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2022 NFL Draft


HoosierCat
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21 hours ago, ArmyBengal said:

A 2nd round CB I like is Kyler Gordon out of Washington.
Not sure he makes it to our pick, but I like his game.

He's still there, but so also is his CB running mate, McDuffie - who tends to be ranked slightly higher when I look at lists. 

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The more I read about Kinnard, the more I see he projects as an NFL OG rather than an OT as he was in college

so maybe not.

But in the perfect world, err draft, I want a guy who has spent his time at RIGHT tackle and doesnt have to kinda sorta re-learn the sorta kinda opposite movements for the opposite side

Tho yeah, generally college teams put their best tackle on the left

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https://theathletic.com/3075920/2022/01/19/two-round-2022-nfl-mock-draft-dane-bruglers-mock-2-0-has-a-new-no-1-pick-and-more-surprises/?source=pulsenewsletter&campaign={{campaignId}}

Dane Bruger's first two-round mock just dropped:

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In most NFL Drafts, there are five to seven top-tier prospects who make up the “upper class” and will be the first players drafted. That is followed by 12-15 “middle class” players who might not be elite but received first-round grades from teams and project as solid NFL starters.

The bad news is the 2022 NFL Draft is missing those “upper class” prospects — there is no Joe Burrow or Myles Garrett or Ja’Marr Chase this year.  (membengal note...HOW LUCKY WERE WE TO DRAFT HIGH AND DRAFT WELL???)

The good news is this year’s draft is well-stocked with “middle class” first-rounders — players with NFL starting traits who will make impacts as rookies.

Not having those top-tier players in this class will make the first-round, especially the top 10, even more unpredictable than usual. There are surprises every year, but we should expect them early in the 2022 NFL Draft as draft boards from team to team might look wildly different.

Editor’s note: The order of picks 1-24 and 33-56 are official. The order for picks 25-32 and 57-64 is based on playoff seeding and will depend on the outcome of the NFL playoffs. Dane Brugler will be answering reader questions this week about this mock and the 2022 draft talent pool. Post your question here.

FIRST ROUND
1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
After numerous conversations with NFL scouts and league execs in preparation for this mock, there were two key takeaways that led me to Ekwonu here. First, there are several evaluators around the league who have Ekwonu ranked higher than Alabama’s Evan Neal and Mississippi State’s Charles Cross. Second, several evaluators agreed that in a draft class missing a no-brainer top prospect, they prefer the tackles over the pass rushers. I have no clue how the Jaguars feel, but Ekwonu at least belongs in this conversation.

A three-year starter at NC State, Ekwonu has impressive movements for his size and generates extraordinary explosion at contact. He lacks refinement and is guilty of over-setting, but he is nimble, powerful and should get better and better as his technique and awareness mature. Ekwonu’s tape shows a tackle who can also play guard, not the other way around. For more on Ekwonu, this deep dive from Bruce Feldman is a great read.

2. Detroit Lions — Aidan Hutchinson, edge, Michigan
A Week 18 victory against the Packers meant the Lions lost the No. 1 overall pick, but there is a decent chance that the top-ranked player on Detroit’s draft board will still be available at No. 2.

Hutchinson isn’t on the same level as the Bosa brothers — he doesn’t have the same bend or arc skills. However, there are similarities when you talk about their quickness, power and skilled hand play to defeat blockers and disrupt the pocket. Hutchinson can win in multiple ways and is wired in a way that will appeal to head coach Dan Campbell.

3. Houston Texans — Kayvon Thibodeaux, edge, Oregon
Is there a quarterback in this draft class who is a clear upgrade over Davis Mills? I don’t think so, and I doubt the Texans will either. Thibodeaux isn’t universally loved around the league, but he is one of the more talented players in this draft. He knows how to create leverage as a pass rusher due to his length and athleticism and is highly physical vs. the run.

Fans expecting Myles Garrett or Chase Young will be disappointed, but that doesn’t mean Thibodeaux can’t make an immediate impact of his own.

4. New York Jets — Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
The Jets could go in a number of different directions here. Alabama’s Evan Neal could start at right guard as a rookie and be the long-term answer at right tackle (and provide Mekhi Becton insurance at left tackle). But Stingley would give the Jets a cover man with the talent to be a legitimate No. 1 cornerback, something the franchise has missed since Darrelle Revis.

Stingley set the bar high after his All-American freshman season as part of LSU’s national championship team. And although the last two seasons haven’t gone according to plan, the talent is still there. Stingley’s draft stock is extremely volatile right now, and his interviews and medicals will ultimately determine whether he is drafted this high or falls out of the top 10.

5. New York Giants — Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Slowly but surely, Andrew Thomas is progressing at left tackle, but the right tackle spot was a glaring weak spot for the Giants this past season. Nate Solder has likely played his last snap with the franchise, and Matt Peart hasn’t done enough to keep the Giants from finding an upgrade this offseason.

Neal has functional experience at guard and both tackle spots and would be an immediate improvement on the Giants’ offensive line depth chart. His balance will fade as the play progresses, but he has a rare mix of size, athleticism and flexibility to make plays in pass protection and the run game.

6. Carolina Panthers — Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
If the Panthers strike out on their quarterback options in free agency and on the trade market, this could be the spot where we see the first quarterback drafted. This is Carolina’s only draft pick in the top 100, putting even more pressure on Matt Rhule and the organization to get this selection right.

Cross is talented enough to be OT1 on some team’s draft boards. He has the athleticism and movement patterns to be comfortable pass-blocking on an island, and his hands are well-timed and precise. Cross should be able to start from day one as a rookie.

7. New York Giants (from Chicago) — Kyle Hamilton, DS, Notre Dame
Safety isn’t the most glaring need on the Giants’ depth chart, but with a new general manager and head coach, they will be looking to draft impact players, above everything else, in the top 10. And Hamilton might be the most talented player in the draft, regardless of position.

At 6-3 and 218 pounds, Hamilton is a super-sized safety with the range and length to be a matchup weapon in the NFL. Though his physical traits stand out, it is his football IQ that is most impressive, sensing what is about to happen and being disruptive.

8. Atlanta Falcons — David Ojabo, edge, Michigan
Predictably, the Falcons finished dead-last in the NFL in sacks this season as they sorely lack the edge rush talent to keep offenses off-balance. Still young in football years, Ojabo is still a work in progress, but he has the talent level right now to stress blockers.

Polling several NFL personnel people for this mock, the feedback on Ojabo was he won’t be a top-10 pick because of his struggles vs. the run and his relative inexperience. But I’m betting on his ceiling at a premium position to bump him up in this draft class.

9. Denver Broncos — Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
The Broncos said “no thanks” to Justin Fields and Mac Jones at No. 9 overall last year. Will they pass on the quarterback position again a year later? We’ll see if Denver is able to find an upgrade at the position prior to the draft or if it buys into one of the quarterbacks in this draft class.

Denver landed an impact defender with the ninth pick last year, and it could do that again with Lloyd. A former safety, he has outstanding eyes and explosion to drive downhill (22.0 tackles for loss in 2021) and the athleticism to make plays in coverage (four interceptions, two pick-sixes in 2021).

10. New York Jets (from Seattle) — Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
With all due respect to Jamison Crowder and Braxton Berrios, when they are your most productive pass-catchers, you officially have a wide receiver problem. Quarterback Zach Wilson must show improvements in year two, but he also needs the front office to find him more help.

I have six wide receivers ranked as top-25 prospects in this class, with Wilson as the clear No. 1 guy. He has only average size (6-0, 186), but he is a three-level threat due to his athleticism and ball skills. What separates him the most is his ability to create space before and after the catch.

11. Washington Football Team — Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Washington has a poor track record of drafting quarterbacks in the early rounds. Since the merger in 1970, the franchise has drafted eight quarterbacks in the top 100 picks, and only one (Jay Schroeder) of the eight had a winning record with the organization. That means Washington is due, right? Pickett doesn’t have an explosive arm, but he is accurate from various platforms and his football IQ makes him NFL ready.

12. Minnesota Vikings — Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Opinions are split around the league if Gardner belongs in the top-15 or if he should come off the board in the back-half of round one. The Cincinnati corner was a three-year starter and didn’t give up a touchdown in over 1,100 coverage snaps in college. Gardner gets a little handsy, but he has the long-striding speed and hip-flip to stay on top of routes.

13. Cleveland Browns — Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The Browns passing offense desperately needs another playmaker and Burks has the ability to create big plays. He has an outstanding blend of size (6-3, 228) and speed (4.45) with the tracking skills and catch radius to be a quarterback’s best friend. Burks, who led the SEC with 22 plays of 20-plus yards in 2021, reminds me of a linebacker-sized Deebo Samuel.

14. Baltimore Ravens — Travon Walker, DL, Georgia
Good players just seem to fall to the Ravens in the draft, right? That is the case here because it wouldn’t surprise me if Walker ends up being one of the best defensive players from this draft class. With players like Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams set to hit free agency, the Ravens’ defensive line could look very different in 2022.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami) — Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Iowa
Obviously, this selection is based on the future of Jason Kelce, who just earned his fourth All-Pro nod. Even if he returns for his age 35 season in 2022, Kelce would be the ideal mentor for Linderbaum, who has exceptional quickness and a nasty streak to dominate defenders.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis) — Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
With Steven Nelson headed for free agency, cornerback could be a need for the Eagles this offseason. Booth is a terrific athlete and can make plays on the ball — the two most important traits when scouting the position. Booth also has above-average downhill skills to drive and blow up plays near the line of scrimmage.

17. Los Angeles Chargers — Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Do the Chargers make the playoffs if they receive better play at right tackle over the final month of the season? Penning has a massive frame (6-7, 329, 35-inch arms) with the athletic footwork and competitive chops to develop into a Pro Bowl-level player.

18. New Orleans Saints — Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The Saints are in limbo with their quarterback situation, but Corral could be the answer that Sean Payton has been looking for. The Ole Miss quarterback has the athleticism of Taysom Hill coupled with an explosive arm and passing instincts to create big plays through the air.

19. Philadelphia Eagles — George Karlaftis, edge, Purdue
The Eagles’ defensive end depth chart will likely look wildly different next season, and Karlaftis would be a welcomed addition. The Purdue pass rusher doesn’t have elite length or twitch, but he is relentless and strong with hand work that is not only violent but also well-timed and strategic to defeat blockers.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers — Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
With Ben Roethlisberger likely having played his final game in a Steelers’ uniform, there is a “Quarterback Wanted” sign hanging on the front of Heinz Field. Although Howell’s junior season didn’t go exactly according to plan, he has NFL-level arm talent and mobility and is ready to step in as the Steelers’ starter from day one.

21. New England Patriots — Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Generally, Bill Belichick prefers bigger-bodied linebackers, but what Dean lacks in size he more than makes up for with play speed and football smarts. And anyone who watched the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Bills knows they need more of both at linebacker.

22. Las Vegas Raiders — Drake London, WR, USC
Derek Carr was playing well enough for the Raiders to make a postseason run, but he needed another playmaker in the playoff loss to the Bengals. London, who was averaging 11 catches and 135.5 yards per game before his injury, has the basketball athleticism to play above the rim and be a chain-mover.

23. Arizona Cardinals — Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
At 6-6 and 360 pounds, Davis is a hard-to-move space-eater with the power to reestablish the line of scrimmage. He might be drafted higher if a team believes he can sustain his high level of play with an increased snap count (he averaged only 25.2 snaps per game in 2021), but Davis is a dominant run defender when on the field.

24. Dallas Cowboys — Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
Left guard Connor Williams, who probably played his final game in Dallas on Saturday, was a liability for most of the Cowboys’ wild-card game, and the 49ers took advantage. Although Green played predominantly at left guard for the Aggies, he also logged starts at left tackle, right tackle and right guard in 2021 and would give Dallas a versatile blocker who can fill in at several positions if needed.

25. Cincinnati Bengals — Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
Maybe this is an overreaction to watching Vernon Hargreaves trying to cover the Raiders, but with Eli Apple a pending free agent, cornerback could be in the mix here. McDuffie doesn’t have great ball production, but there weren’t many opportunities because he prevents throws by blanketing his side of the field.

26. Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco) — Jermaine Johnson, edge, Florida State
The Dolphins drafted an edge rusher in the first round last year but could do it again if they lose Emmanuel Ogbah to free agency. Johnson has the length, agility and violent hands to be disruptive as both a pass rusher and run defender.

27. Buffalo Bills — Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Giving a weapon like Williams to Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense hardly seems fair. Wide receiver isn’t at the top of the Bills’ needs, but it would be tough to pass on Williams’ talent if he were to fall this far due to his recent torn ACL. Teams will have more information about his knee and surgery at the scouting combine.

28. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles) — Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
I don’t think the Lions will feel pressured to take a wide receiver here, especially with the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown over the final month of the season. But Olave and his polished play style would give Detroit an immediate playmaker for an offense in need of them.

29. Kansas City Chiefs — Daxton Hill, CB/FS, Michigan
With Tyrann Mathieu, Charvarius Ward and Mike Hughes about to hit free agency, the Chiefs’ secondary might look a little different next season. Hill is not only an option at safety, but he played a slot cornerback role for the Wolverines and can do the same in Kansas City, which would allow L’Jarius Sneed to play outside full-time.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Logan Hall, DL, Houston
Hall is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft class, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is long gone by this pick. Personally, I like him best as an edge rusher where he has a little bit of a runway and can unlock his quickness and length. But Hall would give Tampa flexibility on the defensive line as Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen has called him “one of the best” defensive tackles he has ever coached.

31. Tennessee Titans — Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
With his twitchy athleticism and route-running skills, Dotson consistently puts cornerbacks in conflict. Although he is undersized and won’t break many tackles, he has the dynamic speed and ball skills that will give the Titans another dimension on offense.

32. Green Bay Packers — DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
The Packers love toolsy front-seven defenders, and Leal is exactly that. He isn’t yet the sum of his parts, which is why he could still be available at this point in the first round. But at 6-4 and 290 pounds, Leal can line up anywhere on the defensive line and has the traits to develop into a productive starter.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars — Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
34. Detroit Lions — Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
35. New York Jets — Bernhard Raimann, OT/G, Central Michigan
36. New York Giants — Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
37. Houston Texans — Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State
38. New York Jets (from Carolina) — Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
39. Chicago Bears — George Pickens, WR, Georgia
40. Denver Broncos — Myjai Sanders, edge, Cincinnati
41. Seattle Seahawks — Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
42. Washington Football Team — Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky
43. Atlanta Falcons — Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
44. Cleveland Browns — Drake Jackson, edge, USC
45. Baltimore Ravens — Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
46. Minnesota Vikings — Kingsley Enagbare, edge, South Carolina
47. Indianapolis Colts — Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
48. Los Angeles Chargers — Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
49. New Orleans Saints — Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
50. Miami Dolphins — Damone Clark, LB, LSU
51. Philadelphia Eagles — Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
52. Pittsburgh Steelers — Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
53. Las Vegas Raiders — Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
54. New England Patriots — John Metchie, WR, Alabama
55. Arizona Cardinals — Cameron Thomas, edge, San Diego State
56. Dallas Cowboys — Jaquan Brisker, DS, Penn State
57. San Francisco 49ers — Lewis Cine, DS, Georgia
58. Cincinnati Bengals — Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
59. Buffalo Bills — Sean Rhyan, OG, UCLA
60. Denver Broncos (from Los Angeles) — Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
61. Kansas City Chiefs — Arnold Ebiketie, edge, Penn State
62. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
63. Atlanta Falcons (from Tennessee) — David Bell, WR, Purdue
64. Green Bay Packers — Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

 

 

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Thanks for sharing Mem. 
I agree with his assessment of this draft not being as talent rich in the 1st round as in years past.
God help the teams that need a QB and make a reach in the 1st round.

I wouldn't mind if McDuffie was the pick, but would prefer Kinnard if that is how it fell.
 

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I wan to see them make a concerted effort to get Apple resigned before FA hits

(if you had bet me Id make such a statement before the season started, I'd have laughed at you)

If they can retain Apple (preferring 3-4 year contract here), they can afford to take a developmental athletic CB on day 3 and save on of their day1/2 picks for a cover LB or passrusher

 

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On 1/12/2022 at 11:56 AM, membengal said:

I just took Penning!

So did Mel. 

Quote

25. Cincinnati Bengals

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

There's no way the Bengals would take back their choice of wideout Ja'Marr Chase over offensive tackle Penei Sewell in last year's draft, but you saw this season why so many of us thought they would take Sewell. Joe Burrow was sacked 55 times -- third-most in the league -- and the offense averaged 4.0 yards per rush, which ranked 26th. They ranked 30th in ESPN's pass block win rate metric. This is a below-average offensive line. Luckily for the Bengals, this is a deep tackle class at the top.

The 6-foot-7 Penning towered over defenders at the FCS level, and he was rarely challenged. He makes things look easy. Yes, it's a big leap to the NFL, but I think he has the traits to be an early starter. If Cincinnati wants to keep 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams on the left side, Penning could easily slot in at right tackle, where free-agent-to-be Riley Reiff played for most of 2021.

 

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Here's Mel's mock. If anyone wants to know what he wrote about a particular pick just let me know.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

2. Detroit Lions Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

3. Houston Texans Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

4. New York Jets Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

5. New York Giants Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

6. Carolina Panthers Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

7. New York Giants (via CHI) David Ojabo, OLB, Michigan

8. Atlanta Falcons Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

9. Denver Broncos Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia

10. New York Jets (via SEA) Drake London, WR, USC

11. Washington Football Team Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

12. Minnesota Vikings Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

13. Cleveland Browns Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

14. Baltimore Ravens Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

15. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA) Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah

16. Philadelphia Eagles (via IND) Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State

17. Los Angeles Chargers Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

18. New Orleans Saints Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

19. Philadelphia Eagles Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

20. Pittsburgh Steelers Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

21. New England Patriots Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

22. Las Vegas Raiders Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

23. Arizona Cardinals George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

24 Dallas Cowboys Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

25. Cincinnati Bengals Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

26. Miami Dolphins (via SF) Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

27. Buffalo Bills Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

28. Detroit Lions (via LAR) Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

29. Kansas City Chiefs Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

31. Tennessee Titans Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

32. Green Bay Packers Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

https://www.espn.com/nfl/insider/draft2022/insider/story/_/id/33093803/nfl-mock-draft-2022-mel-kiper-predictions-all-32-first-round-picks-teams-aidan-hutchinson-malik-willis-nakobe-dean

 

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Not much...

Buffalo doesn't have many holes on its roster, but Tre'Davious White's season-ending knee injury in November put the focus on its cornerback depth. This late in the first round, teams are hoping for rookie starters, but they'll also take high-upside prospects who could grow into starters in time. McDuffie can cover wideouts outside or from in the slot, so the versatility is a plus. He was very good in man coverage for the Huskies. I also thought about a guard here, and the Bills' running backs were disappointing again in 2021, even though Devin Singletary had a couple of good games to end the season. This is a little too high for a back on my board, but we could see risers after the combine, so keep an eye out.

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17 minutes ago, HoosierCat said:

Not much...

Buffalo doesn't have many holes on its roster, but Tre'Davious White's season-ending knee injury in November put the focus on its cornerback depth. This late in the first round, teams are hoping for rookie starters, but they'll also take high-upside prospects who could grow into starters in time. McDuffie can cover wideouts outside or from in the slot, so the versatility is a plus. He was very good in man coverage for the Huskies. I also thought about a guard here, and the Bills' running backs were disappointing again in 2021, even though Devin Singletary had a couple of good games to end the season. This is a little too high for a back on my board, but we could see risers after the combine, so keep an eye out.

Gracias. Every little bit helps when starting to try and learn prospects.

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