2022 NFL Mock Draft: Complete 7-round predictions for each team

Group of Five quarterbacks dominate the top half of Round 1 in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. So which is the first QB off the board?

Doctors say you should read at least one mock draft per week to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin X and Vitamin O. Receive your supplement of vital organic compounds with our latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft. This special 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft is carefully designed to give you a lasting boost. Complete with 227 selections, this is our first comprehensive look at the 2022 NFL Draft in its entirety.

2022 NFL Mock Draft | 1-16

Who are the first 16 selections in this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft?

1. Houston Texans: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Side effects of this 7-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft may include initial shock and disbelief, as well as bewilderment. Most mocks feature either Spencer Rattler or Sam Howell at No. 1 overall. But I’m going on the record and saying that Nevada QB Carson Strong has the tools to get there as well.

Strong’s arm is terrific, possessing the power and elasticity to push the boundaries on any given snap. He’s also fairly accurate and not a liability as an athlete. He’s not the elite athletic talent that has drawn attention in the past, but Strong can still navigate the pocket and go off-script if necessary. On top of all that, Strong is smart, processes quickly, and throws with anticipation.

2. Detroit Lions: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

That’s right — neither Rattler nor Howell goes top two in this mock. This isn’t to say that they won’t go this high. It’s just that, this early, all possibilities are on the table. So why not indulge in that uncertainty, and entertain other outcomes?

Malik Willis might be the most physically talented quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. His arm might legitimately be a rocket-propelled mechanism constructed by NASA, and the 6’1″, 215-pound signal-caller is just as explosive and dynamic with his legs. There are some issues regarding his decision-making and accuracy, but as long as Willis progresses, his tools are easily worthy of a top selection.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

Coming into 2021, the Jaguars drafted an edge rusher in Round 1 in consecutive years. Seeing the production that’s amounted from the duo of Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson so far, there’s no reason for Jacksonville not to consider Kayvon Thibodeaux. Having said that, their interior line also needs just as much work, if not more.

The Jaguars might be better served getting a player who can be versatile across the line. Luckily enough for them, there’s a candidate who might be worth picking this high by 2022. Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal is a top-tier athletic talent. At 6’4″, 290 pounds, Leal is long, compact, powerful, supremely explosive, and flexible. And with a building pass rush arsenal, he’s trending up in 2021.

4. New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

If Thibodeaux drops to the Jets, then New York has a tough decision to make. They could certainly use more talent opposite Carl Lawson on the defensive line. Having said this, their cornerback room is completely bare. I like the upside of Isaiah Dunn, Bryce Hall, and Jason Pinnock as much as the next guy. But the Jets need more proven talent, and this is the perfect spot to get their pick of the litter.

There’s no consensus CB1 in the 2022 NFL Draft just yet. As many as five cornerbacks could take home that distinction in this stacked class, but the most popular choice is probably Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley set fire to the CFB stage with 6 interceptions and 17 deflections in his freshman season. As you’d expect, Stingley has uncanny ball skills and route recognition, and he’s a supremely explosive athlete for his long, 6’1″ frame.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

Many disagreed with the Cincinnati Bengals’ decision to pass over Penei Sewell for wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Nevertheless, the Bengals could at least rationalize this choice. Chase is a phenomenal prospect, and he also has pre-existing chemistry with quarterback Joe Burrow. Even so, the Bengals shouldn’t neglect their offensive line next year.

There’s still room to improve the unit, and complacency isn’t an option, especially with the amount of talent the Bengals have on the offensive side of the ball. Because of this, Kenyon Green makes a lot of sense in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Green has already proven himself as an elite guard prospect, and as he moves to tackle this year, he should prove himself there too. Green has the athleticism, power, and mauler mentality to be a star.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

Jalen Hurts hasn’t yet won the confidence of new Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. And as the season progresses, it’s hard to say if he ever will. If Philadelphia ends up selecting at No. 6 overall, one can reasonably infer that Hurts didn’t do enough to win the starting job long-term. In that scenario, they’re, without a doubt, in quarterback mode.

With both Rattler and Howell still on the board, the Eagles have favorable options. At this point, however, Spencer Rattler might be the better prospect. His arm talent is rivaled by few in the class, and his progression over the course of the 2020 season was extremely promising. Rattler can still improve, but he can throw it 40 yards with a simple wrist flick. He also has enough athleticism to go off-script.

7. New York Giants: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

If Daniel Jones spends as much time at the bottom of the pile this season as he spent there at training camp, he may not have a chance to be the guy moving forward. And if the Giants’ offensive line continues to underwhelm, that will only exacerbate the issue. But just for fun, let’s say Jones does enough, in spite of his surroundings, to earn another year. What happens then?

The Giants could very easily go offensive line here, but there’s also an opportunity to make an excellent defense potentially elite. Two of the best defensive prospects are still on the board. Kyle Hamilton, in particular, brings a level of versatility and dynamic ability unmatched by his counterparts in the class. If Jabrill Peppers leaves in free agency, the Giants will have a hole to fill. Hamilton can fill it three times over.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

This is the farthest Kayvon Thibodeaux should drop on draft night. It’s also an absolute best-case scenario for the Atlanta Falcons. Perhaps the Falcons would like to come out of this draft with Matt Ryan’s successor, but turning away a potentially generational EDGE prospect, given Atlanta’s outlook at the position, is unwise.

One could make a case for Thibodeaux being the best defensive player in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s fourth off the board on defense in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, but team needs played a hand in causing his slide. Regardless, Thibodeaux has an otherworldly combination of explosiveness and length. Through that combination, Thibodeaux can generate devastating amounts of power and torque. He’s the dream pick for Atlanta.

9. Carolina Panthers: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

The Panthers did exercise Sam Darnold’s fifth-year option, keeping him under contract through 2022. However, Darnold shouldn’t be guaranteed a spot through that point. His longevity is contingent on development under Matt Rhule and Joe Brady in 2021. If Darnold doesn’t show that development, Carolina can’t be shy about pulling the plug and starting over. Looking at Carolina’s line, Darnold may be facing pressure in several ways.

If Darnold fails to elevate Carolina, and they end up picking in the top 10 again, they’ll be in prime position to select a new QB. In this mock, Sam Howell is still on the board, and he makes a lot of sense. Howell has naturally strong mechanics, a loose arm, and reasonable athleticism. He’s also willing to levy blocks for his teammates at a moment’s notice.

10. New York Giants: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

The Giants’ decision to pass up Thibodeaux at No. 7 may have been perplexing. Even though New York added Azeez Ojulari in the 2021 NFL Draft, they could still use more opposite him. Still, the Giants came away with a terrific defensive prospect in Hamilton, and now, they have the opportunity to pick Drake Jackson.

Jackson isn’t quite the EDGE prospect that Thibodeaux is, but he still has a great deal of upside. He’s an OLB-DE hybrid who sports a thickly-built 6’4″, 255-pound frame. Furthermore, he has a fierce explosive burst and stellar energy in his hands. Jackson also has absurd bend capacity and torso flexibility, and that combination gives him tremendous upside.

11. Denver Broncos: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

According to reports out of training camp, Drew Lock has been up and down. He has had good moments, but he hasn’t yet found consistency. In this way, Lock’s camp showing might be a microcosm of his career. Regardless, let’s say Lock eventually finds his rhythm and shows promise down the stretch. How can the Broncos work to further support him in 2022?

Whether the Broncos stick with Lock long-term or turn the page at quarterback, finding a new right tackle is a must. Denver has a number of options for 2021, but they shouldn’t settle on the offensive line. Evan Neal, a natural right tackle, is a stellar athlete with a monstrous 6’7″, 360-pound frame. He can still work to better control his traits, but the upside is through the roof, sky-high, etc. Pick whichever cliché you want.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The top players are off the board at offensive line and interior defensive line, making Las Vegas’ decision at No. 12 a bit more difficult. Another area that demands careful attention is cornerback. Trayvon Mullen is the only respectable long-term starter. Casey Hayward, set to be 32 in September, is inching closer to the cliff, and Damon Arnette, an obvious reach, has already fallen out of favor.

The Raiders need to pick another cornerback, and they need to get it right this time. Luckily, the 2022 NFL Draft is loaded with top-end cornerback talent. Kaiir Elam, in particular, is an extremely exciting prospect. With elite explosiveness and fluidity, coupled with a long 6’2″, 193-pound frame, Elam is tailor-made for Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 scheme. He also has the instincts and aggressiveness to use his traits effectively.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

The Cardinals don’t have a bad roster by any means. However, there are a few areas of uncertainty that might keep them from locking down a playoff spot. One is the coaching staff, on which both Kliff Kingsbury and Vance Joseph are experiencing increased pressure. Another is cornerback, where, outside of 2019 second-round pick Byron Murphy, there isn’t much to write home about.

The Cardinals can’t solve the coaching question in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, but they can address cornerback. After losing Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals need another CB who can provide sticky coverage and man up the opposing team’s best receiver each week. Trent McDuffie fits that mold. He’s an elite athlete with a sudden, supersonic style, and he also has impressive instincts and tackling ability.

14. Washington Football Team: Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern

Every single mock draft has Washington taking a quarterback here. For now, let’s go against the grain and push that off to Round 2. What’s the next biggest need for the Washington Football Team? It has to be safety. Washington’s defense has an elite front four and an ascending front seven. The only thing the unit needs to take over is a ball-hawking free safety alongside Kamren Curl.

Insert Brandon Joseph. The Wildcats’ defensive phenom earned Big Ten Newcomer of the Year honors last year, hauling in 6 interceptions in just eight games. Joseph has the requisite size at 6’1″, 192 pounds, and he’s a stellar athlete. On top of that, he’s tremendously instinctive when positioning himself, and always where he needs to be to make the play. With Joseph, Washington’s defense is the stuff of nightmares.

15. Minnesota Vikings: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State

If Kirk Cousins fails to lead the Vikings to the promised land in 2021 — or gets stuck behind plexiglass — the Vikings may entertain a QB selection here. Despite his flaws, Cousins has been good in his time with Minnesota. Additionally, the Vikings still have a few areas to improve outside of QB. Even after adding Janarius Robinson and Patrick Jones II, the edge remains an area of concern.

If the Vikings choose to build their defense up in Round 1, Zach Harrison may be a compelling option. Harrison could very well be next in line at an Ohio State EDGE factory that’s produced Chase Young, Nick Bosa, and Joey Bosa in recent years. Harrison isn’t quite at their level yet, but he can reportedly run a 4.47 at 6’6″, 268 pounds. His raw athletic traits are inspiring, and he can make the necessary jump in 2021.

16. Los Angeles Chargers: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

One of the biggest changes for Brandon Staley might be his lack of star power. Sure, the Chargers have stars like Bosa and Derwin James. But any transition from Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey — two of the best in the game at their respective positions — is going to be daunting. Nevertheless, the 2021 NFL Draft could be Staley’s opportunity to add his new Ramsey in Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr.

Booth is by no means Ramsey. But in a class with Stingley, Elam, and Gardner, Booth has the upside to be CB1. That’s not a statement to take lightly. He’s an elite athlete with effervescent twitch, explosiveness, and fluidity, which compliments a long 6’1″ frame. And at the catch point, his pure instincts are the subject of awe. He can rise, contort, and use his length to disrupt passes on any given down.

Ian Cummings is a Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and his voice and face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on Twitter @ian_cummings_9.


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