With the 2022 NFL Combine now in the books, things are beginning to take shape in terms of the hierarchy of talent in this year’s NFL Draft, and while the Internet is already saturated with 2022 NFL Mock Drafts, I present to you but one more humble mock. As the pre-draft process continues to unfold with college pro days starting to pop up around the country, we at ExtraPoint will be rolling out a full seven-round mock, complete with projected trades and detailed analysis leading up to the big weekend, but for now, please enjoy my initial post-combine 2022 NFL Mock Draft for Round One.
1.01 – Jacksonville Jaguars
6’4″ | 310 lbs
Junior | North Carolina State
NFL Comp: A smaller (and hopefully less lazy) Mekhi Becton
No team has ever deserved to pick No. 1 overall more than the 2021 Jaguars, but unfortunately, no transcendent quarterback prospect is available at the top of this draft because a team like Jacksonville would love to trade out of this slot to gain more draft capital. We will not be projecting trades in this version of our mock, so the Jags opt to make Ekwonu the first offensive lineman to go No. 1 overall in nearly a decade. “Ickey” is an athletic marvel, as evidenced by his impressive performance at the NFL Combine. The Jaguars franchise-tagged LT Cam Robinson this week, and Ekwonu could easily slide over to play guard for a season. This is a future perennial All-Pro lineman if his technical development can rise to match his incredible physical gifts.
1.02 – Detroit Lions
6’1″ | 215 lbs
RS Junior | Liberty
Comp: A more dynamic Jalen Hurts
The Lions are likely not contenders in 2022, and so it makes sense to add a safer, more foundational piece for the long term rather than taking the big swing on a raw quarterback prospect, but Willis’ upside is just too seductive to resist here at No. 2. Willis has had a great pre-draft period to this point, shining in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and again at the NFL Combine this past week. Fans and mock drafters get caught up in the flaws that raw players like Willis have, but NFL coaches and decision-makers love to focus on upside and the belief that they can be the ones to fix those flaws and ultimately unlock a player’s talent. Armed with three of the first 34 picks in this draft, the Lions can afford to gamble on Willis’ immense ceiling.
Dynasty managers, thinking of drafting Willis in your Superflex leagues? Check out Ben’s in-depth scouting breakdown of Willis here!
1.03 – Houston Texans
6’6″ | 265lbs
Senior | Michigan
Comp: Nick Bosa is too easy of a comp, but that’s the comp… maybe a rich man’s Maxx Crosby
Houston is essentially in the same spot in their rebuild as Detroit, but the Texans decide to add the elite edge defender here, signaling that QB Davis Mills will receive the chance to be “the guy” in 2022. Hutchinson — who is dropping in some mock drafts due to rumors that some NFL teams are only lukewarm on his upside — brings the “non-stop motor” that scouts love from their pass rushers, and he flashed impressive athleticism at the NFL Combine. Hutchinson ran a very good 4.74 40-yard dash and his three-cone drill time (6.73) was the fastest for a defensive lineman over 6-foot-5 since 2003 (ESPN).
1.04 – New York Jets
6’4″ | 220 lbs
Junior | Notre Dame
Comp: Cross between Kam Chancellor and Harrison Smith
Yes, the fourth overall pick of the draft is very early for a safety, but Hamilton is no ordinary safety prospect. He has the athleticism and instincts to thrive both as a cover man over the top as well as a weapon near the line of scrimmage. Hamilton also shows enough size and power to cover tight ends and running backs, making that true “moveable chess piece” scouts drool over. Robert Saleh should be able to deploy Hamilton in a multitude of different ways, which should help turn around the Jets’ 32nd-ranked defense from last season.
1.05 – New York Giants
6’7″ | 337lbs
Junior | Alabama
Comp: Marcus McNeill with better bend
Rejoice, Giants fans! Nate Solder’s contract has finally come to an end! As positive as that news is for New York, the need to add talent up front is severe, and with the Giants currently about $13 million over the projected 2022 salary cap, they will likely need to make their splashy addition up front via the draft. Neal, a massive human who just sort of swallows up defenders once he gets his hands on them, brings some position versatility as well (started 13 games at left guard in 2019) depending on to what degree Andrew Thomas continues his development on the left side.
1.06 – Carolina Panthers
6’3″ | 217 lbs
RS Senior| Pittsburgh
Comp: Andy Dalton with slightly better wheels (and bigger hands)
The Panthers’ woes along the offensive line are well-publicized, but like many teams with glaring positional needs, I predict Carolina will address their offensive line in free agency where they currently have almost $24 million in cap space to play with. The Panthers may very well be active in the market for a veteran quarterback, but if they are not able to strike the right deal, Pickett is likely the most NFL-ready of the prospects in this draft. There are concerns about Pickett’s hand-size — at just 8.5 inches, he will immediately have the smallest hands among all NFL starting quarterbacks — but “Kenny Two-Gloves” had minimal issues playing his college ball out in the Heinz Field elements in Pittsburgh.
1.07 – New York Giants (from Chicago Bears)
6’4″ | 254 lbs
Junior | Oregon
Comp: Von Miller or a smaller Myles Garrett
After securing the offensive lineman they desperately needed with the fifth pick, the Giants get to make an upside selection here in Thibodeaux. Once regarded as a candidate to be the first selection in this 2022 draft, Thibodeaux’s stock has fallen recently, despite an impressive, albeit brief, performance at the NFL Combine as he ran a blazing 4.58 in the 40, as well as 27 bench press reps, tops in the defensive lineman class. Thibodeaux, whose athleticism has never been in question, does offer a few concerns about his lack of polish and his commitment to his craft, but the upside is there for him to eventually become a Pro Bowl caliber pass rusher.
1.08 – Atlanta Falcons
6’0″ | 183 lbs
Junior | Ohio State
Comp: Calvin Ridley without the FanDuel account; maybe a little Odell to his game as well
With Calvin Ridley’s future in Atlanta and the NFL in doubt, the Falcons have virtually zero receivers on the roster and very little cap space (less than $4 million in cap space AFTER Ridley’s cap hit is taken off the 2022 books) to add any receivers of note in free agency, so Atlanta is almost locked into a receiver with the eighth pick unless they can find an opportunity to trade down. Wilson had a great NFL Combine, measuring a full six feet in height and running in the high 4.3’s in the 40-yard dash. Wilson’s route-running prowess as well as his explosiveness will pair well with the physical dominance of Kyle Pitts in the Falcons’ passing attack.
1.09 – Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)
6’5″ | 307 lbs
RS Sophomore | Mississippi State
Comp: Leremy Tunsil sans weed-mask
The Russell Wilson Era in Seattle is over, but his last act will be to help the Seawhaks finally secure a franchise left tackle for (what feels like) the first time since Walter Jones. According to PFF, Cross allowed zero sacks and just five quarterback pressures over 553 pass-blocking snaps during the 2021 season. The Seahawks might elect to use this pick on a quarterback, but after the Wilson trade as well as the release of LB Bobby Wagner, Seattle now ranks second in the NFL in cap space ($51.3 million), according to Sportrac, and so it’s possible they could pursue a veteran like Marcus Mariota or Mitchell Trubisky to get them through this season while the front office uses these draft picks on safer prospects who can become foundational pieces moving forward. Cross would qualify as such.
1.10 – New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)
Edge Defender/Defensive Lineman
6’5″ | 272 lbs
Junior | Georgia
Comp: Rich man’s Rashan Gary
Walker, a former five-star recruit and multi-sport athlete in high school, brings incredible size, athleticism and versatility to the table as a dynamic force from both the edge and the interior. Much like the Jets’ previous pick, S Kyle Hamilton, Walker will give the Jets another multi-scheme weapon to get creative with, something Robert Saleh will relish. Walker did well for himself at the combine, running a ridiculous 4.51 in the 40 and 6.89 in the three-cone drill. Walker’s rare explosion off the ball and “speed-to-power” ability continuously show up on film and support those impressive measurements from the NFL Combine.
1.11 – Washington Commanders
6’3″ | 225 lbs
Junior | Arkansas
Comp: More agile DK Metcalf
With Carson Wentz now under center, the Commanders need to add weaponry to their offense to help WR Terry McLaurin and RB Antonio Gibson. Burks, a physical marvel at the receiver position, will give Wentz another dynamic weapon that defenses must account for, not to mention a player who can turn short passes into long touchdowns with remarkable consistency. Some mock drafters were disappointed by Burks’ 4.55 in the 40, but at 225 pounds, Burks is plenty fast.
1.12 – Minnesota Vikings
6’3″ | 200 lbs
Junior | Cincinnati
Comp: Richard Sherman
The Vikings would be delighted if the first eleven picks went this way and a top talent like Sauce Gardner is available at No. 12. Gardner will slot in opposite of CB Cam Dantzler to help bolster the Vikings’ 30th-ranked defense from last season with his length, instincts and fluidity as a cover man. Edge defender is a possibility here as well, especially if Danielle Hunter is traded, but Minnesota finished 2021 second in the NFL in sacks without Hunter for much of the season. The only event Gardner participated in at the NFL Combine was the 40-yard dash, and he performed well, running a 4.41, which is great for a corner of Gardner’s size.
1.13 – Cleveland Browns
Jermaine Johnson II
6’5″ | 254 lbs
RS Senior | Florida State
Comp: Kony Ealy or Maxx Crosby
Yes, I know wide receiver is a huge need for Cleveland, but the Browns will open up over $15 million in cap space by releasing Jarvis Landry this off-season, and if they do so, I would expect they use that money to find a veteran replacement. Teams don’t often want to head into the draft with glaring holes if they can patch them via free agency. Johnson, who has impressed both at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, provides Myles Garrett with some help off the edge, especially if Jadeveon Clowney is not brought back. Johnson has an impressive collection of pass-rushing moves to go along with very good length and athleticism.
1.14 – Baltimore Ravens
6’6″ | 341 lbs
Senior | Georgia
Comp: Modern-day, uber-athletic Ted Washington or Refrigerator Perry
After an awe-inspiring performance at the combine during which we watched a 341-pound human run a 4.78 in the 40, Davis’ draft stock has been skyrocketing. I still think some teams are going to balk at the fact that Davis is more two-down run-stuffer than he is an interior pass rusher, but he possesses special athleticism and movement ability at his size. Lost in the hoopla from Davis’ 40-yard dash is the fact that he posted a 10’3″ in the broad jump, tops among all interior defensive lineman… and again, he weighs 341 pounds! With the Ravens facing the likes of Nick Chubb, Najee Harris and Joe Mixon six times this coming season, a guy like Davis is sure to have a huge impact right from the start.
1.15 – Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins)
Derek Stingley Jr.
6’0″ | 190 lbs
Junior | Louisiana State
Comp: Antonio Cromartie, but with way fewer children
Once regarded as the best corner in this class, Stingley’s play has dipped a bit since his incredible freshman season. Still, Stingley displays elite size and athletic traits to be a true “No. 1” corner on the outside, and his loose hips and explosive recovery burst to hold his own on an island against the opponent’s top receiver. Philadelphia, owners of three first round selections, start their draft by adding some much-needed help in the secondary alongside CB Darius Slay.
1.16 – Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis Colts)
6’5″ | 219 lbs
Junior | Southern California
Comp: Mike Evans with more wiggle in the open field
With the pick they received from the Colts for Carson Wentz, the Eagles attempt to rectify that Jalen Reagor pick (over Justin Jefferson) a few years ago. London, a big target with excellent body control and contested catch prowess, would be a great weapon who can come down with Jalen Hurts’ sometimes-wayward throws, and London’s surprisingly good “YAC” ability can help the Eagles sustain drives that might otherwise have stalled a year ago. London’s skillset is also a very good complement to DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert in the Eagles’ passing game.
1.17 – Los Angeles Chargers
6’7″ | 325 lbs
RS Senior | Northern Iowa
Comp: Former U.S. Representative John Runyan Sr.
The Chargers’ defense ranked 30th against the run last season, but again, it’s rare that a team that will have approximately $57 million in cap space this off-season would ignore their biggest weakness in free agency. Assuming some IDL reinforcements arrive beforehand, Penning would be a welcome addition up front in the effort to protect franchise QB Justin Herbert. Penning tested very well at the combine, cementing his place in the first round. He is a “nasty” lineman who plays through the whistle at times, and that sort of demeanor is perhaps needed in Los Angeles to balance Herbert’s easy-going temperament.
1.18 – New Orleans Saints
6’6″ | 303 lbs
Senior | Central Michigan
Comp: Ezra Cleveland
Sean Payton and Drew Brees are gone, the Saints are in salary cap hell and Alvin Kamara is possibly facing a lengthy suspension. There are better days to come for Saints fans, but there might be some lean years ahead as they are forced to pay the piper on all those years of contention under Brees and Payton. Raimann, originally from Steinbrunn, Austria, represents a solid foundational piece at a premium position, especially with Terron Armstead entering free agency.
1.19 – Philadelphia Eagles
6’4″ | 266 lbs
Junior | Purdue
Comp: Trey Hendrickson
In real life, perhaps the Eagles will package all or some of these first round picks to move up or trade for a star player, but in this mock, Philadelphia rounds out their fruitful first round by selecting a pass rusher with Brandon Graham entering his age-34 season on the last year on his contract. Some Eagles fans might rather have Nakobe Dean or Devin Lloyd, but the franchise does not prioritize linebackers in the first round (zero off-ball linebackers drafted in Round 1 since 1978). Karlaftis disappointed some at the NFL Combine with “just” 21 bench reps, but his 38-inch vertical and 10’1″ broad jump show that he has elite explosiveness at almost 270 pounds.
1.20 – Pittsburgh Steelers
6’2″ | 212 lbs
RS Junior | Mississippi
Comp: If Zach Wilson looked to run more often
The Big Ben Era is over, and the idea of Mason Rudolph being handed the keys to this offense makes everyone feel sad. The Steelers simply need to find a way to acquire a quarterback this off-season one way or another. They’ve been linked to veteran free agents like Jameis Winston and Mitchell Trubisky, but with the quarterback trade market dwindling by the day, it might be time for Steelers fans to get used to the idea of a rookie signal-caller in 2022. Corral has solid arm talent and good athleticism, but there are questions about his processing ability and his reliance on RPO-concepts.
1.21 – New England Patriots
5’11” | 193 lbs
Junior | Washington
Comp: Marshon Lattimore
It appears as though New England will allow CB J.C. Jackson to reach free agency, so cornerback becomes an obvious need for the Patriots here in Round 1. Bill Belichick loves to ‘zig’ when everything thinks he will ‘zag,’ but with the cornerback value still on the board here at No. 21, it would be wise for New England to avoid overthinking things. McDuffie has the agility and tenacious mentality in coverage to make up for his lack of ideal size and length. Under Belichick’s guidance, I would expect a low-floor player like McDuffie to have a long career in the NFL.
1.22 – Las Vegas Raiders
6’0″ | 187 lbs
Senior | Ohio State
Comp: Terry McLaurin
Olave’s fate as a future-Raider was sealed when he ran that 4.26 (later officially clocked at 4.39) in the 40 at the NFL Combine. All jokes aside, the Raiders desperately need to get more explosive on offense, especially if they plan on committing to Derek Carr for the long term. Bryan Edwards isn’t going to become a thing, and Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs simply don’t strike fear into opposing defenses in terms of big play ability. Olave’s arrival should open things up for all involved.
1.23 – Arizona Cardinals
6’5″ | 250 lbs
Junior | Michigan
Comp: Chandler Jones
Chandler Jones is a free agent, so adding an edge defender is very high on the Cardinals’ to-do list this off-season. Ojabo would give Arizona a dynamic pass rushing prospect who had a great 2021 season. Ojabo is a bit of a one-year wonder with zero sacks and just one tackle in his career before this season, but his explosiveness off the snap and overall athleticism is evident on film. Ojabo confirmed all of this at the NFL Combine, where he ran an impressive 4.55 in the 40-yard dash and did well in the explosion drills as well (35-inch vertical and 122-inch broad jump).
1.24 – Dallas Cowboys
6’4″ | 323 lbs
Junior | Texas A&M
Comp: Richie Incognito without the personality issues (hopefully)
With Dallas putting so much effort to keep Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz in the fold and under the salary cap, I have to think the Cowboys will want to fortify that offensive line that was once so dominant. Devin Llyod and Nakobe Dean are sneaky picks here as well despite the Cowboys taking a linebacker in the first round last season… that seemed to work out just fine. Pass rusher might be a priority as well, but after the Cardinals selected Ojabo, Green represented better value. Green is a rock in the run game, something Dallas desperately wants to get back to with last year’s left guard Connor Williams entering free agency.
1.25 – Buffalo Bills
6’0″ | 194 lbs
Junior | Clemson
Comp: Marlon Humphrey
The Bills could go a number of directions here. They could use a receiver with Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders becoming free agents, or a linebacker with A.J. Klein departing, but a talent like Booth still being available here at No. 25 sort of makes the decision easy for Buffalo, who could use depth behind Tre White. Booth brings natural ball-hawking instincts and a well-rounded athletic profile to the table who could use further development of his technical skills.
1.26 – Tennessee Titans
6’2″ | 296 lbs
RS Junior | Iowa
Comp: Garrett Bradbury, but hopefully (for Titans fans) way better
Linderbaum is not a seamless fit in Tennessee’s gap-power scheme in front of Derrick Henry, but he can be a huge asset in the running game in any scheme. Besides, even traditional power-running teams utilize plenty of zone concepts nowadays, and Linderbaum will excel in those situations. C Ben Jones is a free agent this off-season, and Tennessee would love to beef up the offensive line with this pick. Linderbaum represents much better value than reaching for the next best tackle or guard.
1.27 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6’1″ | 218 lbs
Junior | North Carolina
Comp: A more mobile Baker Mayfield
WR Chris Godwin has been franchise-tagged, and now the Bucs just need to figure out who is going to be throwing to him. The last quarterback Tampa Bay had, I forget his name, retired or something. Howell, who was everyone’s “QB1” of this 2022 class at this time last year, struggled as a passer in 2021 after losing much of his 2020 supporting cast to the NFL. One byproduct was that we got to see him run more in 2021, and that dual-threat aspect Howell provides is an underrated part of his game in an era where we normally obsess over quarterbacks who can run. Howell does throw a nice deep ball, so perhaps Bruce Arians can work with him.
1.28 – Green Bay Packers
6’3″ | 237 lbs
RS Senior | Utah
Comp: A less wealthy man’s Devin White
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams are returning to the Packers for another season, and so 2022 represents a “Super Bowl or Bust” season in Green Bay. As such, a selection like Lloyd makes sense as De’Vondre Campbell’s play in 2021 has likely priced him out of Green Bay’s reach this off-season. The only other linebackers on the roster are Krys Barnes and Ty Summers, yikes. Lloyd would become a Week 1 starter for the Pack, and would immediately provide a well-rounded playmaker who can even rush the passer some from his linebacking position.
1.29 – Kansas City Chiefs
6’3″ | 315 lbs
Senior | Georgia
Comp: Sheldon Richardson
Wyatt is coming off a breakout senior season for Georgia and has improved every year of his collegiate career. He brings quickness of the snap and very good athleticism for his size. Kansas City has several needs including offensive tackle (if Orlando Brown leaves via free agency), cornerback and safety. The Chiefs’ run defense was third-worst in the league in yards per attempt, so getting adding a presence inside like Wyatt would be a big help.
1.30 – Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco 49ers)
6’5″ | 324 lbs
RS Sophomore | Tulsa
Comp: Greg Robinson
The Dolphins have a ton of cap space to spend this off-season, so it’s possible they address the offensive line in free agency, but at this point someone like Smith is a good fit. He has great size and length, and he moved well at the combine, running a 5.04 40-yard dash, and he has the profile to line up on the right side for Miami (which would be Tua’s “blind side”). Smith is another of these linemen who gets credit for playing with a slightly “agitated” demeanor that coaches love.
1.31 – Cincinnati Bengals
6’3″ | 316 lbs
Senior | Boston College
Comp: Chance Warmack
If the Cincinnati doesn’t take an offensive lineman with this pick, Bengals fans might riot after how the Super Bowl ended. Johnson, who was arguably the most impressive lineman at the Senior Bowl, could step right in at guard for the Bengals to shore up that interior. Johnson also has experience at tackle, so there may be some position-flexibility there in a pinch, but he is probably exclusively a guard in the NFL. He does present some physical limitations when trying to deal with quicker rushers, but the Bengals will be happy to add a prospect with his type of physical upside to their offensive line.
1.32 – Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)
6’2″ | 189 lbs
Junior | Alabama
Comp: Bernard Berrian or a full-fingered Will Fuller
The Lions can afford to wait for Williams to heal completely from the ACL tear he suffered in the National Championship Game, and their patience could be rewarded as Williams is a true game-breaking talent with his speed on the outside. He is a perfect fit to go along with Malik Willis and his limitless arm. Williams would clear out space for Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift to operate.
Remember, watch ExtraPointFF.com for our Full Seven-Round Mock Draft coming soon, as well as 2022 Mock Rookie Drafts and more of Ben’s stellar scouting reports, including his latest breakdown of Kenneth Walker. As always, we at ExtraPoint Fantasy Football thank you for your love and support!
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Your typical know-nothing wannabe who never played American football growing up, Andrew grew up playing the REAL football, dreaming of being the next Ronaldo (the Brazilian one).
One fateful day in 1998, Andrew was introduced to one, Randy Moss, who would almost singlehandedly vault American football to the forefront of a young twelve-year-old’s flimsy attention span.
Twenty-some years later, Andrew, now a father, coach and rabid Tottenham supporter, still loves both footballs.