2022 NFL Mock Draft | 17-32
Only one quarterback was taken in the first half of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, but will that change on the back end?
17) Cincinnati Bengals: DeMarvin Leal, IDL, Texas A&M
DeMarvin Leal came into the season as the top interior defensive lineman, but things are changing quickly with Jordan Davis emerging. Leal still could be a top-10 pick, but he falls to Cincinnati in this mock draft.
Bengals fans would salivate if Leal were still on the board at No. 17, and he’d be a Day 1 starter for Cincinnati’s defense. Leal’s versatility gives any defensive coordinator the ability to move him around throughout the game. He’s a beast on the inside, but he can also slide out to the edge and compete with anyone.
18) New Orleans Saints: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
It’s clear the Saints miss Drew Brees. Look, the Jameis Winston experiment is fun and all, but it won’t last. New Orleans needs to look to the future sooner rather than later, and drafting a quarterback does just that.
Sam Howell’s Tar Heels aren’t having the season they anticipated, and that’s been a big reason for his slide as a prospect. Fortunately, he’s still a great player, and the Saints would love if he fell this far. His arm will draw attention from many teams, and he fits Sean Payton’s offense.
19) Tennessee Titans: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
There aren’t many first-round offensive tackles available in this year’s draft, so teams should be quick to snatch one up. Nicholas Petit-Frere went from second-best tackle on his team to best quickly, and his work in the 2021 season has launched him into the first round here. Anyone that can open holes for Derrick Henry and keep Ryan Tannehill upright will be a great pick for the Titans.
20) Denver Broncos: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
Even though Teddy Bridgewater elevates the floor for Denver’s quarterback play, they still need to find their franchise player. Bridgewater surprised everyone in the NFL by winning the starting job, and it effectively wiped out any confidence Broncos fans had in Drew Lock.
Carson Strong isn’t completing passes at the blistering pace he did in 2020, but he’s still on track to put up career highs in nearly every category. All I need Broncos fans to picture is Strong throwing to Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Courtland Sutton — what a sight that would be.
21) Carolina Panthers: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Matt Corral‘s volatility has tamed quite a bit since last year, and he remains in the QB1 discussion thanks to a potential Heisman run. Carolina needs to find its quarterback of the future, and adding Corral to the roster would give them the passing threat they need. He’s also an underrated runner who gives the Panthers another dynamic to their offense.
22) New York Giants: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Myjai Sanders continues to dominate for Cincinnati, but he’s not getting the recognition. With Thibodeaux, Karlaftis, and Jackson stealing the spotlight, this will be an extremely underrated pick. Sanders was named to Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks” list, and it’s easy to see why when you watch the film. He’s explosive off at the snap, and he’s made a major impact in every game so far.
23) Cleveland Browns: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
All Tyler Linderbaum has done with his preseason All-American honors is ensure it will happen in the postseason. Any defensive lineman that’s lined up against Iowa’s center has definitely needed an extra rest day or two — he’s been driving them into the ground nearly every play.
What’s one way to ensure Baker Mayfield stays upright? Give him a center who plays with a nasty streak. Iowa’s produced a number of exciting offensive linemen over the last couple years, and Linderbaum has the potential to be the best.
24) Detroit Lions: David Bell, WR, Purdue
I will continue letting the Lions draft a wide receiver in the first round because I’m seeing why they liked doing it in the past. David Bell just torched Iowa for 240 yards and a touchdown last week, making PFN’s College Football Players of the Week, and he’s a name that will rise on many draft boards.
Bell’s been stuck with below-average quarterback play, but the more difficult part is that he hasn’t had much help elsewhere. Even when current Arizona Cardinals receiver Rondale Moore was on campus, he was injured often enough that Bell consistently faced double-teams. Imagine what he’ll do at the next level when he has a decent quarterback throwing him the ball.
25) Las Vegas Raiders: Perrion Winfrey, IDL, Oklahoma
Perrion Winfrey’s quickly establishing himself as one of the best interior defenders in the country, and he feels like a great fit for the Raiders. His presence has been a big factor in the revival of Oklahoma’s defense, and he’ll be a force on the inside for his future team as well. There’s plenty of power in his frame to compete in the NFL, and it will be interesting to see how he transitions to the next level.
26) Buffalo Bills: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Elite cornerbacks are tough to come by in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, but there are also some sleepers. Trent McDuffie has first-round potential, and he’s been playing at a high level for a while now. Washington’s defense continues to be the strength of the team, and a strong secondary continues keeping the Huskies in games.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ikem Ekwonu, IOL, NC State
There aren’t many analysts who don’t have Ikem Ekwonu in the first round. We knew that he’d be elite as a run blocker thanks to the nasty attitude he brings to that aspect of the game. The biggest question we had about him was pass protection, and he’s proving that he can be an asset in guarding the quarterback as well.
There’s a lot of responsibility playing for Tom Brady, but imagine the combination of Tristan Wirfs and Ekwonu lining up next to each other. That’s an elite combination that would be tough to beat for anyone they face.
28) Green Bay Packers: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Hey, the Rashan Gary pick worked out great for the Packers, so why not add another Michigan EDGE? Aidan Hutchinson returned to Ann Arbor to make himself into a better prospect, and the move has yielded huge dividends. He most likely would have been a Day 2 player if he entered last season, but now there’s a good chance he goes in the first round.
29) Los Angeles Chargers: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
The Chargers taking Kingsley Enagbare would put a charge in their defense, as he plays the game with a relentless motor. We don’t see too many players with that trait, but the Gamecocks have that in their star defender. South Carolina hasn’t had too many things to be excited about this year, but at least they have a player (with an elite game) who’s played above-average football.
30) Dallas Cowboys: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Dallas is taking someone with great upside but is still working on consistency. Daxton Hill shown flashes of greatness, just not frequently enough. One thing the Cowboys’ staff won’t have to do is coach effort. Hill plays the game with a motor that doesn’t stop, and he doesn’t know how to play the game any way but fast. It helps him cover ground in coverage and get to the ball carrier quickly to make plays.
31) Baltimore Ravens: Adam Anderson, EDGE, Georgia
Disclaimer: Adam Anderson is still fairly raw, mostly because he is in a defense that features multiple NFL Draft picks. When you look at the depth chart for the Bulldogs, you quickly see why it’s tough to stand out, let alone get enough reps. Still, Anderson is someone who could slip into the first round when it’s all said and done.
The Georgia defensive end is the definition of explosive. If he’s not running around a poor offensive tackle, he’s bull rushing them into oblivion. You can quickly see why teams covet Anderson’s skill set, but you also see why it might be a little while before he’s on the field. He just needs the right coach to get him straight given his limited reps, but the final product should be exciting to watch.
32) Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
If you put Isaiah Spiller in the same backfield with Kyler Murray, I’m going to watch. One former Aggie joins forces with a current one in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, and I’m excited about the potential of that combination. Spiller brings a good blend of speed and power to the backfield, and he gives the Cardinals another weapon, this time on the ground.
Spiller’s made great strides in his game over the last couple years. He’s worked on his feet to become quicker in tight spaces and improve his long speed to break off big runs. This year, he’s added pass-catching skills to his repertoire, making him the complete back that teams will love on their roster.