Peter King Reveals His Top 10 Picks with Trades in Early 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 4, 2022

Quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) goes through passing drills during Pittsburgh's football pro day , Monday, March 21, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Projections for the 2022 NFL draft have been extremely varied and that continued with the latest mock draft from NBC Sports' Peter King.

King predicted two quarterbacks would be selected in the top 10 and that the Los Angeles Chargers will make a huge trade up to solidify their offensive line.

Here are the full projections with just a few weeks until the April 28 first round.

Peter King Mock Draft

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan

2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia

3. Houston Texans: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

4. New York Jets: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

5. New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State

6. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

7. Los Angeles Chargers (trade with NYG): Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

8. Atlanta Falcons: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

9. Seattle Seahawks: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

10. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

The quarterbacks remain an important storyline this draft season even with the class considered weaker than past years. The positional value is likely to push one or more players into the top of the first round even if they aren't as high on big boards.

King lists Kenny Pickett as the top quarterback off the board at No. 6 overall to the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina chose not to pick a quarterback at No. 8 last year, passing up on Justin Fields and Mac Jones, and the team is still searching for an answer at the position. Pickett could be an instant solution after a breakout 2021 season where he totaled 4,319 passing yards and 42 touchdowns for Pittsburgh.

The Atlanta Falcons are another team in need of a franchise quarterback after trading away Matt Ryan, which could lead to them targeting a high-upside option at No. 8. Malik Willis is still considered a raw prospect who must make a big jump to the NFL from Liberty, but the rebuilding Falcons could be patient while keeping Marcus Mariota under center.

The Chargers are already set at quarterback with Justin Herbert, but now they need to focus on protecting him. Even after drafting Rashawn Slater with the 13th pick last season, King projected a trade up from No. 17 to No. 7 to take offensive tackle Charles Cross.

Though the deal would cost Los Angeles a 2023 first-round pick, it would put the team one step closer to contention.

Top prospects Derek Stingley Jr. and Kayvon Thibodeaux also represented significant slides in this mock draft, falling to ninth and 10th, respectively. Teams at the top of the draft could instead lean toward safer options like Sauce Gardner and Travon Walker.