2022 NFL Mock Draft – 1st Round

Welcome to the first iteration of the 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Here, we’ve put pen to paper and tried to project the likely draft pick for each team. Picks which have been traded are allocated to the team who currently owns them, and the draft order was determined by the rankings at the time of writing. Enjoy!

Pick 1 – Detroit Lions

Biggest Needs: QB, CB, WR

2022 NFL Mock Draft - Pick 1 - Kayvon Thibodeaux
Photo by Steve Dykes / Getty Images

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE – Oregon Ducks

The Lions have a lot of needs but grabbing the best player on the board and NOT overreaching at QB will benefit this team in the long run. This will be a popular pick for a reason, and nobody will question it. Thibodeaux is a master at the line of scrimmage. He not only sacks the quarterback at a decent rate, but also pushes the line back making it difficult for RBs in the backfield.

Pick 2 – New York Jets

Biggest Needs: S, WR, CB, OL

Kyle Hamilton, S – Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Jets are another team with many needs, but their secondary is struggling so far this year. By adding an incredible athlete in Hamilton, they can focus on other areas later in the draft. Hamilton has the size to line up against anyone as well (6-4, 220 lbs).

Pick 3 – Houston Texans

Biggest Needs: QB, WR, CB

Matt Corral, QB – Ole Miss Rebels

Matt Corral will be the first QB off the board in my opinion. This guy has played great for Ole Miss this year and has a great TD-to-INT rate. This will help him coming into the NFL and could start as early as 2022 for a Texans team trying to move on from Deshaun Watson.

Pick 4 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Biggest Needs: OG, WR, S

Evan Neal, OL – Alabama Crimson Tide

The Jaguars would benefit giving Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne in 2022 an enormous (6-7, 340 lbs) offensive linemen that will make each of their jobs easier. Neal can line up at multiple spots and could be a mainstay for this team’s future. Protect your Quarterback, people!

Pick 5 – Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins)

Biggest Needs: DB, Edge, OL

Derek Stingley Jr., CB – LSU Tigers

I could easily see the Eagles taking a QB in this situation, but instead of grabbing a QB too early to compete with Jalen Hurts they grab an incredible athlete who will start in 2022 and beyond. Stingley doesn’t feel the pressure and constantly is in the middle of big plays at LSU. Philadelphia will hope that translates into the NFL as well.

Pick 6 – New York Giants

Biggest Needs: OL, Edge, LB

Kenyon Green, OL – Texas A&M Aggies

Both Aidan Hutchinson and Kenyon Green make a lot of sense here (and maybe QB if you are not a Danny Dimes believer). I think the Giants are set on Daniel Jones for at least another year and will use this year to fill holes in the offensive and defensive line. Adding another talent like Green in the mix will be beneficial. He has great balance and is very strong.

Pick 7 – Washington Football Team

Biggest Needs: QB, OL, DB

Malik Willis, QB – Liberty Flames

Going to be interesting to see where Willis, Howell, and Corral end up, but I am going with Willis here. Willis has a great arm and can hurt you on the ground as well. This could be a pretty fun team to watch if Willis hits his stride early in his career. Add the dual threat quarterback with Gibson, McKissic, Scary Terry and you could always have a dangerous offense on the field. I think adding a QB to at least compete with Heinicke should be a focus for the WFT.

Pick 8 – Atlanta Falcons

Biggest Needs: Edge, OL, QB

Sam Howell, QB – North Carolina Tar Heels

This would be a great pickup for the Falcons. Howell could come in and learn behind Matt Ryan for a year or two while adding more early draft talent. This could be a match made in heaven. Howell does have a decently strong arm and can use his legs to get away from defenders.

Check out Ben Perrin’s in-depth Scouting Report on Sam Howell here.

Pick 9 – Philadelphia Eagles

Biggest Needs: DB, Edge, OL

Aiden Hutchinson, Edge – Michigan Wolverines

Two picks down, and two of their biggest needs addressed. Adding Hutchinson to this line could be a big upgrade. He is a tenacious edge player who uses his incredible strength as his main advantage.

Pick 10 – New York Giants (via Chicago Bears)

Biggest Needs: OL, Edge, LB

Tyler Linderbaum, C – Iowa Hawkeyes

The Giants need some consistency on their offensive line. Linderbaum sliding in at center long term will be incredibly beneficial for Daniels Jones and Saquan Barkley. Adding both Green and Linderbaum in the first 10 picks would make this offensive line formidable in 2022.

Pick 11 – Carolina Panthers

Biggest Needs: OL, CB, QB

Jaxson Kirkland, OL – Washington Huskies

Kirkland has been outstanding playing for the Huskies this season. Improved development during the 2020 season has seen his stock rise significantly. Improved pass blocking has been one of his biggest strides. He would fit in well for the Panthers in a much-needed spot.

Pick 12 – New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks)

Biggest Needs: S, WR, CB

Treylon Burks, WR – Arkansas Razorbacks

The Jets have a need at many positions, but I can’t help but keep a wide receiver here. They need to stack as much talent around Zach Wilson to find some success in year two and Burks would help a plenty. He has huge hands, huge frame (6’3, 225 lbs), and great physicality to jump into the NFL and contribute early on.

Check out Ben Perrin’s in-depth Scouting Report on Treylon Burks here.

Pick 13 – Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco 49ers)

Biggest Needs: RB, TE, OL

Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT – Ohio State Buckeyes

Petit-Frere has great length and good balance and can excel in the NFL. Miami has a need at the OL, and he would fit well on this team. He has great experience and could start right away for a team that hasn’t played well but needs improvement on the offensive line for Tua Tagovailoa to succeed.

Pick 14 – Denver Broncos

Biggest Needs: QB, LB, Edge

George Karlaftis, DE – Purdue Boilermakers

Karlaftis is an absolute beast on the line. He has incredible strength which leads to him being able to get plenty of tackles for loss and disrupting the QB. (7.5 sacks in 2019, 2.5 in 2021)

Pick 15 – New England Patriots

Biggest Needs: WR, CB, S

Garrett Wilson, WR – Ohio State Buckeyes

Mac Jones needs some playmakers on this offense and Garrett Wilson would be an awesome addition. He is a combination of speed, ball skills, and excellent route running. He has been fantastic at Ohio State with 43 catches, 687 yards, and 6 TDs so far in 2021.

Check out Ben Perrin’s in-depth Scouting Report on Garrett Wilson here.

Pick 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Biggest Needs: QB, CB, interior OL

2022 NFL Mock Draft - Pick 16 - Desmond Ridder
Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Desmond Ridder, QB – Cincinnati Bearcats

This would be kind of a fun pick for the Steelers. Having Big Ben as their QB since 2004 they aren’t used to having a dual threat option at QB. Adding Ridder to an offense that has Najee Harris at RB and Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and possibly Juju Smith-Schuster could be entertaining for years to come.

Pick 17 – Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis Colts)

Biggest Needs: DB, Edge, OL

Drake Jackson, LB – USC Trojans

Drake Jackson has been a fun player at USC. Has had some ups and downs related to injuries, but his instincts and versatility in that defense are undeniable. He is very capable of getting to the QB and will fit well in an aging Philadelphia defense needing some gamechangers.

Pick 18 – Minnesota Vikings

Biggest Needs: CB, Edge, LB

Kaiir Elam, CB – Florida Gators

The Minnesota Vikings is a team in need of some help on the backside of their defense. They are giving up a middling 246.1 yards per game in the air. Adding a player like Elam would be incredibly beneficial as this team has been underwhelming, but really doesn’t have a lot of major holes. I could see them going with Zach Harrison here as well.

Pick 19 – Cleveland Browns

Biggest Needs: TE, DT, Edge

Drake London, WR – USC Trojans

With the recent news of OBJ being waived by the team the Browns will have a need at wide receiver over the offseason. I initially had Chris Olave here but think Drake London might be the right fit for them. At 6’5 210 lbs he could slide in at the spot OBJ was supposed to be playing for them. Perfect Fit.

Pick 20 – New Orleans Saints

Biggest Needs: OT, DB, WR

Kingsley Enagbare, Edge – South Carolina Gamecocks

Enagbare could be an excellent addition to a Saints defense that ranks bottom of the pack in sacks so far this year (7). He has good leverage and speed that have all attributed to him moving up draft boards. The Saints would be very happy with him here if he lasts this long.

Pick 21 – Kansas City Chiefs

Biggest Needs: OT, CB, S

Ikem Ekwonu, OT – NC State Wolfpack

The Chiefs need to beef up their offensive line during the offseason and Ekwonu would be an excellent addition in the 2022 draft. Ekwonu has lined up at left tackle for NC state this year as well. He could fit well in multiple positions for this team. He has excellent size and strength and can help with both the run and pass for the Chiefs.

Pick 22 – Las Vegas Raiders

Biggest Needs: OG, DT, CB

Chris Olave, WR – Ohio State Buckeyes

With the recent news of Henry Ruggs, the Raiders need some added wide receiver talent. I absolutely love Chris Olave and rank him highly in my WR rankings for the 2022 draft. He will be an instant upgrade at a much-needed position. My Chicago Bears bias really wants him to end up being drafted there but doubt he would fall in the draft far enough for the Bears to try and make a move.

Pick 23 – Cincinnati Bengals

Biggest Needs: CB, TE, S

Andrew Booth Jr., CB – Clemson Tigers

Booth has been rising on draft boards and the Bengals would be ecstatic if he does last until their pick. He is a shutdown type of guy who shows off both good instincts with excellent speed. This is a big need for the Bengals to take the next step in 2022.

Pick 24 – Los Angeles Chargers

Biggest Needs: WR, TE, DT

Jordan Davis, DT – Georgia Bulldogs

I initially had a WR listed for this spot but feel like Mike Williams will most likely still be a Charger in 2022 (whether that be franchise tag or long-term deal). They have plenty of talent on offense and need a boost on their defensive line. Davis has been a gem on the line in Georgia and will continue to serve that role in the NFL.

Pick 25 – Baltimore Ravens

Biggest Needs: DT, OL, Edge

Charles Cross, OT – Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Baltimore Ravens are a well-rounded team with only a few needs to fill. Adding Cross to their offensive line will be incredibly beneficial for a team that loves to run the ball. This has dipped a bit since 2020, but this team will get back to focusing on the run when Dobbins/Edwards are back from injury in 2022.

Pick 26 – Tennessee Titans

Biggest Needs: LB, C, TE

Nakobe Dean, LB – Georgia Bulldogs

I initially had Adam Anderson in this spot, but with the recent reports I’ll take him off the list until we have more clarity of the situation. Dean has been racing up draft boards with his enormous year. He is a smart player that makes tackles for loss and sacks look easy. Would be a good fit here for the Titans.

Pick 27 – Green Bay Packers

Biggest Needs: WR, Edge, LB

Zach Harrison, Edge – Ohio State Buckeyes

Once again, the Packers pass on adding talent to their offense. Instead grabbing a player who is as explosive as they come. Harrison is a quick and versatile defensive end that can change the game at any given moment.

Pick 28 – Dallas Cowboys

Biggest Needs: DB, DL, WR

Jordan Battle, S – Alabama Crimson Tide

Jordan Battle would be an excellent addition to an aging secondary of the Dallas Cowboys. Adding another game changing player next to Trevon Diggs will help this defense a lot. Battle is smart and helps his team by not making large mistakes on the back end.

Pick 29 – Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams)

Biggest Needs: QB, CB, WR

Kenny Pickett, QB – Pittsburgh Panthers

Another guy rushing up draft boards. Pickett has been playing great for the Panthers this season. Jared Goff will not be the Lions long term QB, and Pickett could use a year to learn and observe. Pickett throws the ball well and doesn’t make poor decisions in the pocket.

Pick 30 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Biggest Needs: OL, CB, RB

Darian Kinnard, OT – Kentucky Wildcats

This guy is huge (6’5, 345 lbs), but has better mobility than you think. He has quick feet and uses his frame to push people across the line. The Bucs have an excellent overall squad but adding someone that can protect Tom Brady is always a plus.

Pick 31 – Buffalo Bills

Biggest Needs: DL, WR, Edge

John Metchie III, WR – Alabama Crimson Tide

Buffalo already has a lot of weapons for Josh Allen, but by adding Metchie to the mix they can possibly move on from an aging Cole Beasley. Metchie has ben excellent for Alabama the past two years and has shown to be an impact player. (52 receptions, 601 yards, 5 TDs in 2021)

Pick 32 – Arizona Cardinals

Biggest Needs: Edge, CB, RB, OL

2022 NFL Mock Draft - Pick 32 - Isaiah Spiller
Photo by Bob Levey / Getty Images

Isaiah Spiller, RB – Texas A&M Aggies

Couldn’t help it. Arizona could absolutely focus on another spot here, but this fit is made in heaven. Spiller is once again showing how talented he is this year with the Aggies racking up 123 carries for 761 yards (6.2 average) with 5 TDs. Spiller would be a top 3 pick in dynasty rookie drafts if this were to occur.

Check out Ben Perrin’s in-depth Scouting Report on Isaiah Spiller here.

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