• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

JC Johnson's 2022 NFL Mock Draft

by JC Johnson


I’m going to preface this by saying I didn’t add any potential trades into the mix because it would become far too chaotic.


1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan

When Jacksonville tagged Cam Robinson this week I was perplexed to say the least. I think Evan Neal is probably the safest prospect in this class in that we know he’s going to be a 10 year starter and play at a high level. Just take a look at his combine photo. With them tagging Robinson, I believe that means they want to beef up their DL and this class is loaded with those prospects. Hence selecting Hutchinson at #1. After a highly productive senior season that saw coach Harbaugh get over that hump, Hutchinson has done plenty to warrant #1 overall pick discussion.

2. Detroit Lions: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

This is where the mock gets spicier than usual. The Goff experiment in Detroit has run its course. He won’t be the guy to make them competitive, to be fair neither did Matthew Stafford outside of one playoff appearance. I think Holmes and Dan Campbell have a vision for this team. They’ve built the OL to be a top 10 unit in football, they’ve got good backs in Swift and Jamaal Williams, they’ve got playmakers in TJ Hockenson and Amon-Ra St. Brown. They need a QB that can pull it all together. Willis has a very unique skill set and he can come into this season and not have to worry about playing. Let him sit for a year. Add another weapon in a deep WR class in this draft and another in 2023 and that offense is completely revamped, retooled, and ready to compete just as the Rodgers era in Green Bay is coming to an end.

3. Houston Texans: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Texans dealt Laremy Tunsil before the draft. The LT has expressed his displeasure with the organization and very well could be on the move. That would set up the Texans to not only accrue more draft capital to rebuild a depleted roster, but also adequately replace him with Evan Neal. The 6’7 337lb behemoth was carved out of marble. He’s as can’t miss as they come. An easy pick to make.

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

The popular pick is Ikem Ekwonu here but Robert Saleh comes from an organization that loves DL from Oregon. I wouldn’t be surprised if he watches thibodeaux’s tape and all of those warm fuzzy feelings come rushing back to him. KT also fills a hole in the jets defensive scheme and with him on one side and a healthy Lawson on the other, the AFC East would be on notice.

5. New York Giants: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

Bradberry will be out of town soon. Sauce Gardner is the hot name now at the corner position but before Gardner received national acclaim, stingley was the 18 year old wunderkind starting in the SEC locking up Ceedee Lamb in the 2019 CFP for the eventual National Champion LSU Tigers. I think people are getting ahead of themselves. It happens every year that a prospect is so good that people suffer from prospect fatigue and want to talk about a new player. Stingley is just that guy though. Don’t think too much.

6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

This is one of the easier picks to make thus far. Want to help out the passing game? Establish a good run game. This guy is a road grader. He throws bodies around and will immediately impact the Carolina offense.

7. New York Giants: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Cross is an extremely polished, and smooth prospect, he perfectly fills in for a giants OL that can use help keeping the edge. He probably slots in as their RT but with most premier pass rushers moving over to that side of the ball, he’s a guy ready made for battle.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Hamilton is the #2 prospect on my board. He’s a complete unicorn at the position and when you have as many holes as Atlanta does you take the best player. People want to give them a WR here and there’s a lot of good ones. When you have the chance to draft a unicorn you take it though. Just like they did with another Kyle last season. These are building block players for a franchise.

9. Seattle Seahawks: Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia

The first player of the vaunted Georgia defense comes off the board. Seattle is looking to add speed, athleticism, youth and impact to their defense and they can do all of that in one selection with Travon Walker, 6’4 270 and he ran 4.51. That is a big big man moving.

10. New York Jets: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Penning is the fourth OT off the board, the Jets were in a similar situation when they selected Mekhi Becton. Penning is a far superior athlete that plays with a mean streak. He may not be ready made like Cross, Ekky, or Neal, but he’s a good player at a position they need help at. Douglas builds through the trenches and they continue to do so with this pick.

11. Washington Commanders: Drake London, WR, USC

When you go out and Carson Wentz you are essentially making the bet that if he fails, you’re out of a job. Ron Rivera and company need to do whatever it takes to make Wentz successful. That means giving him weapons to work with. We saw him have pretty good rapport with Michael Pittman and that is a very similar player to Drake London. London profiles as the big body contested catch receiver to let Terry Mclaurin take the top off and Curtis Samuel to be worked in as the gadget player they want to use him as in Scott Turner’s offense.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati 

With Peterson probably not returning to the fold, the best corner on the roster is Kris Boyd. This is an easy pick for a new front office that is going to look to acquire the best talent available. Sauce is just that. Don’t think just pick.

13. Cleveland Browns: Jermaine Johnson Jr, EDGE, Florida State

For a team that just acquired Amari Cooper, WR isn’t going to be the pick here. Instead, with Clowney’s return uncertain, they go with the best player on their board and allow Johnson to pin his ears back on the opposite side of Garrett and get to the QB.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

I know the Ravens fans will freak out when this pick isn’t one of Sauce or Stingley but they’re both too good to be here at 14. Honestly, Linderbaum is my #3 overall player on my board. He’s too good to be here too. The Ravens have a need at center with Bozeman hitting free agency and Linderbaum is just an unbelievable player. He gets out in front and pulls from the center position and will only add depth to an already potent rushing attack when Dobbins and Edwards return.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Andrew Booth Jr, CB, Clemson

This corner class is stacked and adding Booth to pair with Slay is too enticing to pass up on. He’s an instant playmaker at the NFL level.

16. Philadelphia Eagles: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

An incredible value on an edge rusher the Eagles are getting Ojabo here. Speed off the edge is how I would describe him. He may need to work on run defense but this guy can get to the QB.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

This is the easiest pick in the entire draft so far. Simply put Davis is an absolute freak. At 6’6 341 and a 4.78 40 time, I’m not sure the NFL has ever seen someone this big with that athleticism since probably Larry Allen. He immediately fixes the run defense and will clog up the middle for Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.

18. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

What do you do for a QB with small hands? Put him in a dome and let him play in a division with another dome and warm weather. Pickett can operate fairly well in this timing offense of that NOLA operates and will be able to step in day 1 and play. 

19. Philadelphia Eagles: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

The Eagles need to give Hurts more playmakers if they want to truly see what he is. Devonta Smith is great and Dallas Goedert is no slouch, but their next best option is Quez Watkins. Burks is lightning in the bottle and can do a lot with very little if you get him the ball. He’s the perfect asset for a QB that struggles to push the ball to intermediate and deep routes.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College

The Steelers need offensive line help. I think Johnson’s skillset will entice them as a guy who can play multiple positions and allow them to move Kendrick Green over to RG where he was more successful during the latter part of 2021.

21. New England Patriots: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Lloyd is a Belichick kind of player. He’s smart, big at 6’3 225 in the make of a Donta Hightower and he's an instinctive player who can read underneath passing lanes as well as zone scheme run assignments.

22. Las Vegas Raiders: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma

The popular pick here is a WR to replace Henry Ruggs but the best DT on the roster is Kendal Vickers at the present moment. This WR class is deep, but Perrion Winfrey has repeatedly stolen the show in the pre draft process from the senior bowl to the combine interviews. He’s got the charisma of a leader and the play on the field to back up a 1st round selection. He hasn’t been a 1st in a lot of mocks, I expect that to change as the draft gets closer.

23. Arizona Cardinals: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

I think Garrett Wilson is the best WR in this class. He’s fast, runs every route in the tree and can jump out of the gym. He’s such an upgrade over Christian Kirk it’s almost laughable.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

The rich get richer. The 3rd member of the Georgia defense goes in round 1. This isn’t the sexiest name of the first round but he’s a good football player. The Cowboys can use him to beef up the interior.

25. Buffalo Bills: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

The idea of giving the Bills another WR is enticing but they need to play better defense if they want to advance in the playoffs. McDuffie can lock down the other side of Tre'davious White when he returns from injury.

26. Tennessee Titans: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

With Caleb Farley already injured and having suffered multiple injuries before reaching the NFL, the Titans need to double down at the position. Elam is great in press, physical and has incredible tape against Jameson Williams in this class.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

I love Corral’s moxie. In a mock where there aren’t any trades this is the best landing spot I could pick for him. He’s got weapons galore on the perimeter and has the arm to air it out in Bruce Arians system. He’s also athletic enough to run the ball when he gets in some sticky situations which he most likely will with Ali Marpet unexpectedly retiring this off-season.

28. Green Bay Packers: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio Sate

I’m doing it, I’m giving Rodgers his first 1st round WR. My head and history says give them Nakobe Dean but my heart tells me that if the Packers are going to shell out 50 mill a season for a guy, they should probably do whatever they have to do to make him happy and successful.

29. Miami Dolphins: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Dean plays with incredible instinct and speed. People are a little concerned about his size but in today’s NFL you need a MLB that can cover the TE and slot if called upon. Gone are the days where these guys weigh 240 and are slamming into fullbacks in the hole. I think he’s an incredible value at 29.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Sometimes, people just want to watch the world burn. What do you give to the guy who has everything? Speed. More speed. This would make the chiefs offense go nuclear. I think it’s possible he slips with the ACL injury and to team philosophy with other WRs going before him that have demonstrated an ability to do different things. 

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

We know what the Bengals need to do. Every single pick of theirs should go into keeping Joe Burrow alive.

32. Detroit Lions: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he went higher than this. People are concerned about his athleticism and the rumor mill is saying he didn’t interview well. I believe he’s too talented to be here at 32 but sometimes, good people get nice things.