2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0


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Aidan Hutchinson, projected to go second overall to the Lions in this mock draft, playing at Michigan in 2021.

Ethan K.

Although we are still over two months away from this year’s edition of the NFL Draft, the draft order is almost completely set with the Super Bowl being the final decider of whose hands the last two picks end up in. 


In the meantime, while you are waiting to see who your team selects, check out The Falcon Flash’s first NFL Mock Draft of the year. 


1. Jacksonville Jaguars→ Evan Neal, OT Alabama

While the likes of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aidan Hutchinson are still on the board, it makes a lot more sense for the Jaguars to protect their young quarterback Trevor Lawrence by drafting Neal.


2. Detroit Lions→ Aidan Hutchinson, DE Michigan

Although Thibodeaux, many experts’ proclaimed ‘best player in the draft’ is still available, I believe that Hutchinson had a much better season than Thibodeaux and is the perfect fit for Detroit as they try to bounce back from another struggling season. 


3. Houston Texans→ Kyle Hamilton, S Notre Dame

Hamilton is a world class safety and is a star in the making. With the Texans lacking players in their secondary, getting a guy like Hamilton would be extraordinary for them. 


4. New York Jets→ Derek Stingley Jr., CB LSU

Stingley is easily the best cover-corner in the draft, as he is able to shadow his man with ease, always creating havoc for opposing offenses. For a Jets team that has struggled with finding gems in the secondary, Stingly is a surefire home run. 


5. New York Giants→ Kayvon Thibodeaux DE, Oregon

If Thibodeaux does manage to fall to the fifth pick, the Giants will scoop him up in a hurry. The former Duck will be a massive upgrade on the edge and help bolster the Giants’ defensive presence. 


6. Carolina Panthers→ Charles Cross, OT Mississippi State

Cross is one of the best all around linemen in this draft and easily the OT2 behind Evan Neal. With the Panthers looking at a rebuild on offense, Cross will give them a good lineman to work around and build upon for the future.


7. New York Giants→ Tyler Linderbaum, C Iowa

First round draft pick Andrew Thomas stepped us his game for the Giants in 2021, and because of that I do not think that the Giants will take a tackle, even with Ikem Ekwonu on the board. Linderbaum is a standout center that has guard flexibility. The Giants will continue to beef up their offensive line and help give Saquon Barkley something to run behind. 


8. Atlanta Falcons→ Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas

Burks is easily the best wide receiver in this draft class. He is big, strong, fast, shifty, has great footwork, and just seems to do everything right. Being on a team like Arkansas that is typically at the bottom of the SEC doesn’t help Burks’ draft stock, but any scout should be able to recognize his enormous talent. The Falcons will greatly improve their receiving core as they look to improve on a combined 11-22 in their last two seasons.


9. Denver Broncos→ Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB Cincinnati

I am a big fan of Gardner’s game and for good reason. The former Bearcat helped his squad to a College Football Playoff berth, and although they lost to Alabama, making it that far was good enough proof for anyone that Gardner and his teammate Coby Bryant are NFL-caliber players. Assuming that the Broncos address their QB needs in the offseason, bulking up their secondary will help transform this team into Super Bowl contenders. 


10. New York Jets→ Nakobe Dean, LB Georgia

After giving linebacker C.J. Mosley an $85 million contract in the 2019 offseason, the Jets had little room to work to get other stars into their lineup. Mosley was not exactly worth the price tag, and the Jets continued to struggle. While still far from bad, the Jets linebacking group could still use some work, and Dean would help out a lot. The former Bulldog was a standout in Georgia’s National Championship victory over Alabama. Drafting both Dean and Stingley could help better the Jets defense for good.


11. Washington Commanders→ Kenny Pickett, QB Pittsburgh

The 2022 quarterback class has been widely debated as there is no true standout at the position. In my opinion, Matt Corral is the best quarterback in this class, but due to an injury in the Sugar Bowl, Corral’s draft stock has dropped (ESPN.com). Pickett is a very close second and would be a solid fit for a Commanders team that is in desperate need of a young star to lead their franchise.


12. Minnesota Vikings→ Kenyon Green, G Texas A&M

Green has been a standout interior lineman in this draft. Some analysts project Green to be a later first round pick, but I believe that the guard, with some potential at center, can be picked way before the latter end of the draft. If the Vikings retain Kirk Cousins and pick up Green, they could find themselves back in the playoffs come the 2022 postseason.


13. Cleveland Browns→ Jameson Williams, WR Alabama

Garrett Wilson is considered to be the best receiver in the draft to many. I believe that Wilson is not one of the five best receivers in this class, and that the Browns, and many other receiver needy teams, can find better talents with a much better value in this draft. Williams does it all, finding gaps in defenses, returning punts, making huge plays, and so much more. There is no doubt in my mind that Williams and Burks should be the first two receivers off of the draft board. 


14. Baltimore Ravens→ Trent McDuffie, CB Washington

The Ravens have one of the top cornerback duos in Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Due to injury, we were unable to see the duo compete together in 2021. McDuffie is a very solid prospect, playing good coverage and being a disciplined tackler. Peters is set to become a free agent in 2023 and letting McDuffie sit behind Peters and learn some new tricks would tremendously help his development. After that, the Ravens could choose to let Peters walk in free agency and let McDuffie take over the reins of Peters.


15. Philadelphia Eagles→ Drake London, WR USC 

A tall and physical receiver, London fits the typical mold of USC receivers. He plays similarly to the Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster but also has an additional height advantage over Smith-Schuster. With the Eagles lacking a true big-man at the receiver position, London would fit in perfectly in helping bring the Eagles offense back to their successful ways of the past.


16. Philadelphia Eagles→ George Karlaftis, DE Purdue

Karlaftis was a monster for the Boilermakers this past season, and if he manages to drop to the sixteenth pick, Philadelphia would immediately grab him. A young player with some fire power, Karlaftis would be a big get in this draft for the Eagles.


17. Los Angeles Chargers→ Kaiir Elam, CB Florida 

Elam can cover pretty well, but occasionally lets up some bigger plays. He makes very good plays on the ball and could very well be the CB3 in the draft over McDuffie. The Chargers get an up-and-coming player in Elam that can develop to be very good. His only big knock is that he occasionally misses some easy tackles, but that issue can be fixed in Los Angeles.


18. New Orleans Saints→ Ikem Ekwonu, OT North Carolina State

If Ekwonu would, somehow, manage to fall this far, the Saints will scoop him up in a heartbeat. Although the Saints do have Ryan Ramczyk and Terron Armstead, Armstead is a pending free agent and it is not definite if the Saints will re-sign him. With Armstead being in the league for almost ten years now, the Saints could explore younger options anyways, making Ekwonu the perfect selection.


19. Philadelphia Eagles→ Devin Lloyd, LB Utah

With three first round picks, the Eagles are able to address their needs pretty well. First they beefed up their receiving core with London, and now they can bolster their weaker bunch of linebackers by taking Lloyd here at 19. 


20. Pittsburgh Steelers→ Malik Willis, QB Liberty 

With Willis competing at this year’s Senior Bowl, the Steelers sent plenty of coaches and scouts to watch the quarterback perform. According to many sources inside of the Senior Bowl, the Steelers have fallen in love with Willis and will most likely draft him if he is available at the twentieth pick. Considering that quarterback is the biggest weakness (besides their offensive line), it would be smart for the Steelers to grab a QB in this draft.


21. New England Patriots→ David Ojabo, DE Michigan

Matthew Judon broke out this past season, which was his first in New England. On the other side from Judon is Ja’Whaun Bentley. Alongside Heisman candidate Aidan Hutchinson, Ojabo had a monster season in New England and would be a vast improvement over Bentley.  


22. Las Vegas Raiders→ Chris Olave, WR Ohio State 

While Hunter Renfrow and Zay Jones both had great seasons, the Raiders could still use another star wideout, and Olave would be exactly that. Olave has amazing footwork and is extremely quick, meaning he could replace the lost role of Henry Ruggs III very easily in Vegas. 


23. Arizona Cardinals→ Zion Johnson, G Boston College 

After a 7-0 start, the Cardinals declined in the second half of the season before being eliminated in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Kyler Murray found himself running for his life a few too many times this past season, making drafting a great interior lineman like Johnson a priority. 


24. Dallas Cowboys→ Jordan Davis, DL Georgia 

With an all around solid lineup, there isn’t much not to like in Dallas. The Cowboys’ interior defensive line is their biggest weakness making Davis the perfect pick for ensuring that the Cowboys find more postseason success in 2022.


25. Buffalo Bills→Jahan Dotson, WR Penn State

It’s crazy to think that the Bills did not make the AFC Championship game with their loaded roster. The Bills defense could use some work, which was made well known after a collapse against the Chiefs in the Divisional round. However, Dotson is such an amazing talent, and despite still retaining Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis, it would be crazy for Buffalo to pass up on making Dotson their WR3. If they do take Dotson, it is important to get some defensive depth in the later rounds. Regardless, the Bills offense will be even better, if that’s possible, then they were last season.


26. Tennessee Titans→ Arnold Ebiketie, DE Penn State 

Ebiketie posted a whopping 18.5 tackles for loss in 2021. The former Nittany Lion finds himself impacting almost every play, and gets to the quarterback, able to force out the football with ease. The Titans could use some help with their defensive ends, considering Denico Autry has been solid but not amazing in his first year in Tennessee. Ebiketie would give the Titans pass-rushers immediate help in impacting the game. 


27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers→ Garrett Wilson, WR Ohio State

Wilson is considered to be one of, if not the best, receivers in this class, but personally I don’t find Wilson to live up to hype. He is still a late first or mid second round talent in my book, but considering the multitude of receivers already taken, Wilson would be a solid pick for the Buccaneers if Chris Godwin does leave in free agency.   


28. Green Bay Packers→ John Metchie III, WR Alabama 

Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling could both very well leave in free agency. If that’s the case, then drafting a receiver is almost essential for the Packers. Metchie has great footwork, route running, and hands. Injuries have been his only setback but he is still a top talent in this draft nonetheless.


29. Miami Dolphins→ Bernhard Raimann, OT Central Michigan 

The Dolphins could use some more linemen to protect young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Raimann has amazing size and strength and would do an amazing job at protecting his quarterback and leading the way for his group of running backs. Later in the first round is the perfect time for the Dolphins to take a lineman, and Raimann is the perfect fit.      


30. Kansas City Chiefs→ George Pickens, WR Georgia 

Unfortunately for Pickens, multiple injuries have hampered his impact throughout his college career. With that being said, Pickens has all of the tools to be one of the best receivers in the entire league. With the Chiefs’ roster being pretty complete, this pick is a bit of a wild card. In this scenario, I think Pickens would be a phenomenal get for the Chiefs to be a tall deep threat on the outside, as the Chiefs’ receiving group has lacked a lot of height in years past.                  


31. Cincinnati Bengals→ Trevor Penning, OT Northern Iowa

The 6’7” tackle was the highest-graded tackle by Pro Football Focus in the 2021 season (PFF.com). For a Bengals team that needs to protect their quarterback better, Penning would be an excellent value pick at 31. 


32. Detroit Lions→ Carson Strong, QB Nevada

Corral has impressed many with not only his skills as a passer, but his ability to make plays with his legs. The Lions need a young star to be their future and Corral would be exactly that. If the Lions could also scoop up a receiver in the second or third round to play alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown, the offense could be thriving in an attempt to return to the postseason in 2022.