2022 NFL Mock Draft: Elite defensive talent litters the top 10

2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

Who rounds out the final half of Day 1 in our 2022 NFL Mock Draft?

17. New England Patriots: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

Cowboys fans now must be talked off the cliff. Three safeties before pick 19? The reality is, that probably doesn’t happen. Moreover, Jordan Battle is far from a sure-fire first-rounder. The thing is, Battle is an Alabama safety. He possesses excellent size for the position. He’s not just a box safety, though. That’s not something that really happens in the Alabama defensive scheme.

No, Battle is a twitched-up athlete with the ability to transition in coverage fluidly. He needs to be a more consistent processor and clean up some of his tackling issues. Nevertheless, the clay is there to mold. Add in the Bill Belichick and Nick Saban relationship, and we could have a perfect marriage on our hands.

18. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

The Aggies are neck and neck with Alabama right now. They tie this 2022 NFL Mock Draft arms race with their third prospect off the board. Jalen Wydermyer has been a household name since his impressive freshman season. He possessed an NFL-ready frame by the time he first stepped foot on a college field.

Jared Cook is a fine one-year Band-aid at the position, but the Chargers need stability there for Justin Herbert moving forward. Wydermyer is a true in-line tight end who can do it all. He’ll also be a solid seam weapon and should dominate intermediate third-down attempts. Additionally, his frame allows him to be a strong weapon in the red zone, boxing out defenders to make catches.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

It’s never a bad idea to draft an Ohio State defensive end. Zach Harrison hasn’t exploded the way the Bosa brothers or Chase Young did early in their collegiate careers, but he has all the tools to do so. The former five-star has an ideal frame, length, explosiveness, and strength to be an all-around player at the position.

The Cowboys have Demarcus Lawrence on their left side, but outside of Randy Gregory, there are a bunch of unknowns at the position. Maybe Micah Parsons fills the role of a designated pass rusher as a rookie, but there’s no such thing as too many pass rushers.

20. Philadelphia Eagles: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

That’s two straight Buckeyes off the board. Garrett Wilson is already a monster outside for Ohio State, and there is still room for improvement in his game. As the sport moves toward smaller and more agile receivers, Wilson stands to fit that exact mold. His frame is similar to CeeDee Lamb’s and Jerry Jeudy’s, except he’s an even more explosive athlete.

A trio of Jalen Reagor, DeVonta Smith, and Wilson has terrifying potential for their new quarterback. If Wilson takes a page from teammate Chris Olave and his abilities as a route runner, his stock could rocket up to the top 10.

21. Tennessee Titans: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Listen, any cornerback with the nickname “Sauce” is an automatic first-rounder until the evaluation matters and they declare for the draft. The Titans’ cornerback room consists of an over-the-hill Janoris Jenkins and an injury-scary Caleb Farley. They need all the help they can get back there.

Ahmad Gardner has solid length and movement skills for the position. His explosiveness is his calling card. If he develops into a well-rounded defensive back, his pairing with Farley would be imposing, given their collective size and ability.

22. Indianapolis Colts: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz likes throwing to big, physical targets. What a perfect world it would be for the Colts to bring Treylon Burks into the fold. He’s built like an old-school possession receiver, but his ability to go up and snatch the ball in adverse conditions makes him such an overwhelming threat.

That’s not all he can do, though; he’s not simply a contested-catch artist. Burks definitely needs seasoning as a route runner, but his work after the catch is impressive. He’s elusive with the ball in his hands when he can be proactive after a cut. If he hones in on his feet in the offseason, he could be an impressive overall prospect in the draft class.

23. New York Jets: Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State

There must be a monopoly on cornerbacks in the league because some teams just don’t seem to have much going for them in that area. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jets double up at the position in Round 1 of 2022 NFL mock drafts. Unfortunately, their situation appears that dire.

Sevyn Banks should be a stellar scheme fit in Robert Saleh’s defense due to his Seattle lineage. Banks comes from a heavy-Cover 3 team in Ohio State. Although Saleh mixes his coverages, Banks has the size and ability against the run the new HC enjoys. Ohio State has been a pipeline for high-end cornerback talent. It shouldn’t be surprising if Banks ends up going even higher than this come April.

24. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Chris Olave isn’t all that different from a former Ohio State receiver that already plays for the Saints. He’s not the same size as Michael Thomas, but Olave is a route-savvy receiver who lacks elite athleticism. That doesn’t mean he’s a poor athlete or that he’ll end up being called “out boy” or anything like that. What he will do is consistently separate from defenders.

The Saints need help on the outside. Other than Thomas, the receiving corps looks like a barren wasteland. Olave’s addition brings in a much-needed complement to Thomas.

25. Cleveland Browns: Kingsley Enagbare, DE, South Carolina

Enagbare has the frame and athleticism to become a powerhouse at the position. At 265 pounds, he owns better size and explosion than most pass rushers that are smaller than him.

He has the physical ability to close the gap between him and Thibodeaux, but he needs a lot of technical seasoning before we can proclaim him a top pass rusher. He possesses flexibility and bend rarely seen in a player his size. That is why he lands in Round 1 of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, despite his technical deficiencies.

26. Miami Dolphins: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

With this pick, the Aggies have officially out-Alabama’d Alabama. That makes four first-round picks for Texas A&M. The Dolphins don’t have what I’d call a “feature back” at this time. There aren’t many bigger Myles Gaskin fans than I. Nonetheless, his best use would be as a complementary back.

Isaiah Spiller can do everything as a back. He’s elusive, owns great contact balance, and provides upside as a receiver. At 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, Spiller is what many consider to be the ideal size for a professional runner. Moreover, he provides excellent effort as a blocker in pass protection.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Charles Cross is already an outstanding pass protector for the position. He possesses a lean and athletic frame but enough sand in his pants to anchor against power. He’s a violent blocker who loves to finish plays by vigorously placing defenders on the turf. He still has room to gain weight and strength, which would result in a terrifying prospect.

The Ravens traded Orlando Brown to the Kansas City Chiefs, so they’ll need a replacement on the right side. Alejandro Villanueva won’t be enough to get the job done and shouldn’t be viewed as an option past this season.

28. Detroit Lions: John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

It’s difficult to stand out playing alongside DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, but John Metchie somehow did. He has a more ideal size than either of his Alabama teammates. The Lions need multiple names at the position if they want to be anything more than the worst unit in the league, and Metchie is a great start. The cupboard is bare for the Lions in 2021.

Metchie is an excellent combination of pure speed and route-running ability. Holmon Wiggins might be a wizard because he’s worked magic with these Alabama receivers since 2018. Their ability to develop as route runners has been a massive plus in their scouting reports. Even Henry Ruggs improved steadily there from his sophomore to junior campaign. Metchie is already a solid route runner, but he has the potential to be a considerable danger to cornerbacks in man coverage in 2021.

29. Green Bay Packers: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The Packers don’t have much in regards to their linebacking corps. Although the position has been devalued over the years, it’s still important to have athletic tacklers in the middle. However, they now must be able to cover.

Lloyd can do a bit of everything on the inside. He owns adequate explosion and an ability to chase down tackles outside of the box. His agility is also a plus, as he’s able to change direction reactively against runners and in coverage.

30. Buffalo Bills: Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

The Buffalo Bills could probably use a cornerback to complement Tre’Davious White, but the board is a bit depleted in that area. Bubba Bolden has impressive size for the safety position. He’s not as remarkable in coverage as we’d like to see at this point, but he uses his significant length well as a tackler.

The Bills currently have Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, but both are over 30. It’s only a matter of time before their talent begins to diminish. Bolden could use a pinch of seasoning, and this could be his opportunity to ease into the NFL level.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

Perrion Winfrey is an outstanding specimen. Pairing his athletic ability alongside Vita Vea’s metahuman strength could be a devastating combination for the Buccaneers as they potentially come off back-to-back Super Bowl victories.

Winfrey is a twitchy interior defender who surprises offensive linemen when he can shoot gaps. As a penetrating 3-technique, he could affect the pocket with devastating results. Winfrey needs to improve technically, but the tools are there for success.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

It’s good to see Justyn Ross come back to play in 2021. It’s unclear what things will look like for the once-medically-retired receiver. Yet, this big-play weapon comes back to a quarterback that could still be the best in the country. As long as his medical status is green, Ross should be a possible first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs take a receiver in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft because outside of Tyreek Hill, they don’t really have a high-end secondary option at receiver. Demarcus Robinson was solid in spurts, but it’s unknown what sort of impact he’ll have as a full-time player.

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