Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.
2022 NFL Mock DRAFT
- WALT'S | CHARLIE'S
Send Charlie an e-mail here: email@example.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell
NFL Draft Recent Links:
The overreaction mock draft is back! You never know what outside-the-box thinking will end up being prophetic.
Washington Redskins: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
TRADE!! Washington gives up three first-round picks to move up for Pickett, who is a great fit for Scott Turner's offense. The franchise formerly known as the Redskins, has a quality roster but badly need a franchise quarterback. It will take a big bold move from Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney to get a franchise quarterback to escape the purgatory of a series of veteran journeyman quarterbacks.
Pickett caught fire in 2021, ripping up opponents on a weekly basis and boosting his draft grade. He is a dangerous rhythm passer in the short to intermediate part of the field while also showing superb deep-ball accuracy. When plays break down, Pickett has mobility and is a willing, tough runner. Pickett shows excellent accuracy, developed field vision, an ability to work through progressions, can buy time with his feet, and is able to throw vertically with a soft deep ball that is easy to catch. He has definite NFL arm talent. While he generally shows good decision making, there are 2-3 passes per game where he makes poor choices, looking like a risky gunslinger. That issue could likely be worked out of him by a pro staff.
In 2021, Pickett took the Panthers to new heights with their first ACC Championship, and he surpassed Dan Marino as the program's all-time leader in touchdown passes. Pickett completed 67 percent of his passes in 2021 for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He notched five rushing touchdowns as well.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has quality size for the NFL and is known to have good character. One negative is Pickett is said to have small hands, which is why he wears gloves, including on his throwing right hand. After seeing some action in 2017, Pickett was the Panthers' starter from 2018-2020, so he will enter the next level with a lot of starting experience, but he will also be a 24-year-old rookie.
Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
Detroit grabs an edge rusher who could bring a Khalil Mack-type presence to their defense. Thibodeaux could lead a tough group of edge rushers with Romeo Okwara, Julian Okwara and Charles Harris.
Thibodeaux spent the 2021 season dealing with an ankle injury, but he still recorded 49 tackles, seven sacks, one pass batted and two forced fumbles on the year. He recorded 32 tackles, three sacks and three passes batted in 2020. Thibodeaux had a superb freshman season for the Ducks, doing an excellent job of getting after the quarterback and totaling nine sacks, 35 tackles, a forced fumble and three passes batted.
Thibodeaux (6-4, 242) is very fast off the edge with an explosive first-step and flashes speed to power to bull rush some offensive tackles. He could stand to refine and add more pass-rushing moves, but he has big-time ability and a lot of upside to develop.
Houston Texans: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
After losing J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus over the past few years, the Texans need a difference maker in the front seven.
Hutchinson (6-3, 261) has quality size for the next level, is a good athlete, has quickness, and displays a pretty good get-off. He plays hard and gives relentless effort as a pass rusher. With his speed, athleticism and hand usage, Hutchinson is a hard-charging, dangerous pass rusher who harasses the quarterback for four quarters.
In the ground game, Hutchinson is sufficient. He wants to win with suddenness and athletic ability to knife through by moving and slanting. As a run defender, he can find the ball and use his quickness and athleticism to make plays. He does not, however, seem to want plays to be run right at him, and sources feel his run defense is alarming when teams go straight at him. He could be a base end in a 4-3 or a 3-4 edge rusher.
In 2021, Hutchinson recorded 62 tackles, 14 sacks, three passes batted, a fumble recovered and two forced fumbles - another one was mistakenly given to a teammate. Hutchinson was excellent to open 2020, collecting 13 tackles and a pass batted before going down with an ankle fracture that required surgery. He broke out as a sophomore for the Wolverines as a tough defender who flashed pass-rush ability. In 2019, he had 68 tackles with 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
New York Jets: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
The Jets need an edge rusher to go across from Carl Lawson.
Karlaftis totaled 36 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles in 2021. He recorded four tackles and two sacks in 2020 while missing time with a leg injury and COVID-19. Karlaftis broke out for the Boilermakers in 2019, totaling 54 tackles and 7.5 sacks. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Karlaftis has the upside to get better. He is a quality athlete with a closing burst, excellent hands, and has a non-stop motor. The relentless Karlaftis is a dangerous pass rusher who could stand to improve his run defense for the NFL.
New York Giants: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU
Cornerback is not an immediate need for the Giants, but it could be a long-term one, and Stingley could be the best prospect available. James Bradberry will be in the last year of his contract in 2022, while New York can opt out of Adoree' Jackson's contract after 2022. It would not be surprising if a new Giants general manager wants to get younger and cheaper at cornerback.
Stingley recorded eight tackles and a pass defended in 2021 before going down with a foot injury. He totaled 27 tackles, a forced fumble and five passes broken up in 2020. Stingley struggled against Alabama and DeVonta Smith that season, but he was also banged up all year.
Even though LSU had a returning corner who was highly touted in Kristian Fulton, Stingley took over as the Tigers' No. 1 corner during his freshman season. Stingley was phenomenal, shutting down receivers and making big plays for the LSU defense. He showed excellent instincts, size, ball skills, and cover ability. His six interceptions and 15 passes broken up in 2019 were superb production, but it really incredible considering he was a freshman. Stingley (6-1, 190) has the ability to end up being a top cornerback prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Minnesota Vikings: Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
TRADE!! The Vikings move up with the Carolina Panthers for a badly needed No. 1 corner. After having Jeff Gladney and Mike Hughes go bust, Minnesota needs a feature corner.
Gardner (6-3, 200) is a tall cornerback who has good length to battle outside receivers in the NFL. To go along with his size, sources say Gardner is fast and has ball skills, but he is a little raw. Over the past three seasons, Gardner was a productive and steady cover corner. In 2019, he collected 31 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes defended. In 2020, he had 28 stops, three interceptions and nine passes broken up. Gardner collected 40 stops, three interceptions and four passes batted in 2021.
New York Giants: David Ojabo, DE, Michigan
The Giants grab an edge rusher to go across from Azeez Ojulari.
Thanks to Aidan Hutchinson commanding a lot of attention, Ojabo broke out in 2021, recording 35 tackles, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles and three passes defended. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is fast off the edge with the ability to bend underneath offensive tackles. Ojabo could stand to get better as a run defender for the NFL. He is a 1-year wonder who could find his best fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
The Falcons need more defensive line talent and a disruptor at the point of attack.
Some league sources are extremely high on Davis, but I also know some area scouts who were not projecting him to the first round if he had entered the 2021 NFL Draft and have some concerns that he might be a one-trick pony for the NFL. The 6-foot-6, 340-pound Davis is a mountain of a man with unique speed and athleticism. Team sources compare him to Albert Haynesworth and John Henderson.
Davis had an excellent game against Clemson to open 2021. He was a beast at the point of attack and led the Bulldogs' tremendous run defense against the Tigers. Davis notched three tackles and a sack, but the numbers don't illustrate how big of a force he was for Georgia. He has 30 tackles and two sacks thus far in 2021. In 2020, Davis collected 16 tackles and one sack. He had 2.5 sacks and 18 tackles as a sophomore after recording 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks during his freshman season.
Denver Broncos: Evan Neal, OT/G, Alabama
The Broncos finally fix their hole at right tackle.
The Crimson Tide moved Neal to left tackle for 2021, and he did well in his first outing on the blind side, facing Miami in the season opener. Neal has enough quickness and athleticism to play tackle, but his problems with speed rushers could make him a right tackle only in the NFL. That was given some proof against Florida, as he had problems with the Gators speed rushers for the second straight year.
Neal (6-7, 360) is a massive blocker who started at left guard as a freshman in 2019. As a sophomore, he replaced Jedrick Wills at right tackle and had a fine season for Alabama. Neal was reliable at protecting Mac Jones and opening holes for Najee Harris.
New York Jets: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
The Jets grab a right tackle upgrade to go with Mekhi Becton.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Cross looks like a future starting left tackle in the NFL and impressed team evaluators this season. Cross has excellent feet, athleticism, and quickness to play on the edge. For the next level, sources say Cross needs to get stronger and bigger for taking on pro linemen, but that is not abnormal. They feel after a little developmental time, Cross could be a good NFL left tackle.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
TRADE!! The Jaguars move down with Washington and land first-round picks in the 2023 and 2024 NFL Draft from the franchise formerly known as the Redskins. Here, Jacksonville helps its young franchise quarterback by landing a long-term No. 1 receiver for Trevor Lawrence.
Wilson continued to show his game-breaking speed and electrifying playmaking ability throughout 2021. He runs smooth routes, showing suddenness in-and-out of his breaks to consistently generate separation. Along with being fast playmaker, Wilson has good body control to adjust to the ball and is phenomenal after the catch. A lot of scouts feel Wilson is smoother and more explosive than teammate Chris Olave for the next level.
In 2021, Wilson totaled 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 6-foot, 193-pounder was a big-play weapon for Ohio State in 2020. The sophomore had 43 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns. After only four games, Wilson surpassed his freshman year production (30-432-5), and he seemed to become Justin Fields' most trusted receiver during the 2020 season.
Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekonwu, OT, N.C. State
TRADE!! Carolina moves down in a trade with Minnesota. The Panthers don't have a second-round pick due to the Sam Darnold trade and need to revamp their offensive line. Moving down would be ideal to get multiple picks to address their line. The Panthers have tried to upgrade their offensive line with veteran journeymen in the past two offseasons, and they have paid the price with a terrible blocking front. Carolina needs to bring in some legit talent for their line. Here's a left tackle to pair with Taylor Moton.
Ekwonu (6-4, 320) put together an impressive 2021 regular season that earned him high grades from NFL teams. In speaking to one director of player personnel, they said their team had Ekwonu as a mid- to late first-round pick. Ekonwu has experience at both guard and tackle from the Wolfpack, but projects as being able to play left tackle in the NFL. He is a fierce and physical run blocker. While Ekonwu has some things to work on as a pass blocker, the potential is there for him to stay on the edge.
Cleveland Browns: Wan'Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
The Browns need more receiving talent for Baker Mayfield. Here's a No. 1 receiver who is superb at creating separation and getting open quickly for his quarterback.
Robinson was phenomenal for Kentucky in 2021, catching 104 passes for 1,334 yards and seven touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder transferred from Nebraska and took the SEC by storm. Some team sources feel Robinson is a better version of Brandin Cooks. Like Cooks, Robinson is an outside speed receiver who is a threat to burn defenses vertically. Robinson is similar to Tyreek Hill, but not as fast as Hill. Some sources think Robinson will be a better version of Cooks in the NFL. Robinson is a phenomenal route-runner with speed and is sudden out of breaks. He is a real asset to uncover quickly for his quarterback.
Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
The Ravens need more offensive line talent to protect Lamar Jackson. Center Bradley Bozeman is entering free agency and Linderbaum would be an upgrade.
Linderbaum is a very polished and well-rounded player. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder plays with good leverage and has advanced hand placement. He is able to sink his hips to anchor against bull rushes while showing quickness and agility to adjust to speed. Linderbaum looks like a safe pick to become a quality starter in the NFL, and he could be selected in the back half of the first round if he enters the 2022 NFL Draft.
Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The Eagles could stand to add a difference maker in the middle of their defense.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound Hamilton is a dynamic playmaker and difference maker. He has phenomenal size, speed, and ball skills. Hamilton's size and speed make him a highly impactful run defender who flies downhill and is capable of being the eighth man in the box.
Some pro sources think Hamilton should move to linebacker in the NFL because Hamilton is straight line and does not have safety instincts. They feel because he misses some tackles in space and isn't great in man-to-man coverage, and that could be covered at linebacker. He is also taller than teams want in safeties.
Hamilton recorded 31 tackles, three interceptions and three passes defended in 2021. He missed the last five games of the year due to a knee injury suffered while tackling USC's Drake London. Hamilton totaled 56 tackles, an interception and six passes broken up in 2020. He put together an excellent freshman season for Notre Dame, showing good ball skills with four interceptions and six passes broken up to go along with 41 tackles.
Philadelphia Eagles: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Eagles could use another outside corner to go with Darius Slay.
McDuffie totaled 35 tackles and six passes broken up in 2021. He broke out in 2019 as a freshman, recording 45 tackles, two forced fumbles, an interception and two passes defended. In the 2020 mini-season, he had 14 tackles and a pick. Washington has been a factory for defensive back talent in recent years, and McDuffie will continue that trend in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder is a smooth corner with speed and cover skills.
Go to Overreaction 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.
Other 2022 NFL Mock Drafts:
2022 NFL Mock Draft - Walt's
Charlie Campbell's 2022 NFL Mock Draft
NFL Picks - Jan. 21
2022 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 19
NFL Power Rankings - Jan. 18
2023 NFL Mock Draft - Dec. 12
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8
NFL Draft Links: