2022 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Every Team Ahead of Super Bowl

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2022

2022 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions for Every Team Ahead of Super Bowl

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    Super Bowl week is here.

    For every NFL team not named the Cincinnati Bengals or Los Angeles Rams, though, this is just another weekend for the offseason. For the 18 clubs who failed to secure a postseason spot, they've been in draft-preparation mode for a month now—if not longer.

    The talent grab itself won't arrive until April 28, yet it will somehow be here before you know it. That's just how the football calendar works.

    To help bring you all up to speed, we're leaning heavily into the draft-prep process here with our latest first-round mock and a closer inspection of our two top quarterback prospects.

Mock Draft

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    1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan

    2. Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

    3. Houston Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

    4. New York Jets: Evan Neal, OL, Alabama

    5. New York Giants: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

    6. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

    7. New York Giants (via CHI): Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

    8. Atlanta Falcons: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

    9. Denver Broncos: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

    10. New York Jets (via SEA): Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

    11. Washington Commanders: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

    12. Minnesota Vikings: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

    13. Cleveland Browns: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

    14. Baltimore Ravens: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

    15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA): Jermaine Johnson II, Edge, Florida State

    16. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

    17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

    18. New Orleans Saints: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

    19. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

    20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

    21. New England Patriots: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

    22. Las Vegas Raiders: Drake London, WR, USC

    23. Arizona Cardinals: David Ojabo, LB, Michigan

    24. Dallas Cowboys: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

    25. Buffalo Bills: George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue

    26. Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

    27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

    28. Green Bay Packers: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

    29. Miami Dolphins (via SF): Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

    30. Kansas City Chiefs: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

    31. Cincinnati Bengals: Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College

    32. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

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    Kenny Pickett isn't the most physically gifted thrower in this draft. That honor, instead, goes to the other passing prospect we'll profile.

    For teams obsessed with hand size, Pickett could even be off the board. He didn't have his hands measured at the Senior Bowl, but it's expected they'll come in closer to eight inches than nine. If that means anything to you, feel free to hold it against him.

    Just realize, though, you'd be doing it at your own peril.

    The 23-year-old just used those (relatively) miniature mitts to throw his way into the record books, exiting Pittsburgh—the place where Dan Marino played—as the school's all-time passing leader. He wound up throwing for 12,303 yards and 81 touchdowns over his four-plus seasons, but it was his 2021 campaign that rocketed him up the draft board.

    A toolsy pocket passer with mobility and an arm that can make every throw, Pickett followed up back-to-back campaigns with 13 touchdowns against nine interceptions by throwing for 42 scores and only seven picks this past season.

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

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    Falling in love with a quarterback from this class is different than most years. It doesn't mean moving up to No. 1 to get him, because the draft value just isn't there. In fact, this mock (and most others you'll find) doesn't even have a signal-caller landing among the top-five selections.

    Saying all of that, if you were to become infatuated with one of this draft's quarterbacks, Malik Willis might be the most likely candidate.

    His upside can shatter the roof. He is both an elite runner and a rocket-powered passer. His stat sheet could be classified as video-game numbers, but only if gamers could actually post stats like his.

    After transferring from Auburn to Liberty, the 22-year-old spent the past two seasons throwing for 5,107 yards and 47 touchdowns (against 18 interceptions) while running for another 1,835 yards and 27 scores.

    Willis' mechanics and accuracy can get away from him, and there is no guarantee he ever irons out his issues. He also needs an offense tailored to his strengths, since his legs are such a lethal part of his arsenal. He could easily be worth the investment, though.

    If he lands with the right organization that maximizes out his development, he could be special.