The NFL Draft is just around the corner. Here’s a look at some of the names that could be selected in 2022 with picks from 14-32, including some sleeper prospects and tight ends who are being drafted more frequently than ever before.
The “nfl mock draft 2023” is a mock draft that will take place in 2022.
7 a.m. ET
Mike Tannenbaum is a writer and entrepreneur. ESPN
I can’t wait until the NFL draft in 2022, which is just four weeks away. While this year’s class may be light on surefire franchise quarterbacks, it certainly has plenty of game-changing prospects. At the moment, 24 teams will have the opportunity to add at least one impact player in Round 1 — eight teams no longer have a first-round selection — and while this year’s class may be light on surefire franchise quarterbacks, it certainly has plenty of game-changing prospects.
I’ve gone through the draft process as a former NFL general manager and executive, from creating a big board to submitting choices. Managing the choices of one team is challenging enough. But today, I’m putting on my general manager hat and making picks for every club with a first-round pick in 2022.
This isn’t your typical mock draft, however. My colleagues will make the real Round 1 predictions. This isn’t at all what I was expecting or hearing. Instead, here’s how I’d make each first-round decision if I were a representative of each of the 24 clubs with at least one Day 1 choice. It’s based on my personal assessments and preferences, as well as what I feel is best for each team on the board.
So, beginning with a no-brainer for Jaguars GM Trent Baalke at No. 1 overall, here are my GM choices for the first 32 picks. Also, tune in to our SportsCenter Special on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2).
DE, Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson
The Jaguars have already spent a significant amount of money on their offensive line this summer. They signed guard Brandon Scherff to a three-year, $52.5 million contract after franchise-tagging left tackle Cam Robinson. So, although I considered an offensive tackle here and may have gone that route a month ago, Hutchinson is the only option. In 2021, he had 66 pressures, and he has the potential to be a culture-setter in Jacksonville for years to come.
CB Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
If I’m Detroit, I’m crossing my fingers that Jacksonville takes a different path, putting Hutchinson in position to win easily at No. 2. But that’s not how things went down. Yes, I know the Lions selected cornerback Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 overall choice only two years ago, but I also know he has spent both of his career seasons on injured reserve and has played in just 10 games. Last season, the Lions handed up the NFL’s third-best opponent QBR (53.4) and are currently looking for a cornerback. Gardner didn’t let up more than 13 yards in a game or a touchdown throughout the 2021 season.
Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton (S)
I’m not concerned about his subpar 40-yard sprint results at the combine (4.59) or on his pro day. Hamilton has uncommon flexibility and qualities for a safety, and he’d be an immediate contributor on defense. Houston needs assistance in all areas, but defense stands out, as it tied for the second-most yards allowed per play in the NFL last season (5.9).
Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) is a wide receiver.
The Jets did a nice job in free agency, but they still need a true No. 1 receiver after Tyreek Hill chose Miami over New York in a trade from the Chiefs. Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios are a solid trio, but Wilson is a difference-maker. Second-year quarterback Zach Wilson needs that. On 102 targets, Garrett Wilson had only two drops and caught 89.7% of his catchable balls, per ESPN Stats & Information tracking.
Alabama OT Evan Neal
The offensive tackle duo of Neal and Andrew Thomas provides quarterback Daniel Jones with the necessary protection. Last season, Neal just allowed one sack and has 40 career starts under his belt. I considered NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu as well, but I feel Neal has a better chance given the caliber of competition he faced at Alabama. It takes a certain kind of dominance to be that dominant against SEC pass rushers.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett
Yes, the Panthers are still looking for a left tackle, and Ekwonu is still on the market. But, as the interim general manager, I’m focused on the most crucial position on the field. Carolina missed out on Deshaun Watson and didn’t do anything else to solve a glaring quarterback deficiency. Coach Matt Rhule is in the midst of a pivotal season, and the Panthers must start winning games. Pickett has 49 career starts and is the team’s most NFL-ready quarterback. Maybe it’s a stretch, but we’re talking about a quarterback who could start right away for a squad in dire need of an upgrade.
DE, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux
Last season, the Giants only had 34 sacks and had been hunting for a game-changing pass rusher for many years. They can’t pass on Thibodeaux’s potential, which is exceedingly high despite his motor’s issues. He possesses the size, speed, and strength, and in three seasons at Oregon, he racked up 19 sacks. I’m pleased with the New York haul, which includes securing Neal and Thibodeaux to fill major gaps.
Drake London (USC) is a wide receiver for the Trojans.
After dealing Matt Ryan, Atlanta is looking for a new franchise quarterback, but Marcus Mariota can fill in for a year. Under the hood of the 2023 class, there will be additional alternatives. Meanwhile, the Falcons have a quality tight end in Kyle Pitts, but their wide receiver area is bare. Olamide Zaccheaus, KhaDarel Hodge, and Frank Darby are among the current members. London is a fantastic player that fits in well with the Falcons.
NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu
Pass-rusher is a position to keep an eye on, and the Seahawks also need a quarterback. However, they have yet to re-sign tackle Duane Brown, who is a free agency, and might begin the rebuilding process with a young franchise left tackle. That’s Ekwonu, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 310 pounds. Since 2015, Seattle has allowed at least 42 sacks and has been in the bottom 10 in that category every season. During the 2021 season, Ekwonu only allowed nine pressures and three sacks.
Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II is a defensive end.
Maybe I’m simply trying to make amends for the 16-year-old trade of John Abraham. However, even with Carl Lawson expected to return from an Achilles injury, I believe the Jets still lack edge rushing depth. Only six teams recorded less sacks than the Jets (33), although Johnson had 12 at Florida State last season. He’s also a powerful edge setter, and I think he’ll be a more consistent prospect than Georgia’s Travon Walker, who may be considered here as well. If I come out of Round 1 with Wilson and Johnson, I’ll be ecstatic.
Ohio State’s Chris Olave is a wide receiver.
Last season, the Commanders finished in the lowest half of the league in almost every passing metric, and although Carson Wentz is an improvement as quarterback, his pass-catching corps may need some help as well. Terry McLaurin is set to become a free agency in 2023, and the receiver market is only growing more pricey. Curtis Samuel missed 12 games last season, and Adam Humphries, the only other Washington wide receiver with more than 25 receptions in 2021 besides McLaurin, is now unsigned. The Commanders have a strong outside tandem with Olave and McLaurin, a former Ohio State teammate.
DE Travon Walker (Georgia)
Walker’s combine performance was fantastic, but I’m concerned about his productivity inconsistency (just 9.5 sacks in 36 career games). That’s why I’ve dropped him to No. 12 on this list. He is, however, a dynamic player who has the potential to grow into a force off the dribble. Opposing quarterbacks would be troubled by a triumvirate of Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, and Walker.
Kiper » | McShay » | Positions » • Ranks: Kiper » | McShay » Kiper » | McShay » | Reid » Mocks • Meet the Quarterbacks » | Interesting groups » • Order of the draft » | First Draft podcast » • More information » | Complete ranks »
Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross
Thanks to the Deshaun Watson deal, Houston is back on the board, and I’m giving the Texans a smooth-moving pass protector in Cross at No. 13. When I was the GM in Miami, I picked Laremy Tunsil, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to choose his bookend on the opposite side. Last season, Cross allowed six pressures on 683 pass-block snaps… in the SEC. That’s incredible. After allowing 40 or more sacks last season, the Texans’ offensive line is crucial as they strive to develop second-year quarterback Davis Mills. Houston should be pleased with its first-round selections, Hamilton and Cross.
Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa) Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa) Tyler Linderbaum (
This is a simple one. Linderbaum is a Day 1 starter at center for a team that needs to open running lanes for running back J.K. Dobbins and quarterback Lamar Jackson. Bradley Bozeman left Baltimore to sign with Carolina, and Linderbaum is a Day 1 starter at center for a team that needs to open running lanes for running back J.K. Dobbins and quarterback Lamar Jackson.
ILB Devin Lloyd (Utah)
Being the Eagles’ general manager on April 28 would be a blast. Starting here, three options from the top 20! Lloyd can be a versatile player in the center of the Eagles’ defense, since the Eagles haven’t chosen a first-round linebacker in over a decade. He’s a three-down defender who runs quicker than his 40-yard sprint speed of 4.66 seconds implies.
Kenyon Green, G/C, Texas A&M
I like this guy’s adaptability. He’s played at least 100 plays at four different offensive line positions and is capable of playing the fifth (center). The Eagles could use a guy like Green after center Jason Kelce re-signed for just a year and guard Brandon Brooks recently retired.
ILB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)
Dean has a Jonathan Vilma-like quality about him. At 5-foot-11 and 229 pounds, he’s somewhat undersized, but he has the instincts and production to be a three-down linebacker in the middle. I can see the Chargers acquiring another run-stopper up the middle, but Dean can assist there while still having an impact on other aspects of the game. With Khalil Mack coming in off the edge opposite Joey Bosa, J.C. Jackson ballhawking outside, Sebastian Joseph-Day filling holes against the run, and Dean dominating the center of the field, Los Angeles receives a total boost at every level of the defense. Two years ago, the Rams selected linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. in the first round, but he has struggled.
Our NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, and the rest of the team break down the class of 2022. • First Draft radio show «
Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning is an offensive tackle.
Penning is the ideal replacement for Terron Armstead, who just signed with Miami. At the line of scrimmage, he’s strong and physical, and he’d retain the offensive line as one of the Saints’ strengths. Despite weighing 325 pounds, Penning had a stellar combine performance, including the fifth-fastest 10-yard split in the 40-yard sprint among linemen (1.65).
Trent McDuffie is a cornerback for the Washington Redskins.
So I’ve already landed a linebacker in Lloyd and a lineman in Green for the Eagles. Now I’m concentrating on cornerback, where Philly is in desperate need of a starter to replace Darius Slay. In 2021, the Eagles were tied for the lowest completion percentage against, allowing opponents to complete over 70% of their passes. McDuffie, on the other hand, is a shutdown candidate. Last season, he allowed only 3.8 yards per pass attempt, which was tied for third best in college football, and he can play in both man and zone systems.
Liberty quarterback Malik Willis
With Mitch Trubisky acting as a bridge starter, the Steelers can take advantage of Willis’ availability, choose the big-armed Liberty quarterback, and develop him before taking over in the AFC North’s quarterback-heavy division. I like his movement in and out of the pocket, and I believe he has a strong opportunity to be an NFL starter. Following Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, Pittsburgh must select a new quarterback, and this is a fantastic situation for the Steelers.
Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr., cornerback
J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore were in the Patriots’ cornerback room only two years ago. Malcolm Butler and Jalen Mills are now starting on the outside. Booth possesses exceptional agility, scheme versatility, and the ability to play many positions. Why did Booth get the nod over LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr.? Stingley has only appeared in 10 games in the last two seasons, and his performance has been underwhelming. That worries me, and I’m leaning toward Booth since I know exactly what I’ll receive from him.
Penn State WR Jahan Dotson
Dotson is similar to Marvin Harrison in that he is diminutive but has incredible quickness and delicate hands. With Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling gone, the Packers need a possession receiver, and Dotson caught 91 catches for Penn State last season. He also only had two drops out of 142 targets, so he should be able to immediately earn quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ confidence.
Michigan’s David Ojabo, OLB
Ojabo tore his Achilles tendon at Michigan’s pro day, and he might be out for the season. Arizona, on the other hand, should be ecstatic to obtain a guy with his pass-rushing skills, even if it means he won’t make his debut until late in the 2022 season at the earliest. Chandler Jones is no longer with us. Both J.J. Watt and Markus Golden are in their late thirties. Players like cornerback Sidney Jones IV and defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons have suffered injuries during the selection process and gone on to be top choices and flourish in the NFL. Arizona would have a productive disruptor off the edge once Ojabo is back to full vigor.
LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. is a cornerback.
Consider Trevon Diggs and Stingley as receivers-in-chief. There’s a lot of promise there. Stingley is a fascinating yet perplexing concept. He’s one of the top three or four players in the whole class when he’s at his best. However, his injury history and inconsistent performance pose a significant danger. However, if Dallas plays anything near his peak, he may be a bargain at No. 24 overall.
Washington’s Kyler Gordon is a cornerback.
Tre’Davious White is coming back from an ACL rupture, and Levi Wallace has signed with the Steelers. While Gordon didn’t run anywhere near his combine expectations (4.52 in the 40), he has solid 6-foot stature and can play tough man-to-man coverage on the perimeter. In 2021, he held opponent receivers to to 15 receptions and zero touchdowns while also intercepting two passes.
Arkansas’ Treylon Burks is a wide receiver.
Julio Jones was released by the Titans. They acquired Robert Woods in a trade, although he is recovering from a knee injury. A.J. Brown is approaching the last year of his contract. You get my drift. At receiver, the squad has a lot of unanswered questions. Burks, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 225 pounds, is a tough player. Ryan Tannehill would love to have him in the red zone, and I believe he’d be a great match for the Titans.
Georgia’s Jordan Davis is a defensive tackle.
Ndamukong Suh might yet re-sign with the Bucs to fill the vacancy at defensive tackle, but I can already see opponents rushing up the middle against Vita Vea and Davis. Remember that the NFC South has players like Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara who can take handoffs. In that division, you must have a strong run defense, and Davis is the ultimate run-stopper. His combine exercise was legendary, and he’ll be a great defensive lineman in the NFL for a long time if he remains in the 340-pound range.
Boston College G/C Zion Johnson
Johnson has the ability to start on the first day at guard or offensive tackle, and he may even grow into a center. He fought hard at the Senior Bowl to get snaps as a center, and there’s no reason he couldn’t do the same in the NFL. Johnson, who possesses 34-inch arms, did not allow a single sack or pressure in 2021. Because Elgton Jenkins is rehabilitating from an ACL rupture, Johnson might fill in at left guard or at right guard, replacing Royce Newman or Yosh Nijman.
Alabama WR Jameson Williams
Tyreek Hill was traded by the Chiefs. They now have the opportunity to choose his successor with one of the choices that were sent to Kansas City in exchange for him. Williams tore his ACL and will miss the first week of the season, but his explosiveness and speed make him a perfect Chiefs draft choice. Williams’ performance in the SEC Championship, when he had seven receptions for 184 yards and two scores, wowed me.
Penn State’s DE Arnold Ebiketie
In terms of defense, I’d want to get a capable edge rusher. Only three teams had less sacks than the Chiefs in 2021, but Ebiketie, who transferred from Temple, recorded 9.5 sacks for Penn State previous season.
Auburn’s Roger McCreary, cornerback
In free agency, the Bengals bolstered their offensive line by signing offensive tackle La’el Collins, guard Alex Cappa, and interior lineman Ted Karras. That makes me feel very good, so I’m concentrating on another position: cornerback. Cincinnati would benefit from competition for Eli Apple and Chidobe Awuzie, and McCreary is a tenacious tiny corner with promise.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral
It’s critical to get the fifth-year option when picking a quarterback. In 2018, the Ravens selected Lamar Jackson with the 32nd overall selection, giving them an additional year on his rookie contract. After picking Gardner earlier in the draft, Detroit may do the same with Corral. Because the Lions have Jared Goff under contract, there’s no need to hurry Corral back into action, particularly since he’s currently recovering from an ankle ailment. He is, however, a fast prospect with a fluid release. The upside here intrigues me.
The “nfl mock draft 2022 round 1” is the first round of the NFL’s annual draft.
- nfl mock draft 2022: round 2
- nfl mock draft 2022 round 4
- 2022 nfl mock draft fantasy
- nfl mock draft 2022: eagles
- nfl mock draft 2022 espn