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2022 NFL Mock Draft: Multiple Quarterbacks in the First Half of Round One

A mock aimed at introducing new and unfamiliar names that may be called on the 2022 NFL Draft's first day.

With the 2021 NFL Preseason now officially underway, the most recent draft class will be in the spotlight for several weeks. The coming season is inherently uncertain and exciting as it will reveal new stars, breakout teams and underperforming organizations. That said, the 2022 NFL Draft will serve as an opportunity for franchises to right their past wrongs and further enhance their rosters. This mock draft aims to introduce both underappreciated players and unexpected outcomes while still identifying top-tier talent in the college football ranks.

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1. Houston Texans: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Liberty's Malik Willis boasts incredible tools that may make him the first overall pick in 2022. 

Liberty's Malik Willis boasts incredible tools that may make him the first overall pick in 2022. 

There is no clear-cut top quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. That said, Liberty's Malik Willis is firmly in the running for that title. While concerns surrounding his inconsistent ball placement are valid, the athletic passer has borderline-elite tools. Willis's excellent arm and electric playmaking ability with his legs should make him a gamechanger in the league. Deshaun Watson's future in Houston is still unclear; Willis might be the pick if they choose to move on from their franchise signal-caller.

2. Detroit Lions: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

The Lions have no shortage of needs across their roster. That said, their picking second in this 2022 NFL Draft scenario would likely indicate that their trust in Jared Goff did not pay off. Spencer Rattler is a creative passer with high-level arm talent. He should start early in the league and can be a top-tier quarterback. He may be the current favorite to be taken first overall in 2022.

3. Cincinnati Bengals: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Cincinnati Bengals were widely expected to use their top-five pick in 2021 on an offensive lineman to protect 2020 first-overall pick, Joe Burrow. Instead, they took their young signal caller's favorite college pass-catcher. In the 2022 NFL Draft, they should aim to keep Burrow off the ground after an injury prematurely ended his rookie season. Evan Neal is not a technically refined player; however, he has an incredible blend of size, power and movement skills.

4. New York Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

The New York Jets would be ecstatic to see the board fall this way in 2022. Kayvon Thibodeaux is a consensus top-three player in the class and fills a position of need in New York. The Oregon defender is scheme-versatile and has every trait you want in a pass-rusher. While he is far too committed to his long-arm bull rush move, he has the speed, bend, intelligence and power to be a well-rounded game-breaker at defensive end or outside linebacker.


5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyle Hamilton, SAF, Notre Dame

Arguably the top player in the 2022 class, Kyle Hamilton is a do-it-all safety without many weaknesses. 

Arguably the top player in the 2022 class, Kyle Hamilton is a do-it-all safety without many weaknesses. 

While taking a safety in the top five does not line up with the position's traditional value, the Jaguars are in desperate need of help in the secondary. Notre Dame's Kyle Hamilton is arguably the draft's top player. Boasting an incredible blend of size, movement skills, strength and intelligence, Hamilton will be a high-level starter immediately who can fill any role a defensive coordinator may task him with. He has All-Pro potential.

6. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Eagles have long needed help in the secondary. With this pick, Philadelphia takes one of the top cornerback prospects in recent years. A superstar since his freshman season, Derek Stingley Jr. is scheme-versatile, extremely athletic and intelligent. While he took a step back in 2020, his potential is ostensibly unmatched among the 2022 cornerback class.

7. Atlanta Falcons: Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons chose to ignore the quarterback position early. Instead, the team loaded up on skill-position players. As a result, Atlanta boasts a decent roster outside of its limited depth behind 36-year-old signal-caller, Matt Ryan. Carson Strong is an intelligent passer with high-level arm talent and ball placement. He can be the quarterback to carry the Falcons out of the Matt Ryan era.

8. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

While the Raiders may be inclined to take a quarterback with their top-ten selection, Las Vegas is thin at linebacker. Christian Harris is a projected first-round player who will make an immediate impact in the NFL. An intelligent and well-rounded second-level defender, the Crimson Tide star is widely expected to be the first linebacker taken in 2022.

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9. New York Giants: Drake Jackson, OLB, University of Southern California

While the Giants invested in pass rushers in the 2021 NFL Draft, adding Drake Jackson would potentially take the team to the next level. The athletic defensive end and outside linebacker's "down year" is massively overstated after entering 2020 under a new defensive coordinator, at a new position and at a playing weight 20 pounds lighter than what he was used to. What's more, his offseason to gain experience under these circumstances was limited by COVID. Still, Jackson produced outstanding film. He is an exceptional athlete whose bend, speed, hand usage and flashes of power make him one of the draft's top prospects. He can start immediately while potentially developing into an All-Pro player.

10. Carolina Panthers: Sean Rhyan, OT, UCLA

An athletic and intelligent tackle, Sean Rhyan has the makings of a future first-round selection. 

An athletic and intelligent tackle, Sean Rhyan has the makings of a future first-round selection. 

The Carolina Panthers are in desperate need of an upgrade at offensive tackle. Sean Rhyan is firmly in the conversation for the top player at his position in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has held his own against top pass rushers such as Thibodeaux (taken fourth in this mock) and Jackson (taken ninth in this mock). Further, he boasts NFL-caliber athleticism, strength and hand counters. He should start immediately.

11. New York Giants: Dohnovan West, OG/OC, Arizona State

After snagging a possible top-five player with the ninth pick, the Giants spend the 11th selection on an under-the-radar lineman who may be the best center and guard in the 2022 class. Dohnovan West has experience at both guard spots and center for the Sun Devils. He exhibits borderline-elite movement skills and flexibility; he also has above-average power and technique. The former wrestler may have All-Pro potential at any of the three interior line positions.

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12. Arizona Cardinals: DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

The Arizona Cardinals can go in several directions with this pick. That said, DeMarvin Leal is one of the draft's top defenders. He also fills a need. An excellent athlete in a large frame, the Aggies' star is versatile enough to play across the defensive line in any scheme. Leal boasts impressive power and fluidity. He can be one of the league's top defensive linemen.

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13. Washington Football Team: Sam Howell, QB, University of North Carolina

The Washington Football Team surprisingly chose to ignore the quarterback position in the 2021 NFL Draft. In this scenario, one of the 2022 class's top passers is still available. Sam Howell is a legitimate contender for the first-overall pick next year. While he must learn to get rid of the ball quicker and make smarter decisions, the Tar Heel is accurate and poised.

14. Minnesota Vikings: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

The Minnesota Vikings would be wise to add to their cornerback room in 2022. Andrew Booth Jr. is one of the top players at the position. An excellent athlete with great ball skills, the inexperienced corner still struggles with some technical aspects of the position. That said, he should start immediately in the league while developing into a top-tier defensive back.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky

A versatile lineman, Darian Kinnard (left) has the size and strength to be a difference-maker in the NFL. 

A versatile lineman, Darian Kinnard (left) has the size and strength to be a difference-maker in the NFL. 

The Steelers lack depth at guard and tackle. Darian Kinnard is a massive lineman with starting potential at either position. The 345-pound Kentucky tackle boasts impressive power that stops defenders in their tracks. Kinnard would likely start early on a Pittsburgh line full of expiring contracts and unproven players.

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16. Denver Broncos: Kedon Slovis, QB, University of Southern California

The Denver Broncos may be approaching the end of the Drew Lock era. Despite his flashes of promise, the quarterback's inconsistent play has proven troublesome. Kedon Slovis is an innovative, accurate, NFL-ready passer who will see the field early in the league. The Trojans' signal-caller can become a solid starter if he can return to form after a throwing shoulder injury in 2020.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

The Chargers find themselves in an extremely fortunate position to take one of the draft's top linemen. Kenyon Green fills a need for Los Angeles. What's more, he may boast positional versatility - the former guard will move to tackle for Texas A&M in 2021. A solid athlete with NFL-ready traits, Green would start immediately for the Chargers.

Over 14,000 draft prospects for this year and beyond

18. New England Patriots: Drake London, WR, University of Southern California

The Patriots have lacked depth and top-tier talent at wide receiver for a long time. Drake London's impressive blend of size, fluidity, route running, strong hands and ability after the catch make him one of the draft's top receivers. His floor is that of an average starter; he has All-Pro potential.

19. New Orleans Saints: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

While the New Orleans Saints need help at quarterback, no available signal-caller fits the value attributed to the 19th pick. Instead, the team adds a talented wide receiver to complement Michael Thomas. Treylon Burks may be the top pass-catcher in the 2022 NFL Draft class. An impressive athlete capable of making an impact early, the Arkansas product would immediately start in New Orleans.


20. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

If he cleans up his tackling, Brandon Smith has first-round athleticism and versatility. 

If he cleans up his tackling, Brandon Smith has first-round athleticism and versatility. 

The Philadelphia Eagles addressed the cornerback position with the sixth pick. Now, they look to solidify the second level of their defense. Brandon Smith is an excellent athlete capable of making an impact at the next level in coverage, against the run and as a pass rusher. Indeed, the outstanding linebacker has very few holes in his game. While his poor tackling will limit him early in the league if he does not address it, Smith has Pro Bowl potential.

21. Dallas Cowboys: Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Alabama

The Cowboys have been weak at the tight end position since Jason Witten left the organization. Jahleel Billingsley is the top player in a somewhat underwhelming tight end class. An excellent pass-catcher and playmaker, the Crimson Tide standout is an underrated blocker. He is as likely as any tight end in the class to be the first taken at his position.

22. New York Jets: Avery Young, CB, Rutgers

After taking one of the draft's top players with the fourth selection, the Jets freed themselves up to address the cornerback position late in the first round. While Avery Young is a scheme-versatile prospect, he is excellent in press-man coverage. His fluid hips, clean technique, outstanding play strength and intelligence afford him All-Pro potential. Young is likely the top press corner in the class.

23. Tennessee Titans: Travis Jones, DL, UConn

The Titans lack depth and high-level talent along their defensive line. An incredible run defender who also impacts the passing game, Travis Jones is dominant in one-on-one situations and regularly draws double teams. As a result, he constantly either makes plays or creates opportunities for his teammates. Although the UConn star excelled at the nose for the Huskies, he is a reasonably scheme-versatile prospect. Jones can be an outstanding starter in Tennessee.

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24. Philadelphia Eagles: Nicholas Petit-Frere

With its third first-round pick, the Eagles add a high-ceiling offensive tackle. Nicholas Petit-Frere is an excellent athlete with special tools. Still, a work in progress from a technical perspective, the Buckeyes' standout would have time to develop in Philadelphia. He can take over for Jason Peters or Lane Johnson when they move on or start to regress. Nicholas Petit-Frere will likely find himself in the first-round conversation with a strong 2021 season.

25. Cleveland Browns: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

Purdue's George Karlaftis is a likely first-rounder who can start early in the league. 

Purdue's George Karlaftis is a likely first-rounder who can start early in the league. 

The Cleveland Browns have a very deep roster without many holes. So, the team opts to bring in a projected first-round player who can serve as a depth piece or a starter early in his career. Jadeveon Clowney and Tak McKinley have not been consistent players to this point in their respective developments. George Karlaftis may be able to outperform them sooner rather than later.

26. Green Bay Packers: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The Packers are in win-now mode with Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams likely leaving the organization after the 2021 season. Green Bay has never seriously invested in the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Garrett Wilson is an outstanding route runner who can start immediately for the Packers. His addition would help bring a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2020-21 to the upcoming championship game.

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27. Miami Dolphins: Ainias Smith, RB, Texas A&M

Although the Miami Dolphins may choose to select a linebacker, they lack reliable starting talent at running back. What's more, some of their top players at the position are operating on soon-to-expire contracts. While some believe Ainias Smith is a wide receiver thanks to his more petite frame and high-level route running, the do-it-all offensive weapon can be an excellent weapon working against linebackers out of the backfield. If used creatively, Smith can be a game-changing weapon as a running back and pass-catcher.


28. Baltimore Ravens: Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh

The Ravens are a very well-rounded team. Baltimore takes a chance on a severely undersized defensive lineman with elite potential with its late first-round selection. Calijah Kancey moves like a linebacker and has an intriguing set of hand moves. He also boasts impressive power and uses his natural leverage to his advantage. That said, banking on a 6000 270-pound defensive lineman would be betting on an outlier.

29. Buffalo Bills: Ellis Brooks, LB, Penn State

A Super Bowl contender throughout the 2020-21 season, the Bills take an NFL-ready Penn State defender to help Tremaine Edmunds at the second level. Ellis Brooks is an instinctive, intelligent and versatile coverage linebacker who beats blocks in the box with quickness and refined hands. An efficient tackler when his angles are sound, the Nittany Lions' standout can start immediately in the league. While there are other talented linebackers available, none offer Brooks' immediate impact.

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30. Detroit Lions: Brian Asamoah II, LB, Oklahoma

Oklahoma's Brian Asamoah II has first-round talent if he learns to play more patiently. 

Oklahoma's Brian Asamoah II has first-round talent if he learns to play more patiently. 

After taking a new franchise passer with its top-five pick, Detroit spends its second first-rounder on a potentially game-breaking linebacker. Brian Asamoah II has all-league potential. An outstanding athlete, he exhibits promising traits in coverage. Although his game is currently plagued by impatience, the inexperienced linebacker can learn to process calmly with additional playing time. If he takes that step, he can be a first-round pick.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Buccaneers are famously returning every starter from their Super Bowl-winning team. That said, the organization's wide receiver room is full of soon-to-expire contracts. Chris Olave can be an instant-impact player to help them return to the championship game; at the same time, he can be a crucial piece to help Kyle Trask (or any other Tom Brady successor) develop. He is an NFL-ready route runner who can keep the reigning Super Bowl champions on top.

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32. Kansas City Chiefs: Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State

A well-rounded team powered by its elite offense, Kansas City's defense is nothing to scoff at. That said, it lacks meaningful cornerback talent in a defensive back room full of expiring contracts. Sevyn Banks is an NFL-ready player in man and zone coverage. His lack of effort against the run does not entirely mask impressive instincts and gap integrity. He can be a star at the next level.