With the 2022 NFL combine coming to and end, and only a few days away from the start of the new league year, there are a lot of new events that have happened that have changed the whole parameters of the draft and the off-season.

Moves like Aaron Rodgers staying put in Green Bay, Russell Wilson being dealt to Denver, Carson Wentz being traded to the Commanders, Cam Robinson being franchise tagged, Deshaun Watson not being criminally charged, Amari Cooper being sent to the Browns and Khalil Mack being traded to the Chargers changes the whole layout of how many predicted the draft would work itself out. This also shifts the draft order a tad now that Seattle will now be selecting 9th overall.

Below is a breakdown of why I believe each team ultimately selects each prospect. There will undoubtedly be trades in reality, but there wont be trade in this mock draft.

1) Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Evan Neal (Alabama)

The Jaguars just franchised tagged Cam Robinson which has some saying Aidan Hutchinson will be selected with the first overall pick. I am here to say, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, franchise tagging Cam Robinson means they’re bringing back their starting left tackle, but most seem to forget is that Robinson can move over to right tackle or even move inside to guard while keeping Jawaan Taylor on the right side, paving the way for Neal to be Jaguars franchise QB’s weak side protector.

As many know Evan Neal didn’t work out at the combine and it was a personal decision. For an offensive tackle fighting for his OT1 ranking with NC State tackle Ickey Ekwonu, it speaks volumes that he didn’t decide to work out.

I’m going to go out on a limb that it is basically a guarantee that Neal is a Jaguar. Plus coach Doug Pederson loves his tall athletic tackles who strive in pass protection. You can’t have enough talented offensive linemen on your team.

2) Detroit Lions – Edge Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan)

Coach Dan Campbell is known for his legendary speech that stated he wanted hard nosed and tough players and they were going to bite off knee caps. Aidan Hutchinson plays with that type of passion.

Hutchinson didn’t exactly wow anyone at the combine, nor do I think he really hurt his stock (4.74 40, 36″ vert, 6.73 3 cone). That being said, his tape shows a relentless power rusher who is an extremely polished defensive end.

At 6’6 260 lbs, Hutchinson has the ideal size coming into the league. The best part of this pick is that the hometown kid of Plymouth, MI gets to play in front of his family, friends, and fans who have loved him since his high school days. That’s a story book/Disney type ending I think any player would be ecstatic about.

3) Houston Texans – Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)

Though I believe Kayvon Thibodeaux is the better edge rusher between he and Hutchinson, Thibodeaux goes one selection after Hutchinson. Why is that you ask? Simply for the reason of culture and fit. Dan Campbell wants guys are are going to play with a mean streak. Hutchinson does that, and Kayvon Thibodeaux doesn’t. That’s not a knock on KT, but he get plays with a more quick and finessed style of pass rushing, which I feel will benefit him more under a Lovie Smith defensive scheme.

It is quite shocking to me that KT is starting to drop in many evaluators rankings. He interviewed very well at the combine, and at 6’4 254 lbs, he ran a 4.58 40 and benched 225 27 times (2nd best amongst DL)

There is always one player the media picks to spread unnecessary reports, that usually end up dropping a player lower than expected. I don’t believe that’s the case here for KT. Any questions about his motor or passion will surely be answered under a coach as passionate as Lovie Smith.

4) New York Jets – OT Ickey Ekwonu (NC State)

If the Jets don’t take a tackle with this selection, they’re doing Zach Wilson such a disservice. Drafting Mehki Becton hasn’t necessarily worked out thus far, so doubling down at the tackle position feels like the most glaring need.

Ickey Ekwonu stood out at the combine and it was easy to see why he is being considered as OT1 by many. Ekwonu showed he wasn’t as stiff moving laterally as some thought, guaranteeing him a top 5 selection.

Jets GM Joe Douglas former offensive linemen loves to draft and build the offensive line more than any other position. The development of QB Zach Wilson heavily depends on how dominate the Jets o-line can become, so taking Ekwonu here seems like a no brainer.

5) New York Giants – OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa)

Some may think this is too early to select Penning, but I’d disagree. The Giants need to do everything in their power to protect Daniel Jones, and with Neal and Ekwonu off the board, Penning is the next best option.

Penning got knocked for his level of competition leading up to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, then he showed he belonged. After the combine, more and more evaluators are starting to come around on the notion Penning may go top 10. He plays with an old school aggressive mean streak we don’t see often anymore. New HC Brian Daboll is going to covet that is his tackles.

The Giants could go edge rusher here, but selecting two picks later, grabbing the best available tackle right before Carolina makes a lot of sense.

6) Carolina Panthers – OT Charles Cross (Mississippi State)

Carolina’s search for a franchise QB continues, but it just won’t be solved with this selection. I’m one of the few people who believe they’ll give Sam Darnold another year to figure it out. If that plan falls out, they’ll have a decent offensive line, and should be in range to get on of the QB’s in the ’23 draft.

Charles Cross could be selected by the Giants with the previous selection, but Cross fits the Panthers much better based on his pass protection skills. The Panthers haven’t been able to find a left tackle who could be a franchise left tackle for over a decade, but I think Charles Cross breaks the mold.

7) New York Giants via Chicago – Edge Travon Walker (Georgia)

Travon Walker is probably the highest riser in the entire class after the showing he put on at the combine. He wowed the entire football world and its being rewarded. Walker has the size/length that Wink Martindale loves, as well as the toughness and motor.

This pick was between Jermaine Johnson and Travon Walker and Walker ultimately beat him out by a very small margin due to the freakish testing numbers.

8) Atlanta Falcons – S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)

To many, Kyle Hamilton ranks as the best overall prospect in this draft class and I’d agree. Due to the top end talent of tackles and edge rushers, Hamilton falls right into Atlanta’s lap.

Kyle Hamilton didn’t test as well as many hoped, but his game film shows a different type of speed and athleticism. Atlanta adding Kyle Hamilton to their secondary that includes rising star A.J. Terrell will only helps their front 4 getting pressure on the QB. If Kyle Hamilton falls to 8, there’s no way you can pass him up.

9) Seattle Seahawks via Denver – QB Matt Corral (Ole Miss)

Finally the first QB is taken in the draft. Later than usually, but that’s because this isn’t seen as an elite draft class. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad class because I see 3-4 QBs with very good projections, it’s just this year doesn’t have a Joe Burrow or Justin Herbert.

With that being said, We obviously all know they just traded long time QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos and now are in need of one to replace him.

It’s been said that Pete Carroll and Matt Corral hit it off at the combine. Yes, Corral didn’t work out, but he did the interview process and it’s well known Corral interviewed exceptionally well.

Another thing to take into account, Matt Corral was DK Metcalf’s QB at Ole Miss. Reuniting that duo would make a ton of sense.

10) New York Jets via Seattle – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (Cincinnati)

At this point in draft season, I’m almost positive Sauce Gardner is everyone’s CB1. His tape is phenomenal, and he tested very well.

With the Jets already drafting a tackle to help improve their o-line to protect Zach Wilson, you’d have to think Robert Salah will go defense with this pick. Pairing up Gardner with their other young CB Bryce Hall could make the Jets one of the best young secondary’s in football.

11) Washington Commanders – WR Drake London (USC)

All off-season Washington was pegged to draft or trade for a QB, and they did just that. The Commanders traded for Carson Wentz and sured up their QB position. What’s the best way to help out your QB? Draft him a WR.

Drake London is a big bodied deep threat who can get up “above the rim” with the best of them. With the Commanders already having Terry McClaurin, Logan Thomas and Antonio Gibson, adding London to Wentz’s arsenal of weapons can only help him. To be quite honest, it may be the best offense Wentz has ever been in.

12) Minnesota Vikings – CB Derek Stingley Jr (LSU)

Once thought as the CB1 of the class goes CB2 to the Vikings here. Minnesota has struggled to find a productive CB through the draft since Xavier Rhodes in 2013. Since then they’ve selected the likes of Jeff Gladney (‘20), Mike Hughes (‘18), Mackenzie Alexander (‘16), and Trae Waynes (‘15) and it’s fair to say they didn’t work out. Derek Stingley Jr has the oppurtunity to change that.

The concerns of not playing a full season since 2019 because of his injury history is real. His stock throughout the media has plummeted. Once a top 5 player now goes 12th overall.

I believe Minnesota makes a lot of sense for Stingley because they have Patrick Peterson on their roster and bringing Stingley Jr under his wing to learn from him can only benefit him. Stingley Jr has all the tools in the shed, but he has to prove he’s healthy and can stay on the field.

13) Cleveland Browns – Edge David Ojabo (Michigan)

It’s not a guarantee that the Cleveland Browns re-sign DE Jadaveon Clowney so it leaves a glaring hole on their d-line. The selection of David Ojabo would fill that hole for Cleveland.

At times on film, Ojabo looked more disruptive off the edge than former teammate Aidan Hutchinson. Ojabo would go to Cleveland with an elite set of pass rush moves, but is still very raw. Learning next to one of the best pass rushers in the game in Myles Garrett will only enhance Ojabo’s game not only in the pass game but in the run game where Ojabo struggles.

With the Browns just trading for Cooper it makes it a no brainer to go defense here. If Ojabo can reach his ceiling, that’ll be one nasty tandem for any offensive line to handle.

14) Baltimore Ravens – IDL Jordan Davis (Georgia)

Any team would be lucky to have this massive human being on their defensive line, but Baltimore is the lucky team who snags him up here. Davis gives Baltimore a much needed run stuffer in the middle of their d-line.

With Calais Campbell (35) and Brandon Williams (33) hitting free agency, the selection of Jordan Davis makes so much sense it’s almost too good to be true. Davis tested through the roof at the combine and it left everyone stunned. When you see a 6’6 341 lb man run a 4.78 40, your head starts to spin.

Jordan Davis should come into the league wrecking havoc just like he did at Georgia.

15) Philadelphia Eagles via Miami – Edge Jermaine Johnson II (FSU)

Philadelphia was 29th in sacks last year and desperately needs to get younger on their d-line. Taking Jermaine Johnson II here is match made in heaven for the Eagles.

Johnson’s game translates in Philadelphia more than any of the top edge rushers in this draft class. Not only is he a skilled and powerful pass rusher, he also is the best run defender amongst the top 5 edge rushers.

If there’s one thing Howie Roseman and Jonathan Gannon agree on is that their edge rushers have to be complete players. Jermaine Johnson is just that. His high motor and relentless pursuit will be loved by the fans of Philadelphia.

Johnson could go much higher than this, but I believe he’s the one edge rusher who falls.

16) Philadelphia Eagles via Indianapolis – CB Andrew Booth Jr (Clemson)

Andrew Booth Jr is an athletic, agile and versatile cornerback who can play in any scheme. Booth Jr would bring a dynamic the Eagles haven’t had in a cornerback in quite some time, maybe since the Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown days.

Booth Jr is extremely physical as a run defender and an extremely competitive of a player as you’ll come by. He would give the Eagles another highlight reel playmaker on the outside opposite to Darius Slay.

17) Los Angeles Chargers – IDL Devonte Wyatt (Georgia)

The thought process this whole off-season was that the Chargers would draft o-line, but after trading for Khalil Mack, the Chargers could look to continue bolstering their d-line. The chargers had the 30th ranked run defense in the NFL last season so adding Devonte Wyatt to a front that includes Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, and Linval Joseph would help tremendously.

18) New Orleans Saints – QB Kenny Pickett (PITT)

I’m not naive enough to think the likes of Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis will drop this far, but I do believe Pickett lands with the Saints. Pickett is probably the most NFL ready and accurate QB of the draft class and that’s exactly what the Saints should be looking for.

Hand size (8 1/2”) has been the biggest concern all off-season, but being drafted by the Saints could eliminate a lot of the inclement weather issues that small hands play a factor in. Playing 9 or more games a season in dome like settings (New Orleans/Atlanta) would benefit Pickett.

With good mobility, arm strength and pocket presence, Pickett moves through his progressions extremely well, something New Orleans had with Drew Brees and missed last season. Having a prime target in Michael Thomas and a top 7 running back in Alvin kamara should make life easy for Kenny Pickett for the long haul.

19) Philadelphia Eagles – WR Treylon Burks (Arkansas)

I don’t see the Eagles making all three first round selections, but if they decide to do so drafting a big bodied x receiver makes tons of sense for Philadelphia. Burks at 6’3 225 lbs would complement DeVonta Smith extremely well.

Though Burks combine 40 yard dash time was a bit disappointing (4.55 seconds), once he builds up speed there’s not many defenders who can track him down. Burks mirrors his play style after Deebo Samuels and it shows all over his film.

Nick Sirianni likes his receivers to be versatile and Burks is just that. Not only that, Eagles WR coach Aaron Moorehead lead Treylon Burks pro day drills. He gives the Eagles a much needed talented big bodied WR they’ve missed in their offense. Just something to keep an eye on Eagles fans.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Malik Willis (Liberty)

Again, I am not crazy enough to think Malik Willis lasts til the 20th pick, but there’s no trades in this mock draft and I truly believe he will be a Steeler.

Ben Roethlisberger just retired and leaves an obvious need for Pittsburgh to find their replacement. The feeling amongst the league is that Mike Tomlin has really taken a liking to Malik Willis and really impressed him at the combine.

We know Willis possesses the arm strength and mobility to be a very good QB in the league, but is he ready to come in and start from Day 1? That’s the real question that everyone has asked. He’s a very raw prospects who still needs to become more polished. He would benefit sitting behind a veteran QB for a season or two. Similar to San Francisco’s Trey Lance.

21) New England Patriots – LB Devin Lloyd (Utah)

The Patriots come into the ‘22 seasons with Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, and Ja’whaun Bentley all heading into free agency as UFA’s. That’s potentially three linebackers off their roster. Bill Belichek will have to replace them and selecting Devin Lloyd who is the best ranked linebacker of the class will surely do that.

Lloyd projects to come into the league and make an instant impact on the field. His ability to blitz the passer, defend the run and capability to cover tight ends and sideline to sideline should entice the likes of Bill Belichek. I’m not sure there’s a better fit in the entire draft class than Lloyd in a Belichek based defense.

22) Las Vegas Raiders – WR Chris Olave (OSU)

Chris Olave paired with Derek Carr is like peanut butter and jelly, they were made to go go together. It’s a high possibility new head coach Josh McDaniels will covet Olave’s ability to win at all three levels, which would benefit guys like Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller.

Chris Olave is one of the most polished route runners of this draft class and gives Derek Carr a target who is more than capable of stretching the field. Losing a deep threat like Henry Ruggs put a slight strain on this teams ability to go deep last season, but replacing him with Olave this season who is a better overall receiver should bode well for the Raiders.

23) Arizona Cardinals – CB Trent McDuffie (Washington)

Adding to Arizona’s secondary would help their defense tremendously. To build around a secondary of Budda Baker, Byron Murphy, Marco Wilson, and Trent McDuffie could be something special.

Marco Wilson was the teams CB2 last season and did a decent job, but selecting McDuffie could force you to move Wilson inside to the slot or next to Baker as a safety. Wilson has the ability to do either. McDuffie would add to the physical nature the Cardinals secondary plays with. Quite honestly the addition of McDuffie could make them the most physically imposing secondary in the NFL.

24) Dallas Cowboys – Edge George Karlaftis (Purdue)

The Dallas Cowboys don’t have a ton of money to play with, and are currently trying to re-sign TE Daulton Schultz and WR Michael Gallup, and just traded Amari Cooper to the Browns. This leaves almost little to no money for big time free agency signings. Drafting a young edge rusher who has a high ceiling makes a lot of sense for the Cowboys here.

Karlaftis is a hard nosed bull rushing defensive end who possesses above average power. Pairing him opposite of Demarcus Lawerence could be a very good duo and quickly. He doesn’t possess the length you’d like to see from your edge rusher, or the elite athleticism, but he comes with a speed to power rush with a lot of counter moves. I like the fit here for Karlaftis in Dallas.

25) Buffalo Bills – CB Kaiir Elam (Florida)

Many analyst and evaluators have Buffalo selecting a WR here, but I think drafting a CB to pair up with Tre’Davious White makes too much sense here. Josh Allen balled out and has plenty of weapons to throw to, plus they can draft a WR in the mid rounds seeing this is a deep receiver class.

Adding Kaiir Elam opposite of Tre’Davious White would be a lethal tandem. White is a physical playmaking corner who is extremely sticky in coverage. Elam would add a similar presence but adds the versatility to play inside or out. Having two corners who can suffocate their receiver on each side would make Buffalo an extremely difficult team to throw on.

26) Tennessee Titans – C Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)

Tyler Linderbaum is too good of a prospect to fall this low, but other teams have more glaring needs that caused Linderbaum to fall to the team that probably needs him most. If Linderbaum isn’t here at this point I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest but for now he is.

With Ben Jones hitting free agency, and Rodger Saffold being released, the Titans are in need for a C/IOL and Linderbaum is by far the best in the class. The atheltic “undersized” center makes a lot of sense for the Titans solely for the reason he can get into the second level easily and pave the lane for all-pro running back Derrick Henry. Linderbaum is effective in both the run and the pass game.

Linderbaum’s film is very good and plays extremely similar and has the same body frame as Eagles center Jason Kelce.

27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – IOL Zion Johnson (Boston College)

This selection was probably the hardest decision I wrestled with. Between Iowa State RB Breece Hall, OSU WR Garrett Wilson, and Boston College IOL Zion Johnson it was a struggle to decide. I ended up choosing Johnson here because Ali Marpet just retired and and the likes of Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa and Aaron Stinnie are hitting free agency. Tampa Bay are going to want to keep their o-line as strong as possible for whoever the new QB is going to be.

Zion Johnson is an offensive linemen who you can realistically plug-and-play at any position on the o-line. With three starting o-line positions possibly being open, Johnson could start from day 1. The selection of Zion Johnson isn’t a sexy one, but it’s the smart play.

28) Green Bay Packers – WR Garrett Wilson (OSU)

It’s about damn time the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers a first round receiver. The Packers haven’t officially franchise tagged Davante Packer yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they do so. This leaves you with a potential dynamic duo of route runners in Davante Adams and Garrett Wilson.

This one-two punch could be unstoppable. As we know Adams is already one of the most unguardable players in the NFL in recent history. To be able to add Garrett Wilson who many think is the best route runner and separation creators in the class would be almost unfair. It’s also an added bonus that Wilson has played in some of the worst weathered games in college football playing in the Big-10. The Green Bay weather will be very similar to cold frigid games at “The Shoe”.

Wilson could go as early as 8 to the Falcons or 13 to the Browns, but I think due to fit, some receivers may go ahead of Wilson, and Wilson could be this years Justin Jefferson.

29) Miami Dolphins via San Francisco – WR Jameson Williams (Alabama)

Roll tide! Yes for the second year in a row, the Miami Dolphins take an Alabama WR. Will Fuller never paned out in Miami, and now they’re in need of a burner deep threat. Williams fits that exact mold.

If it wasn’t for Williams tearing his Acl in the national championship, Williams may have been the number one receiver off the board. That’s not the case, and it’s likely he falls and that would be more than ideal for Miami. Adding Williams with Waddle and Parker could become a very scary trio for new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. Also the fact that Williams looks to be ready to be able to play by the start of the season is extremely important.

30) Kansas City Chiefs – S Daxton Hill (Michigan)

The Kansas City Chiefs chose to franchise tag Orlando Brown Jr. over Tyrann Mathieu who is now heading to free agency. This leaves the chiefs with a massive hole in their secondary. Daxton Hill is the perfect selection to replace Mathieu

Hill is an athletic, quick, and rangy safety who is extremely versatile. Even if the Chiefs resign Mathieu, Hill has the atheltic ability and coverage skill to move outside to cornerback. This is a slam dunk selection for the Chiefs with no downside.

31) Cincinnati Bengals – IOL Kenyon Green (Mississippi State)

Anyone who watched the Super Bowl could tell you the Bengals are most likely taking an offensive linemen with this selection. After deciding to take Ja’Marr Chase over tackle in last years draft (which worked out in their favor) you can tell how bad their o-line is. Joe Burrow was sacked 70 times this season, 22 more than any other QB in the league. Kenyon Green would come in day one and start. The three year starter at Mississippi State played every position along the o-line besides center. He’d give the Bengals a versatile and powerful linemen who plays with a mean streak which the Bengals desperately need.

32) Detroit Lions via LA Rams – LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia)

This selection for the Lions should be BPA, and even though the Lions need a QB, WR, or DE, Nakobe Dean is by far the best prospect on the board. Losing three starting LBs to free agency makes drafting Dean feel like a necessity as well. The Lions could very well take a QB or WR two picks later with the 34th overall selection.

Dean is an undersized LB who plays much bigger than his measurements. He plays with a mean streak and possesses heat seeking missile speed in pursuit. He should come into the NFL and have an instant impact for the Lions. Dean was a game wrecker and playmaker at Georgia and despite his size and length, I don’t see that changing at the next level.

For more Philadelphia Eagles and NFL Draft coverage and analyst you can follow me on twitter @ajtorres1230

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