Who doesn’t like a good mock draft? Even if it is after Week One. Let’s be honest, these are more fun for the franchises that are multi-year non-contenders. But the New York teams need love too. If the 2021 season ended this second, here’s what next April’s NFL Draft might look like:
1) Houston Texans: Spencer Rattler QB Oklahoma-
I can hear the outcry from Texans fans now–“we just won on Sunday.” I cannot argue that. I still believe the Texans are the favorite to finish with the worst record in the league. The Texans need to turn the page at the quarterback position. Spencer Rattler has the type of upside that is franchise-altering.
2) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayvon Thibodeaux DE Oregon-
Kayvon Thibodeaux is a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball. Thibodeaux is on the Chase Young/Nick Bosa and would immediately transform a Jaguars defense that needs a lot of work.
3) Detroit Lions: Carson Strong QB Nevada-
The Lions bypassed Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. They will regret that decision. The Lions know that Jared Goff is not the long-term answer under center. Carson Strong has many fans in NFL front offices around the league. Don’t be surprised when Strong is a Top 5-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
4) New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr. CB LSU-
Derek Stingley has been on the radar of NFL scouts ever since he was in high school. Stingley is the rare shutdown corner that NFL teams covet. The Jets need to take the best non-quarterback player available, and Stingley Jr. fits the bill.
5) New York Giants: Sam Howell QB North Carolina-
The Giants are another team in a long line that regret passing on Fields. Daniel Jones is not the answer, and the Giants franchise is the last to come to the realization. Sam Howell may not have the season that he had in 2020, but the NFL knows what type of player he is.
6) Atlanta Falcons: Malik Willis QB Liberty-
Malik Willis is a wildcard entering the 2022 draft. Willis certainly has come a long way. Many would argue that he still has a long way to go. The athleticism is off the charts. Further development will be required. Winding up in a place where you can sit and develop behind a veteran would be the ideal situation.
7) Cincinnati Bengals: Evan Neal OT Alabama-
Many draft analysts criticized the Bengals for passing on Penei Sewell in favor of Ja’Marr Chase in the 2021 NFL Draft. Having the top offensive tackle prospect in the draft, Evan Neal, fall into their laps–the Bengals will add to their offensive line this time around.
8) Las Vegas Raiders: Kyle Hamilton S Notre Dame-
Kyle Hamilton is a tremendous player. To garner top ten consideration at the safety position, you have to be something special. I would be surprised if Kyle Hamilton is not a top ten pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
9) Philadelphia Eagles: Kaiir Elam CB Florida-
The Eagles need to add to their defensive backfield in the worst way. Kaiir Elam is a physical corner, with all of the traits that the Eagles defensive coaching staff would desire.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis Colts): Kenyon Green OL Texas A&M-
We know that Howie Roseman likes to build in the trenches. I cannot imagine the Eagles escape the 1st round without using their first-round resources at the position. Kenyon Green would slide right in next to Jordan Mailata and Landon Dickerson to lock down the left side of the offensive line long-term.
11) Carolina Panthers: DeMarvin Leal DT Texas A&M-
The Panthers continue to rebuild their defense. DeMarvin Leal would make quite the running mate for Derrick Brown and make the Panthers’ defensive front a powerful unit.
12) New York Giants (via Chicago Bears): Drake Jackson DE/OLB USC-
With their additional 1st round pick the Giants turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. The Giants have always placed a high value on the defensive line and Drake Jackson would add a lot of pass rush off the edge.
13) Minnesota Vikings: Aidan Hutchinson DE Michigan-
Aidan Hutchinson has had quite the impact early in the season for the Wolverines. Hutchinson is a complete player that is gaining momentum in draft circles. A team like Minnesota would prioritize adding a versatile chess piece to their defensive line.
14) Washington Football Team: Sevyn Banks CB Ohio State-
The Washington Football Team tops the list of teams that would make a push to trade up for an answer at the quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick is already injured and I can’t fathom that Taylor Heinecke is the long-term answer. If the WFT is unable to land their quarterback, adding to their top-notch defense with a talent like Sevyn Banks would be the next best thing.
15) Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins): George Karlaftis DE Purdue-
The Eagles are back on the clock yet again. We mentioned how they like to add to the trenches. George Karlaftis is considered by many a top ten prospect in the 2022 class. Karlaftis could become the long-term replacement for Brandon Graham.
16) Denver Broncos: Christian Harris LB Alabama-
Add the Denver Broncos to the list of teams that need to find their long-term answer at the quarterback position. If the Broncos don’t find themselves in a position to add a quarterback, finding a leader of their defense makes sense. Christian Harris has all the intangibles that teams look for.
17) New England Patriots: Ahmad Gardner CB Cincinnati-
There have been rumors for quite some time that the Patriots were shopping cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Selecting an eventual replacement makes sense. Ahmad Gardner is the prototype player the Patriots tend to favor.
18) Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks WR Arkansas-
Treylon Burks becomes our first receiver off the board. Burks possesses a rare blend of size to speed that will have NFL teams salivating over. Expect Burks to rise up the rankings in draft season.
19) Dallas Cowboys: Zion Nelson OT Miami (FL)-
The Cowboys have been known as a team with a dominant offensive line for a while now. It appears that players like Tyron Smith are getting a bit long in the tooth. Zion Nelson would give Dallas a much-needed injection upfront.
20) Arizona Cardinals: Andrew Booth Jr. CB Clemson-
The Cardinals’ defensive backfield is in complete disarray. They have not recovered from the departure of Patrick Peterson yet. Andrew Booth Jr. is far from a perfect prospect, but there is a lot to work with here.
21) New Orleans Saints: David Bell WR Purdue-
I can’t help but wonder what will happen with Michael Thomas and the New Orleans Saints this off-season. Reports have surfaced of discontent that leads one to wonder if they will separate. Drafting a player like David Bell would make for either an ideal replacement or compliment.
22) Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Cross OT Ole Miss-
The Steelers drafted running back Najee Harris in the 2021 NFL Draft, and now need to invest in players to block for him. Charles Cross is a 1st round caliber offensive lineman that would fit right in, in the Steel City.
23) Los Angeles Chargers: Garrett Wilson WR Ohio State-
The Chargers projection will tie directly into whether or not they bring back Mike Williams. If Williams is indeed brought back the Chargers look at another position. If we speculate that Williams leaves via free agency, a player like Garrett Wilson would make a ton of sense to pair with 2nd-year quarterback Justin Herbert.
24) New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks): Chris Olave WR Ohio State-
Back to back Buckeye wide receivers–what do ya know? Chris Olave is the more accomplished receiver, but I believe the NFL could favor the more prototypical Wilson. Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Chris Olave would be one nice-looking trio of pass-catchers.
25) Cleveland Browns: George Pickens WR Georgia-
This projection will depend on the status of George Picken’s recovery. Suffering a nasty ACL injury, teams will want to see Pickens working out on a football field before investing a 1st round pick in him.
26) Baltimore Ravens: Perrion Winfrey DT Oklahoma-
Year in and year out, it feels like the Ravens simply draft good football players. The Ravens make their money on the defensive side of the ball. Adding players like Perrion Winfrey will keep their defense intact.
27) Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco 49ers): Zach Harrison DE Ohio State-
The Miami Dolphins used most of their 2021 off-season assets on the offensive side of the ball. It wouldn’t surprise me if in 2022 they look to refortify their defense. Zach Harrison is a versatile defender who would fit in any scheme.
28) Green Bay Packers: John Metchie III WR Alabama-
Who knows what the Green Bay Packers are going to look like a year from now? No Aaron Rodgers. No Davante Adams. If the Packers are indeed rolling with Jordan Love, surrounding him with weapons if the best strategy.
29) Buffalo Bills: Breece Hall RB Virginia Cavaliers-
The Buffalo Bills cannot run the football–at least not in the traditional sense. They invested second-day draft picks in Devin Singletary and Zach Moss and thus far, neither has paid off. The Bills take the top back in the draft and add an element that they haven’t had in a long time.
30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jahleel Billingsley TE Texas A&M-
Rob Gronkowski already retired once. What is to say that he won’t do so again? O.J. Howard is still not his former self, at least not yet. There doesn’t appear to be a long-term tight end on the roster, so why not add the dynamic Jahleel Billingsley?
31) Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams): Drake London WR USC-
The Detroit Lions simply cannot enter into another season with a vast wasteland of wide receivers like they did in 2021. The Lions need to give their new quarterback a chance.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Myjai Sanders DE Cincinnati-
Projecting Myjai Sanders here to Kansas City is simply the best player available selection. Sanders has the attention of NFL front offices and has the look of a future 1st rounder.