2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
Three QBs and five edge rushers went in the first half of Round 1. How many fill out the second half?
17) Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Jordan Davis did not have to wait long to hear his name called after his DT teammate. Davis can hold two gaps with ease and fits perfectly into LA’s “Tite” front. Davis will aid a struggling run defense rebound in 2022, and he has the physical makeup to develop as at least a serviceable pass rusher.
18) New Orleans Saints: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
The Saints simply do not have the money to add a quarterback in free agency. And without a trade up, they won’t be in the 2023 NFL Draft QB market. So, they take a swing on fifth-year passer Kenny Pickett. Much has been made of his 8 1/2-inch hands, but turn on the tape and watch work magic with two gloves. There is a reason some analysts have him as the No. 1 QB in the class.
19) Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Eagles make Devin Lloyd their first LB selected in the first round since 1976. Lloyd deserves the history-making decision as he is a truly complete prospect. Cover, blitz, stuff the run, make the play calls — Lloyd can do whatever the Eagles ask of him.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Out goes Ben Roethlisberger, and in comes Desmond Ridder. Ridder is a far better athlete than Big Ben, which opens the offense up a bit. Now, he isn’t a runner like Willis, but defenses will have to account for his speed. Ridder has a cannon for an arm but needs to hone it in as he has inconsistent accuracy. Still, the talent to be a starter in the NFL is there.
21) New England Patriots: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
J.C. Jackson may leave for a huge contract this offseason, forcing the Patriots to address their CB room. Andrew Booth Jr. sports some of the smoothest hips and quickest feet in the class. He’s a bit raw, but the physical tools are there for Bill Belichick to mold.
22) Las Vegas Raiders: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
With Wilson now in Denver, Derek Carr is now the best quarterback of all time to be the worst in a division. To compete with their division alone, the Raiders need to beef up their offense, starting with the line.
Alex Leatherwood may be fine at guard, and Kolton Miller is a solid left tackle. As a result, Las Vegas select the top tackle on the board in Charles Cross. He will have to switch from the left to right side, but his pass sets and technique may be the best in the class.
23) Arizona Cardinals: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Cardinals pair Byron Murphy with fellow Washington alum Trent McDuffie. As a corner under Jimmy Lake, McDuffie is built for zone with impressive instincts and ball skills. He can explode vertically and horizontally, and he’s the best tackling corner in the 2022 NFL Draft.
24) Dallas Cowboys: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Following his Combine performance, Lewis Cine should find himself in Round 1 this year. He is a well-built safety that is as sure as they get on the back end. Cine reads route breaks better than anyone in the class — including Hamilton — and sees the game from a high level. With Jayron Kearse, Keanu Neal, Malik Hooker, and Damontae Kazee free agents, Dallas could plug and play Cine in Year 1. And don’t worry Cowboys fans, Dallas will address receiver after the cooper trade shortly.
25) Buffalo Bills: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
The Bills need a corner opposite Tre’Davious White, and when healthy, Kaiir Elam can thrive as a CB2. Elam is long, physical, and owns 4.39 speed. He excels in zone with his patience and knowledge of the game.
26) Tennessee Titans: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
With Harold Landry III signed to an extension, the Titans will likely use their first-round pick on the offensive side of the ball. There are really only two options here: receiver or offensive line.
Tennessee recently released Rodger Saffold. And if Ben Jones walks in free agency and Tyler Linderbaum is still on the board, Tennessee is sprinting to the podium. The Iowa center shines in zone schemes and displays astronomical athleticism for the position. He is the best center prospect in some time.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Travis Jones, DT, UConn
I raise the white flag — I have no idea what Tampa Bay will do on draft night. Honestly, I don’t think they do either. Tom Brady’s retirement sends the team’s trajectory in the wrong direction. The Bucs franchise-tagged Chris Godwin, so we can rule out receiver. But almost every other position is up for debate.
This time around, I have them selecting UConn DT Travis Jones. Jones is powerful with long arms and stout hand usage. Stick him alongside Vita Vea, and no team is gaining a yard on the ground.
28) Green Bay Packers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
With Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams remaining in Green Bay, the franchise can finally move toward the draft without waiting for a big move. The Kyle Shanahan tree likes their receiving corps to look like basketball teams. They want diverse playmakers to maximize the number of ways they can threaten a defense.
Davante Adams is the all-around WR1, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (who is a pending free agent) is the downfield option. So, the Packers need a receiver who can separate with cushion-creating route running. Chris Olave is just what the doctor ordered in that regard (a real doctor, not a friend with a podcast).
29) Miami Dolphins (from SF): Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
A mock draft with Linderbaum NOT going to the Dolphins? What is this, the Twilight Zone? Jokes aside, while Miami would love a generational talent in the middle of the line, their biggest need is at tackle.
Coming out of Tulsa’s Pro Day, PFN Chief NFL Draft Analyst Tony Pauline reported that Tyler Smith has spent extensive time with the Dolphins, and the growing feeling was Miami would take the OT in Round 1. Smith could begin his career as a starting guard due to his sheer force. However, with some technique refinement and proper coaching as a pass blocker, he could turn into a first-team tackle.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Drake London, WR, USC
The Chiefs already needed a WR2, but Wilson’s arrival in the AFC West makes it even more paramount. Drake London is still recovering from his fractured ankle, but he should recover and return to his full athletic ability — as is usually the case with bone breaks compared to ligament tears. London can play every receiver position, but his looming frame and contest-catch prowess make him the perfect pairing with Tyreek Hill.
31) Cincinnati Bengals: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
While drafting for need is not the best choice, the Bengals must protect Joe Burrow at all costs. When he is kept upright, he can find Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd for chunk gains. While there is no tackle worthy of a selection in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, Cincinnati’s main issue is the interior. Consequently, taking the top guard in Zion Johnson plugs a major hole. Johnson is on the shorter side but has imposing length and power with positional versatility.
32) Detroit Lions (from LAR): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Willis launching deep bombs to Jameson Williams while Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson, and D’Andre Swift handle the intermediate and underneath routes? That will have defenses looking “Like Toy Soldiers.” Speaking of Slim Shady, Williams’ slender frame and ability to disrespect defenses with his speed may earn him the nickname in the Motor City.