2022 4-Round NFL Mock Draft: Defense dominates as Detroit Lions target Kayvon Thibodeaux

Defensive playmakers and offensive line talent rise to the top of the class in our latest four-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

2022 NFL Mock Draft | 17-32

Offensive playmakers come to the fore in the remaining first-round picks of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

17) Cleveland Browns: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Since I started doing 2022 NFL Mock Drafts back in March, the Cleveland Browns have been a premiere landing spot for the top pass rushers in the class. Although there is still very much a need on the defensive line, the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. opens up Cleveland as a destination for a pass catcher. As a result, Garrett Wilson takes his route-running savvy and catch-point prowess to the Browns as a game-changing weapon for Baker Mayfield.

18) Kansas City Chiefs: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs were apparently one of the teams that were in the market for OBJ upon his departure from the Browns. They could use the addition to the WR room, which is why they land Penn State pass catcher Jahan Dotson in Round 2 of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

Nevertheless, there are clearly bigger issues than the offense in Arrowhead. Heading into Week 10 of the season, they’ve allowed the fifth-most points in the NFL and a touchdown on 5.3% of passing plays. What if I told you there’s a cornerback in college football that’s never allowed a touchdown in his entire career? Welcome to Kansas City, Ahmad Gardner.

19) Atlanta Falcons: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

Whether it’s been in the NFL Draft or free agency, it feels like the Atlanta Falcons have been trying to find a high-level pass rusher for years. Vic Beasley Jr., Takkarist McKinley, and most recently Dante Fowler Jr., have all come on board and failed to fulfill the faith that the Falcons’ organization has thrust upon them.

As a result, they head to the well of edge rushers once again, dropping down their bucket and hoping to bring back up a franchise-changing player. In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they might have found him. South Carolina’s Kingsley Enagbare has the size to play on the defensive line but has the athleticism to play as a 3-4 OLB. Enagbare can set the edge in the ground game, rush the passer, and drop back into coverage with impressive ease.

20) New England Patriots: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The New England Patriots traded Stephon Gilmore to the Carolina Panthers and have yet to secure a long-term deal with high-flying cornerback J.C. Jackson. If Jackson leaves, and frankly even if he doesn’t, cornerback has to be a priority next spring.

In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the Patriots halt the slide of Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam. Although he has lost a little of the early-season hype, Elam’s size and length should ensure he’s a disruptive force in the NFL.

21) New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

With Michael Thomas sidelined, the New Orleans Saints starting wide receiver duo is Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith. While both are immeasurably better than I will ever be, it’s hardly a pairing to strike fear into the hearts of opposing defensive coordinators.

Chris Olave, however, has been wrecking the game plan for college DCs for the past four years at Ohio State. His track speed and impressive route running should present a dangerous downfield threat for Jameis Winston next season. That is, presuming Winston is the starter in New Orleans when the new season rolls around.

22) Pittsburgh Steelers: Sean Rhyan, OT, UCLA

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers added Dan Moore and Kendrick Green to their offensive line in the spring, they could still seek to improve in the 2022 NFL Draft. It hasn’t been the horror show that some people were forecasting before the season.

Regardless, adding a left tackle of the caliber of Sean Rhyan should ensure long-term security for whoever lines up under center. Furthermore, Rhyan’s contribution to a potent UCLA run game should have Najee Harris fantasy owners drooling in anticipation.

23) Las Vegas Raiders: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Hey, Derek Carr! Allow me to introduce you to your new best friend. Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks would be an immediate starter in Las Vegas, which is exactly what you want out of your first-round pick.

Burks can take short passes a long way with his deceptive athleticism, can put his 6’3″, 225-pound frame to phenomenal use as a physical, contested-catch conundrum, and has even ripped off big runs from the backfield. This is a first-round pick that not even the Raiders can get wrong.

24) Dallas Cowboys: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

When the Dallas Cowboys selected Micah Parsons with the 12th overall pick last year, I’m nearly 100% sure they didn’t do so with the idea of playing the dominant LB at DE. Yet, somehow, that’s what has happened this season.

Well, the addition of David Ojabo to the defense should eradicate that issue. The Michigan pass rusher is flying up draft boards faster than he’s arriving in opposing backfields this season — and that’s saying something. He’s an exciting, ascending talent that is getting better with every passing week.

25) Buffalo Bills: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Although the Buffalo Bills have several cornerbacks residing on their practice squad, if they allow Levi Wallace to hit free agency next spring, then they will lack a CB2 to line up opposite Tre’Davious White. While Trent McDuffie might lack the size of some of his CB contemporaries, he makes up for it with explosiveness, fluidity, and football instincts. Despite a dismal season for Washington, McDuffie is having a career campaign.

26) Los Angeles Chargers: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, FSU

With Linval Joseph and Christian Covington both set to hit free agency, finding a replacement defensive tackle could be Los Angeles’ first move in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. However, there isn’t a prospect at that position that I like for the Chargers here.

What I do like for the Chargers is teaming FSU defensive end Jermaine Johnson II with Joey Bosa to form a dangerous “meet me at the quarterback” duo. Johnson is versatile, rushes with speed and power, and is blessed with an armory of pass-rush moves.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

As a result of their unprecedented ability to bring back their entire Super Bowl-winning starting roster, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are likely to have some difficult decisions to make in the offseason. While running back might not seem like the highest priority, their entire RB room is out of contract.

Although he isn’t as potent as Leonard Fournette was in his LSU prime, Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller is still the best in the 2022 NFL Draft. He possesses phenomenal vision, excellent footwork, and brilliant contact balance. With blocking and passing ability, he poses a true three-down threat.

28) Detroit Lions (from LA Rams): Drake London, WR, USC

Hopefully, USC wide receiver Drake London returns to full fitness in time to test at the NFL Combine. His heart-breaking ankle injury interrupted a breathtaking season for the Trojans. At 6’5″, he makes 50/50 balls more like 80/20, posing a threat at any level of the field.

Moreover, he’s a deceptive athlete who’s just as likely to break a tackle and make 50 yards after the catch as he is to snag a 50-yard pass out of the air. London would be a valuable addition to a Lions’ WR room that is more empty than their 2021 win column.

29) Baltimore Ravens: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

If you’re reading this and you haven’t heard of Trevor Penning, go grab yourself whatever Northern Iowa film you can find and get ready to be entertained. Penning is a 6’7″, 340-pound monster whose smooth movements and flexibility belie his size. Yet, he plays the game with the power and ferocity you’d expect from a true behemoth.

With Ronnie Stanley missing significant time over the past two seasons, and Orlando Brown being traded to the Chiefs earlier this year, offensive tackle might prove to be the biggest need for Baltimore. Landing Penning in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft mitigates for a worst-case scenario with Stanley’s long-term recovery. In an ideal world, Stanley makes a full recovery, and Penning slides across to the right tackle spot, giving the Ravens the best bookends in the NFL.

30) Green Bay Packers: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

There’s a number of ways that the Green Bay Packers could go with their first-round pick in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. History teaches us, however, that no matter how much Aaron Rodgers wants it, they probably won’t take a wide receiver.

No amount of homeopathic remedies will help a Packers defense that has ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in yards per carry allowed for the past three years. Green Bay needs an enforcer from the heart of their linebacker group. They get that here with Devin Lloyd, who has racked up 226 tackles, including 40 tackles for loss. He’s impactful, instinctive, intelligent, and plays with intensity.

31) Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

The Tennessee Titans appear to be on a collision course with the Super Bowl at this moment in time. And they’ve done it without truly replacing a player who had been integral to their offense in Jonnu Smith. In snagging Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely, they get a dynamic tight end who offers excellent ball security on short passes while providing a deep threat with excellent athleticism at the position.

While the Coastal TE has gained plaudits for his productive performances as a pass catcher, it’s “likely” that his improvement as a blocker in this campaign will truly ignite his draft stock.

32) Arizona Cardinals: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

The route the Arizona Cardinals take in the 2022 NFL Draft will be very much dependent on how contract negotiations with star pass rusher Chandler Jones progress between now and March. If preseason discussions are anything to go by, the Cardinals should plan to be without the experienced outside linebacker.

With the final first-round selection of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they do just that. Drake Jackson has experience both at DE and OLB. He’s displayed insane athleticism as a rusher, often ghosting past offensive tackles before they even know that the play is in progress. His length also offers disruption in passing lanes as a coverage linebacker.

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