The tape has been studied, the numbers are in, and the reports are out. We’re less than two weeks away from the Commissioner taking the podium for what could be one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory. Here is my 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0.
Mann’s 2022 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
#1 Jacksonville Jaguars – Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan
The Jaguars franchise tagging Cam Robinson opens the door for Aidan Hutchinson to become the first overall pick. Hutchinson had a dominant season for Michigan with 14 sacks and two forced fumbles. The Michigan native will have an instant impact on the defense and will be a leader on that team for many years to come.
#2 Detroit Lions – Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty
The Lions have the luxury of having two day one picks and a perfect bridge quarterback in Jared Goff. Dan Campbell also had a front-row seat in Mobile (at the Senior Bowl) to watch and coach the former Liberty quarterback. Willis could sit back a year to learn the offense, develop his mechanics, and be ready to step in as the franchise quarterback in 2023.
#3 Houston Texans – Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia
The Texans desperately need to improve at getting after opposing quarterbacks, and drafting Travon Walker will certainly help with that. Walker can get after the quarterback from any position on the line and is also effective in stopping the run.
#4 New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon
The once first overall favorite falls to the Jets at fourth overall. From a pure talent perspective, Thibodeaux is at the top of this class, and if he lives up to his potential the Jets will be getting a game-changing edge rusher.
#5 New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu, Tackle, NC State
Andrew Thomas showed some progression last season but the Giants still have to address the tackle position. Ekwonu is a monster as a run blocker and has improved every season as a pass protector.
#6 Carolina Panthers – Evan Neal, Tackle, Alabama
The Panthers organization is in a difficult spot right now. You have a coach on the hot seat, a need for a quarterback in a weak class, and a terrible offensive line. Kenny Pickett is the popular pick here, but if Neal falls this far there’s no way you don’t sprint to the podium to make this pick. Neal can step in instantly as your franchise left tackle and fill one of the most important positions in football.
#7 New York Giants – Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State
The Giants turn right back to the trenches with Senior Bowl standout Jermaine Johnson. Johnson offers a great blend of pass rush explosiveness with 12 sacks last season, and the ability to make plays in run defense.
#8 Atlanta Falcons – Drake London, Receiver, USC
Atlanta has a need at nearly every position on the field, so this draft should be focused on just getting talent. Drake London has a giant catch radius, incredible ball skills, and has fully recovered from his broken ankle. Having Kyle Pitts and Drake London on the field at the same time would be a nightmare for defenses to match up against.
#9 Seattle Seahawks – Derek Stingley Jr, Cornerback, LSU
Derek Stingley available at ninth overall is value too good to pass up on. Stingley silenced a lot of concerns people had about him at his pro day, mainly he proved that he is fully recovered from his ankle injury sustained mid-2021 season. Stingley has the tools and athleticism to be an elite shutdown corner in the league for a long time.
#10 New York Jets – Jameson Williams, Receiver, Alabama
Jameson Williams likely won’t be ready for week one because of his recovery from a torn ACL, but when he gets on the field the Jets will be getting the most electrifying receiver in this draft class. Having a duo of Jameson Williams and Elijah Moore for Zach Wilson to throw to would significantly improve the Jets offense that was ranked 26th in 2021.
#11 Washington Commanders – Sauce Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati
The Commanders add arguably the best corner in College Football to their defense that is already filled with talent. Gardner is an aggressive, physical corner that excels in press coverage. He never allowed a touchdown in his career at Cincinnati.
#12 Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
The Vikings desperately need help in the secondary and they begin to address that with Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton is the #4 prospect on my board, but the positional value could see him fall out of the top 10. He is one of the most talented, versatile safeties we’ve seen in a long time, Vikings get a steal here at 12.
#13 Houston Texans – Garrett Wilson, Receiver, Ohio State
Texans use their second pick in the top 15 to get Davis Mills a big-time weapon to throw to. Garrett Wilson has the most complete skill set in the wide receiver class with a very polished route tree, 4.37 speed, and reliable hands. Wilson would be an excellent complement to Brandin Cooks in that offense.
#14 Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis, Interior Defensive line, Georgia
Ravens take the physical specimen, Jordan Davis. A player that is 6’6, 341lbs, and ran a 4.78 is a nightmare for any offensive lineman to deal with, and with the Ravens having a need at the interior of the defensive line, this pick makes a lot of sense.
#15 Philadelphia Eagles – Trent McDuffie, Cornerback, Washington
The Eagles need a cornerback to play the opposite side of Darius Slay and they fill that with Washington standout Trent McDuffie. McDuffie has a very polished skillset and should be ready to step into a starting role right away and make an impact.
#16 New Orleans Saints – Charles Cross, Tackle, Mississippi State
If Cross is available at 16th overall the Saints shouldn’t even think twice about making this pick. The departure of Terron Armstead left a big hole at left tackle and Cross could step in immediately to fill it. Cross is arguably the best pure pass protector in this class.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers – Trevor Penning, Tackle, Northern Iowa
For the second year in a row, the Chargers go with a tackle in the first round. One of the top Senior Bowl players, Penning slots in at right tackle on a Chargers team that is ready to win now.
#18 Philadelphia Eagles – Zion Johnson, Guard, Boston College
Zion Johnson’s stock has been trending up ever since his impressive Senior Bowl week, and the Eagles take him at 18 to help fill the void left behind with Brandon Brooks retirement. Johnson is primarily a guard but has experience at tackle, and was also working at center during parts of the Senior Bowl.
#19 New Orleans Saints – Chris Olave, Receiver, Ohio State
With their second pick in the top 20, the Saints finally get another playmaker to compliment Michael Thomas. Olave is a very polished route runner and has the speed to be a legit deep threat for Jameis Winston.
#20 Pittsburgh Steelers – Matt Corral, Quarterback, Ole Miss
Mike Tomlin has clearly been all over this quarterback class as the Steelers search for their next franchise signal-caller after Big Ben’s retirement. Corral has a lightning-quick release, great arm strength, and adds the mobility and improvisation that the Steelers have said they are looking for.
#21 New England Patriots – Andrew Booth, Cornerback, Clemson
Losing J.C Jackson to the Chargers is a big blow to Bill Belichick’s defense. Booth has his ups and downs in 2021 but closed out the season playing the best football he’d ever played. Booth has solid length and ball skills, and can also jump out of the stadium. This is a great fit.
#22 Green Bay Packers – Treylon Burks, Receiver, Arkansas
After the Devante Adams trade, there is no way the Packers don’t draft a receiver in round one right? Burks is still extremely raw in his route running, but his big-play potential and size/speed combination make it hard to pass up on him at this point in the draft.
#23 Arizona Cardinals – Jahan Dotson, Receiver, Penn State
Christian Kirk signing with the Jaguars opens up a need at receiver for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Jahan Dotson is an explosive route runner with legit 4.4 speed, some of the best hands in the class, and should be able to play outside and slot at the next level.
#24 Dallas Cowboys – George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue
After the whole situation with Randy Gregory happened the Cowboys now have a need at the edge position. Karlaftis has a very high motor and would fit in well on the Cowboys defensive line.
#25 Buffalo Bills – Kaiir Elam, Cornerback, Florida
The Bills need for a cornerback was really exposed when Tre White went down with an injury last season. Elam has good size at 6’2 191lbs and solid ball skills, however, 2021 was a down year for him and it definitely bumped his stock down. If Elam can get back to his pre-2021 form this would be a great pick for Buffalo.
#26 Tennessee Titans – Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Utah
Tennessee has a huge need for linebackers after losing Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown in free agency, and they get the most complete linebacker in the draft at 26th overall. Lloyd is an older prospect, but that doesn’t matter too much considering Tennessee is in a win-now mode.
#27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kenyon Green, Guard, Texas A&M
The Buccaneers fill a hole at guard with this pick. Kenyon Green is an outstanding run blocker, but still has some areas to improve on in pass protection. Green is very versatile and can really play any scheme and position asked of him.
#28 Green Bay Packers – Devonte Wyatt, Interior Defensive Line, Georgia
The value here was just too good to pass up. Wyatt is an outstanding in run defense and showed plenty of upside in pass-rush. Wyatt is the 3rd player on Georgia’s defensive line to get drafted in the first round.
#29 Kansas City Chiefs – Daxton Hill, Safety, Michigan
This is quite a popular pick and it makes sense why. If Tyrann Mathieu leaves, there is a gaping hole at safety. Even if Mathieu returns, Hill has the versatility to play alongside him or he could be used at slot corner.
#30 Kansas City Chiefs – George Pickens, Receiver, Georgia
The quest for filling the void left behind by Tyreek Hill at receiver starts with the Chiefs selecting Georgia standout George Pickens. Pickens is a big, physical receiver with the ability to stretch the field, and catches EVERYTHING thrown his way. Mahomes gets a reliable weapon with extremely high upside to work with alongside Travis Kelce and Juju Smith-Schuster.
#31 Cincinnati Bengals – Kyler Gordon, Cornerback, Washington
With the Bengals addressing the offensive line heavily through free agency with the additions of Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, and La’el Collins, cornerback is the next biggest need for the 2021 AFC Champions. Kyler Gordon is an explosive athlete, very solid in man coverage, and should be ready to start day one.
#32 Detriot Lions – Arnold Ebiketie, Edge, Penn State
After selecting their franchise quarterback second overall, Detroit still has a need to address at edge rusher. Arnold Ebiketie is a very underrated prospect in this draft and would provide a much-needed boost at edge for Dan Campbell’s defense.