2022 NFL Mock Draft: Kyle Hamilton falls to Patriots, Panthers take Kenny Pickett, Giants and Jets get OL help


Michigan

• Sr

• 6’7″

/ 260 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

While he’s not my top-rated edge rusher in this class, it’s not as if there’s some giant chasm between him and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Hutchinson has plenty of natural talent and has improved every season. The closer we get to the draft, the more people who seem to be convinced this will be the pick.

Oregon

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 254 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Thibodeaux is still my No. 1 player in the draft class. He’s capable of doing things that others in this class aren’t, and while some teams have concerns about his “love of football,” I think we sometimes overthink things. Get him in your locker room and let him go to work. You won’t be disappointed.

Cincinnati

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

The Texans can go any direction here, but Gardner strikes me as the kind of player new coach Lovie Smith will fall in love with. He has everything that Smith has looked for in his cornerbacks throughout his coaching career. When you have as many needs as Houston, go with the best player available, and Gardner is it.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 337 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

1st

Neal makes a lot of sense for the Jets. If they’re no longer confident in Mekhi Becton, Neal is his replacement. If Becton holds onto the job, Neal is just as capable of playing on the right side of the line. Either way, you’re improving your offensive line and helping the QB you used an early pick on last year.

NC State

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

Ekwonu is my favorite offensive lineman in the class, and he’ll give the Giants something they need. Whether Daniel Jones is the long-term QB or it’s somebody else, Ekwonu can be counted on to protect them for the next decade.

Pittsburgh

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Carolina

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Panthers were probably hoping that the QB market would shake out differently this offseason and allow them to address another need with this pick. But it didn’t, and Pickett is the best fit for what the Panthers need if they want to compete for a playoff spot in 2022.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 272 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

1st

Walker has been rocketing up draft boards and mock drafts in recent weeks, and I understand why. He’s an intriguing talent at a valuable position, but while I like him, I’m not sure I’d be taking him this high. He’s likely going to need further development as a pass-rusher to be worthy of this selection, but I wouldn’t blame the Giants or anybody for betting on his ability to do so.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Derek Stingley Jr. has nearly everything you want in a corner, but teams are understandably hesitant. When you watch the tape, he’s brilliant but showed too much inconsistency the last couple of seasons. That said, life at LSU has been inconsistent for everybody the last two years. Get him into a professional environment, and he could revert to the player we saw his freshman season.

Mississippi State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 307 lbs

Projected Team

Seattle

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Some think the Seahawks will take a QB here, but a part of me wonders if the Seahawks aren’t relieved to move on from Russell Wilson because there won’t be as much external pressure to throw the ball as much. Drew Lock lets Pete Carroll be the run the dang ball and play good defense coach he’s always loved being. So I can see the Seahawks addressing needs on the offensive line here. Cross didn’t do a lot of run-blocking last season, but that was the offense he was playing in more than his ability to do so.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 183 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

1st

It might not be Wilson, but I’m confident the Jets will go for a WR here. Drafting an OT and a WR in the top-10 is the definition of helping out your young QB, and Wilson is terrific after the catch. He also does an excellent job of using his body and catch radius to make contested grabs.

Utah

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 237 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Lloyd is the kind of linebacker that is becoming more and more important to have in the NFL. He can play on early and passing downs, and he has more than straight-line speed. He needs to improve his tackling technique, but given his frame and strength, I’m not worried about his ability to do so.

Washington

• Soph

• 5’11”

/ 193 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

4th

I’ve talked to some people who believe McDuffie is the best corner in this class. I’m not willing to go that far, but he’s an outstanding prospect that can be used in a variety of ways. He’d be an immediate boost to the Minnesota defense.

Florida State

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 254 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Outside the top edge rushers in this class, Johnson is my favorite. I don’t think he’ll become an all-world pass-rusher, but I’m more confident he’ll be reliable for 7-10 sacks per year than I am the other remaining options on the board.

Georgia

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 341 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

2nd

I’ve talked to people far more intelligent than I am who are becoming more and more convinced this will be the pick for the Ravens if Davis is on the board. If Davis can become a consistent three-down player who develops as a pass-rusher, he could be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. If he doesn’t, he will still be a reliable cog in the middle of your defensive front.

USC

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 219 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

3rd

London reminds me of Mike Evans from both his frame and ability. He’s not a burner, but he’s a fluid athlete who will dominate smaller defensive backs. He could quickly become Jalen Hurts’ go-to target.

Liberty

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 219 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

1st

Malik Willis has a chance to be a tremendous professional QB, but being drafted into a situation where he’s asked to play right away won’t do him any favors. New Orleans is an excellent place for him because he’ll be able to develop on the bench behind Jameis Winston for at least a year before being asked to take on the starting role.

Central Michigan

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 303 lbs

Raimann is a tremendous athlete for a player of his size but could afford to put on more weight if he’s going to hold up at left tackle in the NFL. For somebody who doesn’t have a lengthy history of playing the position (he’s only played there two seasons), he’s shown to be a natural.

Georgia

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 307 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

4th

I’ve given up tilting at windmills trying to convince the Eagles to draft Nakobe Dean. They have their drafting philosophy, and I’m going to respect it. So, instead of Dean, they take a Georgia defender at a position they’re willing to use a first-rounder on. Wyatt wasn’t the best player on Georgia’s defensive line last season, but that’s more about how ridiculous Georgia’s defensive line was than Wyatt.

Ohio State

• Sr

• 6’0″

/ 187 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

5th

There are concerns about Olave’s size and his ability to withstand hits at the NFL level, but he’s a terrific receiver who will stretch the field vertically for this Saints offense. Olave over the top with a healthy Michael Thomas beneath will give defensive coordinators a headache.

Arkansas

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

4th

The Packers trade up a couple of spots to ensure they get the receiver they want as they look to replace Davante Adams and give Aaron Rodgers another weapon. I can see Burks being used in many of the same ways the Packers had been using Adams. He has good hands and is tremendous after the catch. His route running could use some refining, though.

Notre Dame

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

Teams have been scared off Hamilton a bit in recent weeks because of his 40 times, but he’s an intelligent defender who can be used in different ways. In other words, he’s the kind of defensive back that Bill Belichick would happily snap up if he falls this far.

Northern Iowa

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 321 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

8th

I think Penning is a right tackle at the NFL level, but the Steelers can use upgrades on their offensive line, and Penning has the kind of demeanor that will quickly endear him to the hometown faithful.

Florida

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 191 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

46th

POSITION RNK

6th

I’ve mentioned it in previous mocks, but Elam is the one corner in this class I’m surprised hasn’t received more hype. He’s long, fast and has an excellent knack for making plays on the football. He’s going to be a steal for somebody.

Georgia

• Jr

• 5’11”

/ 229 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

1st

Frankly, it’s not fair that the Cowboys had Micah Parsons fall to them last season and then have Dean fall to them in this mock draft. Good luck to any offense that tries to do anything horizontally if this happens.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 179 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Williams is likely to miss the start of the season as he recovers from an ACL injury, but no receiver in this class has his speed. He ran away from people you shouldn’t be able to run away from last season. Imagine a guy who can run past everybody playing with a QB who can throw it over everybody. Could be pretty fun, no?

Texas A&M

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 323 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

6th

Green played everywhere but center at A&M, but his best position will be guard. He strikes me as a perfect fit for a team that likes to run the ball as much as Tennessee does.

Boston College

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 312 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

34th

POSITION RNK

7th

The Bucs have done a good job addressing needs in free agency this offseason, so they could go a multitude of directions here. Still, I think Johnson could be an excellent long-term fit on the interior of their offensive line while also contributing right away.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 191 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Packers could afford to add more depth to their secondary, and Hill is a versatile playmaker. He’s shown an ability to play safety as well as the slot. If you’re looking for a Tyrann Mathieu-type player but unable to sign the actual one, Hill is your guy.

Clemson

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 194 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Booth has only been a full-time corner for one season, so it’s hard to know how good he can be. Clearly, he’s already doing pretty well if we’re mocking him in the first round of the draft. With his ceiling, he’s the kind of late-first round pick well worth taking a shot on.

Penn State

• Sr

• 5’11”

/ 178 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

40th

POSITION RNK

7th

While he’s not Tyreek Hill, Dotson is an excellent deep threat that should pair well with what the Chiefs do on offense. He doesn’t have top-end speed but changes direction quickly without losing his top speed. I think he has a chance to be a Pro Bowler out of the slot.

Iowa

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 296 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

3rd

If you’re the Bengals, you need to continue improving your offensive line, so why not draft the best center in this class? I don’t know if Linderbaum will go on to an All-Pro NFL career, but I’m extremely confident he’s going to be a good player at his position for a long time.

Cincinnati

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 211 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

75th

POSITION RNK

5th

Getting a QB at No. 32 to get the fifth-year option on the contract just makes too much sense for the Lions not to do it. Jared Goff is not the answer, but Desmond Ridder could be, and it’s not like there’s a lot of pressure on the Lions to “win now.” It’s a gamble worth taking, whether it’s Ridder or the top QB on Detroit’s board.



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