Pro Football Focus released their latest 2022 NFL mock draft, but here’s why they didn’t have a single quarterback going inside the top ten picks.
With the college football season waiting on the bowl games, NFL mock draft season is in full swing. This year’s class has an unusual feel to it, as there are no clear-cut obvious choices to be selected with the top picks in the draft this year.
In recent weeks, I have seen several mocks that have projected the top two pass rushers — Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux — going in back-to-back picks to kick off the NFL Draft next April. At the moment, Pro Football Focus would agree.
Recently, PFF’s Austin Gayle released his updated 2022 NFL mock draft that also had Hutchinson and Thibodeaux being the top two picks to the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively. However, Gayle didn’t have a single quarterback being selected inside the top-10.
Instead, the PFF analyst predicts a run on blue-chip defensive studs being selected with the first ten picks, as well as a pair of quality offensive tackles in Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu. The first quarterback off the board in this mock draft is Ole Miss’ Matt Corral with the 11th overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Though he may not have them going high, Gayle still projects four quarterbacks going on day one of the NFL Draft next April. In addition to Corral, he has Kenny Pickett going 15th to the Steelers, Sam Howell going 19th to Washington, and Malik Willis going 24th to the Lions.
Will the NFL Draft have a QB selected in the top10?
In most years, it almost seems like a guarantee that a quarterback will be taken with a top ten pick. After all, it’s no secret that QB is the most important position in football. However, I think there’s a real possibility that the 2022 NFL Draft doesn’t see its first quarterback off the board until just after this.
While there is some quality depth at the QB position in the draft this year, there are no ‘elite’ prospects like we have seen in years past. In fact, some analysts have said that Mac Jones would have been the clear-cut top quarterback in this year’s class and that the 2021 NFL Draft class had five passers graded than anyone coming out in 2022.
This might not prove to be the case on the field, but as prospects, it’s not hard to see why draft analysts would think this way. Each of the top quarterbacks this year seems to have a question mark in their game that keeps them from being an elite prospect.
Corral has questions about his gimmicky read-option scheme, while Pickett has just one year of good production in five seasons. Meanwhile, Howell hasn’t progressed as many had hoped since his freshman season, and Willis appeared to have taken a step back this year from his dominant campaign at Liberty last season.
Even with all of these factors, I would still be a bit surprised to see no quarterback selected with a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft next April, but it’s looking like a possibility that this could happen. If this proves to be the case, it will be great news for quarterback-needy teams picking in the mid-to-late first round in 2022.