2022 NFL Mock Draft: Sam Howell, Malik Willis both taken in the top 10

As we change up the 2022 NFL Mock Draft process to look at the scenario if the season ended today, defense dominates the top three selections.

2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32

Which players will be selected to fill the various team needs in the second half of our Round 1 NFL Mock Draft?

17) Kansas City Chiefs: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

The Chiefs should look to address their defense in 2022, starting up front with the defensive line. Aidan Hutchinson makes a lot of sense on the outside. A combination of Hutchinson and Chris Jones makes a fairly terrifying prospect for opposing offensive lines.

18) Cleveland Browns: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The Browns will almost certainly be in the market for at least one receiver this offseason. Therefore, they will be delighted if one of the two Ohio State products falls to them in the second half of Round 1. If Garrett Wilson is on the board when the Browns come on the clock, this could be a speedy selection indeed.

19) Tennessee Titans: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

With Jayon Brown only on a one-year contract, Christian Harris makes perfect sense for the Titans. A combination of Harris and Rashaan Evans could be one of the premier ILB pairings in the league.

20) Washington Football Team: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

It is tough to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong with this Washington defense. A unit that should have been one of the best in the NFL has just not been able to make plays. With a loaded defensive line, adding depth at CB in Ahmad Gardner makes sense.

The other option here is that Washington addresses the QB position. However, given the way Taylor Heinicke is playing this season, fixing the ills of this defense is arguably more important.

21) Buffalo Bills: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

The Bills went heavy on pass rushers from the edge in 2021, and in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, their attention now turns to the interior. DeMarvin Leal could yet be a top-10 overall selection. Getting him in the early 20s would be a solid value for Buffalo.

22) Carolina Panthers: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

Let’s be honest. For a second, we all thought the Panthers would be looking to replace Sam Darnold in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. However, Darnold has performed admirably, and after Week 4, the focus is now squarely on the defense.

A safety pairing of Jeremy Chinn and Jordan Battle would be loaded with upside. That pairing would allow the Panthers to use both of them in multiple roles and create mismatches for the defense all over the field.

23) Green Bay Packers: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Regardless of whether Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers stay in Green Bay, the Packers need more talent at wide receiver. Arkansas’ Treylon Burks has the potential to be the type of receiver this offense has targeted previously. Additionally, he is a superb blocker in the run game, which is always a bonus.

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

There are whispers in NFL Draft circles that Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning could be the OT1 in this year’s class. The Bengals need to add another piece to their offensive line, and if they get it right, we could be looking at one of the best offenses in the entire league in 2022.

25) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

We got a timely reminder of the fragility of Rob Gronkowski’s body this week. That plays perfectly into this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, as it puts the focus squarely on Jalen Wydermyer. Tom Brady loves to target his tight end, and the Buccaneers’ offense looked a shell of itself without Gronkowski.

Putting Wydermyer alongside Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Antonio Brown is a scary prospect for opposing defenses.

26) Detroit Lions (from Rams): Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

The uncertainty over the QB position led the Lions to pass over one earlier, but not this time. Matt Corral is an exciting talent who could add a new layer to this offense. He has a good arm but also the athleticism to make plays with his legs.

27) Denver Broncos: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

The Broncos may be faced with having to replace Von Miller next offseason. While that is not an easy thing to do, a player like Myjai Sanders could be a perfect fit in that role Miller filled.

28) Baltimore Ravens: Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State

The trade of Orlando Brown Jr. has left a gaping hole at right tackle for the Ravens. They tried to fill it with Alejandro Villanueva, but that’s not a long-term solution. Therefore, targeting a talented OT like Rasheed Walker at the back end of Round 1 appears to be their best option right now.

29) Dallas Cowboys: Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

The Cowboys need to continue to focus on their defense, especially their pass rush. They are in the bottom half of the league in terms of pressure rate. Zach Harrison could come in and be a contributor right away for a team that will likely have Super Bowl aspirations in 2022.

30) Los Angeles Chargers: Ikem Ekwonu, G, NC State

In recent years, the Chargers have invested a lot in their offensive line, but Oday Aboushi is only on a one-year contract. Thus, the Chargers may look to address the guard position in the draft with a player like Ikem Ekwonu. There are not many holes on the Chargers’ roster, so they can afford to chase a position like guard or even trade out of the first round altogether.

31) Las Vegas Raiders: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

Perrion Winfrey could be a valuable addition to a Raiders defensive line that can get overwhelmed at times. His versatility will allow them to use him in various ways as an impact player on both run and passing plays.

Depending on how the season plays out, the Raiders could also be in the market for a QB to replace Derek Carr. However, if they are picking as late as they are in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the season likely went very well indeed.

32) Arizona Cardinals: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

The Cardinals are flying high right now, but the offseason could bring some tough questions to answer around their pass rush. Chandler Jones could be on another team next season, and the Cardinals need a pass-rush partner for J.J. Watt. Kingsley Enagbare has the versatility to line up in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, which will add a new wrinkle to a hybrid Cardinals defense.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.