We’ve now officially reached draft season. With the NFL combine and pro days just around the corner, some burning questions will hopefully be answered in what so far is a very unpredictable and unique draft class. Here is my Pre-Combine 2022 NFL Mock Draft
Mann’s 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal, Tackle, Alabama
The Jaguars #1 priority this offseason needs to be protection for their top investment Trevor Lawrence. While Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux may be better overall prospects, Neal is arguably the best tackle in this class, and the Jags could still address edge later in the draft.
#2 Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan
There isn’t really much to explain about this pick, Detroit keeps Hutchinson in Michigan, adding the top edge rusher in the class. There isn’t a quarterback in this draft that is draftable second overall, so Dan Campbell continues to build through the trenches.
#3 Houston Texans – Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
The Texans have many holes to fill currently, and really don’t have much high-end talent at all. Hamilton is, in my opinion, the most complete prospect in the draft, his versatility, size, range, and ball skills could make him elite at the next level very quickly.
#4 New York Jets – Ikem Ekwonu, Tackle, NC State
Similar to the Jaguars, the Jets really need to focus on protecting Zach Wilson. With Morgan Moses being a UFA, Ekwonu seems like a perfect fit. He has shown consistent growth in pass protection at NC State and has been a dominant run blocker.
#5 New York Giants – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
If Thibodeaux ends up falling to this spot, it’s really a no-brainer for the Giants. Thibodeaux is a top-five prospect with elite athletic traits and sky-high potential. Giants need help on both sides of the trenches, this is a home run pick.
#6 Carolina Panthers – Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty
The Sam Darnold experiment didn’t go as planned and the Cam Newton one certainly didn’t go as planned either. If the Panthers address the offensive line through free agency, Quarterback is their next biggest need. Willis definitely isn’t the most pro-ready quarterback, but the arm talent and athleticism he has really is special and he has the highest ceiling out of all the quarterbacks.
I could absolutely see the Panthers trading down from this spot, as they are very short on draft capital in this draft.
#7 New York Giants – Charles Cross, Tackle, Mississippi State
Based on what we’ve heard so far it seems like the Giants are going to give Daniel Jones all the tools for him to prove he can be the Giants long-term quarterback. The offensive line was a bit of a mess last year and while Andrew Thomas definitely did show growth, tackle is still and need and Cross may be the best pass protector in this class.
#8 Atlanta Falcons – Derek Stingley, Cornerback, LSU
Had it not been for the injuries and inconsistency over the past last year, Stingley would likely be a top-three pick. Stingley had an outstanding freshman season for the Tigers. Since then, it has been up and down. He still possesses the talent and traits to be a lockdown corner, and he and standout AJ Terrell would make a scary duo if everything checks out medically.
#9 Denver Broncos – Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State
Johnson was one of the biggest winners from the Senior Bowl practices. Johnson has 12 sacks and two forced fumbles this season, and at 6’5″, 260 lbs, he would be a force on the opposite side of Bradley Chubb.
#10 New York Jets – Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Arkansas
Zach Wilson gets protection at fourth overall and now a playmaker at ten. Burks is my top receiver in this class. He’s 6’3″, 225 lbs, can play slot and outside, and is expected to run a high 4.3/low 4.4 40 time. He is an absolute nightmare to try to match up against.
#11 Washington Commanders – Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pitt
There’s been a lot of rumors about the Commanders potentially going out and trading for a quarterback. If that doesn’t happen, I think they’ll draft one here. Washington’s roster is ready to win and Pickett is arguably the most pro-ready quarterback on the board. There still is concern about his hand size though, with Pickett being rumored to have 8 1/4 inch hands.
#12 Minnesota Vikings – Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati
Minnesota has one of the worst cornerback rooms in the league, so this is a natural fit. Gardner plays a very physical, aggressive style and is very good in press coverage. He finished his collegiate career having never allowed a touchdown.
#13 Cleveland Browns – Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
This is a pick that seems like everyone has penciled in. Cleveland needs receiver help with Odell Beckham, Jr. gone and Jarvis Landry potentially on the way out as well. Wilson is probably the most complete receiver in this class, with good hands, speed, and terrific route running that got him open more than any other receiver in the power five.
#14 Baltimore Ravens – Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia
This has been another popular pick over the last few weeks. Walker played edge at Georgia but is expected to be bumped inside in the NFL. Walker had a big impact in Georgia’s championship run, and the Ravens have multiple UFA’s on the defensive line, this pick makes a ton of sense.
#15 Philadelphia Eagles – Andrew Booth Jr, Cornerback, Clemson
Eagles use their first of three first-round picks on the cornerback position with Booth. Booth had his ups and downs in the regular season but finished the year playing some of the best football he’s ever played. He will likely test very well at the combine and would be a good fit on the other side of Darius Slay.
#16 Philadelphia Eagles – David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan
Ojabo is a very raw prospect, but the upside is certainly there. He’s a freaky athlete with a great first step off the line. He does need to improve in run defense and overall strength but the upside is definitely there.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers – Trevor Penning, Tackle, Northern Iowa
Chargers invested in a left tackle last year with Rashawn Slater, and now get Trevor Penning to fill in at right tackle. Penning was one of the standouts at the Senior Bowl and would be a great addition to a Chargers team that is ready to win now.
#18 New Orleans Saints – Matt Corral, Quarterback, Ole Miss
Saints need some stability at quarterback and no the answer is not Taysom Hill. Corral was in a very RPO-heavy, quick pass offense with Ole Miss and I think that could translate well to the Saints offense with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas there. While Corral does have a smaller frame, he makes up for it with his great mobility.
#19 Philadelphia Eagles – Kenyon Green, Guard, Texas A&M
The Eagles offensive line will be shuffled around with Brandon Brooks‘ retirement, and Green is the most versatile lineman in the class and can really play any position and scheme asked of him.
#20 Pittsburgh Steelers – Tyler Linderbaum, Center, Iowa
Linderbaum is likely a top-10 prospect in this draft, but it’s hard to predict how high an NFL team would draft a center. Pittsburgh’s offensive line was a clear weakness this year, and Linderbaum is polished enough to provide an instant impact on the interior.
#21 New England Patriots – Jahan Dotson, Wide Receiver, Penn State
This may be a little high for some people with Dotson here but I like the fit. Dotson uses his elite speed and route running to create separation with ease, and can create in all levels of the field. He is a little smaller at 5’11” 184lbs, but he’s proven he’s capable of making contested catches and high-pointing the football.
#22 Las Vegas Raiders – Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver, Alabama
The Raiders offense really took a step back after the Henry Ruggs incident. That offense desperately needed someone to be able to take the top off the defense and the Desean Jackson experiment didn’t really work out. Jameson Williams likely won’t be there for the start of the regular season, but the Raiders get an absolute burner that can get open deep against anyone, and also has some really solid ability after the catch.
#23 Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Gordon, Cornerback, Washington
This probably isn’t the Washington cornerback you’d expect to go first, but I’m really high on Gordon. Gordon was on Bruce Feldman’s ‘Freaks List‘ at 6’2 200lbs, he’s expected to test really well at the combine. The other Washington corner, Trent Mcduffie, is more polished and pro-ready, but I think Gordon has huge upside and will be rising up many boards throughout the combine and leading up to the draft.
#24 Dallas Cowboys – Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Utah
Lloyd is a top-15 prospect for me, so Dallas getting him here would be a steal. Lloyd does everything you could ask for from a linebacker, and his every-down potential could allow Micah Parsons to be at edge full time.
#25 Buffalo Bills – Trent McDuffie, Cornerback, Washington
When Tre White went down with an injury last year it really exposed Buffalo’s need for another cornerback. McDuffie has a good all-around skill set and should be ready to step into a starting role right away.
#26 Tennessee Titans – Nakobe Dean, Linebacker, Georgia
Titans could lose Rashaan Evans this offseason and we saw at the end of last season how much the Titans need linebacker help. Nakobe Dean is the most explosive linebacker in the class and if you want to see why go watch his tape vs Michigan in the CFP Semi-final.
#27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Roger McCreary, Cornerback, Auburn
While the Buccaneers do have a really solid defense their secondary will need some work this offseason. The potential loss of Carlton Davis would open up a hole that would need to be filled. McCreary doesn’t have the most ideal length but he is elite in man coverage, improved his tackling, and has the tools to play both inside and outside.
#28 Green Bay Packers – Chris Olave, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
There are obviously still some burning questions with the Packers involving Devante Adams and Aaron Rodgers, so this pick could change depending on how that plays out. Olave is a very smooth, polished route runner that also has enough speed to make him a legit deep threat.
#29 Miami Dolphins – Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC
London has been all over the place in recent mock drafts. I’d likely have him higher once we see what he runs in the 40-yard dash, but I think he’d be a perfect fit in the Dolphins offense alongside Jaylen Waddle. London is a monster with contested catches and also has very underrated ability after the catch.
#30 Kansas City Chiefs – George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue
I expect Karlaftis to go a little higher than this, but I made this pick because I could see the Chiefs trading up a few spots if Karlaftis fell. Karlaftis is a name to watch at the combine and I think he would be a perfect fit for the Chiefs defense and would address a big need.
#31 Cincinnati Bengals – Zion Johnson, Guard, Boston College
Bengals address a very obvious need with this pick. Johnson was one of the top standouts from the Senior Bowl week and has a lot of versatility in where he can play. He would fill a much-needed spot on the interior.
#32 Detroit Lions – Daxton Hill, Safety, Michigan
I debated going quarterback with this pick but there are so many questions about the remaining quarterbacks and the Lions have many other holes to fill. Daxton Hill can play slot corner as well as single and split safety looks, and with Tracy Walker likely on the way out Hill could step in a be a nice piece in that secondary.