2022 First Round NFL Mock Draft: Matt Corral, Sam Howell, Kenny Pickett selected in Round 1

The 2022 NFL Mock Draft season is fully upon us as three quarterbacks get drafted in the first round of this mock draft simulation.

The holiday season brings with it #MockDraftSzn. As the college football calendar comes to a close, the 2022 NFL Draft is firmly on the horizon. We took the Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator for another ride on the 2022 NFL Mock Draft train. Here are the results.

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2022 NFL Mock Draft | 1-16

With an uncertain 2022 QB class, we see the simulator rounding out rosters with other game-changing positions. How does the top half of the first round shake out?

1) Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Aidan Hutchinson supplants Kayvon Thibodeaux as the No. 1 overall pick to the Detroit Lions. Hutchinson’s rapid ascension to the top of the college football world will see him in New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist on Saturday. And this 2022 NFL Mock Draft places him at No. 1 overall. He wins with power, speed, and terrific instincts. Hutchinson and Thibodeaux are set to duel all offseason until April for this No. 1 spot.

2) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

A new landing spot for Kayvon Thibodeaux after he’s been penciled into the No. 1 spot all season long it seems. Thibodeaux is everything you’d want your franchise to select in an edge rusher and a terrific man off the field to boot. He will transform the entire defensive line and culture of the team he’s drafted on immediately.

3) Houston Texans: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Andrew Booth Jr. becomes CB1 in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The Houston Texans are free to draft the best player available or the top player on their board as their draft needs are immense. In Booth, they get a player with an incredibly high ceiling as he’s just started to realize his full potential. Booth has great ball skills and can play in various coverage schemes.

4) New York Jets: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

It’s not whether George Karlaftis gets to the opposing quarterback — it’s how fast he gets there that is in question. Karlaftis is a power rusher with a growing arsenal of pass-rush moves. The run on edge defenders in the top four picks forces the New York Jets’ hand to grab him here as they have the luxury of back-to-back picks.

5) New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

With their second pick in as many selections, the Jets take the player largely seen as the safest defensive back in the draft. Kyle Hamilton suffered an injury this season, but that shouldn’t frighten away NFL teams — he was prepared to play down the backstretch of the season for Notre Dame.

Hamilton’s range is elite and his ball skills are too. He’ll improve the Jets’ secondary immediately.

6) New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

With back-to-back selections like their neighboring Jets, the New York Giants go offense rather than defense with their selections. Evan Neal is a monster of a man who has even nimbler feet. He helps protect Daniel Jones (or whoever is quarterback) for the next decade or so. Neal sets up the Giants to draft a skill player with their next selection.

7) New York Giants: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

And they do go with a skill player. The Giants grab Garrett Wilson from Ohio State, making him WR1 in this mock draft. Wilson has elite skills at nearly every facet for a wide receiver. He can high-point footballs over any defender and run past even the speediest player. We’ll get to him eventually, but there was a reason such a skilled player like Jameson Williams transferred away from Ohio State. That reason was Wilson.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The second cornerback selected, Kaiir Elam heads just a bit north to the Atlanta Falcons here. Elam comes with elite ball skills and greasy hips. He’ll stick with receivers in man coverage while possessing great instincts in zone. Elam has shown the ability to pass off his receivers and jump on routes that aren’t even in his coverage area. He’s that talented.

9) Carolina Panthers: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Carolina Panthers finally make Derek Stingley Jr. an NFL cornerback. He comes with question marks, but one question mark is certainly not his ability when he’s on his game. Stingley hardly realized the full potential he put on display back in 2019, but then again, no one on LSU really did after that fabulous National Championship-winning season. If he proves to be healthy, Stingley is a lockdown cornerback in every sense of the word.

10) Minnesota Vikings: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

As unattractive as it may be, the Minnesota Vikings need help on an aging defensive line. DeMarvin Leal comes with versatility and raw power you cannot coach. Leal can win easily in the pass-rush game while also producing a strong impact against the run. Minnesota’s coaching staff will have the luxury of lining him up all across the defensive line.

11) New Orleans Saints: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

The first quarterback taken heads to the NFC South as Matt Corral becomes the future face of the New Orleans Saints. Corral, like many quarterbacks, comes with questions, but the raw talent is immense.

Corral’s arm strength is elite, and his off-platform throwing angles are jaw-dropping. He’s also a terrific athlete who can buy time in the pocket. Corral will have to prove his success wasn’t system-dependent, but if there’s one coach who can maximize his skill set, it’s Sean Payton.

12) Philadelphia Eagles: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

Like their NFC East counterparts, the Philadelphia Eagles have back-to-back picks. However, unlike the Giants, Philadelphia goes back-to-back defensive players with their first two first-round picks. Daxton Hill upgrades their free safety position as he’s a downhill run thumper and a great coverage defender.

13) Philadelphia Eagles: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Nakobe Dean heads to Philadelphia with their second pick in as many selections. He joins Hill as potentially undersized defenders who make up for that small discrepancy with strength and movement ability. Dean is as strong as an ox but moves around with fluidity rarely seen. His instincts are off the charts, but Philadelphia isn’t done adding defenders in the first round of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

14) Denver Broncos: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The Denver Broncos add a talented offensive tackle with their first-round selection as Charles Cross heads north. Cross is a terrific pass protector and will have to showcase he can run block on the regular after hailing from the Mike Leach system in Starkville. Still, he has great instincts and even better hands. Cross is nimble on his feet and is hungry for defenders to block.

15) Kansas City Chiefs: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Trade: The Chiefs send picks Nos. 26, 57, and a 2023 seventh-round selection to Las Vegas for the Raiders pick No. 15 in the 2022 NFL Draft

The Kansas City Chiefs make the first trade of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. They move up to grab Alabama’s Jameson Williams after the speedster has showcased immense growth in 2021. In his first year as a starter at Alabama, all Williams did was finish as a Biletnikoff Award finalist and among the nation’s leaders in every receiving category.

16) Cleveland Browns: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The massive Jordan Davis heads to the Cleveland Browns after dominating college football in 2021. Davis stands at 6’6″, 330 pounds but moves around like a linebacker. He’ll upgrade an already feared defensive line to elite levels in no time.

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