2022 NFL Mock Draft: Three weeks into the NFL season

Here is the official 2022 NFL Mock draft

By: Chris Thomas

There are exactly seven months until the 2022 NFL Draft. But it is never too early to speculate on which prospect can be drafted early and which teams they could fit well with. The first three weeks of the NFL season have shown some surprising potential contenders and a few teams who could take a step back this season. While in the first four weeks of college football some prospects have confirmed their preseason hype that they could be early selections of the upcoming draft. Other prospects have not lived up to their preseason hype.

The draft order was created using NFL Playoff Predictor. Here is a brand new 2022 mock draft.

1. New York Jets (1-16): Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Regardless of who lands the first overall pick, unless the team desperately needs a quarterback Kayvon Thibodeaux should be the first overall pick. Robert Saleh could build a defensive line rotation similarly to how he built his in San Fransisco with Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, Shaq Lawson, Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Folorunso Fatukasi, and Thibodeaux. 

2. Atlanta Falcons (2-15): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

The Atlanta Falcons were wildly criticized for passing on a potential franchise quarterback prospect in Justin Fields this past year. They could select this year’s QB1 Malik Willis whose mobility adds a dynamic to this offense that Matt Ryan lacks. 

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-15): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Pittsburgh desperately needs offensive line help and a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger. At the top of the draft, they could take Matt Corral who many believe has been the best quarterback in college football this season. 

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14): Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Both Trevor Lawerence and Urban Meyer have struggled to transition to the NFL. Giving Trevor a new blindside protector in Evan Neal would help him feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket.

5. Houston Texans (3-14): Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

After taking Davis Mills in the third round this past draft the Houston Texans may opt to go with the best player available in the first round. Derek Stingley Jr. is both the best player available and fills a need at cornerback which they have had since they were a playoff team. 

6. New York Giants (3-14): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Outside of a few players, it seems the New York Giants could replace anyone on the roster. Adding an edge rusher like George Karlaftis would give New York a legitimate pass rusher to play opposite 2021 second-round pick Azeez Ojulari. 

7. New York Giants (via Chicago Bears (3-14)): Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M

After how the Chicago Bears have looked during the first three weeks the New York Giants could likely land a top-10 pick from the Justin Fields trade. The offensive line must be a priority for the Giants and Kenyon Green would be a massive help to what many believe is the worst unit in the league. 

8. Indianapolis Colts (4-13): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

If Carson Wentz plays less than 70% of the teams and the team makes the playoffs snaps or 75% of the snaps and doesn’t make the playoffs the Colts could retain their first-round pick. Indianapolis could add the best receiver in the draft Chris Olave to replace T.Y. Hilton and be Wentz’s number one receiver.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-11): DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

This past offseason the Cincinnati Bengals said goodbye to an all-time franchise great Geno Atkins. They could fill the void left by Atkins with a talented prospect like DeMarvin Leal whose addition would potentially put the Bengals defensive line into elite territory. 

10. Detriot Lions (6-11): Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Detriot Lions have lost three heartbreaking games at the beginning of the year that were each in reach of winning. For the second straight season, Detriot could elect to go with the best player available and take safety Kyle Hamilton to help this struggling young secondary. 

11. Washington Football Team (6-11): Sean Rhyan, OT, UCLA

A quarterback could be tempting to take in the first round for Washington, but they may want to give Taylor Heinicke a chance to be the team’s starting quarterback without anyone breathing down his neck. Washington can look at Sean Rhyan as their Trent Williams replacement since 2021 second-round pick Samuel Cosmi is playing right tackle. 

12. Minnesota Vikings (6-11): Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Minnesota has holes across their defense that need to be filled. Since this draft is so deep at cornerback they could address their needs at pass rusher by adding Aidan Hutchinson to play opposite Danielle Hunter. 

13. New England Patriots (8-9): Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

It seems very clear that the New England Patriots and Stephon Gilmore will part ways this offseason. Taking a productive cornerback like Ahmad Gardner in the first round could help fill the void of the former defensive player of the year. 

14. Baltimore Ravens (8-9): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Marcus Peters will miss the entire season with a torn ACL and could be a cap casualty because the Ravens need to give Lamar Jackson an extension. Andrew Booth Jr. is a raw cornerback with a lot of talent that could be coached up well by Baltimore’s coaching staff. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-9): Darian Kinnard, IOL, Kentucky

Philadelphia has dealt with a lot of injury issues over the last couple of seasons across their roster, especially along the offensive line. Offensive lineman Darian Kennard could replace Brandon Brooks who the Eagles tried to trade away last offseason and potentially take over for Lane Johnson who is also often injured. 

16. New Orleans Saints (9-8): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

There is no receiving core in the league with less depth than the New Orleans Saints. Since Michael Thomas’ long-term status with the team is in question, taking a player like Treylon Burks would give New Orleans a potential number one receiver or great number two to give Jameis Winston. 

17. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins (10-7)): Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern

Somehow this offseason the Philadelphia Eagles managed to sign Anthony Harris to a contract for one year $5 million. The Eagles could take ballhawk Brandon Joseph to replace him next year and going forward. 

18. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks (11-6)): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The New York Jets cornerback group may be the least talented position group in the entire league. They could take Kaiir Elam in the first round with Seattle’s first-round pick to give them a legitimate cornerback to cover the talented receivers in their division.

19. Denver Broncos (10-7): Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

The Denver Broncos appear to be the favorite to land Aaron Rodgers in the offseason, but cannot bank on it until the trade is official. Strong arm quarterback Carson Strong would be a perfect fit for Denver as their franchise going forward. 

20. Dallas Cowboys (10-7): Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

After addressing defense early and often in last year’s draft Dallas’ defensive rebuild isn’t entirely over. Dallas could take edge rusher Myjai Sanders to give DeMarcus Lawerence some help rushing the quarterback. 

21. Arizona Cardinals (11-6): Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

The combination of Patrick Peterson leaving in free agency and the sudden retirement of Malcolm Butler has opened up a gaping hole on this roster at cornerback. Derion Kendrick’s skillset feels like a perfect fit in Arizona and his addition would move Byron Murphy back to the slot where he is a lot more comfortable. 

22. Miami Dolphins (via San Fransisco 49ers (11-6)): Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

A shocking cut Miami made this year was linebacker Bernardrick McKinney who they acquired from Houston in a trade with the Houston Texans for Shaq Lawson. Miami could take their third former Alabama Crimson Tide player in the first round in three years in linebacker Christian Hill to fortify their front seven and run defense.

23. Las Vegas Raiders (13-4): Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

Since Mike Mayock has taken over as the general manager for the Las Vegas Raiders they have become completely unpredictable in the first round. Tyler Linderbaum would be a safe pick to help improve this offensive line that had three starters from last season traded away. 

24. Los Angeles Chargers (13-4): Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

Through three weeks it appears that Los Angeles is ready to compete in AFC. Since both Uchenna Nwosu and Kyler Fackrell are free agents this offseason the Chargers could take local prospect Drake Jackson in the first round to fill their void opposite Joey Bosa. 

25. Tennessee Titans (11-6): Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington

The Tennessee Titans’ secondary and offensive line has been exposed early as the team’s biggest weaknesses on their roster. Jaxson Kirkland is a nasty offensive lineman who is versatile to play either right tackle or guard wherever they don’t play 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz. 

26. Carolina Panthers (12-5): Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Carolina appears to be a playoff contender after going undefeated after the first three weeks. One glaring need on this roster is at the offensive line which could be addressed with small school prospect Trevor Penning who has been shooting up draft boards in recent weeks. 

27. Green Bay Packers (13-4): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

This offseason has the potential to have some major roster changes this offseason including trading away 2020-21 MVP Aaron Rodgers and figuring out what to do with Davante Adams. If the Packers trade away Adams (on a franchise tag) or let him walk in free agency they could add wide receiver Garrett Wilson to try to fill the void against who many believe is the best receiver in the NFL. 

28. Cleveland Browns (15-2): Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

The Cleveland Browns have one of the most complete teams in the league and could contend for a Super Bowl this year. They may have to take an edge rusher early in next year’s draft to replace Jadeveon Clowney if they cannot afford him after Baker Mayfield’s extension. 

29. Detriot Lions (via Los Angeles Rams (14-3)): Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

Even though the Lions are thin at wide receiver, it doesn’t seem like a position Dan Campbell and this new regime would address early in the draft. They could add linebacker-hybrid Brandon Smith who could develop into one of the best defensive players on their roster. 

30. Buffalo Bills (14-3): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The Buffalo Bills have invested three top-61 picks on defensive lineman over the last two seasons. They can potentially spend another one on their defensive front in Jordan Davis to improve the interior of their defensive line and to give them insurance in case Ed Oliver extension talks get uncomfortable.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (13-4): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Over the first few weeks, Kansas City has played sloppy at times which has made them look mortal. They could address a need they have had at cornerback by taking Trent McDuffie in the first round. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4): Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

Even after a Week 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay should still be considered Super Bowl favorites. They may take raw defensive tackle prospect Perrion Winfrey in the first round to replace veteran Ndamukong Suh who will be a free agent this offseason. 

Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux can really be the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft

Oregon’s Kavyon Thiodeaux has elite potential

By: Chris Thomas

Even though the 2022 NFL Draft is months away it is never too early to speculate about who could go first overall. Two weeks into the college football season it appears that a non-quarterback may go first overall since Myles Garrett was drafted in 2017. Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the consensus #1 non-quarterback prospect. He is also thought of by many as the potential number one prospect of this entire draft. Here is why Thibodeaux could be the first overall pick in the draft in late April. 

Lack of premier quarterback talent

An NFL Draft class is defined by its quarterbacks. Over the last couple of seasons, it feels like there has been a premier quarterback prospect that has been on top of the class and went first overall. After the first two weeks of the college football season, none of the speculated upon top quarterback prospects have been over impressive. Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler had a brutal debut where he threw only one touchdown and two interceptions against Tulane. Oklahoma barely won that game. North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell had an even worse season debut against Virginia Tech. Howell threw for only 208 yards and one touchdown. He finished the game with three interceptions as well. Both quarterbacks bounced back in their second games of the season, but at this rate, none have looked like a first overall pick quarterback. The standard a quarterback must reach to be taken first overall for it to be worth it is Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow, and Trevor Lawerence.

Recently there have been a couple of quarterbacks that have gone first overall that was not worth the selection. Some of these quarterbacks aren’t considered busts but during their respective predraft processes other non-quarterbacks were considered better prospects and turned out to be much better than the quarterbacks taken first overall. Those quarterbacks are Baker Mayfield and Jared Goff. Both are solid starters but both the Browns and Rams had better options available. Cleveland could have drafted Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, or Bradley Chubb with the first pick in 2018. All three of which are considered more talented than Mayfield, when healthy. Then the Rams showed they regretted trading up for Goff in 2016 when they packaged him with two first-round picks to Detriot for Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles could have drafted Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey, Ronnie Stanley, DeForest Buckner, or Laremy Tunsil with the first overall pick. 

This draft class is shaping up to be similar to the latter where there may be multiple non-quarterback prospects who could end up being better than the quarterbacks in this class. Whoever lands the first overall pick may want to learn from the previous mistakes of those teams and take the best player available which is Thibodeaux.

Production

Kayvon Thibodeaux is the number one edge rusher in a loaded edge rusher class. He isn’t just the number one edge rusher prospect in the draft class like Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb, or Dante Fowler Jr. Right now he is spoken about above the likes of Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, and Chase Young who were elite pass rusher prospects in their respective drafts. Thibodeaux has been placed in the same tier as Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett who were no doubt first overall picks in their respective draft class. He has been placed in that tier of player for good reason. 

During his first season at Oregon, Thibodeaux had 9 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. PFF gave him a 79.9 grade that season which was the best in the Pac-12 and ten points higher than any other freshman edge rusher in the Power Five. In seven games last season Thibodeaux had 3 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. Already this season Thibodeaux has a sack and forced fumble in one game played. He earned an 87.2 PFF grade for his sophomore season.

This is a player who has dominated college football over the last three seasons. Scouts have anticipated this season because Thibodeaux is now eligible for the draft. From what he has shown on the field, he is the type of player that scouts love the opportunity to analyze and potentially add to their roster. 

Multiple #1 pick contenders have a young quarterback

In a decent amount of cases when a team drafts a quarterback that team usually doesn’t improve dramatically from where they finished the season before. These are teams who selected quarterbacks early in recent drafts could be picking near the top of the draft and be in the range of this year’s top quarterbacks. These teams include the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and Cincinnati Bengals. They are a few teams who could be in range to select a quarterback in this upcoming draft but should be content enough with their quarterback play to not consider selecting another one early this year, especially in a potentially weak quarterback class. 

Other teams like the Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Detriot Lions, and Las Vegas Raiders have a great enough quarterback in house to pass on a quarterback. Also, the Houston Texans have shown in recent history that they are willing to take a pass rusher first overall went they have to choose between an elite one and a quarterback from a weak class (Mario Williams 2006 & Jadeveon Clowney 2014). Since they took Davis Mills in the third round it is likely they want to give him a shot to be the team’s potential QB1 before taking one in the first round. 

All of the teams listed could potentially land the first overall pick. If they land it they would likely have to choose between trading down to a quarterback-needy team or taking the draft’s best prospect Kayvon Thibodeaux.

2022 NFL mock draft is here

How will the 2022 NFL draft play out?

By: Tim Rodriguez

We are one week into the 2021 NFL season and hope is still in the air for all 32 franchises. However, it is necessary to be realistic in these times. It was wildly entertaining to see the Detroit Lions, a team that is obviously in rebuilding mode, battle back against a talented 49ers squad and make it a hotly contested game towards the end, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the Lions are ready to punch their ticket to the postseason. Fanbases like the Lions’ should be turning their attention to the 2022 NFL draft, chock full of questions at quarterback and intriguing defensive talent. 

{Pick 1} Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma 

There is no safe option at quarterback in the 2022 class. They all have their question marks. The one with the highest upside, however, may be Oklahoma’s, Spencer Rattler. Rattler certainly has issues with consistency and decision-making but has all of the necessary traits to justify taking him at number one overall. If Detroit is uncomfortable with the questions surrounding this quarterback crop, they have the draft capital to push this decision to 2023. 

{Pick 2} Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Jacksonville Jaguars made the ultimate investment in Trevor Lawrence this April. It’s high time to start protecting that investment. With offensive tackle Cam Robinson and A.J. Caan entering free agency and veterans Brandon Linder and Andrew Norwell continuing to age, right tackle Jawaan Taylor may be the only player on their current offensive line starting in a year. A 6’7”, 350 pound-force, Alabama’s Evan Neal is a battering ram who plays with exceptional power and would be a great option to protect Trevor Lawrence’s blindside for the next decade. 

{Pick 3} Houston Texans: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada 

It is time to give up on the Deshaun Watson dream. Aside from the incredibly disturbing accusations levied against him recently, Watson has made it clear he will not be playing in Houston. The Texans should be looking to move forward without their disgruntled star. Should they be moving forward with Nevada’s Carson Strong; they would be getting a strong-armed pocket passer with the ability to do everything asked of him, including escaping the pocket to make a play off-script. If Houston is able to acquire picks and/or players for Watson, they could use that capital to build an offensive line for Strong. 

{Pick 4} Atlanta Falcons: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

No quarterback? Whoever new general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith select to replace future Hall of Famer will define their tenure in Atlanta. There is no need to rush that decision and reach for a player with question marks they are uncomfortable with. Liberty’s Malik Willis and Ole Miss’ Matt  Corral may end up being talented players, but with the rebuild kicking off, the Falcons should push this decision to next year and select an elite prospect at a premier position. Thibodeaux, a freak athlete coming off the edge, has the burst and explosiveness to be an elite speed rusher and be the cornerstone of a defense that is getting a makeover with new coordinator Dean Pees.

{Pick 5} New York Jets: Kaair Elam, CB, Florida 

The cornerback room in New York may be the worst in the NFL by a mile. With some promising talent at safety, the Jets should be looking to complement those players with a shutdown corner. With an excellent length and ball skills, Elam feels like a cornerback that head coach Robert Saleh would be pounding the table for. After going with an offensive heavy approach in 2021, it is time for the Jets to bolster their defense. 

{Pick 6} Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Eagles are another team that has the draft capital to be creative with how they handle the quarterback position. With Jalen Hurts trying to prove that he’s a franchise quarterback and multiple other picks, the Eagles, at least in September, can opt to take the player who may be the best player in the class. Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton is a player that makes you throw away positional value. A 6’4” safety with the range to boot, Hamilton is going to be a force in the NFL on the back end. 

{Pick 7} New York Giants: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty 

Should the Giants actually be picking in the top ten, there will be plenty of changes coming for “Big Blue”. General manager Dave Gettleman will likely be gone, along with his former first round pick quarterback Daniel Jones. Head coach Joe Judge would likely get a “hot seat” year in 2022, meaning he would also change at least one coordinator, most likely offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The Giants would have explosive athletes in tow with Kadarius Toney, Darius Slayton and Saquan Barkley, with some other nice offensive pieces. With that being said, why not add an explosive athlete at quarterback? Liberty’s Malik Willis brings next-level athletics and improving mechanics. 

{Pick 8} Las Vegas Raiders: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M 

Regardless of the Raiders record, Jon Gruden will still be the head coach. However, if they are picking in the top ten, he may be working with a new general manager. With the offensive line getting ripped to shreds last off-season and the inevitable retirement of Richie Incognito, this feels like a no-brainer here. In 2021, the Raiders selected Alex Leatherwood, who can play guard or tackle. Kenyon Green has played guard and has recently been kicked out to right tackle. Las Vegas would be able to have them compete at tackle and then play the “loser” at guard. 

{Pick 9} Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Booth Jr, CB, Clemson

The Bengals are still looking for some long-term answers at the cornerback position. Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton are great short term options, but the room could certainly use an influx of young talent. Clemson’s Andrew Booth has all of the potential to be a top-tier boundary corner for the Bengals. In the second round of 2020, when they needed an offensive lineman, the Bengals selected a receiver. They did the same thing in 2021 with the fifth overall pick. The Bengals have shown that they prioritize the outside. 

{Pick 10} Chicago Bears: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Justin Fields will be the man in Chicago eventually. When that happens, it will be on the Bears front office to surround him with talent. They also may be afforded a high draft pick as some rookie growing pains may cause the Bears to lose some winnable games. With star receiver Allen Robinson making it evident he wants out, the Bears will likely need to add a receiver to the room. The Bengals, Dolphins, and Eagles all gave their young quarterbacks their former teammates with first-round receivers. The Bears can elect to do the same with Ohio State’s Chris Olave, one of the smoothest receivers to come out in recent years.

5 “under the radar” 2022 NFL draft prospects

The college TE group is very impressive

By: Tim Rodriguez

The NFL draft really is something to marvel at. The process, which begins about eleven months prior to draft day, is constantly in flux. Some of the players that are “first-round picks” in the summer, find themselves falling all the way until day three. The draft is a fluid process, and scouting in itself is so subjective that seeing drastically different opinions on players is not uncommon. With that, risers and fallers are natural. However, there are always some prospects who seem to slip through the cracks in summer scouting, but find themselves in first and second-round mock drafts by the time March and April roll around. Whether that be injury history clearing up, finally breaking out in college, or a positive combine performance, mock drafts vary in the span of eleven months. With the 2022 NFL draft just eight short months away, who could be this year’s Jaelan Phillips, Zach Wilson, or Terrace Marshall?

George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue 

Purdue’s George Karlaftis burst onto the scene as a Freshman in 2019 with 7.5 sacks and finds himself in many first-round mock drafts going into his junior year. Karlaftis lost most of his sophomore year to injury. Had he not been injured in 2020, we may have seen him put even better sack and pressure numbers. A rare blend of strength and athleticism makes Karlaftis a tantalizing prospect. As Karlaftis gears up for an extremely important 2021 season with the Boilermakers, his 2019 film indicates a healthy Karlaftis can be a top 15 pick. The tweet below (via Ben Glassmire) is a great example of the type of player an NFL would be getting with Karlaftis.

Grayson McCall, QB, Coastal Carolina

Ah, the 2022 quarterback class. It makes no sense. For the most part, everyone agrees that Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler has the best chance to hear his name called first, but it’s rather confusing after that. After names like Malik Willis and Carson Strong, there is a long list of guys with massive question marks. One of those is Grayson McCall, the breakout star for Coastal Carolina in 2020. As a redshirt Freshman, McCall was efficient and showed the ability to make plays with his feet. With a full off-season and a bonafide weapon in tight end Isaiah Likely, McCall has an opportunity to be a riser if he declares in 2022. 

The entire tight end class 

There may not be a Kyle Pitts in the class, but there is a massive amount of talent and depth at the position in 2022. It may all start with Alabama’s Jahleel Billingsley but continues on with Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely, Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert, and many more after. A surprise riser may be SMU’s Grant Calcaterra, who is back after medically retiring following an injury-riddled career at Oklahoma. The 2022 class may end up producing more quality tight ends than 2021. As the tight end position grows in college football, classes like 2020 appear to be an anomaly.

Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State 

Yes, Joey Porter’s son is draft eligible. You are old. Moving past that, the younger Porter is one of the more intriguing cornerback prospects this year. As a redshirt sophomore, there’s no guarantee that Porter declares, and it may be wiser to stay as the 2022 cornerback class is chock full of talent, pushing him down the board. He has a great chance to shine on a Penn State defense that features NFL-caliber players at every level. With tremendous length and size, Porter will certainly be on NFL radars after being thrust into a starting role midway through the 2020 season. 

Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota 

This mountain of a man-made headlines for the Gophers when people started to realize how absolutely massive he is. Previously standing at 6’8”, 400 pounds, Minnesota offensive tackle Faalele is without a doubt the largest player in the draft. However, there were questions about whether or not he could play in the NFL at that weight. He has since lost at least 30 pounds and continues to drop to a more realistic weight. If Faalele puts out some good tape in 2021, he is going to shoot up draft boards.

Falcons QB targets in the 2022 NFL Draft

Who is Falcons QB of the future?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

Times are changing in Atlanta for the Falcons. They have started the process of moving on from the “Matt Ryan Era” and into a new future. Two major moves were made by the organization this offseason to indicate that the time has come to move forward. First, they hired a brand new head coach in Arthur Smith, who is a young and innovative offensive-minded coach. A move like this usually means a new QB is soon to follow and that is probably what will happen with the Falcons. They do not have a real replacement yet for the 36-year-old Matt Ryan, so that will likely be the number one focus in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The young options that they do have on the roster, Josh Rosen and Felipe Franks, are less than inspiring to say the least while AJ McCarron has proven to be no more than a solid backup in his career. When an organization brings in a young and exciting head coach, it only seems right to allow him to seek out a young and exciting quarterback to pair with him. The Draft is the best place to do that, especially considering the Falcons will likely have a top 10 pick this year. The rebuild has already started, and is signaled by the second major move they made this offseason. That is of course trading their superstar wide receiver, and probably the best WR in the NFL over the last decade, in Julio Jones. All of that being said, here is who the Falcons can target at QB in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

Oklahoma and the Lincoln Reilly offensive system have been a factory for quarterbacks in recent years, producing first overall picks and Heisman Trophy winners in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Next up is Spencer Rattler and he has all of the tools to follow in their footsteps. He is the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and is projected to have a huge season with the Sooners. He had a solid 2020 season passing for 3031 yards and 28 touchdowns while also rushing for an additional six touchdowns. He is a very high upside prospect, especially coming from this program that has proven they can develop NFL-ready quarterbacks. If Rattler lives up to his expectations he very well may command the first overall pick in the draft, which is unlikely to be the Falcons pick. If he falls a bit, or Atlanta trades up, Rattler would be a very intriguing pairing for head coach Arthur Smith.

Malik Willis, Liberty

Willis is an incredible athlete with extreme raw talent and has some of the highest upside of any player in the entire country. He fits the modern-day style of NFL quarterback with his true dual-threat ability. In the 2020 season, he threw for 2250 yards with 20 touchdowns and added an additional 944 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Of course, playing at Liberty means that he is not exactly going against the toughest of competition, but those types of numbers are extremely impressive regardless. Arthur Smith is a creative offensive mind and a talent like Willis would open up endless possibilities for schemes and designs. It would be an exciting opportunity for Smith and an ideal situation for Willis, especially considering the Falcons have a reputation for being very patient with the growth of their coaches and key players. If all things play out the way they “should” than this is an ideal match.

Sam Howell, North Carolina

In two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Tar Heels, Howell has passed for 7227 yards with 68 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. Many scouts believe that he is the best pure pocket passer available with the best arm talent in the country. While he is less dangerous with his legs than some of the other quarterback options, he is still mobile enough to roll out of the pocket and make things happen on the move. He has the “typical build for a quarterback” at 6’1 and 220 pounds with elite accuracy and very respectable throwing power. He is still only 20 years old so he can realistically still get even bigger and can definitely improve his game and raise his rating as a prospect even higher than it already is. Like Rattler, Howell is an early candidate for the Heisman and for the first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Arthur Smith would be excited to work with Howell if he ends up in Atlanta.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Top 10 Picks

2022 NFL Mock draft is here

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

It’s never too early to start planning for the NFL Draft. The 2021 football season is quickly approaching, for both college and professional, so it’s about time to start looking at preseason projections. Much can change during the course of a season, and almost always does, but this 2022 NFL mock draft will be based on expectations. The two main things to consider when making this list are the draft order based on projected team record and what kind of season the top college prospects will have. All things considered, here are the top ten picks of a preseason 2022 NFL mock draft.

1. Houston Texans: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

The Houston Texans are an absolute mess heading into the 2021 NFL season and much of that has to do with superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson. Between his ongoing legal issues that came up this offseason, paired with the fact that he wants to be traded, it is unknown if or when he will even play this year. If he doesn’t play the Texans will almost definitely be the worst team in the NFL and still could be even if he does play. Despite Watson leading the NFL in passing in 2020 with 4823 yards the Texans still only finished with four wins. It’s time to completely start over and rebuild in Houston. That process has already started with a new general manager and head coach so the quarterback should be next on the list.

Oklahoma and the Lincoln Reilly offensive system have been a factory for quarterbacks in recent years, producing first overall picks and Heisman Trophy winners in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Next up is Spencer Rattler and he has all of the tools to follow in their footsteps. He is the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and is projected to have a huge season with the Sooners. He had a solid 2020 season passing for 3031 yards and 28 touchdowns while also rushing for an additional six touchdowns. If all goes as expected, he will be the number one pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by Houston.

2. Detroit Lions: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

Like the Texans, it’s rebuilding time for the Detroit Lions as well. They went through many changes this offseason including hiring a new general manager and head coach while also trading away franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and a package of draft picks. It seems unlikely that Goff is their future plan at quarterback so they will probably look to the draft for an answer. With how weak their current roster construction is, they should be selecting very high and will have the opportunity to take one of the top quarterback prospects in Sam Howell.

In two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Tar Heels, Howell has passed for 7227 yards with 68 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. Many scouts believe that he is the best pure pocket passer available with the best arm talent in the country. While he is less dangerous with his legs than some of the other quarterback options, he is still mobile enough to roll out of the pocket and make things happen on the move. A big season in 2021 for Howell will put him right in the mix to be a top selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

3. New York Jets: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

The Jets are a team that has already started a rebuild of their own, bringing in a new head coach this offseason and drafting their quarterback Zach Wilson at second overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. They are making progress in roster construction but they aren’t quite there yet so another high draft pick is likely coming this year. Here they will get the opportunity to select one of the best overall players in the country in Thibodeaux, who has 12 sacks and 23.5 TFL in his two seasons so far. He will improve their pass rush immediately, pairing up with newly signed Carl Lawson, and make their defense better as a whole. Their new defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh would be thrilled to add this type of player to the roster.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Derek Stingley Jr, LSU

The Eagles have been rebuilding their offense in recent years, filling it with a ton of young talent such as QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, WR Jalen Reagor, and WR DeVonta Smith. It’s now time to start focusing on the future of the defense. Stingley is not only the top cornerback prospect in the draft but one of the best overall players too. In two seasons he has recorded six interceptions and is widely classified as a lockdown corner with elite athleticism. LSU is notorious for producing good defensive backs, such as Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, so Stingley is hopeful to be the next one in line. He has all of the tools to be an NFL starter from day one and would be a great tandem next to Darius Slay in Philly.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: DB Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

It’s a new era in Jacksonville now that they have a generational talent at quarterback with rookie Trevor Lawrence and an exciting new head coach in college legend Urban Meyer. The combination of the two, along with a very young and talented roster, provides a ton of optimism for a bright future. This is probably not the year where it all comes together for the Jags quite yet, so they will likely still have a very high draft pick. This gives them a great opportunity to select a uniquely elite talent on defense in Hamilton. He is a super-utility defensive back who can contribute in a wide variety of ways. He will help in just about every area of defense with no holes at all in his game. In terms of skill set and usage, he is a similar style of a player as Derwin James. If he can produce like Derwin, he is an excellent building block for any defense in the entire NFL.

6. Atlanta Falcons: QB Malik Willis, Liberty

The Falcons are yet another team that is now rebuilding. This offseason they hired a young and exciting new head coach in Arthur Smith and traded away veteran WR Julio Jones. Current QB Matt Ryan will be 37 years old when the 2022 NFL Draft arrives so it is time to start thinking about the future of the most important position in Atlanta. Willis is an elite athlete with extreme raw talent and has some of the highest upside of any player in the entire country. He fits the modern-day style of NFL quarterback with his true dual-threat ability. In the 2020 season, he threw for 2250 yards with 20 touchdowns and added an additional 944 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Smith is a progressive and new school style of coach so a player like Willis may really get him excited. This would be an interesting pairing to watch with unlimited creative potential if it works out.

7. New York Giants: EDGE Drake Jackson, USC

With head coach Joe Judge in charge, the Giants have shown that they are going to focus on defense as a priority. They are already solid in the secondary with players like James Bradberry and Logan Ryan while they look to improve their pass rush by trading for Leonard Williams and drafting Azeez Ojulari. They can continue to make progress in this department with one of the top-ranked EDGE prospects in Jackson. He looks the part at 6’4 and 255 pounds with good athleticism and a consistently improving skill set. There are good signs that he will continue to develop and polish his game as he further matures. In 17 games played at USC, he has totaled 7.5 sacks and 17 TFL.

8. Cincinnati Bengals: OL Evan Neal, Alabama

The Bengals have really built a young and talented offense of the future in Cincinnati. Two years ago they selected QB Joe Burrow with the first overall pick and also took WR Tee Higgins, who had a very impressive rookie season. In the 2021 NFL Draft, they went with a WR again in Ja’Marr Chase with their first pick, who was the favorite target of Burrow when they played together at LSU. Now that Burrow has the weapons he needs on offense, it’s time for the organization to focus on protecting him at all costs. Neal is currently the highest rated offensive line prospect and should be an easy pick for the Bengals if he is available when they are on the clock. He has the ability to play either guard or tackle and will look to join a very long list of successful Alabama offensive lineman at the NFL level.

9. Las Vegas Raiders: LB Christian Harris, Alabama

It seems like it’s always been an adventure in recent years when the Raiders are on the clock. By most standards, they have often “reached” with their selections and have been overall unpredictable about the way they are trying to build the roster of this team. It almost feels like a sort of randomness at times from owner Mark Davis, GM Mike Mayock, and HC Jon Gruden on draft day. Some of these selected players by the Raiders in the first round in recent years that qualify for this label are Clelin Ferrell, Damon Arnette, Henry Ruggs, and Alex Leatherwood. The one thing that all of these players have in common is that they come from the very top college programs in the country. Maybe they stick with that trend and select the top LB prospect, who happens to be from Alabama, but who really knows when it comes to the Raiders.

10. Carolina Panthers: EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue

The Panthers are well aware that they need to improve on the defensive side of the ball and they began working on it by selecting CB Jaycee Horn with their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It’s a good start to the process, but the main thing they really need now is more of a pass rush. In the 2020 season, they ranked 24th in the NFL with just 29 total sacks on the season. Karlaftis is a solid all-around player who could immediately help them in this category. In his freshman season in 2019, he recorded an impressive 7.5 sacks and 17 TFL across 12 games played. Unfortunately, a frustrating 2020 season filled with injuries and Covid issues only allowed for him to play in two games, but he still did find a way to add two more sacks to his career total. He is looking to have a big season in 2021 now that he is fully healthy again and is definitely a player to keep an eye on because of his great potential at a prime position.

Which three QBs could break into the first round in 2022

Tyler Shough could be a first round QB

By: Jeremy Trottier

The last two NFL Drafts have had quarterbacks who came out of nowhere and become top two picks in their class.  In 2020 it was Joe Burrow, who after a phenomenal senior season became the number one pick in his class, and in 2021 it was Zach Wilson who went number two in his class.  This trend could definitely continue into the 2022 draft class, as there is a huge amount of quarterbacks who have large amounts of potential in this class.  In this article, I will be going over three quarterbacks who have somewhat gone under the radar so far who could break out in a big way in 2022 and improve their draft stock drastically.

Jayden Daniels – Arizona State University

One of the most explosive and fun to watch quarterbacks in all of college football right now is junior Jayden Daniels out of Arizona State University.  After a down 2020 season since ASU only played four games, he likely will be looking to bounce back to his freshman form to prove he is worth a high draft pick.  His 2019 freshman stats looked like this:

  • 12 games played
  • 205 completions on 338 attempts (60.7% completion)
  • 2,943 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 149.2 passer efficiency rating
  • 125 rushing attempts, 355 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns

His versatility as a dual threat QB really started to show in the 2020 season however, averaging 6.8 yards per rushing attempt and 4 rushing touchdowns in only 4 games, as well as 223 yards on 33 attempts, showing his effectiveness as well.  If he can continue this rushing success into the next season and improve his passing accuracy slightly he could be an elite prospect for the 2022 class.

Tyler Shough – Texas Tech

Next, we have a quarterback who transferred this offseason from Oregon to Texas Tech in Tyler Shough.  The 6’5” 221 pound QB has an amazing frame for a quarterback and is exactly what you would want to see at the position.  With very good arm strength and the occasional burst of mobility, he could definitely take it to the next level on his new team.  

The Oregon Ducks replacement for Justin Herbert after the 2020 Draft had a solid season, putting up 1,559 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions on a 63.5% completion rate, in only seven games played due to PAC-12 regulations.  On a new team with new coaching and likely a full seasons worth of games started, he could have the chance to turn into one of the top quarterbacks in the class if his efficiency translates over more passing attempts.

Michael Penix Jr. – Indiana University

Finally, to wrap things up, we have Michael Penix Jr. out of Indiana University.  After 2019 and 2020 seasons that were both pretty solid, we should be looking for more passing accuracy out of Michael over anything right now.  He has had back-to-back seasons with 1300+ yards and double-digit TDs with four interceptions each season and has only played in six games each year due to the Big Ten minimum.  With that said, we could expect Indiana to play more than six games this season with COVID-19 protocols starting to be removed slowly.

One of the most amazing things of Michael’s game is his ability to hold out under pressure, he will stand in the pocket with someone rushing at him and stand firm for an extra second just to get the ball out into an open window rather than forcing it.  His passes are sharp and clean, and very fast to get to the receiver, very rarely floating any.  Overall, he could definitely turn up for the 2021-2022 season and become a blue chip prospect. 

Full first round 2022 NFL Mock Draft

The first round 2022 Mock Draft is here

The 2022 NFL draft class displays rare talent at the quarterback, running back, and wide receiver position. There are also numerous 2022 defensive prospects that could be future defensive players of the year. With the NFL and CFB season approaching, it’s enticing to know where the prospects stand among the NFL eyes. With that said, I’m going to untwine a full two 2022 NFL Mock draft and project where each prospect should land. Let’s begin.

  1. Detroit Lions – Kavyon Thibodeaux 

The Lions will rebuild the team the right way. The Lions showed a franchise worst defense in 2020. Expect things to majorly turn around with this draft pick.

  1. Houston Texans – Derek Stingley Jr. 

The Texans opt to not go QB after already carrying a young QB amid a disastrous roster. Stingley will be the next Patrick Peterson, not a rookie version of Jeffery Okudah. 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justyn Ross

The Jaguars reach for an elite wideout so Trevor Lawrence can take the next step in his career. Justyn Ross can be a special and safe player.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Spencer Rattler

Many Philadelphia fans are eager to see Jalen Hurts grow in the system. Hurts can be a quality QB, but Philly is gifted a decade like talent with Rattler at No. four. 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Kyle Hamilton 

The Bengals select the top player available at number five. Kyle Hamilton is the perfect pick for a team in countless shootouts.

  1. New Orleans Saints (trade with NYJ) – Sam Howell

The New England Patriots picked Mac Jones to replace Tom Brady and now the Saints find their “long term” QB with the pick of Sam Howell. Winston’s ceiling isn’t impressive and Hill isn’t the answer, so Sean Payton makes the aggressive trade to acquire Howell.

  1. New York Giants – Evan Neal 

The Giants are still average at best on the OL. Daniel Jones should be in the Big Apple for at least one more season. A fantastic offensive lineman will help Barkley and Jones evolve their careers. 

  1. Atlanta Falcons – Kaiir Elam 

The Falcons clearly see a few quality years left out of Matt Ryan. They elect to go with a position of need (CB) and aim to win more shootouts in 2022. 

  1. Denver Broncos – Drake Jackson 

Von Miller won’t live forever. Drake Jackson can help create a monster pass rush rotation in Denver. Mahomes will need to be stopped at all costs.

  1.  New York Giants – Christian Harris

Joe Judge finds his leader on defense with MLB Christian Harris. The improving defensive unit takes a step closer to elite with this draft pick.

  1.  Washington Football Team – Isaiah Spiller 

A surprise pick at number 11. I believe Ron Rivera wants to ground and pound his way to another Super Bowl appearance. Spiller and Gibson would edge out Cleveland for the best 1-2 punch at the RB position. 

  1.  Las Vegas Raiders – Chris Olave 

Henry Ruggs may improve, but it’s not foreseen that he will be an elite talent. Chris Olave can be the franchise number one WR, which they’ve desperately missed. 

  1.  Carolina Panthers – Carson Strong 

Sam Darnold will likely be a step ahead of Teddy Bridgewater and a step below Pro Bowl caliber. It would be wise to acquire a young, talented QB to compete with Darnold in the brutal NFC South. 

  1.  Minnesota Vikings – Treylon Burks

Adam Thielen is no longer the Adam Thielen we’re accustomed to seeing. The Minnesota Vikings pass on a QB to grab a true complement to Justin Jefferson at wideout. 

  1.  Arizona Cardinals – DeMarvin Leal 

The Cardinals continue to bulk up the defense, particularly on the aging defensive line. DeMarvin Leal is the perfect pick and could be a speculator plugger at DT right away. 

  1.  Pittsburgh Steelers – D’Eriq King

D’Eriq King shows a lot of similarities between himself and Big Ben. King can be the QB to step in right away and utilize the elite WR talent to its fullest. 

  1.  New England Patriots – Garrett Wilson

Belichick grew weary of avoiding skill weapons for TB12. With Mac Jones in town, he continues to bulk up the weapons for the young talent. 

  1.  LA Chargers – Sevyn Banks

The Chargers get a unique talent at CB spot to pair with Derwin James in the secondary. 

  1.  Dallas Cowboys – Zach Harrison 

The Cowboys add a talented edge player out of Ohio State to continue building the front seven. 

  1.  Philadelphia Eagles – Ahmad Gardner 

Darius Slay won’t remain in Philly beyond a couple more seasons. Ahmad Gardner can be a quality chess piece for a defense that will lose numerous pieces in the next couple of seasons. 

  1.  Tennessee Titans – Aidan Hutchinson 

Aidan Hutchinson can be the true replacement for Jurrell Casey.  

  1.  Indianapolis Colts – Kedon Slovis

Carson Wentz could score lots of points next season, but his injury issues and inconsistencies are too much to be underlooked. Kedon Slovis could be the best backup available and a potential starter down the road.

  1.  New York Jets – Jalen Wydermyer 

Chris Herndon hasn’t been the slightest of spectacular. He should remain on the roster, but the Jets could use an upgrade at TE for Zach Wilson. Wydermyer could help an excellent TE duo form in the Big Apple. 

  1.  New York Jets (trade with NO) – Breece Hall 

The Jets could have a superb rushing attack for years to come with Michael Carter and now Breece Hall. 

  1.  Cleveland Browns – Drake London

The Browns can’t roll the dice forever with Odell Beckham. Jarvis Landry is reliable, but not a WR that can put up multiple 150+ yard games in a season. Drake London is the perfect addition to the Baker Mayfield offense. 

  1. Miami Dolphins – Kyren Williams 

The Dolphins went out and acquired Jaylen Waddle this offseason. It’s now time to get the franchise RB. 

  1.  Baltimore Ravens – Isaiah Likely

The Ravens add on weaponry for Lamar Jackson by drafting TE Isaiah Likely. Likely can help out the run and pass game. 

  1.  Detroit Lions – Matt Coral 

The Lions go with the top prospect number one overall then follow back with a QB that could beat Jared Goff for the starting job right away. 

  1.  Green Bay Packers – Zay Williams 

The Packers opt to draft a WR after Aaron Rodgers exits the building. 

  1.  Buffalo Bills – Eric Gray

The Bills didn’t get the Clemson star halfback in the 2021 draft, so they wait until 2022 to get a RB that can eat up the clock against the Chiefs in future championships. 

  1.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marvin Mims

The Bucs are stacked at the WR position, but AB will be gone after 2021 and they have a Super Bowl window open for a few more years. Garrett Wilson can be heavily involved on Day 1. 

  1.  Kansas City Chiefs – Kenyon Green

The Chiefs signed Joe Thuney in this FA period, but the right side of the line remains modest. Kenyon Green can be a great fit and potential Pro Bowl player in his rookie season.

Top 5 QBs in CFB right now

Who is the Top CFB QB right now?

The 2021 college football quarterback group entertains numerous decade like talents. There are QB prospects who yield traits that may exceed intangibles possessed by any professional signal caller. All in all, some of the current college QBs are bound to be All Pro players within the first few years of the NFL. 

  1. Spencer Rattler 

The top quarterback in the nation is surely the player that wears number 7 for the Oklahoma Sooners. Spencer Rattler was phenomenal in 2020. His 28-7 TD to INT ratio and 172 passer rating justifies the comparisons he garners to the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield. Rattler reportedly threw a pigskin 52 yards off his backfoot! 

  1. Sam Howell 

NFL fans will hope the UNC QB that gets picked in the top 10 next year has a better pro career than that of former UNC field general Mitchell Trubisky. Sam Howell tossed 38 passing touchdowns as a freshman, while possessing a 61.4 completion %. His passing numbers are the cream of the top, but his pro potential does not compare as well to Rattler’s freakish arm talent. Rattler and Howell are unquestionably the 1-2 QBs in the CFB QB rankings.

  1. D’Eriq King 

D’Eriq King, the senior QB for the Miami Hurricanes, lands at No. 3 on the list. King didn’t quite elevate his game from his 2018 season (2,982 passing yards, 36 passing TDs), but his talent remains clear. King, who stands only 5’11, looks the part of Kyler Murray, but he’s not near the same speed. King has similar arm strength and some sneaky speed to the Cardinals QB. 

  1. Matt Coral

The Ole Miss QB that also stands at a mere 6’1 is the fourth best QB in the CFB nation. Matt Coral flexed an impressive 70.9 completion percentage, while throwing 29 touchdowns to 19 interceptions. His all around talent is clear that he deserves to be a Top 5 QB prospect, but nothing is off the charts, nor does his size impress enough to edge out his competitors. Coral is still arguably the top SEC QB to enter the 2021 season.

  1. Carson Strong 

Carson Strong is a coach’s dream, but he plays for Nevada. Strong is accurate (70.1% in 2020), efficient (160.6), and he stands at 6’4. Strong also displays a strong pocket awareness and he does a superb job of letting the play develop. He does have a poor knack to rush the football when pressured, however. He will need to do a better job of handling pressure and making more plays out of nothing, if he wants to keep many NFL coaches interested. 

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Top 10 Selections

Who will be the top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft?

By: Will Baptist

The 2022 NFL regular season is still months away, and every team is holding out hope that they can make a playoff push this year. For most of the mediocre teams, the playoffs are not a reality. About halfway through the season teams will be evaluating their young talent and projecting which players will be their long term, due to their season not panning out as they had hoped.

Just to get a head start, I have projected which teams will be picking in the top 10 in the 2022 NFL Draft. It is never too early for a mock draft, and there are superstars on the horizon that can change the future of a franchise. Here is the 2022 NFL mock draft for the first 10 selections.

1. Houston Texans: QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

The uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson is looming over the Texans front office. He requested a trade, but now with all of the legal issues that he is facing, it is unclear what his future is in the NFL. This will force the Texans to draft a new franchise QB, and they should be in a prime position to do so after a tumultuous offseason. Spencer Rattler is deadly accurate and completed 67.5% of his passes in his first year as a starter. His mobility makes him an intriguing prospect and he is poised for a potential Heisman winning season at Oklahoma. If Rattler continues to grow as a leader, he could be just what the Texans need to inject life back into the organization.

2. Detroit Lions: QB Kedon Slovis, USC

The Lions will experiment with Jarred Goff under center after shipping Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams. Goff’s success was in large part due to the coaching staff and talent surrounding him, which he simply does not have in Detroit. The Lions will likely be on the market for a QB after this season, and Kedon Slovis is a perfect fit. Slovis will be starting for the third consecutive season, and he has grown dramatically in each of his first two seasons. In 18 career games thus far, he’s completed 70% of his passes for 5,423 yards and 47 touchdowns. His accuracy and arm strength will make him one of the most sought-after QBs in the draft. If he can put together another year of excellent tape, this pick is a no-brainer for an organization that needs some hope.

3. Philadelphia Eagles: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

This pick will be contingent on how successful Jalen Hurts is in his first full year as the starting QB. Assuming that Hurts struggles, the Eagles will be on the hunt for another franchise QB. Sam Howell is the third-best QB in this draft class, but he has tremendous upside. He has been the starting QB since he arrived on campus at North Carolina, and in just 25 games, he has thrown for 68 touchdowns, rushed for seven touchdowns, and thrown only 14 interceptions. The Eagles have plenty of holes on their roster, but addressing the QB position is the most important aspect of becoming a winning team in the NFL, and the Eagles should do just that.

4. New York Jets: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

The Jets new head coach, Robert Saleh, loves defense and dominant pass rushers. After signing Carl Lawson in free agency, they could still use another pass rusher to pair with him. Thibodeaux is head and shoulders above any other defensive end in this draft and is arguably the best overall player in this draft. Due to the other teams picking ahead of the Jets desperately needing a QB, they could hit the jackpot with this pick if Thibodeaux falls to them. He has freakish athleticism and strength that will translate immediately at the next level. His freshman season he was a humiliating opposing offensive lineman, and he finished with nine sacks on the year. He should be the next star pass rusher and the Jets defense will be a force if they can land him.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: OL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

The Jaguars new priority after addressing QB in the 2021 NFL Draft, will be protecting the #1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence. They have some talented offensive lineman in place but Kenyon Green would be a huge boost to their line. Green can play all over the line and should be a starter from day one. He could start at either guard position when he arrives but he has the size and talent to transition to either tackle spot if they need him to. These are the type of versatile players that the Jaguars need to draft to ensure Lawrence stays upright for the foreseeable future.

6. Atlanta Falcons: QB Malik Willis, Liberty

This year could be Matt Ryan’s last season with the Falcons, and they will need to address QB in next year’s draft. Malik Willis is from Atlanta and would be a hometown favorite as soon as he gets drafted. He is easily the most mobile and elusive QB in the draft, but also has great touch and accuracy when throwing the ball down the field. Last season at Liberty he threw for 20 touchdowns and rushed for 14 touchdowns. He averaged 8.5 yards per completion and 6.7 yards per carry. He is dynamic in the open field and has a straight-line speed that is comparable to Lamar Jackson. Willis would be an excellent fit as the Falcons attempt to get younger and build for the future.

7. Green Bay Packers: WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers relationship is fractured beyond repair, but if they feel confident in Jordan Love moving forward, they need to draft a weapon for him. It’s quite ironic because that is part of the reason Rodgers is frustrated with the Packers because they have been reluctant to spend first-round picks on skill positions. Regardless, Justyn Ross is a can’t miss prospect and the Packers could pair him with Davante Adams to have one of the most lethal WR duos in the NFL. Ross would be an excellent complement to Adams because of his size and ability to high point the ball. Love would be set up for success with such dynamic WRs, if Rodgers does end up leaving Green Bay.

8. Las Vegas Raiders: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

The Raiders have struck out the year in and year out trying to address their horrid secondary. They have spent numerous first-round picks on defensive backs that have yet to pan out. Luckily for them, Derek Stingley Jr. is undoubtedly the best defensive back in the draft and could have been a top ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft if he were eligible. Stingley is a ball hawk and grabbed six interceptions as a true freshman. He is extremely physical and has the size and speed to become one of the best cover corners in the NFL. He does not shy away from tackling bigger receivers, and he could finally turn the Raiders defense around once and for all.

9. Carolina Panthers: OL Zion Nelson, Miami

The Panthers are extremely young and have multiple needs that they need to address. After trading for Sam Darnold, they need to bolster their offensive line to make sure he doesn’t encounter the same issues he had with the Jets. Zion Nelson is arguably the best tackle in this draft class, and he could be the anchor at left tackle that the Panthers desperately need. At 6’5 and 312 pounds, he needs to continue to put on weight and build muscle, but he is already tenacious. He already has excellent footwork and quickness that will be extremely beneficial in his development.

10. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Drake Jackson, USC

The Bengals should be much improved this season if Joe Burrow can stay healthy. Depending on how their offensive line holds up, they could go with the best available offensive lineman, but their defensive line is as big of an issue. After having the worst pass rush in the NFL in 2020, they signed Trey Hendrickson to replace Carl Lawson, but that was their only big singing on that side of the ball. That should not deter them from continuing to build their defensive line by adding another excellent pass rusher. Drake Jackson has great versatility and can play all over the defensive line. He recorded 5.5 sacks in his lone year as a starter and showed flashes of becoming a force on that side of the ball. The Bengals need another lineman with Jackson’s combination of strength and quickness, so they should not hesitate to select Jackson if he is on the board.

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