1-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Ikem Ekwonu, Ahmad Gardner headline surprise-filled draft

Following a pair of high-profile veteran QB trades, the Mock Draft Simulator goes through Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

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2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

Only one team opted for a quarterback in the first half of Round 1. How many more pull the trigger on a signal-caller in Round 2?

17) Los Angeles Chargers: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

With plenty of options to select here, the Los Angeles Chargers grab a big need by selecting Andrew Booth Jr. Coming off the board as just the third cornerback, Booth will help anchor a young secondary for a long time. He’s got great athleticism and is incredibly long. Not only is his speed excellent, but so is his ability to close space and leap for the ball at the catch point.

18) New Orleans Saints: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

The second quarterback off the board heads to the Bayou as Malik Willis joins the New Orleans Saints. Willis, who aced the Combine, has shown growth in his arm over the past two seasons at Liberty and will attempt to take the Saints to new heights under new leadership. He has a great arm and even better legs, but he always maintains vision downfield when scrambling.

19) Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

Tyler Linderbaum heads to the Eagles, who have grabbed the top quarterback and top center prospect on their boards. Linderbaum’s wrestling background allows him to get under defenders with ease and utilize his body weight and strength to his advantage. He’s not the biggest, but he certainly is among the most technically-proficient centers in recent memory.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Though Jameson Williams may not make it in time for training camp as he rehabs the torn ACL he suffered in the CFP National Championship, the Pittsburgh Steelers bank on his proven ability when healthy. Williams led the nation in 50+ yard plays last season as he dominated down the stretch. He’s got long speed, short shiftiness, and great hands.

21) New England Patriots: Drake London, WR, USC

Somehow, Drake London led the Pac-12 in receiving yards despite missing a heavy portion of the season with an injury. The former two-sport athlete heads to the New England Patriots as a viable WR1 for Mac Jones. London can leap out of the building and is a beast to bring down after the catch.

22) Las Vegas Raiders: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Blowing away expectations at the Combine, Jordan Davis had arguably the greatest performance in the event’s history. He is stout, fast, quick, incredibly strong, and versatile. Davis anchors a Las Vegas Raiders defensive line that needs a big-time presence in the middle.

23) Arizona Cardinals: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

The Arizona Cardinals secure Jermaine Johnson II to continue their recent success in rushing off the edge. Johnson won the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in his lone season at Florida State, as his motor was too much for most tackles to stay with. He’s got a great first step, and he’s even better at finishing.

24) Dallas Cowboys: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

There’s closing speed in the secondary and then there’s Jaquan Brisker. The Dallas Cowboys secure their secondary’s fate for the next decade with Brisker’s selection. Brisker is among the class’ best at closing in coverage, but his instincts and breaks showcase no wasted motion in both facets of defense.

25) Buffalo Bills: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

The Buffalo Bills secure a dominant, versatile rusher in the middle to pair with Ed Oliver, whom they may eventually sign to a long-term deal. DeMarvin Leal can play a variety of positions on the defensive line and comes complete with a great set of pass-rushing moves and the ability to come down the line in run defense.

26) Tennessee Titans: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Devin Lloyd is clearly the best sideline-to-sideline linebacker in this class, and the Tennessee Titans secure a new face in the middle. Lloyd’s athleticism on the field is top-notch. He can play the run, rush the passer, and cover, the latter of which is his best attribute. Lloyd is the prototypical three-down linebacker in today’s NFL.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Tom Brady’s retirement forces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hand in finding their next quarterback. Despite grabbing Kyle Trask at the tail-end of Round 2 last year, Kenny Pickett is that new man here.

Pickett proved on more than one occasion this offseason that his hand size will not define him. Instead, his shattering of Dan Marino’s records at Pitt indicate the type of player he is. Pickett makes every throw and has the ability to elevate players around him. He’s a franchise-changer.

28) Green Bay Packers: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Even with a minor setback in Treylon Burks‘ offseason hype train, he still lands in Round 1. In fact, with the Combine performance in hand, Burks is who we all thought he was. And that’s perfectly fine. Burks can beat defenders with his size and speed combination, but his ability to high-point the football is second to none. He’ll evolve next to Davante Adams with Aaron Rodgers throwing him open.

29) Miami Dolphins (from SF): Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

It’s an incredibly talented safety class this year, and Daxton Hill landing with the Miami Dolphins explains that. Miami can pair Jevon Holland and Hill together for years to come, forming one of the league’s most feared safety duos. Hill comes downhill better than anyone in both run and pass defense while also presenting the ability to play at a variety of places on defense.

30) Kansas City Chiefs: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

Yet another safety to close out the first round of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The Kansas City Chiefs grab Georgia’s Lewis Cine as the big man represents a big hitter to replace Tyrann Mathieu.

Cine is intelligent and comes with a terrific ability in coverage. He also jars the ball loose and has an innate football IQ that allows him to diagnose plays on the fly and find the football often.

31) Cincinnati Bengals: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

Needing to upgrade nearly every position on their offensive line, the Cincinnati Bengals grab Zion Johnson from Boston College. Johnson has a great first step off the line and a solid anchor in pass protection. His best attribute is paving the way for the run game, as he hails from a BC offense formerly led by run-first Steve Addazio.

32) Detroit Lions (from LAR): Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

The Lions opted to wait out the quarterback class in this mock draft, allowing Sam Howell to fall in their laps here. Howell, at one time thought to be a lock for the first overall pick, had a subpar 2021 campaign but has atoned for that this offseason. He’s ready to lead an NFL team sooner than later, as he can make every throw and routinely makes plays out of nothing.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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