Final Edition with Trades!
For analysis please click on Round 1, 2, 3 for drop boxes
Call me crazy but I still think the Jaguars are going to offensive line in this draft even with all the rumors of Travon Walker going #1 overall. Most NFL draft decisions often happen right after the combine and around the end of free agency and despite their resigning of Cam Robinson, you can't tell me they would pass up the best offensive lineman in the draft in Ekwonu whose the best run blocker and most versatile offensive lineman available.
Aidan Hutchinson to Detroit has been the easiest mock of all time with his Michigan roots making him a fan favorite as well as him being the #1 overall prospect in the draft. He will bring the same level of production off the edge that the Bosa brothers have done for the Chargers and Niners but with more leadership qualities and Detroit will finally have a pass rusher off the edge that can give Aaron Rodgers a sleepless night or two in the twilight years of his career.
Unable to trade this pick as they work to rebuild the franchise select Travon Walker out Georgia who has been touted as the prospect with the highest ceiling of production in the draft and versatile mismatching nightmare in the front seven. He will give Texans fans a glimmer of hope defensively and has the potential to develop into a perennial pro bowler on the defensive line.
The New York Jets division got exponentially more difficult with the infusion of Tyreek Hill into the conference as well as the resigning of Stephon Diggs in Buffalo and to prevent getting left in the dust the Jets grab the best cornerback prospect in the draft. Gardner has been the draft darling of NFL fans from all over and his skill set and physical traits give him elite shutdown cornerback potential like he had at Cincinnati. He will be the best corner to step into MetLife since Darrell Revis and could give the Jets defensive leg up they need to stay in games in the always competitive AFC East.
The New York Giants are reward greatly at #5 with the availability of Evan Neal out of Alabama whose the best pure offensive tackle prospect in the NFL draft. It allows the new front office to right the wrong of the previous administration with their offensive line picks as Evan Neal is by far and away the best lineman this organization has drafted in over a decade and he'll give the quarterback in New York a clean blindside for well over a decade.
Unable to secure a trade themselves to get out of the Top10 and gather more picks, the Panthers select the last great offensive tackle prospect in the draft in Charles Cross out of Mississippi State. He's regarded as the best pure offensive tackle prospect in the draft with all the size and physical traits that teams covet in blindside blocker. Whomever is the quarterback in Week 1 for the 2022 season can be assured that their won't be many hits off their blindside and he should help turn the Panthers passing game up a notch with his protection. He's a decade long starter on the offensive line and should be a nice consolation prize for Panther fans.
TRADE! the first draft shake up of the night happens at #7 with the New York Giants and New Orlean Saints make a trade. The Giants move out of the top 10 to gather more quality players in the middle of the draft and the New Orleans Saints move just ahead of their rival Atlanta Falcons, a dark horse quarterback needy team at the top of the draft, and grab Malik Willis at #7. Willis is a phenomenal athletic specimen at the quarterback position with a howitzer of an arm and even though this class isn't filled with bona fide franchise changing quarterbacks, Willis is the closest thing to one available. He can make plays with his feet as well as his arm and should give Saints fans some excitement on Sundays.
The Atlanta Falcons, potentially, robbed of their quarterback choice simply go best player available and grab Kayvon Thibodeaux at #8 as his unusual slide ends. He's been a perennial pro bowl level prospect throughout the draft process but some odd interaction here and some missed opportunities there have forced the dumber organizations at the top of the draft to sour on him a bit much to the benefit of Atlanta. Atlanta has been searching for a pass rusher for what seems like forever and Thibodeaux in my opinion certainly ends their search.
The Seahawks go against the grain in the draft by not selecting a quarterback and grab the best player available for them in Jermaine Johnson II at #9 much the benefit, or dismay depending your love for Kenny Pickett. Johnson II has been a rocket up many NFL big boards with his game tape, Senior Bowl performance, and NFL combine numbers and Seattle has been searching for an edge rusher since they traded away from Frank Clark. Johnson II's selection ends their search and gives them a great foundational piece for the defensive rebuild.
The New York Jets continue their defensive rebuild with the selection of the best player available and the safest player in the draft in Kyle Hamilton who, combined with Ahmad Gardner at cornerback, give the New York potentially the best defense in the AFC East. Hamilton's ability to be a do-it-all defender at the safety position as well completely shutdown deep passes down field should help the Jets stay in games give quarterback Zach Wilson more opportunities to have scoring drives.
I know Commanders fans probably want Ron Rivera and company to draft a receiver or grab Derek Stingley at #11 but Zion Johnson has been the most touted offensive lineman throughout the draft process with his Senior bowl play and NFL combine performances and the loss of Brandon Scherff in the offseason is a very difficult thing to overcome. Johnson has perennial pro bowl interior lineman written all over him from his physically imposing build and technical prowess and should at the very least be a plug-n-play prospect to replace Scherff.
The Minnesota Vikings need cornerback help and defensive line help in the worst way and with the availability of Stingley at #12 the Vikings grab the cornerback with the highest ceiling in the draft. Stingley of 2019 would likely have been a top 3 pick in the draft but Stingley of 2022 falls due to questions over his final two years at LSU much to the benefit of the Vikings who grab a potential bookend shutdown cornerback that will have some easy opportunities to make plays with the upgraded pass rush of the Minnesota.
Houston Texans receive #24, #155, and a 2023 3rd round pick
Dallas Cowboys receive pick #13
The Dallas Cowboys have not so secretly been in love with Zion Johnson but his surprising selection by the rival Commanders leaves only one guard prospect available and with teams in need of guard upgrades ahead of Dallas forces the Dallas Cowboys to go with plan be and trade up for another name that has ben linked with them for a while as well in the big monster defensive tackle in Jordan Davis. The Houston Texans in need of more picks to rebuild the team but unfortunately lack the quarterback needy team to trade back and grab a give Dallas a bit of a bargain to move up from #24 to #13 to grab their guy. Jerry Jones loves his combine workout warriors and nobody in combine history had a better workout the Jordan Davis. Davis will transform this Dallas defense into a monster in the NFC with his ability to constantly command double and triple teams should ease Dallas fans tensions with the organization not going after top free agents over a month ago.
The Baltimore Ravens haven't made much of an attempt to resign cornerback Marcus Peters as he recovers from his knee injury and gets that much closer to 30 yrs old and getting his potential replacement in Andrew Booth Jr. will certainly make their decision easier if they let him go. Booth is a phenomenal athlete with great coverage skills and sold technique that doesn't have the gaudy interception numbers of his compatriots in the draft which is why he slides a bit in Day 1. He and Marlon Humphrey would give the Ravens an exceptional pass defense in a division with Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow and will allow the Ravens to give Lamr Jackson more opportunities to make plays for his team.
The Philadelphia Eagles defense is aging with no clear cut signs of good times ahead but George Karlaftis at pick #15 certainly gives the Eagles a rock solid foundational piece at the edge rusher position. He's one of the most technically sound pass rusher sin the draft but because he's not on the same level athletically as the edge rushers selected ahead of him he falls to Philly. He's one of the safest picks in the draft that should be a 10 sack per season kind of pass rusher with an ability to stuff the run and should Philly to say good bye to Brandon Graham and/ Derek Barnett as they age and under perform.
The New York Giants after pulling off a great trade with New Orleans grab the safest NFL prospect in the draft in center Tyler Linderbaum who will ensure that the interior of the Giants interior line doesn't mangled on a consistent basis. Linderbaum is an elite run blocker and pass protector in the interior but because of size concerns and devaluing of the position he falls to #16. He becomes the cornerstone piece for the Giants offensive line with the selection of Evan Neal early and gives this team a strong foundation up front going forward.
The Los Angeles Chargers were likely hoping for Jordan Davis to fall to them at #17 until Dallas swooped in early and stole him but offensive tackle is also a need for them and Trevor Penning is sitting right their for the taking. He possesses elite physcial traits as well as menacing blocking style that the Chargers need on the offensive line and combined with second year sensation Rashawn Slater gives the Chargers two potential bookend monster's on each side of their offensive and will give Justin Herbert many more opportunities to make impressive plays.
The Philadelphia Eagles have some needs at wide receiver still despite the productivity of Devonta Smith in 2021 and grabbing a receiver with and athleticism is exactly what the Eagles need and Drake London at #18 is almost too good of a fit. London is the best receiver in the draft in my opinion and he will immediately give Philadelphia potent passing offense as he an Smith terrorize defenses throughout the NFC and it will Philadelphia a glimpse into is Jalen Hurts is the franchise quarterback or not.
New York Giants receive picks #26, #90, and #219
Tennessee Titans receives pick #19
Steelers receive picks #29 and #121
Kansas City receives pick #20
TWO DRAFT DAY TRADES IN A ROW JUST LIKE 2021 BETWEEN STEELERS AND CHIEFS!!!!!!! The Pittsburgh wanting sit and wait for Pickett to arrive cost them bigly with him getting stolen away from them at #19 by the Titans and the need to trade out becomes ever greater and luckily for them the Kansas City Chiefs need a receiver after trading Tyreek Hill and the parties luckily strike a deal quickly for the Chiefs to snag the 2nd best receiver in the draft in Treylon Burks. Burks is the best playmaking receiver in the NFL draft who take over a game with the quarterback and their is no better quarterback for his skillset than Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. Burks is at least a band-aid over the wound left by the departure of Tyreek Hill this offseason and should give Chiefs fans some excitement for 2022.
The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick have a long history of wide receiver flops but it will be hard to flop on Jahan Dotson whose regarded by many as one of the safest receiver picks in the draft. Dotson is one of the best route-runners in the class and has been highly productive in college despite playing on a run based offense. The Patriots have a run-based offense that sets up the passing attack for Mac Jones and getting him a receiver that can create immense separation on a consistent basis will make this offense incredibly potent and keep them in the hunt as a playoff team.
The Green Bay Packers need to draft a receiver or the cheese-head fan base will lose their minds and getting Chris Olave at pick #22 is too good to pass up on. Olave, like Dotson taken ahead of him, is one of the best route-runners in the draft and safest receiver available and combing him with Aaron Rodgers is almost too good of a pairing. He will be constant thorn in a defenses side with his ability separate and make catches at all three levels of the field and with Rodgers throwing him passes, it's hard for me to see this not working out for Green Bay.
The Arizona Cardinals have needed an outside cornerback prospect for some time and Kaiir Elam at #23 is a great attempt at fixing that issue for them. Elam is very long, very athletic, and was very productive in college and while he's certainly a little raw for the position, you can't teach his physical traits and intangibles and with his first couple years he should be a good starter for this team.
The Houston Texans take the Dallas Cowboys pick they received from early and grab a versatile chess piece in the secondary in Trent McDuffie who can play in the slot as well as on the outside if need be. His tough and physical style of play for a cornerback his size is exactly what new coach Lovie Smith is looking for on the field in Houston and coudl be a very talented player with Smith's tutelage.
The Buffalo Bills interest in getting a running back has been the worst kept secret in the draft but I doubt they will address that need this early on but getting a talented offensive lineman to ensure that the run and is smooth and that Josh Allen is protected is where Kenyon Green comes as the #25 overall selection. Green is a technically sound run blocker that can move lineman at will and has physical traits that can make him a very pass protector down the line and his ability to play offensive tackle as well makes him an excellent option here at #25.
The New York sit tight finally at pick #26 and grab an edge rusher that many believed would be long gone if not for a devastating Achilles injury in a pre-draft workout and even though he won't play in 2022, his value is too good to pass up here in the draft. He can heel his Achilles with patience as the New York Giants are in a rebuild mode anyways and when takes the field he can assured that big blue will be excited to see him take the field when he's 100%.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in an odd position this late in the draft as their needs for an interior offensive lineman won't quashed with none of the top guys available but they go ahead and grab the last great receiver prospect in the draft in Garrett Wilson. Wilson is a great playmaker that can lineup anywhere on an offense and should quash all the hoopla about Antonio Brown ever coming back to the organization.
The Green Bay Packers could easily select another receiver here but with Garrett Wilson getting taken before they could reunite the Ohio State receivers they grab one of the fastest risers in the draft in Boye Mafe out of Minnesota. Mafe is an elite athletic specimen that has potential to wreck games with the right coaching and with the loss of Za'Darius Smith in free agency likely to hurt this team in 2022, getting Mafe here at least patches the hole left behind.
The Pittsburgh Steelers grab the NFL drafts quarterback wild card in Matt Corral out of Ole Miss whose been falling down draft boards due to size and inconsistent tape. Corral luckily however will be going to a team in Pittsburgh with good receivers and monster defense and long history of patience and good coaching and with time I think he can be a decent to good starting quarterback in his career.
The Chiefs grabbed their receiver early in Day q in Burks but now look for great value at #30 and their is no better value in the draft currently than Devin Lloyd out of Utah who has the capability to not only quarterback a defense but make plays all over the field. Lloyd is a great player to grab here and will be an immediate impact player on their defense.
The Cincinnati Bengals need for an offensive tackle is certainly a priority but Daxton Hill is too good of player to pass up on here at pick #31. Hill is an phenomenal athlete that can play any position in the secondary at a high level and if the Bengals have any issues in their secondary in 2022 he's a player that can quickly fix and improve that position.
The Detroit still need a quarterback of the future and the best available option currently is Desmond Ridder out Cincinnati. Ridder is a phenomenal athlete at the position with great arm strength and leadership qualities and head coach Dan Campbell is looking for players like Ridder for his team. He's an attempt to improve the position and doesn't have to start right away with Goff in front of him and his rookie contract includes a fifth year option on dirt cheap deal if Ridder is a hit in the NFL.