All 2022 NFL mock drafts are a good time, and doing one that redrafts NFL QBs based on this year’s draft order is an even better time. In a world with harsh realities, sometimes it’s nice to just sit back in fantasy-land for a bit.
It’s never easy to rank players. There are negligible differences in many of them, especially as we head farther down the list. But it’s fun to think about the order in which NFL teams would potentially draft the quarterbacks if they had the chance to do so.
Important note: QBs were drafted without respect to current contractual situations. Also, the team rosters are blank for this exercise, and the league is drafting all 32 quarterbacks first.
2022 NFL QB Mock Draft | Tier 1: The young superstars
The five quarterbacks on this list are the best young players in the game. From a coach’s perspective, they can do things that put a massive amount of stress on defenses.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Patrick Mahomes
Maybe Mahomes’ magic will fade away without Tyreek Hill, and perhaps a few names lower on the list will continue to grow and develop to where they can hold the crown. Being the first pick in this mock draft doesn’t necessarily make one the best QB in the league today. However, in this case, it does.
Mahomes is the best in the business. His field vision, paired with effortless arm talent off a bevy of throwing platforms, puts him on the throne. But he’s also adept as a traditional pocket passer as well. Mix in Andy Reid’s schematic genius, and you have a team that’s been to four straight AFC Championships.
2. Detroit Lions: Justin Herbert
It was simply too difficult to decide between Herbert and Josh Allen. In baseball, the tie goes to the runner. Here, the tie goes to the younger player who has taken less of a beating as a ball carrier.
Herbert isn’t as flexible with his arm, but it’s arguably bigger than Mahomes’. The throw against Dallas facing Cover 2 along the right sideline defied logic. His touchdown to Jalen Guyton against the New York Giants was just as impressive. He’s also well-built (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) and athletic enough to give the defense trouble when using his legs.
3. Houston Texans: Josh Allen
Allen was the entire offense for the Buffalo Bills late in the season. He’s built even sturdier than Herbert and has just as big an arm. It took him a few seasons to get going, but he’s now an MVP runner-up and almost led his team to a conference championship game last season in arguably the most extraordinary QB duel ever.
Allen is still improving, which is insane to think about, given his production over the past 24 months. The Texans would arguably get a top-10 player in the league for 10-plus seasons with relatively good health luck.
4. New York Jets: Joe Burrow
Burrow’s ascendency feels a bit rushed, but when one looks at his situation and how he improved throughout 2022, it’s easy to see why some would have him in the top three here. His physical “limitations” are the only reason he’ll have trouble cracking the top of the list.
Burrow in New York would be a godsend. His persona is as big as Broad Joe Namath’s was back in the day. Burrow is one of the “cooler” players in the NFL. But he’s also brilliant. His NFL projection was simple. He was already a professional quarterback mentally, which showed in his first two seasons.
5. New York Giants: Lamar Jackson
Some would argue this is too high for Lamar Jackson, given his inconsistencies as a passer. However, he’s younger than Burrow, and not a single defensive coordinator wants to have to gameplan for this young man.
From a coach’s perspective, he opens up the offense tremendously. He gives the Giants a chance to run the football effectively, even devoid of a solid offensive line. Maybe Jackson’s shelf life is shorter than others, or maybe he continues honing his consistency as a passer and evolves into a sustainable franchise QB for the next 15 years.
2022 NFL QB Mock Draft | Tier 2: Young, great, and with more upside
From a football perspective, you’re in great shape with any of the three QBs in this tier.
6. Carolina Panthers: Kyler Murray
Murray is one of the most electric players in the NFL, no matter the position. He’s a dynamic runner with foot speed rivaling the speediest runners in league history. He makes defenders look silly in the open field and has a rocket arm.
Murray misses out on the top tier because he can’t take the punishment as a runner on scripted touches as Allen, Herbert, or even Jackson can. He also relies on his mobility as a passer creating outside of structure. And naturally, because of his size, he struggles to find throwing hallways over the middle consistently.
He’s still a QB the Panthers could win because of. All three quarterbacks in this tier could lead teams to a Super Bowl in the next decade.
7. Chicago Bears: Dak Prescott
It isn’t easy to crown any QB the most cerebral in the NFL when Tom Brady is still throwing 50 touchdowns, but Dak Prescott is arguably the most intelligent in the game. His work ethic, leadership, and mechanical evolution made him into one of the most prolific pocket passers in the league in 2019 and 2020 before his injury. Prior to his calf strain in 2021, he played at an MVP level.
Prescott wasn’t quite the same after, but late in the regular season, he once again showed flashes of why he’s so highly regarded by those who evaluate the quarterback position. He’ll be 29 years old in 2022, and his style will travel for the next decade, as long as his arm holds up.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Deshaun Watson
Watson has Tier 1 potential. One issue is that he hasn’t played for an entire season, and the biggest issue is why he didn’t play. The Cleveland Browns felt comfortable enough to trade for him, so he had to be in this 2022 NFL QB Mock Draft. Although supremely talented, Watson’s baggage hurts his overall value, so he’s at the bottom of Tier 2.
As a player, he’s almost everything one could want in the modern-day quarterback. He’s athletic enough to escape from pressure and make plays with his feet, but he’s not a running quarterback. He has a naturally accurate arm and the ability to produce with little to help him offensively. If he can improve his pocket presence and take fewer sacks, he could elevate his stock heading into 2023.