My debut mock was a lot of fun and somewhat well-received, so I thank all the lovers and haters alike, but we're going even bigger and bolder here!
Every single damn pick comes from a place of hardcore numbers-crunching, research, and a legitimate, grounded place of logic as I put myself in the position of deciding what would truly be best for all these NFL front offices. With the draft EVEN CLOSER now, let’s rock. Oh, and this time, we’ve got some TRADES, which is fitting, because that weird trade the Eagles and Saints made has shaken up the order a bit.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
No change here. There are some great offensive linemen at the top of this class. Franchise tagging Cam Robinson — a still-baffling decision by Trent Baalke — and the dire state of Jacksonville’s defense make Hutchinson an obvious choice here at No. 1. He’s the best EDGE prospect in the draft, and instantly transforms a lackluster Jaguars front seven.
2. Detroit Lions - Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Lions fans: Sound off in the comments on what you want. It's a real quagmire here. This is as tricky of a pick as there is. I don't see any great trade options. I had Derek Stingley Jr. last time, and that was blasphemous. Malik Willis doesn’t seem like a popular choice either. So, I’ll stick to my guns and go cornerback, just a different one. “Sauce” Gardner allowed a 43% completion rate, with zero TDs and nine INTs across the last three seasons. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. He’s got the swagger, production and blue-collar mentality that are all tailor-made for the Motor City.
3. Houston Texans - Evan Neal, OL, Alabama
Who knows what the state of the Texans organization will be in the next couple years. Laremy Tunsil’s contract runs through 2023. Neal doesn’t have to be Tunsil’s left tackle successor, though. While he did shine at Alabama at the position this past season, he’s also thrived at right tackle and left guard. Houston was PFF’s worst run-blocking o-line in 2021, and Neal can slot in anywhere as a starter.
4. New York Jets - Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Personally, I don't know if I would do this. See the below video, and let this kick around in your noggin: Supremely confident players come in many forms, but for whatever reason, some are much easier to root for than others. For instance, Joe Burrow > Baker Mayfield. Here, I find myself going Sauce Gardner > Kayvon Thibodeaux. Totally arbitrary, I know. With all that said, it takes only one team to fall in love with Thibodeaux. He's really damn good on the field. Even though Thibodeaux's effort from down to down is universally questioned, Robert Saleh would love to add the Oregon standout to his scheme and make it work. If Carl Lawson can return fully healthy to play opposite Thibodeaux, that lackluster Jets pass rush ought to be a lot better in 2022.
5. New York Giants - Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State
The Giants should not fuck around and take whoever they think is the best offensive lineman on the board. Ekwonu seems like the ideal fit for what they need. He can kick inside to guard and be an absolute mauler to pave running lanes for Saquon Barkley (at long last). With Andrew Thomas already at left tackle, Ekwonu might not see New York as his ideal destination. That’s why it’s the draft, baby.
6 TRADE: Houston Texans (via Carolina) - Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Texans send 13th pick, 80th pick and a 2023 second-rounder to Panthers for 6th pick
OK, I’ll admit it. I have a draft man crush on Stingley. Missing 15 games over the past two seasons isn’t a good look. If you’re going for just pure coverage skills and raw ability, however, Stingley is as gifted as there is in this class. Houston BADLY needs help in its defensive backfield. Provided he stays healthy, I don’t see why Stingley won’t be an All-Pro caliber player. That’s why the Texans trade up with the Panthers, who desperately need assets, as this is their only pick in the top 136 entering the draft.
7. New York Giants - Travon Walker, DL, Georgia
I actually had the Ekwonu-Walker picks reversed for the G-Men in the last mock, and given how this one shook out, the fact that Thibodeaux doesn’t drop and Neal goes No. 3 instead of later ultimately doesn’t change who New York gets. Think about what Wink Martindale could dial up with players like Walker, Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence creating absolute havoc up front.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Drake London, WR, USC
Instead of drafting Atlanta native Malik Willis, the Falcons’ depleted receiving corps gets a jolt with London installed as the top option. If this is the way it goes, Atlanta would have 6-foot-6 Kyle Pitts, 6-foot-5 Auden Tate and the 6-foot-4 London as their likely top three pass-catching options. Try that on for SIZE.
9. Seattle Seahawks - Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Willis has the highest ceiling of any QB in this class. His special open-field agility, his cannon arm, and all that upside…it's an intriguing combination. By all accounts, his character is off-the-charts good. Teammates swear by him. What am I missing here? Do you really think 70-year-old Pete Carroll wants to prolong his effort to replace Russell Wilson for an entire season and roll with Drew Lock? I think that hubris is gonna kick in. We know Carroll has huge say in personnel. I think he takes a swing here. Plus, the Seahawks have two second-round picks this year, and four picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 draft. If any QB-needy team can afford a flier on Willis, it's Seattle. Imagine if Willis is a hit, Kyler Murray wears out his welcome via whining in Arizona, and Trey Lance is a bust for the 49ers. Not saying all that WILL happen, but if it does…
10. New York Jets - Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Anyone who throws on Hamilton's game tape sees how rangy, instinctive and downright savvy he is in pass coverage. He's 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds of terror when defending the run, too. Red flags are cropping up because of Hamilton's 40 time at Notre Dame's pro day, which was clocked in the 4.7-second range. Between that and the lesser value of the safety position, some speculate Hamilton could slide out of the top 10. The Jets shouldn't pass on him if he's there. The duo of Hamilton and Jordan Whitehead would be a huge boon to Gang Green's secondary.
11. Washington Commanders - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Plugging in an electrifying playmaker like Wilson with fellow ex-Buckeyes Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel could do wonders for new Commanders QB Carson Wentz. If Wilson is what he's expected to be, Wentz will have never had that type of talent at receiver in his entire career. It may also trigger a quick turnaround in Washington, where the team could truly challenge for the NFC East title.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
This guy is a mountain of a man at 6-foot-6 and 341 pounds. He ran a 4.78 40 at the Combine. Need I say more? I don't think he needs to be a pure two-down player who merely plugs running lanes. Davis is so damn sudden and quick for his size. Minnesota is going to more of a 3-4 base look with its new coaching staff. Give me Davis, Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips on the inside, with Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith crashing in off the edge. That sounds güd.
13. Carolina Panthers (via Houston) - Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
This is well-covered territory. Matt Rhule once got a commitment from Pickett to play at Temple. Rhule is now in Carolina. He was at Pickett's pro day. The Panthers desperately need a QB. In this scenario, they get the best of all worlds by trading down for more draft assets and getting a probable instant upgrade over Sam Darnold. I could see them taking someone like Charles Cross if they fail to land a free-agent offensive tackle. But nah, QB takes precedent here.
14. Baltimore Ravens - Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Odafe Oweh could use a running mate on the opposite edge who's capable of putting pressure on the opposing QB. Baltimore's stout secondary got ravaged by injuries in 2021, and with that core coming back healthy, bolstered by the addition of safety Marcus Williams, it'd be a dream for the Ravens to add a pass-rusher like Johnson to the front seven. He had 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks for the Seminoles last season.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
I don't think it'd hurt to provide Jalen Hurts with as many weapons as possible, especially since Jalen Reagor has disappointed to date. Williams will be coming off a torn ACL when he debuts in the NFL. Still, he's arguably the most electrifying receiver prospect of the year. He broke out as Alabama's No. 1, and between Williams, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins, Philly would have as much explosiveness as any young receiving corps.
16. New Orleans Saints - Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
That trade New Orleans pulled off with the Eagles cost them a 2023 first-round pick. Howie Roseman never met a deal he couldn't make, right? So while Philly continues to hedge its bet on Hurts as the long-term QB, it seems like the Saints believe they can win now with Jameis Winston under center. Either that, or they really believe in a signal-caller who'll fall to them in the middle of Round 1. No matter who takes the snaps, losing Terron Armstead to Miami was a big blow for the Saints' o-line. A stout pass protector like Cross is a godsend at 16th overall. I do wonder if New Orleans will go full-send and trade their first-rounders to move even HIGHER for a QB. Seems unlikely. Let's see what happens.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
Whichever interior defender from Georgia who Minnesota passes on at 12th overall, I'm fairly confident the Chargers will pounce on. In this mock, Wyatt is the guy still on the board. LA already bolstered its defense with Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson, but adding a talented rookie to the mix in Wyatt should help its awful play versus the run improve markedly in 2022.
18. Philadelphia Eagles - Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
I feel like McDuffie can literally play anywhere in the secondary. That type of versatility is hard to find, and is vital in the modern game. To begin, Philadelphia could have McDuffie compete for the starting spot opposite Darius Slay, and occasionally flex into the slot. As a box player, McDuffie isn't afraid to lay the lumber and is quick to diagnose plays. Last time I had him in the top 10, so the value here for the Eagles is tremendous.
19. New Orleans Saints - Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
With Michael Thomas hopefully coming back to elite form and Marquez Callaway the only other wideout the Saints can count on, it'd be nice to get someone like Olave into the mix. He's got more speed than people realize, and Olave is also an excellent route-runner who feels as pro-ready as any prospect from a technical standpoint. Thomas' jump to the NFL from Ohio State's gimmicky offense is something he can level with Olave about, which should add to the appeal of this potential pick.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
While I could see Pittsburgh opting for a pure center like Tyler Linderbaum and reshuffling its line, or going with a versatile lineman like Kenyon Green, why not go a little daring here and gamble on the upside at left tackle? Penning will need time to adjust after facing FCS competition, yet he was so dominant at that level that I don't envision his switch to the NFL being as rough as many might expect. He's the type of road-grading force who Pittsburgh would embrace. With buzz that Penning is making a top-30 visit to New England, the Steelers would do well to snag him before the Patriots go on the clock.
21. New England Patriots - Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Trading for DeVante Parker will likely take New England out of the receiver market in Round 1. Bill Belichick has a dreadful history of drafting receivers high anyway. The bigger priority should be upgrading a cornerback group that's lost the likes of Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson recently. Booth may fall a little bit after undergoing sports hernia surgery, and he'd be an excellent fit in Foxborough.
22. Green Bay Packers - Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
There isn't much Lloyd can't do on the gridiron. This is more of a "best player available" selection than anything else. Whether it's coverage, run defense, or even rushing the passer, Lloyd can help the Packers out in all those ways. Pairing up Lloyd with De'Vondre Campbell is an appealing proposition. Don't worry, Cheeseheads. Soon the Pack's plan to give Aaron Rodgers a No. 1 receiver will be revealed.
23. Arizona Cardinals - Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Yeah, I could absolutely see Burks to Green Bay if he lasts this long in the draft. The Packers have coveted big-bodied guys in recent years. For the Cardinals, if for no other reason than to appease disgruntled QB Kyler Murray, they get Burks. There's no one better at beating press coverage than Burks in this 2022 receiver group, which should ease his transition to the NFL. Plus, he'd enjoy all kinds of one-on-one matchups with DeAndre Hopkins drawing double coverage. Burks could really take the Cardinals' dynamic passing attack to another level.
24. Dallas Cowboys - Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
If I were Dallas, I'd consider sticking Micah Parsons on the edge more often than not, let him and DeMarcus Lawrence go to work, and get Dean to patrol the middle of the field. The Cowboys lack linebacker depth behind Parsons and Leighton Vander Esch, who's on a one-year contract. Many questioned the Parsons pick last year because of his position. Similar concerns may surface here with Dean if he's the choice, but it'd only make Dallas' front seven more dynamic and multiple.
25. Buffalo Bills - Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Tre'Davious White tore his ACL on Thanksgiving, and as we saw in the Divisional Round, the Bills' secondary needed some help facing Kansas City's high-octane offense. Adding a legitimate cover corner on the outside like Elam seems like a great investment for the Bills in the present and future.
26. Tennessee Titans - Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
Either guard spot could use a boost in Tennessee. Johnson is a logical choice to fill in on the left side, which will only help Derrick Henry run the ball. More importantly, the Titans must figure out how to keep Ryan Tannehill clean, as he took 47 sacks during the regular season.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa
Ryan Jensen is already in place at center, but he has NFL experience playing guard. If he had to slide over and make room for Linderbaum at center, I could see it working out nicely, particularly now that Shaq Mason is at the other guard spot. Linderbaum is too good for Tampa Bay to pass up, absent any other pressing needs. He has the blocking savvy and maturity to hold his own as the guy snapping the ball to Tom Brady.
28. TRADE: Seattle Seahawks (via Green Bay) - Bernard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
Seahawks send WR DK Metcalf and 2023 fourth-rounder to Packers for 28th pick, 2023 second-rounder
Getting a possible blue-chip tackle this late in the first round is a unique opportunity. Raimann has only played tackle for two years after converting to tight end, which is part of why he's available here. DK Metcalf trade rumors are flying all over the place, and the Packers should do all they can to land a legit receiver instead of banking on a rookie. On the Seahawks' side, with Austin Blythe at center, and Gabe Jackson and Damien Lewis hopefully bouncing back from down years at guard, they can plug in an athletic marvel in Raimann at left tackle to fortify their line.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
The more I think about Karlaftis, the less impressed I am. Being a sort of every-down workhorse and priding yourself on that can only get you so far. Don't get me wrong, this dude is fierce and strong, but a straight bull rush isn't going to win as often in the pros. For someone with his play strength, Karlaftis is disappointing at times defending the run, too. All those reservations aside, if he goes to Kansas City and lines up next to Chris Jones, the Purdue star would be in ideal position to exceed expectations and make a swift impact.
30. Kansas City Chiefs - Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Just because the Chiefs signed Justin Reid in free agency doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look at adding a versatile defensive back like Cine to the mix. Reid is more of a deep safety, who’s more or less interchangeable with Juan Thornhill. The loss of Tyrann Mathieu still looms large in KC. Cine is a ballhawk who can align in the slot, box or over the top and at least emulate what the artist formerly known as Honey Badger did. Heck, Cine will be better for the Chiefs’ safety rotation than Daniel Sorensen was, amirite?
31. Cincinnati Bengals - Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
As a fan of the Bengals, I would rather see them go with the flashier Tariq Woolen, who's more of a boom-or-bust prospect. What the front office might actually do? I think it's likelier they go for a "safer" player with, still, loads of athletic ability in Gordon. Washington's football program is a low-key cornerback factory. Gordon is most comfortable on the outside and can play in the slot to spell Mike Hilton on occasion if need be. More pertinently, Gordon is polished enough to give Eli Apple a run for his money at the CB2 spot. Don't get me wrong, Kenyon Green would be a lovely choice here, too, if he happens to slide this far.
32. Detroit Lions - Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Whichever way it's achieved, I venture to think Lions fans would be pretty thrilled with Sauce Gardner and Corral coming out of Day 1. Corral is a little undersized, but like Gardner, plays with a competitive edge that's very much the opposite of the perpetually somber-looking Jared Goff. By not reaching for a QB at second overall, the Lions can bring someone in here like Corral to sit behind Goff for a season before taking the reins in 2023. Or, you know, maybe Detroit is bad enough again to pick high next year in a draft class that's expected to be better at the most important position.
Continue reading for a little betting props insight and a mock of the second round!
Barstool Sportsbook props — # of players to be drafted in Round 1 by position:
QBs: 2.5 — Over (-250) / Under (+185)
WRs: 5.5 — Over (-175) / Under (+132)
CBs: 4.5 — Over (+110) / Under (-143)
OT/OL: 7.5 — Over (+110) / Under (-143)
In this mock: 3 QBs, 5 WRs, 6 CBs, 6 OT/OL
2022 NFL Mock Draft, Round 2:
33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
34. Detroit Lions - Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
35. New York Jets - George Pickens, WR, Georgia
36. New York Giants - Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
37. Houston Texans - Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
38. New York Jets - Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
39. Chicago Bears - Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
40. Seattle Seahawks - Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
41. Seattle Seahawks - Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
42. Indianapolis Colts - Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
43. Atlanta Falcons - Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
44. Cleveland Browns - Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
45. Baltimore Ravens - Travis Jones, DL, UConn
46. Minnesota Vikings - Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
47. Washington Commanders - Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
48. Chicago Bears - Tyler Smith, OL, Tulsa
49. New Orleans Saints - Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
50. Kansas City Chiefs - John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
51. Philadelphia Eagles - Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
52. Pittsburgh Steelers - David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
53. Green Bay Packers - Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
54. New England Patriots - DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
55. Arizona Cardinals - Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
56. Dallas Cowboys - Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
57. Buffalo Bills - Perrion Winfrey, DL, Oklahoma
58. Atlanta Falcons - Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
59. Green Bay Packers - Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
61. San Francisco 49ers - Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
62. Kansas City Chiefs - Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
63. Cincinnati Bengals - Dylan Parham, OL, Memphis
64. Denver Broncos - Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
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