2022 NFL Mock Draft: Top-20 QBs replace Ben Roethlisberger, Kirk Cousins as Steelers, Vikings plan for future


Oregon

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 258 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

There is a new team in possession of the No. 1 overall pick, but the player remains the same. Thibodeaux offers the most upside as a pass rusher, and a new regime is not going to let the presence of K’Lavon Chaisson steer them away from a player they regard as the top prospect.

Michigan

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 265 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

3rd

When Detroit had the No. 1 overall pick, there was an argument that Hutchinson is more in line with the type of player Dan Campbell covets. There is a lot of local love for the Wolverine. Paired with Romeo Okwara, the Lions would have a heavy-handed pass rush duo.

NC State

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 320 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

1st

Houston could go in any number of directions with this selection. In this scenario, the Texans bolster the offensive line for an incoming quarterback. Ekwonu is a road grader who has improved in pass protection.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

Cornerback is a premier position and New York has done a good job of adding solid, young depth. But the Jets need a lockdown player to elevate that room. Stingley is a prospect who has been on the radar of NFL teams since his freshman season.

Iowa

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 290 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Andrew Thomas has improved, and I think it is too early to rule out Matt Peart being a contributor for this team, so it targets the interior offensive line because we know it is a position of need. Linderbaum, at No. 5 overall, would be the highest a center has been taken in the modern era. As a talent, he is absolutely worth that investment.

Purdue

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 275 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

2nd

I am a believer in Karlaftis. I actually have him ranked higher than Aidan Hutchinson right now. The gap between those two players is not as substantial as some in the media are led to believe. New York upgrades its pass rush in the top ten.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 350 lbs

Projected Team

Carolina

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

1st

Carolina got excited about the possibility of Penei Sewell falling to them last year, but the Lions ended that dream prematurely. The team needs to improve its quarterback situation, but that player is facing a difficult path to success without the offensive line improving.

Mississippi State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

5th

General manager Joe Douglas values the offensive line, so that has led several to associate the draft’s top-eligible offensive line prospects with New York. The Jets have added Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera-Tucker but, as a whole, can continue building out that unit. Cross would come in and start at right tackle.

Pittsburgh

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

2nd

I believe I used the same argument last week but Arthur Smith has worked with Ryan Tannehill and now Matt Ryan, so I could see the appeal of picking Pickett with the idea of developing him for a year. Realistically, Ryan’s contract is too difficult to terminate in 2022.

Texas A&M

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 325 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

3rd

I have faith in Green as an interior offensive line prospect. Washington has Brandon Scherff playing on the franchise tag, but that is not going to continue. The team either has to make a substantial long-term investment in him or face the idea of replacing him in the offseason.

Notre Dame

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 219 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

Hamilton has an argument as the draft’s best available player. He can man up in coverage or play downhill and make plays in passing lanes. His role might be more important in Philadelphia’s zone scheme than a cornerback.

Cincinnati

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 188 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

3rd

With that being said….the Eagles add a potential island defender opposite Darius Slay. Gardner can be the future beyond Slay when the time comes. My only question with taking a cornerback this early is that it is an honor typically bestowed upon lockdown man coverage cornerbacks. Philadelphia is not necessarily asking him to be that in its zone scheme.

Utah

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

1st

From Utah to Colorado, Lloyd takes his game to the mountains. A player who I have compared to Fred Warner dating back to the summer, the linebacker has improved in coverage, but his endearing trait is his ability to get off blocks and play sideline to sideline.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 189 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

6th

I expect New Orleans to be in the market for a veteran quarterback, but Seattle and Green Bay are unlikely to send their incumbent starters to an NFC foe. Sean Payton might have to earmark this selection for a quarterback. Wide receiver is also a concern, especially considering the uncertain future of Michael Thomas. Williams helps quell some of those issues.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 192 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

1st

Wide receiver is an issue for Cleveland, as its players have been unable to create separation in the secondary. Wilson has been a selfless player in Columbus, and the Browns ask that of their receivers. He shows great body control.

Ohio State

• Sr

• 6’1″

/ 188 lbs

Projected Team

Las Vegas

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Throw out the assumptions of what Las Vegas is going to do based on its history with Jon Gruden. It is all speculation. The Raiders have traditionally been drawn to players with speed from traditional college football powers. In this case, they follow a similar path by selecting Olave to replace some of their lost production.

Ole Miss

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

1st

The music is playing and there are more teams in the market for a quarterback than there are chairs. By selecting Corral, Pittsburgh ensures that it sits in a chair before the music stops.

Northern Iowa

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 321 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

38th

POSITION RNK

8th

Offensive tackle has been a big issue for Baltimore. After trading Orlando Brown Jr., Ronnie Stanley went down with an injury. Some of those issues will resolve themselves but Penning takes care of the rest.

Liberty

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Minnesota is facing a decision this offseason: follow the course or start over. One week, the mock draft might call for the Vikings to do the former, and the next it might be the latter. This week, they start over with a new quarterback and, presumably, a new head coach.

Washington

• Soph

• 5’11”

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

50th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Buffalo’s defense has been a rollercoaster in recent years, but it is back on top of the hill. By selecting McDuffie, the Bills do their part to stay there.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Dean is just a physical, rangy linebacker. He is willing to do the dirty work, but he will find himself in position to make the impact plays as well. Brian Flores gets his Dont’a Hightower in Coral Gables.

Georgia

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 330 lbs

Los Angeles supplements its run defense with the selection of Davis. There is zero downside to adding a player who is going to occupy blocks and free Joey Bosa for pass rush opportunities.

USC

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

4th

To this point, Philadelphia has added safety Kyle Hamilton and cornerback Ahmad Gardner. The secondary should be rounded out with those two players. With the third and likely final first-round selection, the Eagles take Drake Jackson to add another body for the present but also for the future. Derek Barnett is a free agent and Brandon Graham is not going to be around forever.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 275 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Detroit took Aidan Hutchinson earlier and now it adds Walker to the same defensive line. The presence of Romeo Okwara, Hutchinson and Walker allows that unit to be versatile and explosive up front. The goal is create roster strengths and in this case make life difficult on the opposing quarterback.

Auburn

• Sr

• 6’0″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

33rd

POSITION RNK

5th

There is nothing flashy about Cincinnati. It is a team, city and program built on grit and perseverance. McCreary is not flashy, either. He is going to come in and do his job.

USC

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

5th

My weekly positioning of late is that Julio Jones has not worked out in Tennessee and the team needs an exit plan. The selection of London allows the Titans to add talent at the position while shedding some cap liability.

Kentucky

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 345 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

41st

POSITION RNK

1st

Arizona has faded a bit in recent weeks, including last week’s loss to Detroit. The Cardinals have looked downright dominant at times this season, but the playoffs are all about hitting your stride at the right time. Kinnard is a bruiser in the run game and would contribute to that dominant effort moving forward.

Georgia

• Sr

• 6’0″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

1st

Cornerback has been an issue for Tampa Bay, but no longer. Keep the current players and take Kendrick or get rid of one, it does not matter. There is no substitute for quality depth at that position. The Buccaneers have been a testament to that this season.

Florida

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 196 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

5th

Depth and versatility have been imperative to New England’s success in the secondary. The Patriots need to continue adding bodies to that unit and Elam is one that can play physical.

Penn State

• Sr

• 5’11”

/ 184 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Dallas could move on from Michael Gallup and/or Amari Cooper this offseason. It sounds crazy to predict a wide receiver to the Cowboys in their current state, but the presence of Dotson gives them options and flexibility from a salary cap perspective.

Arkansas

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

42nd

POSITION RNK

8th

Burks is a versatile player who can play in the slot or line up in the boundary dependent upon the situation. Kansas City has been looking for a compliment to the terrifying duo of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Do not be surprised if the Chiefs take a tight end at some point on Day 2. There is a lot of talent at that position expected to be available on Day 2, and it is an important role in the offense. Nevada’s Cole Turner would be fun.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

60th

POSITION RNK

6th

Ojabo is in contention for the best ability to bend around the edge. He can dip and rip around the corner like few others in this class, and that often leads to pass rush production in the NFL. He might be a raw player, but NFL teams will be happy to catch the elevator on its way up.



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