Thanksgiving is about the 3 Fs – Food, Family, and Football. While you’re spending time enjoying your great food and time with your family, we hope to help add to the football element of Thanksgiving today by GIVING you a mock draft.
Around Thanksgiving every year, there a decent number of teams that are basically out of the postseason. While the rest of the league dreams of the playoffs, we’ll give you some hope for the future. Dan and I know how that feels, we’re Giants fans. Without further ado, our first 2022 NFL Mock Draft:
- Detroit Lions: QB Malik Willis, Liberty
Dan: Do I think any of these quarterbacks should go in the first round? No. But the reality is that because of the position that they play, quarterbacks will always be overdrafted. The Lions won’t go into next season with Jared Goff as their starter and they won’t be able to lure a quality free agents to come play there. They’re going to have to sit and pick between Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, and Sam Howell. I give Malik Willis the edge here on Thanksgiving but that’s obviously subject to change.
- New York Jets: Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
Matt: Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best player in the class and Robert Salah and the New York Jets will gladly take him second overall if Detroit decides to take a QB. The 6-foot-5, 260lb pass rusher checks every single box as a blue chip prospect. Salah’s defense gets his franchise EDGE.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: LT Evan Neal, Alabama
Dan: The Jaguars need to get a blue chip prospect at offensive tackle to keep their blue chip quarterback safe. When you’re picking in the top three and you have your quarterback, just take the best player available. Evan Neal is that guy here.
- Houston Texans: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Matt: This is a copycat league and Mac Jones is having a really nice season with the Patriots. You know who definitely sees that? Former New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio. The four year starter for Pitt has put it all together this season for a huge rise up draft boards. I think Pickett’s experience (5 years in college) and maturity (he’ll be 24 at the start of the 2022 season) will be a huge plus for a Texans team that is completely dismantled and will need a leader.
- New York Giants: Edge Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Dan: This would be a dream scenario for the Giants. Hutchinson is an absolute monster on the edge who makes offensive lineman dread his presence. The Michigan man has nine sacks this season and his motor is extremely high. His speed rush is incredible and he is very good against the run. He’s a complete player and one that you can build around on defense.
- New York Jets (Via Seattle): CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
Dan: The Jets need virtually everything so they may as well take the best cornerback in the draft. I also love the irony of them taking a DB from LSU with one of the first round picks they got for a DB from LSU.
- New York Giants (Via Chicago): OT/OG Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State
Matt: After adding a fantastic EDGE prospects two picks earlier, the Giants bulk up the other side of the trenches with Ikem Ekwonu. His full name Ikemefuna literally translates to “my effort will not be in vain.” Ekwonu is a three year starter at LT for NC State, winning the job as a true freshman. Ekwonu has also played over 200 snaps at guard during college, giving him the versatility that teams love. Plug him in at RT across from Thomas and start fixing the offensive line for real this time.
- Philadelphia Eagles (Via Miami): S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
Matt: Kyle Hamilton might be the 2nd best player in this entire draft class. Teams just don’t value the safety position above other key positions (EDGE, OT, QB, CB). Hamilton is huge at 6-foot-4, 221lbs and insanely athletic. Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are both now on the wrong side of 30 making safety a need, but that really doesn’t even matter. Philly is grabbing the best player available.
- Atlanta Falcons: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
Dan: Here’s a fun game I like to play with my friends: Name four players on the Falcons defense. I’d bet you can’t. The Falcons get a top talent at CB here.
- Washington Football Team: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Matt: Tyler Heinicke is fun to watch on Sundays (sometimes) but he’s clearly not the long-term answer for the Football Team. Ron Rivera was able to do great things with a mobile QB like Newton. Corral might not be Newton but he’s athletic and has a nice arm. While this QB class isn’t nearly as strong as last year’s class, I don’t think Dan Synder will be able to help himself. New name, new jerseys, new face of the franchise.
- Philadelphia Eagles: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
Dan: The Eagles take a wide receiver with the same pick they took Devonte Smith with in last year’s draft. That 1-2 combo would be insane to pair together.
- Carolina Panthers: Edge George Karlaftis, Purdue
Matt: Matt Rhule has put a lot of resources into building Carolina’s defense. I don’t think he stops in the 2022 NFL Draft. Karlaftis is a nice upgrade across Brian Burns over Morgan Fox. He’s been dominant for Purdue all season. In fact, you could argue that he’s the most pro-ready pass rusher in the class and could potentially take Carolina’s defense to the next level.
- Denver Broncos: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State
Dan: The Broncos could very well go quarterback here but George Paton is going to be patient and not force anything in that regard. It wouldn’t shock me if the Broncos make a run at Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson this offseason.
- Miami Dolphins (Via San Francisco): IOL Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
Matt: Miami might have the worst offensive line in football. They have needs all across the line. In steps Tyler Linderbaum, the best lineman in the entire class. Linderbaum is a C at Iowa but he should also be able to transition to OG. Whoever plays QB for Miami in 2022 gets a huge W with this pick.
- Las Vegas Raiders: WR Justyn Ross, Clemson
Dan: Should Justyn Ross be a first round pick? Absolutely not. But the Raiders generally only take players from big name schools in the first round and they generally overdraft them by a couple of rounds. Since Mike Mayock has taken the GM role, the smallest school they’ve picked form in the first round is Mississippi State. Everyone else is either from Ohio State, Alabama, or Clemson. The Raiders draft process is the worst in the league and this pick lines up with that.
- Philadelphia Eagles (Via Indianapolis): Edge Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
Matt: Jermaine Johnson has had one of the largest ascensions in the 2022 draft class. Come draft day, I’m not sure he’s making it half way through the first round. Johnson is 6-foot-5, 260lbs and is expected to run in the 4.50s. He has the length, speed, and power to be a dominant EDGE in the league for a long time.
- Cleveland Browns: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina
Dan: Is this pick a little tongue in cheek? Maybe. But Baker Mayfield isn’t it and this is my way of saying that the Browns need to look for an upgrade at quarterback if they ever want to be a legitimate championship contender.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Carson Strong, Nevada
Matt: At the time of this writing and with plenty of film left to watch, Carson Strong is my favorite QB in this draft class. Strong has a rocket launcher for an arm and is one of the most accurate QBs in the class. The knock? He’s a total statue. In 2005, he’s QB1 no questions asked but the NFL has changed. If there’s a team that’ll take a shot on Strong it’s Pittsburgh, who have gotten pretty used to immobile QBs over the last 17 years.
- New Orleans Saints: DT DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
Dan: Many pundits have Leal as a top ten prospect. This would be an absolute steal for New Orleans if the draft falls like this.
- Minnesota Vikings: Edge David Ojabo, Michigan
Matt: It’s no secret that Minnesota needs EDGE rushers. Ojabo was a former track and field star in high school and it shows. He’s explosive off the EDGE and has excellent closing speed to get after the QB.
- Buffalo Bills: OL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
Dan: The Bills could upgrade their RT spot with Kenyon Green. Many people see him as a guard but he can play RT at the NFL level.
- Los Angeles Chargers: DL Jordan Davis, Georgia
Matt: Davis a monster of a human being at 6-foot-6, 340lbs and an excellent run stuffer. Davis is one of the most impactful players on one of the best defenses in college football. His size and raw power will eat up double teams, which should allow Joey Bosa to get some free space on the EDGE.
- Cincinnati Bengals: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
Dan: The Cincinnati Bearcat becomes a Cincinnati Bengal. The Bengals get some much needed help at corner and can replace worthless bum Eli Apple.
- Detroit Lions (Via Los Angeles): WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
Matt: If the Lions are going to take a QB, they’re going to need to get him some weapons on the outside. Olave is a talented route runner with the potential to be a true WR1 in Detroit.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Drake Jackson, USC
Dan: The Chiefs defense needs everything so let’s start with the most important position you can have on a defense: Edge rusher.
- New England Patriots: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida
Matt: The Patriots need CB help across from JC Jackson. Elam has put together 3 really good years at UF and has done a great job of totally shutting down WRs in his junior season. The stats aren’t flashy for Elam but that’s because teams just aren’t throwing the ball near him. That’s gonna be something Belicheck and the Patriots staff value.
- Dallas Cowboys: S Daxton Hill, Michigan
Dan: The Cowboys add a very solid safety prospect in Michigan’s Daxton Hill who should be a sure fire player at the NFL level.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Roger McCreary, Auburn
Matt: The Bucs are a great football team but it’s no secret that the back end of their defense needs to be improved. McCreary plays feisty on the outside and is a good run defender as well.
- Baltimore Ravens: T Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
Dan: You can start Kinnard out by playing opposite Ronnie Stanley and eventually he can come in and play left tackle. Hopefully he doesn’t whine about that like Orlando Brown did.
- Green Bay Packers: WR Drake London, USC
Matt: The Packers finally get a WR that can play across from Davante Adams for Jordan Love (or Aaron Rodgers). The 6-foot-5 WR was off to a fantastic season before fracturing his ankle. The massive WR has great ball skills that should make Jordan Love (again, or Aaron Rodgers) very happy.
- Tennessee Titans: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas
Dan: Simply put, the Julio Jones experiment hasn’t yielded great results. Burks is a very good receiver who they can play opposite AJ Brown.
- Arizona Cardinals: Edge Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
Matt: This is a really good draft for EDGE rushers and Arizona will grab one at the end of the first round. Enagbare will be a borderline first round draft pick next May. He has the size 6-foot-4, 260lbs, to play the EDGE and also push inside.