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NFL Mock Draft 2022: Edition 2 (Combine Edition)

Ikem Ekwonu, NC State to NY Jets

 1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Evan Neal seems to be trending as the favorite for the No. 1 overall pick at this point in the draft process. Neal's a freak of nature who stands at 6'7" and weighs in at over 350 pounds, but his athleticism and footwork are elite. He was somewhat streaky at times in Tuscaloosa, but offers significant upside at a need position for a Jacksonville team looking to upgrade their protection for Trevor Lawrence.

2. Detroit Lions

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

I still think there's a fair chance Aidan Hutchinson is Jacksonville's selection at No. 1 but if not, Detroit would have an easy selection staying inside the state to land the former Michigan Wolverine. Hutchinson's poor showing in the Playoff Semifinal loss to Georgia overshadowed what was otherwise a dominant 2021 in which the edge rusher was invited to New York as a Heisman Finalist.

3. Houston Texans

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

There's a lot of different directions Houston can go with this pick, including O-Line, pass rusher, and defensive back. Evan Neal would be a no-brainer if he lasts this long, but the Texans instead go best player available with Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux has shocking physical tools and put together a strong 2021 despite battling through injuries. He seems to have more bust potential than Hutchinson, but might have higher upside in the long-term.

4. New York Jets

Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State

A strong Combine showing likely cemented Ikem Ekwonu as a Top 5 selection in this Draft. The NC State product is a superb athlete for his size and can play at multiple spots along the line of scrimmage. He'd be a smart pick for a New York team that, much like Jacksonville with Lawrence, is looking to protect their franchise signal-caller, Zach Wilson.

5. New York Giants

Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The run on offensive linemen continues, as the Giants address their pass protection woes by adding Charles Cross out of Mississippi State. Even before hitting the off-season, the offensive line was a position group of need for the G-Men and the recent release of Nate Solder opens up an opportunity for Cross to come in and start right away.

6. Carolina Panthers

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

This is a fascinating draft spot for Carolina, who has obvious needs at offensive line and quarterback. They'd love if any of the top three were still available at this point but with the trio all gone, they turn instead to Kenny Pickett. For some reason, Pickett's hand size was a hot topic of discussion at the Combine this past week, but it shouldn't move the needle too much. He's the safest quarterback prospect of this Class and could come in and start right away for Matt Rhule.

7. New York Giants

Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Kyle Hamilton is another player who has helped himself out with a good showing at the Combine, which is likely to lock him in somewhere in the Top 10. The Giants could contemplate picking him up at five but it would be even better to wait and pick him up two spots later. Hamilton's versatility and range make him an ideal fit in the modern NFL, and New York could use him in a wide variety of ways.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Derek Stingley Jr. and Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner are widely considered the top two corners in this Draft, but in my mind, Gardner is the much safer pick. He was the definition of shutdown while at Cincinnati, not allowing a single touchdown pass in his collegiate career. He's a tremendous pickup for a Falcons team looking to upgrade their secondary.

9. Seattle Seahawks

David Ojabo, DE, Michigan

The Russell Wilson trade shook up the Top 10, with Seattle rising to the No. 9 selection after dealing away their franchise quarterback. One might think that means they'll take a quarterback here, but I'm not so sure. With all the uncertainty around the position, I think they may still go defense, as the group was atrocious in 2021. David Ojabo had a breakout fall and has the physical gifts to be a powerful edge rusher for years to come.

10. New York Jets

Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

It's been a long time since the Jets had a truly dynamic target on the perimeter and the position should be a top priority for the front office. With their pick of receivers available here, I think the Jets go with Garrett Wilson, a potential game-changing deep threat who would pair well with Wilson's huge arm. If not for Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba stealing targets away, I think Wilson would have been the runaway Biletnikoff Award winner.

11. Washington Commanders

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

After an illustrious college career with Liberty, Malik Willis has only helped himself with impressive performances in the Senior Bowl and Combine. He's a fascinating prospect, a big-armed QB with elite rushing ability, but his mechanics and decision-making need refinement. Washington absolutely needs a new start at QB and Willis has the playmaking to come in and make an immediate impact, much like what RG3 did over a decade ago.

12. Minnesota Vikings

Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

What was once a position of strength for Minnesota has deteriorated into a real conundrum for the new front office and coaching staff. Jeff Gladney is long gone, Bashaud Breeland was atrocious, and Patrick Peterson doesn't have much left in the tank. The Vikings are hopeful Derek Stingley Jr. can regain his 2019 form, when he was a dominant true freshman corner, after two frustrating seasons in Baton Rouge.

13. Cleveland Browns

Drake London, WR, USC

Cleveland has an obvious need at receiver, as Odell Beckham Jr. was traded to the Rams and Jarvis Landry could be on the move soon. They would love if Wilson were to fall to them at 13, but Drake London is quite the consolation prize. He's a big-bodied, physical wide out who was putting together a truly special season on a terrible USC team prior to a season-ending injury.

14. Baltimore Ravens

Travon Walker, DL, Georgia

Baltimore's pass rush is going through a transition, as Justin Houston and Calais Campbell both hit free agency and could be heading elsewhere. There's young talent here, but the Ravens could still look to add another edge rusher in Travon Walker out of Georgia. Walker was overshadowed at times with all the other elite talent the Bulldogs had in their front seven, but a strong Combine vaulted him into a Top 15 selection.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

George Karlaftis is widely considered one of the top pass rushers in this Draft and a potential Top 10 selection, but he could slide demanding on team needs and preferences. A potential slide for him would be a win for Philadelphia, who could use another pass rusher off the edge. 

16. Philadelphia Eagles

Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Despite investing plenty of draft capital and money into the wide receiver position, Philadelphia is still very weak at the position. They're hoping DeVonta Smith can continue to develop, but another first-round selection at wide out may be in the cards. Treylon Burks was incredibly productive at Arkansas despite playing in a run-heavy offense and would pair nicely with Smith on the perimeter.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The Charger defense was poor throughout 2021, but they were particularly susceptible against the run. They'll look to address that early on in this Draft and luckily for them, Jordan Davis is ripe for the taking at 17. Davis had a dominant campaign with the National Champion Georgia Bulldogs and he's followed that up with an impressive pre-Draft process.

18. New Orleans Saints

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

You would've liked to see New Orleans be more proactive in addressing their long-term QB situation when it became clear Drew Brees was nearing the end but here they are, diving into the off-season without an answer at the game's most important position. Perhaps Malik Willis could drop to them, but Desmond Ridder or Matt Corral are the more likely options. Ridder improved every single year while in the college ranks and is one of the safer QB prospects of this Class.

19. Philadelphia Eagles

Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Philadelphia addresses another need position by adding Trent McDuffie out of Washington. He brings much needed youth to an aging secondary and continues a long line of former Huskies who have made the transition from Seattle to the NFL.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

With "Big Ben" finally retired and without a clear replacement plan in place, Pittsburgh chooses a quarterback on the first night of the Draft. They could trade up to land one, but Matt Corral offers plenty of upside at pick 20. He's got dazzling arm talent and a fearless attitude, but will need to polish off parts of his game to be worthy of a first-round selection.

21. New England Patriots

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Mac Jones had an impressive rookie season in New England, but the Patriots could still look to upgrade their mediocre receiver corps. Chris Olave would be an excellent addition in the mid to late first round; the former Buckeye is a proven entity with crisp route running skills and reliable hands. He's the type of ready-made, polished receiver you would love to pair with a young QB.

22. Las Vegas Raiders

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Devin Lloyd is too good of a prospect to slide much further down draft boards, as the Utah product is an intelligent, well-rounded linebacker who has the production in college worthy of a first-round selection. He would immediately fit in at a need position and give new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham a nice welcoming gift.

23. Arizona Cardinals

Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa

Tyler Linderbaum is probably a Top 10-15 prospect in this Class but based on the position he plays, it's unlikely he lands super high. That would be good news for Arizona, who wants to upgrade their interior offensive line and show Kyler Murray they're committed to protecting him. Linderbaum might not be the most exciting pick, but anybody who watched him dominate in college knows what he can bring to the table.

24. Dallas Cowboys

Jermaine Johnson II, DE/LB, Florida State

While Dallas has one of the game's most exciting young defenders in Micah Parsons, the rest of the front seven has question marks. Carlos Watkins and Randy Gregory are both set to hit the open market, and Demarcus Lawrence also may not be back. The Cowboys decide to invest in a young pass rusher here in Jermaine Johnson II, who spent time in the JUCO ranks and with Georgia before an impressive 2021 in Tallahassee.

25. Buffalo Bills

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Buffalo is pretty clearly a Super Bowl contender, but they're just a piece or two away from really getting over the top. The receiver position may be the spot GM Brandon Beane chooses to upgrade, as Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders are aging and both replaceable. A torn ACL in the National Championship Game loss threatens to drop Jameson Williams outside the first, but the Biletnikoff Award finalist is too good to pass up.

26. Tennessee Titans

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Titans may choose to upgrade their receiver corps with Julio Jones nearing the end and A.J. Brown hitting free agency next off-season, but with many of the big names off the board, they instead focus on their O-Line. The unit was decent in 2021, but Taylor Lewan is getting older and may not be worth the money. They invest in his replacement, Trevor Penning out of Northern Iowa, who has had a tremendous pre-Draft process.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

As newsworthy as the Tom Brady retirement was in Tampa, guard Ali Marpet's decision to call it a career may have just as large of an impact. The Bucs will miss the Pro-Bowler, but they could find his immediate replacement in the form of Kenyon Green. Green, a former high-profile recruit, can play either guard or tackle if needed and is a proven run blocker.

28. Green Bay Packers

George Pickens, WR, Georgia

The Aaron Rodgers saga appears to be on hold, with the reigning MVP signing a massive contract extension. Even so, it's about time the Packers invested in their receiver corps, which has been regularly underwhelming beyond Davante Adams. Enter George Pickens, a big, physical receiver who showed he is back to 100 percent with a strong Combine performance.

29. Miami Dolphins

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Miami could go any number of different directions here, or perhaps even trade the selection to a team looking to trade up to the back-end of the first round and get a quarterback. With so much uncertainty, best player available seems like a fair approach, and Nakobe Dean is too good to let get out of the first round. On a team full of future NFL defenders, Dean shone as the real heart-and-soul of this defense.

30. Kansas City Chiefs

Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia

The run on Georgia Bulldogs continues, with Devonte Wyatt the next former Bulldog defender to be plucked off the board. Wyatt was often overshadowed by Jordan Davis and all the attention he got, but he's a skilled pass rusher who could play either on the interior or off the edge. He is well worth a late first-round flier for the Chiefs here.

31. Cincinnati Bengals 

Bernhard Raimann, OL, Central Michigan

Anybody who watched Cincinnati's Super Bowl run this year knows how big of a concern the offensive line is. Joe Burrow is obviously great, but the Bengals can't remain in contention if he's being picked up from the dirt every play. Enter Bernhard Raimann, a truly fascinating prospect who comes from Central Michigan. The native Austrian is a former tight end who made the move to O-Line and has NFL scouts drooling with interest.

32. Detroit Lions

Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

Quarterback seems like a possibility here considering Jared Goff's uncertain future, but I wouldn't be surprised if Detroit holds off on that spot a bit longer. Instead, they look to fix their issues in the secondary by adding Roger McCreary, who was quietly one of college football's best defenders in 2021. There's still a chance Jeff Okudah figures it out but if not, McCreary could become the long-term top corner.

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