2022 NFL Mock Draft | Round 3
Round 3 kicks off with some more big names on the board. Reminder, this is what I would do as the GM of all 32 teams.
65) Jacksonville Jaguars: Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky
Needing a bit of help on the offensive line to round out an offensive overhaul, the Jaguars grab Darian Kinnard to start Round 3. Kinnard can play right tackle over Jawaan Taylor or kick inside like most expect him to do. He presents an upgrade over two players currently projected to start, which is a great way to start the third round.
66) Detroit Lions: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
After passing on this talented EDGE class through their first three picks, the Lions grab Cameron Thomas at the top of Round 3. Thomas is a powerful player with a menacing few pass-rush moves. He’s quick up the field and talented in space against the run. There’s a versatility to his game as well — he can use power or speed moves depending on who’s in front of him on any down.
67) New York Giants: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
It’s a talented defensive line in the Big Apple, and it gets just a bit better. DeMarvin Leal can play a variety of positions, but some of his best performances came when he was lined up inside — as far as nose tackle. Leal may be too lean to line up immediately that far inside. Still, he certainly gives the Giants some flexibility at finding the best rotation with him, Dexter Lawrence, and Leonard Williams rotating and remaining fresh.
68) Houston Texans: Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
It’s been a busy draft for the Texans as they continue to rack up talented players on both sides of the ball. Martin Emerson has enough talent to go in the top portion of this draft, but the way the board shakes out, he slides here to Houston. Emerson has great size and terrific instincts. Don’t let his “lack of” plays on the ball fool you. He sticks with his receivers and makes plays on the ball even if he’s not the targeted defender.
69) New York Jets: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
The tremendous Georgia defense didn’t shed light on Quay Walker until his final season with the Bulldogs. But when the light was on him, it shined brightly. Walker is as versatile as they come and perhaps has some of the best upside in this linebacker class. He can rush the passer incredibly well or drop back in coverage. What separates Walker is his tackling skills and ability to run the alley. If he gets his hands on the ball carrier, they’re not going anywhere.
70) Denver Broncos (from ARI via mock trade with JAX): Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Mock Trade: The Broncos send pick Nos. 75, 115, 116, and 235 to the Jaguars in exchange for Jacksonville’s pick Nos. 70, 106, and 198.
Rumors Boye Mafe being liked by the Chiefs in Round 1 may be true — but as acting GM for all the teams, Mafe doesn’t go until now. That is no indictment of his skill or presence on the field, rather just how the board and draft have shaped up.
As such, with him still being here at pick No. 70 — the Broncos send four picks to move up five spots. Sure, they get three picks back in response, but Mafe in return for the capital being moved would be enough. He’s flashed high-level potential and may have been underutilized in the Minnesota system. This is a potential gem of the draft for Denver.
71) Chicago Bears: Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
With just a handful of draft picks, the Bears have to be precise with their approach. As such, they hit a big need at tackle with Nicholas Petit-Frere.
Whether it’s depth or an improvement to their current depth chart, Petit-Frere is a big upgrade. He was overmatched at times against power rushers, but if he develops his strength to start his career, Petit-Frere has enough technical skill and speed in his hands to become a starter at left or right tackle.
72) Seattle Seahawks: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
Back to the offensive tackle well, the Seahawks improve their offensive line yet again, this time with Tyler Smith. Smith’s availability here is too much to pass up as he’ll have to adjust to right tackle. But he presents a massive upgrade if he can adapt quickly. This Seattle team is a few players away from competing in the NFC West, but Smith’s inclusion in the offensive line with Cross will go a long way at keeping Drew Lock or Corral upright.
73) Indianapolis Colts (from WAS): Sean Rhyan, OT/G, UCLA
The Colts made a splash by drafting Matt Ryan’s eventual replacement in Round 2. They go with a safer option in Round 3 by grabbing Sean Rhyan. The former UCLA lineman can play various positions on the line, most notably being a good fit to kick inside after playing tackle with the Bruins. He’s a big man with a strong base that should stand the test against bigger interior defenders in the NFL.
74) Tennessee Titans (mock trade from ATL): Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
The need for an exciting playmaker at the tight end position is palpable for the Titans. They grab the best after-the-catch option at the position with their new pick from Atlanta in Trey McBride. Featured heavily in the Colorado State offense last season, McBride was the lone bright spot for the Rams in 2021. He’s a threat in the receiving game and no slouch when it comes to blocking.
75) Jacksonville Jaguars (mock trade from DEN): Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
Jacksonville accepts Denver’s offer for a bevy of picks and moves down five spots here. They grab Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal to give their linebacking corps a boost in the process. Chenal moves incredibly well, has great play strength, and can cover. There really isn’t anything not to like about his game.
76) Baltimore Ravens: Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
Big Phidarian Mathis is the next pick for the Ravens as they continue to get younger on defense. Mathis was dominant at times during his Alabama career. He’s also an athletic monster, hitting 4.89 on some scout’s times at the Combine after measuring in at 6’4″ and 310 pounds. If Mathis gets his massive wingspan and hands on the ball carrier, they’re going down.
77) Minnesota Vikings: Travis Jones, DT, UConn
Securing Travis Jones in Round 3 feels unfair for the Vikings. He’s a rare blend of size and speed in a massive frame. Somehow, Jones tipped the scales over 320 pounds, nearly 6’5″, and still came in under 5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Jones also has great hand usage and a solid base that he uses to throw linemen to the side while dismantling the point of attack.
78) Cleveland Browns: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
Even after trading for Amari Cooper, the Browns need help in the receiving game. Wan’Dale Robinson will go a long way toward increasing their production. The former Nebraska receiver had a great 2021 season at Kentucky and is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. Robinson, though small in stature, is not just track fast, he’s football fast. Deshaun Watson will love his new weapon.
79) Los Angeles Chargers: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Throwing away all character concerns for a minute, George Pickens is an easy pick here. In fact, he could be selected even higher. He’s a dominant receiver at the catch point and showcased an ability to play physically and separate all along his breaks. If the character issues are to be believed, it certainly harms Pickens’ draft stock, but you’d hope coach Brandon Staley and Co. could keep him on the straight and narrow once in LA.
80) Houston Texans (from NO): Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
Big and fast, Brandon Smith could become the new face of the second level of the Texans’ defense. He’s dominant when going sideline to sideline in coverage but perhaps even better when rushing the passer. Smith has all the tools in his arsenal to become a true three-down linebacker in the NFL, and the Texans will have a bunch of snaps for him in Year 1 and beyond.
81) New York Giants (from MIA): Cameron Jurgens, C, Nebraska
One of the biggest areas of concern for the Giants’ line is certainly at center. Reaching a bit to ensure they get their man, the Giants go with Cameron Jurgens here. Jurgens had a great career at Nebraska, starting in the middle over the past three seasons. He’s a sound run blocker but a better pass protector. Jurgens could propel this offensive line forward with his play along with the newly drafted Ekwonu.
82) Atlanta Falcons (from IND): Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
One of the few teams needing help at running back within the top 100, the Falcons grab the next great Matt Campbell product. Breece Hall is a combination of the former two Campbell products, David Montgomery and Kareem Hunt. Hall can carry the load in Atlanta for years as he comes fully equipped with three-down RB skills.
83) Philadelphia Eagles: Charleston Rambo, WR, Miami (FL)
The Eagles finally go offensive with Charleston Rambo for Jalen Hurts to throw to. Rambo makes highlight-reel catches look easy and has some of the class’ best adjustments in mid-air.
84) Pittsburgh Steelers: David Bell, WR, Purdue
If it weren’t for a sluggish showing this offseason, David Bell would be off the board in Round 2. Yet, he is available for the Steelers to pair with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Bell’s body control is among the best, and when the pass is in his radius, he’s coming down with it.
85) New England Patriots: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
There’s a large stable of running backs in New England’s backfield. Nevertheless, they add this draft class’ best pure rusher in Kenneth Walker III. His value is too good to pass up for their run-first game as Walker can tote the rock 15-20 times a game with no downtick.
86) Las Vegas Raiders: Bamidele Olaseni, OT, Utah
A franchise unafraid to take their top player regardless of where they may rank on the layman’s board, the Las Vegas Raiders grab the surprise of the first three rounds. Bamidele Olaseni was a one-year starter at Utah after transferring from Garden City Community College and is largely seen as a project.
But after spending time with Olaseni off the field, he’s far from a project. He has a terrific frame for the NFL at 6’7″ and 339 pounds, yet loses no speed in his pass sets. Olaseni is also a student of the game and should pick up the playbook with tremendous speed.
87) Arizona Cardinals: Dare Rosenthal, OT, Kentucky
It’s a reworked unit in the desert, and Dare Rosenthal gives them another valuable addition to the offensive line. Arizona secures the services of Rosenthal after transferring from LSU to have a great year at Kentucky. Rosenthal has the versatility to play nearly all five offensive line positions but slides in as an upgrade at either LT2 or RT2 with the Cardinals.
88) Dallas Cowboys: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Getting younger and bigger off the edge, Myjai Sanders heads to Dallas here. Sanders is a dominant pass rusher and can easily move all along the defensive line. He’ll quickly make his presence felt in the backfield, but his run-defense skills are nothing to scoff at either.
89) Buffalo Bills: Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland
A dominant pass catcher, Chigoziem Okonkwo will become a favorite for Josh Allen to find all over the field (and quickly). Okonkwo can make every catch at all levels, and he displayed some terrific routes and ball-tracking skills at the Shrine Bowl. He’s an improving blocker but more of a receiving tight end immediately for the Bills.
90) Tennessee Titans: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
A big man with an incredible athletic profile, Alec Pierce is so much more than a possession receiver. Pierce is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball. He just so happens to also have a terrific contested-catch ability and catch radius. Pierce should quickly race up the depth chart in Tennessee.
91) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State
After destroying the Combine with the most ridiculously gifted performance we’ve ever seen, Zyon McCollum rocketed up draft boards. The Bucs get McCollum here on Day 2 with the luxury of acclimating him to the NFL game with their strong defensive foundation. McCollum could play right away in CB3/4 roles while adding value in sub-packages as he likely becomes the team’s starting boundary corner in a year or two.
92) Green Bay Packers: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
With some of the best return skills in this class, Marcus Jones is the pick for Green Bay. Jones can return any kick to the house or present a challenge to throw on in coverage. Playing dual roles like that will get you drafted higher than your counterparts, and Jones is a prime example.
93) San Francisco 49ers: Marquis Hayes, G, Oklahoma
Getting better and deeper on the offensive line is integral for the Niners in this draft. Marquis Hayes is one of the top interior prospects and signals an improvement over their current starters on the inside. They won’t be done with the offensive line after this pick, but Hayes solves one big, outstanding issue.
94) Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Hinton, DT, Michigan
The overhaul of the defensive line continues with Ebiketie and now Chris Hinton entering the mix. A big man with a better work ethic and even better skill set, Hinton uses his leverage and strength to overmatch interior linemen. But Hinton’s not just a big strong man. Rather, he’s an athletic player with a fast first step that allows him to manipulate the point of attack in the run game or get after the passer in the passing game.
95) Cincinnati Bengals: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
Finding success with drafting linebackers from the middle of nowhere, Troy Andersen joins Logan Wilson and Co. to increase the prowess of the Bengals’ second level. In run defense, Andersen runs the alley well and can play inside with Germaine Pratt. Andersen will fight off hands and speed past block attempts, roaming sideline to sideline. He may need seasoning in coverage of the NFL’s receivers, but once he does, he’s already a proficient and technical linebacker.
96) Denver Broncos (from LAR): Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
There’s a world where Jelani Woods is actually picked with Denver’s earlier Day 2 selection. But after moving up for Mafe, the Broncos stay at No. 96 and still get their tight end of the future. With a massive frame, Woods impressed with his athleticism and route running at Virginia in 2021 and at the Shrine Bowl. He’s multi-versed with his receiving ability as well as his documented success as an inline blocker during his time at Oklahoma State.
97) Detroit Lions (compensatory selection): Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
The Lions hit the defensive side of the ball again here, this time around picking Illinois S Kerby Joseph. An underrated prospect, Joseph had a great showing during the Senior Bowl, and his athleticism shined during the pre-draft process. Used correctly, Joseph can be a ball hawk in coverage and has no lapse against the run either.
98) New Orleans Saints (compensatory selection): Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
The Saints made a splash in Round 1, trading up to secure a big need. They still have needs across a few positions, and Skyy Moore fixes a big one. Moore is much more than a pure slot receiver with a smaller frame. He can sky for the ball and come down with contested catches. His best attribute, however, is his ability to separate from defenders anywhere along his routes.
99) Cleveland Browns (Resolution JC-2A selection): David Anenih, EDGE, Houston
If you don’t know David Anenih‘s name, get to know it. The Houston edge rusher clocked a 4.74-second 40-yard dash, repped 225 on the bench press 25 times, and hit a massive 10’3″ broad jump, among other terrific pro day performances. Doing all of this at 6’2″, 245, Anenih’s skills translate to his game on the field, which is that of a dominant pass rusher.
100) Baltimore Ravens (Resolution JC-2A selection): Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Utilizing their Resolution JC-2A selection wisely, the Ravens continue their defensive overhaul on the defensive line. Drake Jackson is the pick as the big man from Southern Cal slides nicely into the lineup. Jackson can rush the passer from several positions, and his skill set should fit nicely in the hybrid front run by Baltimore.
101) Philadelphia Eagles (Resolution JC-2A selection from NO): Dominique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (OH)
The Eagles aren’t the youngest off the edge, and Dominique Robinson comes with bend, power, speed, and great hands. He’ll rush the edge with ease in situational roles from Year 1 while he could eventually take over for Brandon Graham or Derek Barnett.
102) Miami Dolphins (Resolution JC-2A selection from SF): Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
They had to wait a bit, but the Miami Dolphins finally have a draft pick to discuss. Miami grabs Cam Taylor-Britt from Nebraska after spending the offseason dealing draft capital at a frenzied pace.
Miami gets Taylor-Britt to bolster their coverage unit that needed help after allowing nearly 4,000 passing yards a year ago. Taylor-Britt doesn’t lack any skills required to be a starting-caliber cornerback in the NFL and has a tenacious attitude that should scare opposing wide receivers.
103) Kansas City Chiefs (Resolution JC-2A selection): Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
Behind Travis Kelce, the pickings are slim for the Chiefs. Jeremy Ruckert fixes that with his skilled hands and great all-around ability. Ruckert can develop into a three-down tight end behind Kelce while offering value as a pass catcher in the short term. Ruckert wasn’t utilized in the Ohio State receiving corps as much, but make no mistake, he’s a great receiver.
104) Los Angeles Rams (Resolution JC-2A selection): Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB
The Los Angeles Rams use their first pick in the 2022 NFL Mock Draft on a bit of a surprise. But once you watch Alex Wright‘s game, it should be no surprise at his draft place here. Wright is massive at 6’5″ and 271 pounds, yet he moves much faster than a guy his size should. Wright has great hand usage and the proverbial bend you’d expect to see out of a starting edge rusher in the NFL.
105) San Francisco 49ers (Resolution JC-2A selection): Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
The San Francisco defensive line is a varietal who’s who of former college stars mixed with varying success at the NFL level. Zachary Carter enters the fold as he can rush the passer from the inside or outside all the same. Carter also presents a durable, tough player on the defensive line whose versatility will come into play as the seasons wear on.