2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
Who else cracks the first round of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft?
17) New England Patriots: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
The cornerback situation in New England is exceptionally murky. J.C. Jackson is playing on a one-year tender, and Stephon Gilmore appears set to hold out as contract negotiations rumble on. With at least one, if not both, off the roster by the time the 2022 NFL Draft rolls around, the position could be their most significant need.
In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they solve that need with Clemson’s Andrew Booth. A walking highlight reel, Booth has the size, length, and dynamic playmaking ability to be an immediate impact starter in the NFL.
18) Los Angeles Chargers: Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M
A savvy route runner who boasts excellent pass-catching ability on top of blocking skills, Jalen Wydermyer is the best tight end in the class. The Texas A&M product will provide a reliable weapon for Justin Herbert in a Los Angeles Chargers’ offense lacking at the position.
Their current tight end room is led by Jared Cook, whose best days are behind him. Meanwhile, the addition of Tre’ McKitty in this year’s class carries a gamble on athleticism over production as he was barely utilized in the Georgia offense.
19) Dallas Cowboys: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
With safety considered their most significant need, there was a temptation to send Northwestern’s Brandon Joseph to Dallas in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. However, protecting Dak Prescott is an equally pressing matter.
For as impressive as Tyron Smith has been, he’s missed at least three games every year since 2016. Dallas needs a long-term plan on the offensive line, and it starts with Mississippi State’s Charles Cross. The offensive tackle is a lean, mean, pass-blocking machine that combines speed with a violent approach to the game.
20) Philadelphia Eagles: Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State
Having secured a lockdown corner in Stingley Jr. with their first pick in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the Eagles continue to build their defense late in the first round. They have several defensive linemen due to hit free agency after this season. As a result, selecting Zach Harrison makes too much sense.
The 6’6″ and 265-pound pass rusher plays with speed and strength. He may not have the résumé or reputation of previous Ohio State defensive ends. Still, he should establish himself as one of the top pass rushers in the nation this fall.
21) Tennessee Titans: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
The Tennessee Titans are that rare breed when writing this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, a team whose needs have dramatically altered since the last one I wrote. In the previous version, they selected Arkansas wide receiver, Treylon Burks. Since then, however, the Titans added Julio Jones to A.J. Brown to form one of the most devastating wide receiver duos in the NFL.
So instead, the Titans address a potential need at inside linebacker. Both Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans are out of contract at the end of the year. It seems unlikely that they can keep both. Alabama’s Christian Harris gives them a tenacious, athletic, and intelligent replacement. He can also hold his own in coverage as the result of his high school experience at cornerback.
22) Indianapolis Colts: Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
Although the Indianapolis Colts added Sam Tevi and Eric Fisher to replace the retired Anthony Castonzo, offensive tackle figures to be their most significant need next year. Penn State’s Rasheed Walker has the size, athleticism, and technical ability to be one of the best in the 2022 NFL Draft class.
Besides pass protection panache, Walker can be a mauler in the ground game. Lining him up alongside Quenton Nelson would be exciting for their running backs and terrifying for anyone tasked with getting in their way.
23) New York Jets: Kingsley Enagbare, DE, South Carolina
The Jets made moves in both free agency and this year’s draft to address their pass rush problems. Despite those additions, there is a need to find another potential starter at defensive end. In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they find their answer in South Carolina defensive end Kingsley Enagbare.
The 6’4″, 270-pound pass rusher is unbelievably explosive for his size. Furthermore, he plays the game with his hair on fire and with violence that will leave quarterbacks in the AFC East fearing for their lives.
24) New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
In their first year without Drew Brees, what constitutes success for the New Orleans Saints? If they’re selecting here in the 2022 NFL Draft, it means they made the playoffs. Will that be enough for Jameis Winston to keep the starting role long-term? Did they draft Ian Book to take over in 2022? Could they even add another quarterback?
Ultimately, Winston does enough in the upcoming season to keep his job, and his reward is a game-changing wide receiver in Chris Olave. The Ohio State pass catcher has the speed and route-running savvy to be a genuine WR1 in the NFL.
25) Cleveland Browns: Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati
On paper, Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett combine to give the Cleveland Browns the best pass rush duo in the NFL. However, football games aren’t won on paper, and Clowney has plenty to prove in his one-year “prove it” deal. As a result, it wouldn’t be a surprise if defensive end was their most significant need next April.
Cincinnati pass rusher Myjai Sanders was an ascending prospect last year but opted to return to the Bearcats. Sanders already possesses impressive agility and explosion. With another year to work on his technical ability, he could easily crack the first round.
26) Miami Dolphins: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Compared to last season, the Miami Dolphins are relatively bereft of draft capital. They don’t have the luxury of multiple picks in the first and second rounds, so they need to ensure they get it right. Right now, their two most significant needs appear to be running back and center. While I like the fit of Isaiah Spiller with Miami, the selection of Tyler Linderbaum in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft will have the most benefit to the Dolphins’ offense.
The Iowa center will be the final piece of their offensive line rebuild. He gives Tua Tagovailoa a reliable snapper of the ball while being strong and athletic in pass protection. Furthermore, his athleticism and nasty nature make him a true force in the ground game.
27) Baltimore Ravens: Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (FL)
The signing of Alejandro Villanueva and Ja’Wuan James are merely band-aids for the gaping hole created at right tackle by the departure of Orlando Brown. It will be a massive surprise if the Ravens don’t address the position in the 2022 NFL Draft. Although there isn’t a marquee right tackle prospect, Baltimore has shifted tackles across the formation before successfully.
Therefore, they select Miami’s Zion Nelson intending to do just that. Nelson’s development last year was phenomenal, and his career trajectory to date suggests he can take another leap this year. An incredible athlete, his ability to get out ahead of the running game will be particularly valuable to the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore offense.
28) Detroit Lions: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Detroit Lions packed their wide receiver room through the draft and free agency, hoping that something will stick. Amon-Ra St. Brown has the potential to excel in the NFL, but they will still need to add additional receivers as weaponry for the newly acquired Rattler. Therefore, with their second pick in the first round of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they swoop for Arkansas ace Treylon Burks.
Burks is a physical receiver with deceptive speed for his size. In what will be presumably a run-heavy offense under Dan Campbell, he can also be used out of the backfield while providing physicality downfield as a blocker.
29) Green Bay Packers: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Green Bay Packers not selecting a wide receiver in the first round of the draft has become a standing joke. Alas, it is one that Aaron Rodgers has ceased to find even remotely amusing. However, with EIGHT wide receivers out of contract at the end of the year, it might be time to bring the joke to an end finally.
Although Olave will receive the majority of the preseason attention, his Ohio State teammate — Garrett Wilson — has the potential to be equally problematic in the NFL. Wilson can effortlessly gain separation and has a highly reliable pair of hands. He would be the first Packers’ first-round WR since 2002. However, it remains uncertain whether Rodgers will be around to welcome him in.
30) Buffalo Bills: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Although the Bills added multiple edge rushers in this year’s draft, they are set to lose a total of seven players across the defensive line in free agency. While they have the likes of A.J. Epenesa and Gregory Rousseau waiting in the wings at defensive end, defensive tackle is a different beast.
Perrion Winfrey has been a different beast at both the JUCO and FBS levels. Long and explosive, expect a breakout year from the Oklahoma defensive tackle to result in a potential first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.
31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
The Buccaneers achieved the remarkable and unheard-of feat of returning their entire Super Bowl-winning starting lineup this year. As impressive as that is, it means that a massive 37 players will be out of contract by next spring. The hardest-hit area is the running back room, where the top three players on the depth chart will be free agents.
Therefore, the Bucs swoop for the sensational Isaiah Spiller in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The Texas A&M running back is a physical runner between the tackles. However, he also displays sufficient burst to get around the edge. Additionally, he’s willing and able in pass protection.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State
There are several directions that the Kansas City Chiefs could take in the 2022 NFL Draft. There is dangerous little depth at wide receiver, the potential for losses across the defensive line, and even the tight end room behind Travis Kelce could use an injection of excitement. However, adding Mike Hughes through the offseason intimates there is an improvement to be made to the cornerback group.
In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, Sevyn Banks joins a long list of Ohio State first-round defensive backs. Banks is frankly an insane athlete who comes with the size and the physical attributes to be successful in the NFL. Although he’s a work in progress from a mental processing perspective, another successful season should solidify his status as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.