2022 NFL Mock Draft (Round 1)


We’ve reached that point of the year where teams will look to improve their rosters through the draft—and fortunately, since this year’s draft class is loaded in almost every position other than quarterback, there will be a chance for every team to get better for the coming season.


Jacksonville Jaguars Logos History | Logos & Lists!Pick 1: Jacksonville Jaguars

Aidan Hutchinson, ED, Michigan

The Jags were able to address their offensive line in free agency, so they will take the best player currently available in the draft, and that is Hutchinson. He has the potential to be an immediate difference-maker on the defensive line alongside Josh Allen.

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Pick 2: Detroit Lions

Travon Walker, DL, Georgia

Detroit desperately needs some juice off the edge, and Walker is a boom-or-bust prospect who has the physical skills to become a defensive line superstar, whether he stays on the edge or packs more weight into his frame and goes on the interior. Walker’s gifts may end up being worth the gamble for Detroit, despite the mundane collegiate stat sheet.


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Pick 3: Houston Texans

Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

This is not the sexy pick, but the Texans need to improve the protection for quarterback Davis Mills if they expect him to be the future of the franchise. Neal is arguably the best tackle in the draft, so this should be a somewhat obvious move for Houston. Pairing Neal with stalwart tackle Laremy Tunsil could immediately improve Houston’s offensive line from its current status as one of the league’s worst.


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Pick 4: New York Jets

Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Despite the Jets making improvements to their secondary in free agency, there is still more work to be done. Gardner is an ultra-talented athlete who head coach Robert Saleh can mold into a superstar, giving the Jets the reliable shutdown corner they have lacked since Darrelle Revis left.


New York Giants Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 5: New York Giants

Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

The Giants also are in need of a new offensive tackle to pair with Andrew Thomas. Ekwonu has room for improvement in pass protection, but that could give Daniel Jones room to succeed—and he already has excellent run-blocking skills, which could help Saquon Barkley regain his Pro Bowl form.


Houston Texans Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 6: Houston Texans (trade)

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

In a mock trade with the Panthers, the Texans exchange their 2022 13th and 37th overall picks and a 2023 third-rounder to move up to the sixth spot.

This trade would net Houston do-it-all safety Kyle Hamilton, who is a rangy, versatile athlete who can roam around the back of the field, without losing the ability to come up to the line of scrimmage and make plays there if needed.


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Pick 7: New York Giants

Kayvon Thibodeaux, ED, Oregon

There are several (frivolous) questions about Thibodeaux’s work ethic, but in all likelihood, Thibodeaux would not have even declared for the draft if he did not want to play. Anyway, Thibodeaux is a raw yet excellent athlete who can be developed into the game-changing pass rusher New York has lacked since Jason Pierre-Paul. This is a risky pick, but like Travon Walker, the results could make this pick a steal.


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Pick 8: Atlanta Falcons

Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Marcus Mariota will not be able to succeed with Atlanta’s depleted receiving core. Enter Garrett Wilson. The talented Buckeye should be able to make an early impact, as he’ll need to pick up plenty of targets along Atlanta’s only other offensive weapons: tight end Kyle Pitts and aging RB/WR hybrid Cordarrelle Patterson.


Seattle Seahawks Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 9: Seattle Seahawks

Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

If Seattle expects Drew Lock to be a decent starter, then offensive line help is needed immediately. Cross is a great starting point for Seattle’s offensive line, as the Mississippi State product can protect whoever is under center in Seattle and contribute in the run game for years to come.


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Pick 10: New York Jets

Drake London, WR, USC

Though Elijah Moore and Corey Davis are a nice start, the Jets will need a receiver of London’s caliber if they expect Zach Wilson to develop into a franchise quarterback. Though London is not very fast, he makes up for his lack of speed with his contested catch ability, and should be a day-one contributor for the Jets.


Washington Commanders logo transparent PNGPick 11: Washington Commanders

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Washington’s defensive line is as good as it gets, which would allow a linebacker of Lloyd’s caliber to contribute early on. Lloyd fills a gap in Washington’s defense by giving coordinator Jack Del Rio a young chess piece to use all over the line, which should be able to give opposing offenses fits for years to come.


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Pick 12: Minnesota Vikings

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

There is some argument that, if he was not hampered by injuries as of late, Stingley would be the number one overall pick. That hesitation could turn out to be an absolute steal for the corner-needy Vikings, as a healthy Stingley is a true shutdown player—something Minnesota has lacked since Xavier Rhodes.


Carolina Panthers Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 13: Carolina Panthers (trade)

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

By trading down with the Texans, the Panthers will likely reach for a quarterback. Head Coach Matt Rhule’s job is very much on the line this season, and the front office knows that Carolina needs a starting quarterback to properly rebound. Pickett is the most NFL-ready of all of the signal-callers in this draft, and most importantly, will be an immediate upgrade over the Sam Darnold/Cam Newton/P.J. Walker debacle.


Los Angeles Chargers Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 14: Los Angeles Chargers (trade)

Jordan Davis, DI, Georgia

In this mock trade with the Baltimore Ravens, the Chargers move up from the 17th selection, giving Baltimore their 17th overall and 79th overall picks, and a 2023 4th-round pick.

The Chargers run defense was the stuff of nightmares last season, and a run-stuffing phenom like Davis will instantaneously improve the ground response that cost the Bolts a playoff spot last season. Davis is not much of a pass rusher, but that is fine, considering Los Angeles has Joey Bosa and now Khalil Mack.


Philadelphia Eagles Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 15: Philadelphia Eagles

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The Eagles know that they cannot rely solely on Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert in the passing game, and Jameson Williams could also turn out to be yet another steal in this draft. If he did not tear his ACL in the National Championship game, Williams would be a Top 10 selection, which is easy to see considering his top-tier talent and speed, assuming he stays healthy, could take Philly’s offense to a new level.


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Pick 16: New Orleans Saints

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

The Saints know that Jameis Winston is only a bridge QB, which is the reason why they traded several picks to Philly for another first rounder. Willis is a draft-and-develop prospect who will sit behind Winston for a year before being unleashed in 2023. His excellent dual-threat ability should translate well in the NFL.


Baltimore Ravens logo transparent PNGPick 17: Baltimore Ravens (trade)

George Karlaftis, ED, Purdue

The Ravens defensive line needs to be addressed in the draft, and Karlaftis is exactly the game-changing edge rusher the Ravens need. The Purdue product will form a dynamic one-two punch on the edge alongside Odafe Oweh, giving the Ravens two pieces on defense to build around.


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Pick 18: Philadelphia Eagles

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

The Eagles are going to need good linebackers if they are going to contend in the NFC. The reigning Butkus Award winner may be small for a linebacker, but he will be the keystone that they have lacked in the past few seasons, with Dean thriving in both coverage and as a run-stopper as the centerpiece of Georgia’s defense.


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Pick 19: New Orleans Saints

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Saints cannot rely solely on Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara offensively. They need a smooth receiver like Olave who can stretch the field, giving the Saints’ offense another reliable pass-catcher for Jameis Winston, and eventually, Malik Willis.


Pittsburgh Steelers logo transparent PNGPick 20: Pittsburgh Steelers

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

Mitchell Trubisky is not going to be a long-term option for the Steelers, suggesting that Desmond Ridder will be able to develop behind him. Pittsburgh has a history of excellent drafting and developing when it comes to quarterbacks, as exemplified by Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger, so a dual-threat quarterback like Ridder could bring the Steelers back into contention at the head of a young, talented roster.


New England Patriots logo transparent PNGPick 21: New England Patriots

Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

New England let star corner JC Jackson walk in free agency, so a new CB1 in Foxborough is top of the list. Booth did get exposed a bit much in college, but he fits Belichick’s system well, and no one is better at developing young corners better than Bill Belichick, who will surely help Booth become a star in no time.


Green Bay Packers logo transparent PNGPick 22: Green Bay Packers

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

After the Davante Adams trade, the Packers are in desperate need of a reliable pass catcher for Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay will take the best receiver left when they pick, and that will be Burks, a tall athlete who will be an excellent vertical weapon Rodgers should be able to trust as a replacement for Adams.


Arizona Cardinals logo transparent PNGPick 23: Arizona Cardinals

Jermaine Johnson II, ED, Florida State

Arizona needs to replace Chandler Jones with a cheaper, younger option, and Johnson is an impressive athlete with a high floor, based on his college production. Johnson will provide an infusion of youth and energy to an aging defensive line that consists mostly of high-priced veterans past their prime.


Dallas Cowboys logo transparent PNGPick 24: Dallas Cowboys

Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

After losing both La’el Collins and Connor Williams in free agency, Dallas needs a new starting guard to protect Dak Prescott. Johnson is excellent in pass protection, and provides decent run blocking on top of it. He is in an excellent position to develop into a star player, as he will be on the same offensive line as future Hall of Famers Tyron Smith and Zack Martin.


Buffalo Bills Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 25: Buffalo Bills

Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

This pick makes too much sense not to happen. The Bills defense was exposed against the Chiefs, and they have needed a reliable sidekick for superstar corner Tre’Davious White for a few years. McDuffie is a skilled cover corner, only allowing two deep completions in his collegiate career despite his smaller frame.


Tennessee Titans logo transparent PNGPick 26: Tennessee Titans

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Titans have a weak offensive line outside of Taylor Lewan, who badly needs someone to take up slack. Penning is a dominant mauler in the run game, and should help this offense clear whole new lanes for Derrick Henry, while improving protection for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo transparent PNGPick 27: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devonte Wyatt, DI, Georgia

The Bucs need to replace Ndamukong Suh, and Wyatt is a much younger option for the Bucs to plug into their aging defensive line. Wyatt is a good run-stuffer, making him an excellent compliment to Vita Vea, while also possessing much untapped potential as a pass rusher, a must in Todd Bowles’ defense.


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Pick 28: Green Bay Packers

Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

The Packers need more protection for Aaron Rodgers outside of tackle David Bakhtiari and do-it-all lineman Elgton Jenkins. Raimann is an excellent run blocker with even more untapped potential as a pass protector. He may be a little old, as he’ll turn 25 in the regular season, but his ability should make up for this.


Kansas City Chiefs logo transparent PNGPick 29: Kansas City Chiefs

Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The Chiefs have a poor defense, and losing Charvarius Ward does not help matters. Kansas City is going to need good cornerback play to win the gauntlet that is the AFC West, which features three other teams with Pro-Bowl-caliber quarterbacks and receivers. Cornerback Kaiir Elam is an great shutdown corner and is capable of going toe-to-toe with the many elite receivers in the AFC.


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Pick 30: Kansas City Chiefs

Boye Mafe, ED, Minnesota

The Chiefs were consistently unable to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks without blitzing, which opens up a spot for a talented edge rusher who can bend the outside, such as Mafe. Mafe has the potential to form an explosive duo with star defensive lineman Chris Jones.


Cincinnati Bengals logo transparent PNGPick 31: Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

The Bengals did get much-needed help on the offensive line in free agency in the form of Ted Karras, La’el Collins, and Alex Cappa. However, Linderbaum at center will give the Bengals one of the best offensive lines in the league, only a year removed from being one of the worst ever, as no college consistently produces better linemen than Iowa—making Linderbaum an extremely safe pick.


Detroit Lions Wordmark logo transparent PNGPick 32: Detroit Lions

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Jared Goff was a bridge quarterback for the Lions, meaning they will almost certainly use a first-round pick on a new field general. In this case, the quarterback selected with the final pick of the first round is the talented Matt Corral, who can run the ball as well as he can throw it. Corral will likely spend a year behind Goff, just like Willis and Ridder, before being the starter for 2023.