• James Pike

Pike’s 2022 NFL Mock Draft With Trades

A new two-round mock including trades is the order of the day with the big event now only two weeks away! Anticipation is at an all-time high for scouts, analysts and media personnel alike, as everyone makes their final preparations for the big weekend starting on April 28. What better way to tap into that sense of excitement than with a brand new 2022 NFL Mock Draft with trades.

This Is A 2022 NFL Mock Draft With Trades. Evan Neal Is Taken Number One Overall And Is Pictured Here With Kyler Gordon, Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell And Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner.
Who will be the first QB taken? Will Thibodeaux fall? How many trades are there likely to be this year? Find out all this and more in our latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft!

By James Pike.


MORE 2022 NFL DRAFT CONTENT: Ranking the edge prospects: check out our top 15 DEs here — Pike’s Mock Draft 1.0 here — Full list of wide receiver rankings here.


With free agency winding down and the last pro day in the rearview mirror, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what each team’s roster looks like going into next season. The blockbuster trades have been unbelievable, and watching the crazy amounts of money that certain players have made makes the 2022 offseason one of the most exciting in recent memory.


However, despite everything that has happened and the incredible transactions that are still taking place, nothing quite beats the excitement of the NFL Draft. Not only is it great to finally see which players will be joining your team, but finding out where some of the best young athletes on the planet get the opportunity to showcase their talents to the world in a new home. This is the moment they have been waiting for their entire lives, so seeing these young men achieve their dream is one of the best parts of the offseason.


With that in mind, it is time to make some predictions about where some of the biggest names from College Football will land in the NFL. This is my second and final mock draft of the offseason, as now that most teams have rounded out their rosters we have a much better idea of which positions teams are going to be targeting in the draft. Which players do they believe will be able to make an impact not just next season, but for many years to come.


This will be a two-round mock draft with trades, as we now know what teams have in terms of draft capital and what assets they could potentially use to make a deal to move up or down the draft board. The process of figuring out which teams could potentially look to move up has been much more difficult than it has been in recent years due to the perceived lack of talent at the quarterback position in this class. That doesn’t mean teams are going to be making moves to acquire a specific player with the skill set they need to achieve success. Here is my second NFL Mock Draft of the offseason, and to kick things off; the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock!


 

Round One: Pike's 2022 NFL Mock Draft With Trades


1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, Tackle - Alabama


The Jacksonville Jaguars invested heavily in their offensive line during the offseason. The addition of Brandon Scherff and franchise tagging Cam Robinson were key moves, but you can never have enough quality lineman.


Evan Neal is the best tackle prospect in this class. He proved himself to be a great athlete at the combine, is versatile enough to play multiple positions across the offensive line and was dominant at the highest level.

Aidan Hutchinson, Ikem Ekwonu and even Kayvon Thibodeaux will get consideration here, but the Jaguars get Trevor Lawrence a player who will help protect him for the next 10 years.


2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge - Michigan

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if Aidan Hutchinson is still on the board by the second overall selection then Brad Holmes will do cartwheels to the podium handing in the selection.

Incredible athleticism, great motor, born leader and Michigan through and through. Hutch is the perfect prospect for this team. He is as NFL ready as a prospect can get at this point after a dominant 2021 campaign.

No prospect in this class will have a bigger impact on this Franchise than the former Wolverine. Hutchinson helps put the Lions in borderline playoff contention in a weakened NFL.


3. Houston Texans: Kyle Hamilton, Safety - Notre Dame


Is Safety the biggest need for this team? No. Should that deter Houston from taking Kyle Hamilton at third Overall? Absolutely not!

Teams shouldn't be drafting players for need, they should be drafting for potential, and few players have the type of ceiling that Hamilton does. Don't get sucked into the narrative he "underwhelmed" at the combine, as he plays the game so much faster than everyone else on tape.

That's because he was better than everyone else at the collegiate level. Hamilton is a culture-changing talent and his no-nonsense approach is exactly what the Texans need as their rebuild continues.


4. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge - Oregon

When all is said and done, Kayvon Thibodeaux may be the best prospect in this entire draft class. This time last year if you would have told me any other player would go ahead of Thibodeaux I'd have laughed in your face.

However, due to the rise of other prospects and a perceived notion of the former Oregon star's lack of commitment he had fallen down draft boards. That doesn't deter the New York Jets from taking a stab at his upside.

Few players in this class have a higher ceiling than Thibodeaux. Media attention has shifted over to names such as Jermaine Johnson or Travon Walker in recent weeks, but don't be fooled. Thibodeaux is the second-best edge rusher in this class.



5. New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu, Tackle - NC State

The New York Giants set out a simple goal this offseason. Rebuild their woeful offensive line. They addressed the issue in free agency, and they bring it home with the selection of NC State star Ikem Ekwonu.

"Ickey" is a mauler who has the potential to develop into one of the best run blockers in the league. He has a nasty streak in him which should endear him to fans in the Big Apple (Technically New Jersey).

Evan Neal may be the more complete prospect right now, and Charles Cross may be a better pass protector, but Ekwonu has the potential to be this year's Rashawn Slater. His ceiling is sky high, and the Giants will hope he reaches that potential.


6. Carolina Panthers: Malik Willis, Quarterback - Liberty

The first and only quarterback off the board in the top ten is Liberty star, Malik Willis. The former Eagle is the best dual-threat signal-caller in this draft class and separates himself from the rest of the pack due to his potentially elite traits.

He has a cannon arm, has shown glimpses of deadly accuracy and can extend plays better than any other player in this draft class. If Willis can live up to his potential this could be viewed as an absolute steal with the sixth overall pick.

However, Willis will need some time to develop as he is a raw prospect. His decision making can sometimes leave a lot to be desired and he isn't much of a pocket passer at this stage of his development. He will need time to sit and learn, but will he be afforded that in Carolina?

Willis is the ultimate boom or bust prospect at the quarterback position. His intangibles are enticing, but he may never be able to develop the fundamentals to utilise them to their full potential.


7. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver - Ohio State

TRADE: New York Jets get the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. New York Giants get the 10th Overall Pick and the 69th Overall Pick in 2022 and a third-round pick in 2023.

Our first trade of the night sees both New York outfits swapping places towards the end of the top ten. The New York Jets decide to move up the board to have their pick of the bunch at wide receiver and select Garrett Wilson.

The former Buckeye is extremely explosive after the catch, has great hands, is an excellent route runner and put together an outstanding final season for Ohio State in 2021. He has separated himself from the pack at the wide receiver position and the Jets are drawn in by his potential.

Gang Green has made it abundantly clear that they're in the market for a wide receiver during the offseason. Their aggressive pursuit of Tyreek Hill is evidence of that. So targeting a receiver in the draft is a logical option for this organisation.

Being aggressive and moving above the Falcons means they get their pick of the litter so to speak. Adding a player of Wilson's talent to a group that already includes Corey Davis and Elijah Moore gives Zach Wilson a great core to grow with over the next few years.


8. Atlanta Falcons: Travon Walker, Edge - Georgia

Having lost out on Garrett Wilson, the Falcons turn their attention to another player with otherworldly potential. Former Georgia Bulldog star Travon Walker is the selection here for the Falcons.

Walker's explosion at the combine has seen the 21-year old’s draft stock skyrocket, as it is incredibly rare for a player to dominate the combine quite as he did. Almost every drill he smashed out of the park, as well as having great measurables for the position.

The former Bulldog could do no wrong at the combine. He is a special athlete at the position, but he is a little bit rough around the edges. He isn't as dominant on tape as his athleticism should suggest, however with the right coaching we could be talking about this pick as the one that started to turn fortunes around for Atlanta.



9. Seattle Seahawks: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cornerback - Cincinnati

The Russell Wilson era in Seattle is over, so it is time for John Schneider and Pete Carroll to orchestrate another rebuild for this once-dominant franchise. Adding Sauce Gardner with the ninth Overall Pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is a great way to start.

He's the most NFL ready corner in this class, as he has the ideal size, length, speed and strength to play the position at the NFL level. His complete dominance at the collegiate level reminds me of Patrick Surtain II from last year's class, and that is high praise for Gardner.

Seattle's secondary hasn't been good since the Legion of Boom days, so adding a player of Sauce's calibre to the mix will give this unit the shot in the arm it needs.

Tackle and edge will also be considered here, but it's all about building an identity for the Seahawks moving forward, and Ahmad Gardner is a tone-setter.


10. New York Giants: Derek Stingley Jr, Cornerback - LSU

Rounding out the top ten are the New York Giants after they traded back with their erm…. “inter-stadium" rivals. By doing so they add some more ammunition to the war chest, and most likely take the player they were targeting all along.

Derek Stingley Jr is an enticing prospect, but one who comes with question marks as well. His freshman season was so dominant it put him on the map as one of the players to watch out for in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, since then things have gone wrong for the former LSU Tiger.

Since winning a National Championship this team has gone downhill, as has Stingley Jr's play and with an injury on top of that, it bodes the question; is he worthy of a top ten selection?

In my mind, the answer is yes, and the Giants pull the trigger on arguably one of the best corner prospects to come out of the collegiate ranks in years.


11. Washington Commanders: Daxton Hill, Safety - Michigan

A surprise for some, as a second safety comes off the board in the top-15 picks of this draft. However, those who have watched Daxton Hill's tape from the past season shouldn't be shocked at all if he were to be taken this high in the draft.

Equally adept in both zone and man coverage, Hill is excellent in pass coverage and is as comfortable operating out of the slot as he is dropping deep down the field in two-high safety looks on defense. He plays above his size and proved during his final season with the Wolverines that he is as tough as they come.

Washington needs tone setters on that defense after a disappointing 2021 season. There are few players in this class that play with a chip on their shoulder quite like Hill does, and would be a welcome addition to Ron Rivera's defense next season.



12. Green Bay Packers: Drake London, Wide Receiver - USC

TRADE: Green Bay Packers receive the 12th Overall Pick in 2022 and a fifth-round pick in 2022. Minnesota Vikings receive the 22nd Overall Pick in 2022, 59th overall pick in 2022 and 92nd overall pick in 2022.

The second team to move up for a wide receiver; the Green Bay Packers move up ten spots to select former USC Trojans star Drake London with the 12th Overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Packers need to make a move, as star wide receiver Davante Adams moved to the Las Vegas Raiders during the offseason. Aaron Rodgers needs weapons to throw the ball to in order to have another shot at MVP next season, and Drake London definitely fits the bill as a weapon.

At 6'4 and 220lbs, London has great size for the position. Although he isn't the fastest guy in the world, and might not have the quickest first step London is an excellent route runner and uses his body well to gain separation. The former Trojan is also excellent after the catch and can make a man miss in the open field.

Packers fans would rejoice if they walk away with a player with the talent of Drake London after the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, as they may have found their number one receiver for many years to come.


13. Houston Texans: Charles Cross, Tackle - Mississippi State

Houston rounds out their day one selections by taking arguably the best pure pass protector in this entire draft class. Former Mississippi State star Charles Cross represents another excellent selection for Nick Caserio's front office if he is available at Pick 13.

Cross is long, has excellent footwork and is the smoothest of all the tackle prospects in this class in pass protection. He is excellent at moving defenders safely around the quarterback, as well as being able to get physical when necessary.

The Texans have a lot of holes to fill on this roster before the start of next season, but by adding Charles Cross to the mix they could sure up their offensive line for the next ten years. Not a bad haul for Houston after day one.


14. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Davis, Defensive Lineman - Georgia

Another former Bulldog who absolutely crushed the combine is 6'6, 340lbs nose tackle, Jordan Davis. There must be something in the water down there at Sanford Stadium as it seems that every player coming out of that programme went off in Indianapolis.

No one the size of Davis should be able to move as he does. He's a stout run defender, and if his athletic numbers are anything to go off of then he should be just as adept at getting after the quarterback as well. The Ravens division got a lot tougher this offseason, so having big men who can get after the QB is imperative.

Davis could replace Michael Pierce as the team's nose tackle or could play as an oversized 3-technique during his rookie season. Wherever he plays, Davis should make an immediate impact, especially with an organisation that knows how to develop defensive talent as the Ravens do.


15. Philadelphia Eagles: Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver - Arkansas

The third wide receiver off the board is Arkansas big man Treylon Burks. He becomes the third wide receiver in as many seasons that the Eagles will have taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. However, the former Aggie could very well be the best of the bunch when all is said and done.

Burks is a big-bodied wide receiver who moves a lot faster on tape than he does in a controlled environment like the combine. Make no mistake, Burks can fly and he will make defenses pay if they give him too much room to operate.

The former Arkansas star catches the ball away from his body and uses his size to create separation during his routes. He's surprisingly good after the catch, and although his route tree isn't particularly sophisticated he is good at what he does and will find success in the NFL because of it.

Philadelphia is a team on the rise, and they could use another pass catcher of Burks’ calibre to bolster their offense even more going into 2022.


16. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, Wide Receiver - Ohio State

A new era is about to begin in New Orleans as for the first time since 2005 Sean Payton won’t be holding a clipboard on the sideline for this organisation.

What Payton has done over the last few seasons with a lack of talent at the wide receiver position has been incredible, but now this team has to find Dennis Allen playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Luckily for New Orleans, one of the best is sitting there with the 16th overall selection.

Chris Olave’s stock might have taken a dip from where it was at the end of the 2020 season, but that is no fault of his own. Other receivers might have climbed above him in the power rankings (not in my eyes), but he has been just as dominant for the Buckeyes during the 2021 season. His route running is elite, and when you combine that with his 4.39 speed you get all the makings of an excellent receiver at the NFL level.

He might not be the flashiest and he has had some drops this past season which might be cause for concern, but make no mistake; Chris Olave is a great wide receiver. The Saints would gladly take him if the opportunity presents itself during the 2022 NFL Draft.



17. Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, Guard - Boston College

The Los Angeles Chargers are considered to be one of the big winners of the offseason after adding defensive studs J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack to their defense in free agency, so this is a team with few holes to fill on a roster who have title aspirations going into next season. Therefore they round out their offensive line overhaul that started last offseason with the addition of Zion Johnson.

The former Boston College star is one of the most underrated players in this entire draft class, who honestly could be the best offensive linemen of the entire group in my opinion. He is a nasty run blocker who is athletic enough to climb to the second level of the defense. He has fast, nimble feet for a big man, and can play a multitude of different positions across the offensive line.

By adding Zion Johnson, the Chargers add another excellent blocker to an offensive line that already features two Pro Bowlers and should help protect Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future.


18. Philadelphia Eagles: Andrew Booth Jr, Cornerback - Clemson

Few players are as polarising when it comes to their evaluation as Andrew Booth just a few short weeks out from the NFL Draft. Some have him as their CB1, others have him as their CB6. The debate will rage on until draft night, but one thing that cannot be disputed when it comes to the former Clemson Tiger. The kid can play football.

No other corner in this draft class plays zone coverage better than Booth Jr does. He looks incredibly comfortable in space and rarely puts a foot wrong when dropping back into coverage. He is lacking a little bit of strength which may be why he struggles in man coverage at this stage of his career, but NFL coaches should be able to address this early on.

Booth Jr is an excellent prospect in this class, and although the Washington duo of Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon have risen up draft boards in recent weeks, I still believe that Booth Jr is the best of the rest of this corner class. He would be an excellent fit alongside Darius Slay in this underrated Eagles secondary.


19. New Orleans Saints: Tyler Smith, Tackle - Tulsa

Back in the first round, the New Orleans Saints acquired an additional first-round selection in their recent trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, and with this additional pick, the Saints select a project player who could develop into the best tackle prospect from this entire class. The sophomore from Tulsa, Tyler Smith.

Smith is a relatively raw prospect who will need time to learn at the NFL level. He isn’t someone who is going to come in and be dominant from day one, but the thing is; in New Orleans, he won’t have to.

The Saints already have a great offensive line despite losing Terron Armstead during free agency, but this has always been an organisation with the foresight to look ahead and prepare for what’s to come down the road. James Hurst will do the job for now, but in Tyler Smith, the team could have a potential stud.

Smith has that same nasty streak in him that Ikem Ekwonu has, as very few players play with the level of violence that Smith plays with on film. He pulverises defenders in the running game, and although he does need to develop as a pass protector he has shown signs that he could develop in the right system and with the right coaching.

It might be a reach, but if I can trust any team to get it right with the former Golden Hurricane, it’s the Saints.


20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, Quarterback - Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have acquired Mitchell Trubisky during the offseason, and they may also have Mason Rudolph on the roster, but that doesn’t mean their search for their next franchise quarterback is over. The organisation cannot be comfortable with those two being the only names in contention for the starting gig next season, so the Steelers bring in one of their own through the draft in Kenny Pickett.

Say what you want about the former Panther and his small hands; the dude can play football. He is probably the most well-rounded quarterback prospect in this draft class, as he has a live arm, good mobility, can fit the ball into tight windows and is a good decision maker under center.

There is a lot to like about his game, however, there are also question marks that could hurt his stock. His small hands, his age, and the fact that he hasn’t played to this level before this season are all detractors away from the Pittsburgh star.

These are legitimate questions that are being asked of the quarterback but cast your mind back to just a couple of years ago; Joe Burrow didn’t exactly light it up until his final season at LSU. Granted Burrow played at a much higher level than Pickett has done, but this could be a sign that Pickett has peaked at the right time. It does take some longer to develop than others and the former Panthers star might just fall into this category.


The Steelers add another quarterback to their ranks and the open competition begins for the right to be Ben Roethlisberger’s successor for the black and gold. Considering the recent history of both Trubisky and Rudolph being starters, then Pickett should have every chance to beat them and earn the Steelers’ starting job.


21. Kansas City Chiefs: Jermaine Johnson, Edge - Florida State

TRADE: Kansas City Receives the 21st overall pick in 2022 and a fourth-round pick. New England Receives the 30th overall pick and the 50th overall pick.

Another trade as the New England Patriots find a partner to trade back with. The Kansas City Chiefs are delighted for the opportunity to move up the board and grab the best remaining edge rusher. Florida State Seminoles star Jermaine Johnson.

The value of having depth on the defensive line has never been higher, and despite the Chiefs recently bringing back Frank Clark on a big new contract, you can never have enough pass rush, and Jermaine Johnson is one of the best. He blew up at the Senior Bowl as he went on an absolute tear and put the league on notice. Many had him pencilled in as a top ten pick until Travon Walker dominated in Indianapolis, but this is a position that most feel comfortable taking the former Seminole.

This would allow the Chiefs to move Chris Jones back inside to where he is more comfortable and effective and would also give the Chiefs one of the most formidable pass rushes in their division. A division that recently saw a former Super Bowl winner call their new home in Russell Wilson.

Denver has dramatically improved at the league’s most important position, we already discussed the moves the Chargers have made this offseason, and the Raiders have also been busy with the aforementioned Davante Adams trade.

This division has never been tougher, and if the Chiefs want to stay on top of the food chain they need to improve defensively. Johnson should help with that.


22. Minnesota Vikings: Kyler Gordon, Cornerback - Washington

After trading back early in the draft after missing out on the top two corners in this class, the Minnesota Vikings are able to add more picks in this year’s draft and add one of the second-tier of corners from this class. One of those players is the former Washington Huskies corner Kyler Gordon and he is whom I have the Vikings taking with the 22nd overall selection in this year’s draft.

Gordon may be older than fellow prospect Trent McDuffie, but I believe that the former Husky could have a higher ceiling than his former teammate. For one, Gordon is bigger (just) and has better length than McDuffie, he also is very versatile, being able to match up outside as well as in the slot and play at a high level.

The Minnesota Vikings’ secondary was bad last season, and with their best corner Patrick Peterson on the wrong side of 30 they could use an injection of youth at the position. Kyler Gordon will provide that in 2022.



23. Arizona Cardinals: George Karlaftis, Edge - Purdue

George Karlaftis has fallen down draft boards for months now, and it is no fault of his own. The big man out of Purdue has been one of the most consistent edge rushers in college football over the past two seasons, but other players have climbed ahead of him in recent weeks.

The former Boilermakers star is an excellent competitor with a great motor, explosive drive and one of the best bull rushers in this draft class. He uses his size very well and can collapse the pocket from the edge. He is the exact type of player that the Cardinals will be looking for.

Arizona fell apart at the end of the season last year. It seems as though their dominant start to 2021 was more of a mirage rather than a sign that this team had finally figured it out. They need to find themselves difference-makers on both sides of the ball. Karlaftis should be that for them. Learning from JJ Watt will be an excellent experience for the former Purdue star.


24. Dallas Cowboys: Trevor Penning, Tackle - Northern Iowa

After an impressive regular season that saw Dallas Cowboys romp home to an NFC East championship, the team fell apart in the playoffs and suffered a humbling defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. Jerry Jones will be bitterly disappointed by the team's early exit but must focus now on continuing this team's dominance of the NFC East. Adding Trevor Penning from Northern Iowa should help Dallas maintain their foothold.

Penning has been steadily climbing up draft boards for months now, as he seems to have separated himself as the "best of the rest" of this tackle group. His combine performance solidified this spot as he tested extremely well in Indy. Many believe that despite not being the calibre of prospect that Neal, Ekwonu or Cross are that Penning could be right up there with the right coaching.

For the Cowboys, adding Penning gives their offensive line great depth in the short term, as well as providing the team with a potential long term successor to Tyron Smith. If Dallas wants Dak Prescott to have a long and successful career in the Lone Star state then giving him an elite offensive line should be a priority. Hopefully, the Northern Iowa product can do that for many years to come.


25. Buffalo Bills: Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver - Alabama

Many have the Buffalo Bills pencilled in as the early Super Bowl favourites after an excellent offseason for the team. They brought back everyone they needed to and added a future Hall of Famer who still has plenty of gas in the tank in Von Miller. With one of the most complete rosters in the league, Buffalo look to the future and add arguably the best wide receiver in this draft class when healthy. Former Alabama star Jameson Williams.

One can't help but feel bad for Williams, as after dominating during his lone season with the Crimson Tide he suffered an ACL Tear which has seen his draft stock plummet. Before the injury many saw him as a potential top ten talent, however, the injury might be a blessing in disguise. Instead of trying to find his way on a bottom-feeding team, he will have Josh Allen launching the ball in his direction.

If Jameson Williams returns to the peak of his powers, he is one of the most explosive players in this class. He uses his breakaway speed and excellent balance to create separation at the top of his routes, which will be enticing for Sean McDermott and the rest of the Bills coaching staff.

The wide receiver depth chart will be loaded in Buffalo, but this is a move with the future in mind. A deal has been made with Stefon Diggs, but Buffalo find a ready-made replacement in Williams for the other players who have left this team such as Cole Beasley. This could potentially be one of the draft's biggest steals.


26. Tennessee Titans: Sam Howell, Quarterback - UNC

In what might be a surprise to many, the Tennessee Titans select quarterback Sam Howell with the 26th Overall Pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Although quarterback clearly isn't a glaring need for the Titans right now, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be thinking about the future of this team going forward.

Sam Howell has had a torrid time over the past 12 months. Around this time last year, he was considered to be a top ten pick in this draft, but after a down year with North Carolina in 2021, his stock has plummeted. The former Tar Heel may have lost a lot of his supporting cast, however, Howell wasn't the same player he was a year ago and that should be a cause for concern.

That isn't to say that Howell is a bad quarterback. He is a great athlete, has a great arm, and has shown off deadly accuracy in the past despite having a slightly awkward release. He is another quarterback who will need time to develop, and luckily that is exactly what he will get in Tennessee.

Ryan Tannehill is a good quarterback, but he may never take the Titans to the promised land. Howell has the opportunity to develop and could potentially be that guy for the job.


27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent McDuffie, Cornerback - Washington

Trent McDuffie's slide in this draft comes to an end as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers snap him up with the 27th Overall selection. McDuffie is the fifth corner to be taken in the first round of my NFL mock draft with trades here, which shows just how deep and talented the corner class is.

McDuffie is the ultimate competitor at the cornerback position. He might not have the elite size you're looking for, and his short arms may be a concern for scouts, but at the NFL level, the former Washington product won't be asked to compete with the bigger, stronger receivers on the outside.

Tampa is deep already in their secondary. However, with the contracts of Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Antoine Winfield all on the horizon, it wouldn't hurt to bring in more fresh talent in case they can't come to an agreement with these young stars. The former Husky could slide right in as the team's slot corner if they aren't able to retain all their stars. For this season; McDuffie would be an excellent corner in nickel and dime packages.

Tampa Bay look set to make another run at the championship with Tom Brady returning to the team after his short-lived retirement. Adding young difference makers on cheap deals is imperative to finding success. Trent McDuffie represents excellent value at this stage in the draft.


28. Green Bay Packers: Devin Lloyd, Linebacker - Utah

Early in this mock, I had the Packers being aggressive and moving up the board to acquire a player they desperately need. With the 28th overall selection, the Packers remain patient and let the board come to them. Their patience is rewarded as star linebacker Devin Lloyd falls into their laps.

Devin Lloyd is an explosive playmaker who has a relentless motor. At 6'3 and 237lbs he is the ideal size for the position, and whenever you turn on his tape you see his football IQ on full display. He has a knack for being in the right place at the right time in the running game. He has also evolved in pass coverage over the past season, as he sees the field much better and understands zone coverage well.

Playing alongside All-Pro linebacker De'vondre Campbell, Lloyd will also be asked to get after the quarterback which he is equally adept at doing. He may not be a Micah Parsons level athlete, but he can get after the passer and has been effective this season. The Packers maximise the value of this pick and land one of the best defensive prospects in this entire class.



29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nakobe Dean, Linebacker - Georgia

Linebackers go back to back as the Kansas City Chiefs use their second day one selection on Georgia Bulldog Nakobe Dean. KC double down on the defensive side of the ball to ensure that they can slow down the high powered offences in the AFC West.

Nakobe Dean is one of the draft's great mysteries. Whenever you turn on the tape you see his athleticism shine through. He has sideline to sideline speed and has the ability to drop back into coverage on passing downs so he shouldn't be a liability on third down. He is slightly undersized at 5'11 and 229lbs, but he plays way above his size and has no problems wrapping up the ball carrier.

The former Georgia product isn't much of a pass rusher at this stage due to his lack of overall size. He can oftentimes get manhandled by blockers, but that should improve once NFL nutritionists get their hands on him and fatten him up a little! Landing in Kansas City is a blessing for this prospect, as he doesn't necessarily have to start straight away and he will be allowed to develop which he needs.

All in all the Chiefs will be over the moon if they walk away from day one with both Jermaine Johnson and Nakobe Dean.


30. New England Patriots: David Ojabo, Edge - Michigan

If it wasn’t for a devastating injury that happened during his pro day, there is absolutely no way that David Ojabo would still be on the board. However, as things stand the former Wolverine has seen his stock take a huge hit in recent weeks. His slide comes to an end and he becomes the third Michigan star to be taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

If anything this may very well be the absolute best scenario possible for Ojabo after the injury. He has landed with an organisation that will undoubtedly take their time with his rehabilitation, and certainly won’t be rushing to get the youngster back on the football field anytime soon. Not only that, but when he is healthy he will have the opportunity to work with one of the best defensive minds in the history of the sport in Bill Belichick.

New England has been notoriously good throughout the years at developing defensive players. Recent examples are J.C. Jackson, who has quickly become one of the league’s best corners. Kyle Dugger whose role continues to become more important for this Patriots defense. Last year’s second-round pick Christian Barmore looks to have been a steal after he impressed everyone during his rookie season, so there is proof that New England is capable of developing talent. There aren’t many in this class who have more potential than Ojabo.

This is the equivalent of a draft and stash for the 2023 season. Allow the former Wolverine as long as he needs to heal and develop, then unleash him on the league once he is back to 100%. This would be a Bill Belichick masterstroke, and I am all for it.


31. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum, Center - Iowa

The complete overhaul of the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line this offseason has been remarkable. Especially when you consider the previous history of this franchise and their refusal to invest any serious money into making this a competent football team. It’s amazing how a Super Bowl appearance can change an owner’s perspective, isn’t it? However, they need one final piece to the puzzle, and Iowa Hawkeyes stud Tyler Linderbaum just so happens to have fallen into their lap.

The value is way too much to pass up on here. Yes, the team has invested money into former New England Patriots utility man Ted Karras, but Karras is comfortable playing multiple positions across the offensive line and would act as a high-end backup in case of injury. Tyler Linderbaum has the potential to be the best center in the league as early as next season.

Few players have the mean streak that Linderbaum plays with in the running game. His lateral movement is excellent and he has a great anchor despite being undersized even at center. His lower body strength is incredible, so even though he will be giving up a few pounds to some defensive linemen in the league he should be more than capable of holding his own.

The Bengals were one game away from winning the Super Bowl last season, and if they continue to make the moves they have during this offseason then they might well be in contention for many years to come.


32. Detroit Lions: Matt Corral, Quarterback - Ole Miss

Rounding out the first round of the draft the Detroit Lions grab themselves a quarterback whom they wish to develop behind Jared Goff. This highlights the importance of the position despite this being considered a "weak class" of signal-callers. However, in Matt Corral, the Lions might have grabbed the best of the bunch.

I've been critical of the former Ole Miss star in the build-up to this draft, as I haven't been as high on him as others. This could be due to the offense he was tasked to run in college, as Lane Kiffin has been known to run a basic offense and Corral hasn't been asked to do much. However, Corral has shown in flashes what he can offer as a potential starter down the road.

He has excellent arm strength, is an underrated athlete and has shown that he can thread the needle on tight-window throws. His ability to go through progressions hasn't been on full display, so I believe it will take some time to develop this trait working with NFL coaches.

Detroit adding Corral gives them a potential quarterback of the future. One whom they can develop over time while Jared Goff is still a solid starter.



 

Round Two: Pike's 2022 NFL Mock Draft With Trades


33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Boye Mafe, Edge - Minnesota

Having passed on an edge in the first round of this year's draft, the Jaguars come back in the second and grab one of the most intriguing prospects in this class. Boye Mafe out of Minnesota.

Mafe is a raw prospect, but his physical tools allowed him to dominate at the collegiate level. He might be an older prospect as he will turn 24 by the end of the 2022 season, but he has a high ceiling and should develop quickly with the correct coaching. This could be a potential steal for Jacksonville.


34. Detroit Lions: Devonte Wyatt, Defensive Line - Georgia

Another player with first-round potential slides outside of the top 32 picks in this class. The Detroit Lions aren't complaining though as they snap up Devonte Wyatt with the 34th overall selection.

The former Bulldog is big, strong and athletic (what are they feeding them down there in Georgia?) and plays with a level of intensity that few can match. He will give Dan Campbell and the Lions depth and versatility across his front seven as the Lions continue to build a potentially stout defense in 2022.


35. New York Jets: Bernhard Raimann, Tackle - Central Michigan

Two years ago Bernhard Raimann was playing tight end; now he has a legitimate chance of being taken in the first round as a left tackle. He just slipped out of the first in my mock draft, but not by much and the Jets are happy that he did.

Raimann is extremely athletic for a big man, as evidenced by his combine performance and despite being 24 years of age I believe there is a lot of room for improvement with Raimann. He should find himself in competition with George Fant for the right tackle spot straight away during his rookie campaign.


36. New York Giants: Lewis Cine, Safety - Georgia

The Giants’ offensive line was the biggest area of need during the offseason, but the secondary could also use an overhaul. They addressed the need in round one with the selection of Derek Stingley Jr, but they need more difference makers. Lewis Cine out of Georgia is a difference-maker.

He has excellent sideline to sideline quickness, is a physical run defender who wraps up the ball carrier extremely well and is one of the most competitive players out there. He may lack the ball skills necessary to be a true ballhawk, but his athleticism should translate to him being efficient in pass coverage down the road. A solid selection by the Giants here in round two.


37. Houston Texans: Jahan Dotson, Wide Receiver - Penn State

Another player with the talent to be taken in the first round; Jahan Dotson falls to the Houston Texans at the 37th overall selection. Dotson is all-around one of the most polished wide receivers in this class and will be an excellent number two for the Lovie Smith from day one.

He's a great route runner, can make a man miss after the catch, has soft hands and is a much better athlete than people give him credit for. There are players with a higher ceiling than Dotson in this class, but few have a higher floor. I believe that Dotson will have a long and successful NFL career, and is another player with a point to prove heading to Houston.


38. New York Jets: Jalyn Armour-Davis, Cornerback - Alabama

The New York Jets’ fourth and final selection inside the top 50 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft is arguably one of my favourite picks of this entire mock draft. Robert Saleh's defenses have rarely had secondary players taken in the early rounds of the draft, but that changes here with the Jets taking Jalyn Armour-Davis.

Armour-Davis is a big, rangy and athletic corner who uses all of his size to his advantage. At 6'1 and 192lbs he will be able to match up physically to boundary receivers in the league, and an impressive disciplined approach to the game. He has a good understanding of route concepts and has the speed to run with receivers down the field.

A stud athlete who will fit in well in the tough environment of New York.



39. Chicago Bears: Christian Harris, Linebacker - Alabama

Chicago has had a pretty brutal offseason so far in 2022. Having traded away their biggest star in Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson decided enough was enough and now calls LA his home. The Bears look to be in the early stages of a rebuild, so getting difference-makers on both sides of the ball is paramount during the 2022 NFL Draft. Former Bama Linebacker Christian Harris could be exactly that for Chicago.

Harris has a little bit of Micah Parsons in him, in that he is a superior athlete at the linebacker position. He has sideline to sideline speed, understands gap coverage well in the running game and plays the game with great physicality. He does play with reckless abandon, which can sometimes lead to overcommitment, but this isn't a major cause for concern.

Great value here for the Bears to take a stud in the second round.


40. Seattle Seahawks: Arnold Ebiketie, Edge - Penn State

Seattle addressed their secondary with the ninth overall pick in the draft, so attention now turns to adding depth in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Getting after the passer in the NFC West is vital to success in one of the NFL's toughest divisions. Penn State's Arnold Ebiketie should provide Seattle with an excellent option in their rotation.

At 6'4 and 250lbs he is slightly undersized, but what he lacks in size and strength he makes up for in athleticism. His body control is excellent as he is able to get enough bend to get around the edge and after the quarterback. He might need a bit of time to develop as a run defender, but eventually once he fills out his frame I see no issues. Seattle's pass rush rotation will be better off with Ebiketie on the roster.


41. Seattle Seahawks: Abraham Lucas, Tackle - Washington State

Somewhere Ben Matthews is doing cartwheels as one of his favourite prospects in this entire draft class lands in Seattle in my mock draft. However, this isn't just to make him happy and keep him on the Podcast (Your cheque is in the post Ben!). Seattle needs help at the tackle position.

Lucas has seen numerous snaps in pass protection during his career at Washington State in their pass-heavy offense. This should bode well for him as he transitions to the NFL. Nothing beats repetition for a professional athlete, and when you combine that with his fantastic footwork, you can easily see Lucas developing into a great left tackle in time as a professional.

His nasty nature and high football IQ are the icing on the cake for this prospect, and Seahawks fans will be delighted with their haul in round two of the draft.



42. Indianapolis Colts: George Pickens, Wide Receiver - Georgia

The Indianapolis Colts’ first selection of the 2022 NFL Draft is important, as this team doesn’t have many picks at all this year. So adding premier talent at every position is vital for Chris Ballard and his backroom staff. Luckily this roster is built to win right now, so they can afford to take risks on players with high ceilings.

George Pickens represents one of those names.

Pickens has all the makings of an excellent deep threat wide receiver in the NFL. He has good size, speed, ball skills and is great at creating separation at the top of his routes. He might not have a complete or polished route tree, but what he does, he does it at an elite level. The Colts will be desperate to find weapons for new signal-caller Matt Ryan to throw the ball to, and Pickens will help Ryan settle into his new home.


43. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Watson, Wide Receiver - North Dakota State

After missing out on a difference-maker at the wide receiver position in the first round of this year’s draft, the Atlanta Falcons come right back in Round Two and grab one of the most polarising prospects in this entire draft class. NDSU Wide Receiver Christian Watson.

How you feel about Watson is dependent on what you spend your time watching on film. If you watch his ability to create separation down the field and his incredible athleticism, then you could easily view him as someone who could sneak into the first round.

However, if you watch his intermediate or short route running where he sometimes gets tangled up then you could have cause for concern. He also has a slender frame, which could hinder him against the faster, longer and stronger athletes in the NFL.

If Watson can continue his development and adds more nuance to his game then he could develop into an excellent deep threat wide receiver. If he doesn’t then he will never be more than a role player at the next level. Either way, the Falcons need talent at the position and are willing to gamble on his upside.


44. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenyon Green, Guard - Texas A&M

TRADE: Pittsburgh receives the 44th overall pick. Cleveland receives the 52nd overall pick, 2022 fourth-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick.

The Steelers and Browns swap picks in the second round as Pittsburgh moves up the board to grab one of the premier offensive line prospects left on the board in this year’s class. The Rooney’s have invested in the offensive line in free agency, but more work is needed to rebuild this group going forward. Adding Texas A&M star Kenyon Green should help add some much-needed depth at the position.

Kenyon Green in my opinion is a first-round talent, however, he has fallen down draft boards due to the rise of other players in more desirable positions. That doesn’t mean that Green isn’t an incredible player. Green has played numerous positions across the Aggies’ offensive line, this is due to his excellent lower body strength and anchor ability. He is a mauler in the run game and has enough lateral quickness to stay in front of athletic big men coming off the edge.

Green strikes me as the kind of player that in a few years we will be asking the question of “how did he go so under the radar in the 2022 NFL Draft”, as I believe he could be an excellent pick up here for the Steelers.


45. Baltimore Ravens: Roger McCreary, Cornerback - Auburn

On the surface, it might look as though the Ravens are set in the secondary as their safeties and top two corners are some of the best in the league. However, with the league moving more towards a spread offensive system, the need to have an elite slot corner is higher than ever before. That is why I have the Baltimore Ravens selecting Roger McCreary with their second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

McCreary’s stock has taken a tumble in recent weeks due to some bad measurements at the combine. Now he might not have the longest arms in the world or be the fastest in a 40-yard sprint, what he does do well is play man coverage.

He is elite in press-man coverage despite his size, as he can stick to his man on short to intermediate routes. He understands zone concepts very well also, and isn’t going to get lost in complex NFL defensive schemes. He isn’t afraid of contact and plays the game with a chip on his shoulder.

Baltimore adds more talent to their defense which they have been rebuilding for several years now, and adding an excellent slot corner is priceless in this day and age. McCreary is one of the best in this draft class.


46. Minnesota Vikings: John Metchie, Wide Receiver - Alabama

Although this might not be an immediate position of need for the Vikings in the near future, this team should think about adding more depth to their receiving corps in the 2022 NFL Draft. Adam Thielen is no longer a spring chicken, and although the likes of K.J. Osborn and Ihmir Smith-Marsette have shown flashes during their rookie campaigns they need more firepower at the position. Former Crimson Tide star John Metchie could be the spark plug this franchise needs.

Metchie is one of the better route runners in this receiver class, and he has a varied release package which should bode well for long term success in the NFL. If you’re a great route runner, then you will find success in this league. He is explosive after the catch too, as he has excellent quick twitch in short spaces and is able to make several defenders look silly.

There are concerns though about the Bama product. His injury is a major concern, as well as the fact that he has had issues with drops in the past, but if there is one organisation that can afford to take their time with Metchie it is the Vikings.

A wide receiver corps that features Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn and John Metchie would be very difficult to stop next season, and if Jefferson, Osborn and Metchie can develop together the Vikings could have an elite passing game for years to come.


47. Washington Commanders: Trey McBride, Tight End - Colorado State

The first tight end off the board lands with the Washington Commanders as Colorado State star Trey McBride finds his new home in the nation’s capital. The Commanders need more pass catchers as they move into the Carson Wentz era, and McBride offers them an excellent option alongside Logan Thomas.

First of all, Thomas is coming off of a devastating knee injury that ended his 2021 campaign prematurely. It was a massive shame for a player with such talent, but the NFL is an unforgiving league, and the Commanders must move forward. That is why adding McBride is such a smart selection here.

The former Rams standout has soft hands for the position and despite not being the greatest route runner, has the speed and athleticism to create separation. He is great after the catch as his downhill running style makes it difficult for smaller defenders to bring him down in open play.

Say what you will about positional value at this stage in the draft, I am looking for playmakers, and Trey McBride has a knack for making a big play when called upon and the Commanders need that if they’re to close the gap to the Cowboys at the top of the NFC East.


48. Chicago Bears: Kaiir Elam, Cornerback - Florida

Kaiir Elam’s slide finally comes to an end towards the middle of the second round as the Chicago Bears grab the long and rangy corner out of Florida. Maybe believe that Elam has day one talent, but others believe that there are deficiencies in his game that could hold him back at the next level.

Let’s look at the former Gator’s strengths first. He is long and athletic for the position, and he isn’t afraid to get in an opposing receiver's face and battle with them at the line of scrimmage. This is a good trait, but Elam has a tendency to get “grabby” when often he doesn’t need to. He has that “dog” mentality that you look for in lockdown corner, but this can sometimes get him in trouble as he can be beaten when asked to play in zone coverage. He does have excellent ball skills and has shown good instincts about when to jump routes and make a play at the ball.

All in all, Elam is a mixed bag prospect. There is some good and some bad, but if he can iron out the mistakes in his game then I can see a world where we’re talking about Elam being the top corner in this class a few years down the line.



49. New Orleans Saints: Desmond Ridder, Quarterback - Cincinnati

The New Orleans Saints added some fresh talent into their receiving corps as well as a project on the offensive line with their two day one selections in this draft. The organisation has done a solid job so far addressing two key areas of need, but now their attention turns to the future and trying to find their quarterback of the future. Could Desmond Ridder be the next great Saints signal-caller?

There is a lot to like when evaluating Ridder’s game. He is athletic for starters as he has shown the ability to get out of the pocket and scramble for crucial yardage. He always looks poised in the pocket and never appears to be fazed by pressure in his face and he has shown glimpses of being capable of making every throw a professional quarterback needs to throw.

However, there have been disappointing stretches when he hasn’t thrown the ball accurately on a consistent basis. He can also make poor decisions and has struggled against tougher competition whenever the Bearcats have gone up against top-class opposition.

Luckily for Ridder, he won’t be asked to start straight away in his NFL Career. New Orleans has time to develop the youngster behind Jameis Winston as they figure out who the long term answer may be at the sport's most important position.


50. New England Patriots: Leo Chenal, Linebacker - Wisconsin

One of my absolute favourite players in this draft falls to my team in the second round of this draft, as the New England Patriots are able to snag former Wisconsin star linebacker Leo Chenal with their first of two picks in the second round.

Chenal is one of the best run defenders in this entire class regardless of position, and this boils down to the absolute savagery that he plays the game with. He is looking to drive his shoulder pads through runners’ chests as he lays hits on ball carriers. Chenal isn’t just a hard hitter, but he has shown excellent anticipation and usually finds himself in the right place at the right time to make a play in the running game.

He will need time to develop in pass coverage, as it is a real weakness in his game as of right now. If anyone can help teach Chenal the nuances of dropping back into coverage it is a Belichick-led defense.


51. Philadelphia Eagles: Travis Jones, Defensive Tackle - UConn

Philadelphia has done a solid job so far addressing their needs at corner and wide receiver. Now attention turns to the interior of their defensive line as they search for Fletcher Cox's long term replacement. Travis Jones out of UConn is a player who has risen up draft boards and one the Eagles should target in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Jones was exceptional at the Senior Bowl (doesn't that feel so long ago now!?) As he showed off his athletic upside to scouts from around the league. He dominated the entire week of practice and was one of the standout performers in the game itself. He might not blow you away with his speed and quickness, but he is as strong as an ox and can collapse the pocket from the interior.

Cox has been an excellent servant in Philly, but his time is drawing to a close. Jones would be an excellent pupil next season and possibly beyond.


52. Cleveland Browns: DeMarvin Leal, Defensive Line - Texas A&M

Cleveland moved back to pick up some more assets which will be crucial after the team gave up so much with their acquisition of Deshaun Watson. Moving back a few spots in the second round isn't a bad thing as I believe that this is where the real value lies within the 2022 NFL Draft. DeMarvin Leal is one of those value players further down the board.

Leal was considered a first-round prospect last year, but his stock has taken a dip in the build-up to the draft. The Texas A&M product is a great athlete and should fit in well on the Browns’ defensive line. His versatility to play inside and outside will be intriguing, and the opportunity to use him in a variety of ways will be enticing for Cleveland.


53. Green Bay Packers: Logan Hall, Edge - Houston

The Green Bay Packers have more than made their mark on this draft class as they have added plenty of young talent to their roster. Another of those names is Houston edge rusher, Logan Hall.

Hall has drastically improved during his time with the Cougars, as he has slowly developed his game to the point where he could potentially be a day one pick. He has a good bend and a powerful first step, which makes him too much for most guards to handle when he's playing as a 3-technique. He uses his length well and has a great motor to keep himself in the play.

Hall will provide the Packers with much-needed depth on their defensive line and should make an impact for a winning team in year one.


54. New England Patriots: Zyon McCollum, Cornerback - Sam Houston State

During the offseason, the New England Patriots lost one of the best man coverage corners in the league in J.C. Jackson. This will be a massive blow for the organisation as Jackson was an integral part of Bill Belichick's defense over the past few seasons. Zyon McCollum may be a ready-made replacement.

Physically McCollum is built to play man coverage at the NFL level. He is surprisingly nimble for a guy who is 6'4 and doesn't get beaten often down the field. He also has the tools to develop into a solid zone corner too as he understands route concepts very well. He also has underrated ball skills and will contest the ball in the air with anyone.

Tariq Woolen may be getting the hype, but McCollum is the better prospect right now, and the Patriots will be more than happy to have him on board in 2022.


55. Arizona Cardinals: Kenneth Walker, Running Back - Michigan State

The Arizona Cardinals running game was one of their biggest strengths during the 2021 NFL season as James Conner bounced back from an injury-ravaged season in his final year in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals’ ground game carried their offense towards the back end of the season, but they need more depth at the position. So Kenneth Walker is the first running back off the board in 2022.

Walker is an explosive runner when he has the ball in his hands. He runs with malicious intent, as he looks to finish his runs whenever he gets the ball in his hands, but his main attribute is his elusiveness. His ability to make a man miss in tight areas is incredible, and he should provide the Cardinals with an excellent change of pace in the backfield.

He will need time to develop, as he isn't the finished article, but Walker will be an excellent understudy for James Conner next season in Arizona.



56. Dallas Cowboys: Kingsley Enagbare, Edge - South Carolina

After addressing the trenches on the offensive side of the ball in the first round, Jerry Jones' men decide to improve the defensive side of the ball in the second round. They choose a youngster whom they can develop over time in their rotation and someone whom they can invest in down the road.

Kingsley Enagbare is a raw prospect, as he needs quite a bit of refinement before he will ever be considered as a three-down edge defender. He isn't a great run defender, as he sometimes allows blockers too much leverage and struggles to recognise which gap he needs to occupy in the running game. However, his raw skills as a pass rusher are what win the Cowboys over.

He has an excellent first step, can bend and get around the edge and he has powerful hands which usually results in Enagbare winning in contact. He will need time to develop, so Dallas is an ideal landing spot.


57. Buffalo Bills: Jaquan Brisker, Safety - Penn State

Buffalo hit a home run in the first round with the selection of former Bama wide receiver Jameson Williams, so now their attention turns to adding more depth to their secondary. Finding a long term replacement for Micah Hyde is going to be difficult, but Jaquan Brisker of Penn State could be the answer they're looking for.

Brisker is a very intelligent football player, and he has shown significant growth as a player during his time with the Nittany Lions. He plays the game with fearlessness and he sets the tone in the secondary.

Brisker is also quite versatile, so I can see him carving out some snaps in the slot during his rookie season. This young defender can also cover ground fast, which means he should fit in well as a single high safety in the NFL.

Buffalo continue to add young difference makers to their defense as they look to challenge for a championship in 2022.


58. Atlanta Falcons: Carson Strong, Quarterback - Nevada

The Falcons brought in Marcus Mariota during the offseason to fill the role left vacant after the Matt Ryan trade. Although Mariota is a serviceable starter in the NFL, he is little more than a stop-gap quarterback as this team searches for their long term successor. Adding Carson Strong to the depth chart could be the long term solution this team has been looking for.

Carson Strong does come with some question marks. His knee is a major cause for concern as there is no way to evaluate whether he will be ready to play anytime soon. He isn't going to win any awards for his athleticism and some question whether or not he can even avoid pressure with his limited mobility. However, one thing you cannot question is his arm talent.


Strong can make every throw you could want from an NFL quarterback, as he has the arm talent, accuracy and velocity to get the ball anywhere he needs to get it on the field. His ability to throw the ball has never been in doubt.

Atlanta will want someone to compete with Mariota in 2022, and that is exactly what Strong will do as a rookie. Don't be surprised if he is in the conversation to start by the season's end.


59. Minnesota Vikings: Quay Walker, Linebacker - Georgia

The Vikings have added talent to their secondary and their receiving corps in this class as they look to close the gap to the Packers at the top of the NFC North. Now attention turns to the future as they look to find a long term successor for Pro Bowl linebacker Erick Kendricks in the form of Quay Walker from Georgia.

The former Bulldog is yet another dominant defender from this historically good Georgia defense. He's a fluid athlete who should be effective against both the run and pass at the next level. He has excellent length for a player of his size, and although he might not have the nuances of the position down just yet, being mentored by Kendricks will help him immensely next season.

Walker will be able to add versatility and youth to a linebacking corps that needs it, so this is a shrewd selection by the Vikings.


60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perrion Winfrey, Defensive Line - Oklahoma

Tampa Bay didn't manage to keep the entire band back together during the 2022 free agency period like they did last year, so this season they will have to rely more on their draft selections to have a bigger impact on their rotation than they did last year. They have lost depth on their defensive line, so to address the issue they add Perrion Winfrey from Oklahoma.

The former Sooner is a big, strong and athletic defender who has shown flashes of excellence throughout his collegiate career. He uses his body well and has great hand power. He also has a good bend for a guy of his size which should translate well at the next level. He is still a raw prospect who needs some development, but he has an excellent work ethic and should get there in time.

The Bucs have had success with former JUCO players in the past, and they try their luck once again here with the big man out of Oklahoma.


61. San Francisco 49ers: Tariq Woolen, Cornerback - UTSA

It was only a matter of time until Tariq Woolen came off the board in my 2022 NFL Mock Draft with trades, as the player who has been rising up draft boards over the past couple of months lands in the Golden State.

San Francisco's defense could use an injection of athleticism, and that is exactly what Woolen has in abundance. He's a great athlete who crushed both the Senior Bowl and the combine. A 6'4 albatross with a 42 inch vertical and 4.26 speed is very rare to come by and will have NFL coaches salivating at the prospect of having him in their building to develop him.

Woolen is a raw prospect who will require some seasoning at the next level, but he is someone who will be drafted earlier than anyone expects in this class.


62. Kansas City Chiefs: Skyy Moore, Wide Receiver - Western Michigan

The Chiefs lost Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins during the offseason as "The Cheetah" has a new home in South Beach. Of course, the type of impact Hill can have on an offense is irreplaceable, but that doesn't mean the Chiefs aren't going to try new ways to fill Hill's role in the offense. Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore has the potential to be used similarly.

Like Hill, Moore isn't the typical size for a number one receiver, but he finds a way to be effective on the field. His route running and his ability to create separation are probably the best in this entire class. He has excellent short-area quickness, which should allow him to create space at the next level, and this could lead to him becoming Patrick Mahomes’ favourite target. He also is great after the catch and has some of the safest hands in this class.

The Chiefs rebuild their offense as they try to stay competitive during Mahomes’ prime. Moore is another player who can grow with this team for many years to come.


63. Cincinnati Bengals: Chad Muma, Linebacker - Wyoming

The Cincinnati Bengals have done everything they possibly can to improve their offensive line during the offseason. This was the Bengals’ biggest need, so going big in free agency and earlier in this draft class with the selection of Tyler Linderbaum was necessary. Now they look to address another weakness of this team that you might not expect.

Chad Muma will give the Bengals a long term three-down linebacker who could be one of the steals of this draft. The former Cowboy sticks to running backs out of the backfield like glue and understands zone coverage very well which allows him to thrive on third down. He's a solid run defender too as he rarely misses tackles and wraps up the ball carrier very well.

He does struggle to get off of blocks as a pass rusher and in the run game but could be helped over time with good coaching. However, this is a minor concern for a player with tremendous upside on a Bengals defence which should be even better in 2022.


64. Denver Broncos: Drake Jackson, Edge - USC

Rounding out my 2022 NFL Mock Draft with trades are the team who made the biggest move of the offseason as the Denver Broncos look to build the rest of their roster around their new star quarterback. Russell Wilson has plenty of weapons to throw the ball to, so the team focus on a player who can help win it back when Russ is on the sideline. Drake Jackson should be able to help with that.

I love Jackson as a third-down specialist early in his career, as he can use his athleticism to his advantage when getting after the quarterback. He flies off the edge and can make good offensive tackles look silly, but struggles when operating on the inside. He isn't as effective as a run defender right now as he can get manhandled, but that should improve over time once he has a chance to work with NFL coaches.

He will be a project player in Denver who might not see the field for a while, but one who could develop into a pass-rushing specialist over time.

 

So there you go folks, my second 2022 NFL Mock Draft with trades is done and dusted. I hope that this has been helpful and you can look at your team's draft with a different perspective afterwards.

Thank you for taking the time to check it out, and please follow me, Gridiron Xtra and The Franchise 33 NFL Show on Twitter. Peace out guys!!

For more draft content, keep checking back to the site. Find our 2022 NFL Draft Big Board here, and further positional rankings here. Listen to the Franchise 33 NFL Show by clicking the image below.



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