A handful of blockbuster trades and signings have taken place since our last mock draft video was released. And that means some drastic changes to our latest 8.0 edition are inevitable – and we even added some different Draft Day trade projections this time around!
Without further ado, let’s dive into the eighth edition of our 2022 first-round mock draft!
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson
The Jaguars need to go for the best player available, and in this year’s class, it’s the Michigan Wolverines star defensive end. Hutchinson would make an impact right away, forming an explosive pass rush duo with rising star Josh Allen.
2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker
The Lions will have plenty of enticing options here, but it’ll be hard for GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell to pass up on a 6-foot-5, 272-something-pound pass-rusher that could emerge as the long-term cornerstone of their defense.
3. Houston Texans: Evan Neal
With holes all over the roster, Houston can go anywhere. But pairing the stalwart Alabama offensive tackle with veteran mainstay Laremy Tunsil? Suddenly, the Texans would boast one of the NFL’s top offensive lines.
And that would go a long way towards helping them figure out if Davis Mills is the guy or not.
4. New York Jets: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner
The Jets fielded the NFL’s worst defense a year ago. One way to fix that would be adding a shutdown corner who can take away the opposition’s top receiver on a weekly basis.
Enter Cincinnati product Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The Jets haven’t had a true shutdown corner since the Darrelle Revis days. With wide receivers like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Stefon Diggs set to terrorize the AFC East for years to come, adding an elite corner should be a priority for Gang Green—thus making Gardner a no-brainer selection here.
5. New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu
The Giants want to give Daniel Jones another shot? It ain’t gonna work out if they don’t address the o-line with one of their two first-round picks.
NC State star Ikem Ekwonu is exactly what the Giants need. He and Andrew Thomas would form a rock-solid pairing up front, which would allow the G-Men to see what they really have in Jones and Saquon Barkley.
6. Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Hamilton (PROJECTED TRADE)
Projected trade alert! The Vikings acquire the No. 6 pick from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the No. 12 selection, the Vikings’ No. 77 pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick.
With the pick, the Minny snag Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. Just like that, this anemic secondary has a five-star game-wrecker to single-handedly transform their defense. It’s the perfect win-now move for a Vikings team that should be in playoff contention next year.
7. New York Giants (From Chicago Bears): Kayvon Thibodeaux
There are questions about Thibodeaux’s overall work ethic and his effort when finishing plays. But the Giants need another pass rusher to complement young stud Azeez Ojulari, and Thibodeaux’s high ceiling is worth taking a chance on – especially if he drops this far in the draft.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Garrett Wilson
No team has more roster flaws than the Falcons, so it’s really anybody’s guess where they go here. Calvin Ridley’s suspension and Russell Gage’s departure leave the Falcons with zero playmaking wideouts.
Wilson is the best receiver in this draft. Him and Kyle Pitts would make it a LOT easier for the next franchise QB in Atlanta…whether that’s Marcus Mariota or somebody else.
9. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver Broncos): Malik Willis
Pete Carroll and John Schneider may as well take a chance on the Liberty quarterback here. Willis’ dazzling dual-threat game could make him an enticing fit in Carroll’s renowned run-heavy offense. DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny would have him in a position to succeed right away.
10. New York Jets (From Seattle Seahawks): Charles Cross
The Jets already addressed their defense with the fourth overall pick. Now they can beef up the offensive line at number 10. Alijah Vera-Tucker, Mekhi Becton and free agent pickup Laken Tomlinson give the Jets three quality starters. Adding Cross gives New York the makings for an elite unit up front.
And last time we checked, a young QB like Zach Wilson can never have too many good blockers, right?
11. Washington Commanders: Drake London
Washington’s acquisition of Carson Wentz takes them out of the running for a QB here. The priority should be improving the supporting cast around Wentz.
Adding Drake London to a group that already features Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson and Logan Thomas could take this offense to a whole new level. Wentz would have by far his best group of weapons since that magical 2017 season in Philadelphia.
12. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett
In this exercise, everything works out beautifully for the Panthers. They trade down for extra draft picks but still come away with one of the top two passers in this class.
The Panthers can trade down with Minnesota and feel confident enough that Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett will be here for them. Matt Rhule finally lands a quarterback who just might save his coaching job in Carolina.
13. Houston Texans (From Cleveland Browns): George Karlaftis
The Texans have two run-stopping studs in Roy Lopez and Jonathan Greenard. The sky would be the limit for this front seven if they added a potent edge rusher like George Karlaftis.
The Purdue defensive end is a perfect fit for the defense Lovie Smith wants to run in Houston.
14. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Johnson II
Jermaine Johnson is everything the Ravens need on the defensive line. No team loves bringing the heat as often as Baltimore, and Johnson – who posted 12 sacks at Florida State last season – could certainly help them in that department.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (From Miami Dolphins): Devin Lloyd
The Eagles’ defense overachieved last season, and it simply won’t play near a top-10 level if the linebacker position isn’t addressed.
The speed and physicality of Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd could add another element to the Eagles’ D. Lloyd would be in position to succeed right away with Pro Bowlers Darius Slay, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox already in the fold.
16. New Orleans Saints (From Philadelphia Eagles): Chris Olave
There’s absolutely no way the Saints don’t take a wideout with one of their two first-round picks.
The blockbuster trade with Philly ensures that New Orleans comes away with two starters in round one. Love Mickey Loomis’ aggression. Now it’s time to land that much-needed sidekick to Michael Thomas.
Olave’s elite speed and production in the red zone will be too hard for NOLA to pass up. He, Thomas, Jameis Winston and Alvin Kamara could help the Saints’ offense regain their status among the NFL’s elite.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis
Davis is a boom-or-bust prospect. He doesn’t bring much as a pass-rusher and will be used more as a two-down player. But he’s far-and-away the best run-stopper in this class, and the Chargers need a player of his caliber.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (From New Orleans Saints): Jameson Williams
His ability to stretch the field would go hand-in-hand with Hurts’ knack for scrambling and extending the play. A perfect fit for everybody here.
19. New Orleans Saints: Zion Johnson (From Philadelphia Eagles)
It’d be a shock if the Saints didn’t address the offensive line with one of their other first-round picks. Having lost Terron Armstead to Miami in free agency, it’s imperative for the Saints to get a capable replacement in the draft.
Boston College guard Zion Johnson would give the Saints a second young star on the o-line to accommodate Ryan Ramczyk. This is the right move for a Saints team that remains committed to winning now.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenyon Green
If Willis or Pickett are somehow available when the Steelers pick, we wouldn’t be surprised if they go QB here. But with both men off the board in this exercise, the Steelers stick to addressing another organizational need.
Pittsburgh added two new starters in free agency in Mason Cole and James Daniels. Adding Texas A&M standout Kenyon Green would be a nice final touch for their o-line makeover.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Treylon Burks (PROJECTED TRADE)
Another projected trade alert! The Chiefs acquire the New England Patriots’ No. 21 selection in exchange for the No. 29 and No. 94 selections and a 2023 fourth-round pick.
The Chiefs move up and find Tyreek Hill’s replacement in Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder gives Kansas City a younger, cheaper deep-threat.
22. Green Bay Packers (From Las Vegas Raiders): Jahan Dotson
Having traded Davante Adams and lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency, the Packers HAVE TO – we repeat, have to! – take a receiver in round one.
Penn State wideout Jahan Dotson would be an intriguing fit here. He caught 91 passes for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He’s not going to fully replace Adams – nobody can – but Dotson would give Aaon Rodgers an immediate 1,000-yard threat.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Derek Stingley
The Cardinals need a capable cover man who can match up against the many star pass-catchers in the NFC West. They haven’t had one of those since Patrick Peterson was in his prime, which was several years ago.
Derek Stingley’s injury history makes him a boom-or-bust prospect, but his ceiling cannot be overlooked. If he slips to the Cards here, they gotta take a chance on him.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Bernhard Raimann
The Cowboys lost Connor Williams and La’El Collins in free agency, and cap constraints prevented them from signing suitable replacements.
So their last chance to fix the line will be at the draft. Jerry and Stephen Jones should have their eye on 6-foot-7 Central Michigan giant Bernhard Raimann. He’d add plenty of strength and physicality to a group that already boasts future Hall of Famers Tyron Smith and Zack Martin.
25. Buffalo Bills: Nakobe Dean
The Bills’ addressed their main need for a pass-rusher by landing Von Miller in free agency. A great start, no doubt, but they still need to upgrade that linebacking group.
Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean displays excellent speed and athleticism compared to most other linebackers. The idea of Dean, Miller and Tre’Davious White headlining a defense together should terrify opposing offenses.
26. Tennessee Titans: David Ojabo
The Titans’ defense improved big-time last season thanks to breakout years from Harold Landry and Jeffery Simmons. If 2021 first-rounder Caleb Farley can stay healthy, this defense will be even tougher to play against.
Tennessee could still use some additional star power in the front seven. Michigan product David Ojabo can do it all as a linebacker, and Mike Vrabel could get creative with how he uses him.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent McDuffie
The Bucs re-signed top corner Carlton Davis, but the rest of the secondary could use work. Tampa Bay’s pass defense has been far from great under Todd Bowles, and you can’t keep relying on the front seven to save the day.
Washington corner Trent McDuffie is a superb cover man who can line up right across from any team’s top wideout. McDuffie and Davis would give Tampa a very promising 1-2 punch at cornerback.
28. Green Bay Packers: Andrew Booth Jr.
We can hear Packers fans screaming for a second receiver here. We thought about it, but then we asked ourselves: What if the Packers added another stud defensive back to complement the elite secondary led by Jaire Alexander, Adrian Amos (AY-MISS), Darnell Savage and Rasul Douglas?
Clemson star Andrew Booth Jr. would give Green Bay yet another weapon in an often underrated defense. A-Rod wouldn’t have to do so much if he could rely on a secondary like that to shut down opposing offenses.
29. New England Patriots. Roger McCreary
A win-win for the Patriots, who trade down with KC in this mock draft but still come away with a stud corner to help them win immediately.
Losing JC Jackson in free agency leaves New England with a void at cornerback. Bill Belichick brought back old friend Malcolm Butler, but there’s no reason to stop there.
Auburn corner Roger McCreary may not be the ball-hawk that Jackson was in New England, but his coverage skills cannot be overlooked. McCreary would instantly find a starring role in New England’s defense.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Devonte Wyatt
The Chiefs kept Frank Clark on a restructured deal, keeping the Clark-Chris Jones pass-rushing duo intact for now. It’s time to add a third star to the d-line.
Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt would give Kansas City someone who could really wreak some havoc along the line of scrimmage. Steve Spagnuolo’s aggressive defense would now have three options who are capable of harassing the opposition’s quarterback.
31. Cincinnati Bengals: Kaiir Elam
The Bengals’ defense was borderline elite last season, but they still lack a true No. 1 corner.
Enter Florida’s Kaiir Elam. Now you’re talking about a secondary with Elam AND Jessie Bates? Cincy’s defense would be just as scary as their offense over the long haul.
32. Detroit Lions (From Los Angeles Rams): Matt Corral
The Lions may as well take a flier on a QB here. They know that Jared Goff probably isn’t the long-term answer.
Corral isn’t ready to start, regardless of where he ends up. The Lions could draft him and have him learn behind Goff for a season or two, though, before handing him the starting reins. This would buy Detroit enough time to restructure the offense around Corral’s skillset and find him a capable supporting cast, too.
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