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Two-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Dane Brugler’s mock 2.0 has a new No. 1 pick and more surprises

Dane Brugler Jan 19, 2022comment-icon@2x.png 373 save-icon@2x.png

In most NFL Drafts, there are five to seven top-tier prospects who make up the “upper class” and will be the first players drafted. That is followed by 12-15 “middle class” players who might not be elite but received first-round grades from teams and project as solid NFL starters.

The bad news is the 2022 NFL Draft is missing those “upper class” prospects — there is no Joe Burrow or Myles Garrett or Ja’Marr Chase this year.

The good news is this year’s draft is well-stocked with “middle class” first-rounders — players with NFL starting traits who will make impacts as rookies.

Not having those top-tier players in this class will make the first-round, especially the top 10, even more unpredictable than usual. There are surprises every year, but we should expect them early in the 2022 NFL Draft as draft boards from team to team might look wildly different.

Editor’s note: The order of picks 1-24 and 33-56 are official. The order for picks 25-32 and 57-64 is based on playoff seeding and will depend on the outcome of the NFL playoffs. On Thursday Dane Brugler post answers to reader questions about this mock and the 2022 draft talent pool.

FIRST ROUND

1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

After numerous conversations with NFL scouts and league execs in preparation for this mock, there were two key takeaways that led me to Ekwonu here. First, there are several evaluators around the league who have Ekwonu ranked higher than Alabama’s Evan Neal and Mississippi State’s Charles Cross. Second, several evaluators agreed that in a draft class missing a no-brainer top prospect, they prefer the tackles over the pass rushers. I have no clue how the Jaguars feel, but Ekwonu at least belongs in this conversation.

A three-year starter at NC State, Ekwonu has impressive movements for his size and generates extraordinary explosion at contact. He lacks refinement and is guilty of over-setting, but he is nimble, powerful and should get better and better as his technique and awareness mature. Ekwonu’s tape shows a tackle who can also play guard, not the other way around. For more on Ekwonu, this deep dive from Bruce Feldman is a great read.

2. Detroit Lions — Aidan Hutchinson, edge, Michigan

A Week 18 victory against the Packers meant the Lions lost the No. 1 overall pick, but there is a decent chance that the top-ranked player on Detroit’s draft board will still be available at No. 2.

Hutchinson isn’t on the same level as the Bosa brothers — he doesn’t have the same bend or arc skills. However, there are similarities when you talk about their quickness, power and skilled hand play to defeat blockers and disrupt the pocket. Hutchinson can win in multiple ways and is wired in a way that will appeal to head coach Dan Campbell.

3. Houston Texans — Kayvon Thibodeaux, edge, Oregon

Is there a quarterback in this draft class who is a clear upgrade over Davis Mills? I don’t think so, and I doubt the Texans will either. Thibodeaux isn’t universally loved around the league, but he is one of the more talented players in this draft. He knows how to create leverage as a pass rusher due to his length and athleticism and is highly physical vs. the run.

Fans expecting Myles Garrett or Chase Young will be disappointed, but that doesn’t mean Thibodeaux can’t make an immediate impact of his own.

4. New York Jets — Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Jets could go in a number of different directions here. Alabama’s Evan Neal could start at right guard as a rookie and be the long-term answer at right tackle (and provide Mekhi Becton insurance at left tackle). But Stingley would give the Jets a cover man with the talent to be a legitimate No. 1 cornerback, something the franchise has missed since Darrelle Revis.

Stingley set the bar high after his All-American freshman season as part of LSU’s national championship team. And although the last two seasons haven’t gone according to plan, the talent is still there. Stingley’s draft stock is extremely volatile right now, and his interviews and medicals will ultimately determine whether he is drafted this high or falls out of the top 10.

5. New York Giants — Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Slowly but surely, Andrew Thomas is progressing at left tackle, but the right tackle spot was a glaring weak spot for the Giants this past season. Nate Solder has likely played his last snap with the franchise, and Matt Peart hasn’t done enough to keep the Giants from finding an upgrade this offseason.

Neal has functional experience at guard and both tackle spots and would be an immediate improvement on the Giants’ offensive line depth chart. His balance will fade as the play progresses, but he has a rare mix of size, athleticism and flexibility to make plays in pass protection and the run game.

 

6. Carolina Panthers — Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

If the Panthers strike out on their quarterback options in free agency and on the trade market, this could be the spot where we see the first quarterback drafted. This is Carolina’s only draft pick in the top 100, putting even more pressure on Matt Rhule and the organization to get this selection right.

Cross is talented enough to be OT1 on some team’s draft boards. He has the athleticism and movement patterns to be comfortable pass-blocking on an island, and his hands are well-timed and precise. Cross should be able to start from day one as a rookie.

7. New York Giants (from Chicago) — Kyle Hamilton, DS, Notre Dame

Safety isn’t the most glaring need on the Giants’ depth chart, but with a new general manager and head coach, they will be looking to draft impact players, above everything else, in the top 10. And Hamilton might be the most talented player in the draft, regardless of position.

At 6-3 and 218 pounds, Hamilton is a super-sized safety with the range and length to be a matchup weapon in the NFL. Though his physical traits stand out, it is his football IQ that is most impressive, sensing what is about to happen and being disruptive.

8. Atlanta Falcons — David Ojabo, edge, Michigan

Predictably, the Falcons finished dead-last in the NFL in sacks this season as they sorely lack the edge rush talent to keep offenses off-balance. Still young in football years, Ojabo is still a work in progress, but he has the talent level right now to stress blockers.

Polling several NFL personnel people for this mock, the feedback on Ojabo was he won’t be a top-10 pick because of his struggles vs. the run and his relative inexperience. But I’m betting on his ceiling at a premium position to bump him up in this draft class.

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Utah’s Devin Lloyd (Brian Rothmuller / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

9. Denver Broncos — Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The Broncos said “no thanks” to Justin Fields and Mac Jones at No. 9 overall last year. Will they pass on the quarterback position again a year later? We’ll see if Denver is able to find an upgrade at the position prior to the draft or if it buys into one of the quarterbacks in this draft class.

Denver landed an impact defender with the ninth pick last year, and it could do that again with Lloyd. A former safety, he has outstanding eyes and explosion to drive downhill (22.0 tackles for loss in 2021) and the athleticism to make plays in coverage (four interceptions, two pick-sixes in 2021).

10. New York Jets (from Seattle) — Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

With all due respect to Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios, when they are your most productive pass-catchers, you officially have a wide receiver problem. Quarterback Zach Wilson must show improvements in year two, but he also needs the front office to find him more help.

I have six wide receivers ranked as top-25 prospects in this class, with Wilson as the clear No. 1 guy. He has only average size (6-0, 186), but he is a three-level threat due to his athleticism and ball skills. What separates him the most is his ability to create space before and after the catch.

11. Washington Football Team — Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Washington has a poor track record of drafting quarterbacks in the early rounds. Since the merger in 1970, the franchise has drafted eight quarterbacks in the top 100 picks, and only one (Jay Schroeder) of the eight had a winning record with the organization. That means Washington is due, right? Pickett doesn’t have an explosive arm, but he is accurate from various platforms and his football IQ makes him NFL ready.

12. Minnesota Vikings — Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Opinions are split around the league if Gardner belongs in the top-15 or if he should come off the board in the back-half of round one. The Cincinnati corner was a three-year starter and didn’t give up a touchdown in over 1,100 coverage snaps in college. Gardner gets a little handsy, but he has the long-striding speed and hip-flip to stay on top of routes.

13. Cleveland Browns — Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

The Browns passing offense desperately needs another playmaker and Burks has the ability to create big plays. He has an outstanding blend of size (6-3, 228) and speed (4.45) with the tracking skills and catch radius to be a quarterback’s best friend. Burks, who led the SEC with 22 plays of 20-plus yards in 2021, reminds me of a linebacker-sized Deebo Samuel.

14. Baltimore Ravens — Travon Walker, DL, Georgia

Good players just seem to fall to the Ravens in the draft, right? That is the case here because it wouldn’t surprise me if Walker ends up being one of the best defensive players from this draft class. With players like Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams set to hit free agency, the Ravens’ defensive line could look very different in 2022.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami) — Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Iowa

Obviously, this selection is based on the future of Jason Kelce, who just earned his fourth All-Pro nod. Even if he returns for his age 35 season in 2022, Kelce would be the ideal mentor for Linderbaum, who has exceptional quickness and a nasty streak to dominate defenders.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis) — Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

With Steven Nelson headed for free agency, cornerback could be a need for the Eagles this offseason. Booth is a terrific athlete and can make plays on the ball — the two most important traits when scouting the position. Booth also has above-average downhill skills to drive and blow up plays near the line of scrimmage.

17. Los Angeles Chargers — Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Do the Chargers make the playoffs if they receive better play at right tackle over the final month of the season? Penning has a massive frame (6-7, 329, 35-inch arms) with the athletic footwork and competitive chops to develop into a Pro Bowl-level player.

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Ole Miss’ Matt Corral (Kevin Langley / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

18. New Orleans Saints — Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

The Saints are in limbo with their quarterback situation, but Corral could be the answer that Sean Payton has been looking for. The Ole Miss quarterback has the athleticism of Taysom Hill coupled with an explosive arm and passing instincts to create big plays through the air.

19. Philadelphia Eagles — George Karlaftis, edge, Purdue

The Eagles’ defensive end depth chart will likely look wildly different next season, and Karlaftis would be a welcomed addition. The Purdue pass rusher doesn’t have elite length or twitch, but he is relentless and strong with hand work that is not only violent but also well-timed and strategic to defeat blockers.

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

With Ben Roethlisberger likely having played his final game in a Steelers’ uniform, there is a “Quarterback Wanted” sign hanging on the front of Heinz Field. Although Howell’s junior season didn’t go exactly according to plan, he has NFL-level arm talent and mobility and is ready to step in as the Steelers’ starter from day one.

21. New England Patriots — Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Generally, Bill Belichick prefers bigger-bodied linebackers, but what Dean lacks in size he more than makes up for with play speed and football smarts. And anyone who watched the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Bills knows they need more of both at linebacker.

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

Derek Carr was playing well enough for the Raiders to make a postseason run, but he needed another playmaker in the playoff loss to the Bengals. London, who was averaging 11 catches and 135.5 yards per game before his injury, has the basketball athleticism to play above the rim and be a chain-mover.

23. Arizona Cardinals — Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

At 6-6 and 360 pounds, Davis is a hard-to-move space-eater with the power to reestablish the line of scrimmage. He might be drafted higher if a team believes he can sustain his high level of play with an increased snap count (he averaged only 25.2 snaps per game in 2021), but Davis is a dominant run defender when on the field.

24. Dallas Cowboys — Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

Left guard Connor Williams, who probably played his final game in Dallas on Saturday, was a liability for most of the Cowboys’ wild-card game, and the 49ers took advantage. Although Green played predominantly at left guard for the Aggies, he also logged starts at left tackle, right tackle and right guard in 2021 and would give Dallas a versatile blocker who can fill in at several positions if needed.

25. Cincinnati Bengals — Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Maybe this is an overreaction to watching Vernon Hargreaves trying to cover the Raiders, but with Eli Apple a pending free agent, cornerback could be in the mix here. McDuffie doesn’t have great ball production, but there weren’t many opportunities because he prevents throws by blanketing his side of the field.

26. Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco) — Jermaine Johnson, edge, Florida State

The Dolphins drafted an edge rusher in the first round last year but could do it again if they lose Emmanuel Ogbah to free agency. Johnson has the length, agility and violent hands to be disruptive as both a pass rusher and run defender.

27. Buffalo Bills — Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Giving a weapon like Williams to Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense hardly seems fair. Wide receiver isn’t at the top of the Bills’ needs, but it would be tough to pass on Williams’ talent if he were to fall this far due to his recent torn ACL. Teams will have more information about his knee and surgery at the scouting combine.

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Ohio State’s Chris Olave (G Fiume / Maryland Terrapins / Getty Images)

28. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles) — Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

I don’t think the Lions will feel pressured to take a wide receiver here, especially with the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown over the final month of the season. But Olave and his polished play style would give Detroit an immediate playmaker for an offense in need of them.

29. Kansas City Chiefs — Daxton Hill, CB/FS, Michigan

With Tyrann MathieuCharvarius Ward and Mike Hughes about to hit free agency, the Chiefs’ secondary might look a little different next season. Hill is not only an option at safety, but he played a slot cornerback role for the Wolverines and can do the same in Kansas City, which would allow L’Jarius Sneed to play outside full-time.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Logan Hall, DL, Houston

Hall is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft class, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is long gone by this pick. Personally, I like him best as an edge rusher where he has a little bit of a runway and can unlock his quickness and length. But Hall would give Tampa flexibility on the defensive line as Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen has called him “one of the best” defensive tackles he has ever coached.

31. Tennessee Titans — Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

With his twitchy athleticism and route-running skills, Dotson consistently puts cornerbacks in conflict. Although he is undersized and won’t break many tackles, he has the dynamic speed and ball skills that will give the Titans another dimension on offense.

32. Green Bay Packers — DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

The Packers love toolsy front-seven defenders, and Leal is exactly that. He isn’t yet the sum of his parts, which is why he could still be available at this point in the first round. But at 6-4 and 290 pounds, Leal can line up anywhere on the defensive line and has the traits to develop into a productive starter.

SECOND ROUND

33. Jacksonville Jaguars — Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
34. Detroit Lions — Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
35. New York Jets — Bernhard Raimann, OT/G, Central Michigan
36. New York Giants — Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
37. Houston Texans — Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State
38. New York Jets (from Carolina) — Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
39. Chicago Bears — George Pickens, WR, Georgia
40. Denver Broncos — Myjai Sanders, edge, Cincinnati
41. Seattle Seahawks — Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
42. Washington Football Team — Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky
43. Atlanta Falcons — Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
44. Cleveland Browns — Drake Jackson, edge, USC
45. Baltimore Ravens — Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
46. Minnesota Vikings — Kingsley Enagbare, edge, South Carolina
47. Indianapolis Colts — Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
48. Los Angeles Chargers — Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
49. New Orleans Saints — Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
50. Miami Dolphins — Damone Clark, LB, LSU
51. Philadelphia Eagles — Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
52. Pittsburgh Steelers — Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
53. Las Vegas Raiders — Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
54. New England Patriots — John Metchie, WR, Alabama
55. Arizona Cardinals — Cameron Thomas, edge, San Diego State
56. Dallas Cowboys — Jaquan Brisker, DS, Penn State
57. San Francisco 49ers — Lewis Cine, DS, Georgia
58. Cincinnati Bengals — Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
59. Buffalo Bills — Sean Rhyan, OG, UCLA
60. Denver Broncos (from Los Angeles) — Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
61. Kansas City Chiefs — Arnold Ebiketie, edge, Penn State
62. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
63. Atlanta Falcons (from Tennessee) — David Bell, WR, Purdue
64. Green Bay Packers — Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

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who is this moron? does he know who elijah moore is? does he know crowder is 99% unlikely to resign? or anything about both saleh and douglas’s team building philosophy which precludes using premium ( let alone #4 pick) on a cb? these mock drafts are so bad - btw - i do agree with wr at 10 if right guy is there but again he completely ignores davis and moore - like does he follow the teams he writes about? i appreciate your post op just annoyed at these no nothings that write stupid sh*t


Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile app

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Neil starting at RG, moving to RT and providing insurance for Bechton sounds pretty ******* good to me. Thats 1 player who is giving you insurance at 2 positions, and probably making the center better just by being there.

Our CB's were not nearly as much of a problem as our safeties and LB'ers this year. We go abused by RB's and TE's all year.

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2 hours ago, ncjetman said:

who is this moron? does he know who elijah moore is? does he know crowder is 99% unlikely to resign? or anything about both saleh and douglas’s team building philosophy which precludes using premium ( let alone #4 pick) on a cb? these mock drafts are so bad - btw - i do agree with wr at 10 if right guy is there but again he completely ignores davis and moore - like does he follow the teams he writes about? i appreciate your post op just annoyed at these no nothings that write stupid sh*t


Sent from my iPhone using JetNation.com mobile app

What do you mean Douglas’s team building philosophy? The ravens selected 2 1st round corners while he was there and that was after drafting 2 other first round corners right before he joined. With the eagles they drafted a corner in rounds 2 3 and 4 while he was there. Joe D learned a ton from Ozzie, and likely thinks very similar to how he does. This whole “Douglas won’t take a cb in the first” thing is rubbish. The Ravens took 4 within 10 years. 
 

when Saleh was with the hawks and 9ers they already had an all pro level corner in Sherman. Why would they draft another one in the first? Sherman was also very highly paid which is evidence that his scheme does value corners. 

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no way am i picking a CB who missed the year for injury. thats all JD has to do is have another 1st rd pick being injury prone.

i do like Wilson at 10. or any WR. 

there is no way that Carolina doesnt pick a QB.

and who the hell is this OL he has us taking at 35? if McBride is on the board there, he better be the pick. 

imagine if JD did this and the 2 teams (Giants, Texans) between our picks took McBride instead. or someone traded with them to take him. that would be the biggest blunder in Jet history. this board would erupt in flames.

except for Wilson i hate this mock

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I don't know why the Jets would ever draft Stingley. They recognize that injuries are already an issue, and if they draft some injury-prone dude that just seems like a disaster from the start.

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6 hours ago, JTJet said:

I disregard anyone that talks about the Jets going corner or safety at 4. 

Jets give up 3rd most pass yards in 2021 

Jets fans: “why are we taking a corner or safety?!!” 
 

lmao you can’t make this stuff up man

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29 minutes ago, Rhg1084 said:

Jets give up 3rd most pass yards in 2021 

Jets fans: “why are we taking a corner or safety?!!” 
 

lmao you can’t make this stuff up man

Jets we’re tied for the 7th fewest sacks in 2021.

Saleh’s defense does not require great DBs, it requires a pass rush. 

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3 minutes ago, Peace Frog said:

Jets we’re tied for the 7th fewest sacks in 2021.

Saleh’s defense does not require great DBs, it requires a pass rush. 

Believe me I’m well aware of this narrative, it’s been repeated 10,000x on this board. The problem is there isn’t an edge worth taking 4th overall after Thibs and Hutch 

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Four picks for the Jets and not one Edge Rusher = Fail

I love the McBride pick with the second of the 2nd Rounders, but how the Jets went 4 picks into this Draft and left  Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas (along with LB Harris) on the board would gut me.

 

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Stiglely haters going to hate on this, but I'm going to reserve judgment until the draft process plays out a little more.  His ceiling is undeniably high and worthy of the fourth pick, but the floor is also scary and is no doubt reminiscent of Milliner.  Still, would tough for me to pass up Neal at 4.

Dane has been high on G Wilson all season as the WR1, so I'm not surprised to see him, but it would be nice to be able to trade down a few picks and get him there.  Part of me also wants Linderbaum with this pick if we address defense at 4.

I don't know much about Raimann so I can't knock that pick, but it would KILL me if McBride ends up getting scooped up by another team in between our second round picks so I'd rather play it safe and take McBride there.  If we took McBride at 34, Pickett or Kenneth Walker could be nice adds at 38.  

Curious how this group feels about Kenneth Walker?  I think we will be looking to add a bigger RB to compliment Carter, but I can't help but dream about Walker playing behind a stout OL.

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