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Tyrann Mathieu, Jadeveon Clowney Top Landing Spots After 2022 NFL Draft Day 1

Erin WalshApril 29, 2022

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the first round of the 2022 NFL draft now complete, it's time to take a look at where two defensive free agents could land this offseason after teams addressed some of their most significant needs. 

The Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals need a cornerback. Neither team was able to address that need in the first round, so those could be considered top destinations for Mathieu. It's also possible he returns to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Meanwhile, top landing spots for Jadeveon Clowney include the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys, who could use an edge rusher. 

Sure, the Chargers signed J.C. Jackson this offseason, but they could still use depth at cornerback, and Mathieu, who has mostly been used as a safety, could still provide that. Aside from Jackson, L.A. has Michael Davis, Tevaughn Campbell and Kemon Hall as the only other corners on its roster.

Mathieu would be an upgrade over any of those players. The 29-year-old has been a Pro Bowler in each of the last two seasons and earned an All-Pro selection in 2019 and 2020 with the Chiefs. He finished the 2021 campaign with three interceptions, one sack, three fumble recoveries, six passes defended and 76 tackles.

Adding Mathieu would give the Chargers one of the best cornerback units in the NFL. 

That said, the Cardinals might need a player like Mathieu a little more. Arizona has Marco Wilson, Jeff Gladney, Breon Borders, Antonio Hamilton and Nate Brooks on its roster. However, all are inexperienced. 

In a division that includes some of the best receivers in the league in Cooper Kupp and DK Metcalf, the Cardinals will need someone like Mathieu to fill the void. 

The Chiefs also haven't ruled out Mathieu returning in 2022. General manager Brett Veach said last week that "anything's on the table" in terms of the veteran returning to Kansas City. 

Clowney, meanwhile, would be a solid addition for the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams. L.A. lost Von Miller to the Buffalo Bills in free agency and could use a player like Clowney to fill the void.

The 29-year-old had an impressive 2021 season with the Cleveland Browns. He recorded nine sacks, the most he's had since 2018, two forced fumbles, 37 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 19 quarterback hits. 

Clowney thrived with opposing offenses keeping more of an eye on Myles Garrett, and he could have a similarly impressive campaign if he were to join the Rams, who boast a defense that includes Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. 

However, the Cowboys might be an intriguing landing spot for Clowney. Dallas lost Randy Gregory to the Denver Broncos this offseason and needs a defensive end to fill the void. In a defense that includes DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons and Neville Gallimore, adding Clowney would only make the team's defense more difficult to face. 

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