2022 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Order and Latest Projections

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2022

2022 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Order and Latest Projections

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    The first round of the 2022 NFL draft could become a trading frenzy.

    It might all depend on whether front offices feel there are prospects worth trading up to go get, which is always a harder question to answer in years such as this without a blue-chip quarterback at the top.

    There is an abundance of talent at other positions, though, and quarterback-needy clubs might climb the ladder anyway and hope for the best.

    After laying out a trade-free mock first round, we'll spotlight two teams who seem most likely to move up given their needs and trade ammunition.

NFL 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, OT, 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: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

    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: Drake London, WR, USC

    14. Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

    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: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

    22. Las Vegas Raiders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

    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

Trade Candidate: New York Giants

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    The New York Giants have a new general manager, Joe Schoen, and new head coach, Brian Daboll. That can sometimes be bad news for an incumbent quarterback, particularly one lacking high-level success on his resume like Daniel Jones is through his first three seasons.

    However, New York isn't ready to bail on Jones. It's the opposite actually. The changes were made with Jones in mind because the franchise still hopes to turn his raw talent into high-level production.

    "I'm really excited to work with Daniel," Schoen said at his introductory press conference. "When the new staff gets in here, we'll build an offense around Daniel to accentuate what he does best."

    Schoen's first order of business should be shoring up the offensive line. Jones has been sacked 105 times in 38 career games. As Schoen told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, "If you want to see Daniel Jones put his best foot forward, he's got to be on his feet."

    If the Giants are big fans of Alabama's Evan Neal or NC State's Ikem Ekwonu—there are reasons to love both—they may not be content to sit at No. 5 and hope that one reaches them. Or should they go a different direction at No. 5 (an elite edge-rusher, perhaps?), they might jump up a spot from No. 7 if they think Mississippi State's Charles Cross is in the same tier.

Trade Candidate: Philadelphia Eagles

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    Philadelphia's public commitment to Jalen Hurts could prove to be crucial. Or it could be one of those technicalities wherein the Eagles claim they were committed to Hurts at the time of those comments but wound up decommitting when alternatives surfaced.

    Hurts has done enough to earn another chance at locking down this gig long-term, but he hasn't been quite sharp enough to prevent Philadelphia from considering other options. The Eagles could do anything from making a major move for a high-level veteran to drafting a quarterback with the thought of developing him while Hurts holds down the fort, but it feels like some type of attention will be given to the quarterback room.

    If Philadelphia wants to broker a blockbuster and sees a prospect worth that kind of splurge—to either bulk up the roster around Hurts or directly challenge for his starting spot—it has the trade chips to get that done.

    The Eagles have 10 draft picks in total—three of which fall in the first round (Nos. 15, 16 and 19). They can aim as high as they would like to for the right prospect, and even a package of two of those firsts should be more than enough to enter the top 10.

    Could they pounce on a pass-rusher like Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux? Will a cornerback like LSU's Derek Stingley Jr. or Cincinnati's Ahmad Gardner catch their eye? Might the front office feel a quarterback like Liberty's Malik Willis offers a viable alternative to Hurts, if not now then in the near-future?

    Philadelphia has options and a strong enough asset collection to explore all of them.