The first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft will be getting underway very soon so it’s time for me to release my annual stab as to how I think Thursday night and specifically, how the first 32 selections will ultimately go.
I usually don’t bother predicting trades in these mocks. This year, however, I have one I will attempt to predict as it includes the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have had a funny feeling for most of the offseason that the Steelers will trade up in the first round to draft quarterback Malik Willis out of Liberty. I predicted such in my first Steelers mock draft of the offseason but with them going up to fifth overall. As you can imagine, that drew a lot of ire and pushback. This time I have them jumping to the Giants second first-round selection at 7th overall, a huge jump of 13 spots.
If the Steelers don’t jump to 7th overall, I could see a jump to 10 or 11 if Willis is still on the board. Personally, I only see the Steelers trading up for Willis Thursday night and thus no other player.
I find this year’s draft class as very meh overall, if we are being honest. I like the depth and quality at the wide receiver and edge positions, but not really much more. The quarterback class, and that includes the likes of Willis, is also very meh to me and not exciting at all. I understand why we are seeing reports of teams wanting to trade down in the first round on Thursday night. Maybe this willingness, if indeed true, will somehow play into the hands of the Steelers.
More than anything else, my goal is to correctly identify as many first-round selections as I can, regardless of the order, in addition to matching up as many selections as possible to the teams that do not trade out of their spot.
So, with that, here is my mock of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Feel free to add your mock of the first-round in the comments below and once again, Merry Draftmas to all of yinz. It should be a fun next few days.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Georgia EDGE Travon Walker
2. Detroit Lions – Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson
3. Houston Texans – Alabama T Evan Neal
4, New York Jets – Cincinnati CB Ahmad Gardner
5. New York Giants – North Carolina State T Ikem Ekwonu
6. Carolina Panthers – Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Giants) – Liberty QB Malik Willis
8. Atlanta Falcons – Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton
9. Seattle Seahawks – Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson II
10. New York Jets – Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson
11. Washington Commanders – USC WR Drake London
12. Minnesota Vikings – LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.
13. Houston Texans – Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux
14. Baltimore Ravens – Georgia DT Jordan Davis
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Ohio State WR Chris Olave
16. New Orleans Saints – Mississippi State T Charles Cross
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Northern Iowa T Trevor Penning
18: Philadelphia Eagles – Washington CB Trent McDuffie
19: New Orleans Saints – Alabama WR Jameson Williams
20: New York Giants (from Steelers) – EDGE George Karlaftis
21: New England Patriots – Utah ILB Devin Lloyd
22. Green Bay Packers – Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
23: Arizona Cardinals – Penn State WR Jahan Dotson
24: Dallas Cowboys – Boston College G Zion Johnson
25: Buffalo Bills – Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr.
26: Tennessee Titans – Texas A&M G Kenyon Green
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Georgia S Lewis Cine
28. Green Bay Packers – Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Michigan S Daxton Hill
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Houston EDGE Logan Hall
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Florida CB Kaiir Elam
32. Detroit Lions – Georgia ILB Nakobe Dean