2022 NFL Mock Draft: What if Malik Willis goes first overall?

With the college football season around the corner, this 2022 NFL Mock Draft offers players with immense potential to keep an eye on.

This 2022 NFL Mock Draft was conducted with one question in mind — what if every player reached their potential in the 2021 college football season? There are many NFL Draft prospects who have the physical tools to be a Round 1 pick but either haven’t pieced it all together or simply haven’t received enough snaps. So, Marvel and NFL Draft fans, What if…?

2022 NFL Mock Draft | 1-16

Almost no prospect actually reaches the full potential of their skill set, but what if they did?  Let’s jump into the multiverse and find out.

1. Houston Texans: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty 

We know Sam Howell and Spencer Rattler are the top two QBs in the draft class, but Liberty’s Malik Willis has the most physical potential. From his Quicksilver legs to his Iron Man repulsor of a right arm, Willis has everything you want from a franchise quarterback. He needs to reel in his inconsistencies and ball security issues, but the talent is there to be the No. 1 overall pick.

2. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

Spencer Rattler‘s ability outside the pocket is unparalleled in the 2022 NFL Draft class. That will be required if he wants to survive in Detroit, although their other two selections in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft will improve the overall roster. Rattler can throw the deep ball with an effortless flick of the wrist. Additionally, he can make a defender or two miss in the open field.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

A safety in the top three??? Yes, but not just any safety. Kyle Hamilton is the No. 1 prospect on PFN’s Top 50 Big Board entering the season. At 6’4″, 220 pounds, Hamilton is built like a linebacker with the athleticism of a defensive back. His Spider-Man instincts and agility allow him to stick with receivers while erasing tight ends and running backs in coverage.

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

Derek Stingley Jr. possesses all the tools you want from a cornerback. LSU utilizes a press-heavy scheme which Stingley has thrived in. While his 2020 tape was a step back and marred with injuries, Stingley’s 2019 true freshman film is some of the best out there. His Black Panther-esque agility (we miss you, Chadwick Boseman) is what allows him to sit on an island, even in the NFL.

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama 

Despite being 6’7″ and 350 pounds, Evan Neal is not a plotter. He had to have been created in a lab because there is no reason Neal should move the way he does at his size. Even the late Stan Lee would marvel over his ability. Neal packs a nasty punch, and he is equally effective in pass protection as in the ground game.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson 

Andrew Booth Jr.‘s career is full of highlights, albeit a small sample size. What he lacks in elite speed, he more than makes up for in balance and footwork. He can mirror any receiver across from him, and his ball skills are extraordinary. We haven’t seen enough reps to say he is a sure-fire top-10 pick, but the potential is there.

7. New York Giants: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina 

Sam Howell undoubtedly owns the arm strength and accuracy to compete in the NFL. The only issue is the offense UNC deploys. It is RPO-centric and makes it difficult to envision how Howell will do in a pro-style offense. Nevertheless, the Tar Heel has the college production, arm talent, and tenacity you want under center.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon 

Kayvon Thibodeaux has to be a Hydra experiment the way he pops off the screen. His 6’5″, 260-pound build is tailor-made for the NFL. He is uber-athletic with a bull rush that would make the Hulk blush. Furthermore, Thibodeaux’s get-off is insanely quick. The cherry on top is his ability to dominate in run defense.

9. Carolina Panthers: Emory Jones, QB, Florida 

This one is a massive projection, and out of 14,000,605 possible outcomes, there may only be one that sees Emory Jones drafted in the top 10 next April. Yet, that is what this 2022 NFL Mock Draft is all about — the best possible outcomes. Jones has looked exceptional as a change-of-pace QB and in mop-up duty. His rushing ability is second to Willis, but we need to see him start a game to truly know what he is capable of.

10. New York Giants (via Chicago): Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

Ant-Man is no stranger to heights, but Daniel Faalele would make him squeamish. The 6’9″, 400-pound offensive tackle has unfair movement skills. He needs to add ferocity to his game, as he has the size to maul defenders. Faalele opted out last year and needs to show vast improvement from his 2019 campaign to be worthy of this selection, but he can rival Neal for the OT1 spot.

11. Denver Broncos: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada 

Last year, Carson Strong exploded onto the scene, completing 70% of his passes for 2,858 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Sure, WR Romeo Doubs and TE Cole Turner make Strong’s life easier, but he gets the ball to them with ease. The Nevada signal-caller’s mechanics are smooth, and he has no issue throwing 50+ yards downfield.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

DeMarvin Leal is the unquestioned DT1 in the class. However, limiting him to defensive tackle is unfair. Need a nose tackle? Leal is your man. Want an edge rusher? He can do that too. There really isn’t a single position along the defensive line that Leal can’t excel at. With another year of stellar tape, the Aggies’ star could easily crack the top 10.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida 

The Cardinals may not be as desperate for a cornerback as many have been anticipating. Rookies Marco Wilson and Tay Gowan have looked exceptional during the preseason, and Byron Murphy should take a leap in Year 2. Regardless, you can never have too many corners.

In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the Cardinals grab the best available in Kaiir Elam. The Florida CB is often overlooked due to playing in the same conference as Stingley, but the NFL will covet his hip fluidity and man-coverage prowess.

14. Washington Football Team: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The talent in the Buckeyes’ receiving corps should be illegal. Not only do they have the best receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft with Garrett Wilson, but Ohio State has Chris Olave — who will hear his name called soon — and Marvin Harrison Jr., who is already fitting in nicely as an early-enrollee. Wilson is sudden with every movement and has the body control that separates him from the rest of the class.

15. Minnesota Vikings: Kinglsey Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

Remember when the Winter Soldier was mind-controlled by Hydra? When he was ruthless, cutthroat, and damn-near unstoppable? Yea, that’s Kingsley Enagbare on the football field for South Carolina. He needs to reign in his aggressiveness at times as he can over-pursue rushing lanes and get too far outside the pocket. Nonetheless, Enagbare has all the tools to be a top-15 player.

16. Los Angeles Chargers: Adam Anderson, EDGE, Georgia

Adam Anderson is one of my favorite prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has been a pass-rush specialist for Georgia, and that is exactly what he is. In fact, Anderson is potentially the best pass rusher in the nation. Yet, the Bulldogs have had him on a leash, one that they should let go of in 2021.

His listed 230 pounds is slight for an edge rusher and is likely why Georgia has not used him on every down. Still, if Anderson can add some muscle and prove his worth in run defense, he will be a lock for the first round.

James Fragoza is a Writer and News Editor at Pro Football Network. You can read his other work here and follow him on Twitter @JamesFragoza.

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