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A Very Early Two-Round Mock Draft Version 1.0

Zach Dietz unveils his first mock draft of 2022,a two-round affair.
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With the holiday season fast approaching, the NFL at the halfway point, and the college football campaign entering its final third of the regular season, that only means one thing - time for a new mock draft.

A lot has changed in the NFL Draft landscape since I dropped my initial mock of the year in late August. Many players who you saw in that initial mock have either played to their potential or completely fallen out of favor, plus the athletes who have bumped their draft stock to the first round. 

Even so, today’s mock will be a two-round piece with the current NFL Draft order (effective after Week 9 of the NFL). So don’t worry Eagles fans, you’ll be getting all three of your Round 1 picks this time.

As for trades, picks that have already been moved in the first two rounds will be present in this mock, but no personal ideas. It is still extremely early in the process for that. So, without any further ado, let the mock commence!


1. DETROIT LIONS - Kayvon Thibodeaux, ED, Oregon

After using their first-rounder on a former Duck last season, the Lions are blessed to be able to dip back into the Oregon pool to take Thibodeaux, the best player in this class. A perfect combination of need and value at the number-one spot, the Oregon pass-rusher has proven once again in 2021 that he is the definition of a blue-chip prospect.

2. HOUSTON TEXANS - Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

I am of the opinion that Houston will want to add more to their young core before truly finding their next franchise quarterback (sorry, Davis Mills). Neal, like many other offensive linemen in this class, has experience at several positions along the line (LT, RT, and RG). The freakishly athletic and talented Neal would form a daunting tandem opposite Laremy Tunsil.

3. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (via Miami) - Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

With the Eagles possessing three first-round picks, they may as well get their pick of the litter in this controversial quarterback class. Out of all of the top guys, Corral has been the most consistent prospect, and his excellent arm strength, improved accuracy, and sly mobility would be a great fit with Philly’s current skill-position group.

4. NEW YORK JETS - Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Jets have found a couple of nice Day 3/UDFA corners it appears (Bryce Hall, Michael Carter II), but I’m positive Robert Saleh is still seeking his true CB1. Even in a loaded cornerback class, Stingley Jr.’s pedigree, athleticism, and production have him above the rest. He can be a true game-changer in that Gang Green secondary.

5. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Kyle Hamilton, S Notre Dame

While Jacksonville has several talented players in their front seven, they are still seeking a multi-dimensional playmaker on the backend. Kyle Hamilton has a chance to be a Derwin James-type of talent in the NFL and can fill a variety of roles for the Jags defense. He’s a great value at the fifth pick, a testament to his skillset and potential.

6. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM - Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Some Washington fans may be itching for their disappointing defense to be addressed here, but they need a future face of the franchise at quarterback. Willis has been a bit inconsistent this season, but he still displays the tools every week - cannon for an arm, improved accuracy, and elite running ability - that have NFL scouts fawning over him.

7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Darian Kinnard, IOL/OT, Kentucky

After securing their gunslinger, the Eagles would be well-inclined to garner some depth on their offensive line. Kinnard is a hulking presence who has been lights out the last two seasons at Kentucky. He could slot in at right guard immediately, given Brandon Brooks’ uncertain future.

8. NEW YORK GIANTS - Aidan Hutchinson, ED, Michigan

The Giants should be thrilled with what they’ve seen in Azeez Ojulari’s rookie campaign so far, but the defense needs another starter opposite him. Hutchinson is a good thunder compliment to Ojulari’s lightning and has taken massive steps forward for the Wolverines in 2021, excelling as a stand-up rusher, with his hand in the dirt, and in-line. He’s a versatile pass-rusher who has a massive ceiling.

9. NEW YORK GIANTS (via Chicago) - Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

The Giants are back up with Chicago’s pick that was acquired in the Justin Fields trade, and I believe that Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is the best overall lineman in this class. Freaky athleticism and power, great technique, and remarkable consistency in pass protection should have the Giants front office drooling. He’s a Day 1 starter and potential All-Pro down the line.

10. MIAMI DOLPHINS (via San Francisco) - Ikem Ekwonu, IOL/OT, NC State

It will sting Miami fans that their top-3 pick belongs to the Eagles, but luckily for them, San Francisco is projected to pick top-10 as well. The Dolphins have had the worst offensive line in the NFL this season, so addressing that this coming offseason will be needed. Ekwonu is a big stylistic change from incumbent starting left tackle Austin Jackson, but the former can pass protect. Like so many other OL prospects, he also has guard experience.

11. NEW YORK JETS (via Seattle) - Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia

The slide for DeMarvin Leal continues as Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh continue to build the trenches and find their 1-tech defensive tackle of the future, as Folorunso Fatukasi is looking to hit free agency this coming spring. Davis will never be much of a pass-rusher, but his strength at the point of attack and the chaos he causes for offensive linemen make him a highly-touted prospect.

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

The Vikings will be in an odd spot in terms of franchise direction within the coming weeks and months, but a young, uber-talented cornerback is a must for this franchise. Blessed with some of the most fluid movement skills and run defense I’ve ever seen from a cornerback, Booth Jr. has a chance to develop into a superstar for Minny.


Sam Darnold will remain with the Panthers on the option for 2022, but it is time for Carolina to rectify their mistake in trading for him. My personal QB1 in the 2022 class, Howell would enter a situation where his weapons wouldn’t let him down so much. He has a great all-around skillset and has showcased some daunting running prowess for the Tar Heels this season.

14. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (via Indianapolis) - Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Outside of Darius Slay, the Eagles’ corner room is rather barren. Gardner has been lights out in coverage the last trio of years for the Bearcats, and despite a playing style that may require him to struggle a bit in the NFL at first (his grabbiness may have him lead the league in PI calls as a rookie), you can’t knock his effectiveness, athleticism, and coverage scheme versatility.

15. DENVER BRONCOS - DeMarvin Leal, IDL, Texas A&M

With the top of the quarterback class off of the board already, Denver dives into best player available mode with the selection of Leal. One of the best defensive players on the planet, the Texas A&M defensive lineman would provide a massive boost to the Broncos pass-rush (now without Von Miller) and their paltry run defense as well.

16. CINCINNATI BENGALS - Kenyon Green, IOLT/OT, Texas A&M

Back to back Aggies! The Bengals struck gold by the looks of it with Ja’Marr Chase, but they still need to rectify some issues on the offensive line. Green is arguably the strongest lineman in this class and has the physical skill set to become one of the league’s best maulers in short time. Jonah Williams and he would be a deadly left side of protection for Joe Burrow.

17. CLEVELAND BROWNS - Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

We finally have our first receiver off the board here for Cleveland. While Olave isn’t the most physically gifted wide-out in this class, he is a true route-running savant who can embarrass cornerbacks across all levels of the field. That combined with his separation ability make him a wonderful fit in this Browns offense.

18. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - George Karlaftis, ED, Purdue

Anything and everything Kansas City does this offseason need to involve their atrocious defense. George Karlaftis is a high-character, insanely productive power-rusher who can beat linemen in a variety of ways. He can play multiple alignments and would be a massive upgrade to anyone currently in the Chiefs’ pass-rusher room.

19. ATLANTA FALCONS - Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

With little depth behind Kyle Pitts and the uncertain future of star-wideout Calvin Ridley, it makes sense to find another piece for the Falcons’ offense. Wilson has had a breakout campaign for the Buckeyes and is nearly, or even just about, the same level of a route runner as his teammate Chris Olave. With fantastic hands and superb footwork, he’s a fantastic value at this spot.

20. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

One of the biggest risers in all of college football this season, Kyler Gordon winds up going before his teammate Trent McDuffie here to New England. Gordon has a legitimate shot at the title of best overall athlete in this year’s class, and his improvement in coverage and ball skills make him a tantalizing prospect. For a Patriots team that has already traded Stephon Gilmore and may lose J.C. Jackson, Gordon would be a great fit in the Belichick defense.

21. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Drake London, WR, USC

Whoever is the best wide receiver available on the Saints' draft board, that player should be the selection. In this scenario, they go with London, who was tearing up the PAC-12 before fracturing his foot a few weeks ago. He should be ready to go for training camp next year, and his size, fluidity, and contested-catch ability would be an immense upgrade over any non-Michael Thomas pass-catcher New Orleans currently rosters.

22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Whether it is Big Ben or another starter in Pittsburgh next season, the Steelers need to find a franchise left tackle. Charles Cross has some incredible athleticism and has improved his power and pass-blocking technique in 2021, and would be immediately slotted in at their left tackle spot.

23. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS - Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

More than any other franchise likely, the Raiders need to prioritize players without any character issues. Trent McDuffie is not only a great teammate and captain for Washington, but he’s one of the best players in this class. While not possessing the greatest size or measurables, McDuffie is an all-around savant at cornerback and would form a superb tandem with Trayvon Mullen as the Raiders’ outside CBs.

24. DALLAS COWBOYS - Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

While there have been incremental improvements for the Cowboys’ defense, the team should be will inclined to garner more talent. Outside of Kyle Hamilton, Battle is the most complete safety in this class. He possesses an all-around skillset with the ability to play either safety spot. Adding Battle would be a boon to helping the Cowboys pass defense.

25. BUFFALO BILLS - Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

One concern many Buffalo fans did not have coming into the 2021 season was their offensive line, and with several current starters listed as free agents, they should be looking to address the need. Petit-Frere has cleaned up his technique issues from years past in 2021 for the Buckeyes and has developed into a legitimate stalwart at tackle. He can play either tackle spot or guard for Buffalo.


The Chargers have been searching for their next counterpart at defensive end sans Joey Bosa. Here they take one of the best values in the first round in Drake Jackson. Having the best season of his career, Jackson is an athletic freak with improved technique and an elite first step. His ceiling remains sky high, and the local kid could be a star quickly learning under Bosa and coach Brandon Staley.

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

With Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown up for free agency following the year, it would be wise for Jason Licht to accumulate some depth for Tom Brady’s final years. Dotson comes from the same alma mater as Godwin and is a wide receiver with great hands, improved route-running acumen, and fantastic contested catchability for a player of his size.

28. DETROIT LIONS (via LA Rams) - Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

Despite some young talent in the secondary, the Lions can afford to use their second first-round pick in that area. Elam has had a bit of a down season for the Gators, but he still possesses the coverage and ball skills, plus physicality that would lead you to believe he would shine on this young Lions team.

29. BALTIMORE RAVENS - Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

Baltimore has skated by with some of their safety play by dipping into the position in the middle rounds, but given all of their secondary injuries this season, it may be time to find a potential star. Daxton Hill is a heat-seeking missile for the Wolverines, one who has been able to develop into quite the playmaker. His skillset and football IQ make him a great choice here for the Ravens defense.

30. GREEN BAY PACKERS - Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

It would only be fitting that Green Bay takes a receiver in Round 1 once Aaron Rodgers (presumably) leaves. Burks at this spot is a tremendous value, and with the likely departure of Davante Adams in free agency on the docket, he could be the Packers’ number-one option in the passing game in no time. He reminds me a lot of A.J. Brown.

31. TENNESSEE TITANS - Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

With Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans due to hit free agency this season, Tennessee will needsome more bodies in their linebacker room. Lloyd’s skillset screams Titans football - physical, nose for the football, fantastic tackling, and pass-rush skills. Mike Vrabel would love this kid.

32. ARIZONA CARDINALS - Kingsley Enagbare, ED, South Carolina

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J.J. Watt’s future is uncertain and Chandler Jones is up for free agency - the Cardinals need to find another pass-rusher. Enagbare has some of the freakiest measurables in this class and has developed into a star pass rusher for the Gamecocks. He’s able to attack from the inside whilst possessing the flexibility to use his bend to gain outside leverage. Enagbare would be another cornerstone defender for Arizona to build around.


1. DETROIT LIONS - Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Why the hell not at this point? Strong has arguably the best arm in this quarterback class and has shown some improvements with decision-making and ball placement. He still needs to work on his anticipation, and will never be much of a running threat at the position, but he has the ceiling of a starting NFL quarterback. He may start sooner rather than later for Detroit.

2. HOUSTON TEXANS - Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

Houston needs some major help in their cornerback room, and Kendrick is yet another Georgia Bulldog who is playing his way into high selection. Despite carrying some off-the-field questions, there’s no doubt the talent Kendrick possesses as a quick-footed, smart scheme-versatile defensive back. His ceiling is sky high and the value here is tremendous for the Texans.

3. MIAMI DOLPHINS - Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Miami’s defense is a unit without many holes currently, but they need a linebacker who can do more than simply play-run defense. Dean has been the best off-ball linebacker in college football this season, and his speed, instincts, and improved coverage ability would make him quite the weapon in (likely?) Brian Flores’ defense.

4. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Perrion Winfrey, IDL, Oklahoma

Following the addressing of their secondary with the Kyle Hamilton pick, Jacksonville gets the best remaining defensive tackle in Winfrey. Extremely similar stylistically to former Oklahoma Sooner and current Dallas Cowboy Neville Gallimore, Winfrey is an athletic power rusher who makes life hell for an offensive lineman. Attaining pressure from the inside should be a priority for the Jags this offseason.

5. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM - Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

One of the biggest issues with the Washington defensive has to be the poor safety play they’ve put on the field this year. Cine has been lights out in coverage for Georgia this season, with the ideal size and length to be a legitimate playmaker for the Football Team defense. In terms of coverage, he’d likely be an upgrade over Landon Collins immediately.

6. NEW YORK JETS - Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State

The Jets continue to invest in their young secondary and add another guy who fits the requirements Robert Saleh looks for in a corner. Emerson isn’t the greatest physical specimen but he’s long, smart, and excels in zone coverage. He could be a starter for a long time in the National Football League.

7. NEW YORK GIANTS - Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

A bit of an out-of-the-box pick here for the Giants, but Jameson Williams would be another fantastic weapon to add to their skill position core. He can be used similarly to John Ross as a speed threat, plus he’s arguably the best returner in this class. The Giants’ priority should be finding guys that make it easiest to score touchdowns (sounds simple enough!).

8. CHICAGO BEARS - Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Even if current rookie Teven Jenkins was healthy, I’d like to believe Chicago would prefer to start him at the right tackle. Penning has one of the craziest athletic profiles at tackle in this year’s draft class, and despite some technical issues, his ceiling is super high if he can iron those issues out. Chicago spends two back-to-back second-round picks on their bookend tackles of the future.

9. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Zach Harrison, ED, Ohio State

Howie Roseman loves drafting his edge rushers, and Ohio State’s Zach Harrison is a wonderful value at this spot for Philly. With over 35-inch arms and a skillset the relies upon that length, Harrison is one of the best when it comes to converting speed to power and vice versa.

10. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech

The Seahawks defense this year has surprisingly looked… decent? Despite the uptick in performance, Seattle should look to add more talent, and Waller is one of the more underrated prospects in this class. Despite his spindly frame, he plays with excellent physicality and football IQ. He has legit good starter potential for Pete Carroll’s defense, maybe even higher than that.

11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - David Ojabo, ED, Michigan

This spot may be too low for Ojabo by the time the actual draft rolls around because he has been sensational for Michigan. The Scotland native is a scheme-versatile edge defender with berserk athleticism and a propensity for wrecking opposing backfields. He and Danielle Hunter could form one of the best pass-rushing duos in the sport.

12. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College

San Francisco spent a Day 2 pick last year on Aaron banks to play guard, but that has looked like a shaky pick as of right now. Zion Johnson is undersized but possesses fantastic length, positional versatility, great technique, and core strength. In the Niners’ zone offense, he’d be a perfect fit.


Even if Eric Fisher plays well for Indy the remainder of the season, Chris Ballard would be wise to find a developmental lineman to learn behind the former #1 overall pick. Rhyan has had a solid year for UCLA, and stop me if you’ve read this before - can play multiple positions on the offensive line. His ceiling is super high, and his playstyle fits the Colts’ MO.

14. NEW YORK JETS (via Carolina) - Myjai Sanders, ED, Cincinnati

The Jets use their extra second from the Sam Darnold trade to beef up their pass-rusher room. Sanders has had a down year for the Bearcats in 2021, but he’s still a long, nuanced edge defender who can win with pure athleticism and technique. He could fill that Dee Ford role for the Saleh defense.

15. CINCINNATI BENGALS - Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

The Bengals only have Drew Sample under contract for next season, so securing a move-tight end should be a priority for Cincy. Likely has been the most productive tight end in the nation this year for Coastal, and his improved route running and fantastic athleticism make him a legitimate threat in the passing game. He would excel alongside the current slate of weapons for Cincinnati.

16. CLEVELAND BROWNS - Zion Tupuola-Fetui, ED, Washington

Imagine tearing your Achilles’, returning to the field six months later, and dominating? That is exactly what Tupuola-Fetui has done for the Huskies of Washington, and with all of the free agents due up in the Browns edge room, he could play right away opposite Myles Garrett.

17. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - David Bell, WR, Purdue

We’ve seen Patrick Mahomes excel with boatloads of speed threats, but how about having a traditional X receiver? David Bell is one of the most productive wideouts in college football and has some of the strongest hands in this class. He and Travis Kelce would be a great pair of safety nets as if that offense needs any.

18. DENVER BRONCOS - Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas

The Broncos have a ton of young talent in their secondary already, but also have a few veterans up for free agency such as Kyle Fuller and Kareem Jackson. Catalan has some of the most enjoyable tape in this class and could develop into the thunder compliment to Justin Simmons’ lightning in their safety room.

19. ATLANTA FALCONS - Isaiah Foskey, ED, Notre Dame

Atlanta has very little depth in their pass-rusher grouping, but they have a chance to select one of the highest ceilings in the class with Foskey here. Very similar stylistically to Kingsley Enagbare, Foskey can win in a variety of ways, and playing under Brian Kelly at ND has enhanced his situational awareness and football IQ.

20. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - George Pickens, WR, Georgia

It will be interesting to see how Pickens looks coming off his torn ACL injury, but if he’s the same player he was before he got hurt, New England may have taken the best WR in this class. Strong hands, good in contested catch situations, route-running extraordinaire - Pickens is the whole package.

21. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford

The Steelers desperately need to find a potential quarterback of the future, and I love a lot of what McKee has done this season at Stanford. His touch on his passes is remarkable, and he has the requisite arm strength to make all of the throws. He’s an intriguing developmental option at this spot.

22. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS - Wan’Dale Robinson, WR/RB, Kentucky

It will be hard for Vegas to replace the speed factor of Henry Ruggs on their offense, but Wan’Dale Robinson is a big play waiting to happen. His versatility in the offense, from being utilized as a running back to master in the slot, makes him an exciting fit in any offense but a crucial one here for the Silver and Black.

23. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Avery Young, CB/S, Rutgers

The Saints heavily enjoy adding depth to their secondary, and Avery Young would be a great fit given what they already have. He can play corner or safety and is one of the better Cover 3 defensive backs in the draft.

24. DALLAS COWBOYS - Nolan Smith, ED, Georgia

With Randy Gregory up for free agency and DeMarcus Lawrence’s status in flux, Big D needs to add a big-time edge rusher. Nolan Smith has finally realized his potential in Athens in 2021, becoming the most consistent outside rusher on their football team.

25. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS - Travis Jones, IDL, UConn

Fixing a league-worst run defense should be one of the top priorities for the Chargers this offseason. UConn is a truly horrendous football team, but Travis Jones is a terrific nose tackle who has the strength to take on multiple linemen whilst possessing some juice to rush the passer as well.

26. BUFFALO BILLS - John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

It can’t help to give Josh Allen more weapons in Buffalo. Metchie has one of the more steady, all-around skillsets for a wide receiver in this class and could be a dynamite complement eventually to Stefon Diggs in the Buffalo passing game.

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Mykael Wright, CB, Oregon

With Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead up for free agency, it makes sense for Tampa Bay to acquire some secondary depth. Wright is a bit on the smaller side, but he’s active with the ball in the air and has aligned in multiple positions for the Oregon Ducks.

28. DENVER BRONCOS (via LA Rams) - Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

The Broncos desperately need talent in their linebacker core, and they find superb value with Campbell in the second. Armed with an all-around skill set, Campbell has been one of the best players in the Big Ten this season and is only beginning to scratch the surface of his ceiling.

29. BALTIMORE RAVENS - Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

The Ravens would be wise to invest in a young power-heavy based tackle. Well, the 380-pound Faalele will do just that. A great athlete for his size, Faalele’s commitment to changing his body and maintaining his great level of play make him a very exciting prospect and one that could be a cornerstone for Baltimore.

30. GREEN BAY PACKERS - Travon Walker, ED/IDL, Georgia

This may be way too late for Walker to go by the time the spring rolls around, but for Green Bay here it is absolutely great value. The Georgia defensive lineman has been a star in 2021, and his well-balanced game makes him a great fit next to Kenny Clark on the Packers offensive line.

31. ATLANTA FALCONS (via Tennessee) - Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

With an extra pick from the Julio Jones trade in their pocket, Atlanta uses their late second on Hooker, who has been fantastic for the Volunteers this season. With a skillset similar to Ryan Tannehill, Hooker could be a nice developmental gunslinger under Arthur Smith’s tutelage.

32. ARIZONA CARDINALS - Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

Finally, a running back goes! With Chase Edmonds and James Conner due to hit the free-agent market, and Arizona hypothetically picking this late, the value of Spiller is too much to pass up. A player who plays with great vision, deliberate patience, and improved receiving skills, he could be insanely productive right away in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

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