2022 NFL Mock Draft: Four Quarterbacks in Round 1
We are almost there, folks! The 2022 NFL Draft is just around the corner, and the excitement is building up. As we get closer to the draft, the anticipation and rumors will make the days seem longer. After an offseason full of blockbuster trades and surprising free agent moves, the draft should be full of excitement. But, of course, with eight teams controlling half of the first round, there is no move that we can say was a surprise. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into my third mock draft of the year. This mock draft will be a two-rounder with 10 hypothetical trades and four quarterbacks going in the first round!
1) Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker (EDGE – Georgia)
Surprise! After months of speculation, the Jaguars change course and grab Walker. While he lacks elite sack production in college, Walker has more upside than any edge rusher in the draft class. His numbers at the combine would be considered average to above average for a cornerback, let alone a 270-pound defensive end. Pairing Walker with Josh Allen would give quarterbacks in the AFC South nightmares.
2) Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE – Michigan)
If the Jaguars pass on Hutchinson with the first overall pick, the Lions will sprint the card to the commissioner faster than Usain Bolt. The Michigan star edge rusher had 14 sacks and 16.5 tackles for a loss last year. He would become the star and leader of Detroit’s rebuilding defense.
3) Houston Texans – Ikem Ekwonu (OL – North Carolina State)
The Texans can go in several directions with this pick. Quarterback is off the board, thanks to Davis Mills. However, don’t be surprised if a team trades up into this spot for a quarterback. That said, the Texans will likely take an offensive lineman with this pick if a trade isn’t an option. Houston already has a couple of good offensive linemen, led by Laremy Tunsil. However, Ekwonu can play either guard or tackle spot and provide a massive upgrade as a rookie.
4) New York Jets – Ahmad Gardner (CB – Cincinnati)
While the Jets added D.J. Reed in free agency and have a high opinion of Bryce Hall, that shouldn’t stop them from taking Gardner with this pick. The Jets missed out on trading for Tyreek Hill. To make matters worse, they will face him twice a year now that he’s a member of the Miami Dolphins. With Hill and Stefon Diggs locked up long-term in the division, the Jets have to find a lockdown cornerback who can slow them down.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Pittsburgh Steelers receive pick 5. New York Giants receive picks 20, 84, and a 2023 first-round pick.
5) Pittsburgh Steelers (via Giants) – Malik Willis (QB – Liberty)
Here is where the fun begins. Many believe the Carolina Panthers will select a quarterback with the next pick. Therefore, the Steelers will have to jump into the top five to guarantee landing Willis. General manager Kevin Colbert is retiring after the draft, and the Steelers need a quarterback. Don’t be surprised when Colbert gives up next year’s first-round pick to get the Steelers with their next franchise quarterback before retiring.
6) Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett (QB – Pittsburgh)
While the Steelers leapfrogged them for Willis, the Panthers are happy to select Pickett. Willis has the most upside of any quarterback in the draft class, but he is also the least ready to play right away. Unlike Willis, Pickett can start as a rookie, and the Panthers need him to play right away. Furthermore, you can’t ignore all the connections between head coach Matt Rhule, owner David Tepper, and Pickett.
7) New York Giants (via Chicago) – Evan Neal (OT – Alabama)
The Giants have repeatedly stated that Daniel Jones hasn’t been given a fair shot at succeeding. They made some additions to the offensive line in free agency. Yet, they still have a massive hole at right tackle. If the Giants are serious about helping out Jones, they have to address that spot early in the draft. After trading away their first draft pick to add a 2023 first-round pick, the Giants grab one of the safest prospects this year in Neal.
8) Atlanta Falcons – Garrett Wilson (WR – Ohio State)
Quarterback isn’t out of the question with this pick, but it’s unlikely. Instead, the Falcons have to give Marcus Mariota, or whoever is playing quarterback, some weapons. Given the current wide receivers on the team, Kyle Pitts will be triple-teamed on every play next season. Adding Wilson will give the Falcons two cornerstone pieces in the passing game for the next decade.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Los Angeles Chargers receive pick 9. Seattle Seahawks receive picks 17, 79, and a 2023 second-round pick.
9) Los Angeles Chargers (via Seahawks, Denver) – Charles Cross (OT – Mississippi State)
After re-signing Mike Williams, trading for Khalil Mack, and signing J.C. Jackson, it’s clear the Chargers are making their push for the Super Bowl now. With a hole at right tackle, the Chargers flip the Seahawks a second and third-round pick to move ahead of several offensive tackle-needy teams to secure Cross. Pairing last year’s first-round pick, Rashawn Slater, with Cross would give Justin Herbert an elite set of offensive tackles for the next several years.
10) New York Jets (via Seattle) – Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE – Oregon)
A few months ago, Thibodeaux was the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. However, several teams reportedly have concerns about his motor and love for the game. That said, it’s unlikely Thibodeaux slides out of the top 10 despite those reported concerns. After missing last year with a torn Achilles, Carl Lawson should be 100 percent for the upcoming season. Pairing Thibodeaux with Lawson and Quinnen Williams would give the Jets a scary good front four.
11) Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton (SAF – Notre Dame)
Hamilton is the most challenging player to slot in mock drafts. He has top-five talent, and some believe he’s the best player in the entire draft. However, he doesn’t play a critical position like quarterback or edge rusher. Furthermore, there aren’t many safety-needy teams picking in the top 10. If teams pass on him for other positions of need, the Commanders would immediately turn in the card if Hamilton was still on the board when they go on the clock.
12) Minnesota Vikings – Derek Stingley Jr. (CB – LSU)
The Vikings had two massive holes on their defense before free agency. They filled the one at edge rusher after they signed Za’Darius Smith. However, the cornerback spot still needs to be filled. Even after the Vikings re-signed Patrick Peterson, they still need help on the outside. If Stingley is on the board when the Vikings pick, he will be their selection.
13) Houston Texans (via Cleveland) – Jermaine Johnson (EDGE – Florida State)
With the first of many picks they got from the Browns in the Deshaun Watson deal, the Texans add a cornerstone piece to their defense. While the Texans could select an edge rusher with the third overall pick, they take an elite offensive lineman and still net an impact edge rusher with this selection. In his only season at Florida State, Johnson had 11.5 sacks. After an impressive pre-draft process, Johnson is a lock to go in the top-15 picks.
14) Baltimore Ravens – Zion Johnson (iOL – Boston College)
While all the headlines in Baltimore are focused on when the Ravens will get a long-term deal done with Lamar Jackson, the team has a hole on the offensive line. After veteran Bradley Bozeman signed with the Panthers in free agency, the Ravens have a hole at center. Unlike some other centers in the draft class, Johnson has the size the Ravens want in their offensive linemen. Also, his ability to play multiple spots will be key for the Ravens.
15) Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami) – Drake London (WR – USC)
Even after their blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Saints, the Eagles still have two first-round picks and have a need at wide receiver. DeVonta Smith was a slam dunk from a year ago, but Jalen Reagor has been awful and reportedly is on the trade block. London is a physical outside receiver that will pair up perfectly with Smith.
16) New Orleans Saints (via Philadelphia, Indianapolis) – Desmond Ridder (QB – Cincinnati)
After the trade with the Eagles, the Saints have the draft capital this year needed to move into the top five to grab Willis if they want. However, many believe they will stand pat in the middle of the first round and make both their selections. Multiple teams, including the Saints, have done extra homework on the former Bearcat quarterback. With Jameis Winston under contract for next season, the Saints can wait until 2023 before handing over the starting job to Ridder.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Kansas City Chiefs receive pick 17. Seattle Seahawks receive picks 30, 50, 135.
17) Kansas City Chiefs (via Seahawks, Chargers) – Jameson Williams (WR – Alabama)
The Seahawks continue to slide back and add draft capital to help jump-start their rebuilding project. Meanwhile, the Chiefs take two of the picks they got from the Dolphins in the Hill trade to move up and draft his replacement. There are rumors that Williams could be the first wide receiver drafted despite working his way back from a torn ACL. While that seems unlikely, don’t be surprised when the Chiefs moved up on draft night to secure the star from Alabama.
18) Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans) – Jordan Davis (DL – Georgia)
While the Eagles recently re-signed Fletcher Cox, it was only for one year. Furthermore, the other starting defensive tackle, Javon Hargrave, is entering the final year of his deal. More than likely, at least one, if not both, won’t be back with the Eagles in 2023. Adding Davis at this point in the draft would give the Eagles a long-term replacement at defensive tackle while also making their already impressive defensive line even better.
19) New Orleans Saints (via Philadelphia) – Trevor Penning (OT – Northern Iowa)
With their second first-round pick, the Saints plug the top hole on their roster at left tackle. Terron Armstead signed a massive deal with the Dolphins in free agency, leaving James Hurst as the penciled-in starter at left tackle. Drafting Penning would give the Saints a long-term replacement option for Armstead.
20) New York Giants (via Steelers) – George Karlaftis (EDGE – Purdue)
While moving back from the fifth pick to the 20th spot isn’t ideal, it’s a smart move for the Giants. With two first-round picks again next year, the Giants can move up for a quarterback or an elite prospect. Meanwhile, they slide back and still land an impact edge rusher as a rookie. While Karlaftis doesn’t have the same upside as Thibodeaux and Johnson, he has a much safer floor.
21) New England Patriots – Trent McDuffie (CB – Washington)
After adding DeVante Parker in a trade, the Patriots don’t have to take a wide receiver with their first-round pick. Instead, they can use it on filling the hole at cornerback after Jackson signed with the Chargers in free agency. McDuffie isn’t the biggest guy in the draft, but he fits what the Patriots want at cornerback. His six passes defended were second-most on the team last year at Washington.
22) Green Bay Packers (via Las Vegas) – Chris Olave (WR – Ohio State)
The Packers had a hole at wide receiver before they traded away Davante Adams to the Raiders and lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency. Even if they add a veteran leading up to the draft, the Packers will likely use one of their two first-round picks on a wide receiver. Olave could go as high as 11th overall to the Commanders. However, he would be a terrific addition for Aaron Rodgers if he slides this far down on draft night.
23) Arizona Cardinals – Boye Mafe (EDGE – Minnesota)
Quietly, the Cardinals have lost several key players from last year’s team in the offseason. Their most critical loss was Chandler Jones. They now have a massive hole at edge rusher opposite of Markus Golden. Mafe has risen up draft boards over the past month and has become a near first-round lock. His athletic skill set will give the Cardinals an excellent replacement for Jones.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Jacksonville Jaguars receive picks 24, 129. Dallas Cowboys receive picks 33, 70.
24) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Cowboys) – Tyler Linderbaum (iOL – Iowa)
Jacksonville has made several moves this offseason to improve their offensive line, including signing Brandon Scherff. However, their starting center from last year, Brandon Linder, recently retired, leaving the Jaguars with a massive hole in the middle of their offensive line. At the cost of one of their two third-round picks, the Jaguars jump back into the first round to secure arguably the best interior offensive linemen in the draft.
25) Buffalo Bills – Andrew Booth Jr. (CB – Clemson)
While the Bills could take a wide receiver with this pick, they have a critical need at cornerback. Tre’Davious White is coming off a torn ACL and might not be ready for the start of the season. Furthermore, Levi Wallace signed with the Steelers in free agency. With several elite wide receivers in the division, the Bills must add a cornerback who can start as a rookie like Booth.
26) Tennessee Titans – Devin Lloyd (LB – Utah)
The Titans could go in several directions with this pick, including potentially a quarterback. However, they have a hole at inside linebacker after Rashaan Evans signed with the Falcons. While David Long and Zach Cunningham are a solid pair of starting linebackers, Long is a free agent after next season, while Cunningham could be a cap casualty next offseason. Lloyd can impact both the run and passing game, making him the perfect modern-day linebacker.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devonte Wyatt (DL – Georgia)
It’s incredible what one player coming out of retirement can do for a franchise. Before Tom Brady announced he was playing in 2022, the Buccaneers expected to lose several free agents. Instead, they managed to keep most of their team from last season. Even if the Buccaneers re-sign Ndamukong Suh, the defensive line needs help. Wyatt had an impressive combine performance and would be a great addition in Tampa Bay.
28) Green Bay Packers – Daxton Hill (DB – Michigan)
Before the entire Packer fan base has a panic attack, Hill makes a lot of sense for Green Bay. They value versatile defensive backs, and Hill can play in multiple spots. Whether it’s lining up at nickel, single high safety, or in the box as a dime linebacker, Hill did it all at Michigan. Furthermore, Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos are entering the final year of their contracts. At least one of them won’t be back in 2023.
29) Kansas City Chiefs (via Miami, San Francisco) – Lewis Cine (SAF – Georgia)
After grabbing another weapon for Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs turn their attention to the defense. Cine going in the first round might be surprising, but he has risen up draft boards over the past few weeks. The Chiefs lost two safeties this offseason in Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen. Furthermore, Juan Thornhill is entering the final year of his rookie contract. While they added Justin Reid in free agency, that won’t stop the Chiefs from selecting a safety early in the draft.
30) Seattle Seahawks (via Chiefs) – Matt Corral (QB – Ole Miss)
Finally! After trading back twice, the Seahawks make a pick and grab their next franchise quarterback. While Seattle talks about how much they love Drew Lock, it’s hard to trust that, given how he played in Denver. Corral had a monster final two years at Ole Miss, throwing 49 touchdowns plus another 15 on the ground. As the Seahawks enter the post-Russell Wilson era, they now have a new franchise quarterback and plenty of extra picks to use around him.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
New York Jets receive pick 31. Cincinnati Bengals receive picks 35, 111.
31) New York Jets (via Bengals) – Treylon Burks (WR – Arkansas)
Many will be shocked if the Jets use both of their top-10 picks on defense. However, they can afford to wait on adding a wide receiver, thanks to the depth in the class, but the Jets must add at least one wide receiver early in the draft after missing out on Hill. While he could be available when the Jets are on the clock with the 35th pick, they don’t take the chance and move ahead of the Lions and Cowboys to secure Burks.
32) Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles) – Jahan Dotson (WR – Penn State)
If Corral or Ridder were still available, the Lions could select one of them with this pick as the heir apparent to Jared Goff. However, with both off the board, the Lions give Goff another weapon instead. Last year’s fourth-round pick, Amon-Ra St. Brown, had a historic finish to his rookie season, while the Lions signed D.J. Chark in free agency. Yet, that shouldn’t stop them from adding Dotson. He had 12 receiving touchdowns, the eighth-most in college football last season, despite horrible quarterback play.
33) Dallas Cowboys (via Jaguars) – Bernhard Raimann (OT – Central Michigan)
Even after trading back, the Cowboys fill their top need. Dallas had to release La’el Collins earlier this offseason because of their poor salary cap situation. Thus, creating a hole at right tackle. While Terence Steele has some starting experience, the Cowboys need to upgrade over him if they want to keep Dak Prescott standing upright.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
New York Giants receive pick 34. Detroit Lions receive picks 36, 147.
34) New York Giants (via Lions) – Trey McBride (TE – Colorado State)
With the Bengals picking just ahead of them, the Giants flip the Lions a fifth-round pick to move up for the top tight end in the draft. Currently, the Giants have arguably the worst tight end room in the NFL. After releasing Kyle Rudolph and opting not to re-sign Evan Engram, Ricky Seals-Jones is the only meaningful tight end on the roster. McBride would step in as a rookie and take over the starting role.
35) Cincinnati Bengals (via Jets) – Kaiir Elam (CB – Florida)
While getting leapfrogged for McBride isn’t ideal, the Bengals have an excellent plan B option. Elam could go in the first round if there is a run on cornerbacks, thus making him a steal with this pick. The Bengals don’t have a massive hole on the roster, but they need more depth at cornerback, especially now that they face Jackson and Watson four times a year.
36) Detroit Lions (via Giants) – Quay Walker (LB – Georgia)
Reportedly, several teams have a first-round grade on Walker. Even if he slips into the second round, he will be a top-40 pick. The Lions could have taken Walker with the 32nd pick but snagged him a few picks later. While the Lions re-signed Alex Anzalone and added Jarrad Davis, that shouldn’t stop them from addressing the linebacker position early in the draft.
37) Houston Texans – Nakobe Dean (LB – Georgia)
Dean could still go in the first round. Unfortunately, his stock has slipped over the past few weeks as teams worry about his size and health during the pre-draft process. However, the Texans would love to snag him with this pick. They did re-sign Christian Kirksey this offseason, but it was only a two-year deal. Dean could take over the starting role early in his career and become a focal point of this defense for years to come.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Indianapolis Colts receive pick 38. New York Jets receive picks 42, 122.
38) Indianapolis Colts (via Jets, Carolina) – Tyler Smith (OT – Tulsa)
If the offensive tackles start to slide, don’t be surprised if the Colts move up to secure one. After Anthony Castonzo retired last offseason, the Colts added Eric Fisher to play left tackle. Unfortunately, he had a poor 2021 season and likely won’t return. Smith is a raw prospect and might need to start his career at guard. However, the Colts are one of the best teams at developing offensive linemen in the NFL. Don’t be surprised if Smith starts at left tackle sooner than later if he lands with the Colts.
39) Chicago Bears – George Pickens (WR – Georgia)
While the Bears don’t have a first-round pick, they own two selections in the second round. If a run on wide receivers happens, don’t be surprised if they move up for one. However, that’s not the case in this mock draft. Pickens could go in the late first round, but more likely is a second-round selection. Pairing him with Darnell Mooney would give Justin Fields an excellent pair of wide receivers at this disposal.
40) Seattle Seahawks (via Denver) – Daniel Faalele (OT – Minnesota)
Currently, neither starting offensive tackle from last year has re-signed with the Seahawks. Given their rebuilding project, the team will likely look for younger replacements. If Corral is going to have any chance at succeeding in the NFL, the Seahawks have to protect him. Faalele is a mammoth and will need some help developing. However, he has excellent length and upside. It might take a year, but he could turn into Seattle’s new franchise left tackle.
41) Seattle Seahawks – Tariq Woolen (CB – UTSA)
When the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, they had big and long cornerbacks. Like Richard Sherman, Woolen is a tall cornerback who used to play wide receiver. Furthermore, the Seahawks lost Reed in free agency, as he signed with the Jets. While they added a few veterans, that won’t stop them from adding a cornerback early in the draft. Woolen has an elite combination of size, length, and speed. He is an ideal fit for the Seahawks.
42) New York Jets (via Colts, Washington) – Breece Hall (RB – Iowa State)
Michael Carter was solid for the Jets last season. However, he has limited upside and isn’t a featured running back. The Jets didn’t add a veteran in free agency, suggesting they will target a running back relatively early in the draft. Hall is viewed by most as the top running back in the draft this year and a potential late first-round pick. After adding a wide receiver with their previous selection, the Jets give Zach Wilson an elite running back to lean on.
43) Atlanta Falcons – Arnold Ebiketie (EDGE – Penn State)
Last year, the Falcons had only one player record more than two sacks. That lone player was Dante Fowler, with 4.5 sacks, but he signed with the Cowboys in free agency. After addressing their greatest need on offense in the first round, the Falcons fill their top defensive need with this pick. Ebiketie had a career-high 9.5 sacks last season and could sneak into the late first round.
44) Cleveland Browns – Christian Watson (WR – North Dakota State)
After landing Amari Cooper in a salary dump trade with the Cowboys, the Browns have their No. 1 wide receiver locked up for the next couple of years. However, the No. 2 spot is an open competition between Donovan Peoples-Jones and Anthony Schwartz. While both are intriguing young players, Watson has more upside than either. After his strong performance at the Senior Bowl, Watson is a lock to go in the top-50 picks.
45) Baltimore Ravens – David Ojabo (EDGE – Michigan)
If he hadn’t torn his Achilles during the Michigan pro day, Ojabo would likely have been a top-10 pick. However, the Ravens will happily snag him here despite the injury. Former third-round pick, Jaylon Ferguson, is entering the final year of his contract, and the Ravens need some long-term help at edge rusher. While he likely won’t play much as a rookie, the Ravens will have a steal in the long run.
46) Minnesota Vikings – Perrion Winfrey (DL – Oklahoma)
On paper, the Vikings don’t have many holes. However, their depth overall could use improvement. With their switch to a 3-4 defense, the Vikings need new defensive linemen who fit the scheme. Winfrey had 5.5 sacks in his final year at Oklahoma. After his performance at the combine, he is a lock to go in the first 50 picks. Combining Winfrey with Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips would give the Vikings an impressive defensive line.
47) Washington Commanders (via Indianapolis) – Skyy Moore (WR – Western Michigan)
If the Commanders don’t use their first-round pick on a wide receiver, they must address the position in the second. Moore is one of several wide receivers who have helped their draft stock during the pre-draft process. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go late on opening night. With Terry McLaurin the only reliable wide receiver on the roster, the Commanders must add another to Carson Wentz‘s supporting cast.
48) Chicago Bears (via Los Angeles) – Kenyon Green (iOL – Texas A&M)
After adding a wide receiver with their first selection, the Bears add an offensive lineman to help keep Fields standing upright. The Bears drafted both their starting offensive tackles last year with Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom. However, the interior of the line needs work. Despite his poor short shuttle time, Green is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the draft.
49) New Orleans Saints – Alec Pierce (WR – Cincinnati)
The Saints used their first pick on Ridder, so why not keep the Bearcat connection together. While Michael Thomas is healthy for the first time in almost two years, the Saints need more wide receiver help. Pierce had eight touchdowns in 2021 and has steadily risen up draft boards over the past month. Pairing him with Thomas would give Ridder a dynamic duo for the next several years.
50) Seattle Seahawks (via Chiefs, Miami) – Leo Chenal (LB – Wisconsin)
Seattle released Bobby Wagner several weeks ago as part of their rebuilding process, leaving them with a hole at linebacker. While they have high expectations for 2020 first-round pick Jordyn Brooks, he needs a running mate. Chenal had a massive final year at Wisconsin, totaling 18.5 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in 11 games.
51) Philadelphia Eagles – Kyler Gordon (CB – Washington)
While Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox are locked up long-term, the Eagles need another starter. They like the depth on the roster in Tay Gowan and Zech McPhearson. However, neither has the upside Gordon does. Furthermore, Slay will turn 32-years-old at the end of the 2022 season. Gordon has the potential to take over as the No. 1 cornerback once the Eagles move on from Slay.
52) Pittsburgh Steelers – Travis Jones (DL – Connecticut)
Quietly, the Steelers filled many of their holes in free agency. They added two new starters on the offensive line and some help in the secondary. However, their defensive line could use some youth. Tyson Alualu is entering the final year of his contract and will turn 35-years-old in May. Furthermore, the Steelers can release the veteran and open up almost $2.5 million in cap space if Jones is ready to start as a rookie.
53) Green Bay Packers (via Las Vegas) – Abraham Lucas (OT – Washington State)
Even after using their first pick on Olave, the Packers could still take a wide receiver with this selection. However, they have a hole at right tackle that needs to be filled. Veteran Billy Turner got released earlier this offseason in a salary-cap saving move. While Elgton Jenkins can play right tackle, he is better suited at left guard. Lucas doesn’t have much upside, but he is one of the safest prospects in the draft this year. He would be an excellent day one starter at right tackle.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Tampa Bay Buccaneers receive pick 54. New England Patriots receive picks 60, 133, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.
54) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Patriots) – Sean Rhyan (OL – UCLA)
With Tom Brady back under center for next season, the Buccaneers don’t have any critical holes on the roster. However, they need some help on the offensive line after losing both starting guards from last year’s team this offseason. Rhyan has the size and versatility to play both guard and tackle. With a few offensive line-needy teams picking ahead of them, the Buccaneers wisely move up to secure Rhyan.
55) Arizona Cardinals – David Bell (WR – Purdue)
While DeAndre Hopkins should be back to his old self this season, the Cardinals lack other options at wide receiver. Last year’s second-round pick, Rondale Moore, should have a more significant role in 2022, but the Cardinals still need wide receiver help even after re-signing A.J. Green. Bell had a poor combine performance but still warrants a late second-round pick.
56) Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Pitre (SAF – Baylor)
The Cowboys could target a wide receiver with this pick after trading away Cooper to re-sign Michael Gallup, who is coming off a torn ACL. However, they did add James Washington in free agency and can wait another round before drafting a receiver. Meanwhile, the Cowboys did re-sign Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker this offseason, but neither is a long-term answer at safety. Furthermore, Donovan Wilson is entering the final year of his rookie contract and could be too expensive for the Cowboys to keep long-term.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
New York Giants receive pick 57. Buffalo Bills receive picks 67, 84.
57) New York Giants (via Bills) – Carson Strong (QB – Nevada)
While the Giants have claimed Jones is their guy at quarterback, they pursued Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and signed Tyrod Taylor to a sizable contract. They also haven’t picked up the fifth-year option on Jones’ contract yet. Plus, they have been linked to Strong over the past few months. With the Falcons picking next, the Giants flip a pair of third-round selections to grab their potential replacement for Jones.
58) Atlanta Falcons (via Tennessee) – Kenneth Walker (RB – Michigan State)
Yes, the Falcons could consider Sam Howell with this pick. However, many believe they will wait until next year to add a quarterback in the draft. While they recently re-signed Cordarrelle Patterson to a two-year deal, the Falcons can get out of the contract next offseason. More importantly, Patterson wore down towards the end of the 2021 season. The one knock on Walker was the lack of receiving work in college. Pairing Walker with Patterson would give the Falcons a balanced and dynamic rushing attack.
*** TRADE ALERT ***
Seattle Seahawks receive picks 59, 132, 2023 third-round pick. Green Bay Packers receive Tyler Lockett.
59) Seattle Seahawks (via Packers) – John Metchie (WR – Alabama)
While trading Lockett seems counterproductive for Corral’s development, the Seahawks must look at the big picture. Lockett will turn 30-years-old in September, and the Seahawks need to lock up D.K. Metcalf to a long-term deal. By shipping Lockett to the Packers, who need a plug-and-play No. 1 wide receiver, they get back three prime draft picks to put cheap contracts around Corral. More importantly, Metchie would have been an early second-round pick if he wasn’t coming off a torn ACL. While he will miss part of his rookie season, Metchie is an excellent replacement for Lockett at a fraction of the cost.
60) New England Patriots (via Buccaneers) – Darian Kinnard (iOL – Kentucky)
Last month, the Patriots traded veteran Shaq Mason to the Buccaneers for a fifth-round pick, leaving them with a hole at right guard. Kinnard can fill that void as a rookie after he started at both guard and tackle at Kentucky. Furthermore, Isaiah Wynn will be a free agent after the 2022 season. Kinnard could kick out to left tackle then if needed.
61) San Francisco 49ers – Cameron Thomas (EDGE – San Diego State)
Without a first-round pick, the 49ers will wait a while to make their first selection. However, there is still plenty of talent left on the board for the 49ers. Nick Bosa is a leader of the defense and one of the best edge rushers in the NFL. However, the 49ers could use some help on the other side. Thomas has a terrific final season at San Diego State, finishing second in the Mountain West with 10.5 sacks.
62) Kansas City Chiefs – Roger McCreary (CB – Auburn)
The Chiefs lost two starting safeties in free agency, but they also lost starting cornerback Charvarius Ward. While they have confidence in L’Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton, the Chiefs have to add help at cornerback. McCreary has a historically short arm length, measuring at just under 29 inches. However, he was very productive during his time at Auburn. In a division loaded with talented wide receivers, the Chiefs need as much help as possible in the secondary.
63) Cincinnati Bengals – Jaquan Brisker (SAF – Penn State)
After adding several offensive linemen during free agency, the Bengals can spend their top draft picks building up their defense. Earlier this offseason, Cincinnati placed the franchise tag on Jessie Bates. However, they haven’t reached a long-term deal. Meanwhile, Vonn Bell is entering the final year of his contract. If Brisker is still on the board at this pick, he is a slam dunk selection for the Bengals.
64) Denver Broncos (via Los Angeles) – Chad Muma (LB – Wyoming)
While the Broncos don’t have many holes on paper, the middle linebacker spot needs some work. They recently re-signed Josey Jewell, but he needs some help in the middle of the defense. After his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, Muma is a top-75 lock and could go as high as the middle of the second round.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Trade Analyzer – which allows you to instantly find out if a trade offer benefits you or your opponent – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.