Notable names slip down the draft board in latest 2022 NFL mock draft

North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7). Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7). Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Fans of the NFL Draft are already looking at where players could be landing next year. Here’s why the latest 2022 NFL mock draft has some big names slipping. 

If you are a fan of the NFL Draft, then it doesn’t matter that the 2021 college football season hasn’t even started yet. There is something about mock drafts that just make us want to check them out and do some research on rising prospects for the following year.

If you have been following along closely this offseason, there are certain names that are continually mentioned at the top of the draft. However, a recent mock draft has thrown a curveball in the cookie-cutter mock drafts we have come to know this offseason.

Joe Mario of The Draft Network recently put together his first 2022 NFL mock draft ahead of the college football season. Marino took a stab at predicting all 32 picks in the first round. Some of them were a bit surprising.

To kick things off, Marino had Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler going first overall to the Houston Texans. This might be the most mocked pick we have seen early in the process. He follows up this pick with a trio of elite college defenders with CB Derek Stingley going to the Jets, EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux going to the Lions, and S Kyle Hamilton going to the Jaguars. From there, things take an interesting turn.

Household names slip in 2022 NFL mock draft

Along with Spencer Rattler, North Carolina’s Sam Howell has been one of the most frequently mocked players in the top three picks of the 2022 NFL Draft. However, Marino has the talented, young quarterback slipping to the 10th overall pick in his first mock ahead of the season.

This means that potential quarterback-needy teams like the Lions, Eagles, Giants, and Panthers all take a hard pass on Howell in favor of bolstering other positions on their roster. Marino has Howell falling to the Atlanta Falcons as the heir apparent to Matt Ryan.

At just 20 years old, Sam Howell has put up remarkable production in his first two college seasons and has an impressive combination of arm talent to go with plus mobility. With a little more consistency in 2021, he could be in the running for the number one overall pick. Falling to pick 10 would be a bit surprising at this stage in the process.

In addition, Marino has star Georgia wide receiver George Pickens falling to pick 20 in the 2022 NFL Draft. Though Pickens did suffer an ACL tear in March, his talent is undeniable, and he should be at full strength by the end of the 2021 season.

It’s also worth noting that Marino has Michigan star pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson falling to the 27th pick in the first round to the Miami Dolphins and Tyler Linderbaum – arguably the best interior offensive lineman in the draft – slipping to the 30th overall pick.

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The NFL Draft is always full of surprises and it will be interesting to see how the aforementioned names perform during the 2021 season. There will be plenty more 2022 NFL mock drafts to score out as we inch closer to the college football season.