Way-too-early 2022 NFL Draft mock
The NFL season has just begun, and it is bound to be a great season. While this season will be great, it is never too early to look at the top college players and get a first look at the 2022 NFL draft. There are highly talented prospects coming out of this year’s class that teams will covet.
This draft doesn’t have a consensus number one pick like last season with Trevor Lawrence. Since his freshman campaign, Lawrence had been the consensus number one pick, where Clemson won the National Championship. There are highly touted prospects at multiple positions atop the draft board.
With that said, here is the way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
2022 NFL Draft earlybird projections
1st pick: Texans draft QB Spencer Rattler
Multiple quarterbacks could be selected at the top of the draft, but Rattler would fit the Texans’ system well. Deshaun Watson’s days on the Texans are numbered due to his off-the-field issues and trade rumors. Rattler has incredible arm strength and zip on the ball, which makes him an elite passer. He is also an athletic quarterback that can make plays on the run. Rattler would be a great selection for the Texans to make.
2nd pick: Jets draft DE Kayvon Thibodeaux
Perhaps the most talented prospect in the NFL draft is Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux is a combination of speed, agility, and explosiveness. 1st-year head coach Robert Saleh was instrumental in the San Francisco 49ers pass rush and defense as their Defensive Coordinator. Saleh would love to have a defensive anchor like Thibodeaux to build his system around. They focused on building their offense in the 2021 draft, but they should focus on the defense in 2022.
3rd pick: Lions draft S Kyle Hamilton
The Detroit Lions are in a tough spot as a franchise, and they need to take the best player available in the NFL draft. Kyle Hamilton is an extremely talented safety with great physical traits. Hamilton has great size for a safety at 6’4” and 219 pounds. His speed and fluidity allow the game to come to him. Hamilton is also a great tackler, which is not always the case for a defensive back. Selecting Hamilton would give the Lions someone to build around on defense.
4th pick: Jaguars draft OL Evan Neal
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ priority needs to be protecting Trevor Lawrence. He is their franchise quarterback, but they have not built a good offensive line. Evan Neal is arguably the best offensive lineman in the class and has great size at tackle. Neal is 6’7” and 360 pounds with great strength and surprising athleticism. Neal would be a great NFL draft building block for the Jaguars’ offensive line.
5th pick: Broncos draft QB Sam Howell
The Denver Broncos have struggled to find a franchise quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. Drew Lock has not been the answer, and Teddy Bridgewater is an average starting quarterback. Sam Howell would be a great quarterback for the Broncos to build around. Howell is great at reading the defense and getting the ball out of his hand quickly. He would have a seamless transition as the Broncos have great receivers.
6th pick: Bengals draft CB Derek Stingley Jr.
The Cincinnati Bengals have built up a great young offensive core, but they still lack a defense. They could use a great corner to fit around, and Derek Stingley Jr. would fit that role well. Stingley Jr. is clearly the top corner in the NFL draft class, and for a good reason. He is the prototypical corner size at 6’1” and 185 pounds and is a phenomenal athlete. Stingley can keep up with the fastest receivers as well as making plays on the ball. This pick would set the Bengals secondary up for success.
7th pick: Eagles draft DL DeMarvin Leal
The Philadelphia Eagles are moving in the right direction as a franchise but need to build a great defensive line. DeMarvin Leal is one of the best defensive linemen in the nation and would be a great selection for the Eagles. Leal is a versatile defensive lineman who can play anywhere on the defensive line. His athletic ability and length allow him to disrupt any offense. Leal would be a great NFL draft fit for the Eagles.
8th pick: Giants draft OL Kenyon Green
The New York Giants need to build their offensive line, and Kenyon Green would be a great pick. Green is one of the best offensive linemen and has great leverage and strength. He has great speed for a lineman, which allows him to make second-level blocks. Drafting Green would be a strong NFL draft pick for the Giants to protect Daniel Jones.
9th pick: Falcons draft QB Desmond Ridder
The Atlanta Falcons need to find Matt Ryan’s replacement as he enters his age 36 season. Desmond Ridder would give the Falcons offense a new dynamic due to his dual-threat ability. Ridder also has incredible arm strength and has great toughness. He would be a great fit for the Falcons offense and could be their franchise quarterback.
10th pick: Raiders draft WR Garrett Wilson
The Las Vegas Raiders have lacked a great receiver since trading away Amari Cooper. Ohio State has produced great receivers over the years, including Michael Thomas and Terry McLaurin. Garrett Wilson is the next great receiver to come out of Ohio State. Wilson is an explosive athlete with an ability to high point the football. The Raiders taking Wilson in the NFL draft would finally give them an elite receiver again.
11th pick: Vikings draft CB Kaiir Elam
The Minnesota Vikings had a top defense a few seasons ago but have lost many players in their secondary. Drafting Kaiir Elam would help the Vikings transition into the defense they once were. Elam has great instincts and has a great burst, allowing him to break up passes. He is a great all-around corner and would be a phenomenal fit for the Vikings’ defense.
12th pick: Panthers draft OL Nick Broeker
The Carolina Panthers have rebuilt their offense but are lacking a good offensive line. They traded for Sam Darnold and have surrounded him with great receivers. The Panthers now need to build an offensive line in the NFL draft to set Darnold up for success. Offensive lineman Nick Broeker would be a great player for the Panthers to take. He has unreal athletic skills for an offensive lineman and has proven to be a good pass blocker.
13th pick: Giants via Bears draft DE Drake Jackson
The New York Giants acquired another first-round pick in the draft after trading down in the 2021 NFL draft. They need to add young defensive players, and a versatile player like Drake Jackson would be great. Jackson can play both outside linebacker and defensive end. He is a great pass rusher and would instantly elevate the Giants’ offensive line.
14th pick: Saints draft WR Chris Olave
The New Orleans Saints have lacked a receiver alongside Michael Thomas over the last few years. Chris Olave out of Ohio State would be a great pairing next to Thomas. Olave has tremendous athleticism and is great at creating separation. He would be a great fit in Sean Payton’s offensive system.
15th pick: Cardinals draft CB Andrew Booth Jr.
Another one of the top corners in the NFL draft class is Andrew Booth Jr. The Arizona Cardinals’ lack of talent at cornerback is a big weakness, and bringing in a player like Booth Jr. would be beneficial. Booth Jr. is an elite prospect with great speed and athleticism. His sensational ball-skills separate him from the other corners in the draft class.
16th pick: Washington Football Team draft QB Carson Strong
The Washington Football Team has yet to find a franchise quarterback. Carson Strong has the chance to go number one in the draft, but if the Texans choose Rattler, Strong will fall. Strong is a great pocket passer and just a prototypical quarterback. He would be a great NFL draft pick for the Washington Football, and they would have a ton of potential as a team moving forward.
17th pick: DE George Karlaftis
George Karlaftis is a dominant defensive end out of Purdue. He is a great combination of strength and size, making him a top target for many teams. Wherever Karlaftis ends up, he will be a phenomenal addition to their defensive line. This is an under-the-radar NFL draft choice.
18th pick: S Jordan Battle
Jordan Battle is one of the top safeties in this NFL draft class behind Hamilton. Battle is a tremendous athlete with great speed and coverage skills. He is also a great leader and would be a solid addition to any team’s secondary.
19th pick: QB Malik Willis
There are many talented quarterbacks in this class, and Malik Willis is one of them. He is another quarterback that could end up at the top of the draft but needs to prove more. Willis has arguably the best arm in the class, as well as high athleticism. He will make a great quarterback for whoever drafts him.
20th pick: OL Tyler Linderbaum
The top center in the 2022 NFL draft class is Tyler Linderbaum. Linderbaum has great strength and can get to the second level with ease. He could become a franchise center for the team that drafts him.
21st pick: CB Trent McDuffie
Trent McDuffie is another great corner in the 2022 NFL draft class. McDuffie has tremendous instincts and the explosiveness to make plays on the ball. His game should translate well to the pro-level.
22nd pick: CB Ahmad Gardner
This draft class is full of great corners, and Gardner is another one of them. He is a great all-around corner that plays with a ton of energy. Gardner could come in and instantly make an impact for an NFL team.
23rd pick: LB Christian Harris
It’s no surprise to see an Alabama linebacker end up on this list. Christian Harris has proven what he can bring to a team’s defense. He is a great run stopper due to his ability to get through the gaps. Harris will be a great NFL draft selection for any team.
24th pick: OL Sean Rhyan
There are many good offensive linemen in this NFL draft class, but Sean Rhyan is on the rise. Rhyan is the key piece of the UCLA Bruins offensive line and has proven his worth. Rhyan would be a great addition to an NFL team’s offensive line.
25th pick: LB DeMarvion Overshown
DeMarvion Overshown is currently the second-best linebacker in the class behind Harris. He has insane athleticism, which allows him to make many plays. Overshown could take a year to develop in the NFL, but he has great potential.
26th pick: OL Ikem Ekwonu
Ikem Ekwonu is a versatile offensive lineman that could plug into any offense. He has experience at guard and tackle and has shown how great a run blocker he is.
27th pick: WR Drake London
Drake London is one of the best receivers in this year’s NFL draft class. London has great speed and size but is not without flaws in his game. He would likely take a year or two to develop in the NFL but could become an elite receiver after that.
28th pick: WR Treylon Burks
Treylon Burks is a versatile offensive weapon with great size. He may not have elite speed, but he makes up for it with the rest of his game. Burks would be able to make an impact in his rookie campaign for an NFL team.
29th pick: OL Rasheed Walker
An underrated offensive lineman in the 2022 NFL draft class is Rasheed Walker. Walker has great size and potential, making him an intriguing prospect at the end of the first round. He has great technique, which will help him have a seamless transition to the NFL.
30th pick: S Brandon Joesph
Brandon Joesph is a very intriguing safety prospect in this NFL draft. It is unclear if he will declare for the draft, but he could go near the end of the first round if he does. His IQ and athleticism make him a great safety prospect.
31st pick: S Jalen Catalon
Another good safety in the class is Jalen Catalon. Catalon has moved up NFL draft boards recently due to his great play at Arizona. His closing speed is what separates him from other safeties in the class and would be a welcomed addition to a team’s secondary.
32nd pick: RB Isaiah Spiller
While running backs don’t often go in the first round, Isaiah Spiller has the talent to go towards the end. He is a great do it all back that could instantly make an impact at the NFL level.
This coming NFL draft is loaded with talent, and it will be exciting to see how things go down in the draft in 2022.