Round 1 | Picks 17-32
Which prospects close out Round 1 in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft?
17) Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
I’m not even a Chargers fan, but it was painful seeing Davis and Stingley go off the board in the two preceding picks. But even with those two gone, there’s still a high-level talent who can help the Chargers early. Zion Johnson is an excellent interior blocker with easy athleticism, great power and strength, and the balance and leverage to tie his game together. He can start at LG on Day 1, allowing Matt Feiler to move to RT.
18) Philadelphia Eagles (from NO): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
It feels like the Eagles’ secondary is a work in progress every offseason. It’s time to end that for good. Darius Slay is still playing quality football, but there needs to be a presence at CB opposite him. Kaiir Elam is an excellent option in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. He has the fluidity and physicality to play man, but he also processes and closes quickly in zone. And when the ball is in the air, his former WR instincts kick in.
19) New York Giants (mock trade from NO): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Recently, it was reported that the Giants were aiming to trade 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney. Even with Toney, there’s still a sense that the team is understocked at wide receiver. That feeling will only be compounded when Toney is dealt. Chris Olave can help fill the gap. The Ohio State WR is a route-running technician who uses efficient movement, explosiveness, speed, and throttle control to find space. He tracks the ball very well, too.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
The Steelers’ signing of Mitchell Trubisky ensures that they don’t have to trade up for a quarterback. But if one like Desmond Ridder falls to them, it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of that opportunity. Many of Ridder’s qualities will be appealing to NFL evaluators. He’s an athlete and a high-character prospect who helped Cincinnati become a consistent winner. He needs to clean up his mechanics, but there’s upside here.
21) New England Patriots: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Injuries will play a factor in Andrew Booth Jr.’s stock. He wasn’t always healthy at Clemson and wasn’t able to test this offseason because of a tweaked hamstring and core muscle surgery. But outside of the injury concerns, which aren’t as concerning in comparison to 2021 first-round pick Caleb Farley, Booth is a surefire first-round prospect. On a Patriots defense that’s starving for CB talent, his athleticism, ball skills, and physicality fit perfectly.
22) Green Bay Packers (from LV): Drake London, WR, USC
On top of Drake London to the Packers being an elite aesthetic, London checks a lot of the boxes at wide receiver for Green Bay. He has great size at 6’4″, 219 pounds, with 33″ arms. And while he wasn’t able to test, his athleticism shows up on tape. He can generate displacement with his releases, separate in the short range, and levy crisp cuts as a RAC threat. He’s also an alpha at the catch point and always finishes with physicality.
23) Arizona Cardinals: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Having hosted George Karlaftis on a visit, there’s a chance the Cardinals could be vying for the Purdue edge rusher’s services late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Karlaftis isn’t the same mold as Chandler Jones, who signed with the Raiders earlier in the offseason. But with a 38″ vertical, there is athleticism to hone in Karlaftis’ game. And beyond that, he’s a high-level power rusher with flashes of ankle flexion.
24) Dallas Cowboys: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Cowboys’ tendencies are easy to pick up on after a while. They seem stringent in following a “best player available” philosophy, and they also take a liking to players from larger conferences. Treylon Burks is not only a BPA candidate here, but he’s also battle-tested, after several years of play in the SEC. Burks can be a big slot with his athleticism and 6’2″, 225-pound frame. And downfield, he can win with his instincts and 33.5″ arms.
25) Buffalo Bills: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
The 2022 NFL Draft itself will reveal how close Gordon and McDuffie are as prospects in the eyes of NFL scouts. But I could see a scenario where Kyler Gordon is taken higher. Although McDuffie is younger and cleaner, he also measured with under 30″ arms. Gordon’s arms aren’t massive, but he is bigger than McDuffie, and he’s just as twitchy in short ranges. He’s also strong and physical, with high-level ball skills.
26) Tennessee Titans: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The board didn’t fall very well at WR for the Titans, but that’s not the only need they can address here. There’s room for the Titans to upgrade at the linebacker position. And Devin Lloyd, who’s largely viewed as the top linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft, is still on the board in this mock draft. Lloyd offers high-end explosiveness and length and manages space well in coverage. He also brings great awareness in the box and can rush the passer.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Perrion Winfrey is one of the larger projections in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The role that he plays in the NFL will likely be different from what he played in college. At Oklahoma, he was often forced inside to 0 and 1-tech. In the NFL, he profiles much better as a 3-technique, where he has the athleticism, length, and power capacity to dominate 1-on-1 matchups. He has the destructive upside of a Ndamukong Suh-like player.
28) Green Bay Packers: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
There’s no guarantee that Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos will be in Green Bay long after this season. So in a strong safety class, the Packers could look to capitalize. Lewis Cine is a bona fide first-round prospect on my board, and he offers astronomical upside, as well as immediate utility. At 6’2″, 199 pounds, he has 4.37 speed and elite explosiveness. He can play single-high with his range but also match slot WRs and enforce in the box.
29) Minnesota Vikings (mock trade from KC): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Some reports suggest that the Vikings see Trent McDuffie and Stingley as very similar prospects. In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they trade back and still manage to get McDuffie. Stingley is a more developed playmaker at the catch point, in my opinion. But McDuffie is still a very appealing prospect. He has shorter arms, but he makes up for it with excellent short-area athleticism, burst, and football IQ.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
The Chiefs managed to keep a second first-round pick even after trading up for Jameson Williams. That’s the ideal scenario, especially if they can come away with a talent like Daxton Hill at the back end of Round 1. Hill is an elite physical talent with the versatility to play anywhere in the secondary. With arms over 32″, he passes the length threshold Kansas City prefers, and he has the explosive skill set to be an absolute chess piece.
31) Cincinnati Bengals: Logan Hall, DT, Houston
It’s been a long time since the Bengals picked this late. They’ll need to put in the work if they want to stay in this range. One area on the roster that needs attention is the interior defensive line. Getting another interior pass rusher next to D.J. Reader could take the team’s defensive front to the next level. With his immediate burst, violent hands, and high-level power capacity, Logan Hall very much qualifies as an option at 3-tech.
32) Detroit Lions: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The Lions are in prime position at the back end of the first round to take a quarterback that falls. In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, it’s almost a certainty that a signal-caller or two will slip down the board. Matt Corral could be the pick here if he’s the one available. More than most, he needs time to sit, and he’d get that behind Jared Goff. Meanwhile, he has the athleticism, the toughness, and the elastic arm worth developing.
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