-Line, the next glaring hole is the Wide Receiver position. I could see them drafting a QB here, but I would bet on them getting one in the 2nd round, rather than the 1st.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Bernhard Raimann OL Central Michigan
Many want the Steelers to take a QB with this selection, but I don’t see Tomlin investing in any of the QBs in this draft (aside from Willis). The O-Line struggles have been the bane of this team’s existence, and it’s about time to start patching it up.
21. New England Patriots – Devonte Wyatt DL Georgia
Contrary to popular belief, the Pats don’t have many glaring needs. I don’t see them taking any of the remaining receivers here, and Wyatt is a stud. He seems like a classic Patriots player.
22. PROJ. TRADE Seattle Seahawks (via GB) – Zion Johnson OL Boston College
In the first of the Seahawks’ two picks, attacking the O-Line before the run starts would be wise. All the teams picking between 22 and 28 could potentially select an O-Lineman.
23. Arizona Cardinals – Kenyon Green OL Texas A&M
After the whole Kyler Murray drama, keeping him upright and protected should be paramount. Between Green and Linderbaum, Green is more versatile and has a higher ceiling.
24. Dallas Cowboys – Chris Olave WR Ohio State
The Cowboys have many needs, and although Wide Receiver is one of them, it’s not the priority. Still, I can’t imagine Jerry Jones restraining himself from taking Olave. After all, we were in a similar situation when they selected CeeDee Lamb.
25. Buffalo Bills – Breece Hall RB Iowa State
The rumblings of this pick have been getting strong as we approach the draft. Aside from there being few players that are “can’t pass” prospects at 25, a stud Running Back could be the missing piece for this team.
26. Tennessee Titans – Tyler Smith OL Tulsa
It is becoming increasingly likely that Smith is a 1st rounder. His rare physical traits combined with his young age make him a moldable chunk of football gold. The Titans certainly have a need at O-Line, and Vrabel would love Smith’s power and grit.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Jones DL Connecticut
The Bucs’ defense took a step back from its 2020 dominance, and the key to that dominance was the suffocating and massive D-Line. Travis Jones perfectly fits the bill.
28. PROJ. TRADE Seattle Seahawks (via GB) – Matt Corral QB Mississippi
The Seahawks could go in many directions here, but I think they should view this as a “free pick”, and take a shot at the QB position. You can never take too many shots, and I don’t think Pete Carrol is ready to go into the season with Drew Lock as the starter.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Kaiir Elam DB Florida
After the legendary Bills game, it’s clear the offense isn’t the problem for this team. Despite losing Tyreek Hill, there are no receivers left worth this pick. It’s defense boosting time, and Elam’s rare length and toughness would match up well with Davante Adams, Courtland Sutton, and Mike Williams twice a year.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Boye Mafe EDGE Minnesota
The next step in improving a defense is pressure, and Mafe is an exciting project with a high ceiling.
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Linderbaum OL Iowa
Although the Bengals invested heavily in the O-Line this offseason, I don’t think they expected Linderbaum to be available here. I don’t think they can pass him up after last year’s miserable O-Line performances.
32. Detroit Lions – Desmond Ridder QB Cincinnati
I doubt the Lions are bad enough next year to select one of the top QBs. They have enough early picks in this draft to throw one at a QB, and they’re lucky enough to get one of the best ones in Ridder. Making him a 1st rounder rather than waiting for pick 34 will give them the flexibility to sit him for a bit, as they will have the 5th year option.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Nakobe Dean LB Georgia
34. Detroit Lions – Lewis Cine DB Georgia
35. New York Jets – Dylan Parham OL Memphis
36. New York Giants – Devin Lloyd LB Utah
37. Houston Texans – David Ojabo Michigan
38. New York Jets – Christian Watson WR North Dakota State
39. Chicago Bears – Jamaree Salyer OL Georgia
40. Seattle Seahawks – Andrew Booth Jr. CB Clemson
41. Seattle Seahawks – George Karlaftis EDGE Purdue
42. Indianapolis Colts – Skyy Moore WR Western Michigan
43. Atlanta Falcons – Daxton Hill DB Michigan
44. Cleveland Browns – George Pickens WR Georgia
45. Baltimore Ravens – Roger McCreary DB Auburn
46. Minnesota Vikings – Quay Walker LB Georgia
47. Washington Commanders – Jahan Dotson WR Penn State
48. Chicago Bears – Abraham Lucas OL Washington State
49. New Orleans Saints – Sam Howell QB North Carolina
50. Kansas City Chiefs – Leo Chenal LB Wisconsin
51. Philadelphia Eagles – Jaquan Brisker DB Penn State
52. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nik Bonitto EDGE Oklahoma
53. Green Bay Packers – Logan Hall DL Houston
54. New England Patriots – John Metchie III WR Alabama
55. Arizona Cardinals – Arnold Ebiketie EDGE Penn State
56. Dallas Cowboys – Perrion Winfrey DL Oklahoma
57. Buffalo Bills – Kyler Gordon DB Washington
58. Atlanta Falcons – Isaiah Spiller RB Texas A&M
59. Green Bay Packers – Trey McBride TE Colorado State
60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Darian Kinnard OL Kentucky
61. San Francisco 49ers – Jalen Tolbert WR South Alabama
62. Kansas City Chiefs – Cameron Thomas DL San Diego State
63. Cincinnati Bengals – Kingsley Enagbare EDGE South Carolina
64. Denver Broncos – Jalen Pitre DB Baylor