The Madisonian’s Way Too Late NFL Mock Draft (How’d We Do?)

via NFL Draft, Chicago 2016 29 April 2016, 20:38 Source: NFL Draft, Chicago 2016 Author swimfinfan from Chicago

Carter Hay, Staff Reporter

 With the NFL draft just around the corner and the free agency period starting to cool down a little bit, teams turn most of their focus to the young prospects looking to turn around an NFL franchise and make their dreams come true. And with a draft record of eight teams with two first-round picks, here’s a not-too-late mock draft for the 2022 prospects.

  1. This mock draft does not include trades.
  2. This mock draft is based on what I think teams will do rather than what teams should do or where I think they should go.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Jacksonville spent much of their money this offseason to upgrade their roster needing drastic improvement. And after posting the worst record in the league in back-to-back seasons, the safest pick here is Hutchinson. With Hutchinson lining up across from Josh Allen, opposing quarterbacks and offensive linemen will be shaking in their pants. He brings a new look to the defense with his strength instead of the speed of Josh Allen. Look for Hutchinson to make a good impact immediately.

  • Detroit Lions – EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia

Travon Walker’s draft projection has shot up since the end of the 2021 season. He has rare physical abilities that have allowed him to climb up teams’ draft boards. After winning the national championship with Georgia, teams have evaluated the prospect. He lined up primarily as an interior defender for the Bulldogs. However, many believe he will transition into a very skilled and athletic pass-rusher in the NFL in just a few seasons.

  • Houston Texans – OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Another freak athlete in the draft is Evan Neal. Talk about a guy that will be a problem for pass-rushers and the rest of the defensive line. Well, meet 6’7″, 350-pound offensive tackle Evan Neal. No doubt he can be the best offensive lineman from this draft and even one of the best players from the draft soon. Look for Neal to be very productive early on in his NFL career.

  • New York Jets – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati

More famously known as “Sauce,” Ahmad Gardner has had a phenomenal career with Cincinnati and is a tremendous athlete. He can shut down the passing game in both man and zone coverages, never giving up a single touchdown in his career with Cincinnati, he is good in the run game and isn’t afraid to make a tackle, and he has excellent speed and height. Look for Gardner to make an immediate impact on an improving Jets secondary.

  • New York Giants – OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State

Coming into the draft, the Giants have some serious work to do on their offensive line, and Ikem Ekwonu could help them fill one of the holes in the o-line. A great way of describing Ekwonu is that he brings a lot more to the table regarding run-blocking than any other prospect in the draft. With a huge wingspan and rare explosive power, he has a ton of potential and could be a great player for the Giants for a long time.

  • Carolina Panthers – QB Malik Willis, Liberty

Malik Willis is a mobile quarterback with a giant arm and tons of potential. He did run more of a simplistic offense at Liberty and will likely take some time to adjust to the NFL level, but he could easily be the best quarterback in this draft. And with the Panthers looking for a long-time answer at the quarterback position, they could very well have found the solution with the selection of Malik Willis.

  • New York Giants – S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

After the Giants lost two of their starting safeties in free agency this offseason, many have projected them to fill that hole with one of their first-round picks. Thus, Kyle Hamilton makes the most sense for them with the seventh pick. He runs a bit on the slower end with a 4.70-second effort, although he is still a great athlete who can be used in several ways. He has the flexibility to play strong and free safety, which is a great way to go for the Giants.

  • Atlanta Falcons – WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

Jameson Williams follows an excellent bloodline of Alabama wide receivers. He excels at creating space which usually translates well in the NFL. And with a Falcons team in serious need of some talent, especially at the wide receiver position with the loss of Calvin Ridley for the season and other receivers from last year walking in free agency, Williams could be their primary weapon on an excellent offense for years to come.

  • Seattle Seahawks – EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

The Seahawks have a hole to fill on the edge, and they could have the most talented pass-rusher in the draft with Kayvon Thibodeaux. He has some character issues, but if he can mature in the right situation, the Seahawks may have a cornerstone piece on their defense to build around for several seasons.

  •  New York Jets – EDGE Jermaine Johnson Jr., Florida State

Jermaine Johnson is one of the most skilled pass-rushers in the draft. He’s athletic, has great technique, and the perfect physical attributes to make a great NFL player. On a Jets team that needs some serious help on the defensive side of the ball. Johnson is a great finesse pass-rusher and a complete terror in the run defense. Overall, Johnson could be the most NFL-ready edge in the draft.

  •  Washington Commanders – WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Garrett Wilson brings a lot to the table for a Washington team that acquired Carson Wentz in a trade with Indianapolis. He would be a great weapon to line up across from Terry McLaurin and would open up the offense in many ways. He is very dynamic when the ball is in his hands. He has some room to grow in his route running and strength, making his upside one of the highest in the class. Look for Wilson to bring creativity to the Washington offense.

  •  Minnesota Vikings – CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

Stingley came in as the top player in the country for LSU as a freshman, drawing comparisons to Jalen Ramsey. But Stingley was limited to just three games in 2021 after an injury he suffered early on in the season. He is an athletic lockdown corner, and he can match receivers down the field and track and attack the ball in the air. The 20-year-old corner presents a ton of upside, as much as any defensive player in the draft.

  •  Houston Texans – IDL Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

Devonte Wyatt is a great pick here for Houston, looking to rebuild and strengthen their defense this year. Wyatt is an energetic, explosive-wrecking ball in the middle of the defensive line. He has an excellent first step and plays with tremendous explosiveness, both as a run defender and pass defender. For a team looking to have some fearsome presence in the middle of their defensive line, the Texans could find that guy in Devonte Wyatt.

  •  Baltimore Ravens – IDL Jordan Davis, Georgia

Baltimore is looking for some talent on their defensive line this season, and Jordan Davis is the guy they need. A freak athlete and skilled nose tackle, Davis has a ton of potential for a position that is often not as valued early on in the draft. Baltimore is known for being pretty consistent in finding diamonds in the rocks and acquiring talent that sometimes is overlooked by other organizations. Overall, Davis is an excellent fit for Baltimore and provides them upside on their defensive line.

  •  Philadelphia Eagles – WR Drake London, USC

The Eagles have been looking to upgrade their receiver position for years now, drafting the receiver position in the first round over the last couple of years, and I have them doing it again. With the flop of Jalen Reagor, the Eagles are in desperate need of another weapon that can go and get it down the field. Drake London should be that guy for Philadelphia. With a 6’4″ and 219-pound frame, London is a big, physical receiver who can play inside and outside. He would help the Eagles’ offense and give defenses headaches when lined up with DeVonta Smith.

  •  New Orleans Saints – OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

Charles Cross falls to pick 16 and is in just the perfect spot for New Orleans. After losing left tackle Terron Armstead in free agency to the Dolphins, it’s a no-brainer for them to potentially take the best tackle in the draft to replace him. Cross, who is a great run-blocker, despite coming from an air-raid scheme, opens up options for the Saints and their plan at offensive line. He also has some room to grow as a pass-blocker, but many around the league believe he is very capable of doing so.

  •  Los Angeles Chargers – IOL Zion Johnson, Boston College

After loading up on defensive stars in free agency this offseason, the Chargers need to focus on protecting Justin Herbert. And Zion Johnson is just the guy they need on the inside of the offensive line, as many believe he is the best offensive guard in the draft. Johnson looks excellent when you watch his film; due to his experience in his position and he provides excellent talent, the Chargers must be strongly considering him as the 17th overall pick.

  •  Philadelphia Eagles – CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

Eagles fans may have something to get excited about now if the team does decide to address the wide receiver and secondary positions in the first round. The Eagles’ top need is the corner position, and McDuffie is an outstanding candidate to fill that hole. He’s an “ultra-athlete” with a high IQ and understanding of his position. McDuffie isn’t the ideal size for the position, but he makes up for it in his versatility and talent. Look for the Eagles to have a truly great duo at the corner position with McDuffie and Slay.

  •  New Orleans Saints – WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

The Saints also have a hole to fill at the wide receiver position as they were pretty limited last year due to their lack of talent at the position, especially with Michael Thomas being sidelined. Chris Olave makes much sense for the Saints as they look to help fill that hole in the draft. Some say Olave is the most polished receiver in the class and could hit the ground running in his rookie season. He is a great route runner at all levels, possesses excellent skills, and is quite athletic. Look for Olave to make an immediate impact on the Saints.

  •  Pittsburgh Steelers – OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

The Steelers come into this draft having to decide to go with the Mitch Trubisky experiment and build around him or maybe select a quarterback for the franchise’s future. I have them at least trying out the Trubisky experiment for a year and building around him. And with that decision in mind, I think Pittsburgh will select offensive tackle Trevor Penning at the 20th pick. He provides excellent skill and a tone-setting presence that you look for at his position, and he also gives the Steelers great size at 6’7″ and 325-pounds. If they give him time to develop his technique, he could be one of the best tackles in the draft.

  •  New England Patriots – LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

With Hightower a free agent unlikely to re-sign with the Patriots and Kyle Van Noy being released from the team, Bill Belicheck may go with a young and intriguing linebacker with the Patriots’ first-round pick. And the guy that makes the most sense here is Devin Lloyd from Utah. He’s a tremendous pass-rushing linebacker as well as being a more than capable coverage linebacker as well. He possesses excellent athleticism and talent at his position as well. There are many other holes to fill on the team, like the receiver position, Belicheck is known and trusted for selecting some of the best draft steals of all time. Look for Devin Lloyd to impress in his rookie season. 

  •  Green Bay Packers – WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

After trading away elite wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Packers should use the draft pick they got in exchange for Adams on a wide receiver in a class full of talent at the position. For that reason, I have the Packers selecting Treylon Burks with the 22nd overall pick. Burks provides excellent size and speed, but the Packers don’t have physicality at the wide receiver position anymore. This past season, Burks led the SEC in yards with 1,104 yards, which is a huge accomplishment. Look for Burks as a dangerous weapon on an offense led by Aaron Rodgers.

  •  Arizona Cardinals – EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue

After losing Chandler Jones in free agency, the Cardinals have quite a hole to fill at the edge-rushing position. George Karlaftis fits right into that hole and can provide them great talent and potential on Arizona’s defense. What Karlaftis brings to the table is a perfect size, explosive potential, and strength off the edge. He comes off the ball quickly and overwhelms offensive linemen as well. Overall, he has all the skills and craftiness to become a great NFL player.

  •  Dallas Cowboys – IOL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

The Cowboys are another team with glaring holes that need to be addressed in the draft, but they should focus on the trenches with their first-round pick. After losing talent on the offensive line, Dallas no longer has that advantage against other defenses, which makes Kenyon Green a great candidate to help protect Dak. He provides excellent skills and potential. He’s a versatile player who can start at guard or tackle for the Cowboys. Look for Green to be a potent threat to opposing defensive lines.

  •  Buffalo Bills – CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

The Bills have one of the best corners in the league in Tre’Davious White, but with no precise number two corner, the team needs to address the cornerback position in the draft this year. Booth is a complete, pro-ready prospect who has the skill set to excel in any scheme. Look for him to succeed in his rookie year but grow as he learns from one of the best in the game.

  •  Tennessee Titans – WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

After the Titans traded for Robert Woods in the offseason, many have speculated about the team’s direction in the draft. But Jahan Dotson makes the most sense with their first-round pick. Woods is coming off an ACL injury and is not getting any younger, so taking a smaller wide receiver in Dotson to complement A.J. Brown could help this team become a severe threat in the playoffs. He’s a good route-runner, plays bigger than his size due to his toughness, and has great speed that can blow up some of the top defenses. Look for Dotson to come in and contribute right away.

  •  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – IOL Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

After losing both of their offensive guards this year in free agency, the Buccaneers need to address the position in the draft. So selecting Tyler Linderbaum here makes the most sense and is what I think the team will do. He has a great skill-set, but the ankle injury prevented him from participating in the Senior Bowl and other events, which caused his stock to fall along with his size concerns. But his film speaks for itself and shows how good of a prospect he is.

  •  Green Bay Packers – EDGE David Ojabo, Michigan

With the loss of Za’Darius Smith, the Packers should fill in a hole at the pass-rushing position. With Ojabo likely to fall due to his Achilles injury, the Packers should take advantage of it with the 28th overall pick. Ojabo was regarded as one of the best pass-rushers in the draft, with great skill and outstanding speed off the edge. Look for Ojabo to make an impact whenever he returns from his injury.

  •  Kansas City Chiefs – CB Kaiir Elam, Florida

Kansas City has a gaping hole to fill in the secondary positions, especially cornerback, due to the loss of Charvarius Ward. So they will be looking to go in that direction in the draft, and the perfect pick would be Kaiir Elam. Elam is a lankier corner with great size and speed. He has the talent and potential to be a great corner in the league and can defend great in the zone and press coverage. Look for Kansas to use his physicality on defense if Elam is selecting with the 29th overall pick.

  •  Kansas City Chiefs – WR George Pickens, Georgia

After losing Tyreek Hill in a trade this offseason, Kansas City needs to address the position in the draft. The Chiefs will take a chance on Pickens with no clear top wide receiver option on the roster. He has the potential to be one of the best receivers in the class, but his maturity issues it has caused him to fall in the rankings. He could be a great fit with a team like Kansas City that knows how to win. He provides excellent size and talent, he is not much of a physical receiver, but he makes up for it with speed and agility. Look for Pickens to be a true WR1 for the Chiefs.

  •  Cincinnati Bengals – S Daxton Hill, Michigan

After the Bengals franchise-tagged Jessie Bates, many have speculated that they will likely have to let him walk unless they decide to trade him. So I think they will go ahead and try to find his replacement in Daxton Hill. Hill is a very versatile defender and excels at playing single-high safety or as a nickel safety in the slot. He is very efficient in coverage and has above-average speed. Overall, look for Daxton Hill to make an impact for the Bengals for years to come if he’s selected with the 31st overall pick.

  •  Detroit Lions – QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss

The Lions have a decision to make whether they want to go with Jared Goff or draft a quarterback for the future. I think they will take possibly the best playmaker in the draft in Matt Corral. He is a great prospect who will likely fall because of his injury, and he will probably need some time to develop in the NFL. But when you watch Corral’s film, he reminds you of what NFL quarterback he could be like, and that is Patrick Mahomes. He makes great plays, is mobile and has a good arm. Overall I think Corral could develop into a great quarterback in the NFL.