2022 NFL Mock Draft | 17-32
Five wide receivers fall off the board over the next 16 picks of this 2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft. Additionally, several teams potentially in the QB market opt to avoid the position in the first round.
17) Los Angeles Chargers: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
In the aftermath of their season-ending loss to the Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley spoke about the need to address the defensive front in the 2022 NFL Draft. DeMarvin Leal gives them a versatile option that could fulfill multiple roles on the Chargers’ front. He can wreak havoc as a pass rusher off the edge, but also has the frame to be able to disrupt from the interior. At pick No. 17, he represents a steal.
18) New Orleans Saints: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The New Orleans Saints are an obvious contender for a first-round quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, with Jameis Winston an option to re-sign in free agency, they’re not forced into selling out for one. There are bigger needs for the franchise this April, with wide receiver the most significant.
Despite his ACL tear in the national championship, Jameson Williams should still garner first-round attention with insane speed, underrated route-running ability, and impressive catch-point skills. Williams can be a deep threat for Winston (or maybe Malik Willis) while providing after-the-catch value on short or intermediate routes.
19) Philadelphia Eagles: Drake London, WR, USC
Drake London can catch a football, which makes him immeasurably better than at least one wide receiver on the Eagles’ roster. All Jalen Reagor jokes aside, if Philadelphia wants to truly find out what they have in Jalen Hurts, they need to give him a fair shot. London is a frankly ridiculous mix of size and athletic ability, a 6’5″ monster who has deceptive speed and the physicality to dominate contested catches and drag defenders downfield.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
With Ben Roethlisberger on his way out of Heinz Field, a quarterback is the presumptive first-round pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, with Mike Tomlin announcing that Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins will have the opportunity to earn the starting spot, maybe they’ll seek to address other needs with the 20th overall pick.
While they add a quarterback in the second round of this 2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft, protecting Big Ben’s successor is the first order of business. Trevor Penning is a BAD man who routinely puts his opposition on the ground. He has the size, strength, and technical ability to be a long-time starter at left tackle in the NFL.
21) New England Patriots: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Having watched Mac Jones struggle when tasked with mounting a comeback, it’s clear that defense is going to be the key to returning a championship to New England. The Patriots have an impending cornerback problem, with Stephon Gilmore already gone and J.C. Jackson a potential free agent.
Ahmad Gardner is a 6’2″ cornerback with excellent length who hasn’t allowed a touchdown in his entire college football career. “Sauce” brings the sauce against the run game too as an all-around excellent CB prospect.
22) Las Vegas Raiders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Mike Mayock is out as the Las Vegas Raiders’ general manager. Hopefully, that will represent a change in fortunes for Raiders’ first-round picks. They find the replacement for one of those former first-rounders with the 22nd overall pick in this 2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft with the selection of Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave.
A former track star, Olave has impressive speed, showcases excellent route running, and has next-level body control and spatial awareness at the catch point. He’ll be a go-to target for Derek Carr.
23) Arizona Cardinals: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
The Arizona Cardinals were expected to add a cornerback early in the last draft. However, they waited until Day 3 to address the position, with one of those selections no longer on the roster. They’ve ranked in the bottom half of the NFL for completion percentage and touchdown percentage allowed this year, so the need is still there.
Although injury stunted his progress as a prospect this season, Florida’s Kaiir Elam still projects as one of the best cornerbacks in the class. Elam possesses NFL size, plays the game with physicality — and as a former wide receiver — he’s up there with the best of them in terms of ball skills at the catch point.
24) Dallas Cowboys: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
While linebacker isn’t an immediately apparent need for the Dallas Cowboys, passing up on Nakobe Dean at No. 24 overall would be malpractice. His selection would allow the Cowboys to use Micah Parsons on the edge where he’s been successful when called upon this year. Alternatively, he could replace the out-of-form Leighton Vander Esch. Either way, Dean is a hyper-athletic, highly intelligent linebacker who is ferocious against the run.
25) Cincinnati Bengals: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Known for their financial frugality, it’s possible that the Cincinnati Bengals price themselves out of the market for retaining Jessie Bates III. Even if they do keep Bates in town, adding Daxton Hill would give them an additional playmaker in the secondary. Replacement or running mate, Hill possesses next-level athletic ability and sticky coverage skills, and he plays with aggression befitting of the AFC North.
26) Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Miami Dolphins offensive line has been an absolute mess this season. The focus of this offseason should be ensuring that Tua Tagovailoa is given adequate protection to prove that he is the long-term answer under center.
The rebuild should begin at the pivot, with Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum arguably one of the best offensive line prospects in the class. A high school wrestler, Linderbaum harnesses knowledge of leverage to maul defensive linemen to the ground. Linderbaum is an excellent athlete capable of blocking downfield in the run game.
27) Buffalo Bills: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Although CB and DT may prove to be more prominent needs, landing Kenyon Green in this 2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft would be too good an opportunity to miss. Although Green offers positional versatility having played tackle for Texas A&M, he’s an exceptional guard with a mauler mentality in the ground game and an anchor that would hold a ship in a storm in pass protection. The Bills’ ground game, which has struggled in recent seasons, would benefit greatly from Green’s selection.
28) Detroit Lions (from LA Rams): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Lions’ second pick in the first round is one of the most intriguing and hotly anticipated selections in the 2022 NFL Draft. Could they strike for a quarterback here? While I wouldn’t rule it out, the most likely scenario is that they ride Jared Goff under center, target a game-changing pass catcher in April, and wait until next year’s class to find a new QB.
As a result, they grab Arkansas WR Treylon Burks to pair with outstanding rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown. Burks is a do-it-all threat who has physicality at the catch point, but he also showcases deceptive athleticism as an after-the-catch weapon who can be used out of the backfield.
29) Kansas City Chiefs: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
One year after reshaping their offensive line, the Kansas City Chiefs turn to the opposite side of the trenches in this 2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft. San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas has earned comparisons to Hutchinson and Wisconsin-era J.J. Watt with his phenomenal power and explosive first step. The Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year can be a Day 1 starter for a Chiefs defense that needs a disruptive playmaker.
30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Travon Walker, DT, Georgia
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers achieved the impossible last year by returning their entire Super Bowl roster. Depending on how they deal with a plethora of potential free agency losses, they could have several needs come April. At the moment, the largest project to be is at CB and RB.
Without a premiere corner available, and a first-round running back not in the cards, the Bucs take a BPA approach to this 2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft and select Georgia’s Travon Walker. A rare athlete at his size, Walker can comfortably play at 270 or 290 pounds without a discernible drop-off in eye-popping agility. Seeing Walker on either side of Vita Vea would be a frankly terrifying prospect for opposing offenses.
31) Tennessee Titans: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
With Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans set to become free agents at the end of the season, the Tennessee Titans could be in dire need of a linebacker come April. However, at this moment in time, making upgrades on the offensive line seems the logical path to take.
Boston College’s Zion Johnson is a versatile offensive lineman who can play guard or tackle. He’s experienced in multiple schemes and possesses excellent technique and strength.
32) Green Bay Packers: David Bell, WR, Purdue
Purdue pass catcher David Bell combines impressive speed, ludicrous body control, and a determined physicality to be a difference-maker at the WR position. Bell’s a three-level threat who routinely adds yardage after the catch. It would be quite something if, after years of campaigning for the Green Bay Packers to draft a wide receiver, they did so after Aaron Rodgers walks out of Lambeau Field for the final time.
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