NFL mock draft 2022 - NFL Nation reporters make first-round predictions

You’ve heard this is the most unforeseeable draft in years. Not even the leading choice is a provided.

You’ve checked out the current mock drafts not just from ESPN experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, however one in which they worked together.

Now it’s time for our NFL Nation press reporters to share their know-how on the 2022 NFL draft as we close in on Round 1 (8 p.m. ET, Thursday, ABC/ESPN/ESPN App).

NFL Nation press reporters played basic supervisor for the groups they cover and performed a first-round mock on Tuesday night. By completion, there were 3 quarterbacks taken — consisting of one with the last choice of the round — and 7 pass receivers, though the very first of them didn’t come till No. 10. Trades were not enabled.

Here are the complete outcomes:

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

Offensive takes on Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal and protective end Travon Walker are definitely in play here, however the Jaguars opt for the gamer who assists repair their most significant weak point: pass rush. The Jaguars sacked opposing quarterbacks 50 times over the previous 2 seasons, less than any group however the Jets (47), which’s not going to get it performed in a conference with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow … you understand. The addition of Hutchinson, who set a single-season record at Michigan with 14 sacks in 2021, implies challengers will no longer have the ability to focus on stopping DE/LB Josh Allen. — Mike DiRocco


Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

After a 3-13-1 surface, the Lions have shopping list of requirements and can enter a variety of instructions. However, at No. 2, they frantically require a video game changer. That’s what Thibodeaux will give the franchise. He’s aggressive and has an explosive primary step that can assist a Lions defense that ranked 31st in points gave up per video game (27.5). Thibodeaux tape-recorded 7 sacks throughout his junior season and was called a unanimous All-American at Oregon, where Lions right deal with Penei Sewell was his colleague. — Eric Woodyard


Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Texans may not make sure Davis Mills is their quarterback of the future, however they understand they require to safeguard him to discover. By not trading left deal with Laremy Tunsil this offseason and preparing Neal, Houston will keep 2019 first-round choice Tytus Howard at guard. The Texans’ offending line had a hard time last season, permitting 44 sacks with a 40% group pass rush win rate, according to research study by ESPN Stats & Information. Neal is ESPN’s third-ranked gamer total and began at both deal with areas and left guard at Alabama. — Sarah Barshop


Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Defensive end Travon Walker is appealing due to the fact that he plays a requirement position and his measurables are off the charts, however GM Joe Douglas sticks to his best-player-available viewpoint. Ekwonu is a safe choice with significant benefit and the capability to begin at left or right deal with. He brings lots of nasty to the running video game. The Giants do not require a take on, per se, however that might alter. Mekhi Becton is coming off knee surgical treatment and has actually fought weight problems; George Fant is getting in the last year of his agreement. This would be the 3rd straight year they take a lineman in the preliminary. Overkill? Yeah, possibly, however this is how Douglas works. — Rich Cimini

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Check out video footage from NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu as he prepares to be a leading choice in the 2022 NFL draft.


Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

With the method the board fell, the leading 2 offending takes on are gone however possibly the leading edge gamer is looking the Giants in the face. Walker is too difficult to miss in this circumstance. Edge rush is a significant requirement, and the Giants are enamored of Walker’s capacity. The Giants have not had a top-tier pass-rusher considering that trading Jason Pierre-Paul. Since 2015, they have had one edge rush (Markus Golden) reach double-digit sacks. Hard to fathom provided their previous supremacy at the position. Even though Walker’s production at Georgia was restricted, there is belief provided more chances that will alter rapidly. — Jordan Raanan


Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Ideally, Carolina trades back to recover a 2nd- or third-round choice lost in trades last year. Regardless, the most glaring requirements are left deal with and quarterback. With the leading takes on gone, the Panthers take Willis, who has the greatest ceiling amongst the quarterbacks. They can endure with Brady Christensen at left deal with. They can’t endure with Sam Darnold at quarterback. Willis is a danger, however as offending organizer Ben McAdoo kept in mind, he’s a “swing for the fence” guy. This is a swing that could be a long-term solution at a position that has been problematic for more than three seasons. — David Newton


Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

OK, this is going to irk the fan base to not get a right tackle with either of these top-seven picks. It just worked out that way. Yes, the Giants are high on Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross. He definitely has some supporters in the building. But so does Gardner, who didn’t allow a receiving touchdown in three years at Cincinnati. With James Bradberry likely gone by the end of the weekend, cornerback makes a ton of sense here. It’s a premium position and it fills a major need, for this year and beyond. — Jordan Raanan


Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Falcons are a team in need of everything. Wide receiver was heavily considered here with the top edge rushers off the board, but instead the selection is a versatile player who can make defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ system immediately better. Hamilton might have the highest floor of any draft prospect and gives Atlanta a solid player. — Michael Rothstein

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1:25

Check out the best highlights from former Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton ahead of the NFL draft.


Jermaine Johnson II, DE, FSU

Offensive tackle Charles Cross and cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. are possibilities in this scenario, as each would address bigger needs. But Johnson is arguably a better prospect than Cross and a safer pick than Stingley, who’s coming off a foot injury. That might matter to an organization that has made its share of early-round mistakes recently and can’t afford to miss on its first top-10 pick since 2010. Johnson has big-time production on his résumé (12 sacks last season en route to being named ACC Defensive Player of the Year) and the body type (6-foot-5, 250) the Seahawks are looking for at outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. Coach Pete Carroll can never have enough pass-rushers, and he’d have a strong group with Johnson joining Darrell Taylor, Uchenna Nwosu and Jamal Adams. — Brady Henderson


Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Failing a trade for Deebo Samuel, the Jets need to draft a wide receiver in the first round, a true WR1 for second-year QB Zach Wilson. Drake London’s size (6-foot-4) and catch radius make him attractive, but Wilson’s explosiveness and separation ability give him the edge. He’d fit in nicely with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis. The Jets haven’t had a Pro Bowl receiver since Brandon Marshall (2015). They’re overdue. They really like Jameson Williams, but this could be too high for a player coming off an ACL tear in his left knee. He’s in play if they trade down, something they would consider. — Rich Cimini


Drake London, WR, USC

The Commanders probably would consider tackle Charles Cross and perhaps receiver Jameson Williams, depending how confident they are about when he’d return from a torn ACL in his left knee. But Washington would like a big target among its receiving corps and really likes London. At 6-foot-4, he provides a wide catch radius for quarterback Carson Wentz so he doesn’t always have to pinpoint throws. The Commanders also love how London makes contested catches; for some that reveals an inability to create separation but for others it shows the type of catches players have to make all the time in the NFL. Washington’s offense hasn’t ranked in the top 10 in yards or points since 2016; adding more talent was a must. — John Keim


Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Vikings have drafted a cornerback in the first round three times in the previous seven drafts, but none of the three — Trae Waynes (2015), Mike Hughes (2018) and Jeff Gladney (2020) — remain with the team. The Vikings re-signed Patrick Peterson and added free agent Chandon Sullivan, but the position needs the kind of energetic infusion Stingley can provide. Stingley’s injury issues can’t be ignored, but he’s a top-five prospect without them. The risk at No. 12 is more than reasonable. — Kevin Seifert


Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

This is another pick that strengthens a position of need for the Texans. Olave is a speedy receiver who will give Davis Mills another strong option alongside Brandin Cooks and second-year pro Nico Collins. The former Ohio State standout never registered more than 1,000 receiving yards in four college seasons, but he did have 13 touchdowns in 2022. This pick improves a position of need for Houston and gives it another playmaker. Houston’s offense ranked 29th last season in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA, so adding protection in Neal and a playmaker in Olave should go a long way to improve that. — Sarah Barshop

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1:27

Check out Chris Olave’s best moments in college that make him a top prospect in the 2022 NFL draft.


Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The Ravens have more pressing needs at pass-rusher and cornerback, but they can’t pass on Davis, who would be their top-rated player on the board. Baltimore loves big, quick and intimidating lineman, and no one fits that description better in this draft than a nose tackle nicknamed “Godzilla.” Davis can be a foundation piece in the front seven for the Ravens, who didn’t re-sign longtime defensive tackle Brandon Williams. There will be high expectations with Davis, who was primarily a run-stopper in college. The only other interior defensive lineman drafted in the first round by the Ravens was Haloti Ngata, a five-time Pro Bowl player and relentless game wrecker. — Jamison Hensley


Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Davis would have been the pick if Baltimore didn’t snatch him. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for general manager Howie Roseman to make a small trade up for the 6-foot-6, 341-pound line wrecker. While picking a receiver in the first round for a third consecutive year is less than ideal, Williams is the best player available. His game-changing speed will be worth the wait as he recovers from ACL surgery on his left knee. Paired with fellow Alabama standouts Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith, the Eagles’ offense will be extra explosive with the addition of Williams, who averaged 19.9 yards per reception and racked up 15 touchdowns last season. — Tim McManus


Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Quarterback Kenny Pickett is an intriguing possibility and receiver would be a consideration if one of the top four prospects had fallen. But the value with Cross is too high to pass up at another position of need. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Saints trade up for one of the top tackles in this draft after losing perennial Pro Bowler Terron Armstead in free agency. Cross proved himself as an elite pass-blocker last year, and he could become the kind of cornerstone that Armstead was for the next decade. — Mike Triplett


Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Protecting quarterback Justin Herbert should be a concern for the Chargers to understand their capacity of a deep playoff run. Last year, the Bolts chosen Rashawn Slater with a first-round choice to fill a requirement at left deal with. With the choice of Penning, they fill a job at best deal with. A three-year beginning left deal with at Northern Iowa, the 6-foot-7, 325-pound Penning is understood for his physical characteristics — height, broad shoulders and long arms — however likewise for a bruising mindset. He’s anticipated to be a capable starter right away. — Lindsey Thiry


Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

It would be a moderate upset if the Eagles do not leave with a protective lineman with among their 2 first-round choices. Both George Karlaftis and Devonte Wyatt make good sense in this area. And who understands, possibly they’ll even have a conversation about quarterback Kenny Pickett at this choice. But protective back is shrieking for assistance. The Eagles are still without a beginning corner reverse Darius Slay. They’ve apparently kept the area open needs to they land a CB early. McDuffie didn’t fill the stat sheet at Washington however has characteristics to be effective in male or zone protection and had fun with a physicality that will talk to protective organizer Jonathan Gannon. — Tim McManus


Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

The Saints aren’t a safe bet to prepare a quarterback. They may really utilize both first-round choices to assist assistance Jameis Winston with a left deal with and pass receiver. But Pickett has actually fallen far enough in this draft, and New Orleans would be a fantastic suitable for him with an offense that has actually constantly depended on rhythm and timing under long time offending organizer Pete Carmichael Jr. — Mike Triplett

play

2:00

Check out the plays that make Kenny Pickett efficient in being a franchise QB in the NFL.


Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

With Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis chosen, together with top-tier cornerback and security choices, the Steelers need to take a look at the very best gamer readily available. The Steelers dealt with most considerable positions of requirement in totally free company with one exception: protective line. While the Steelers may choose Wyatt’s Georgia colleague, nose deal with Jordan Davis, Wyatt is a more flexible protector. The Steelers resisted the run last season, and Wyatt provides an instantaneous increase there — and includes youth to an aging position group. But, picking Wyatt raises off-the-field issues, including his arrest on household violence charges 2 years back, which might drop him from draft boards and trigger the Steelers to trade back in hopes of obtaining Desmond Ridder and additional draft capital. — Brooke Pryor


Devin Lloyd, POUND, Utah

While there will likely be inspiration to trade down, the possibility of landing the No. 1-rated linebacker this deep in the draft made Lloyd the choice over Michigan protective back Daxton Hill, whose capability to play corner increases his worth. Similar to 2008 when the Patriots chosen linebacker Jerod Mayo in the preliminary (10th total), Lloyd tasks as a four-down gamer and has possible to change a defense in requirement of speed and physical capability. — Mike Reiss


Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

If Burks isn’t readily available at 22, the Packers may continue their two-decade streak of handing down first-round receivers. He may be the last receiver the Packers still have on their board at 22. He has the size and strength (6-2, 225) the Packers lost in Davante Adams. That must offset whatever absence of speed may terrify some groups away. — Rob Demovsky


Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

The Cardinals have not provided quarterback Kyler Murray any assistance in the previous 2 preliminaries, so now, in the middle of the mayhem of their offseason, is their opportunity to prepare a playmaker who might assist Arizona’s offense immediately. Watson has the size (6-4) and speed (4.36-second 40) to include a vibrant choice to the Cardinals’ offense. And gaining from the similarity DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green as a novice isn’t a bad method to go into the NFL. — Josh Weinfuss

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1:06

Check out the very best highlights of North Dakota State’s Christian Watson’s football profession.


Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

While you might make a case for a receiver, pass-rusher or perhaps even linebacker, the Cowboys have yet to fill their requirements on the offending line in totally free company and have the chance to opt for Johnson as a walk-in starter at left guard. He would be the 4th first-rounder the Cowboys have actually chosen on the offending line considering that 2011 with Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin. If he might duplicate what those people have actually done, the Cowboys may have a vaunted offending line once again. — Todd Archer


Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

With the method the board went, trading up or down would be the perfect circumstance for the Bills. Need-smart, cornerback makes good sense with Andrew Booth readily available, however that’s not a position where basic supervisor Brandon Beane has actually traditionally invested leading draft choices. Instead, the Bills choose a gamer who right away ends up being the group’s No. 1 running back and can assist in the death video game, specifically in developing lawns after catch. Drafting a running back in the preliminary is dangerous, however at No. 25, the sensible choices are minimal and Hall right away enhances the offense. — Alaina Getzenberg


Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M

Green is a nasty offending lineman who ends up blocks and has fun with a mean streak that mixes with the Titans’ physical method. He is a three-year starter who has actually played 4 various positions along the offending line. Green’s flexibility is an excellent suitable for the Titans due to the fact that he’s a natural fit at left guard, which is precisely what Tennessee requires after launching Rodger Saffold. With 35 profession begins under his belt, Green is a plug-and-play possibility. — Turron Davenport


Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

Yes, the Bucs require at protective deal with and secure and still do not understand the status of tight end Rob Gronkowski. But with defensive deal with Devonte Wyatt and guard Zion Johnson off the board, Cine and Daxton Hill were finest readily available with Cine’s ability being a much better fit to change Jordan Whitehead, whom the Bucs lost in totally free company. Cine is a thumper, extremely active downhill and flexible because he can cover. And while they signed Keanu Neal in totally free company, it’s a one-year offer, and he has a history of injuries. They might still discover assistance in the trenches on Day 2. — Jenna Laine


George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

GM Brian Gutekunst likes defense in the preliminary. He has actually made 5 previous first-round choices and 4 have actually been on that side of the ball. After launching Za’Darius Smith, there’s a requirement for another pass-rusher — specifically one who can hurry both within and on the edge. — Rob Demovsky


Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan

The departure of Tyrann Mathieu leaves a space in the secondary and free-agent addition Justin Reid is only part of the option. Hill’s speed and protection capability would permit the Chiefs to be flexible at the back end of their defense, an essential component in organizer Steve Spagnuolo’s system. — Adam Teicher


George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Even after signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, there is still playing time readily available at pass receiver this season. Longer term, the Chiefs are going to require playmakers with Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman being potential totally free representatives at the end of the season. Pickens has high-end capability and in this circumstance, it would depend on the Chiefs to get that out of him. — Adam Teicher

play

0:46

Check out the very best highlights that added to an excellent college profession for Georgia’s George Pickens.


Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Cincinnati has the high-end of not requiring to discover an instant starter in the draft. That leaves them to assault cornerback depth, a location group executive Duke Tobin determined as a problem after in 2015’s Super Bowl loss. Booth has what the Bengals are searching for at outdoors corner — excellent speed, quality length and the capability to play the ball in the air. That tail end is exceptionally important, specifically for a Bengals group that won the AFC (and almost the Super Bowl) due to the fact that of its protective turnovers. Booth had 3 interceptions in his 3rd and last year at Clemson. With Eli Apple and Chidobe Awuzie forecasted as Week 1 beginners, Booth has the high-end of working his method into the rotation and discovering his footing in the NFL. — Ben Baby


Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

It’s clear existing Lions quarterback Jared Goff is the man for today — and perhaps even next year. But, the quarterback depth on this lineup definitely can’t be neglected permanently. Both David Blough and Tim Boyle have not shown they can run the program if something were to take place to Goff, and the Lions require to resolve this position severely. Ridder is likewise a tested winner, ending his college profession with the third-most wins by a quarterback in college football history with 44. The Lions require that mindset as they remain in the middle of a restore. — Eric Woodyard

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