2022 NFL Mock Draft: Evan Neal, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Kyle Hamilton rise to the top

With the end of the NFL regular season and the finale of the college campaign, it's officially 2022 NFL Mock Draft season!

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2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

How does the back half of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft round out? Let’s take a look at the final 16 selections.

17) Los Angeles Chargers: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

In previous 2022 NFL Mock Drafts, I’ve given the Los Angeles Chargers an edge defender to play opposite Joey Bosa. They’ve also selected a defensive tackle with an eye toward potential free-agency departures. How about a player that combines both positions?

Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal is a versatile defensive lineman who is equally adept at wreaking havoc off the edge or from the interior. A highly-rated prospect, he would be a steal with the 17th pick.

18) New Orleans Saints: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Jameson Williams would give the New Orleans Saints an automatic upgrade at the WR position in the 2022 NFL Draft. He also meets an established size requisite that the Saints look for in a pass catcher.

The Alabama WR can be the deep threat for Jameis Winston’s strong arm. Additionally, he can transform short passes into long gains with his YAC ability. The only question is how he rebounds from the injury he suffered in the national championship.

19) Philadelphia Eagles: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

With two defensive selections in Round 1 of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, it’s time to put faith in Hurts and give him some additional weaponry. Jalen Reagor isn’t it, and DeVonta Smith can’t do it alone. So let’s pair Smith with Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks.

A versatile threat whose 6’3″, 225-pound stature makes him a physical boundary threat, Burks possesses deceptive athleticism as a multi-use offensive weapon and YAC threat.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Come in No. 7, your time is up. With Ben Roethlisberger set to depart Pittsburgh at the end of the season, the Steelers strike for a successor in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. They don’t have to look too far from home as they land University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.

The Heisman Trophy finalist has arguably been the most solid and consistent prospect at the position. Arm talent, mobility, intelligence, and leadership make him a perfect candidate to step into Big Ben’s shoes for the Steelers.

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

With Stephon Gilmore gone and J.C. Jackson on an expiring contract, cornerback overshadows wide receiver as the primary need for the New England Patriots in April. After reportedly toying with the idea of returning to school, Kaiir Elam declared in the last week.

Elam’s battled injury this season, but on his day, he’s one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. Elam possesses NFL size, incredible athleticism, and makes plays on the ball with the best of them.

22) Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

Despite the Miami Dolphins embarking on a winning season, Brian Flores paid for some inept offensive performances with his job. Although the fan base is split on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, it’s clear offensive improvement begins up front.

There isn’t just one issue, but improving at the pivot with the selection of Tyler Linderbaum is a good way to start. A slender but strong offensive lineman, Linderbaum’s technical ability belies his relative inexperience at the position. He instantly upgrades the offensive line in Miami.

23) Las Vegas Raiders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Hunter Renfrow is clearly the greatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL — I don’t think there’s any argument there. However, the Las Vegas Raiders need a field-stretching threat to enhance their offense.

Chris Olave is a former track star who makes breezing past defenses look effortless. The Ohio State receiver also showcases the excellent intelligence, body control, and ball skills required to be a dangerous threat for the Raiders’ offense.

24) Arizona Cardinals: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

The Arizona Cardinals are a prime contender to land one of the class’ top cornerbacks. However, with the best in the class already gone in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they turn their attention to another area of need.

With Chandler Jones’ contract situation still unresolved, and J.J. Watt in the twilight of his career, they add ascending edge defender Jermaine Johnson II. A strong, athletic, and versatile prospect, Johnson has parlayed a transfer to FSU into a potential first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

25) Cincinnati Bengals: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

After an incredible season for Ja’Marr Chase, I think we can all agree that the Cincinnati Bengals made the right call in the first round last year. However, despite improvement on their offensive line, the front five is still a big area of need this time around.

How about filling a big need with a BIG offensive tackle? Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning stands at 6’7″, 340 pounds, and possesses punishing strength and technical ability at the position.

26) Buffalo Bills: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

Derion Kendrick could have been a first-round selection out of Clemson last year. He opted to return to school, but some off-field issues that saw him transfer out of the program threatened to derail his stock. Nevertheless, he’s been sensational for Georgia on their run to their first national title since 1980.

Aggressive in run support, the former wide receiver demonstrates impressive ball skills. Kendrick’s a first-round talent, and the Buffalo Bills land a playmaker to slide in opposite Tre’Davious White.

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

Are the Detroit Lions set at quarterback? No. Do they need to entertain the position in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft? Also, no. But do they need to add offensive playmakers? Absolutely.

In USC wide receiver Drake London, the Lions land one of my favorite players in the entire class. A 6’5″ stud who removes “contested” from the phrase “contested catch,” London is a Frankenstein-like player with the playmaking ability of a smaller WR.

28) Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Picture this: 6’6″, 340-pound behemoth Jordan Davis eating up double teams at the heart of the Dallas defensive line. What’s this? Oh, it’s Micah Parsons rocketing through the created space to spear the opposing quarterback or blow up a run play.

Davis has been an absolute force at the heart of the Georgia line this year. He’s showcased impressive development as a playmaker in addition to the role he plays in creating space for his teammates.

29) Kansas City Chiefs: Travon Walker, DT, Georgia

Cornerback and wide receiver are the two biggest needs for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2022 NFL Draft. Yet, with deep classes at both positions, they can address those spots in later rounds.

Georgia’s Travon Walker gives them an insane athlete who could comfortably play defensive tackle or edge in the NFL. He’s long, strong, and comes with a toolbox full of pass-rush moves. He’s going to be a nightmare to game plan against at the next level.

30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could go any number of ways in April. After returning their entire Super Bowl starting lineup this year, they have a multitude of potential free-agency losses. One area where they’ve struggled this season, however, is at the cornerback spot.

Following a superb season that included a sensational performance against Alabama, Roger McCreary is shooting up draft boards. He brings his speedy, physical brand of football to Tampa Bay in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

31) Tennessee Titans: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Although it might not be considered a pressing need, both Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown are potential free agents at the end of the season. If either departs (and even if they don’t, in all honesty), landing Nakobe Dean in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft is a great move. An intelligent linebacker who can get after the passer and make exceptional plays against the run, Dean would be a steal at the back end of Round 1.

32) Green Bay Packers: David Bell, WR, Purdue

Purdue pass catcher David Bell combines impressive speed, ludicrous body control, and a determined physicality to be a difference-maker at the wide receiver position. He’s a three-level threat who routinely adds yardage after the catch. It would be quite something if, after years of campaigning for the Green Bay Packers to draft a wide receiver, they did so after Aaron Rodgers has walked out of Lambeau Field for the final time.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.

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