NFL

The way-too-early 2022 NFL mock draft

2021 NFL training camp hasn’t opened yet, but scouts are already thinking about 2022. Here’s a look at the way-too-early 2022 NFL mock draft.

 

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Rattler had big shoes to fill as Oklahoma’s starter last season and struggled at times. Still, he had over 3,000 yards passing in 11 games, showing off his multi-dimensional ability. He has first-round talent if he could put it all together this year, and the Texans will more than likely be in the market for the position with Deshaun Watson’s off-field issues and previous desire to move on from Houston.

 

Detroit Lions: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

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Howell is slightly undersized but has been an impressive playmaker in two seasons at UNC with a strong arm and great mobility. His game resembles that of Baker Mayfield, and Detroit will be in the market for a quarterback if Jared Goff plays as poorly as he did with the Rams last year.

 

New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

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Thibodeaux has 12 sacks over the last two seasons for the Ducks, showing constant flashes of dominance. The Jets added Carl Lawson and have a young building block in Quinnen Williams, but there’s still more work to do on the defensive line.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Demarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

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The Jaguars defensive line has gone downhill fast, with minimal premium talent beyond former first rounder Josh Allen. Leal has been highly productive on the interior in his first two seasons for the Aggies.

 

Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

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Stingley had an incredible freshman season with six picks before regressing last year, but he remains the top corner prospect in the 2022 class. The Eagles have struggled in the secondary for several years, and could use some help for veteran Darius Slay.

 

Cincinnati Bengals: Drake Jackson, DT, USC

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The defensive line has quickly become one of Cincinnati’s positional strengths, but a young interior lineman could be on their radar. Jackson has strong interior rush skills with 7.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

 

Atlanta Falcons: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

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Florida has done well producing cornerback prospects in recent seasons, with Elam potentially next in line. A big cover corner at 6-foot-2, he has four picks over his first two seasons. Atlanta desperately needs help all over the field, including at cornerback.

 

New York Giants: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

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Harris has been highly productive in two seasons for the Crimson Tide, totaling 140 tackles. An excellent athlete, he looks like a strong first-round prospect. Blake Martinez has been a strong player for the Giants, but is signed only through 2022.

 

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9. New York Giants (via Bears): Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

New York Giants (via Bears): Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

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Strong was one of the most accurate passers in the country last season, completing over 70% of his passes in his sophomore season. A strong pocket passer, he could see his draft stock skyrocket this year. Daniel Jones could be entering a make-or-break year for New York after going 8-18 as a starter in his first two seasons.

 

Las Vegas Raiders: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

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The Raiders haven’t been shy about addressing their defensive line in the draft, but they’ve come up empty on many of their draft picks. Karlaftis had his season cut short in 2020 due to COVID-19, but recorded 7.5 sacks in his freshman year in 2019.

 

Carolina Panthers: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

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Willis transferred from Auburn to Liberty last year to find playing time, and he made good on the hype as a dynamic star with over 2,000 yards passing and 944 yards rushing in 10 games. With better passing accuracy, he could shoot up even higher on draft boards next year. The Panthers are giving Sam Darnold a chance to prove he can be a starter this season, but the jury is out.

 

Denver Broncos: Evan Neal, OL, Alabama

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Neal is a massive prospect who has started at both guard and tackle. He should be considered one of the top offensive line prospects in next year’s draft, and fill a need for Denver.

 

Washington Football Team: Kedon Slovis, QB, USC

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Interceptions have been an issue for Slovis in two years as a starter for the Trojans, but the former top recruit has top pocket passer talent. It’s only a matter of time before Washington addresses quarterback with Ryan Fitzpatrick nearing age 40.

 

Arizona Cardinals: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

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A huge safety at 6-foot-4, Hamilton has had two very productive seasons at Notre Dame. He’s been a huge playmaker with five picks in 24 games. He would make an elite safety tandem alongside Budda Baker.

 

Minnesota Vikings: Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

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Harrison is rapidly gaining playing time in Columbus and has recorded 5.5 sacks in his last two seasons. With a breakout 2021 season, he could be an early first-rounder. With Danielle Hunter’s recent injury issues, the Vikings will likely have a pass rushing need.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Shough, QB, Texas Tech

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Following in the footsteps of Justin Herbert at Oregon, Shough had an up-and-down sophomore season with 1,559 yards passing and 13 touchdowns in seven games in 2020. A more pass-friendly offense after transferring to Texas Tech has a chance to push Shough up draft boards with a better year and potentially replace Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.

 

New Orleans Saints: George Pickens, WR, Georgia

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Pickens is a former elite recruit who has produced well in his first two seasons at Georgia, including 14 scores. He has ample size at 6-foot-3 and would be a nice development piece opposite star Michael Thomas in New Orleans.

 

New England Patriots: Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State

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Banks is a top recruit who is set to become a starter for the Buckeyes in 2021. He follows in the footsteps of several impressive draftees and could put his name in first-round consideration with a big year. Stephon Gilmore’s future in New England looks up in the air due to contract issues, so cornerback could quickly become a need.

 

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19. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

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With the struggles of Jalen Reagor in his rookie year, wideout remains an issue for Philly. Wilson had a breakout 2020 season with 723 yards and six scores and has also contributed as a returner.

 

Los Angeles Chargers: Aidan Hutchinson, DL, Michigan

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Hutchinson missed much of last season due to a leg injury but has a chance to help his draft stock in 2021. The Chargers are in need of another long-term pass rusher after moving on from Melvin Ingram.

 

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21. New York Jets (via Seahawks): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

New York Jets (via Seahawks): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

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Olave surprised some when he opted to return to school in 2021. He’s produced big numbers over the last two years, including 19 touchdowns, and has the speed to shoot up draft boards after the 2021 season. The Jets have addressed wideout with Corey Davis and second-round pick Elijah Moore this offseason, but that talent probably isn’t enough to prevent them from taking another player.

 

Tennessee Titans: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

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Cross started 10 games for the Bulldogs in his redshirt freshman season. If he repeats last season’s strong results, Cross has a chance to crack the first round. Tennessee’s offensive line has taken its lumps over the last two years, and could save money next year by moving on from Taylor Lewan.

 

Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Green, CB, Texas

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Dallas didn’t address their secondary enough for many fans’ liking this offseason, and could be looking for help next year. Green has a chance to help his draft stock with more snaps this year.

 

Cleveland Browns: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

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Ross has major health questions following spinal surgery. If he’s able to rebound in 2021, Ross has shown No. 1 wideout ability in his first two seasons at Clemson with over 1,800 yards receiving. Cleveland is able to cut Odell Beckham after this season without many repercussions, which is a possibility if he doesn’t rebound well from injury.

 

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25. Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

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Philadelphia is planning to employ Jalen Hurts at quarterback this year, but it’s unclear if he’s the answer. Corral completed nearly 71% of his passes for the Rebels last season and also flashes very good mobility.

 

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26. Miami Dolphins (via 49ers): Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

Miami Dolphins (via 49ers): Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

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A potential run-stuffer weighing around 300 pounds, Winfrey had 17 tackles in 2020 as he gained playing time. He enters a big senior season for his draft stock.

 

Detroit Lions (via Rams): Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida

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Miller has been a highly productive player in his college career, including 86 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season. Detroit has needs at nearly every position.

 

Buffalo Bills: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

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Smith enters a huge season as a former top recruit who has yet to show much production on the field. He has only five sacks over two seasons, but has the physical tools to be a first rounder if he can have a breakout year.

 

Green Bay Packers: Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (FL)

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Nelson has started his first two seasons at left tackle and shows dominant potential. The Packers were able to extend left tackle David Bakhtiari but could have a need at right tackle.

 

Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

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Safety has been an area of need for Baltimore since they cut Earl Thomas, and Battle shows huge upside. He had 66 tackles and one pick for the Crimson Tide last season.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Justin Eboigbe, DL, Alabama

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The Bucs already got younger on the defensive line by drafting Joe Tryon this year and could continue that trend. Eboigbe should see an increase in playing time at Alabama this year, with the potential to be a force in the middle.

 

Kansas City Chiefs: Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

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Finding Travis Kelce’s long-term replacement could be on the agenda at some point for the Chiefs, and the team has already talked about using two tight ends more often after drafting Noah Gray this year. Wydermyer has been highly productive as a receiver in two seasons for the Aggies, totals 78 catches for 953 yards and 12 touchdowns.



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