Clubby's Mock Draft 1.0
It's mock draft season, one of those most exciting times in the NFL offseason. This is my second year making NFL mock drafts, and the 2022 class is full of talent. Here's my 1.0 version of how the first round will play out.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The Jags clearly need help on both sides of the football, but with their franchise QB in place, you have no choice but to protect him. There's a bit of discussion about how should be OT #1, whether it be Neal, Ekwonu, or even Cross, but Neal offers the size and ceiling you want in a first overall pick.
2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
I'll be keeping the Michigan man in Michigan for my Mock Draft 1.0. The Heisman finalist and single season record holder for sacks leaves UM as one of the greatest defensive players to ever come out of Ann Arbor. Among other positions, the Lions desperately need EDGE help and Hutchinson is an immediate difference maker.
3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
This is the first real toss up in the draft. Either Thibodeaux or Hamilton make sense here at #3, but Kayvon gives Houston their heir apparent to J.J. Watt.
4. New York Jets: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
With the top two edge rushers off the board, the Jets should look to further build their offensive line. One caveat to Ekwonu here is that he has only ever played on the left side, and with Becton and Vera-Tucker slotted in the LT and LG positions, there may be a learning curve for Ikem getting used to RT.
5. New York Giants: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Cross is the de facto next best tackle in the draft. For what seems like half a decade now, the Giants have struggled to draft good offensive line help. Cross is a can't miss prospect in a deep offensive line class. He should fit in quite nicely in the Meadowlands.
6. Carolina Panthers: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
The first QB off the board is Liberty standout and former Auburn transfer Malik Willis. Although lack of competition is a reasonable criticism for Willis, his senior bowl performance proved correct what all draft analysts were thinking; his limitless arm talent sets him apart from all other QBs in this draft. A rocket arm, above average accuracy, and the ability to improvise and scramble gives Willis all the makings of a future franchise QB.
7. New York Giants: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
It can be argued that nobody benefitted more from the senior bowl than Jermaine Johnson. A previous fringe first rounder, Johnson showcased his well-roundedness to the fullest extent. Good athleticism, above average hand placement, and elite explosiveness has helped skyrocket Johnson into the top 10.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
It's hard to imagine that Hamilton, the best safety prospect to come out of college since Jamal Adams, falls out of the top 5. However, the needs of the top 7 teams don't allow for Hamilton to be picked, and ultimately Atlanta selects a true Swiss army knife on defense.
9. Denver Broncos: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
My reasoning behind this pick is that David Ojabo just feels like a Bronco. I'm not sure why, but here you go.
10. New York Jets: Drake London, WR, USC
A bit of a surprise here for WR1, Drake London has all the makings of an elite X receiver. At a 6'5" frame with elite 1 on 1 capabilities, London could be the NFL's next Mike Evans.
11. Washington Commanders: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
I'm a lot higher on Matt Corral than the rest of the draft community it seems. Corral has a solid arm, but what really separates him from other QBs in this draft is his mobility and ability to extend plays. Also, what better way to welcome in a new era of a franchise than with a new franchise QB?
12. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Vikings get a real hit or miss prospect here with Stingley. You've already heard this a million times, but if Stingley plays like freshman year Stingley, you have a sure fire CB1. If not, well then it's back to the drawing board for Minnesota.
13. Cleveland Browns: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
LB1 is a toss up between Lloyd and Dean, but I give the edge to Lloyd here. His size, speed, and ability to play inside as well as the edge allows him to be a cornerstone in any defense, and Cleveland would be silly to pass up on him
14. Baltimore Ravens: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Coming in at 6'5" 275lbs, Walker boasts a sub 4.8 40 time. This elite size, speed, and athleticism makes him a great fit for any defense. If the Ravens are smart, they add this potential replacement/compliment to Calais Campbell.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Ahmad Gardener, CB, Cincinnati
Darius Slay was arguably the best CB in all of football last season. Why not sure up the secondary? Gardener could easily be CB1 in this draft, and the Eagles shouldn't pass up an opportunity to take him if he falls to 15.
16. Philadelphia Eagles: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
I consider Karlaftis to be the most polished edge rusher in this class. The Eagles need a compliment to Brandon Graham, and Karlaftis is a plug and play starter.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia
Davis to the Chargers seems like a match made in heaven. To say the least, the Chargers had a fairly bad rush defense last season. Davis is an absolute unit, and a future stud at the Nose Tackle position. He could be the next Vita Vea.
18. New Orleans Saints: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Treylon Burks is a lot of draft analysts WR1 because of his versatility. A popular comparison for Burks is Deebo Samuel, particularly in the way the use him in the backfield. Burks has potential to be the next great positionless player in the NFL.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Another Alabama WR to Philadelphia? Yes please. The Eagles hit on one last year, so why not double dip?
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
I kept the Michigan man in Michigan, now I'm keeping the Pitt man in Pitt. Pickett is the most NFL ready QB in this draft, and with a roster like the Steelers', Pickett immediately makes the Steelers a contender in the crowded AFC North.
21. New England Patriots: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
The Dont'a Hightower replacement is here. Dean possesses leadership skills unprecedented by anyone else in this draft, and is a true fit for Bill Bellichick's style of defense.
22. Las Vegas Raiders: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Damon Arnette was, uh, a miss to say the least by the Raiders. It's time for Vegas to try and replace all the picks that Mike Mayock missed over his tenure as GM. Booth Jr. is a good start.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Trent McDuffie has the potential to be a top 10 pick. I'll potentially mock him higher post combine and pro day, but for now, the Cardinals get lucky and take him at #23.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M
It's weird to see the Cowboys drafting an offensive lineman in the first round, especially the perceived success the unit has had for the past half decade. But the reality is the Cowboys O-line was lackluster to say the least last year. It's time for them to return to their former glory.
25. Buffalo Bills: Devonte Wyatt, IDL, Georgia
The fourth Georgia Bulldog taken so far in the first round, Wyatt offers the Bills security at the one weakness on their defense; interior defensive lineman.
26. Tennessee Titans: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
With an unsure right tackle position and Taylor Lewan getting older, OT should be a priority for Tennessee in this draft. Penning has been rising up boards thanks to his senior bowl performance, but I still see him going late in the first round because of the lack of competition he faced in college at an FCS program.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
I have concerns about Garrett Wilson's speed, and if he's truly capable of getting elite 1 on 1 separation. This will obviously be answered at the combine and pro day, but for now, I have him falling to Tampa team needy for a receiver.
28. Green Bay Packers: DeMarvin Leal, IDL, Texas A&M
An offensive weapon to try and convince Aaron Rodgers to stay in Green Bay? Nope! A DT to help sure up the trenches up north. Don't get me wrong, Leal is a fine player and fits well in GB, but the Packers have made it clear that they are stubborn in their ways, and don't value the receiver position nearly as much as other organizations.
29. Miami Dolphins: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Miami guaranteed Will Fuller $10 million for what reason? It's safe to say that experiment failed. Dotson gives the Dolphins what Fuller was supposed to, along with youth and stability.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Back to back B1G wide receivers and the second out of Ohio State in the first round, there is no harm done with surrounding Mahomes with more weapons.
31. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa
Don't overthink this one.
32.Detroit Lions: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Hey, another Michigan man stays put! Hill offers flexibility at both the safety and corner position, offering the Lions the versatility they so desperately need on defense.