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DIDIs 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Written By: Matt Di Domenico

Twitter: @didomenicomatt5

The NFL Draft is finally here. Below is my final 2022 NFL Mock Draft. There will be trades included in this final mock draft which have been broken down with a draft calculator.

Pick #1: Jacksonville Jaguars- Aidan Hutchinson Edge, Michigan

Same selection as what I had in my mock 1.0. Sure, the Jacksonville Jaguars could continue to beef up the offensive line with Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu, but Aidan Hutchinson is simply the clear #1 selection here for Jacksonville. In my opinion, Hutchinson is the most polished edge rusher in the class. Hutchinson rushers with an extremely high motor and can out-leverage a lot of OTs with the types of moves he brings off the LOS. The Jaguars know what they are getting here in Hutchinson which will be an effective rusher on the opposite side of Josh Allen. A last-minute trade down would not surprise me one bit but simply Hutchinson is the pick here.

Pick #2: Detroit Lions- Travon Walker Edge, Georgia

Travon Walker out of Georgia has been climbing up many draft boards as of late. The Detroit Lions need to get better on both sides of the ball and especially in the trenches. I had the Lions taking Kayvon Thibodeaux out of Oregon in my mock 1.0 but rumors that Thibodeaux could fall out of the top ten are apparent because of character concerns. The Lions take Walker here because of the straight talent that he showcases on the football field. Walker possesses quick speed off the LOS, power, and finesse to create dominant rushes on opposing OTs. Walker also has the talent to rush in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Walker is a great fit for Dan Campbell and the Lions to build on moving into the future.

Pick #3: Houston Texans- Evan Neal OT, Alabama

This could be a possible trade-down spot for Houston, but they stick and pick here. For the Houston Texans, it is pretty simple. Take arguably the best offensive linemen in this draft in Evan Neal who will allow you to play him at either the RT spot or even an OG spot. The Texans are just way too far behind when it comes to the ability to compete in the AFC at this moment. The Texans need to beef up the trenches and work from there. There is no clear-cut QB prospect in this draft and Neal will provide them with a solid player to add to this roster. Neal has powerful strength at the POA and is athletic enough to be effective at pulling in the running game. Neal may not be the best pass protecting OT in this draft but has the talent and tools to develop overtime in that department.

Pick #4: New York Jets- Ahmad Gardner CB, Cincinnati

I really do not know how the New York Jets will simply pass up on Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner here at pick #4. One area of need that the Jets could go here is WR, but this draft is loaded with them and I feel they will grab a wideout with their second first-round selection. Instead, the Jets go with Sauce Gardner here. Gardner is that true shutdown CB out of Cincinnati that will provide incredible lift to not only this Jets secondary but the entire defense as well. Gardner is lengthy and has the deep speed to match up against any WR that lines up across from him. Gardner plays with that confidence and edge that you want in a true CB1. The Jets need to improve their secondary and Gardner is the player to do it with.

Pick #5 (Trade) Seattle Seahawks- Malik Willis QB, Liberty

(NYG Receives: #9, #41, #153, 2023 6th Round Pick)

This is a reasonable trade that I could see happening the night of the first round. The Seattle Seahawks still have not addressed their replacement for Russell Wilson. For some reason, I do not see Seattle rolling with Drew Lock as their starting QB in 2022. Since there is no franchise guy, that leads the Seahawks into trading up to pick #5 here with the New York Giants to get their guy in Malik Willis. In the trade, Seattle gives up picks #9, #41, #153, and a 2023 6th-round pick. Willis is one of those QBs that can extend plays with his legs which has been an added bonus in today's NFL. Willis also has a big arm to push the ball deep down the field to playmakers which we know the Seahawks have in Metcalf and Lockett.

Pick #6: Carolina Panthers- Ikem Ekwonu OT, NC State

The Carolina Panthers certainly could trade back here since Malik Willis went off the board the pick prior. The Panthers could take Pittsburgh's QB in Kenny Pickett, but to take Pickett at pick #6 does seem like a reach in my opinion. Even with all that QB talk in mind, Carolina has a huge need at the LT position here. Heck, the entire offensive line really needs to be upgraded for the Panthers and that leads to the selection of Ikem Ekwonu out of NC State. Ekwonu has very good body control and has the footwork to mirror top pass rushers out at the LT spot. Ekwonu is also versatile enough to play OG if the Panthers want to start him off there.

Pick #7: New York Giants- Kayvon Thibodeaux Edge, Oregon

Kayvon Thibodeaux is the biggest wildcard player in this entire draft, but I have him going to the New York Giants here at pick #7. Thibodeaux is such a wildcard because of his decision to not participate in the on-the-field workouts after he ran his 40-yard dash at the combine. Before that situation even happened, there were a lot of questions when it came to Thibodeaux’s passion for the game of football. Thibodeaux however is a very dominant, explosive, and talented edge rusher coming out of Oregon. The Giants need to improve their defense and getting that other edge rusher on the opposite side of Azeez Ojulari is a scenario that could pay huge dividends in the long run for big blue.

Pick #8: Atlanta Falcons- Garrett Wilson WR, Ohio State

At selection #8, this was a really hard decision for me to make. If I was in Terry Fontenot's shoes, I would be trying to trade out of this selection to receive more draft capital because there are just way too many holes on this Falcons roster at the moment. Instead, my gut feeling is telling me that Atlanta is going to stick and pick with the selection of Garrett Wilson out of Ohio State. Wilson is one of the most polished route runners in this draft. Wilson makes a lot of defenders miss in space and has that breakaway speed to outrun any defender in a foot race. After the Falcons lost Calvin Ridley for the season due to a suspension, WR is a huge need for this team. Drake London is another possibility for the Falcons here as well but Wilson just seems like the better fit.

Pick #9 (T: SEA) New York Giants- Charles Cross OT, Mississippi State

The New York Giants will be sprinting this draft card up to the podium with this selection of Charles Cross out of Mississippi State. For years we have been talking about how bad this Giants offensive line is, especially at the OT positions. Cross is one of the best pass-protecting OTs in this draft and will slide right into one of the OTs positions. The Giants still have Andrew Thomas, but Cross can play at the RT spot. Cross has long arms and recovers well against speed rushers. The Giants need to address the offensive line somewhere with one of their two first-round selections, and they simply do it here after trading down with Seattle to pick #9.

Pick #10: New York Jets- Jermaine Johnson Edge, Florida State

Going WR here for the New York Jets is so tempting but to me, it is the wrong move to make and Jermaine Johnson is just sticking out like a sore thumb on the draft board. Johnson is an incredible pass rusher that has a high running motor and will excel working with Robert Saleh. Johnson gets off the LOS quickly, mixes speed to power at a high rate, and is my most underrated player in this draft. Even Kyle Hamilton is still available at pick #10 and is a player the Jets really should think about if he is still on the board. The Jets have some young and talented WRs in Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Braxton Berrios. New York can still come back in round 2 and still grab a playmaker at the WR position to give Zach Wilson help.

Pick #11: Washington Commanders- Drake London WR, USC

Drake London out of USC is the selection here for the Washington Commanders at pick #11. We do not know if this will be Terry McLaurin’s last season in Washington after he has made it clear that he wants a new contract. McLaurin is going into his final year with Washington so they must bring in more WR talent and a possible replacement. That leads the Commanders into taking London who is a huge 6’4” WR that has an incredible YAC ability. It is clear on tape that defenders do not enjoy trying to tackle this 219-pound WR. Washington brought in QB Carson Wentz so getting him a huge target to throw to would be a plus for this offense.

Pick #12: Minnesota Vikings- Derek Stingley Jr. CB, LSU

One of the easiest selections in the entire draft here for the Minnesota Vikings at pick #12. The Vikings need CB help desperately and it leads them into taking the LSU CB in Derek Stingley Jr. There are question marks surrounding Stingley Jr. because his freshman tape was much better than his following seasons at LSU. Stingley Jr. did miss some time in 2020 & 2021 but was still able to show that he has fluid hips and elite speed to match up on WRs. The Vikings most relevant CB on the roster is Patrick Peterson who simply is not going to cut it. Minnesota is still chasing Green Bay and if the Vikings want to close the gap, their secondary must improve.

Pick #13: Houston Texans- Kyle Hamilton S, Notre Dame

Kyle Hamilton here at pick #13 for the Houston Texans is awesome value just because of how dynamic of a player he was at Notre Dame. This could be a trade-down spot for the Texans but with Hamilton's name just popping out on the board like it is, Houston has to pull the trigger on this 6’4” safety. Hamilton truly is one of the most talented players in this draft. Hamilton is a versatile safety that simply could play LB if he really wanted to. Hamilton travels all around the field like a hawk and simply is not afraid to hit anybody that comes into his sights. The Texans need to improve their secondary and getting their captain for the future in Hamilton will help tremendously.

Pick #14: (Trade) Green Bay Packers- Chris Olave WR, Ohio State

(BAL Receives: #22, #53, #140, 2023 5th Round Pick)

I bet you didn't see this one coming. That is right, I have the Green Bay Packers trading up with the Baltimore Ravens to pick #14 to grab their WR in Chris Olave out of Ohio State. The Packers make this move not only because of the raw talent that Olave has but because they need to leapfrog WR needy teams like New Orleans, New England, Philadelphia, and possibly even Los Angeles. Green Bay gives up picks #22, #53, #140, and a 2023 5th round pick to grab their guy in Olave. The Packers have to get Aaron Rodgers some help, and Olave is the guy to do it because of the dynamic route running talent he possesses. Green Bay did sign Sammy Watkins in free agency but that simply is not enough. Olave will be a great fit here for Green Bay.

Pick #15: Philadelphia Eagles- Andrew Booth Jr. CB, Clemson

No-brainer pick here for the Philadelphia Eagles. Andrew Booth Jr. is a CB that will help out this Eagles secondary big-time. A WR could be in play here at selection #15 but this secondary for Philadelphia needs more help. I am sure a lot of Eagles fans will be disappointed with no WR taken here, especially with New Orleans picking next. However, Booth Jr. is a CB that has outstanding ball skills and will get physical on opposing WRs. Booth Jr. can play in both man & zone schemes and should be a boundary CB for Philadelphia on the opposite side of Darius Slay. The CB room for the Eagles is calling for more young talent desperately and Booth Jr. is their guy here at #15.

Pick #16: New Orleans Saints- Jameson Williams WR, Alabama

With the deal that allowed the New Orleans Saints to receive pick #16 by trading with the Philadelphia Eagles which included a future first-round selection, the Saints come here at #16 to select the speedy Jameson Williams out of Alabama. Williams is coming off a torn ACL as we all know but reports are that he is making a speedy recovery. For the Saints, they need to add a second playmaker at the WR position. Williams is one of the fastest players in the draft and has a huge YAC ability. Williams will be a nice compliment on the other side of Michael Thomas if Thomas can stay on the field.

Pick #17: Los Angeles Chargers- Jordan Davis DT, Georgia

A pick that really came down to two players here for the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers certainly need to get an RT and Trevor Penning is still on the board, but the massive Jordan Davis out of Georgia simply will be too hard to pass up here for the Chargers. Davis, who simply blew up the combine, is the selection because of the massive impact he can have on this defense. The Chargers had a very difficult time trying to stop the run last season. Davis simply will eat up blocks and free up opportunities for others to make plays. The Chargers will have one scary-looking defense that includes Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson, Derwin James Jr., and now Davis with the selection here at pick #17.

Pick #18: Philadelphia Eagles- Devin Lloyd LB, Utah

Going with the physical and athletic LB out of Utah is the pick here for the Philadelphia Eagles. Even though the Eagles simply do not take LBs this high in the draft, I have them taking Devin Llyod because the value is just too high for them to pass up on. Sure, the Eagles could take a WR with this pick at #18 but this Philadelphia defense really needs to improve from a season prior. There are plenty of WRs that Philadelphia can take a shot on in the later rounds, and I see LB as a bigger need. When it comes to Lloyd, he has the ability to be a two-way player that also can rush the passer in addition to being that traditional run-stopping LB.

Pick #19: New Orleans Saints- Trevor Penning OT, Northern Iowa

Coming back with their 2nd first-round selection in the draft, the New Orleans Saints grab their franchise OT here at pick #19. That OT is Trevor Penning out of Northern Iowa who has been rising up mocks in the past couple of weeks. Penning is a nasty OT that will simply drive and throw defenders into the turf. Penning’s high effort really showed off at the Senior Bowl. The Saints lost their All-Pro LT in Terron Armstead to the Miami Dolphins so finding an LT replacement will be crucial for New Orleans in this draft. Penning does not have the most incredible bend when he plays but there is room for improvement.

Pick #20: Pittsburgh Steelers: Trent McDuffie CB, Washington

Looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers situation here at pick #20, my gut feeling is that they are not going to go with a QB at this spot. Kenny Pickett is still available, but I do not think Pittsburgh takes the risk here at selection #20. To me, I feel the Steelers will use Mitch Trubisky as their bridge QB to possibly make a move next year for that franchise QB. Instead, the Steelers take the super aggressive CB in Trent McDuffie out of Washington. What is there not to like about McDuffie. This is a CB that has good ball skills, athletic traits that pop on film, and the ability to hit like a safety is clearly there. Pittsburgh’s secondary needs to improve and does so here with McDuffie.

Pick #21: New England Patriots- Nakobe Dean LB, Georgia

Same situation and same pick as in my first mock draft here at #21. Unfortunately for the New England Patriots, Trent McDuffie goes off the board the pick prior. Losing McDuffie leads Bill Belichick to go in a different direction but one that really is not a bad option. New England grabs the 2021 Butkus Award winner as the nation's best LB in Nakobe Dean. Dean was a tackling machine during his time at Georgia. Dean is a very intelligent player that fits the mold of what Belichick likes to do on defense. The Patriots could go interior offensive line here, possibly with the selections of Zion Johnson, Kenyon Green, or even Tyler Linderbaum if he can make the switch to OG but instead, the pick is Dean.

Pick #22 (T: GB) Baltimore Ravens- Devonte Wyatt DT, Georgia

With the Baltimore Ravens trading down with the Green Bay Packers from selection #14, they still cover a huge position of need here with the selection of Devonte Wyatt at pick #22. This Georgia DT is very athletic and will fill in nicely right beside Michael Pierce on this Ravens defensive line. The Ravens need to add more youth to their defensive line and especially in the interior of it. Wyatt has the ability to rush the passer at an effective rate but can also be effective in defending the run game. Baltimore could go with some offensive line help here but the talent that Wyatt has is too much to pass up on.

Pick #23: (Trade) Kansas City Chiefs- Jahan Dotson WR, Kansas City Chiefs

(ARI Receives: #29, #62, #244)

Just like that, the Kansas City Chiefs make a move up from the bottom of the first round to grab Patrick Mahomes, another weapon in WR Jahan Dotson. The Chiefs give up picks #29, #62, and #244 to grab Dotson. Dotson has the best hands in the draft and is a very underrated route runner. Dotson’s play got better and his usage increased in the Penn State offense as the season went on. Kansas City wants this offense to run at full speed after trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. The WR core is now loaded for Mahomes with this addition of Dotson and the Chiefs will look to run up the scoreboards again in 2022.

Pick #24: Dallas Cowboys- Treylon Burks WR, Arkansas

Huge decision here for the Dallas Cowboys at pick #24. The Cowboys really need to invest in the offensive line after losing RT La’el Collins and LG Conner Williams. Protecting Dak Prescott is very critical for the success of this offense. Zion Johnson is still on the board for the Cowboys but a talented WR from Jerry Jones alma mater of Arkansas is the selection here instead. Burks is a huge WR that has incredible play speed and strong hands to haul in contested catches deep down the field. Dallas did lose Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. in the offseason so WR would not be a huge shocker here at pick #24.

Pick #25: Buffalo Bills- Daxton Hill S, Michigan

With no CB worth the selection and the necessary value here at pick #25, the Buffalo Bills go in a different direction of selecting the versatile player in Daxton Hill to help out their secondary. In addition to the FS and SS role, Hill can play the nickel CB for Buffalo. The Bills current SS in Jordan Poyer will be a free agent next season so the selection of Hill here at #25 would be a plus to a possible replacement to Poyer. Hill is more of a single high FS but the versatility to play CB in 2022 will be his role. Hill has fluid hips to match up on WRs but the ability to tackle in open space needs to improve.

Pick #26: Tennessee Titans- Zion Johnson OG, Boston College

After losing Rodger Saffold in free agency to the Buffalo Bills, the Tennessee Titans need to address their LG spot. There is a possibility of going WR here with Christian Watson still on the board for Tennessee but the Titans are getting great value with Zion Johnson out of Boston College here at pick #26. Johnson does have experience playing at OT if the Titans need him to but Johnson will be an immediate starter at LG. Johnson does have a physical and clean technique to be in complete control at the POA in both the passing and run game.

Pick #27: Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Skyy Moore WR, Western Michigan

For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they were able to lure Tom Brady out of retirement for another season in 2022. Tampa could look at getting more younger and add more talent on the offensive line, but WR Skyy Moore is the perfect fit for Tom Brady and the Buccaneers here at selection #27. Moore would excel at working in the middle of the field during his time at Western Michigan. Moore is a gritty player who will fight for extra yards after initial contact is made. Moore is much more of a quick and twitchy player than a straight-line blazer. A very similar type of player to Julian Edelman here for Tampa Bay. Moore will play that slot role for the Buccaneers but does have the talent to play at the X or Z roles if need be.

Pick #28: Green Bay Packers- George Karlaftis Edge, Purdue

Very powerful and gritty edge rusher here for the Green Bay Packers at pick #28. George Karlaftis may arguably be the best power rusher in this draft class and him being available here at #28 certainly could happen. The Packers need to add more depth at the edge position after losing Za'Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus in the offseason. The Packers could look at Demarvin Leal here but passing on Karlaftis at #28 would be very difficult to do. Karlaftis has a high-running motor that Green Bay will fall in love with. Being able to rotate their edge rushers to stay fresh is something the Packers value highly.

Pick #29 (T: KC) Arizona Cardinals- Kenyon Green OG, Texas A&M

Trading down with the Kansas City Chiefs here to pick #29 was very beneficial for the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals receive more draft capital and upgrade at a position that they possibly would have addressed at #23 anyways. Kenyon Green was a very athletic OG on film but did not test extremely well during the combine. However, Green does have the versatility to play at OT as well for the Cardinals but plugging him at either LG or RT seems the most likely scenario here for Arizona. The Cardinals have to protect Kyler Murray at all costs this coming season. Getting Green here improves Arizona's line on day one.

Pick #30: Kansas City Chiefs- Quay Walker LB, Georgia

A two-way player here for the Kansas City Chiefs as they grab LB Quay Walker out of the University of Georgia at selection #30. Kansas City could go offensive line here but the value really just is not available at this spot. Walker is a do it all LB that can cover against the run and the pass at a very effective level. Walker can also be very effective at rushing the passer as he has shown the ability to do so during his time at Georgia. Walker will be a nice complement to not only Nick Bolton but Frank Clark as well. Walker gives the Chiefs versatility and a true 3-down player that they desperately need.

Pick #31: Cincinnati Bengals- Kaiir Elam CB, Florida

Kaiir Elam out of Florida is the pick here for the Cincinnati Bengals at selection #31. The Bengals have to add as much depth into their CB room if they want to make that push back to the Super Bowl in 2022. There are so many passing attacks in the AFC and being able to defend them in the playoffs will be the key to getting to the promised land for Cincinnati. When it comes to Elam, he has fluid hips to attack quicker WRs in space. Elam also is effective at mirroring WRs due to his own quick feet. Being able to stay within reach of the WR is something Elam was able to showcase on film. A team trying to trade up into this spot for a QB is a possibility as well.

Pick #32: Detroit Lions- Christian Watson WR, North Dakota State

Huge pick here for the Detroit Lions. The Lions could simply trade out or stick and pick. I have the Lions picking here at #32 to improve their WR core. Christian Watson is one of the fastest players in this draft. Watson does come from a smaller school of North Dakota State, but he was able to make some big-time plays during his career. This truly is a WR that excels in press coverage situations. So many times, on film, Watson was able to make contested catches all over the field. The Lions already have a young and talented WR core, so adding even more talent to build around a future franchise QB could be the Lions mindset here at #32.



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