1-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Malik Willis, Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett headline four first-round QBs

The PFN Mock Draft Simulator goes at a first-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft after a flurry of moves in free agency before the new league year.

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2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

After a few surprises and some trades in the top half, here’s the bottom half of the 2022 NFL Mock Draft ahead of the new league year.

17) Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

Zion Johnson lands with the Los Angeles Chargers as the Bolts look to continue to revamp their line and give protection for Justin Herbert. There are other needs, but nothing is higher on the priority list than protecting their franchise quarterback. Johnson does just that, anchoring what now becomes one of the top interior OL duos in the division with Pro Bowl center Corey Linsley.

18) New Orleans Saints: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

While the New Orleans Saints may be a big factor in a potential Deshaun Watson trade, the Mock Draft Simulator has them staying put and securing Trevor Penning instead of a quarterback at No. 18 here. Penning has a mean streak that he utilizes not only on the move in run blocking but also when in pass protection.

19) Philadelphia Eagles: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Their third pick of the first round is a big one as the Eagles grab Kenny Pickett to dramatically overhaul their quarterback room. Pickett bet on himself in Year 5 at Pittsburgh a season ago, seeing a high return in the process. He’s a born leader with a terrific arm and an ability to throw his receivers open. Pickett will slide in over Jalen Hurts and improve the Eagles’ offense in the long run, as he’s a downfield passer necessary to win games in today’s NFL.

20) New York Jets (from PIT): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Trade: The Jets received Pittsburgh’s pick Nos. 20 and 52 in 2022, as well as a 2023 second-round selection, in exchange for their pick No. 10

The Jets had the luxury of hearing trade offers for their second top-10 pick, trading back and accruing picks in the process. They still add an elite player in George Karlaftis after trading back 10 spots. Karlaftis is every bit of a power rusher with incredible versatility — he can go from outside to the interior with no trouble. He presents a big uptick in potential production off the edge with Carl Lawson set to return as well.

21) New England Patriots: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

With J.C. Jackson out, the New England Patriots needed to revamp their cornerback room in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Mock Draft Simulator understood this and slid Kaiir Elam to the Patriots as the third cornerback off the board. Elam presents a skilled coverage defender from a variety of coverage stances. He also has great ball skills with the ball in the air and has no issue stopping opposing WR1s.

22) Las Vegas Raiders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Las Vegas Raiders need a variety of playmakers on offense, most notably at receiver. Here they grab just that — a playmaker. Chris Olave is quick and athletic with plenty of long speed and shiftiness in his routes. He also presents a challenge at the catch point and possesses elite body control.

23) Arizona Cardinals: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

Perhaps the owner of the best spin move in some time, David Ojabo‘s pass-rushing arsenal is constantly improving. That’s a scary thing for NFC West tackles as Ojabo heads to the Arizona Cardinals here. Ojabo will learn his craft, and if he continues the linear growth he showcased in 2021, he’ll be causing havoc in no time in the desert.

24) Dallas Cowboys: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Nakobe Dean heads to the Dallas Cowboys as the move here allows Micah Parsons to continue to excel in his all-around role. The Cowboys need a true signal-caller on defense, and that’s what Dean is. Moving freely around the second level, Dean uses his incredible strength and even better smarts to crush run lanes, cover a variety of receivers, and bark out play calls in advance.

25) Buffalo Bills: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

A long, lean cornerback with a tremendous ability to high-point the football heads to the Buffalo Bills. Andrew Booth Jr. continued his ascent to the top of this draft class with a great 2021 season. The sky continues to be his limit, and going up against a talented receiving corps opposite him in Buffalo now will only make him better.

26) Detroit Lions (from TEN): Drake London, WR, USC

Trade: The Lions sent pick No. 32 in the 2022 NFL Draft, as well as a 2023 second-round selection, to the Titans in exchange for Tennessee’s pick No. 26

The Detroit Lions move up to secure their No. 1 receiver in Drake London. A former teammate of Amon-Ra St. Brown’s at USC, the pair are reunited after Detroit sent pick No. 32 and a second-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans. London being available here was too much to pass up as the former two-sport athlete is incredibly athletic and can leap through the roof when healthy.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Tom Brady is back, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to address the position’s long-term availability in this draft. It was evident during Brady’s month-long retirement when they became players in the quarterback market that they understood the need for a signal-caller now and for the future. Here, Sam Howell gets to sit one year (at least) behind Brady as he adjusts to NFL life. That’s likely what Howell needs, but he’s more than capable of stepping in if needed. He unquestionably has arm talent and athleticism with the ball in his hands.

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

The Green Bay Packers give newly signed Aaron Rodgers a big-time weapon on the outside. With the Davante Adams situation still in flux, Green Bay adds Treylon Burks to play outside and take the top off opposing defenses. Burks doesn’t run a full route tree, but he doesn’t have to. He can win one-on-one battles with his blend of speed, size, and leaping ability, but that is no indictment of his separation skills. Burks can absolutely separate.

29) Miami Dolphins (from SF): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Another Pac-12 defensive back heads to the Miami Dolphins as Trent McDuffie is largely NFL-ready right away. McDuffie is a lockdown cornerback with the ability to play a variety of positions. He can slide inside to cover slot receivers while also maintaining his ability on the outside all the same.

30) Kansas City Chiefs: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

Closing space is the name of Daxton Hill‘s game. He routinely shuts off rushing lanes or yards after the catch in coverage. Hill presents a challenge in scheming against as he moves around the defense like a chess piece. The Kansas City Chiefs replace Tyrann Mathieu in 2022 and beyond with the selection of Hill.

31) Cincinnati Bengals: Kenyon Green, iOL, Texas A&M

Seeing a bit of a slide after the Combine, Kenyon Green heads to the Cincinnati Bengals to help them wherever they need on the inside. Depending on their completed plans following free agency, the Bengals will likely need one guard spot to fill, and Green can slide in either. He’s great in pass protection but even better on the move in the running game.

32) Tennessee Titans (from LAr vis DET): Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

Trade: The Titans received Detroit’s pick No. 32 in 2022, as well as a 2023 second-rounder, in exchange for Tennessee’s pick No. 26

Utilizing their pick to select a true stud at safety, the Tennessee Titans grab Jaquan Brisker and a second-round pick in 2023 in the process. Like the other safeties at the top of this draft, Brisker can close space with ease in all facets. What separates Brisker from others, however, is his ability to read and react with incredible speed. He’ll break on the ball or the running back before the point of attack has even been determined. And the worst case for offenses, Brisker is usually correct.

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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