Draftman Rick's Mock Draft
2022 NFL Mock Draft – First Round – Final Version 4/28/22 5:00pm
Hi Draft Fans,
Here is how I see the 2022 NFL draft shaping up. Just when things start settling down, Jacksonville is considering taking a surprise at the first pick of the draft. Aidan Hutchinson has been the player at the top of nearly all draft boards, but Travon Walker is now being considered along with Ikem Ekwonu. Also, if the Panthers or Falcons don’t take a QB, it might be a while before one is chosen.
We'll see how many of my first rounders actually go in the first round. I’ll be satisfied with 25, but my record is 29 out of 32, so here goes!
1) Jacksonville-Travon Walker,Edge,Georgia - GM Trent Baalke has always liked to take big swings. Walker has a high ceiling but not a ton of production. If Baalke misses on this pick, he might have to pack his bags… again.
2) Detroit-Aidan Hutchinson,Edge,Michigan - If the Jags don’t take Hutchinson, the Lions will do cartwheels taking the card up to pick the hometown boy.
3) Houston-Ikem Ekwonu,OT,NC State - Ekwonu is a great athlete with a mean streak.
4) New York Jets-Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner,CB,Cincinnati - The Jets like Kayvon Thibodeaux and will consider him, too.
5) New York Giants-Charles Cross,OT,Mississippi State - The Giants want a good offensive tackle. I hear they like Cross, but that would mean they have to swap Andrew Thomas to right tackle. Do you risk moving the only offensive lineman that was playing well? Evan Neal makes more sense, but I’m going to bow to the information I keep hearing. I’ll be hitting my head with a hammer if Neal is the pick here.
6) Carolina-Evan Neal,OT,Alabama - I think the Panthers will take whichever tackle the Giants do not take. A lot of people have the Panthers taking a QB here. I’m not sure if the Panthers are blowing smoke, but they have me convinced they are not taking a QB in this spot.
7) New York Giants-Kayvon Thibodeaux,Edge,Oregon - Thibodeaux is a polarizing player. He has the quickest first step to rush the QB of anyone in this draft, but his motor does not always run as hot as it should. Derek Stingley Jr. and Jermaine Johnson II are possibilities.
8) Atlanta-Jermaine Johnson II,Edge,Florida State - The Falcons need a WR, so Garrett Wilson or Drake London could go here, but I like a pass rusher with the Falcons having the worst pass rush in the NFL.
9) Seattle-Derek Stingley Jr.,CB,LSU - As a freshman, Stingley showed he was one of the very best.
10) New York Jets-Garrett Wilson,WR,Ohio State - Once London or Wilson are picked, you will see a lot of WRs taken in the next dozen or so picks.
11) Washington-Drake London,WR,Southern Cal - Commanders could go WR or safety here.
12) Minnesota- Kyle Hamilton,S,Notre Dame - If you had asked me about a month ago, I would have said Hamilton would be a top 5 pick. He’s too good to last much longer.
13) Houston-Trent McDuffie,CB,Washington - With Ekwonu and McDuffie, the Texans would have two nice players to build on.
14) Baltimore-Jordan Davis,DT,Georgia - Davis blots out the sun. He’s just the kind of player the Ravens love.
15) Philadelphia-Jameson Williams,WR,Alabama -Williams could be long gone by now, but if his torn ACL causes him to still be available, the Eagles would be happy to take him.
16) New Orleans-Trevor Penning,OT,Northern Iowa - The Saints must replace left tackle Terron Armstead who left in free agency.
17) Los Angeles Chargers-Chris Olave,WR,Ohio State - The Chargers would like to have taken Penning, but if Olave is there, their wide receiver corps could be tops in the NFL.
18) Philadelphia-Devin Lloyd,LB,Utah It almost broke the internet when a 7 year old Eagles fan told GM Howie Roseman “for the love of God” take a WR or LB! Eagles might just oblige by taking both.
19) New Orleans-Kenny Pickett,QB,Pittsburgh - I just don’t know where the QBs will go, but we might be about to see how much the Saints like Jameis Winston.
20) Pittsburgh-Malik Willis,QB,Liberty - The Steelers almost have to add a QB at some point in this draft. I don’t see them just handing the job to Mitchell Trubisky with no questions asked.
21) New England-Zion Johnson,OG,Boston College - The Patriots need to add a linebacker, also.
22) Green Bay-Jahan Dotson,WR,Penn State - For the first time in 20 years, the Packers have to add a WR in the first round, don’t they?!
23) Arizona-George Karlaftis,Edge,Purdue - The Cardinals need a WR, so they might take one here, but they need a replacement for Chandler Jones who left in free agency.
24) Dallas-Kenyon Green,OG,Texas A&M - The Cowboys must keep Dak Prescott upright, and Green is very solid. Center Tyler Linderbaum is a possibility as is a trade up for an edge rusher or WR.
25) Buffalo-Kaiir Elam,CB,Florida - The one weak spot on the Bills team is at CB. They could take one here or go with RB Breece Hall as a luxury pick.
26) Tennessee-Treylon Burks,WR,Arkansas - Burks fits the type of receiver the Titans like, especially with thoughts of trading A.J. Brown who is of similar size. They need offensive linemen, too.
27) Tampa Bay-Devonte Wyatt,DT,Georgia – Due to character concerns, some teams have taken Wyatt off of their draft board. Maybe I should do the same, but he’s very talented.
28) Green Bay-Arnold Ebeketie,Edge,Penn State - The Packers need someone to replace the pass rush of Za’Darius Smith who left in free agency.
29) Kansas City-Christian Watson,WR,North Dakota State - With Tyreek Hill leaving, the Chiefs need an athletic WR. They also need an edge rusher and a cornerback.
30) Kansas City-Daxton Hill,DB,Michigan - The Chiefs are said to be looking to trade up, so they might not have this pick. If they stay put, they need defensive back help, assuming they’ve already taken a WR.
31) Cincinnati-Tyler Smith,OT,Tulsa - It’s time for the Bengals to finish fixing their offensive line. A cornerback is also needed, like Kyler Gordon or Andrew Booth Jr.
32) Detroit-Lewis Cine,S,Georgia - The Lions have a lot of holes to fill, and Cine hits like a ton of bricks.
These players could go in the first round… Matt Corral,QB,Mississippi, Desmond Ridder,QB,Cincinnati, Breece Hall,RB,Iowa State, Kenneth Walker III,RB,Michigan State, Skyy Moore,WR,Western Michigan, George Pickens,WR,Georgia, Bernhard Raimann,OT,Central Michigan, Tyler Linderbaum,C,Iowa, Nik Bonitto,Edge,Oklahoma, David Ojabo,Edge,Michigan, Travis Jones,DT,Connecticut, Logan Hall,DT,Houston, Nakobe Dean,LB,Georgia, Quay Walker,LB,Georgia, Andrew Booth Jr.,CB,Clemson, Kyler Gordon,CB,Washington, Jalen Pitre,S,Baylor
Anyone else would be somewhat of a reach.
May God always be your number 1 draft pick!
Grading the Mock Draft Experts
Hope you are having a good day. Each year, I like to compare how my first round mock draft stacked up with the experts in the field. Anybody can SAY they are good at mock drafts. I like proof! I have reviewed lots of mock drafts from the experts who get paid to do this stuff. I include familiar names and those who might not be so familiar but have excellent track records. These mock drafts are almost all from websites or newspapers where you would expect to find the best of the best, so you will recognize many of the names. Two popular ways exist to grade a draft. You can grade it by seeing how many players you name to go in the first round who actually go in the first round, or you can see how many you pick to the correct team. Adding the two together seems like a fair way of scoring it. All of these appear to be final versions of each person's mock draft.
* Also, check out https://www.thehuddlereport.com/mock.scores.shtml which grades mock drafts for the last five years from some of the best experts in the field and others who are just getting started. You have to have a well-established website to be considered. Maybe I'll get there some day. They score players going in the first round as one point (fair enough) and players to the correct team as two points (seems too heavy considering trades can royally mess that up). Anyway, my 5-year mock draft record would rank 15th of the 63 experts who have 5-year records using their scoring method and 8th out of 155 experts for this year.
Here are the results, including where I fit in if scoring one point for going in the first round and one point for the correct team. I’m tied for 2nd out of 23 mock drafters. Here are the scores. The date of the mock drafts is assumed to be the day of the draft unless otherwise known and listed.
Forrest N. Long The Huddle Report 28 + 10 = 38
***Draftman Rick Anderson 29 + 8 = 37***
Dane Brugler The Athletic 27 + 10 = 37
Shane Hallam www.draftcountdown.com 30 + 6 = 36
Albert Breer Sports Illustrated (4/26/22) 27 + 9 = 36
Peter Schrager NFL Network and www.nfl.com 29 + 6 = 35
Sam Farmer LA Times (4/27/22) 29 + 6 = 35
Lance Zierlein NFL Network and www.nfl.com 28 + 7 = 35
Todd McShay ESPN Draft Analyst 29 + 5 = 34
Mel Kiper ESPN Draft Analyst 28 + 6 = 34
Lou Pickney www.DraftKing.com (4/27/22) 27 + 7 = 34
Robby Esch The Huddle Report 27 + 7 = 34
Jason McIntyre FOX Sports (4/27/22) 26 + 8 = 34
Michael Renner Pro Football Focus (4/27/22) 27 + 6 = 33
Daniel Jeremiah NFL Network and www.nfl.com (4/27/22) 26 + 7 = 33
Jason Boris Times News Lehighton,PA www.tnonline.com 26 + 7 = 33
Nate Davis USA Today 26 + 6 = 32
Peter King https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/ (4/25/22) 26 + 6 = 32
Mark Maske Washington Post (4/26/22) 25 + 7 = 32
Kevin Hanson Sports Illustrated 28 + 3 = 31
Greg DePalma www.ourlads.com (4/27/22) 26 + 5 = 31
Rob Rang www.FOXSports.com (4/27/22) 26 + 4 = 30
Bucky Brooks NFL Network and www.nfl.com (4/26/22) 25 + 4 = 29
I used to consider Nolan Nawrocki to be the king of mock drafts. Nolan learned from the deceased all-time draft master of Pro Football Weekly, Joel Buschbaem. Nawrocki was hired as a scout by the Raiders in 2019. Rick Gosselin and Michael Abromowitz have stopped putting out a mock draft. So, who’s the new king of mock drafts? I’d say it’s Jason Boris of the Times News in Lehighton, PA. According to the Huddle Report, who scores lots of mock drafts, Jason is number 6 and climbing for his 5-year average. Jason is incredibly insightful.
May God always be your number 1 draft pick!
Draftman Rick Anderson