2022 NFL mock draft: A few big surprises in store in round one

American quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
American quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL Draft
Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Coby Bryant /

My first NFL Draft mock draft of the season, and the board is full of surprises.

This draft may be one of the more unpredictable drafts, as there is no true QB1. The amount of EDGE, OT, WR, and IDL who have top-15 talent pushes the board in odd ways. This year, the NFL Draft will be full of excitement, intrigue, delight, and utter disappointment for many fans.

With just a few more days before the NFL Draft, this is my final NFL mock draft, unless trades come up. In which case, I will be sending out one more. I don’t bite on the smoke screens, but some hype is too hard to notice. How did your team do?

1. Jags- Evan Neal, OT Alabama
This should be an easy one; they spent their number one overall pick on a quarterback last year. Now, they need to focus on keeping him upright to continue to develop. Yes, an EDGE would be nice, but it doesn’t matter if Lawrence gets sacked 48 times a game.

2. Lions- Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE Michigan
I am not buying the Malik Willis hype here, there are better quarterbacks next year, and this team won’t be much better than now. Hutchinson is the best pass rusher in this class and went to Michigan. He will instantly transform that front seven.

3. Texans- Travon Walker, EDGE UGA
This could be their next big-time player, and Walker has gained a lot of hype lately. If they can get the pass rush ability out of him, they are looking at the next JJ Watt. This team needs just about everything, but if his athletic scores can show up on the field, they have a top-five talent at the position.

4. Jets- Sauce Gardner, CB Cincinnati
The Jets have not had a lockdown corner since Revis, and it’s time for that to change. It does not matter how good they are or can be at rushing the passer if the other team’s WR are open in less than three seconds. The Jets need to start locking down the secondary.

5. Giants- Ikem Ekwonu, OT NC State
The Giants said they are committed to Daniel Jones. There’s no better way to show commitment than to draft an offensive lineman.  Ekwonu can do both pass and block, which might also keep Barkley healthy.

6. Panthers- Charles Cross, OT Miss State
The Pickett to Panthers connections run deep, but Pickett is not worth the sixth overall pick. This needs to be a move to set them up for success moving forward. Darnold is not the answer, but neither is Pickett.

7. Giants- Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE Oregon
This is just the best player on the board move. Once talked about as the first overall pick, his stock has slipped, and they can move him around. Should he hit what we all want him to be, we will look back at this draft and call it one of the best picks the Giants ever made.

8. Falcons- Jermaine Johnson, EDGE Florida State
Falcons are smashing the reset button right now. Setting the edge and building up that defense so this is a complete team is a must when the offense is ready. Jermaine Johnson had some elite off-season workouts, even if initially he was not thought of very highly.

9. Seattle- Malik Willis, QB Liberty
Do I like this pick? No. Does it make sense? Yes. Willis is similar to what they had in Wilson. He is just more of a project and I think a better runner. Don’t let that fool you he needs some work.

I think he could easily beat out Lock, but it seems Seattle is playing for future years based on the Lock trade. What better way to do that than with a quarterback whose top-end could be a top-10 quarterback in the league.

10. Jets- Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Zach Wilson can’t get any better if they cant fill out the team with talent. They started doing that in free agency and returned at 10 to do it again. Wilson is my number one pass catcher, and he will give Wilson a three-wide set of Wilson, Davis, and Moore. All of which look to be solid above-average players.