9. Seattle Seahawks: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
The Seahawks have some solid players on the edge in Darrell Taylor and newly signed Uchenna Nwosu, but they lack that superstar pass rusher. I know Jermaine Johnson is somewhat of a controversial prospect due to his late breakout and lack of elite bend, but he did have excellent sack production his senior year and is peaking at the right time.
10. New York Jets: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
The first receiver comes off the board at the tenth overall pick. I do not believe that there is much debate that the Jets will end up selecting a wide receiver in the first round of the 2022 draft, assuming they do not trade for Deebo Samuel). The question is which one. I chose Jameson Williams, even with the possibility he may not be ready for the start of the season after an ACL tear in the national championship game.
I think the fit in the Jets lineup would be too good to pass up. Elijah Moore provides that silky route running and separation ability on intermediate routes. Corey Davis provides that contested catch ability. What the Jets lack is that elite deep threat, which can be used to maximize Wilson’s arm strength.
11. Washington Commanders: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
The first quarterback comes off the board at eleven, and it is Malik Willis. This offseason, the Commanders acquired Carson Wentz, but I think it is safe to say that he will not be the long-term answer in Washington. Wentz can still serve as a stopgap option, which is why Willis makes sense here.
He is by no means a finished project, but he has the highest ceiling out of any quarterback in the class. Washington can finally take another swing at the position.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The Vikings are a difficult team to pick for in this spot and could be a likely trade-down candidate. Their biggest need is to probably add another cornerback to the mix. Bringing in Mike Pettine to the coaching staff indicates that the Vikings are going to run a heavy dose of man coverage. Kaiir Elam is a possibility for him as he is the best press-man corner still on the board, but it is still slightly too early for him.
So, in this mock draft scenario, they upgrade the safety spot by selecting Notre Dame safety, Kyle Hamilton. Harrison Smith is not getting any younger and they could benefit to add someone to play alongside him in the present.
13. Houston Texans: Devonte Wyatt, IDL, Georgia
The Texans are in a position in which they need to add talent to the roster regardless of position. They went for the offensive line with their first pick in this mock draft scenario, so they address the defensive line here. Wyatt is my favorite interior defensive line prospect in a thin class because he is such a technically refined pass rusher. His pass-rushing ability is better than any other interior defensive lineman in the class
14. Baltimore Ravens: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
This is lower than Walker will go in reality, but I think there are real concerns with Walker’s lack of production and pass-rush technique at Georgia. His athleticism is off the charts incredible, but it is a risk to try to develop a raw athlete into an elite defender.
The Ravens are the best team to take on this task, since they did it last year after selecting Odafe Oweh, an edge with similar production concerns. The Ravens could use another piece on the edge. If Walker reaches at least a fraction of his ceiling, that will make a scary pass-rushing duo for opposing offenses.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Drake London, WR, USC
For the third year in a row, the Eagles select a wide receiver in the first round. Drake London is a big-bodied receiver with excellent ball skills who could have a Mike Evans-like impact if he reaches his ceiling. He is not without risk though due to his lack of game-breaking speed and projected separation ability in the NFL.
Though I don’t love the fit with Jalen Hurts as a quarterback, because London will need a lot of quick-game action to maximize his abilities. At the same time, it is always possible that the Eagles may move on from Jalen Hurts if he doesn’t develop next year anyway. The Eagles still need a big-bodied receiver across from DeVonta Smith.
16. New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
This is the area of the first round where the run-on wide receivers could continue. There are a lot of wide receiver needy teams in the middle portions of the first round. The Saints presumably made that trade with the Eagles to acquire a second first-round pick to find an offensive tackle to replace Terron Armstead, but do not think Trevor Penning is worth first-round selection. The Saints will be proactive and select a receiver now to fulfill a different need. Olave is an incredible route runner and is fast enough to get separation ability on deep routes.