Garrett Wilson and Matt Corral go within the prime 10
Have a look at the calendar for a second. It’s already late November. Winter is coming. And no, I’m not speaking in regards to the Night time King. I’m speaking about bowl video games, the Senior Bowl, the Shrine Bowl, and the NFL Mix. NFL Draft season is true across the nook. And ever so slowly, this class is coming into focus. This 7-Spherical 2022 NFL Mock Draft gives the most recent snapshot of the place gamers may land.
2022 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 1-16
Listed below are the primary 16 picks in our November 7-Spherical 2022 NFL Mock Draft. 4 edge rushers from this stacked class break the highest 16, whereas two linebackers additionally ascend into the highest half. On offense, a lone extensive receiver cracks the highest 5.
Editor’s Notice: Draft order is present as of the completion of Thursday Night time Soccer on November 18.
1) Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Positional worth will all the time drive quarterbacks up the board a sure extent. Nevertheless, a weak 2022 quarterback class presents a great alternative for groups just like the Lions to replenish on blue-chip expertise — even when they’ve a evident want at QB. Detroit wants to interchange Jared Goff sooner quite than later, however they need to use their early first-round decide on somebody who’s price it.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is price it. The Oregon edge rusher has lengthy been considered the premier defensive prospect within the 2022 NFL Draft — and when he’s been wholesome this yr, he hasn’t upset. In seven video games, Thibodeaux has 6 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and a pair of pressured fumbles. The 6’5″, 250-pound edge rusher wins with a uncommon mixture of explosiveness, energy, and vary. That’s simply what the Lions want on protection.
2) Houston Texans: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Thibodeaux is broadly thought of the highest edge rusher within the draft, however there’s a little bit of a debate about who is available in behind him. Aidan Hutchinson and George Karlaftis are the subsequent guys up, and the group appears cut up on them nearly 50-50. Personally, Hutchinson is my desire because the second edge defender off the board. I’m a fan of each gamers, however Hutchinson appears extra explosive, extra twitchy, and extra violent together with his palms.
Hutchinson is usually lauded as an especially refined and high-motor prospect — and he’s. However misplaced in that dialogue is that Hutchinson will take a look at as a near-elite athlete. According to Bruce Feldman, Hutchinson can run a 4.64 40-yard sprint at 6’6″, 265 kilos, whereas additionally sporting a 36-inch vertical and an otherworldly three-cone time. Together with his testing and tape, Hutchinson generally is a top-three decide, palms down.
3) New York Jets: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
That’s proper. The primary cornerback off the board on this 2022 NFL Mock Draft isn’t Derek Stingley Jr., Andrew Sales space Jr., or Kaiir Elam — it’s Washington’s Kyler Gordon. Gordon doesn’t have as a lot hype as the highest gamers at his place — however for my part, he needs to be lumped in that group.
At 6’0″, 200 kilos, Gordon has nice measurement. He’s lengthy sufficient as a canopy man, and he additionally has good body density. Past that, he’s an especially explosive, fluid, and twitchy athlete. He can follow any model of receiver in man protection, and he has the processing velocity and shutting velocity to be harmful in zone. Consider his ball abilities, and Gordon is a possible lockdown cornerback on the subsequent stage.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Garrett Wilson was the very first participant I scouted within the 2022 NFL Draft. Instantly, it was clear that Wilson had WR1 potential. He’s all the time been near his teammate Chris Olave. However what units Wilson aside is his three-level capacity. Whereas Olave is thrilling in his personal proper, Wilson has an assuredness at each stage of the receiving course of that Olave doesn’t match.
Earlier than the catch, Wilson is an extremely twitchy and explosive athlete with crisp releases and misleading routes in his arsenal. On the catch level, he brings unmatched physique management and ball-tracking capacity. And after the catch, he’s supremely elusive and slippery as a ball service. Wilson might be the WR1 the Jaguars want to assist assist Trevor Lawrence.
5) Philadelphia Eagles: Andrew Sales space Jr., CB, Clemson
The Eagles have appeared aggressive at occasions this yr, however this staff continues to be a number of steps away from really competing within the NFC playoff race. Quarterback is a separate subject fully, however past that, Philadelphia nonetheless wants extra blue-chip expertise — primarily on the defensive facet of the ball. Darius Slay has remained productive this yr, however his prime is close to its finish. The Eagles want somebody to accompany him and carry the torch.
Andrew Sales space Jr. will be that man for Nick Sirianni’s squad. The Clemson cornerback pops off the display in all phases. Final yr, it was his gravity-defying performs on the ball that garnered respect. This yr, nonetheless, his sticky protection and heat-seeking type in run protection have taken middle stage. Sales space is lengthy, twitchy, aggressive, and holds immense upside as a playmaker on the again finish.
6) New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
There’s a dialogue available — particularly if the Giants clear home — about Daniel Jones’ stint at quarterback ending after three seasons. However in an uninspiring quarterback class, it’s simply as prudent to make use of two early first-round picks on blue-chip expertise to enhance the supporting solid round Jones. We received’t lower any corners or mince any phrases right here. New York wants offensive linemen, and that’s precisely what they get on this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
A number of offensive tackles have risen up the board for the reason that offseason, however Evan Neal stays on the pinnacle of his place group. The 6’7″, 360-pound behemoth hasn’t upset this yr. He’s an unreal athlete for his measurement with nice pure energy, and he’s inflicted his will on opponents week in and week out. He nonetheless struggles with steadiness often however has improved there. And his capacity to play left or proper deal with makes him much more interesting.
7) New York Jets: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Upgrading that cornerback room exterior of Bryce Corridor is a begin. Nevertheless it’s not even near sufficient for Robert Saleh if he needs his staff to take a leap in Yr 2. The Jets additionally want extra EDGE expertise to complement their robust inside line. Carl Lawson will come again from harm subsequent yr, and Bryce Huff has been a pleasant discover. However nonetheless, it’s higher to be overstocked at one among your most essential positions.
Paired with Lawson, George Karlaftis instantly provides the Jets some of the highly effective EDGE duos within the league. Karlaftis, nonetheless, is noticeably greater at 6’4″, 275 kilos. Energy is a central a part of Karlaftis’ recreation, and he channels it properly. Nevertheless, the Purdue star additionally has shocking closing velocity and change-of-direction capacity. He has a deadly bull rush, however his arsenal is robust past that, and he’s harmful on stunts.
8) New York Giants: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
If the Giants are going to roll with Jones for yet one more yr at quarterback, then it is sensible to double-dip on the offensive line within the prime 10 — particularly when the entrance 5 has been one of many deflating elements for the Giants over Jones’ profession. Neal was the primary off the board, however Tyler Linderbaum is true there with him within the blue-chip tier.
Though he measures in at 6’3″, 290 kilos, Linderbaum doesn’t play small. The truth is, he could also be some of the bodily middle prospects in current reminiscence. Linderbaum packs an immense quantity of energy and core power into his 290-pound body. On prime of that, he’s an incredible athlete with a finisher mentality. With Linderbaum and Neal, the Giants may give themselves a greater probability to step ahead on offense.
If there’s any staff that should do its homework on the 2022 quarterback class, it’s Washington. The Soccer Group exited the 2021 offseason with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. The latter has primarily began all the season, with uninspiring consistency. Washington has been in QB purgatory longer than the Panthers have existed. It’s time to vary that and cease dwelling on the bridge.
Granted, it could be tough to vary that in 2022. However one quarterback who looks as if the very best wager is Matt Corral. Corral has the arm expertise that Heinicke lacks, and he brings the identical athletic capacity wanted to create off-script. Furthermore, Corral is a steely competitor, and he’s turn into a extra environment friendly passer this yr. There’s sufficient upside right here to take the chance. And of all groups, Washington must take it.
10) Atlanta Falcons: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
If Thursday’s recreation towards New England was any indication, the Falcons need assistance. On each side of the ball, Atlanta’s roster is depleted. The rebuild nonetheless has a number of extra years — and yet one more quarterback — to go earlier than head coach Arthur Smith and Co. are really aggressive. Thus, it is sensible to focus on a premium place right here (and a premium participant with uncommon upside).
David Ojabo was a digital unknown earlier than the season, however he’s labored his approach up and proven promising progress every week. He has 10 sacks and 5 pressured fumbles so far in 2021. That’s a first-round manufacturing profile, and Ojabo brings the products as properly. He’s 6’5″, 250 kilos, with an outrageous mixture of explosiveness, torso flexibility, size, and lateral agility. The Falcons must go high-upside, and it doesn’t get a lot greater than this.
11) Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
It was just lately introduced that Kyle Hamilton would miss the rest of the 2021 common season with a knee harm. It’s solely a six-week harm, but it surely might be sufficient to place the lid on Hamilton’s collegiate profession. He’s been penciled in as a top-10 decide for over a yr. And on this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, he almost delivers on that promise.
The highest 10 generally is a uncommon place for safeties. For higher or worse, positional worth (or positional ambiguity) can drive gamers again. Which may occur to Hamilton, but it surely shouldn’t. The Notre Dame defender has all the things in his arsenal. He’s massive, he’s insanely athletic, he’s versatile, and he’s proven he can course of shortly to make performs. He helps add extra blue-chip expertise to an Eagles protection that’s beginning to look quite a bit higher already.
12) Miami Dolphins: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The 2022 NFL Draft’s inside linebacker class seems a bit underwhelming on the floor. Nevertheless, two defenders have emerged because the favorites for the highest positional spot: Devin Lloyd and Nakobe Dean. Lloyd is a bit older, however he’ll have an opportunity to win over NFL scouts on the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Cellular, Alabama. If he distinguishes himself there and shines in interviews, being the primary LB off the board may be very a lot on the desk.
Don’t fear about Miami’s offensive line; we’ll get to that shortly. For now, Lloyd’s athleticism, excessive soccer IQ, and uncommon versatility as a playmaker seal the deal on this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. The 6’3″, 235-pound Lloyd will be the glue man for the Dolphins together with his pre-snap recognition and fast processing capacity. Past that, he’s nice in protection, and he’s an efficient move rusher as properly.
13) Minnesota Vikings: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Weeks in the past, Derek Stingley Jr. had season-ending surgical procedure on a lingering foot ailment. The harm disadvantaged us of seeing a robust profession end from Stingley. Nevertheless, at this level, the LSU cornerback is a recognized amount. If he’s not your prime cornerback, he’s one among your prime cornerbacks. It’s that straightforward. And if he falls to Minnesota on account of his harm, the Vikings face a equally easy determination.
Minnesota isn’t mild on wants, however cornerback is close to the highest of the record as soon as once more. This appears like the right class to lastly drive the difficulty and revamp the cornerback room. Stingley, together with his uncommon bodily traits, might help with that. The 6’1″ cornerback has an elite mixture of size and explosiveness. On prime of that, he’s a bona fide playmaker on the catch level.
14) Denver Broncos: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
As anticipated, Denver’s determination to decide on the very best of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock backfired this yr. To be honest, making a decisive transfer at quarterback is less complicated mentioned than completed. However few groups wanted that type of transfer greater than Denver. Now, they’re on observe to waste a doubtlessly aggressive season. The roster is depreciating, and the teaching employees is in limbo.
It looks as if a reset is coming for Denver, and with a reset comes a brand new quarterback fully. Sam Howell isn’t a consensus favourite within the 2022 NFL Draft, however he does have sufficient upside to warrant taking in Spherical 1. Howell is a good athlete and a troublesome competitor. Past that, he has a great arm with a level of pure accuracy in construction. His decision-making can enhance at occasions, however a greater supporting solid could be simply what he wants.
15) Philadelphia Eagles: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Georgia has about 472 NFL Draft prospects on protection, so I’d perceive if Nakobe Dean was a first-round identify you’re not conversant in. That mentioned, it doesn’t take a lot Georgia tape to know simply how impactful Dean is. To be cliché, he’s the guts and soul of the Bulldogs’ protection. He flies round and makes defining performs every week, and his expertise reveals by way of that course of.
Few gamers have the combo of high-level athleticism and high-level processing that Dean has. It’s a crucial mixture for the LB place, and it units Dean aside. Though he’s a bit smaller and stouter, he’s extraordinarily explosive and rangy. Moreover, he has the short play recognition and aggressiveness to make use of his traits successfully. He could be a drastic improve within the Eagles’ LB room.
16) Cleveland Browns: Drake London, WR, USC
It’s been a tough few weeks should you’re a Browns fan. The season started with a scorching 3-1 streak that satisfied many the Browns have been again. Since then, Cleveland has fallen to .500. First, Odell was the issue. However now, it seems to be like he wasn’t the issue. Both approach, the Browns have issues. Let’s work towards fixing them on this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
One factor is for sure — the extensive receiver room lacks expertise. There are good function gamers, however there’s nobody to shoulder the load and draw consideration away from different receiving choices. When you’re making an attempt to attract consideration, Drake London is your man. At 6’5″, 210 kilos, he’s a relentless mismatch for defensive backs. He’s a literal menace on the catch level, however he additionally has nice run-after-catch capacity, and he can separate with easy athleticism as properly.