I don’t know about you, but music has played a pivotal role in my life. From slow thumping bass rhythms paired with soft-spoken vocals to the articulation and lyrical ability of legendary rappers, music has helped shape me. So, as an ode to the beats and words heard through my headphones, this 2022 2-Round NFL Mock Draft comes with a musical flare. Sit back, turn on your preferred listening device, put on your favorite playlist, and jam out with me as we prepare for the crescendoing hype of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Please note that this mock draft order is accurate as of the completion of Week 16’s Thursday Night Football game. We will have another mock draft representing the completion of the entire Week 16 slate on Wednesday, December 29.
You’re about to read a completely enthralling 2022 NFL Mock Draft courtesy of PFN’s Draft Team. Want to go beyond reading and do one of your own? Take a spin on PFN’s free Mock Draft Simulator.
2022 2-Round NFL Mock Draft | 1-16
The first round of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft isn’t too off-key, but it does beat its own drum.
1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Kayvon Thibodeaux can win a rep faster than Eminem’s Godzilla verse — a world record 10.65 syllables per second on the track’s third verse. It’s not just on pass rushes, either, as Thibodeaux is one of the class’ best run defenders off the edge. The Oregon product must run on diesel fuel the way he trucks through his opposition.
2) Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
If Aidan Hutchinson were a musician, he would be Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham due to the way he repeatedly beats opponents like Bonham did his drums. The sheer ferocity he brings on every snap would strike fear in any offensive tackle. Dan Campbell wants kneecap biters on his squad. And while I don’t think Hutchinson is opposed to the idea, he is much more of a soul snatcher — just ask Nicholas Petit-Frere.
3) Houston Texans: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The Texans need blue-chip talent. Point. Blank. Period. It doesn’t matter the position, as there are holes all over this roster. So, Houston goes best player available (BPA) and selects Notre Dame’s do-it-all safety Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton will write, record, mix, master, engineer, compose — whatever needs to be done in the secondary.
4) New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Derek Stingley Jr. is not a one-hit-wonder. His true freshman 2019 campaign was out of this world as A-Minor (get it?), but injuries have derailed his last two years at LSU. If Stingley can clear medicals, he has a higher ceiling than any other corner in the draft, as well as one of the highest floors.
Robert Saleh’s 49ers defense revolved around a dominant defensive front, but Stingley is more than just a consolation prize with the top two edge rushers off the board.
5) New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
You don’t coach 6’7″ and 350 pounds. As one should ascertain from his size, Evan Neal has no issue moving defenders against their will. He’s poetry in motion with his hand movements and footwork.
Additionally, Neal has started at left tackle, left guard, and right tackle, meaning the Giants can line him up wherever necessary. Any highlight-reel featuring Neal needs a Parental Advisory sticker on it. Born and raised in Florida, Neal enters 2022 with an N.Y. State of Mind.
6) New York Giants (from CHI): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Matt Corral is a passionate individual, and that passion is harnessed in his right arm. When Corral is in rhythm, there really isn’t much defenses can do. He will make mistakes, no doubt about it. Yet, his upside far exceeds Daniel Jones’ at this point. And if the G-Men can’t swing a trade for a big-name QB *cough* Russell Wilson *cough* they need to go with one in the 2022 NFL Draft.
7) Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
Kenny Pickett‘s 2021 tape will be on repeat in NFL front offices longer than radio stations playing the hit song of the year. Pickett is knocked for his hand size and being a super senior, but the arm talent is there.
Matt Rhule won’t last much longer at the rate of deterioration in Carolina. But selecting Pickett offers him at least another year of job security along with a QB that can flip the franchise’s fortunes.
8) New York Jets (from SEA): Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Nothing says “Big Country” quite like a 6’5″, 311-pound offensive tackle from Mississippi. The Jets can rely on Charles Cross protecting Zach Wilson’s right side while Mekhi Becton mans the blindside. What makes Cross an even more intriguing prospect is he is still growing into his lanky frame and can improve his run blocking.
9) Atlanta Falcons: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Atlanta needs defensive line help with DT Grady Jarrett providing nearly their entire pass rush. George Karlaftis bullied smaller tackles at the college level and can play on the inside and outside. With a relentless motor and incredible consistency, Jarrett won’t be a one-man band any longer.
10) Washington Football Team: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
While I would love to give Washington a QB here, there simply isn’t any worthy of a top-16 pick. Thus, they address the offensive line, grabbing Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green. The versatile lineman can kick inside or out, playing every position but center in his collegiate career.
11) Philadelphia Eagles (from MIA): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Florida
The Eagles have three, yes, three, first-round picks. In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they use the first to solidify their secondary. Andrew Booth Jr. is smooth as butter in man coverage and possesses the athleticism to keep pace with nearly every WR in the league. Don’t forget his highlight-reel ball skills, which are nothing short of “fun to watch.”
12) Philadelphia Eagles: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Philly drafts the Fresh Prince of Tuscaloosa, Jameson Williams, with their next pick. DeVonta Smith didn’t get to play with Williams at Alabama last year, but I’m pretty sure defenses would’ve accused the Crimson Tide of workplace harassment if both took the field at the same time.
Williams’ speed is unrivaled in the 2022 NFL Draft. While Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins are burners in their own rights, neither is as physically imposing or strong at the catch point as Williams.
13) Denver Broncos: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Injuries have decimated the Broncos’ LB room this season. Even before the bodies began to pile up on the injured reserve, Denver needed reinforcements at the second level. Ladies and gentlemen … Nakobe Dean!
Dean is as reliable as country lyrics containing girls, beer, and trucks. He quickly reads, reacts, and explodes out of his stance to blow up unsuspecting runners and receivers.
14) New Orleans Saints: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Garrett Wilson and Michael Thomas would form the NFL’s WR version of Simon & Garfunkel. While Thomas evaporates defenders with his short-to-intermediate game, Wilson can take the top off, high point passes, and work the sideline like a seasoned vet. I don’t know who Mrs. Robinson is, but I’m sure even she would agree Wilson and Thomas are a deadly pairing.
15) Cleveland Browns: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
How do you stop a four-man front when two of those players deserve double teams? The answer is you don’t. Michigan has Hutchinson rushing on one side, with David Ojabo collapsing the pocket on the other. The Browns could use a receiver, but Ojabo’s raw talent is too much to pass up.
16) Las Vegas Raiders: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Las Vegas Raiders hope everything that happened in 2021 stays in 2021. I’m not sure there are many more teams in the sport’s history that have dealt with so much off-field distraction in a single season.
What Las Vegas needs is stability, and Devin Lloyd can provide just that on defense. Denzel Perryman is heading to his first Pro Bowl this year, but Lloyd has All-Pro potential.