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2022 NFL Mock Draft: What if the NFL doesn’t like these QBs?

Many 2022 NFL Mock Drafts have QB-needy teams reaching for projects in Round 1. What would it look like if they avoided taking those gambles?

The NFL preseason is finally upon us, and so is this three-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. This one might have a little different spin on it. Currently, I’m not a fan of the quarterback class as it stands. So, what does the top of the 2022 NFL Draft look like if these teams shy away from gambling on a rookie quarterback in Round 1?

2022 NFL Mock Draft | 1-16

Only two quarterbacks land in the top 32, and they show up toward the top of Round 1.

1) Houston Texans: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

It’s August, and a lot can change between now and April. Aside from the 2021 NFL Draft, the prior three seasons found quarterbacks go No. 1 overall that weren’t projected there before the season. Spencer Rattler has the best physical tools in the class as a passer, and the Lincoln Riley quarterback can work on the move as well.

2) Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Dalton, if the Lions pick second overall, don’t they have to draft a quarterback? Well, no, they absolutely don’t have to take a QB in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. If they don’t love their options, they shouldn’t force themselves into a QB. Kayvon Thibodeaux would join the Okwara brothers alongside Alim McNeill, Levi Onwuzurike, Trey Flowers, and Michael Brockers.

After seeing the team prioritize the defensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft, they could look to continue to build the roster until they’re ready for a new franchise signal-caller.

3) Jacksonville Jaguars: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

The Jaguars certainly don’t need a quarterback, and DeMarvin Leal looks like the real deal on the defensive interior. Furthermore, even at 290 pounds, he possesses the athleticism to slide up and down the defensive line. This addition would mimic the Lions’ plans to build a young defensive line with massive upside.

4) New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Derek Stingley Jr. was one of the best players in college football as a true freshman in 2019. His ball skills might be unmatched for a defensive back from the past four years. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound cornerback elevates and finishes contested situations like a receiver. The Jets’ cornerback room is more vacant than a Chick-fil-A on a Sunday. Unless another cornerback in this class usurps Stingley, this pick should be written in pen.

5) Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Folks might get upset about this not being an offensive lineman, but this team had their chance to do that in the 2021 NFL Draft and didn’t. Currently, there isn’t a lineman worth the fifth pick in the upcoming draft.

Kyle Hamilton, lined up opposite Jessie Bates (if the team is smart enough to pay him), is a disgusting duo. If Hamilton plays to the level we believe he can one day, it will make for one of the best safety duos of all time. Hamilton might be the most impressive safety prospect we’ve seen since Jamal Adams.

6) Philadelphia Eagles: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

The Eagles may not be interested in quarterback after the 2021 NFL season, but if they pick sixth overall, they probably didn’t see what they wanted out of Jalen Hurts. Sam Howell receives a lot of Baker Mayfield comps, but he’s nowhere near as polished. He must become a better decision-maker.

7) New York Giants: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

Kenyon Green might cement himself as a top-five pick in 2022 with a strong season playing offensive tackle for the Aggies. However, not many teams are willing to draft interior offensive linemen early, which is one of the reasons the Bengals passed. However, the Giants’ roster doesn’t have many glaring holes outside of the interior of their offensive line.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

This is purely an upside pick at this point. Evan Neal needs to fix some technical inefficiencies. He’s a massive blocker, and although he’s athletic enough, he needs to sharpen his feet and hands on the outside. The Falcons are stuck between a rock and a hard place going through a rebuild, but with an expensive quarterback who can still play at a high level.

9) Carolina Panthers: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Robby Anderson is in the last year of his deal, and it never hurts to have more high-caliber offensive weapons. The Panthers have been incredibly defensive-oriented in the previous two drafts. But in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, Carolina attempts to help Sam Darnold. Garrett Wilson can separate with explosion and technique, but he can also use that explosion to elevate and finish in contested situations.

10) New York Giants: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

Myjai Sanders is a well-built defensive end that fits the designated pass-rush role the Giants like to use alongside their three other beefy defensive linemen. Sanders has bend and explosion, and at nearly 260 pounds, he is strong enough to hold up at the point of attack. Outside of Leonard Williams, the Giants lack a true pass rusher. Sanders must develop a bit more to earn this draft capital, but the tools are there.

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

How are all these perceived QB-needy teams passing on all the quarterbacks? Well, because as of right now, this QB class is reminiscent of the 2019 class. With no quarterback deemed worthy of this pick, the Broncos draft an athletic pass protector in Charles Cross to anchor the right side of their offensive line.

12) Las Vegas Raiders: Kaiir Elam, CB, Clemson

This probably won’t happen because this pick makes sense. Any 2022 NFL Mock Draft with a pick from the Raiders that makes sense will probably be miles off. This team zags when everyone else zigs. Kaiir Elam is a long, athletic cornerback that should flourish in Gus Bradley’s Cover 3.

13) Arizona Cardinals: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Many teams are salivating for CB talent on their roster, and the Cardinals are one of them. Luckily for them, this draft has a basket full of them. Andrew Booth Jr. might have an even higher ceiling than Stingley. His feet are more sudden, which could make for unbelievably pesky man coverage in the future.

14) Washington Football Team: Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern

Troy Apke might be “fast fast,” but that never materialized into starting-caliber play as a free safety. Kamren Curl played well in this role at times in 2020. Still, Brandon Joseph could be a perfect pairing with safety/linebacker Landon Collins, given Joseph’s outstanding range. That would be the final piece to fill on the Football Teams’ defense.

15) Minnesota Vikings: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

Drake Jackson brings a much-needed complement to Danielle Hunter. The Vikings did an outstanding job revitalizing the defensive interior during the offseason, but they lack a pass rusher opposite Hunter. It’s Mike Zimmer, so this pick could easily be a cornerback, but Jackson is deserving of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft selection.

16) Los Angeles Chargers: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State

Speaking of complements to high-level pass rushers, Zach Harrison would join another Buckeye alumnus in Joey Bosa, who might just be the best pass rusher in the NFL. Harrison would need to elevate his game to live up to this first-round billing because he’ll need to make up for the often injury-absent Bosa.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch

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