Here we go. My last 2022 NFL Mock Draft, with even more of a betting flavor now that all the props are up on Barstool Sportsbook. It's been a lot of fun to jump on and hit some draft coverage over the last month. I'm down to hear what you have to say about your favorite teams. As long as we can have civilized, respectful discourse, count me in.
For those of you who get all abrasive and butthurt about predictions that are fated to be wrong by the sheer impossibility of having a fully accurate mock draft, I submit this to you as a dramatized approximation of our interactions:
Odds via Barstool Sportsbook, current as of 6 p.m. ET on 4/27.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Dumbest pick in the draft. Count on no one other than Trent Baalke to execute it. A no-brainer is staring him directly in the face and he just can't get out of his own way. Trevor Lawrence was too thoughtless of a choice atop last year's draft. Baalke is about to strike again. Sorry, Jaguars fans. Walker is the betting favorite to go No. 1 overall.
2. Detroit Lions - Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
I don't think this position is a massive need for the Lions, and if I were them, I'd go either cornerback (where they're really hurting) or wide receiver to give the offense more of a lift. In lieu of an appetizing trade-down scenario, getting an in-state product like Hutchinson after the Jags pass on him is a satisfying alternative.
3. Houston Texans - Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Honestly take your pick here if you're the Texans between Stingley and Ahmad Gardner. Don't think you can go wrong. I may or may not have gotten Stingley at No. 3 overall as a +6500 prop, so maybe part of me is doing my best to manifest this into existence. Then again, there appears to be substance to my weeks-ago wager, because now Stingley is the favorite at +200!!! So pray for me that this happens, please.
4. New York Jets - Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Sauce feels like he's made for New York/New Jersey. I can tell you Robert Saleh would love to have Gardner aboard. If you don't give up a single TD across three years of starting in college, I don't even care what the competition level is, that's called going HARD. I know the Jets have several young corners they're developing. None of them are near the caliber that Sauce is even before he's entered the NFL.
5. New York Giants - Evan Neal, OL, Alabama
The No. 1 guy on my big board is here for the G-Men, who are in desperate need of o-line help. Neal started at left guard, right tackle and left tackle in the last three seasons respectively. He was excellent at every position. Insert him really anywhere in the trenches in New York and he's an upgrade. I imagine Andrew Thomas will stay at left tackle. Nevertheless, Neal should be the guy here if he's on the board. It's no wonder the Giants are a -150 bet to draft an offensive lineman with their first pick.
6. Carolina Panthers - Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
Player to be drafted first matchup: Ikem Ekwonu (+120) vs. Kayvon Thibodeaux (-157)
I've had a couple mocks with Kenny Pickett going here, but it's too rich. I think cooler heads ultimately prevail in Carolina. The offensive line needs serious work. Adding a potential franchise cornerstone in Ikem Ekwonu at left tackle sounds a lot more appetizing than reaching for a QB in this weak class.
7. New York Giants - Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Over 4.5 draft position (+130)
I definitely see Thibodeaux as a New York brand guy. Some believe he'd be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. Others have him crashing down to the middle of the first round. I'm going to split the difference here and say the Giants end up with the Oregon edge defender. Thibodeaux isn't my cup of tea. Seems like one of those guys who doesn't "get it." Then again, in New York, if he can back up his brash naïveté with elite play, he'll be the toast of the town.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
First WR to be drafted: Garrett Wilson -118 / Jameson Williams +175 / Drake London +175
I personally prefer Drake London as this draft's WR1, but it's basically a tossup between him and Williams for me. I think the Falcons will go with the more explosive, speedier player here. Atlanta already has a couple big-bodied pass-catchers in Kyle Pitts and Auden Tate. The passing attack needs someone who can flat-out fly and who has a No. 1 receiver ceiling. It may take some time for Williams to knock off the rust as he works back from a torn ACL. The Falcons are in a complete rebuild and would be rewarded for their patience.
9. Seattle Seahawks - Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
I feel like Thibodeaux fits more with Pete Carroll's loose, outspoken player type of locker room, but Johnson isn't a bad consolation prize at all. The Seahawks can't seem to hit on a good pass-rusher off the edge. That'd change in a big way with the addition of Johnson, who transferred from Georgia and got some much-needed exposure as a star at Florida State. He was a standout at the Senior Bowl thereafter to boost his stock.
10. New York Jets - Drake London, WR, USC
All sorts of rumors flying around that the Jets could acquire Deebo Samuel in a trade. For purposes of this exercise, let's assume they don't. I think they could either go with Garrett Wilson or London here. Either way, Zach Wilson has another weapon to grow with, and someone who'll hopefully help him make a big jump in Year 2 after his mostly bad maiden season.
11. Washington Commanders - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
It's a weird spot for Washington. Carson Wentz has never really had elite receiving talent, so loading up with another wideout like Wilson wouldn't be the worst move the Commanders could make. Curtis Samuel has struggled to stay healthy, and there's no telling what Terry McLaurin's future holds as he's angling for a new contract.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
The Vikings are listed at +300 to draft a defensive lineman (+100 for a defensive back). I'd ride the 3-to-1 play with Davis. I'd be surprised if Minnesota passed up its bigger need at this juncture with Stingley and Gardner off the board. Some may question if this is too early for Davis to go. An athletic marvel at 346 pounds who could join the same defensive front as Danielle Hunter, Za'Darius Smith and Dalvin Tomlinson sounds too good on paper to pass up if I'm in the Vikes' front office.
13. Houston Texans - Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Player to be drafted first matchup: Kyle Hamilton (-150) vs. Malik Willis (+115) — Previous day: Willis -167/Hamilton +128
It's difficult to figure out how far Hamilton might slide. I think the concerns about his speed are a little overblown, but they aren't nothing. Houston already took Stingley in this mock at No. 3. Their defensive backfield is bad enough that I would consider double dipping in the secondary.
14. Baltimore Ravens - Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
I feel like the Ravens have invested plenty of picks at wide receiver, yet none of them have felt like true game-changers yet. Marquise Brown has been fine if inconsistent. Rashod Bateman didn't really pop in Year 1. If the Ravens nabbed Olave and teamed him up with Brown, Bateman and tight end Mark Andrews, that'd give Baltimore a real set of weapons Lamar Jackson hasn't really had since taking over under center.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
I can't remember the last time the Eagles had a truly great linebacker in the heart of their defense. Devin Lloyd can do just about anything imaginable — blitz, play the run cover — at as high of a level as any player at his position in this class. I think he'd add a new dimension to Philadelphia's defense and would therefore be worthy of going this high.
16. New Orleans Saints - Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
First QB to be drafted: Malik Willis -190 / Kenny Pickett +135 / Desmond Ridder +1200 / Matt Corral +1900
I feel like at some point the quarterbacks have to start coming off the board. It seems most of them will take a slide to the back half of the first round. Malik Willis doesn't have to play right away, and his lesser draft status won't put Jameis Winston on the hot seat as the starter from the jump. Winston can play out the season while Willis learns. Hopefully, it leads to Winston's trade value going up and Willis taking the reins in 2023.
17. Los Angeles Chargers - Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
I'm surprised the Chargers are at +350 for a defensive lineman with their first choice, trailing o-lineman (+140) and DB (+200). I feel like Wyatt, Davis or both will be here for LA when they're on the clock. Either one would be a solid choice to help repair last season's sieve of a front. Wyatt is the more laterally quick prospect compared to Davis, which isn't a slight at the latter at all. The peculiar scheme Georgia ran makes me think anyone from that unit is an ideal fit in Brandon Staley's complex system that didn't quite jell in 2021. I like Wyatt's skill set in Staley's gap-and-a-half run defense in particular.
18. Philadelphia Eagles - Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
McDuffie is the eighth-ranked player on my big board, and I think he has the skill set to play anywhere in the secondary. There's a little bit of Tyrann Mathieu to his game. He's undersized, but is a tenacious and willing tackler, versatile and sticky in coverage and has an excellent football IQ in terms of diagnosing plays and closing quickly on the ball. Whether he starts opposite Darius Slay or ultimately fits better at safety, McDuffie is a steal for the Eagles at 18th overall.
19. New Orleans Saints - Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Once upon a time I took Cross at crazy odds to be the No. 1 overall pick. Not gonna happen. Trent Baalke just can't get over his crush on Cam Robinson. The Charles Cross hype train has officially gained steam. As of this writing, his Over/Under draft position is suddenly up to 6.5!! So yeah, if the Saints somehow get him with the No. 19 pick, that'd be incredible.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
I could see either small-school tackle here. When it comes to Penning, he's a bigger, better athlete who plays with a nastier streak than Central Michigan's Bernard Raimann. All of that fits the fabric of Steelers football in the AFC North so perfectly. Raimann is a little higher on my big board because I think he's more technically refined and didn't play at the FCS level. It depends where each of them land. Penning may wind up being the better pro in the end.
21. TRADE: San Francisco 49ers (via Patriots) - Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
49ers trade WR Deebo Samuel to Patriots for 21st pick, WR Nelson Agholor, 2023 first-rounder and 2024 third-rounder
I feel like most people believe Deebo is headed to the Jets, since they have a second Day 1 choice to burn. However, I think it's significant that the Pats and Niners have done business before in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. New England sucks at drafting receivers. Bill Belichick should go get a proven one and outbid the rival Jets. If this is how things go down, I think San Francisco should invest in protecting its prized QB asset Trey Lance with a versatile o-lineman like Green, who could plug in at either guard spot.
22. Green Bay Packers - Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Signing Sammy Watkins in free agency isn't a satisfactory solution to the Packers' shortcomings at wide receiver. I'll have them taking another wideout in Round 2. First, we have Burks. This guy moves much better than your average 6-foot-2, 225-pounder, and by that I mean how quick and elusive he is with the ball in his hands. At the catch point, though, is where Burks truly shines. He also destroyed press coverage playing mostly against the SEC. I think all these attributes tell you Burks is NFL-ready. Most Packers fans and Aaron Rodgers would be thrilled with Burks at No. 22, I'm sure.
23. Arizona Cardinals - George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
I don't read too much into pre-draft visits. Still, it's notable that Karlaftis met with Arizona, who has an obvious void on the edge after losing Chandler Jones to the Raiders. I'm not as high as pretty much everyone else on Karlaftis, and even though it's being reported by ESPN draft guru Todd McShay that Karlaftis may fall out of Round 1, I have my doubts that'll happen. Someone is bound to take a shot at him. He's a powerful rusher who, at least with the Cardinals, should vie for a starting role right away.
24. Dallas Cowboys - Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
The inside-out versatility Gordon has gives him a bump over other outside-type corners like Andrew Booth Jr. and Kaiir Elam. Washington's program steadily puts defensive backs in the NFL every year it seems like, and Gordon has the physical gifts to go with solid on-field performance. He'd be a real threat to earn the CB2 spot in Dallas opposite Trevon Diggs. Gordon is also a little more under control than the frequently-feast-or-famine Diggs in coverage, so they'd complement each other well.
25. Buffalo Bills - Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Elam or Booth would be fine here for the Bills. They don't have a ton of holes on their roster, at least no glaring ones. Booth should fall toward the latter part of Day 1 because of his relative inexperience and the sports hernia surgery he had leading into the draft. That said, I'd bet on him as a productive starter at the NFL level. His ball skills and flashes of brilliance are the stuff of a future Pro Bowler.
26. Tennessee Titans - Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Ooooooh LET THE SPICE FLOWWWWWW. The reluctance teams had throughout this first-round mock to reach for a QB allows Tennessee to swoop in and snag Pickett at No. 26, which would be a big bargain. I do believe in Ryan Tannehill more than is probably healthy, yet right now, the Titans are projected to have $10.5 million in cap space next offseason. They'll need to pay A.J. Brown and Jeffery Simmons. Tannehill can be cut to save $17.8 million. The more you unemotionally look into the raw numbers, the more it starts to add up that Tennessee will at least develop somebody behind Tannehill as a 2023 contingency plan.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
I believe I've had Johnson to Tampa in at least one previous mock. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. He's an ideal fit to start right away at left guard to continue ensuring that Tom Brady remains upright. With all that speculation that TB12 may leave the Bucs once the 2022 season ends, selecting Johnson or someone like him would be a good-faith gesture by the front office.
28. Green Bay Packers - Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
With the obvious need at wide receiver addressed, Green Bay moves on to take a stud of a playmaker at linebacker in Dean to pair with De'Vondre Campbell. Dean's presence could really elevate this Packers defense to a different stratosphere. The roster doesn't have a ton of holes, so if it were me, I'd also consider double-dipping at wide receiver on Day 1. Then again, there are two second-round picks to work with, so if Dean is available, it feels like an easy call for the Cheeseheads.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
BOLD* here by Kansas City. I'm not in love with the Chiefs' current receiving corps, and getting a toolsy, size-speed freak like Christian Watson seems like a calculated risk that could pay off in a huge ways. Sure, you could wait to see if he falls to you on Day 2, but KC has multiple first- and second-rounders. Why wait on Watson, especially since it's such a premium position? The 6-foot-4, 208-pound Watson ran a 4.36 40, and on 104 college receptions, he averaged 20.8 yards per catch.
PS: I cannot BELIEVE Peter King had this in his mock draft. I wrote my blurb before I saw his mock. Total coincidence. I was CONVINCED no one else on the Internet would have Watson to the Chiefs in Round 1. Damn!
30. Kansas City Chiefs - Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Since Baylor's Jalen Pitre and Michigan's Daxton Hill are more slot-specific corners, I think the Chiefs would opt for a more versatile defensive back here in Cine who primarily plays deep safety, yet can hold his own without issue in the box or at the nickel cornerback spot. Cine is overshadowed by Georgia's litany of defensive NFL Draft prospects. Don't sleep on him, though.
You've GOT be kidding me. Peter King had Cine to KC, too. That whole great minds think alike concept, I'll buy into that here! If you don't respect Peter King, I don't know what to tell you. I'm not changing my picks. I will merely allow this to sink in and ponder what on Earth is going on.
31. Cincinnati Bengals - Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Usually I don't have Elam lasting this long in a mock. He's battle-tested in the SEC across multiple seasons and is a hyper-aggressive, hard-nosed outside cornerback who'd likely thrive in Cincinnati. Elam would see a lot of action with Chidobe Awuzie on the other side. His margin for error is greater with the Bengals thanks to their exceptional safety tandem of Jessie Bates and Von Bell. I'd bet Elam could beat out Eli Apple for the CB2 spot.
32. Detroit Lions - George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Because the QBs aren't flying off the board as fast as anticipated, I have the Lions biding their time in this scenario and drafting North Carolina's Sam Howell at 66th overall in Round 3. Pickens' ACL tear is a red flag, but he's otherwise a legit No. 1-caliber receiver who wouldn't be going this late if not for his injury history. PS, look at the mini highlight package below and tell me kneecap-biting Lions coach Dan Campbell wouldn't love to have Pickens on his team.
Barstool Sportsbook props — # of players to be drafted in Round 1 by position:
QBs: 2.5 — Over (-278) / Under (+185)
WRs: 6.5 — Over (-121) / Under (-108)
CBs: 4.5 — Over (+110) / Under (-143)
OT/OL: 7.5 — Over (+128) / Under (-167)
In this mock: 2 QBs, 7 WRs, 6 CBs, 6 OT/OL
2022 NFL Mock Draft, Round 2:
33. Jacksonville Jaguars - Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa
34. Detroit Lions - Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
35. New York Jets - Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
36. New York Giants - Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
37. Houston Texans - Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
38. New York Jets - Bernard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
39. Chicago Bears - Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
40. Seattle Seahawks - Logan Hall, DL, Houston
41. Seattle Seahawks - Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
42. Indianapolis Colts - Daxton Hill, S/CB, Michigan
43. Atlanta Falcons - Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
44. Cleveland Browns - Travis Jones, DL, UConn
45. Baltimore Ravens - David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
46. Minnesota Vikings - Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
47. Washington Commanders - Jalen Pitre, CB/S, Baylor
48. Chicago Bears - Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
49. New Orleans Saints - Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
50. Kansas City Chiefs - DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
51. Philadelphia Eagles - Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
52. Pittsburgh Steelers - Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
53. Green Bay Packers - Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
54. New England Patriots - Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
55. Arizona Cardinals - Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
56. Dallas Cowboys - Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
57. Buffalo Bills - Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
58. Atlanta Falcons - Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky
59. Green Bay Packers - Tyler Smith, OL, Tulsa
60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
61. San Francisco 49ers - John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
62. Kansas City Chiefs - Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee
63. Cincinnati Bengals - Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
64. Denver Broncos - Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
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