Alabama Draft Prospects 2022

NFL Mock Draft – Tom 2.0

Hey there. Your team didn’t make the playoffs (again), either? Sucks, doesn’t it? How about a nice little 2022 NFL Mock Draft to blast away the cobwebs of a disappointing season? After all, there’s always next year.

This mock draft is especially for us non-postseason fans. Let those supporters of the lucky 12 teams concentrate on the 2021 season for a little while longer. Sorry, Seattle and Chicago fans. If you’re going to trade away future first round picks, try not to stink the next year. Indianapolis, you too. What on earth was that Week 18 performance all about?

Here you go. Picks 1-18 in my NFL Mock Draft 2.0.

  • 1. Jacksonville Jaguars

    Primary need: OT

The Jaguars did all they could to lose their grip on back to back #1 overall picks with their impressive win over Indianapolis in Week 18. The season has ended on a high note. Trevor Lawrence was looking like the Quarterback everybody expected him to be. Urban Meyer is a distant memory.

There’s no change from my 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 here. The Jaguars should take Evan Neal, OT, Alabama. Trevor needs protection, and Evan Neal is easily the best of the bunch in this draft class.

Passing on the top two edge rushers gets a little easier when you’ve got Josh Allen on the roster.

  • 2. Detroit Lions

    Primary need: WR

This is another pick that hasn’t changed from my first effort. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan seems a natural fit on the Detroit defence.

Dan Campbell has surprised many neutrals in 2021. The Lions were competitive, and a contributing factor was Campbell’s ability to inspire his players to fight hard against superior opposition.

The introduction of a hometown prospect continues the culture change in Detroit.

  • 3. Houston Texans

    Primary need: QB

I still think the best hope of a new Quarterback in Houston is in a trade package for the outgoing Deshaun Watson.

Could Brian Flores’ departure from Miami make a trade for Watson more, or less, likely? Time will tell. If Miami does make a move, could Tua Tagovailoa be part of the deal to take Watson to South Beach?

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon is the clear pick here. As mentioned in my 1.0, the franchise is yet to replace JJ Watt. Thibodeaux has all the traits to be a high performing, long term feature of this team.

  • 4. New York Jets

    Primary needs: DE, CB

The Jets doubled their win total in 2021 to a whopping 4 games. The season was beset by injuries to key players on both sides of the ball. Notably, the Jets spent the entire season without Carl Lawson on the field. Corey Davis and Elijah Moore spent time on IR, as did Mekhi Becton.

The Jets go for a change of tack from their strategy in my 1.0 and take Derek Stingley Jnr, CB, LSU. Stingley’s injury history is his biggest concern, and the Jets haven’t invested high draft capital at the position in recent years. However, a fully healthy Derek Stingley Jnr is a game changer. This is a talent that has shone in the SEC from his Freshman year. Could Stingley be the long awaited heir to Darelle Revis?

  • 5. New York Giants

    Primary needs: DE, OT

It looks like the Giants are letting Joe Judge have one more year at the reins (at the time of writing, he has survived Black Monday).

If he has managed to convince the top brass that he’s the man for the job, it might be a result of his willingness to move on from Quarterback Daniel Jones. The Giants select Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss. Corral’s Bowl Game injury gave us a fright, but he appears to have no long term concerns surrounding his health.

  • 6. Carolina Panthers

    Primary need: QB

The Sam Darnold gamble failed like the guy who goes to Vegas and puts his life savings all on red. Cam Newton was a very expensive stop gap for a below-average NFL starter.

If I’m Scott Fitterer, I’m going all in on Deshaun Watson, assuming he isn’t found guilty of many allegations of sexual assault.

Time to load up with a solid offensive tackle up front in Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State. Last time out, I had Carolina taking Kenyon Green, but Cross was already off the board. This time, he’s available. Cross is a classy pass protector that will be ready to make the Left Tackle position his own in 2022.

  • 7. Atlanta Falcons

    Primary need: QB

Rumours abound that Matt Ryan is headed for Pittsburgh to replace Ben Roethlisberger. On one hand, Matty Ice isn’t the QB he once was. On the other, Atlanta really doesn’t need the headache of finding a new Quarterback in what is a crowded market for buyers.

Calvin Ridley’s future in Atlanta has been thrown into doubt, with recent reports linking him to a move away from GA. All the more reason to stick with my initial choice of Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State. Wilson is the best receiver in a very good class. Atlanta replaces one WR1 with another.

  • 8. New York Giants (via Chicago)

    Primary needs: DE, OT

Easy pick for New York’s new General Manager, whoever you may be. Protect Matt Corral.

I still like the fit of Ikem Ekwonu, OG, NC State. He has experience at Left Tackle in the college Gamez but is best suited to the Guard position in the NFL.

  • 9. Denver Broncos

    Primary need: QB

Denver fans, I’ll buy in on your vision of Aaron Rodgers at Mile High. The search for the next great Denver QB is over.

That being said, the Broncos sure could replace a certain Von Miller. They can do much worse than take George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue here. In another draft class, he could be the premier edge rusher. A victim of circumstance has him third in this year’s class. I don’t imagine Denver will be complaining when they see him fall to them at #9 overall.

  • 10. New York Jets (via Seattle)

    Primary need: DE, CB

Remember Jamal Adams, Jets fans? The box Safety who threw his toys out of the pram to move to a winning culture? Well that team just finished 22nd in the NFL.

With their pick, New York takes a superior talent at the position in Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame. Jets faithful, don’t let Adams give you Safety PTSD. This kid is the real deal. Hamilton is built like a linebacker and incredible in coverage.

Robert Saleh’s secondary just got real good, real quick.

  • 11. Washington Football Team

    Primary need: QB

There are few things more frustrating in the NFL than a franchise wasting its potential. That is exactly what Washington is doing at the moment. They’ve got two 1,000 yard players in Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson. If only they had someone to throw the ball to them.

2022 is time for a fresh start. New name, new Quarterback.

I know, Washington. The last time you took a Quarterback here, he ended up being a bust. But don’t let that put you off Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt. His performances in 2021 have propelled him from a mid-round backup to potential NFL starter.

  • 12. Minnesota Vikings

    Primary need: DE

It’s time for a fresh start in Minnesota. Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman are gone.

What the Vikings do here at the moment is a mystery. They need help right across the defence.

Minnesota took Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah last time out. Lloyd is a phenomenal athlete, and a close second to Nakobe Dean in this position group. So, this time out they take Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia. Dean is a playmaker, plain and simple. The potential loss of Anthony Barr will be a little less bitter with Dean’s arrival.

  • 13. Cleveland Browns

    Primary need: QB

So, Cleveland. Turns out Baker Mayfield isn’t it. Hurts, doesn’t it?

Nothing I can do here. Sorry. Why don’t you settle for DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M? I really like the fit of Jordan Davis of Georgia here, but it’s hard to argue that he’s a superior athlete to Leal. His positional versatility makes him a useful piece both through the middle and on the edge.

At least you’ll dominate on one side of the ball, Brownies.

  • 14. Baltimore Ravens

    Primary need: OT

The Ravens need to bolster their offensive line, and get quite the steal in the form of Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M. It’s back to back Aggies here in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

The Ravens need to get back to their offensive identity. Run the ball, and run it well. The return of a healthy JK Dobbins should help with that. A successful run game always starts up front, hence the selection of Green.

He went #7 in my 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0. Ravens Flock, you’ve got yourself a steal.

  • 15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami)

    Primary needs: DE, CB

Eagles, it’s time to load up on a top cornerback prospect. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida is a fierce cornerback that thrives in one-to-one situations.

It’s a tough choice between Elam and Andrew Booth Jnr of Clemson at this point. Elam’s experience against SEC receivers tips the balance in his favour here.

  • 16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis)

    Primary needs: DE, CB

Philly addresses another key need with the selection of David Ojabo, DE, Michigan. The key concern with Ojabo is how much he has benefitted from playing alongside Aidan Hutchinson this year.

However, there is enough raw talent to get very excited. Ojabo has so much production for someone who only discovered the game in high school. This could be a reach, but the Eagles need help at getting to opposing Quarterbacks.

  • 17. Los Angeles Chargers

    Primary need: DT

Georgia talisman Jordan Davis is the standout pick here. Davis is a disruptive force at nose tackle, but could be scheme versatile with time. The Chargers had real trouble stopping the run in 2021. Davis can fix that. He was the cornerstone of the best defence in college football (as a Bulldogs fan, it sure feels good to say that).

  • 18. New Orleans Saints

    Primary need: QB

Last time out, I had the Saints taking Desmond Ridder. I’m not sure I would take the risk here with some elite receiver prospects still on the board.

Even with the possible return of Michael Thomas, can New Orleans pass on either Jameson Williams or Chris Olave at this point?

I’m going to say no. I think Jameson Williams has a fantastic pedigree at college level, but his ACL tear in the National Championship Game will see him fall down draft boards. The Saints offence has many problems that need to be solved. Their cap situation is horrible (again). At least with Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State, they can enjoy a future star at the receiver position.

There you have it, folks. Who needs the playoffs when you can do thousands of mock drafts? And no, I’m not sure how Andrew Booth Jnr is still on the draft board, either. Maybe his stock will rise in time for my Mock Draft 3.0? See you then.

-Tom

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