2022 7-Round NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
What does the back half of this 3-Round 2022 NFL Mock Draft look like?
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Drafting a house is often frowned upon in NFL Draft circles because rushing the passer is often seen as an end-all, be-all. Over the next few months, you’ll hear people rave about Jordan Davis up and down the field, and then qualify it with “but the positional value doesn’t lend to him being a first-rounder.”
Politely, but firmly, tell them to shut it. Georgia’s splits with him on and off the field are all we need to know about his value. He’s effectively unblockable against the run, and despite being 10-feet tall and a million pounds, gets outside the tackle box and downfield to chase down ball carriers like an aircraft carrier slices through the ocean water.
The Chargers had an unacceptable run defense in 2021. If Brandon Staley wants to live in a two-high shell, he needs a concrete structure in the middle of the defensive line. It’s my humble opinion that this is the only pick to make for the Chargers at 17 if we expect them to retain Mike Williams.
18. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
If smooth was an NFL player, it would look exactly like Chris Olave. He’s not Justin Jefferson, as he is 1:1. But he is the same type of operator along the route stem and at the top of routes. The Saints don’t necessarily have a great relationship with Michael Thomas, so bringing in another receiver is about the best way they could spend their first-round pick.
Depending on what happens at quarterback, this could easily end up being Kenny Pickett or Sam Howell. But for now, adding either a complement to Thomas or a new WR1 is paramount. This is an offense that lacked a consistent receiving threat in 2021. The Saints can’t leave a 2022 NFL Mock Draft without trying to revamp their stable of weapons.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Daxton Hill has the flexibility to play as a slot defender, a half-field safety, or as a single-high free safety. I actually quietly worry about his knees, because I’m not sure I’ve seen someone ever change direction so violently on defense before in my lifetime.
He explodes in and out of breaks. When he plays from depth, his ability to close on passing lanes breaks my (already broken) brain.
Hill’s also an incredibly physical player around the line of scrimmage. However, he is a project both in the slot and as a traditional safety. As much as I bet on the athleticism over the summer, I wish he would have progressed mentally in coverage. And despite his ridiculous speed, hardly any amount of athleticism can make up for poor technique and a late reaction vertically.
But if this young man can take to coaching, he can be one of the biggest difference-makers in any NFL secondary. It’s why he’s still going so high in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
The worst kept secret in Mobile was Mike Tomlin and the Steelers’ love for Willis. I’m not doing trades in mock drafts — at least not yet — so there was no chance the Steelers made a Bears-level deal to move ahead of the Commanders.
Kenny Pickett wasn’t overly impressive in Mobile. When the weather turned sour on Wednesday, like the other QBs on the National Team, Pickett struggled. The nagging questions about his hand size went from conversational to confrontational. But he played in bad weather games before, including this season.
Pickett will be an outstanding scheme fit under Matt Canada. Unfortunately for him, his selection means the Steelers were unable to spend high-end draft capital on the offensive line. The Steelers should look to address that as often as possible over the rest of the 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
21. New England Patriots: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Stingley’s Draft Stock Chart looks eerily similar to… every LSU DB in recent memory. It’s practically a reverse “STONKS” chart. It’s always an internal battle to evaluate a player whose best tape was two years ago as a freshman.
The physical abilities didn’t dissipate. He’s physical and smooth as a press cornerback, and Derek Stingley Jr. has some of the silliest ball skills I’ve seen in a cornerback. He is legitimately a receiver at the catch point. It’s unlikely he drops into the lap of the Patriots, and I didn’t do it to make some sort of point. Sometimes weird things happen when working through a mock draft. This was one of those things.
Although his ball skills are unreal when he’s focused on playing, he also looked like Jalen Ramsey against the run. If he’d stayed more engaged in the game in 2020 and didn’t get hurt in 2021, maybe we’d be seeing that comp more often. But it’s also fair to be skeptical of a player who was unlocked mentally during an underwhelming season.
The biggest issue here is he ends up in New England and possibly opposite of J.C. Jackson. So he’ll end up an All-Pro, and in turn, make me and the three teams that took other cornerbacks look like complete dolts.
22. Las Vegas Raiders: Logan Hall, DL, Houston
Sometimes you go through an entire 2022 NFL Mock Draft thinking you’ve done a good job, and then when it comes time for the write-ups, you change your mind. That’s what happened here. I went against our own rankings here, inserting Logan Hall for where DeMarvin Leal was originally mocked. I went rogue.
Hall will probably have to put on some weight before playing his first NFL snaps, but he’s the same type of “tweener” that Leal is. The difference is Hall has outstanding pop in his hands against the run and a far heavier anchor than the Aggie.
He reminds me a bit of Arik Armstead. I’m not a fan of comps normally, but that’s the usage I expect of Hall at the next level. He doesn’t have unbelievable anatomical length, but he has an 80-inch wingspan and uses his length better than most, much like the San Francisco interior rusher.
Hall dominated in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, showing he could hang physically with the big Power Five linemen.
23. Arizona Cardinals: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Travon Walker is a darned freak. I can’t imagine a better placement for him than in Arizona where he can possibly learn from J.J. Watt, who is also a massive physical freak that rushes the passer from any defensive alignment.
Walker is already a fantastic run defender. He possesses powerful hands and can shed blocks at will in the run game, even if he tends to trigger that block deconstruction a bit late. Walker also shouldn’t be able to bend the way he does at his size. He could stand to be more technical as a pass rusher. His rush plan is still a bit primitive at this point, as he’ll sometimes tend to rely on his physicality and athletic ability rather than his hands.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Kenyon Green will probably be lauded for his versatility in college. But given what he excels at on the field, he should strictly be seen as a guard at the next level. Green’s got a wide frame and good density, and could probably progress his body a bit more to flatten out some extra weight he carried in his final college season.
After years of seeing good play from Connor Williams thwarted because he lacked the frame and lower body strength to consistently anchor against power, Cowboys fans won’t have to worry about that with Green. He’ll also be a solid upgrade as a run blocker. He has powerful hands that jar defenders when he brings his feet into contact. Green also has good hip fluidity and aims well at the second level.
25. Buffalo Bills: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
After an unceremonious exit from the Clemson program, Derion Kendrick got the last laugh by winning a second national championship.
Kendrick is built more in the modern mold of a cornerback. He has fine height, but he’s not the lengthy defender Elam or Gardner are. I like him in both man and zone coverages, and I love his twitch and ability to change direction and mirror on route breaks. I also see good route recognition in man coverage, albeit at times inconsistently.
He’s a good zone defender, and things should become easier for him in the NFL when he won’t be tasked with as many complex match looks. However, he does need to improve in press. The worst thing a cornerback can do is panic, and he needs to calm himself at the line so he’s not forced into recovery mode too soon.
26. Tennessee Titans: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Jermaine Johnson II go top-15 after the absolute butt whooping he put on the best players in the country at the Senior Bowl. He’s already arguably the best run defender in the class. That’s partially due to his outrageous length and partially because he’s housed in a great frame with good lower body strength. He locks out and sets the edge well, but it’s his intelligence as a run defender that separates him from the rest.
He’s not the most flexible rusher, which will get him dinged by evaluators. Yet, he uses his levers to drive into the chest of defenders and walk them back to the QB, if not fold them like a darned lawn chair.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Matt Corral is an even more difficult projection than Willis. Physically, there isn’t a QB in the class I feel better about. He has the exact kind of elusiveness and athleticism to make him a weapon with his legs. He’s also naturally accurate with a big arm.
There’s just one problem. I’m not sure what he looks like in a pro-style offense. College football coaches are paid to win games, not develop talents for the NFL. Lane Kiffin took that to heart because there was rarely a pro read asked of Corral. The offense was littered with RPOs. Putting him in Round 1 of any 2022 NFL Mock Draft is a gamble.
Nevertheless, I really enjoy thinking about Corral’s potential in Bruce Arians’ system. I think an intermediate game is his best fit given his arm talent. The Buccaneers will probably have to be patient and bring him along slowly, but he may be forced into a starting role after Tom Brady’s retirement.
28. Green Bay Packers: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Speed. All of the speed. Explosive plays are incredibly important when it comes to scoring touchdowns. It’s difficult for offenses to consistently grind through offensive drives. Conor McQuiston wrote an in-depth piece about the importance of explosive plays when it comes to long scoring drives back in October.
Jameson Williams is effectively a mix between the slightness of Jerry Jeudy with the speed of Jaylen Waddle, just in a 6-foot-2 frame. He’s not very powerful, but he possesses endless reserves of explosion. He averaged nearly 20 yards per catch in his one season at Alabama and returned 2 of his 10 kickoffs for touchdowns in 2021.
Explosive. Plays. Matter.
Whether Aaron Rodgers leaves or stays does not matter much here. He’ll be an incredibly valuable weapon either way. It probably matters less to Rodgers because he’s good enough to sustain drives, but it will be a massive plus for Jordan Love if he is the starter. Williams isn’t just a speed guy, either. His body control and flexibility allow him to bend at the top of routes with breakneck speed, allowing for natural separation.
29. Miami Dolphins (from SF): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Dolphins end up a beneficiary of the NFL’s inability to care about the center position in the NFL Draft. Tyler Linderbaum could go top-10 in 2022 NFL Mock Drafts given his ability. The issue is the league’s insistence on devaluing the position. Maybe the immediate ascension of Creed Humphrey changes that.
But I don’t think it will.
The only thing the NFL hates more than centers are players that don’t fit into their pretty mold for size or speed. Linderbaum was listed at 290 pounds. If that’s the size he comes in at the Combine, there’s a legitimate chance he falls out of the first round entirely.
It doesn’t matter that he buries people in the run game on a consistent basis. It doesn’t matter that he is a technical wizard coming from an offensive line factory in Iowa. The NFL will screw this up, to the benefit of Tua Tagovailoa and Miami’s new coaching staff.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Jaquan Brisker is the exact type of do-it-all safety the NFL will be looking for as more teams begin playing almost exclusively from two-high looks. He flies forward against the run and has the juice to drive forward as a robber. His size is ideal for the position, and it allows him to play with physicality reserved for those with his frame. It also helps him as a run blitzer.
He’s better playing forward, but he’s no slouch as a half-field safety, either. Brisker doesn’t have the fluidity of Hamilton, but he moves well. When he keys things properly, he can get wherever he needs to in a hurry.
31. Cincinnati Bengals: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
I’ve gone to four Senior Bowls, and I’ve never seen somebody try to start a fight quite the way Trevor Penning did during Senior Bowl practices. A little scrappiness was expected from the Northern Iowa tackle, but it was at a level I’ve never witnessed. His defensive teammates absolutely hated him throughout the week.
He needs to improve on some bad habits. There’s a tendency to get beat by speed on the outside, but that could be mitigated with a move to the right side of the offensive line. His hands are a weapon, and in a multitude of ways as a pass protector, he bullies folks in the run game.
32. Detroit Lions (from LAR): Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Sam Howell must improve his footwork before being a successful quarterback at the next level, but he played some really good football at the Senior Bowl. He was arguably the most consistent passer in Mobile, and it was confirmed to some that the player we saw in 2020 was the player we could expect at the next level.
He was quick to go through his reads, and his decisiveness was stark in comparison to the rest of the QBs at the Senior Bowl learning to work through a new offense. The Lions don’t need to force him onto the field too early either, given they have Jared Goff to drive the bus while Howell sharpens his tools.