It’s time to kick off the 2022 DBN Community NFL Mock Draft! This year, in the interest of time, we are lumping multiple picks into one post to give you more substance at one time to digest how the draft is unfolding.
No. 1 - Jaguars - Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The selection and write-up were made by TheCannonGoesBOOM:
“The Jaguars are in a position all-too familiar to Browns fans: back-to-back seasons with the first overall selection in the NFL draft. Clearly, we have major talent gaps on both sides of the ball. Luckily though, we appear to have our franchise QB locked up and won’t be tempted to reach for one in a weak QB draft class. That doesn’t make our decision much easier though, as there’s far from a consensus, no-brainer, runaway top prospect.
Given our dearth of talent on offense and defense and lack of a Lawrence-eque slam dunk option, if a franchise picking in the top 5 offered to trade us their first round spot and additional picks and/or assets to move up, I would give their proposal a ton of consideration. But no such offer arrived in this scenario. So do we give Trevor Lawrence more help or bolster the defense after going more heavy on offensive in last year’s draft?
With the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars are proud to select ... Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle, Alabama.
While it stings to pass on premiere defensive linemen like Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux to elevate our listless pass rush and defense, Trevor Lawrence is — hopefully — our meal ticket. The Bengals taught us that having a wunderkind at QB is amazing and all, but if you can’t keep him upright, he’ll eventually suffer major injuries or fall just short on football’s biggest stage.
Neal is a high-end body guard, standing at a colossal 6’7.5”, 337 lbs, excelling in both pass protection and being a mauler in the run game (which Travis Etienne certainly wouldn’t mind). He’s incredibly polished for his age; he’ll still be 21 when this season kicks off. He’s also far more fleet of foot than a man his size has any right to be. Sure, the Jaguars aren’t completely devoid of decent pass protectors, but some are up for free agency soon. While it’s arguable he’s not the top prospect this year, there’s no denying Neal’s an apex athlete and an absolute physical freak of nature— definitely attributes you want in the 1st overall pick.
So what do you think? Did the Jags make the right call? Or will opponents’ QBs be having field days from clean pockets all season? Would you consider trading back?”
No. 2 - Lions - Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The selection and write-up were made by Robo Dawg:
“Kyle Hamilton is an elite Safety talent coming out of Notre Dame and bolsters arguably Detroit’s least talented position group. Kyle can play in coverage, or in the box. He is ferocious, and football smart. With a 6’4 frame, he can pack a wallop. He will be a great add for Detroit.
I was tempted to pick Aidan Hutchinson here as well, however I don’t see his ceiling as an elite pass rusher and the talent level at this position isn’t quite as low for Detroit. While I still think that would also be a great pick, I went with Hamilton believing that will have the biggest impact on Detroit’s defense on opening day and in the long run.”
No. 3 - Texans - Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
The selection and write-up were made by realmccoy:
“As native Clevelander and John Carroll Blue Streak alum Nick Caserio exited his final pre-draft planning session, he gave the following recap.
Team needs: Everything under the sun.
Team strengths: Nothing.
Organizational strength: Draft capital.
While that may a bit of an exaggeration, you get the picture. We are honing in on the quintessential BPA and not at all focused on a specific need at this pick. Here is where are heads are at. We were surprised by Davis Mills development, (even though it is likely he likely will suck in the long run), and we are so underwhelmed by this year’s QB crop, we going to be patient on that position. So we are looking at the strength of this year’s draft, and that is squarely on the DL and we are going edge rusher. Now there are special times in your life. Your first kiss and then some, the sight of your new bride walking down the aisle, the birth of your child, and your unanimous number 1 player on the board being there at number 3. So we sprint to the podium and:
The Houston Texans select Aidan Hutchinson, DE, University of Michigan
The first thing that jumps off the tape on this 6’-6” 265 pounder is his motor. Think Watt Brother level, Von Miller prime level, think Bosa. Then the explosiveness, toughness this guy’s business card says “Baller” on one side and Bad M*F*er on the other side. When you talk to the coaches, you hear about the intangibles, his work ethic in the weight room is just legendary. Its just superlative after superlative as he is just a wonderful combination of can’t miss talent, skill, toughness, and character.The biggest knock on this guy is size, or more specifically his weight. Despite working tirelessly, and having little to no bad weight, he is a little light at the 265-pound mark. Cry me a river. While some may feel he is ‘Maxed out” may I remind you this guy has not yet seen his 22nd birthday? He will work, he will develop and he will be a tremendous player for the Houston Texans.”
No. 4 - Jets - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The selection and write-up were made by Chris Pokorny:
“After seeing the magic that Ja’Marr Chase brought to the Bengals to elevate them to an instant Super Bowl contender, I think the Jets would be hard-pressed to pass up on Garrett Wilson. Zach Wilson desperately needs a go-to weapon he can rely on after a very lackluster rookie season for the former No. 2 overall pick.
Wilson has great athleticism and body control, which will allow him to get open and create separation from Day 1. How well he refines his route running will determine the chemistry that he and Wilson would have in the early-goings. A Wilson-to-Wilson connection would surely get the Jets headed in the right direction.”
No. 5 - Giants - Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
The selection and write-up were made by fjblessi:
“The New York Football Giants are starting over with a new GM and new head coach. They may or may not have their franchise QB and there are holes throughout the roster. When building from scratch the good teams start in the trenches and that is what the Giants are going to do. With the 5th overall selection in the 2022 NFL draft the NY Giants take the offensive tackle from NC State, Ikem Ekwonu.
Ekwonu is 6’4” tall, 310 pounds and has 34” arms. In addition to having the size and length to play tackle in the NFL he was considered the most feared lineman in the ACC this past season and is a true mauler in the run game. He isn’t one faceted though as he has the long arms and good feet required to pass protect as well. If Ekwonu maxes out his potential he will be the Giants left tackle for the next decade, at worst he will slide inside and be a very good guard. This is a safe pick that will make the Giants a better team in both the running and passing games.”
No. 6 - Panthers - Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
The selection and write-up were made by wahoo7:
“The Panthers have several needs, including quarterback and offensive line (I mean, the entire offensive line). And they still haven’t been able to replace the void left by Luke Kuechly in the middle of the defense. QB is the obvious choice — even if they eventually trade for Baker — but is there one worth taking at #6 overall? These factors make me think that the Panthers might try to trade down, especially considering that they don’t own a pick in the 2nd or 3rd rounds.
Bottom line for this draft, however, is that the QB room currently consists of only Sam Darnold and PJ Walker. So, we’re taking a big swing by nabbing Malik Willis. There is no consensus #1 QB in this draft, but Willis has the highest ceiling and will no doubt bring excitement to the stagnant offense in Carolina.”
No. 7 - Giants - Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
The selection and write-up were made by Barry Shuck:
“Sauce Gardner is a rangy athlete with quick feet and will cover a lot of ground. He is able to play both man or zone schemes with great anticipation. Is a physical player with receivers and able to match speed.
So, why a cornerback at Number 7? The quick answer: DC Wink Martindale.
Martindale loves to play man coverage with his corners and then blitz the crap out of the opposing offense. This means his defensive backs on their own to cover their man without any contingent of having safety help who are part of a lot of blitzing packages. Basically, the cornerback position in Martindale’s defense is the most important chess piece on the board.”
No. 8 - Falcons - Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
The selection and write-up were made by SCBrownsFan:
“The Atlanta Falcons are in full on rebuild and every single position group is a need. Coming into this mock I fully expected to be selecting a CB with this pick but the way the board has fallen, 2 top edge rushers are available. Atlanta stays in state and selects Travon Walker over Thibodeaux.
Walker has been projected as the number one overall pick in some mocks and there have been questions about Thibodeaux leading to rumors of him possibly slipping in the draft. The Falcons may struggle to put butts in seats this year so going with the UG star makes sense from that angle as well. Look for Walker to start at LDE opposite Grady Jarrett in ATL’s 3-4 defense and the two of them to wreak havoc on the QB ridden (minus Brady) NFC South this year.”
Up next will be the 9-16 picks in the 2022 DBN Community Mock Draft.