2022 NFL Mock Draft - RD1 Picks 17-32



17 Arizona
Owen Pappoe
Auburn
ILB
Reach/Value:
-73
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
226
Owen Pappoe NFL Draft photo
And we're back.

Cardinals fans have had a few weeks to bask in their offseason that made headlines with the signing of some great, if not slightly older, players through Free Agency and some solid moves through the draft. The signing of J.J. Watt will obviously be the move that will be put under the microscope for the 2021 season, and if he is healthy, it could be a signing that transforms the Cardinals' defense into a threat to make a deep playoff run.

The draft was not the home run some were hoping for, but solid talent was acquired that could make a splash. RD1 pick and Tulsa LB Zaven Collins comes in off 54 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions in a shortened 2020 season along with high expectations and the high probability of being thrown into the fire immediately, shown by Arizona's willingness to let veteran LB Jordan Hicks seek a trade elsewhere to free up the spot for the rookie.

Other picks could make underrated differences, like quick-but-undersized Rondale Moore out of Purdue, who should step in nicely as a slot receiver, possibly replacing Andy Isabella, or even getting some time out of the backfield on obvious passing downs. And though it may not be the highly-touted prospect they may have wanted early, Florida's Marco Wilson has the athletic potential to develop into a star at corner. He will surely get a chance to prove it early with the severe lack of depth still at the CB position. For this initial 2022 mock draft, Owen Pappoe is a good early prediction to help with the outside. Watt is only on a two-year deal and Arizona will likely be looking for its next big EDGE guy after his departure.

All in all, it will be an interesting season for the Cardinals. Fans still await a decision from Larry Fitzgerald on whether he will be returning for his 18th season. There is certainly reason for optimism for him to return, and it may put the cherry on top of a successful offseason for Arizona.

~ Dylan Rudolph, Cardinals Draft Analyst

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18 New England
Sevyn Banks
Ohio State
CB
Reach/Value:
-9
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
200
Sevyn Banks NFL Draft photo
Despite adding Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to their woeful 2020 WR corps, the Patriots still have one of the league's most unthreatening collection of wideouts in the league. That they're pursuing Julio Jones should be a surprise to no one, as they've shown a particular lack of aptitude to acquire WR talent through the draft.

The defense lost longtime starter at CB Jason McCourty to Free Agency in the offseason. After the 2021 season, time is up for Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson, the two projected starters for 2021. CB has to be considered the biggest need for the team at this juncture.
19 Philadelphia (Trade)
Ahmad Gardner
Cincinnati
CB
Reach/Value:
-24
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
190
Ahmad Gardner NFL Draft photo
Looking beyond the potential need at QB, the Eagles could be on the lookout for help at CB. There's been some positive buzz around 2021 RD 4 pick Zech McPhearson, but the position would still benefit from an infusion of additional talent. The Eagles haven't used a RD 1 pick on a CB since 2002 when they took Lito Sheppard and haven't used a top 50 pick since the 2017 draft when they took Sidney Jones.

Of course early draft pick investment doesn't always correlate to the success of a position. The Eagles used RD 1 picks on LT and WR in 2019 and 2020 respectively and yet both positions could be vying with CB for priority in the 2022 draft if the young players currently on the roster cannot step up in 2021.
20 LA Chargers
Mike Jones Jr.
LSU
OLB
Reach/Value:
-30
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
230
Mike Jones Jr. NFL Draft photo
While the Chargers grabbed a couple linebackers in the mid to late rounds of the 2021 Draft, they figure to be replenishing the position again next year. Spotrac shows the Chargers with only $7.3M tied up in linebacker salaries in 2022, a third of what they have in wideouts and a fifth of their defensive line commitments. Starters Kyzir White and Uchenna Nwosu will be unrestricted free agents, giving Coach Brandon Staley the option of remaking the position group to his liking.

Staley loves versatility and speed from the back of the defense, so a player like Mike Jones Jr. of LSU would certainly appeal. Jones, a cover LB who can run and hit, spent three years at Clemson before transferring to Baton Rouge. He has deep experience in high-end programs and should make a quick transition to the pro game.

- Jud Branam, Chargers Analyst
21 Pittsburgh
Jayden Daniels
Arizona State
QB
Reach/Value:
-62
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
200
Jayden Daniels NFL Draft photo
The Steelers are making what seems like their last run with Ben Roethlisberger. Unless the team makes some play in Free Agency, a QB should be selected in the early rounds of the 2022 Draft. Their 2021 record and draft seeding might play a significant role in which path they take.

In the wake of the post-COVID salary cap losses, the team is rolling the dice on a very unproven offensive line in 2021. Even If their long shots at Center and Tackle do work out, they'll be looking for better depth in this group. The similarly-hard-hit defensive secondary was not addressed early in the 2021 Draft. The preseason scramble among a host of unpedigreed DB prospects will be one of the highlights of the preseason. Fortunately, the Steelers are playing in the HOF game this year, so they'll have an extra preseason game to sort through the roster.
22 Dallas
Aidan Hutchinson
Michigan
EDGE
Reach/Value:
-7
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
269
Aidan Hutchinson NFL Draft photo
I applaud the Cowboys for making a dedicated effort to add talent on defense this offseason, but this was never going to be a quick fix. Eight of Dallas' 11 draft picks were on this side of the ball, which has given them some much-needed depth. However, this group will need to continue to add talent, and that is especially true up front. Brent Urban and Carlos Watkins were both brought in on one-year deals and Randy Gregory is one of several edge rushers set to hit the market.

Dallas still has very few answers at Safety. Donovan Wilson stepped up this past year and should get a chance to lock down one spot, while Damontae Kazee was brought in on a prove-it deal this offseason. Still, the Cowboys long-term future at either Safety position is far from settled.

On offense, the Cowboys offensive line should be fully healthy to start the year, but an injury to either Tyron Smith or La'el Collins could force Dallas to seek out another option next April. I could also see the Cowboys considering a tight end with Blake Jarwin coming off an ACL injury and Dalton Schultz in the final year of his rookie deal.

~ Austin Smith, DraftTek Senior Analyst
23 Green Bay
Garrett Wilson
Ohio State
WR
Reach/Value:
+7
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
203
Garrett Wilson NFL Draft photo
With Aaron Rodgers' future in question, the Packers may be the most volatile projection in the NFL. If Gutekunst and Co. can convince Rodgers to return, the Packers will be sure-fire Super Bowl contenders. If Rodgers refuses to report, GB could see their championship hopes crumble.

While many will see a WR in RD1 as an attempt to placate a star QB, those with a deeper knowledge of GB's roster know it's a necessity. Davante Adams is set to hit Free Agency. The Packers are in cap hell in 2022, and GB has a history of being stingy with third contracts. Amari Rodgers is the only roster lock at WR that will be under contract beyond 2021. A top-rated WR like Garrett Wilson could go a long way toward fixing the Packers' projected depth chart.

- James Siebers, Packers Analyst (Twitter @DraftTekPackers)
24 Miami (Trade)
Breece Hall
Iowa State
RB
Reach/Value:
+2
Height:
6'1"
Weight:
210
Breece Hall NFL Draft photo
Tua's hip is 10 times better; Tua is more comfortable with the playbook; Tua has a plethora of dynamic receiving weapons to throw to. All signs point to sophomore success for Miami's QB. However, if Tagovailoa cannot prove the doubters wrong, this could be a lost season for a young roster primed for playoff success.

Veteran Safety Bobby McCain was released. The Dolphins' defense might miss his leadership, but his on-field play can be 'covered' by a combination of Brandon Jones and Jevon Holland. Regardless, the defense should, as in 2020, be the strength of the team.

The Fins are yet to solve their shortfall at RB. Gerrid Doaks, the RD7 rookie, is unlikely to be the answer. Myles Gaskin is favorite to be the main ball carrier in Week 1 against the Pats. A veteran addition could be imminent, but I can see this issue stretching into the 2022 offseason.

- David Payne, Dolphins Analyst

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25 Tennessee
Christian Harris
Alabama
ILB
Reach/Value:
+11
Height:
6'2"
Weight:
232
Christian Harris NFL Draft photo
I spent all last season talking about how the Titans needed another wide receiver. They did sign Josh Reynolds, but they could still use some more firepower. Enter Future Hall of Famer Julio Jones. This would be awesome. It could be the final push the Titans need to finally win the Super Bowl.

The Titans needed to replace departing bust Isaiah Wilson, and they did so with Dillon Radunz. I'm a huge fan of his, and expect big things from him this year. Keep an eye on his athleticism at the Tackle position. All eyes will definitely be on the Tennessee Titans' defense, as they are coming off a historically-bad year. The secondary is loaded with talent, although it's young talent. The Titans also improved their pass rush this offseason, though it would have been difficult to get much worse.

Every team is optimistic about their chances at this time of the year. The Titans have good reason to be optimistic. They have an improved offensive line and upgraded the secondary and pass rush. Plus they have a guy named Derrick Henry who runs for 2,000 yards like it's his job, which I guess it is. Let's just call it right now: the Titans are winning the Super Bowl.

- Jonah Anderson, Senior Analyst
26 NY Jets (Trade)
Justyn Ross
Clemson
WR
Reach/Value:
+2
Height:
6'4"
Weight:
210
Justyn Ross NFL Draft photo
With the first 4 picks of the 2021 Draft used on the offensive side of the football, you may think that more emphasis may be placed on the defense in 2022. The Jets also used a RD2 on WR Elijah Moore to add to 2020 RD2 pick Denzel Mims, and new Free Agency signing Corey Davis. So why another WR here? Well it's not so much another WR but another weapon to hopefully keep new QB Zach Wilson progressing in the right direction.

Ideally, this pick would be a TE, as I feel it was one of the positions overlooked this year. A lot of pressure will be on Chris Herndon to finally deliver on the potential most Jet fans believe he possesses. Despite the apparent weakness of the TE unit, the value pick here is Clemson WR Justyn Ross. You can't really go wrong with a RD1 WR from Clemson, but if a TE steps up over the upcoming college season, this pick may very well sway in that direction.

- Rich Tinley, Jets Analyst
27 Cleveland
George Karlaftis
Purdue
EDGE
Reach/Value:
+9
Height:
6'4"
Weight:
270
George Karlaftis NFL Draft photo
The Browns did a tremendous job of bringing in some important pieces to their roster this offseason. Hopes are those additions will help them build on the success they had a year ago. In 2020, the offense was light years ahead of the defense, but that should not be the case moving forward. Cleveland has spent a plethora of resources on improving this unit, but not all of their solutions are long-term fits. Jadeveon Clowney and Takk McKinley are only on one-year deals, and the Browns were unable to get their hands on a pass rusher in the draft.

Finding Myles Garrett's partner to rush off the edge will likely be a top priority next April. So will continuing to find answers at Linebacker. I love the pick of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah if they can carve out a role for his unique skill set. The addition of Anthony Walker and re-signing of Malcolm Smith also bring experience to a young group, but they need some guys to step up and latch onto positions this fall.

Across the ball, I like the talent and depth this team has built up on offense. However, the contracts of Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry could both offer cap relief following this year, so that Cleveland can navigate long-term deals with several of their younger stars. If that happens, WR could become another need for the 2022 NFL Draft.

~ Austin Smith, DraftTek Senior Analyst
28 Detroit (Trade)
John Metchie III
Alabama
WRS
Reach/Value:
+5
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
195
John Metchie III NFL Draft photo
After leaving a bevy of alluring wideouts on the board to build in the trenches in 2021, the Lions take the next offering from the wideout factory that is Alabama football with shifty route runner John Metchie III. While a tad undersized, Metchie has separation skills and savvy to go with 4.5 speed. Bama stars Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are off to the league, so Metchie is positioned for a breakout year in 2021. And after a year of watching UDFA and journeyman receivers competing while covered, Lions fans could just be ready to go back into the angst-filled world of first-round wideouts.
29 Baltimore
Charles Cross
Mississippi State
OT
Reach/Value:
+3
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
300
Charles Cross NFL Draft photo
The 2021 Draft already seems like a lifetime ago. The Ravens will feel they achieved their offseason goals and can look forward to the new season with hope and expectation. The planned expansion of the passing game is bolstered by RD1 pick Rashod Bateman. Even with the explosive Bateman in the lineup, expect the Ravens to hit the ground running (a lot) on MNF, in Vegas Week 1.

Alejandro Villanueva replaces Orlando Brown at RT; a 2-year contract suggests this isn't just a quick-fix move. Bradley Bozeman will move to Center, but that remains a position of concern. At this early stage, O-Line should be the focus of RD1 for the Ravens in the 2022 Draft.

Jayson Oweh was the big rookie addition on defense. It will be interesting to see whether he can become part of a potent pass rush in 2021, but this group looks short-handed with the loss of Matt Judon. There could be changes at the Safety spots, but the Secondary looks strong overall.

- David Payne, DraftTek Senior Analyst

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30 Buffalo
Jordan Davis
Georgia
DL1T
Reach/Value:
-9
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
330
Jordan Davis NFL Draft photo
The 2022 free agents who'll be age 29 or over this fall include 3 EDGEs (Hughes, Addison, Obada), 2 IDL (Zimmer, Hester), 2 WRs (Sanders, Kumerow), 2 RGs (Devey, Douglas), RB Taiwan Jones, TE Jacob Hollister, and LB Tyrell Adams. Brandon Beane should feel really smug about how the draft addressed concerns about aging players. Then today, Beane added $7.8M in 2021 cap space by restructuring Stefon Diggs' contract, so something's about to go down --likely either TE Zach Ertz (for the NFL's' cheapest position room), Josh Allen extension, a CB2 , or a veteran DL1T. With Butler and Lotulelei still not at 1 Bills Drive, and Harrison Phillips in a contract year, DL1T is the most-immediate concern.

Jordan Davis is huge, fast, and disruptive for a nose tackle. Watch him use his prodigious strength and long arms to negate the OG's forward lean by straightening him right up . Davis has the McBeane attitude, recently saying, "I really play for the linebackers". Yup.

- Dean Kindig, Bills Analyst
31 Tampa Bay
DeMarvin Leal
Texas A&M
DL5T
Reach/Value:
+10
Height:
6'4"
Weight:
290
DeMarvin Leal NFL Draft photo
Should the Bucs plan to make a third run at the brass ring in 2022, it may be a little easier to keep all 22 starters around for yet another season. The official salary-cap number for the 2022 season will be $208.2M after dipping to $182.5M for 2021. We'll have to see how Father Time takes his toll on all the Bucs mercenaries this year: JPP, Ndamukong Suh, Gronk, AB, Leonard Fournette, and Steve McLendon are all pushing further into their 30s, not to mention Tom Brady's advance from the early to the mid-40s.

As far as the Bucs' homegrown young guns, only Carlton Davis' contract is up after the 2021 season. Davis' salary should bump to $6-7M from the current $1.1M based on his play.

So the Bucs' brigantine could conceivably sail for 2 more seasons with the same core group of players before the rudders fall off. Then the following contracts are up: Lavonte David, Devin White, Vita Vea, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Jamel Dean, and the Godfather himself Brady.

Regarding the 2022 draft, the Bucs will weigh important depth needs (OL, DL) with BPAs who may slip through the cracks.
32 Kansas City
Daniel Wright
Alabama
S
Reach/Value:
-51
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
195
Daniel Wright NFL Draft photo
The Chiefs' Safety roster after the upcoming 2021 season includes: Juan Thornhill. Period. He is the only one contracted past the end of next season. No Dan Sorensen, Amani Watts, nor -- this is so hard to swallow -- Tyrann Mathieu. The three-time First Team All-Pro Safety is also entering the final year of his contract. In a since-deleted tweet responding to a question about a potential contract extension, Tyrann Mathieu said he's "probably not" going to get a new deal in KC.

This would be such a huge loss in leadership for the Chiefs' defense. I struggle with the concept. He is, by far, the best free-agent signing that Brett Veach has made since becoming GM of the organization. Since signing with the Chiefs two years ago, the Honey Badger has served as the voice of the defense and has tallied 10 INTs, 21 passes defensed, and 2.0 sacks. Mathieu is hungry. He promises to lead the team back to the Super Bowl; and, to take the trophy back. ... Yet, the business of football must move forward.

A trend of declining value may work in our favor. The last time NFL draftniks witnessed a Safety taken in RD1 was 2019, when Darnell Savage went to the Packers at Pick #23. ... Meanwhile, two names to keep an eye on at the Chiefs' pre-season camp are UDFA signings Devon Key and Zayne Anderson, a.k.a. Dirty Daniel Sorensen's Mini-Me. These two hopefuls look to join Thornhill on the Safety roster.

~ KCBudMan, Chiefs Analyst

Philadelphia get Miami RD1 pick (2021 Draft Trade)

Miami gets San Francisco RD1 pick (2021 Draft Trade)

NY Giants gets Chicago RD1 pick (2021 Draft Trade)

NY Jets gets Seattle RD1 pick (Jamal Adams trade)

Return to Round 1 Picks 1-16 Forward to Round 2 Forward to Round 3 Forward to Round 4/5 Forward to Round 6/7





O/A Rank Pac 12 Conference
Top-30 Players
Psn
3 Kayvon Thibodeaux
Oregon
EDGE
8 Kedon Slovis
USC
QB
12 Drake Jackson
USC
EDGE
37 Cade Otton
Washington
TE
44 Drake London
USC
WR
50 Trent McDuffie
Washington
CB
62 Merlin Robertson
Arizona State
OLB
76 Kuony Deng
California
OLB
84 Mykael Wright
Oregon
CB
87 Edefuan Ulofoshio
Washington
ILB
96 Devin Lloyd
Utah
ILB
102 Abraham Lucas
Washington State
OT
103 Zion Tupuola-Fetui
Washington
DL5T
104 Isaac Taylor-Stuart
USC
CB
119 Nate Landman
Colorado
ILB
131 Jayden Daniels
Arizona State
QB
135 C.J. Verdell
Oregon
RBC
138 Avery Roberts
Oregon State
ILB
139 Bru McCoy
USC
WR
153 Jaxson Kirkland
Washington
OT
157 Sean Rhyan
UCLA
OT
158 Omar Speights
Oregon State
ILB
175 Dohnovan West
Arizona State
OC
182 Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu
Oregon
OG
189 D.J. Davidson
Arizona State
DL1T
190 Cameron Goode
California
OLB
193 Thomas Booker
Stanford
DL3T
200 Caleb Johnson
UCLA
ILB
203 Chris Steele
USC
CB
224 Isaiah Pola-Mao
USC
S
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