2022 3-Round NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
Despite the perceived lack of talent at the top of the 2022 NFL Draft class, there is plenty of depth as we head through the back half of Round 1. Remember that this mock draft order is accurate as of the completion of Week 16. We will have another mock draft once the full Week 17 slate of games is complete. Let’s dive back in.
17) Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
This one is so simple even your buddy who passed out before midnight on New Year’s Eve should be able to comprehend it. The Chargers are a pathetic run-defending team, and Jordan Davis is a massive human who is athletic for his size and also happens to be an immovable object. He’s a trash can full of dirt.
The Chargers are awful at defending the run. Linval Joseph has proven not to be enough on his own. If Los Angeles retains Joseph next season, Davis would learn from one of the better big men in the league over the past decade.
18) Las Vegas Raiders: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
If you need a reminder of why you must have a plan when you go out on New Year’s Eve, look no further than the Raiders. Henry Ruggs’ deadly DUI crash was not long ago. Please, be safe and responsible when you go out.
The Raiders’ offense missed two elements in the back half of the season. Darren Waller’s injury was difficult to overcome, but losing Ruggs on top of that turned the offense upside down. After having small roles in the Ohio State passing attack in 2019 and 2020, Jameson Williams tallied just shy of 1,500 yards in 2021 for the Crimson Tide. Along the way, he scored 15 touchdowns and averaged over 20 yards per reception.
19) Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Eagles’ linebackers have struggled for quite some time. Devin Lloyd is reminiscent of so many MWC and Pac-12 linebackers of late. He covers his arse off.
But that’s not all he does. He’s a more developed run defender than many of those same linebackers we’ve seen out west. Philadelphia already possesses a solid defensive line. If they can add some more coverage players, they have a shot at becoming a pretty dominant defense in 2022.
20) Baltimore Ravens: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
DeMarvin Leal has been seen as a high-end prospect for quite some time now, and in 2021, his production matched his traits. He’s a bit of a tweener at 6’4″, 290 pounds. He has shown struggles in his ability to anchor against double-teams, and I wonder if the NFL might ding him for that.
That’s why, despite his pass-rush ability, Leal could find himself firmly outside of the top-10 discussion after receiving high praise over the summer. I believe a team willing and able to use him at different spots along the defensive line would be his best landing spot.
21) Miami Dolphins: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Jermaine Johnson II did not have an easy road to get where he is today. Despite being a freak athlete in high school, his small school in Minnesota and low GPA meant he didn’t receive a single FBS offer.
260-pound humans shouldn’t be able to run in the 4.4 range, but there’s a chance we see Johnson do just that at the NFL Combine. He flashed at Georgia last season, but he flourished at Florida State. Johnson is technically raw, but we saw just this year that a great work ethic on the field and ridiculous athleticism can make up for that at the NFL level.
The Dolphins just drafted a great pass rusher from the state of Florida in the 2021 NFL Draft. Another dominant EDGE could spell danger for Miami’s opponents moving forward.
22) New England Patriots: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave is the ideal fit for the Mac Jones-led New England Patriots. He’s a three-level threat, but his flexibility and speed make him a natural separator.
The Patriots need better weapons on the outside. Jakobi Meyers is a good receiver, but he’s not a legitimate No. 1. Kendrick Bourne has flashed, but he’s best suited as a third or fourth receiving option. Securing a top receiver was the easy choice in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
23) Philadelphia Eagles: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
From a height/weight/speed perspective, Jaquan Brisker is an ideal candidate as a do-it-all safety that should be able to cover and come up and hit. Safeties, in general, have rarely gone in Round 1 recently. But as a safety truther, I find it important to acknowledge the talented class of 2022.
Brisker possesses all the physical tools to be a great safety if he can become more instinctual against route concepts. Playing as the single-high in Cover 1 or 3 shouldn’t be an issue, and he’s shown he can read QB intentions. But when more complex coverages come into play, he must understand how teams will look to attack certain coverages.
Playing safety is largely a thankless endeavor. But allowing downfield completions can make a player a goat (not the good kind) very quickly.
24) Arizona Cardinals: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Cardinals already enjoy their Washington Huskies cornerback currently on the roster, so why not draft another? Washington DBs come out as mentally prepared to play the position at the NFL level as you’ll find. They’re forced to play with their mind first and teach their body to instantaneously react to situations. It’s one of the benefits of playing so much off coverage in college.
However, unlike his hypothetical teammate Byron Murphy, Trent McDuffie won’t struggle with as much red on his Relative Athletic Score ledger. No, McDuffie is endlessly explosive on the outside, and at 5’11”, 195 pounds, he won’t struggle for size against most at the NFL level. Robert Alford has played well for Arizona in 2021, but he’ll be 34 years old heading into 2022.
25) Buffalo Bills: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
It’s incredibly difficult to be Elgton Jenkins. Moving up and down the offensive line is no easy feat, especially for the feet. However, Kenyon Green is certainly the closest thing we’ve seen to Jenkins. He’s played all five positions for the Aggies, and he’s done so at a high level.
The Bills are no stranger to moving guys around on the offensive line when necessary, so this feels like the perfect marriage. I could think of multiple spots on the line Buffalo may want to use him, but hopefully, we get to see him at his natural left guard spot.
26) Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
It only takes one team, but I still am not sure Tyler Linderbaum goes in Round 1. I know, it sounds absolutely ludicrous given the fact he’s a top-10 player in the class. Sure, you may think I’ve taken a few too many shots of Jägermeister before spouting off like that. But I’m here to tell you, the NFL hates centers.
“But Dalton, the NFL drafted Cesar Ruiz two years ago!” Not to be a center, they didn’t.
“But Garrett Bradbury went the year before!” I understand that. The Vikings have drafted a ton of athletic linemen recently, even if they’re undersized.
Linderbaum is listed at 290 pounds, and we just saw what seemed like a surefire first-round center in Creed Humphrey fall to the end of the second round. Now, maybe that was because he is left-handed, but that proves my point further. Teams have thresholds and barometers they want guys to hit, and being sub-300 could force Linderbaum to fall further than he deserves.
But in the meantime, the Bengals get a steal in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
There are external factors that will need to be fleshed out before we can truly talk about Sam Williams being a first-round pick. However, he lands here in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft because his work on the field is deserving of the status.
And it’s not like Bruce Arians is a stranger to distracting off-field factors, albeit of a different nature than Williams’. As a player alone, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was drafted much higher. He possesses great length, but he’s got a dense 6’4″ frame that’s incredibly powerful.
When you build a defensive end in a lab, there’s a chance they’d come out looking like Williams. I know the Buccaneers have Shaquil Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, but having three pass rushers to rotate through doesn’t hurt when the team is as well-constructed as Tampa Bay.
28) Detroit Lions: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
Before the season, many said that Sam Howell reminded them of Baker Mayfield. I thought they were nuts! And then Mayfield went out to have the season he’s having and it made a bit more sense to me. Except it still doesn’t. There was a bit of a role reversal.
Yes, Howell’s numbers didn’t look nearly as good in his junior season, but he’d lost so many NFL players from that UNC team that it was always going to be impossible to replicate his production. He was forced to grow and carry a team, and although he’s still not perfect, that growth seemed to be on display.
Howell has the arm talent you look for in a franchise QB, and he has the athletic mold you want. He also turned into a more high-volume runner in 2021, and he was physical along the way, something I’m sure Dan Campbell will respect.
29) Tennessee Titans: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Jahan Dotson will step into an outstanding situation if (very BIG if) A.J. Brown and Julio Jones remain healthy in 2022. He can be used inside, which will help allow the Titans to create mismatches for Brown. Also, going into a season with only two truly viable options on the outside in the modern game is bad roster construction. That was evident in Tennessee’s non-existent passing attack when Brown was injured.
Dotson simply knows how to get open. He’s outstanding in a phone booth. Dotson also produced like a madman at the college level despite suffering from poor QB play for the duration of his career. He’s a great fit for the Titans in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
30) Dallas Cowboys: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Daxton Hill is a flash. He has the position flexibility and cover ability to play in the slot or as a traditional safety. He had the highest SPARQ rating of any recruit from the 2019 high school class. His testing numbers were otherworldly, and I expect the same come combine time.
Still, many don’t even have Hill in their top five safeties, which is a testament to how good and deep this class is at the top. However, the only player I was more excited about heading into 2021 after watching them during the summer was Kyle Hamilton. Hill’s closing speed is simply Goku hitting Instant Transmission.
31) Kansas City Chiefs: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
“Sauce” is an interesting prospect. I’m not sure Ahmad Gardner will test particularly well, which would usually hurt a small-school prospect. Still, the Cincinnati product gets a big interview against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff. If he truly struggles to carry vertically, Jameson Williams will leave him spinning his wheels.
Luckily for Gardner, fluidity is not a problem, even in his lanky 6’2″ frame. And although his long speed is curiously not great, he gets going pretty quickly off direction changes. His ball skills aren’t too shabby, either. He’s intercepted 3 passes in each of his three seasons at Cincinnati.
32) Green Bay Packers: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Nakobe Dean will need to improve his straight zone drops when he gets to the NFL level, but he has all the athleticism in the world to become a good coverage linebacker. He’s also a dominant run defender despite only weighing 225 pounds. His instincts behind Kenny Clark and beside De’Vondre Campbell would comprise a solid foundation for the Packers’ defense.
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