The 2022 NFL Mock draft has arrived
By: Jacob Keppen
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT Alabama
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a mess. They look like a team lost without direction, and without a leader. There is only one position you can count on heading into next year, and that’s rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence has had an up and down rookie year, but has definitely shown great flashes for the future. Evan Neal has the makings of a franchise left tackle who will keep Lawrence safe, and really bolster the Jags run game. Neal is massive at 6’7 350 and moves like a man half his size.
- Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE Oregon
For as bad as the Lions record is through five games — which is currently winless under new coach Dan Campbell, the record is a tad bit deceiving. Unlike the Jags and Dolphins who have been completely outmatched in most contests this year, the Lions have been able to keep most games generally close. Three of the Lions games this year have come within a possession, including their latest against the Vikings where it looked like they would win. Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best player in the class and can hopefully help the Lions turn competitive contests into actual wins. Thibodeaux is an elite defensive end prospect who can possibly transform a defense. The Lions hold out from picking a QB and grab a decade talent with Kavyon.
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami): Kyle Hamilton, S Notre Dame
What a surprise! The Eagles are picking in the top three… but it’s not with their own pick! With their Miami pick they acquired via trade during this past offseason, the Eagles decide to get a true playmaker on defense. As a whole, the Eagles lack talent outside of the defensive line. Kyle Hamilton has game changing ability at safety, and will give coordinator Jonathan Gannon a true playmaker in the secondary.
- New York Jets: Derek Stingley, CB LSU
The biggest need on the Jets has to be at cornerback. The options for New York in the secondary are; 6th round pick Brandin Echols, second year player Bryce Hall, and 5th round rookie Michael Carter. There have been flashes, but ultimately not enough to pass up on Stingley. Draft fans have been waiting for Stingley to be draft eligible since his freshman year. Stingley has the build of a lockdown corner in the NFL.
- Houston Texans: Demarvin Leal, DL Texas A&M
The Houston Texans pretty much need help everywhere. Quarterback is an intriguing option, but the Texans did just take Davis Mills in the third round last year, and this quarterback class doesn’t look great early on. Demarvin Leal has been dominant the past two years, providing great versatility as a guy who can truly line up anywhere on the defensive line. The Texans need talent wherever they can get it, and Leal can be a potential big part of the next era of Texans football.
- New York Giants: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE Michigan
Azeez Ojulari has been a hit so far for the Giants in his rookie year. The second round pick out of Georgia is already showing the pass rushing ability that made so many excited about him during the offseason. The giants defensive line is trending in the right direction with Ojulari and Leonard Williams, and Aidan Hutchinson can be the star edge rusher they’ve been looking to add to the mix. Hutchinson has been on a tear so far this season, living in the backfield with six tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks through six games. The tape has been phenomenal, Hutchinson looking like one of the best players in football this season.
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis): Andrew Booth, CB Clemson
Philadelphia’s second selection this year, and it again isn’t their own. While the Colts may not play Wentz the required 75% of snaps for the pick to convert from a second rounder if they’re looking at a bottom ten finish, in this scenario the Eagles take advantage. The Eagles need help on defense, especially at cornerback (we’ve been saying this for nearly a decade now.) Andrew Booth has all the athleticism and man coverage ability that you look for in a potential standout corner. He can learn a ton from Slay and eventually be Philly’s lockdown corner.
- Atlanta Falcons: Malik Willis, QB Liberty
Atlanta needs a quarterback for the future. They needed a quarterback for the future last year, but opted for Florida tight end Kyle Pitts instead. This year, even if the class is a bit of a step back from last year, the Falcons cannot afford to do so again. Matt Ryan is 36. Malik Willis has possibly the highest ceiling in the 2022 quarterback class, but is definitely a bit more raw of a prospect than you’d hope for. He has phenomenal athleticism and arm strength, and hopefully can learn a lot sitting behind an extremely experienced and successful quarterback in Ryan.
- New England Patriots: Kaiir Elam, CB Florida
There is such a temptation for New England to take a wide receiver here. They have a good line and just need to get Mac Jones some weapons. With the amount of money they dealt out to receiving options over the offseason, and the recent trading of Stephon Gilmore I’d be surprised to see them go wide receiver over a secondary option. Kaiir Elam is a big aggressive corner who can be another star corner in New England.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Linderbaum, IOL Iowa.
The final of the three top 10 picks owned by the Eagles is their own. After addressing the dire needs in the secondary, the Eagles opt for one of the best overall players in the draft in Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. Though the Eagles drafted Landon Dickerson in the second round last year, Dickerson easily could just stay at guard and be Brandon Brooks’ future replacement. Linderbaum is nearly a Jason Kelce clone and has all-pro potential. Philly builds through their lines and they do so again with a terrific center in Linderbaum.