2022 December Mock Draft

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1. Detroit Lions

Aidan Hutchinson | Michigan, Edge

Despite the Lions getting their first win of the season on Sunday, they are still locked in at the first spot. The pick, to this point, has been next to unanimous in Kayvon Thibodeaux’s favor, but Aidan Hutchinson’s stock has soared with his late season production and we can’t help but connect the dots between the Michigan Wolverines and the Detroit Lions.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Kayvon Thibodeaux | Oregon, Edge

Thibodeaux may be the highest ceiling edge prospect, but his tape has been questionable at times. The high-end, elite athleticism and size is hard to come by, but he has lacked elite production throughout his career, which may push him to being taken behind Hutchinson.

3. Houston Texans

Sam Howell | UNC, QB

The Texans took a 3rd round flier on Davis Mills, who has looked anything but incredible this season. With Watson likely on the move this offseason, there’s a great chance that Caserio and the Texans will be on the lookout for a new face of the franchise. Howell has incredible arm talent and athleticism that could vault his stock throughout the draft process, and the team’s desperation for a new leader could cause a QB to be taken higher than what seems reasonable in December.

4. New York Jets

Evan Neal | Alabama, OT

Zach Wilson has shown signs of promise, but he has faced a pressure 27.8% of his career snaps, which makes life nearly impossible for any rookie QB. The oft-injured Mekhi Becton has shown flashes of potential, but Evan Neal is a franchise building block that could make life much easier in all of the offensive phases of the game.

5. New York Jets (from Seahawks)

Derek Stingley, Jr. | LSU, CB

In the second of the Jets stack, it would be irresponsible to not consider secondary. The Jets are giving up 263 yards per game through the air, a stat that makes winning nearly impossible. With Stingley on the board at 5, the Jets land a generational lockdown corner that will be a day one starter for Gang Green.

6. New York Giants (from Bears)

Kenyon Green | Texas A&M, IOL

It’s likely that Dave Gettleman will be gone following this season, but whoever is hired should easily identify that the biggest glaring weakness is the offensive line. Andrew Thomas has been a solid addition since being drafted 4th overall in 2019, but the G-Men need help, specifically on the interior. Fun fact: Daniel Jones has had a RB run for 100 yards just one time in his entire career…Saquon Barkley on December 22, 2019.

7. New York Giants

Devin Lloyd | Utah, LB

Alas, the first “reach” of the mock draft…and no better candidate than a new GM looking to be feisty for John Mara. Look, it’s December, it’s early…but Devin Lloyd very much looks like he is one of the best defensive prospects in this class and surely is atop all LBs. The Giants have not only struggled on the ground, as mentioned above, but they also have had one of the worst run defenses in the league. Luckily, Blake Martinez should return next year from an ACL injury, but the team is very much in need of depth in their front 7. Lloyd is an all around defensive jackknife, who plays the game from sideline to sideline and is apart of a pretty thin LB class…Giants take a shot here.

8. Atlanta Falcons

George Karlaftis | Purdue, Edge

The Falcons have a league low 15 sacks this season, which has essentially made Corderelle Patterson’s breakout campaign null. The Falcons are now sitting in a place that is all too familiar…not good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to have a top pick. Although the Falcons have looked like a bottom 3 team some weeks, they have gone on a rampage of beating very bad teams that has moved their pick all the way to 8. Karlaftis hasn’t put up any record breaking numbers at Purdue, but has some of the cleanest tape in the Edge class and the elite potential is clearly through the roof.

9. Carolina Panthers

Kenny Pickett | Pittsburgh, QB

The Panthers have been an absolute dumpster fire since David Tepper has taken over and have had 8, 5 and 4 game losing streaks in each year since. While Matt Rhule has gone 10-18 in his tenure, Ron Rivera looks to lock down a playoff spot for the 2nd straight year since leaving. Tepper and Rhule have collectively whiffed on Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold, while admittedly owning up to their mistake of releasing Cam Newton, only to bring him back 2 years too late. If Matt Rhule has shown us one consistent thing, it is that he frequently favors guys he has known while coaching sub .500 college football rather than fresh faces…Pickett falls into that category. Back in prehistoric times, Pickett initially committed to Rhule at Temple before deciding to go to a real Pitt. In all seriousness, Pickett has absolutely shown flashes of NFL talent and very well could find himself going as the 2nd QB selected in the class…this is a reach by Matt Rhule, but what hasn’t been?

10. Minnesota Vikings

Jordan Davis | Georgia, DT

The Vikings have had an up-and-down season this year, but one constant has been a weak run defense that is giving up 130+ yards per game. They brought in Dalvin Tomlinson last offseason, but he’s been on an off the field with injuries. It’s time to bring in a legit run stuffer that this team can build around and Jordan Davis is the best fit in this class.

11. New Orleans Saints

Drake London | USC, WR

The Saints have been without Michael Thomas for what seems like an eternity and his future with the organization is very cloudy. While they could explore options here at QB, I think they elect to stay with Jameis and Taysom for the time being rather than completely look to rebuild this team. London played in just 8 games this season, but tallied 88 receptions, 1,084 yards and 7 TDs with shakey QB play. Drake dominates 50/50 balls with ease and is an able blocker who fits the Sean Payton scheme perfectly.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Dolphins)

DeMarvin Leal | Texas A&M, DL

Leal came into the season as a potential first overall pick, but has fallen a bit due to inconsistency. Leal is also a bit of a tweener size-wise, but could certainly play just about any role on the defensive line. At 6’4″ & 290 lb, Leal showed his versatility by racking up 8.5 sacks this season.

13. Philadelphia Eagles

Kyle Hamilton | Notre Dame, S

Although Hamilton is one of the top prospects in the entire class, safety is a position that can at times be overlooked early in the draft. However, Hamilton is a great fit for a much improved Philadelphia secondary that would love to upgrade the safety position with a young potential star.

14. Denver Broncos

Matt Corral | Ole Miss, QB

Yes, John Elway has brought more Super Bowls to Denver than anyone else has, but he also has failed to fill the glaring need of QB for years. From Paxton Lynch, to Brock Osweiler, to Drew Lock and Teddy, this organization is starting to look like the next Cleveland Browns in that department. This is a super weird QB class and almost every front office will have a different ranking for the group, but if Corral is still on the board for Denver, then John Elway will be licking his chops.

15. Las Vegas Raiders

Garrett Wilson | Ohio State, WR

The Raiders have had a lot of misses in the first round, but one area that they seriously need to fill is a legit WR1 to help spread the field with Darren Waller. Carr has been throwing balls to a plethora of receivers, but Wilson is a do-it-all type that could be in the league a very long time.

16. Cleveland Browns

Treylon Burks | Arkansas, WR

Landry is getting up there in age and the run heavy Browns need a big bodied WR to add another element to their struggling offense. There are questions around Baker’s future in Cleveland, but I am in the camp that we will see him for at least another year…so naturally the Browns need to bring in playmakers that can help improve their weary 207 passing yards per game.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (from Colts)

Ahmad Gardner | Cincinnati, CB

The Eagles locked down this pick from the Colts on Sunday due to Wentz snap count. They went safety with Kyle Hamilton at 13, but with Ahmad Gardner on the board at 17…why not? This duo could become one of the best the league has to offer.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ikem Ekwonu | NC State, OT

Although Big Ben semi-privately announced his retirement, the Steelers aren’t an organization that reaches with 1st round picks and there are no QBs worth taking at this spot. Instead, they opt to strengthen a weak offensive line to setup Ben’s heir, as well as budding star Najee Harris, for success with an elite all-around tackle.

19. Miami Dolphins (from 49ers)

Charles Cross | Mississippi State, OT

The Dolphins missed out on Ekwonu by one pick, but have a great backup plan in Charles Cross. The Dolphins could still be in the running with the Texans for Deshaun Watson, but regardless of who they have at QB, they will need to strengthen the offensive line to find any long term success.

20. Washington Football Team

Roger McCreary | Auburn, CB

The WFT has been one of the surprise successes and there is a sliver of hope that Taylor Heinicke may be their guy for the time being. With his proven success by winning games along with his tiny $2.8M cap hit, the team really can’t go wrong building around him another year. Instead of going QB in a weaker class, the team lands a stud CB who has locked down the best the SEC has to offer.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

Andrew Booth, Jr. | Clemson, CB

The Bengals are another team needy of a young lockdown corner and score here with Andrew Booth. Although the season didn’t go quite as planned for Clemson, Booth was always a bright spot on the defense and a clearcut NFL corner.

22. LA Chargers

Drake Jackson | USC, Edge

Drake Jackson is one of the highest ceiling prospects in this class, but his production hasn’t been up to par with some of the others. With just 5 sacks and 8 tackles for loss, it has been a bit of a disappointing campaign, however, his ability to pressure the QB and ceiling keeps him in the first round discussion.

23. Buffalo Bills

Kaiir Elam | Florida, CB

Elam was at one time in contention to be the CB1 in the class, but we’ve seen several others climb their way to the top of the class. With Tre White tearing his ACL late in the season, we don’t know when we will see him again, but it’s clear that this Bills D lacks depth at the position. Currently, 7th round pick Dane Jackson and Undrafted Levi Wallace are holding the team together at CB.

24. Detroit Lions (from Rams)

Chris Olave | Ohio State, WR

It’s no mystery that the Lions are in significant need for a WR1. Amon-Ra St. Brown has been a great young addition this season, but Chris Olave has the skillset to become one of the top targets in the league.

25. Dallas Cowboys

Breece Hall | Iowa State, RB

The Cowboys are one of the most solid rosters throughout, but Zeke is getting closer to 30 and Pollard could be suiting up for his last few games as a Cowboy. The 2 RB system has been like butter for the Cowboys and adding Hall in Pollard’s spot could turn him into a dynamic addition to this powerhouse of an offense.

26. Kansas City Chiefs

Sam Williams | Ole Miss, Edge

Once we get to the back of the 1st round, all hell starts breaking loose. These teams are contenders because they trust themselves to take shots like these and some times it works, while others it doesn’t…but there are great teams that pick around these slots because they don’t have to heavily rely on 1st round picks. Sam Williams has quietly been one of the most dominant edge rushers in the nation, and while he is a raw prospect, his production and skillset prove that he can be molded into a great NFL player.

27. Baltimore Ravens

Darian Kinnard | Kentucky, OT

The Ravens have been on a roller coaster ride with their OL, but Darian Kinnard could be a late 1st round sleeper that automatically makes an impact. Through his career at Kentucky, Kinnard has been one of the highest analytically graded players in the country and certainly could be a name that flies up boards after events like the Senior Bowl and Combine.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Trent McDuffie | Washington, CB

The Bucs secondary has been extremely strong through their last several seasons, but there is a lot of longterm uncertainty with this unit. Carlton Davis is on a contract year, while both Murphy-Bunting and Dean have just one year left on their contracts. McDuffie has been one of the most dynamic corners in college football and could allow the Bucs to bring back depth at other positions while not missing much of a beat.

29. Tennessee Titans

Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati, QB

I know, crazy. One of the biggest surprises of the mock draft thus far, but hear me out. Whether you want to believe it or not, Tannehill is 33 and one of the older QBs in the league. We’ve watched him regress this year, and while it’s probably a large part (or 100%) because Henry is out, it’s never a successful plan to rely on your RB entirely in the NFL. Henry could be getting close to his career peak and the window for this team is slowly closing. Ridder’s stock at this moment is probably Day 2, but if he shows off against Alabama on New Year’s Eve, then we could have a new addition to our tier 1 QBs. It’s a bit of outside the box thinking here, but don’t count QB out just yet.

30. Green Bay Packers

Tyler Linderbaum | Iowa, IOL

A Big 10 do-it-all Center that has become a run stuffing highlight tape? What is more Packers than that? The Packer FO has been outside the box thinkers in recent history, but this pick here is as textbook as it gets. Undersized Center’s usually don’t go in the 1st Round, but Linderbaum is special.

31. New England Patriots

David Bell | Purdue, WR

Alright, Bill Belichick’s biggest weakness revisited again: drafting WRs. The Mac Jones show has been an awesome one to watch, but let’s be real…they probably aren’t winning a Super Bowl this year because their WRs names are Meyers, Borne and Agholor. All great role players at times, but they seriously are lacking a true top dog for the second coming of Tom Brady (your words, not mine) to spam target down the road. David Bell can be that guy.

32. Arizona Cardinals

Trevor Penning | Northern Iowa, OT

The Cardinals have been awesome this year, but if there is one position to upgrade with this pick, it is Kelvin Beachum’s tackle spot. Penning is a 6’7″ 330 lbs behemoth that has dominated as an athletic pass blocker and could fit perfectly on the right side of this OL.

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