In 2022, AFC Buffalo hosts the 22nd NFL Draft. The event is held at Ralph Wilson Stadium and starts with a live video feed broadcast to ESPN2 from the stadium’s 44-foot high observation deck.
The first draft pick in this year was announced on December 27th, 2020 after an arduous selection process that took two days to complete. With six total picks, each team had its own unique strategy for drafting players; some teams opted out of early round selections while others were more selective based on need or personal preference.
While they consider themselves lucky enough to have missed out on most salary cap restrictions during the offseason due to their lack of draft capital, many are looking forward into what kind of team (or individual) will be taken next by other franchises as well as anticipating which rookie undrafted free agents could make noise in training camp and preseason play where roster spots can still open up following veterans departing via free agency or retirement over these past few months..
The “nfl mock draft 2022 round 2” is a list of the winners for the NFL Draft. It includes the picks for each team in order from 1-32.
What a night it’s been. I predicted mayhem in my final Round 1 mock draft, and that didn’t seem to be the case after the first ten choices. Then we continued receiving trade after deal, and it was difficult for me to keep track of whose team was choosing where.
The NFL draft’s first round in 2022 did not disappoint. The first five choices were utilized on defensive players for the second time in draft history (1991). For the first time in the common draft period, two corners were among the first four picks. We also had nine trades on draft day, the most in a first round since 2010. (and we only got three of them last year). There was just one quarterback, by the way.
There were a few choices that I adored, as well as a couple that startled me (including one really big reach). The first-round choices I liked and didn’t like are listed below. These are based on my rankings and how I judge prospects, as well as whether clubs received value for their picks.
Return on Saturday night to see my post-draft rankings for all 32 clubs. We’ll be back on Friday for Rounds 2 and 3. (7 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC and the ESPN App).
Kiper’s final NFL draft rankings: more NFL draft coverage Answering the toughest questions from Round 1 Top 32 choices | Best available prospects
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati (No. 4), Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (No. 10) and Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State (No. 10) are the choices (No. 26)
These three choices are among my favorites. The Jets landed my top-ranked cornerback and wide receiver in the top 10, as well as a possible steal in Johnson late in the night. Gardner is going to take one side of the field and shut it down. He’s long and quick, and as a major defender in college, he didn’t allow a single score.
Wilson is just 6-foot, so he’s not a massive red-zone target like Drake London, but his long arms, jumping agility, and good body control enable him to make acrobatic receptions. Because of his ability to run after the catch, he’ll be able to assist Zach Wilson in completing simple throws. Wilson is the first receiver the Jets have drafted in the first round since Santana Moss in 2001.
Johnson slipped — he’s my 11th-best prospect — and the Jets pounced, exchanging picks 35, 69, and 163 for picks 26 and 101. I felt they may have selected him at No. 10 if the board had fallen differently, so this has been a home-run class for general manager Joe Douglas so far. And he still has a first-round selection (No. 38) on Day 2 to choose another starter.
Chris Olave, wide receiver, Ohio State (No. 11) and Trevor Penning, offensive tackle, Northern Iowa (No. 19)
It wasn’t for a quarterback that the Saints moved up five positions, handing Washington picks 16, 98, and 120. Instead, it’s evident that they believe they have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC South. New Orleans joined the receiver-on-receiver rush to capture the quick Olave, who glides past cornerbacks and makes them look foolish. As a rookie, he’s eager to make an impression.
The Saints were able to secure a starter left tackle in Penning with their other choice. I figured they’d have to trade up to get him, but he just happened to fall into their lap. Penning is a punishing and tough blocker who can fill in for Terron Armstead. General manager Mickey Loomis is off to a good start.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon (No. 5) and Evan Neal, OT, Alabama are the choices (No. 7)
“Edge” and “right tackle” were the first two words that sprang to me when I was making a list of the Giants’ most pressing needs. Even though we expected general manager Joe Schoen would flip it and take the tackle first, this is a major victory for New York. The Giants grabbed two pretty good players here after adding an additional selection from the Bears’ trade up for Justin Fields last year.
Even though he wasn’t at his best in 2021, Thibodeaux is an incredibly explosive player. He has the potential to be a star if the Giants can help him develop. During his time at Alabama, Neal started 40 games, including his junior season at right tackle. That’s where he’ll be in New York, where he’ll be flanked by Neal and Andrew Thomas, two young, promising bookends.
Kyle Hamilton (No. 14) of Notre Dame and Tyler Linderbaum (No. 14) of Iowa are the choices (No. 25)
In this draft, how about the Ravens doing Ravens things? They traded down twice, gaining crucial draft money in the process. Despite this, they were able to sign Hamilton, my No. 4 overall prospect, who runs quicker than his 4.59-second 40-yard sprint at the combine. He has the ability to create plays all over the Baltimore defense.
The Ravens’ executive management clearly didn’t like veteran wideout Marquise Brown, so they were able to trade him for a first-round selection from Arizona. And in Linderbaum, they have a starter center who can anchor their offensive line for years to come. On Day 1, Baltimore received a lot of bang for its buck.
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan, is the choice (No. 2)
It’s a success every time you can select the greatest talent in the draft at a position other than No. 1. The Lions plugged a massive need with a 6-foot-6 edge rusher who grew up 30 miles from Ford Field in Plymouth, Michigan, and attended Michigan University.
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about Hutchinson being near to his ceiling. Last season, he recorded 14 sacks, but he can still improve. At the combine, he beat Travon Walker’s 3-cone drill time, short shuttle time, and vertical leap. He’ll be an immediate contributor and a contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Round 1’s head-scratching moves
Travon Walker, DE, Georgia is the choice (No. 1)
When news got out that the Jaguars were interested in Walker, I looked back over the film to see if there was anything I was missing. Of sure, he has fascinating physical characteristics, but where were his one-on-one pass-rush victories? I just did not view him as a dominating player in any game.
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As I said in my previous mock draft, it would be exceedingly difficult for me to pass up a chance to choose a pass-rusher who recorded 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble over the course of his three-year collegiate career.
So this pick is a head-scratcher because I would have taken Hutchinson at No. 1. Walker is No. 9 on my Big Board. And as my friends at ESPN Stats & Information noted, he is the first player selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era who never made an all-conference or All-American team in college. You better get this one right, Jacksonville (and I did like the Jags trading back into Round 1 for linebacker Devin Lloyd.)
Cole Strange, G/C, Chattanooga is the choice (No. 29)
On my board, this was a major stretch. Strange had me thinking he’d make it to Round 2, but he’s not a first-round prospect. I understand that New England has a need at guard, but will Strange be able to start right away? Strange started 44 games in college and has decent technique, but this is a high ranking for a talent who ranks 69th on my Big Board.
The good thing for Bill Belichick & Co. is that they added extra capital by moving down eight spots with the Chiefs, adding pick Nos. 94 and 121.
Alabama WR Jameson Williams is the selection (No. 12)
Yes, the Lions can be a winner while simultaneously making a bizarre move. Williams is a fantastic player who would have finished in the top 10 if he hadn’t torn the ACL in his left knee in the national championship game in January. The fact that the Lions, who aren’t contenders, traded excellent selections to move up 20 places to get him is perplexing.
Detroit sent Minnesota pick Nos. 32, 34 and 66 to move to No. 12 (and added No. 46). Those are two early Round 2 picks that often become starters. Do Dan Campbell & Co. think they’re close enough to an NFC North title that they can take one chance on Day 1 instead of two at 32 and 34? The pick at 46 will help, but this is a roster that needs a lot of help. Again, I’m a fan of Williams, but he needs to be a superstar — quickly — for Detroit to justify this deal.
Quay Walker (LB, Georgia) and Devonte Wyatt (DT, Georgia) are the choices (No. 28)
You’d have a hard time understanding why Walker was picked before his Georgia colleague Nakobe Dean if you watched the Georgia footage attentively. Walker was difficult to judge since he lacked Dean’s flashy plays.
Walker is 6-foot-4 and 241 pounds, and he ran a 4.52-second 40-yard run at the combine, so the Packers are estimating his potential. I saw him put it all together in college, but I didn’t see him put it all together in high school. Walker is ranked No. 43 on my Big Board, so this was a stretch.
Green Bay passed on North Dakota State wide receiver Christian Watson, indicating that the organization believes it can improve with a veteran for Aaron Rodgers to target. Watson, I felt, would have been a perfect match.
The “mel kiper mock draft 2021” is a prediction of how the first round of the NFL Draft will go in 2022. It was created by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr.
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