2022 NFL Mock Draft | 17-32
We know excellent players slip through the cracks of the top picks every year. Who are those high-upside prospects in this iteration?
17) Philadelphia Eagles: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
With their third pick in the top 17 selections thanks to the Carson Wentz trade, Philadelphia grabs their third defensive player. David Ojabo has seen a rise similar to his teammate in Aidan Hutchinson. Ojabo, though, has his own pass-rush moves with which he wins. With a fabulous spin move and get-off at the line of scrimmage, Ojabo routinely finds himself to the quarterback at the top of his dropback. Philly gets a raw, motivated, and incredibly fast pass rusher to go with Daxton Hill and Nakobe Dean as they address all three levels of the defense.
18) Pittsburgh Steelers: Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State
If 2021 showcased anything, it was the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers need help on the offensive line. The new-age Steel Curtain, if you will, was a strong offensive line that paved the way in the run game and kept Big Ben Roethlisberger clean from pressure. That was not the case in 2021, but Ikem Ekwonu comes with positional versatility to play anywhere on Pittsburgh’s offensive line. Ekwonu is strong just as he is fast. He has great hands and projects inside at either guard position in the NFL.
19) Miami Dolphins: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The term generational talent sure is thrown out too often nowadays. However, Tyler Linderbaum is certainly worthy of discussions around the colloquial notion. Linderbaum is undoubtedly the best center in college football and likely even the best interior offensive line prospect in the draft. He bolsters the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line and gives them a stalwart center for the next decade-plus.
20) Washington Football Team: Drake London, WR, USC
The Washington Football Team grabs the 2022 NFL Draft’s top contested-catch receiver in Drake London at No. 20. WFT needs help at a few positions on offense, but with no quarterback on their board, they grab London. Despite an injury that sidelined him for the year in Week 9, London still led the Pac-12 in receiving yards in 2021. He has incredible athleticism stemming from playing two sports at USC and can high point the football against any defender.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Kenyon Green, G/C, Texas A&M
An extremely versatile lineman, Kenyon Green heads to the Cincinnati Bengals to help protect Joe Burrow. Green should be able to lock down either guard position or slide to center as the Bengals grab a proverbial chess piece to move around their line. He has great hand usage and even better strength at the point of attack. Green is a mauler and fits right in with The Jungle.
22) Los Angeles Chargers: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
The first running back off the board slides to No. 22 as the Los Angeles Chargers grab Kenneth Walker III. Walker exploded onto the national scene with the Spartans this season, setting Michigan State records in the process. He’s terrific with the football in his hands but didn’t show a ton of receiving prowess in the MSU offense. This move frees up the Chargers to utilize a two-RB system with Austin Ekeler hauling in passes out of the backfield and Walker as the bell cow.
23) Buffalo Bills: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Everything you’d want in a defensive tackle is wrapped up in Perrion Winfrey. A big man with great strength, Winfrey also moves up and down the field with ease. He’s got a tremendous work ethic and even better pass-rush skills. Winfrey wins with a bevy of moves and possesses strength throughout his frame.
24) Detroit Lions: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave doesn’t just do one thing well, he does everything with elite precision. A skilled route runner and even better catcher, Olave heads to the Lions with their second draft pick. Detroit dips back into the Big Ten pool after grabbing Aidan Hutchinson with the first overall pick. Olave is a terrific addition and projects as a No. 1 receiver in Motown.
25) Dallas Cowboys: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
A lockdown cornerback in every sense, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was recently named the PFN Player of the Year. Rarely targeted due to his coverage skills, Gardner truly locked down an entire side of the field for Cincinnati in 2021. He has great ball skills and speed, as well as an innate ability to find the football even if it hasn’t been thrown into his coverage.
26) Las Vegas Raiders: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Trade: The Raiders received pick Nos. 26, 57, and a 2023 seventh-round selection from Kansas City for Las Vegas’ pick No. 15 in the 2022 NFL Draft
The Raiders move back in the draft from No. 15 and still get their guy. While the Chiefs grabbed a wide receiver with their haul, the Raiders grab Treylon Burks to bolster their receiving corps that needs help. Burks may have a limited route tree, but the Raiders lack a true deep threat at this point. While he hones his craft, Burks can more than rely on his skills as a pass catcher and his straight-line speed as he adds routes to his tree.
27) Baltimore Ravens: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Arguably the top senior offensive tackle prospect in the draft heads to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 27. Trevor Penning is a terrific pass protector but an even better run blocker. His fit with the Ravens is perfect — he’ll routinely take two defenders out of the play, one at the first level and another at the second.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
A bit of a surprise in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers halt the quarterback slide and draw the interest of other teams in quarterbacks in the process. Grabbing Sam Howell signifies their lack of confidence in Kyle Trask as the heir apparent (or showcases that Howell’s raw ability is too much to pass up). Howell didn’t quite elevate his game in 2021, but his elite arm strength and accuracy are worth the gamble. Learning under Tom Brady for the next few years also helps.
29) Tennessee Titans: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
The Tennessee Titans hit the quarterback market after the Bucs draw everyone’s interest in grabbing their man. The demand for quarterbacks won’t be as high in this draft class due to the lack of strength at the position, but Kenny Pickett is the exception. While other quarterbacks faltered in 2021, Pickett did not. He rapidly ascended the college quarterback ranks and showcased a raw ability that you cannot coach. His accuracy is never in question, nor are his throwing mechanics. Pickett’s hand size measurements will be the talk of the draft circuit this season.
30) Green Bay Packers: Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
Talk about utilizing the transfer portal to its fullest potential. Jermaine Johnson II transferred to Florida State from Georgia and quickly became a nationally known stud. He won the ACC Player of the Year from us at PFN, and he commands attention from the Green Bay Packers in this mock draft. Johnson is quick, strong, smart, and savvy as a pass rusher. He’ll also stuff you in the run game. He can rush as a down lineman or stand up and rush the passer all the same.
31) Minnesota Vikings: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Trade: The Vikings send Nos. 41 and 72 to the New England Patriots for No. 31 in the 2022 NFL Draft
The Minnesota Vikings get back into the first round by trading two Day 2 picks to the Patriots. They shore up their secondary with the selection of Jaquan Brisker out of Penn State. Brisker is a talented cover man with great instincts. He also possesses sharp tackling skills and can roam about the defense with ease.
32) Arizona Cardinals: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
The final pick of the 2022 NFL Mock Draft is yet another edge defender. Kingsley Enagbare heads to the Arizona Cardinals after quietly racking up sack after hit, knockdown after pressure for South Carolina this season. He wins with a bevy of different pass-rush moves and comes with large upside due to his athleticism.
2022 NFL Mock Draft | Teams without a Day 1 pick
Several teams do not have a first-round pick. As such, here’s who the PFN Mock Draft Simulator selected for each of those teams’ first picks of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Chicago Bears: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama (Pick No. 37)
Indianapolis Colts: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State (Pick No. 49)
Los Angeles Rams: Brian Asamoah II, LB, Oklahoma (Pick No. 100)
New England Patriots: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M (Pick No. 41, trade from Minnesota)
San Francisco 49ers: Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma (Pick No. 52)
Seattle Seahawks: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (Pick No. 38)