2022 3-Round NFL Mock Draft: Round 2 | Picks 33-47
While some teams are finding value in positions that the NFL doesn’t covet, others attack their desperate team needs in the first half of Round 2.
33) Jacksonville Jaguars: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
The Jaguars could use an upgrade at safety and slot cornerback. So as the historic “Why not both?” meme suggests, why not draft Daxton Hill? After using free agency to build around Trevor Lawrence, Trent Baalke and the rest of the front office begin the NFL Draft by restocking the defensive cupboard.
Hill is a cat. Of all the defensive back prospects over the past few years, no one consistently showed Hill’s ability to change direction in a flash. He has 4.38 speed, and he pairs that with violent — yet fluid — direction changes. His “click and close” is quicker than anybody. On top of having the chops to play in the slot and as a back-end player, he throws his body around and hits like he’s 205 pounds instead of 190.
34) Detroit Lions: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Nakobe Dean falling out of Round 1 has less to do with his talent and more to do with team needs and positional value in the back half of Round 1. The Lions have lacked athleticism at linebacker for a long time. Although Dean didn’t test, his film speaks for itself. The Michigan game was exquisite. He was all over the place, making plays at and behind the line of scrimmage. Although he’s light for a linebacker, his frame is far from lean. He’s physical and sudden with great instincts for the position.
35) New York Jets: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
Like most modern linebackers, Chad Muma will not consistently take blocks head-on with a stack-and-shed mentality. However, he has the frame to improve. He also does a great job of getting skinny and exploding around blockers or simply beating them to the spot and making plays unimpeded.
He’s a tackling machine. Muma will be a solid run defender with good athleticism at the very least. However, he also had 3 interceptions in 2021, and his intelligence in coverage is evident in how he reacts to QB intentions.
36) New York Giants: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Julian Love made a valiant effort swapping from cornerback to safety at the NFL level, but the Giants fall into a definite upgrade early in Round 2 of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The NFL consistently misses the boat on assessing the value of safeties. Lewis Cine can do everything and shouldn’t be available with the 36th pick based on his abilities as a player. His position drops him.
In New York, he’ll be asked to do a lot in Wink Martindale’s defense. Because he’s a better athlete than Xavier McKinney, Cine could play as a traditional free safety in their soon-to-be uber-aggressive defense. However, McKinney played a considerable portion of his snaps as the team’s deep safety in 2021, which would allow Cine to play in the box, slot, and the back end.
37) Houston Texans: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
The small-school receiver with massive hands lands in a spot where he can truly show off his insane ability to put his foot in the dirt and separate immediately. Player comparisons can sometimes feel like taking a needle underneath a fingernail to clean it out, but Skyy Moore‘s comparison to Golden Tate is spot on.
Despite his short stature, he’s thick and powerful after the catch. He displays contact balance, and his low-to-the-ground frame allows him to change direction violently. Davis Mills had one of the league’s lowest average depth of targets last season. That fits into Moore’s style from the slot, but he can thrive inside and out because he’s so good at the line.
38) New York Jets: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
If you want the total opposite of Moore, look no further than Christian Watson. He’s 6-foot-4, and his game is built around his ability to win vertically. Catching can be an issue at times, but the ability to create explosive plays is critical to scoring points.
The Jets tried this before with Denzel Mims, but Watson isn’t the exact same type of player. Sure, both are flexible, long-bodied receivers who win with size, but Watson’s game is more akin to DJ Chark’s. Watson is also a competitive blocker and has experience carrying the ball out of the backfield. His stride length and speed in the open field make him dangerous on jet sweeps and end-arounds.
39) Chicago Bears: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
Reaching for positional need isn’t always the best draft motivation, and the Bears’ selection here is proof of that. While Tyler Smith is often mocked in the first round, it’s a gamble to take him even here at 39 in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. He’s an upside pick.
Pro Football Network’s Consensus Big Board ranks Smith as the 53rd-best player. In his scouting report, Ian Cummings described Smith as a “moldable ball of clay” who “shouldn’t be relied upon as a Day 1 starter at the NFL level.” The problem with him landing in Chicago is he will have to start immediately unless they sign a stop-gap like Jason Peters before the season.
But there are positives here. Teven Jenkins could move back to his natural RT position. The Bears won’t be competing this season, so Smith has room to grow on a rebuilding roster. Also, he has legitimate franchise left tackle upside if he cleans things up technically.
40) Seattle Seahawks: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
There is no finesse toward the top of the interior defensive line class in 2022. Even at just 290 pounds, Perrion Winfrey … wins … with perpetual violence. He is the perfect build for an under tackle. Winfrey possesses Inspector Gadget arms that displace offensive linemen like an older sibling discarding the young on their way to grab the biggest, freshest cookie from the baking sheet.
His heavy hands made light work of interior blockers in Mobile, Alabama, during the Reese’s Senior Bowl. It eventually won him the MVP, and he was arguably the most dominant force in practice.
41) Seattle Seahawks: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Matt Corral might be the biggest wild card of any quarterback in recent memory. His physical talent is undeniable. He flashes the ability to make most of the throws an NFL QB must make to succeed. Corral is also a smooth athlete who can make defenders miss and runs with authority, which is a bit scary for a coach to watch.
However, watching his tape is frustrating at best. The Ole Miss offense does not care about the evaluation process. They’re trying to win games in the SEC. And they felt the best way to accomplish that was to run RPO concepts … and that’s about it. So we don’t have a large sample size of what Corral’s mental game looks like in a more traditional dropback passing attack.
But man, he is exciting!
42) Indianapolis Colts: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Kyler Gordon didn’t run as well as some believed he would, and his top-end speed seemed underwhelming — but there is no denying how smooth and explosive he is in short areas after testing. With the loss of Rock Ya-Sin, the Colts needed an answer at cornerback. While an offensive tackle or guard would have potentially fit a more pressing need, Gordon fits right into Indianapolis.
While McDuffie is the better prospect, Gordon had the better ball production in 2021. He also has experience playing outside and inside, which is perfect considering Kenny Moore plays inside-out. The 43rd-ranked player on the PFN Big Board lands almost right where he belongs.
43) Atlanta Falcons: Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
Atlanta Falcons fans have a hard enough time simply existing in the same reality as the team they root for. They don’t need any negativity in mock drafts. It’s just not fair. So, do a few backflips for a potential first-round pick at a premium position falling into their laps here.
Arnold Ebiketie has long-lever arms and an advanced pass-rush repertoire on the outside. He also possesses elite explosion and change of direction. His hips are oily, and he’s just 28th on PFN’s Big Board because he could stand to up his play strength a bit.
44) Cleveland Browns: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Drake Jackson‘s stock report on 2022 NFL Mock Drafts looks like the ultimate drop on a roller coaster, but it’s heading back up a second hill. What started with top-15 prospect hype has ended with an ADP of 58.7. However, the hype was generated by a 270-pound Jackson whom USC had dropped to 240 pounds in a new scheme for the 2020 season.
That 270-pound pass rusher is still in there. Once his frame and play strength return to form, the league will see Jackson as a productive EDGE. His “ghost” move isn’t on Von Miller’s level, but it’s a difficult move to execute well, and he has that ability. He’s also loose and explosive, which won’t magically disappear with a bit more muscle packed onto his frame.
45) Baltimore Ravens: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Honestly, this shouldn’t be allowed. Devonte Wyatt is a menace to society (the backfield), and allowing him to land in Baltimore feels too good to be true. He’s as explosive as many edge rushers, and his shorter frame and natural leverage will enable him to forklift interior blockers into oblivion in 1-on-1 situations.
He also plays with a blue-collar, 70-hour workweek mentality, which will pair perfectly with the city of Baltimore. Wyatt will need to find more control at the NFL level while maintaining his incredible on-field work ethic, but it’s a balance he should be able to find.
46) Minnesota Vikings: Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut
The Vikings signed Harrison Phillips and already have Dalvin Tomlinson on the roster, but Tomlinson’s deal expires after 2022. Additionally, the Vikings didn’t exactly flourish against the run in 2021 with him on the field, so adding bodies to keep linebackers clean is imperative.
But Travis Jones isn’t simply a 330-pound gap-stuffer. He’s a big, explosive, nimble, long, and technical interior defender. The only reason he’s not a first-round pick is due to his perceived positional value. He ran a 91st percentile 40-yard dash despite posting only a 56th percentile 10-yard split.
While that split could be concerning, Jones’ good explosivity numbers suggest his mediocre split was a technical issue and not an athletic one. He showed his explosiveness during the Senior Bowl practices.
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