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Kyle Yates’ 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Jan 26, 2022
Sam Howell

We are now officially into mock draft season!

While we have officially crossed that threshold into draft season, opinions are still being formed on these prospects, and the consensus is all over the place. We’re still learning the needs of teams, and a lot still has to be determined by free agency and which players return or exit. However, it’s still enjoyable to begin learning about these prospects and team fits through this format, and there’s certainly not going to be a shortage of mock drafts as we move throughout the next few months.

With that in mind, let’s kick it off properly here at FantasyPros with my Mock Draft 1.0!

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Round One

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal (OT – Alabama)

One of the EDGE rushers is a popular pick here, but don’t count out the Jaguars selecting Neal. This off-season, their primary objective should be to support Trevor Lawrence, and the star LT prospect is a perfect way to start.

2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE – Michigan)

The Lions have clearly wanted to build through the trenches in the draft. Hutchinson is a star EDGE rusher prospect, and he gets to stay close to home with this fit.

3. Houston Texans – Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE – Oregon)

The Texans need just about everything, so they could go a million different directions with this pick. However, getting a player who profiles as a complete game-wrecker is a perfect building block for a franchise that’s trying to put the pieces back together.

4. New York Jets – Ikem Ekwonu (OT – NC State)

Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, and Ekwonu all on the same offensive line? That’s not even fair.

5. New York Giants – George Karlaftis (EDGE – Purdue)

Joe Schoen is now the GM in New York, and he’s going to have his hands full trying to revamp this team. Thankfully, he has plenty of picks to work with, and he uses the first one on the pass-rushing specialist out of Purdue.

6. Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett (QB – Pittsburgh)

Would the Panthers ideally love to trade down from this spot? Yes. Should Pickett go this high in the Draft? Probably not. However, the Panthers cannot afford to go into next season with Sam Darnold, Cam Newton, or PJ Walker as their starting QB. Pickett doesn’t have a ridiculously high ceiling, but he comes with an incredibly high floor. Put him in that offense, and we might see DJ Moore reach his full potential…

7. New York Giants – Tyler Linderbaum (iOL – Iowa)

The Giants snagged a cornerstone piece for their defensive line just a couple of picks earlier, and now they get the cornerstone piece to build their offensive line around. The Giants need to get this position group figured out. Having arguably the best interior offensive line prospect to come out since Quenton Nelson on your team is a good place to start.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Hamilton (Safety – Notre Dame)

The Falcons have some pieces on their defense that they can build around, but they need a true leader and difference-maker. Hamilton has All-Pro written all over him. He’d immediately change the tone of that unit.

9. Denver Broncos – Andrew Booth (CB – Clemson)

I anticipate that the Broncos will go after a veteran QB this off-season, so there’s no need for them to reach on another one of the prospects after Kenny Pickett. Instead, they look at the facts that Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan are set to leave in free agency, and they play in a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr. They invest at CB again for the second year in a row in the first round and select the smooth prospect out of Clemson.

10. New York Jets – Derek Stingley Jr. (CB – LSU)

New York needs EDGE help, but they should take advantage of what is shaping up to be a deep class later on. They need CB help, and Stingley still being on the board is too good for them to pass up.

11. Washington Football Team – Matt Corral (QB – Ole Miss)

Washington has been trying to piece it together at the QB position in recent years, and that needs to change. Corral has his flaws, but he has the talent to be a solid QB in the league one day.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Jordan Davis (iDL – Georgia)

There aren’t many human beings that are created with Davis’ size. The Vikings defense has struggled in recent years, and having Davis as a big presence on the line will certainly help.

13. Cleveland Browns – Treylon Burks (WR – Arkansas)

Cleveland couldn’t make it work with Odell Beckham Jr, but they have to replace him in this offense if they’re going to find out if Baker Mayfield is indeed their guy long-term. Burks is a freak athlete that brings comparisons to AJ Brown. Every offense needs a player like that.

14. Baltimore Ravens – Ahmad Gardner (CB – Cincinnati)

In a division that boasts some insane WR talent, the Ravens need to do everything they can to keep their secondary a strength. “Sauce” is a smooth athlete in space and has all the makings of a lockdown corner.

15. Philadelphia Eagles – David Ojabo (EDGE – Michigan)

If you’re looking for pure speed around the edge, look no further than Hutchinson’s running mate at Michigan this year.

16. Philadelphia Eagles – Kenyon Green (iOL – Texas A&M)

Immediately back on the clock, the Eagles select a young and talented replacement for an aging interior offensive line.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Charles Cross (OT – Mississippi State)

Cross fits the profile of a long-term starter at OT in the NFL. He has tremendous length, size, and power, and he’d be a perfect complement to Rashawn Slater.

18. New Orleans Saints – Malik Willis (QB – Liberty)

New Orleans is now barreling towards a long-term rebuild with Sean Payton no longer the HC combined with their sticky cap situation. With that in mind, they’re able to take a shot on a developmental QB prospect like Willis to see if he can be their long-term answer.

19. Philadelphia Eagles – Drake London (WR – USC)

Philadelphia will need to take a QB at some point during this draft to provide insurance in case Jalen Hurts can’t progress the way he needs to as a passer in 2022. Without a clear option in mind here, though, the Eagles give him a big-bodied target that profiles as a true WR1. He’d pair nicely with DeVonta Smith on the other side of the formation.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Sam Howell (QB – North Carolina)

Opinions about Howell are going to be all over the map as we move throughout the pre-draft process, but the Steelers have to take a shot on a rookie QB if they can’t get one of the bigger names in free agency. We’ve seen enough from Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins to know how that story will go, but Howell has proven that he can be an effective QB when he has talent around him.

21. New England Patriots – Jameson Williams (WR – Alabama)

Where Williams ends up being selected will be one of the most fascinating storylines in the 2022 NFL Draft. He was seemingly a top-10 lock before his injury in the National Championship game, but there are now risk factors to be taken into account for NFL teams. The Patriots need to continue building around Mac Jones and surrounding him with explosive playmakers. Williams fits the bill, and they get him at a bit of a discount now.

22. Las Vegas Raiders – Roger McCreary (CB – Auburn)

Who the Raiders end up targeting at this pick is going to greatly depend on who they bring in at GM. For now, they target the talented CB prospect out of Auburn to fill a major hole in that secondary.

23. Arizona Cardinals – Garrett Wilson (WR – Ohio State)

Arizona could potentially lose both AJ Green and Christian Kirk this off-season. If that happens, they’ll need to reload at WR with top-tier talent. Wilson would be a perfect complement to DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore.

24. Dallas Cowboys – Devin Lloyd (LB – Utah)

There’s absolutely no way that Lloyd is still on the board at this point, but without trade-up scenarios it’s difficult to find a fit for him. Lloyd is a top-10 talent in this class at LB. Pairing him with Micah Parsons for the long haul would simply be devastating.

25. Buffalo Bills – Chris Olave (WR – Ohio State)

Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley certainly aren’t getting any younger, and this Bills team will need to restock the cupboards in order to stay a high-profile passing attack. A receiving trio of Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Olave would be a dangerous unit.

26. Tennessee Titans – Nakobe Dean (LB – Georgia)

Dean isn’t a perfect prospect by any means, but he’s a tenacious leader, and he plays with passion. The Titans need to invest at LB, and Dean would be a solid addition at this stage of the first round.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DeMarvin Leal (iDL – Texas A&M)

Leal’s acceleration and quick-twitch is evident when you watch his tape, but there are going to be major questions surrounding where exactly he lines up at the next level due to his size and skillset. The Bucs need to keep investing on the defensive line, though, and Leal would be a solid addition as a rotational piece until his true home is determined.

28. Green Bay Packers – Jahan Dotson (WR – Penn State)

The Packers might not only lose Aaron Rodgers this off-season, but they could potentially lose Davante Adams as well. If they do, they’re not going to have the pieces around Jordan Love to properly gauge whether or not he’s the long-term successor. Dotson’s a playmaker through and through that would fill a major void.

29. Cincinnati Bengals – Trevor Penning (OT – Northern Iowa)

The Bengals have every other position figured out on offense. Now, make sure Joe Burrow doesn’t get sacked nine times again. Go fix the offensive line.

30. Miami Dolphins – George Pickens (WR – Georgia)

Miami has Jaylen Waddle to build around, but they need other playmakers to help support Tua Tagovailoa. Pickens has some insane highlight reel film. He’d help Tua continue to develop nicely.

31. Detroit Lions – Carson Strong (QB – Nevada)

Jared Goff started to improve at the end of the season, but the Lions have to know he’s not their long-term answer. Detroit continues their rebuild by using their second first-round pick to take a QB with all the arm talent in the world, but he’ll require some time on the bench to grow.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Travon Walker (EDGE – Georgia)

The Georgia defense was dominant this past year, and Walker played a big role in that. The Chiefs need to invest in the EDGE position. They do that here with the projected final pick of the first round.

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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

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