Eventually, we’re all getting taken over by the machine. Hopefully, that means we get to live our lives with ease and comfort, like allowing the PFN Mock Draft Simulator to make our 2022 NFL Mock Draft selections. Yet, every movie ever made about artificial intelligence warns us of the chaos it could, and probably will, bring. So, what chaos is bestowed upon us when we allow the machine to make the picks for us in the 2022 NFL Draft? Let’s find out!
2022 NFL Mock Draft | 1-16
Who do the Texans pin their hopes on with the No. 1 overall pick?
1. Houston Texans: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
The Houston Texans aren’t in a position to win any time soon. Depending on what happens surrounding franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, their best course of action would be to trade him and try to rebuild from the ground up. That would include the quarterback position, and Sam Howell has the physical tools to build around.
2. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
Speaking of physical ability, Spencer Rattler has it in spades. Jared Goff isn’t necessarily a bad quarterback; he’s simply limited. The Lions get their future in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Rattler possesses the athleticism and arm talent necessary in the modern game. His improvement from early in 2020 to the end of the season was terrific. If he continues that upward trajectory, he should finish as the top quarterback in the class.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
In a draft pool filled to the brim with outstanding defensive talent, there’s a chance Kayvon Thibodeaux is at the top of the food chain. It’s too early to tell if he’ll grade out as high as Chase Young did in the eyes of scouts, but he has the potential. Thibodeaux has the perfect frame for a modern rusher, and he’s far more powerful than one would expect with his lighter build.
4. New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Derek Stingley Jr. could have been the top defensive player drafted had he been eligible for the NFL Draft after his freshman season. In terms of ball skills, it really doesn’t get better than Stingley. His ability to elevate and finish plays at the catch point would “wow” as a receiver. He’s the perfect size for the position as well. The Jets’ cornerback room might be the worst in the NFL, so nabbing Stingley in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft is massive.
5. Cincinnati Bengals: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Larger than life would be one way to describe Evan Neal. It’s impossible to look past his size, both metaphorically and literally. At 6’7″ and 360 pounds, Neal is a mountain in disguise. He has an outstanding balance of strength and athletic ability, particularly given his stature. But his biggest plus for the Bengals is his positional flexibility, as he’s played both tackle and guard at Alabama.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
The Eagles have no linebacker talent. That’s evident with just a quick glance at their depth chart. Taking a linebacker with the sixth pick is quite the statement, as the position has been devalued over the past few years. Christian Harris is the type of athlete an all-around linebacker needs to be. The Eagles need help at the position, and the MDS gives it to them in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
7. New York Giants: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Garrett Wilson‘s leaping ability is unbelievable. His catch in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl is proof of that. His potential is projected higher than teammate Chris Olave, given his superior athleticism. However, the Giants are currently flush with receiving talent, so I’m not sure the simulator got this one right.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Although he goes with the eighth pick in this mock draft, Kyle Hamilton could be the best defensive player in the country. His size and length are perfect in the secondary, and he possesses the range and downhill ability to line up anywhere on the field and dominate. If the Falcons go in this direction, it will give them two rangy safeties in Hamilton and Richie Grant, providing versatility in their defensive schematics.
9. Carolina Panthers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave may not have the speed of his Ohio State brethren Terry McLaurin, but he’s incredibly smooth in and out of his routes. This allows him to separate at will against his competition.
The Panthers have D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson heading into 2022, but there is no such thing as having too many weapons. Also, considering the NFL spends most of its time with three receivers on the field, why not have three good ones? This 2022 NFL Mock Draft gives them that.
10. New York Giants: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Drake Jackson feels like the ideal fit in the Giants’ odd front as a standup outside linebacker. Pairing him and 2021 second-round pick Azeez Ojulari would be the ideal 1-2 punch outside as Leonard Williams wreaks havoc on the interior. We already know Dave Gettleman loves the trenches.
11. Denver Broncos: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
After the loss of Ja’Wuan James, it appears the only real need (outside of possibly quarterback) on this football team is at the right tackle spot. The rest of the roster appears set, so they secure the edge opposite of Garett Bolles. Despite probably needing to add a bit more mass, Charles Cross is powerful enough to handle the abuse. His athleticism is his calling card, and it’s one the league will bet on.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
It’s been a few seasons, but the 2022 NFL Draft appears to have their killer on the interior. The Raiders certainly could use it. Las Vegas was fifth-worst in the league in 2020 against the run. Despite being 290 pounds, DeMarvin Leal has the explosiveness of many defensive ends. He’s played up and down the defensive line and would look great in black and silver.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
The Cardinals have a cornerback group that challenges the Jets for the worst in the NFL. Robert Alford and Malcolm Butler will not get the job done against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, nor will they stack up to what San Francisco or the Rams trot out. Kaiir Elam isn’t just one of the best cornerbacks in this class; he may actually challenge Stingley for the first one drafted.
14. Los Angeles Chargers (from Washington): Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
The Chargers throw more assets at the protection of their rising star quarterback, Justin Herbert. They added Oday Aboushi, Corey Linsley, and Matt Feiler in the offseason, but they could still use youth on the interior. This could also be another spot one of the top cornerbacks go, but offensive consistency is the name of the game in the NFL, and Kenyon Green helps the Chargers achieve that.
15. Minnesota Vikings: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Aside from Danielle Hunter, the Vikings don’t have a viable pass rush option on the roster unless they strike gold in one of the two rookie pass rushers they drafted. It certainly shouldn’t stop them from drafting George Karlaftis, who is the perfect power complement to Hunter’s unbelievable athleticism.
16. Washington (from Los Angeles Chargers): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Malik Willis is one of the most talked-about quarterback prospects in the class, and the opinions surrounding him are all over the place. One inarguable thing is Washington’s need for their quarterback of the future. Willis is athletic with a rubbery release, but he must improve his decision-making before hitting the big leagues.