Ryan Noonan's Final 2022 NFL Mock Draft
Alright, it's time to submit the final answers to the test. This is such a unique year. We're missing the surefire quarterbacks at the top of the draft, and we have eight teams with multiple first-round selections. That adds a level of intrigue and speculation that makes accurate mocking difficult. I had 12 correct player/team pairings last season and finished 15th out of 181 'Mockers', but I'll be surprised if someone gets to 10 this season.
Let's jump in.
2022 Draft NFL Draft Date & Time
Date: Thursday, April 28 (Round 1), Friday, April 29th ( Rounds 2 & 3) & Saturday, April 30th (Rounds 4-7)
Time: 8:00 PM EST (Round 1), 7:00 PM EST (Rounds and 3), &12:00 PM EST (Rounds 4-7)
Channels: NFL Network, ESPN & ABC, also FuboTV Livestream
More 2022 NFL Draft Resources: Anthony Staggs' Mock Draft | John Daigle's Mock Draft | Big Board | Dalton Kates' Prop Bets | Draft Podcast Notes | Move the Line Props Betting Tracker | Draft Betting Odds & Tracker
Final 2022 NFL Mock Draft
*Last Updated: April 27, 2022
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, OT
Travon Walker was here in version 1.0, and I'm even more confident now he's the pick. He was +350 to be the first pick when I submitted my last mock draft, and now he's -300 in some spots to go first. The Cam Robinson contract extension is good news for Walker backers.
Pick In Previous Mock: Travon Walker
2. Detroit Lions
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, QB, S, CB
I'm still of the belief the Lions would take the layup here and draft Aidan Hutchinson. Still, the Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 2 hive is real, and the markets are certainly validating their buzz. Despite that, I'm sticking with the local kid who'll help them win the Friday morning press conference and, ideally, on the field come September.
Pick In Previous Mock: Aidan Hutchinson
3. Houston Texans
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, OT, S, CB
The Texans have been a steel trap, with very little actionable news coming from sources plugged into the team. GM Nick Caserio is a Bill Belichick disciple, so it's no surprise information is limited. However, New England showed a willingness to draft cornerbacks early while Caserio was there, and head coach Lovie Smith has recently stated they need to upgrade their cornerback talent to execute his defense properly. The injury concerns remain, but his current health status was on display at his LSU Pro Day. Derek Stingley Jr. showcased the same natural athleticism that pops on his 2019 game tape and instantly turned from a sliding talent to a rising prospect. I think this is Stingley Jr. or Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner.
Pick In Previous Mock: Evan Neal
4. New York Jets
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina St.
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, CB, OT, WR, S
I continue to oscillate between Ikem Ekwonu and Gardner here. However, I believe the Mekhi Becton situation in New York is becoming increasingly worrisome, and protecting second-year starter Zach Wilson should be a priority. The Jets pick again at 10, but it's unlikely one of the top tackles will remain on the board when they're back on the clock.
Pick In Previous Mock: Kayvon Thibodeaux
5. New York Giants
Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Mock-based Positional Needs: OT, EDGE, CB
I'm sticking with Gardner here for the Giants but moving him up to five. The 6-foot-3 Bearcat didn't allow a single touchdown pass while at Cincinnati. His abilities as a press coverage specialist would be a massive plus in new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale's blitz-heavy scheme that forces man coverage on the outside. It all makes too much sense.
If Gardner goes to Houston at pick three, I believe the Giants will take Stingley Jr. at pick five. That would leave the Panthers with their choice of Evan Neal and Charles Cross, and the Giants would take whoever is left at pick seven. See why this is so difficult?!
Pick In Previous Mock: Ikem Ekwonu
6. Carolina Panthers
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Mock-based Positional Needs: QB, OT
Handicapping the Panthers here is quite challenging. If they cannot trade out of this pick, addressing their porous offensive line is a must. Last season, Carolina ranked 29th in ESPN's pass-block win rate and didn't fare much better on the run-blocking side, coming in at 26th overall. I'd make this a trade situation if I was deranged, but mocking a trade is psychotic behavior.
Pick In Previous Mock: Charles Cross
7. New York Giants (from Chicago)
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Mock-based Positional Needs: OT, EDGE, CB, WR
The only knock on Garrett Wilson is his size. Still, he's an electric playmaker with strong hands who's shown an ability to line up all over the field at Ohio State. The Kadarius Toney trade rumors are floating around heavily heading into the weekend. With the concerns around pass-catching depth on the roster, I expect new pass-happy head coach Brian Daboll won't want to bypass the talent in this class.
Pick In Previous Mock: Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner
8. Atlanta Falcons
Drake London, WR, USC
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, EDGE, QB, CB
It's bad, folks. It was ugly before the unfortunate Ridley news, and now it's dire. The Falcons have a number of needs, but they can't pass up a wide receiver here. So even with Kayvon Thibodeaux still on the board, the Falcons take Drake London, the wideout heavily linked to Atlanta over the past week.
Pick In Previous Mock: Jameson Williams
9. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
Mock-based Positional Needs: OT, QB, EDGE, CB
The Kayvon Thibodeaux slide ends here. Again, there are rumblings he's on his way to Detroit, even with Aidan Hutchinson on the board, but that takes more mental gymnastics than I'm willing to do at my advanced age. The Seahawks wisely go with the tried and true "best player available" route here.
Pick In Previous Mock: Trevor Penning
10. New York Jets (from Seattle)
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, CB, OT, WR, S
I think Drake London is a perfect fit for the Jets, but it doesn't appear he'll be on the board at pick 10. In this scenario, the Jets are left with the top receiver in the class, Jameson Williams. I'd be surprised to see the Jets make two picks in the top 10 and not come away with a pass-catcher. After swinging and missing on Tyreek Hill in the trade market, the Jets have shown us that adding weaponry to Zach Wilson's arsenal is a priority. The drumbeats for Jermaine Johnson II are getting louder and louder, but the Jets have demonstrated a desire to add playmakers to their offense.
Pick In Previous Mock: Drake London
11. Washington Commanders
Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, QB, CB, S
We're only a couple of weeks removed from Kyle Hamilton being the betting favorite at No. 2 to Detroit. A mediocre Pro Day, highlighted by a less-than-impressive 40-yard dash time, is at the heart of Hamilton's slide down. Scouts and film grinders love him, though, and at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, I'm not overly concerned he doesn't run 4.5 flat.
Pick In Previous Mock: Garrett Wilson
12. Minnesota Vikings
Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Mock-based Positional Needs: CB, EDGE, DT
Trent McDuffie has garnered a lot of pre-draft buzz after allegedly crushing the interview portion of the NFL Combine and Pro Day. He's a versatile defensive back who won't blow you away with his size but fits any scheme.
Pick In Previous Mock: Derek Stingley Jr.
13. Houston Texans (from Cleveland)
Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, OT, S, WR
The betting markets have Jermaine Johnson II as a prohibitive favorite to go inside the top 10. The Florida State prospect is more Travon Walker than Aidan Hutchinson, with Pro Day and measurables buzz, that doesn't exactly match his output on the field. However, taking a swing on athleticism and tools in the teens is quite different from doing so at the top of the board, so this would be an outstanding addition to Houston's defense. Still, I think the Texans consider Johnson at third overall and get a gift here at pick 13.
Pick In Previous Mock: Kyle Hamilton
14. Baltimore Ravens
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Mock-based Positional Needs: DT, EDGE, OT, C, CB
NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah is usually spot on when it comes to Ravens news, and he's been adamant Jordan Davis doesn't make it past Baltimore at 14. That's enough for me.
Pick In Previous Mock: Jermaine Johnson II
15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami)
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, CB, LB, DT, EDGE
Just because the other guys didn't pan out doesn't mean you don't have a need at the position. Yes, this is three straight years of first-round receiver picks for Philadelphia. Adding a talent like Chris Olave alongside DeVonta Smith's skill set allows everyone else on the depth chart to slide down to where they belong. It also gives Jalen Hurts another weapon in the passing game. With the Saints and Chargers sitting behind them, Philadelphia wouldn't have a shot at Olave at pick 18.
Pick In Previous Mock: Trent McDuffie
16. New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis through Philadelphia)
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, QB, OT
The Saints need to add offensive talent to the roster. Even with Michael Thomas' return, New Orleans lacks depth at the position to support Jameis Winston. They're also in the market to add an offensive lineman after Terron Armstead left for Miami in free agency. Sitting back and having Charles Cross fall into their lap at 16 is likely a dream scenario. The knock on Cross is that he's coming out of an Air Raid system under Mike Leach at Mississippi State, so he's a work-in-progress when it comes to run blocking.
Pick In Previous Mock: Chris Olave
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Mock-based Positional Needs: DT, OT, WR, CB
Trevor Penning is the last tackle available with a first-round grade from most clubs and is a perfect fit to man the right tackle spot for the Chargers. This would be a home run pick for the Chargers, in my opinion, with Penning an underrated small-school athletic freak.
Pick In Previous Mock: Jordan Davis
18. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)
Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, EDGE, CB, LB, DT
Daxton Hill's versatility has caught the attention of NFL front offices, and he'd be a terrific pick here for the Eagles. Hill mostly played safety in college but is quick enough to play slot corner or even on the outside as he develops opposite of Darius Slay. His swiss-army-knife positional flexibility allows Philadelphia to do a variety of things schematically.
Pick In Previous Mock: Treylon Burks
19. New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia)
Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, QB, OT
Jahan Dotson, who showed an incredible ability to get open at Penn St., would be an excellent fit in New Orleans' offense alongside Michael Thomas. He's a bit small but ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and rarely dropped the ball despite being a target hog for the Nittany Lions. Daniel Jeremiah has been grouping Dotson in with the top-tier receivers in this class of late. On a recent Move The Sticks episode, Jeremiah said Dotson's very much in play to go inside the top 20 picks.
Pick In Previous Mock: Tyler Smith
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Mock-based Positional Needs: QB, OT, G
Holding steady on this one. The reports out of Malik Willis's Pro Day were glowing and had him a viable option near the top of the board. As we get closer to draft day, though, that seems to be a contrarian take. According to ESPN's Todd McShay, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told Liberty coach Hugh Freeze Pittsburgh would be very interested in Willis if he's available at pick 20. Installing an offensive that's friendly for a mobile quarterback allows the Steelers to start Mitch Trubisky to begin the year and fit Willis in seamlessly when he's ready.
Pick In Previous Mock: Malik Willis
21. New England Patriots
Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
Mock-based Positional Needs: CB, OL, WR, LB
I could see the Patriots going in a lot of different ways here, and I still believe their first priority would be to trade back and acquire more picks. The Patriots still lack playmakers on offense and have lost free agents at cornerback and along the offensive line.
You can't mess around with offensive line depth with a young quarterback. Zion Johnson has above-average length for a guard, and his athletic testing secured his spot in the first round.
Pick In Previous Mock: Devin Lloyd
22. Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas)
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, EDGE, OT, DT
The gaping hole left behind by Davante Adams can't be filled in this draft, but getting a talent like Treylon Burks is a gift at 22. Burks fits the athletic profile the Packers covet and won't make it to their next pick at 28.
Pick In Previous Mock: Quay Walker
23. Arizona Cardinals
George Karlaftis III, EDGE, Purdue
Mock-based Positional Needs: EDGE, CB, G, WR
Here's another pick I'm sticking with. J.J. Watt is no spring chicken, and Chandler Jones took his talents to Las Vegas, so this is a perfect marriage between falling prospect and team need. George Karlaftis III was often pegged as an early first-round pick early in the pre-draft process, and he still could be. He's at his best when utilizing his strength and bull-rushing style to power through opposing offensive lineman. Still, he has tremendous speed for his size as well. The Cardinals have a few other needs that would make sense and likely wouldn't force an EDGE rusher if Karlaftis is off the board.
Pick In Previous Mock: George Karlaftis III
24. Dallas Cowboys
Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
Mock-based Positional Needs: G, OT, EDGE, LB, C
With Connor Williams taking his talents to south beach, the Cowboys have a big hole on the offensive line that needs to be addressed. Jerry Jones has talked about a desire to add to the receiver room, but I don't see that happening unless Treylon Burks is still on the board.
Pick In Previous Mock: Zion Johnson
25. Buffalo Bills
Lewis Cine, DB, Georgia
Mock-based Positional Needs: CB, WR, DT, G, LB
Lewis Cine is a name garnering a lot of first-round buzz heading into draft day. However, with Jordan Poyer's future concerns, Cine would lessen that blow down the road and immediately add depth to their secondary. The Bills have a talented roster and can go the "best player available" route, but I'd be surprised if this is a running back, which has been rumored.
Pick In Previous Mock: Daxton Hill
26. Tennessee Titans
Devin Llyod, LB, Utah
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, LB, OT, G, QB
Many believe Devin Lloyd has top-10 talent, but most teams have greater needs ahead of this spot. Lloyd's four-down skill set fits a need for the Titans.
Pick In Previous Mock: Kenny Pickett
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyler Smith, OL, Tulsa
Mock-based Positional Needs: OL, DT, EDGE, DB, WR
With Tom Brady returning and Ali Marpet retiring, Tampa Bay's focus should be maintaining depth along their offensive front. Tyler Smith is a big-bodied athletic freak who's a bit underrated because he played at Tulsa and not Oklahoma. Nevertheless, Smith has been moving up draft boards after his robust athletic testing in the pre-draft process. He's not a flawless prospect, but he just turned 21 two weeks ago and has the foundation of a decade-long starter.
Pick In Previous Mock: Kenyon Green
28. Green Bay Packers
Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, EDGE, OT, DT
There's been a lot of discussion around Green Bay's double-tapping wide receiver in the first round. That's always seemed improbable to me, and the recent addition of Sammy Watkins all but assures that won't be the case. With Treylon Burks in the fold at pick 22, I think they add to the defensive side of the ball with Quay Walker, an athletic off-ball linebacker who is terrific dropping into coverage. Throughout the draft process, he's been a riser because of his impressive 4.52 40-yard dash performance and leadership skills shown during the interview process.
Pick In Previous Mock: Christian Watson
29. Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco through Miami)
George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, EDGE, S, CB, DT
The Chiefs have overhauled their wide receiver room this offseason and need to add depth and talent to make up for the loss of Tyreek Hill. With back-to-back picks, the Chiefs could look to move up, and the wide receiver position would still be the focus based on everything we're hearing. However, if they're unable to move up, they're likely willing to take a shot on the talented Pickens. According to reports, some teams are concerned with Pickens' off-the-field issues, but Kansas City has shown a willingness to forego those concerns in the past for the sake of talent.
Pick In Previous Mock: Jahan Dotson
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, EDGE, S, CB, DT
I'm staying with Kyler Gordon here for the Chiefs. He possesses elite physical tools and showed short-area quickness and ball skills at Washington that translate well to the NFL. In addition, Gordon is physical and versatile, making him a fit for any defensive system. If the Chiefs sit here and make two picks, I'm confident receiver and defensive back are their priorities.
Pick In Previous Mock: Kyler Gordon
31. Cincinnati Bengals
Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Mock-based Positional Needs: G, CB, OT, C, DT
The Bengals entered the offseason with a clear need along the offensive line. They've done a terrific job at addressing it. La'el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras have been added this offseason. They can add depth and versatility here with Tyler Linderbaum, but I believe they'll add Kaiir Elam if he's available. Elam has prototypical shutdown corner size and is garnering a good deal of late buzz heading into Thursday night.
Pick In Previous Mock: Tyler Linderbaum
32. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Mock-based Positional Needs: WR, QB, LB, S
This could be the Lions or another team that values Desmond Ridder, Kenny Pickett, or Sam Howell. The fifth-year option they'd get by adding a quarterback at the end of the first instead of early in the second round is incredibly valuable. Ridder's arrow is pointing up, and he's a nice long shot to be the first quarterback selected. The Lions also have the second pick in round two.
Pick In Previous Mock: Desmond Ridder