2022 NFL Mock Draft

Predicting where the draft’s top prospects will land in Round 1


Deposit Photos

This year’s NFL Draft is at the Linq Promenade on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.

Ozair Hussain, Staff Writer

With the NFL Draft being held from tonight through Saturday, April 28, I decided to create a mock draft for the first round.

I will attempt to navigate through the various smokescreens deployed by NFL teams during the draft process and correctly predict each pick.

For my mock draft, I will act as though no trades will occur during the first round.

My mock draft will list the pick, the team on the clock, the player drafted, their position and university and an explanation for the pick.

Teams that don’t have a first-round pick are the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

With that said, here’s my 2022 NFL mock draft for the first round:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, Defensive End, Michigan

Hutchinson was one of the best players in college football last season, finishing tied for third in the country with 14 sacks. He would immediately boost a Jaguars defense that finished with 32 sacks last season.

2. Detroit Lions: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback, Cincinnati

“Sauce” was one of the best cornerbacks in all of college football last season and didn’t allow a touchdown in his collegiate career. He would make an immediate impact for a Lions defense that has to face dynamic receivers like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Darnell Mooney in their division.

3. Houston Texans: Ikem Ekwonu, Offensive Tackle, NC State

“Ickey” would help solidify an offensive line that gave up 44 sacks last season and faces pass rushers like Harold Landry, Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen in their division.

4. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Defensive End, Oregon

Thibodeaux has the measurables teams look for in defensive ends, at 6’5” 258lbs. He would thrive under Jets head coach Robert Saleh in a division that has Bills quarterback and MVP candidate Josh Allen.

5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Neal would help solidify an offensive line that faces pass rushers like Demarcus Lawrence, Chase Young and Hasson Reddick in the division.

6. Carolina Panthers: Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty

Willis finished last season with 27 touchdowns, tied for 18th in the country, and 12 interceptions. He would be in a position to succeed with Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson.

7. New York Giants: Derek Stingley, Jr., Cornerback, LSU

Stingley, Jr. would immediately aid a defense that faces star receivers including CeeDee Lamb, Terry McLaurin and Devonta Smith.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Charles Cross, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi

Cross would make an immediate impact on an offensive line that gave up 40 sacks last season.

9. Seattle Seahawks: Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pittsburgh

Pickett finished last season top 10 in yards (4,319), touchdowns (42) and quarterback rating (81.2) and would excel in an offense with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Chris Carson.

10. New York Jets: Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Williams finished last season with 79 receptions, 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns before suffering a torn ACL in the national championship game against Georgia. Williams has made significant progress from the injury and can elevate Zach Wilson to the next level.

11. Washington Commanders: Chris Olave, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Olave finished last season with 65 receptions, 936 yards and 13 touchdowns. He would be a great complement for McLaurin, who’s a free agent after next season.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame

Hamilton is one of, if not, the best safeties in the draft. He would be able to make an impact immediately and eventually take over for Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum.

13. Houston Texans: Travon Walker, Defensive End, Georgia

Walker would be able to make an immediate impact on a defense that generated 44 sacks last season.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Jermaine Johnson II, Defensive End, Florida State

Johnson II finished last season with 12 sacks — tied for 7th in the country — and would strengthen a pass rush that has to face Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Wilson finished last season with 70 receptions, 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. He would provide Jalen Hurts an additional weapon and be a terrific complement to Devonta Smith.

16. New Orleans Saints: Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC

London finished last season with 88 receptions, 1,084 yards and 7 touchdowns. At 6’5,” 210 lbs, he would provide Jameis Winston a great target while also complementing Michael Thomas.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: George Karlaftis, Defensive End, Purdue

Measuring at 6’4,” 275 lbs., Karlaftis would be an excellent complementary pass rusher behind Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.

18. Philadelphia Eagles: Kyler Gordon, Cornerback, Washington

Gordon would provide the Eagles with a complementary cornerback behind Darius Slay in a division that features receivers like CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney.

19. New Orleans Saints: Nakobe Dean, Linebacker, Georgia

Dean finished last season with 72 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions and 6 passes defensed. He would be a great addition to head coach Dennis Allen’s defense and a solid complement to Demario Davis.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond Ridder, Quarterback, Cincinnati

Ridder finished last season with 30 touchdowns — tied for 14th in the country –compared to 8 interceptions. He would be in good company with Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth.

21. New England Patriots: Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Utah

Lloyd finished last season with 111 tackles, 8 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 4 interceptions and 6 passes defensed. He would be a great addition for the Pats and would thrive in Bill Belichick’s defense.

22. Green Bay Packers: Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Arkansas

Burks finished last season with 66 receptions, 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. He would be a great addition to a Packers receiver room with the likes of Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and Randall Cobb.

23. Arizona Cardinals: Zion Johnson, Offensive Guard, Boston College

Johnson would be able to make an impact on an offensive line that gave up 39 sacks last season and plays in a division that has defensive terrors like Aaron Donald and Nick Bosa.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Kenyon Green, Offensive Guard, Texas A&M

Green would be able to provide an immediate impact on an offensive line that lost Conor Williams to the Dolphins in free agency and La’el Collins to the Bengals via trade.

25. Buffalo Bills: Breece Hall, Running Back, Iowa State

Hall finished last season with 1,472 yards and 20 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry to go along with 36 receptions, 302 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hall would be an upgrade over Devin Singletary both in the running and passing game.

26. Tennessee Titans: George Pickens, Wide Receiver, Georgia

Pickens recovered from a torn ACL to finish last season with 5 receptions for 107 yards. He would provide depth at receiver, considering Robert Woods is still recovering from a torn ACL, and be a nice complement to AJ Brown, who’s a free agent after next season.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arnold Ebiketie, Defensive End, Penn State

Ebiketie finished last season with 9.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. At 6’3,” 256 lbs., he has elite quickness, running a 4.55 40-yard dash. He would fill Jason Pierre-Paul’s void and have an opportunity for playing time as a rookie.

28. Green Bay Packers: Logan Hall, Defensive End, Houston

With the release of Za’Darius Smith, Hall would be able to fill the void at 6’6,” 275 lbs. Hall finished last season with 6 sacks and has a combination of strength, height, long arms and speed.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jahan Dotson, Wide Receiver, Penn State

Dotson finished last season with 91 receptions, 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns. Dotson won’t be able to replicate Tyreek Hill’s speed, but his three longest receptions were for 72, 75 and 86 yards, respectively.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Andrew Booth, Jr., Cornerback, Clemson

Booth, Jr. finished last season with 3 interceptions and 5 passes defensed. He has a combination of size and speed at 6’0,” 200 lbs. and a 4.38 40-yard dash.

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Jaquan Brisker, Safety, Penn State

Brisker finished last season with 1 fumble recovery, 2 interceptions and 5 passes defensed. At 6’1″ and 200 lbs., he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash. Brisker has the skills to potentially replace Jessie Bates, who was franchise-tagged in the offseason.

32. Detroit Lions: Matt Corral, Quarterback, Mississippi

Corral finished last season with 20 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 80.5, which was 10th in the country. He has the size, arm strength and toughness that head coach Dan Campbell looks for in a quarterback.