2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
No quarterbacks come off the board in the back half of the first round. This is unlikely come April, but the QB-needy teams in this area also have major holes elsewhere that need to be filled.
17) Los Angeles Chargers: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
There might not be a better player fit in all of Round 1. Jalen Guyton performed admirably as the Chargers’ deep threat in 2021, but an upgrade is necessary. Jameson Williams has ridiculous upside, but he also fills a unique role this offense needs, given the howitzer attached to Justin Herbert’s right shoulder.
With so many assets pouring into the Chargers’ defense, spending their top pick on trying to score 30-plus every game is justified.
18) New Orleans Saints: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Charles Cross has the sweetest feet in the offensive line class. There aren’t many blockers as aesthetically pleasing to watch when exploding off the snap. He’s a natural pass protector. There could be a learning curve thanks to the Air Raid system he hails from, but that shouldn’t be too large of a hurdle given his skill set.
19) Philadelphia Eagles: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Andrew Booth Jr. still must become more technically proficient on the outside, but he has everything a CB1 needs. The Eagles use their three selections in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft on three of the more premium positions on the field. In a division devoid of talent and led by a Cowboys team that appears worse than they were last season, these picks could significantly close the gap.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Trevor Penning was so tempting. The certified bully would have fit into Pittsburgh’s blue-collar market like a pig in a blanket. However, the Steelers QB room is in shambles.
Desmond Ridder must become more consistently accurate. However, he has the rest of the tools to be a franchise QB. He won’t be able to run with the propensity he did in college, but he offers that playmaking ability when necessary. Mitchell Trubisky could be a bridge for the young QB as a rookie.
21) New England Patriots: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Washington continuously produces pro-ready defensive backs. Given that the Cardinals already employ Budda Baker and Byron Murphy, it feels like Trent McDuffie should fall to Arizona. However, no such thing happens here because “The Hoodie” needs a new cornerback to emerge as arguably the best in the NFL.
Retaining Trent Brown allows the Patriots a bit of freedom in the first round of 2022 NFL Mock Drafts. But the glaring hole at cornerback needs to be filled if New England expects to make the playoffs and win a game for the first time in four years.
22) Green Bay Packers (from LV): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave‘s journey to the Green Bay Packers feels nearly as natural as Williams’ to Los Angeles. Aaron Rodgers receives a precise route runner who also posted the most receiving touchdowns at Ohio State for three straight seasons.
The Packers desperately need a spark on the outside. Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb can’t be the top options on campus, even when the back-to-back MVP is the one throwing them the ball.
23) Arizona Cardinals: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Kenyon Green is a mauler on the interior, and he has the ability to slide to the outside and play tackle in a pinch, as he did for the Aggies in 2021. He’s played four of the five offensive line positions during his career.
While the Cardinals could have gone receiver here, protecting the interior is imperative for Kyler Murray. He can easily deal with pressure on the outside, but it’s far more difficult to create against interior pressure.
24) Dallas Cowboys: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Jerry Jones practically telegraphed the Cowboys’ first-round pick. Things fell into place here in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. They’re going to fix the offensive line if it’s the last thing they ever do.
Zion Johnson has the ability to go much higher in the draft, but positional value and a perceived lack of need on the interior for most teams make this selection a realistic possibility. Dallas could look at a receiver here as well. Maybe Jones pushes for Treylon Burks given his Arkansas ties, but he made it clear the line is priority No. 1.
25) Buffalo Bills: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, and Tim Settle are a nice trio on the interior for Buffalo. Adding Devonte Wyatt to that unit takes them from a relative weakness on the roster to a strength. Wyatt plays his tail off and has the athleticism and power to disrupt the backfield with consistency.
26) Tennessee Titans: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
The Tennessee Titans desperately need some talent at linebacker in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Nakobe Dean is the heat-seeking missile against the run that they’re searching for. He also has the athleticism to be a plus coverage defender, although he is a bit inexperienced — as most linebackers are — because of the differences between NFL and college schemes.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Rupturing an Achilles tendon isn’t necessarily the blow it once was, but even at No. 27, this could be a dangerous pick. David Ojabo might be the most natural pass rusher in this class. But if he loses a step because of the injury, he’ll have to become that much more advanced in his hands.
He’s already a talented rusher. He is technically proficient. But Ojabo needs a power element to put it all together. He might have to redshirt his rookie season, but imagining him on Tampa’s already talented defense in 2023 is exciting.
28) Green Bay Packers: Daxton Hill, S/CB, Michigan
Green Bay has Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, and Rasul Douglas. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage form a good duo at safety. However, the Packers don’t have a legitimate slot cornerback at the moment, and Daxton Hill is the best slot in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He could also play on the back end in a pinch or in the future.
29) Kansas City Chiefs (from MIA): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Jahan Dotson is as impressive off the field as he was on the field for Penn State. The Chiefs need receiver help in all 2022 NFL Mock Drafts, and they get it here. Dotson displays versatility despite lacking size. He gets off press coverage and is a weapon inside and out. Adding him brings a fourth element to a receiving corps that already boasts three very different players.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
Tariq Woolen is relatively new to the cornerback position and went to a small school. But after registering a 9.68 Relative Athletic Score (thanks to a 4.26 40-yard dash and 42-inch vertical at 6-foot-4), the athletic marvel will have defensive back coaches drooling and scouts terrified for their jobs.
Woolen is a ball of clay at this point. But with his measurables and a steep dropoff in legitimate cornerback talent, the Chiefs could take a shot at a position of need.
31) Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Tyler Linderbaum selection goes with Cincinnati the way that chocolate syrup goes with vanilla ice cream. It’s classic, no-nonsense snacking. Linderbaum’s lack of size and his position allowed him to slide right into the hands of the team that could use him most.
Linderbaum completes the Bengals’ offensive line reload. Ted Karras could have played center, but adding Linderbaum keeps him at left guard.
32) Detroit Lions (from LAR): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Treylon Burks‘ stock seemed to be going up for some time before the NFL Combine brought it back down to where it had originally been. He has the frame and game to be a menace for the Lions. Detroit can get him the ball in creative ways, and they can even use him to supplement what was already a decent rushing attack in 2021.