2022 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1, Picks 17-32
Some trades shook up the first 16 picks, and the latter half of the first round is no different.
17) Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Getting better and deeper on the offensive line was a priority for the Los Angeles Chargers. Zion Johnson lands in LA and factors into the right guard spot right away. Free agency saw the defense get much better, while the draft is a place to further build around QB Justin Herbert. Johnson is as talented as they come in this class on the inside, and fans should fully expect him to land on All-Rookie teams immediately and potentially All-Pro teams in the near future.
18) Philadelphia Eagles (from NO): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The draft’s best sideline-to-sideline linebacker heads to the Eagles. Philadelphia grabs Devin Lloyd to improve their defense in all facets immediately. Lloyd is a stalwart against the run and terrific when he blitzes, but his best ability is in coverage. Few possess the understanding of defenses as well as they do the opposing offense in this or any recent class.
19) Seattle Seahawks (mock trade from PHI via NO): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The immediate future of the Seahawks’ quarterback position looks to be Drew Lock. But with the proverbial ceiling Lock has shown during his time at Denver, quarterback was always in consideration for Seattle in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
With Lock in the fold, Matt Corral slides in to push him while also learning and adjusting to an NFL offense. Corral plays well from both inside and outside of structure, and he presents a large arm with plenty of talent. He has athleticism and pace, bringing a tempo that will be needed to see success in Seattle sooner than later.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
A nasty, mean offensive tackle with a large upside, Trevor Penning is the next left tackle in Pittsburgh Steelers history — and perhaps another one of the greats at the position. Penning dominated opponents during his collegiate career, both in the FCS and at the Senior Bowl. He’ll have to adjust his level of tenacity, so to speak, in the NFL. But once he does, he’s sound fundamentally, strong at the point of contact, and has an excellent base.
21) New England Patriots: Derek Stingley Jr., CB LSU
Color me skeptical (still) about Derek Stingley Jr. Yet, his performance at the LSU Pro Day was something to behold. It confirmed that he is indeed healthy and ready to get back to the field. His coverage ability is unmatched from that terrific 2019 season, and Stingley’s ball skills are on another level. I’m still concerned about the lack of high-level play over the past two seasons carrying over into his NFL career, but this could be the steal of the draft for the New England Patriots.
22) Green Bay Packers (from LV): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
A large man with a terrific power punch, George Karlaftis heads to the Green Bay Packers defense, where he immediately upgrades their pass-rush unit. Karlaftis has positional versatility and can rush from a variety of spots on the defensive line. He’s at his best against under-matched and undersized linemen, so his versatility will be critical to finding mismatches for him to exploit in the NFL.
23) Arizona Cardinals: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Though David Ojabo may not suit up until December — at the earliest — his talent is too much to overlook at this stage of the draft. The Arizona Cardinals need future help off the edge, and J.J. Watt can tutor and mentor Ojabo as his rookie season unfolds. Once Ojabo is back and healthy on the field, his presence should be felt immediately. He’s a speed rusher with unequaled size. Ojabo is a rare breed and even rarer blend of speed and power.
24) Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Finding an upgrade at tackle or guard is a big need in this draft for the Dallas Cowboys. With the right tackle prospects just off the Day 1 big board, Kenyon Green is the pick. Green has solid fundamentals and terrific versatility to play either interior line position. Placing him next to Tyler Biadasz and Zack Martin is almost a dream pairing for Green.
25) Buffalo Bills: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Buffalo Bills need to replace Levi Wallace on the outside, and Trent McDuffie is more than up for the challenge. He’s a long cornerback who plays bigger than he measures. McDuffie is a ballhawk and possesses elite-level traits that will translate to the NFL. Whether it’s his oily hips or his backpedal, McDuffie is NFL-ready today.
26) Atlanta Falcons (mock trade from TEN): Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Mock Trade: The Falcons send pick Nos. 43 and 74, as well as a 2023 second-round pick, to the Titans for pick No. 26.
With Travon Walker still available, the Falcons make a first-round move. Trading two second-round picks, as well as a third-round pick, the Falcons secure Walker to dramatically improve their edge-rushing unit. Walker also possesses plenty of ability to drop into coverage and play off-ball linebacker. He’s a true talent with untapped potential due to his spot in Georgia’s defensive rotation.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Speaking of Georgia defenders, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers grab the next big thing — who is already a big deal. Jordan Davis — all 6’6″ and 330 pounds of him — heads to Tampa to pair with Vita Vea on the inside. Davis should eat up double-teams and free up favorable matchups for Shaquil Barrett off the edge. The Bucs have a few needs, and Davis fills arguably their biggest.
28) Green Bay Packers: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded receiver than Jalen Tolbert. He can play outside as a true WR1 or even inside as a true slot receiver. His separation at the line of scrimmage is uncanny, while his understanding of coverage schemes allows him to find openings. Aaron Rodgers will have a new quick game favorite who presents a challenge to stick with on his multiple route breaks. Inside or outside of the structure, Tolbert should thrive in Green Bay.
29) Kansas City Chiefs (from SF via MIA): Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
A closer of space, Daxton Hill heads to the Kansas City Chiefs to help them atone for the loss of Tyrann Mathieu. With Justin Reid in the fold, Hill is afforded the luxury of playing all around the defense, either as a true free safety, in the slot, or in the box like an undersized missile of a linebacker. Hill can do it all and packs a punch in doing so.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave heads to the Chiefs despite them signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling during free agency. Olave plays at a different speed than the current receivers on the Chiefs roster, and he wins as effortlessly as any of them. He can play inside but should thrive as an outside option in the Chiefs’ passing attack, where he can use his deep speed and Patrick Mahomes’ arm strength to his advantage.
31) Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Cincinnati Bengals are gifted Tyler Linderbaum at pick No. 31 after addressing the rest of their offensive line this offseason. Linderbaum slides into the starting role at center from Day 1. He understands leverage and has terrific strength for a man his size. Joe Burrow will love his new-look offensive line in 2022, especially his potential All-Pro at center in Linderbaum.
32) Detroit Lions (from LAR): John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
After grabbing their quarterback of the future at pick No. 2, the Lions grab their receiver of the future to pair with Willis. John Metchie III may not have much impact as the season rolls around while he rehabs an injury sustained in the SEC Championship Game. But when he’s ready, he has the potential to lock down the WR1 role for years to come.
As talented as he is on the field, Metchie is a student of the game and has perhaps the best mental evaluation among the wide receiver class this year. He’ll be ready from Day 1 mentally, and once his physical game catches up, the sky is the limit.
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