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2022 NFL Mock Draft: Five QBs go in first round as combine performances boost stock of top prospects


Alabama

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 350 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

2nd

GM Trent Baalke said the Jaguars are “open for business” when it comes to the No. 1 overall pick, but there won’t be any takers. Instead, Jacksonville invests in protection for Trevor Lawrence with the selection of Neal, a 6-foot-7, 340 pounds behemoth who moves as though he’s 75 pounds lighter.

Michigan

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 265 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Lions could really use an edge rusher, and Hutchinson has cemented himself as the best one in this class. It’s a bonus that he’ll get to play in his home state.

NC State

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 320 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

4th

Whether the Texans decide to trade or keep two-time Pro Bowler Laremy Tunsil, they need much more talent along an offensive line that finished the 2021 season 27th in ESPN’s pass block win rate. Ekwonu will help immediately in that regard while consistently pile driving defenders in the run game.

Notre Dame

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

Hamilton is a much different player than Jamal Adams; Jets fans need to understand that when reacting to the possibility of their team taking the jack-of-all-trades prospect out of Notre Dame. New York finished dead last in total defense a year ago, and Hamilton is a player who can boost every level of the unit.

Mississippi State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

3rd

The Giants must do a much better job protecting Daniel Jones, and drafting Cross to complement Andrew Thomas on the edges would be a big step forward.

Pittsburgh

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Carolina

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

3rd

All anyone wants to talk about at the combine is Pickett’s 8.5-inch hands, which will be the smallest in the NFL once he’s drafted in late April. It’s not insignificant, but Pickett’s leadership, experience, and overall skill set will overshadow his hand size.

Oregon

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 258 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

Excellent haul for the Giants, who pair a potential cornerstone offensive tackle with a potential cornerstone edge rusher. Thibodeaux has all the physical tools to wreak havoc off the edge.

Cincinnati

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 188 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

2nd

Derek Stingley Jr. enthusiasts talk at length about his dominant 2019 campaign, but “Sauce” Gardner locked it down for his entire career at Cincinnati. (He did not allow a TD in 1,000 snaps in coverage, according to PFF.) Combine that elite production with his aggressiveness and confidence on the outside, and that’s why the Falcons make Gardner the first cornerback off the board.

Liberty

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

2nd

He’s not there yet, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Willis ended the draft process as the consensus top quarterback prospect. His physical traits are undeniable, and there have been numerous reports about him blowing teams away with his football intelligence during interviews. He’s not ready to start right away, but the Broncos get an exciting talent who could end up being better than all of this year’s free agent quarterbacks.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 192 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

1st

Let’s assume the Jets address their interior offensive line issues in free agency. If that’s the case, they’ll most likely have their pick of the litter at wide receiver. Wilson would help Zach Wilson immensely right away while alleviating pressure on New York’s other young skill players (Michael Carter, Elijah Moore, etc.).

Cincinnati

• Sr

• 6’4″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

55th

POSITION RNK

5th

Washington has reportedly contacted every team about quarterback availability, but the reality is that the biggest names don’t look like they’ll be traded and the free agent class is mostly uninspiring. Ridder is a proven leader and winner who just dominated the testing portion of the NFL combine and can orchestrate an offense with the right pieces around him. He’d endear himself to Ron Rivera and the coaching staff quickly.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

The Vikings halt the fall of Stingley, who was once considered the consensus No. 1 cornerback but has since fallen back with the likes of “Sauce” Gardner, Trent McDuffie and others. Stingley could still wind up on top once all of their careers progress, and recapturing the magic of his freshman campaign at LSU would be a good place to start.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 275 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

1st

After adding some offensive firepower in free agency, the Browns address the defensive line in Round 1 since Myles Garrett is the only starter under contract in 2022. Luckily, Walker can play inside and out, providing Cleveland with a valuable commodity as it attempts to slow down Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow in the AFC North.

Iowa

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 290 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

If history repeats itself, the Ravens will move on from Bradley Bozeman. And if that’s the case, center becomes an immediate need. It just so happens that at the combine, general manager Eric DeCosta said Linderbaum shares a lot of the same qualities with former Iowa and longtime Raven Marshal Yanda. Linderbaum could be the Ravens’ next great interior offensive lineman.

Washington

• Soph

• 5’11”

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

32nd

POSITION RNK

6th

The Eagles need to get Darius Slay some help in the secondary, and McDuffie does everything well from covering to run defending to even the occasional blitz.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

39th

POSITION RNK

6th

Ojabo’s run defending needs plenty of work, but the out-of-nowhere pass-rushing prowess he showed at Michigan this past season should be enough for NFL teams to jump at the opportunity to draft him. He could turn into the most productive pass-rusher in this class when it’s all said and done.

Georgia

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 330 lbs

In this scenario, the Chargers franchise tag Mike Williams and instead bolster what was one of the league’s worst run defense in 2021. Good luck to Javonte Williams, Austin Ekeler and Clyde Edwards-Helaire as they try to find running lanes between the tackles with the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Davis occupying the middle.

USC

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

4th

The run on receivers starts with London, whose jump-ball and contested-catch ability will make life easier for whomever starts at quarterback in New Orleans in 2022.

Arkansas

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Burks said at the combine that he tries to mimic his game after 49ers weapon Deebo Samuel, which should be music to the ears of the Eagles coaches and talent evaluators. Their run-heavy attack would be that much more dangerous with the threat of Burks being used in unconventional ways, not to mention he’s a run-after-catch machine who would complement DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert.

Ole Miss

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Steelers avoid having to trade up to get Corral, who must improve his field awareness and decision making but will have the luxury of a quality supporting cast of skill players in Pittsburgh.

Utah

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Patriots would be wise to take Lloyd if he falls outside the top 20. He excels in every facet of the position — just look up his stats from this past season at Utah — and would fit right in with the Patriots’ aggressive and physical defense.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Las Vegas

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

1st

Every defensive coordinator wants a linebacker who will elevate the entire defense, and that’s what new DC Patrick Graham would get in Dean. The leader of perhaps the greatest defense in college football history would quickly become Las Vegas’ leading tackler while making sure everyone is on the same page.

Florida State

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 260 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

36th

POSITION RNK

5th

In a division with Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson, plus the increasing likelihood of having to defend the dynamic Trey Lance, the Cardinals need to do a better job getting after the quarterback. Drafting Johnson will go a long way toward accomplishing that.

Purdue

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 275 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

3rd

If the Cowboys part ways with Demarcus Lawrence or Randy Gregory this offseason, getting Karlaftis at this point in the draft would be a success. He has a lot of Ryan Kerrigan in his game, and Dallas is familiar with what Kerrigan was able to do while with Washington.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 189 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Williams said at the combine that he would “love to play with Josh Allen”, and in this scenario he gets his wish. The rich get richer in Buffalo.

Northern Iowa

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 321 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

50th

POSITION RNK

11th

Taylor Lewan and Rodger Saffold are both on the wrong side of 30, and their combined cap number is a whopping $27.5 million for 2022. If the Titans decide to go younger and more cost effective, they’ll love Penning’s physical traits and nasty playing mentality.

Texas A&M

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 325 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

5th

This just makes too much sense with the surprising retirement of Pro Bowler Ali Marpet. Green played four of the five offensive line positions in college, but he’s best suited at the spot Marpet just vacated.

Ohio State

• Sr

• 6’1″

/ 188 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

5th

It looks as though Green Bay will be keeping the band together, so why not add another promising member who would make it that much more dynamic?

Central Michigan

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 305 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

50th

POSITION RNK

11th

The Austria native has only played tackle for two seasons after transitioning from tight end, which means he’ll have plenty of room to grow for a team that must protect Tua Tagovailoa at all costs.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 192 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

2nd

General manager Brett Veach said at the combine that the Chiefs are looking to get a deal done with Tyrann Mathieu. Even if that happens, drafting the versatile Hill would help the Kansas City secondary in a variety of ways.

Boston College

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 316 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

7th

The Bengals badly need offensive line help, and there should be plenty of quality options at this point in the draft. In this case, they go with Johnson, who has moved up draft boards after a standout Senior Bowl week.

North Carolina

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

48th

POSITION RNK

4th

Goff doesn’t seem to be the long-term solution in Detroit, even if the Lions are paying him like one after taking on his contract from Los Angeles. Howell can sit behind Goff for a year and hopefully develop to the point where the Lions feel confident with him as the starter in 2023.





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