2022 NFL Mock Draft Round 1 Picks & Predictions: Which QB Will Be Selected No. 1 Overall?
Marcus Mosher looks ahead way, way, too early and lays out his 2022 NFL Mock Draft for Round 1, with 2022 Round 1 pick predictions for all 32 selections.
Recap our coverage of the 2021 NFL Draft with all 259 NFL Draft picks, top player analysis and scouting reports (like Trevor Lawrence), 2021 NFL Draft Team Grades, and more.
2022 NFL Mock Draft Round 1 Picks & Predictions
Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
The battle for the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft comes down to Spencer Rattler and UNC quarterback Sam Howell. Rattler has a massive arm and is a playmaker.
He needs to settle down some and be more cautious with his decisions, but with another year of being coached by Lincoln Riley, he should put up video-game numbers in Norman.
Rattler slotting at No. 1 in our 2022 Round 1 mock is an obvious nod to the Texans’ likely direction in replacing Deshaun Watson.
2. DETROIT LIONS
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
The Lions passed on Justin Fields and Mac Jones in the 2021 draft, but don’t expect them to ignore quarterback for a second straight year.
Sam Howell could be the No. 1 pick next year if he can continue to improve his accuracy.
Otherwise, he has all the tools to be a high-end starter in the NFL right away.
3. NEW YORK JETS
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
The Jets have one of the worst cornerback rooms in the NFL and LSU’s Derek Stingley is a star. His play dropped a bit during the 2020 season, but that was the case for everyone at LSU. He is among the best cornerback prospects we’ve seen over the last several years and a lock to be a top-five pick.
4. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The Jaguars drafted Walker Little in the 2021 NFL draft, but don’t be surprised if they address the offensive tackle again next year.
Evan Neal can play both guard and tackle, and his best spot in the NFL might be at right tackle.
At a monstrous 6-7, 360 pounds, Neal is likely to be the first offensive lineman off the board in next April’s draft.
5. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
You can make a really strong case that Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best non-quarterback in this draft.
As a freshman at Oregon, he totaled 14 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. In 2020, he saw more double teams than ever and still managed to record 9.5 tackles for a loss in seven games.
As long as he can stay healthy during the 2021 season, he is a lock to be a top-five pick next year.
6. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
No team in the NFL has a worse group of defensive tackles than the Las Vegas Raiders. That’s why it wouldn’t be a surprise if their defense continued to struggle again this year.
Look for them to address that early next year, potentially with DeMarvin Leal from Texas A&M.
Leal has ideal size but could stand to add even more weight. He is an impressive athlete at 290 pounds and has the ceiling to be a dominant pass-rushing defensive tackle in the NFL.
7. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Color me skeptical that Jalen Hurts is the franchise quarterback in Philadelphia. And with potentially three first-round picks, the Eagles are likely to go quarterback early in next year’s draft.
Desmond Ridder enters the 2021 season as the top senior quarterback and is poised for a great year at Cincinnati. Don’t be surprised if he is the third quarterback drafted next year.
8. NEW YORK GIANTS
Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
After Stingley, Kaiir Elam is the next cornerback to come off the board. Former first-round pick Matt Elam is his uncle, and he is the next Florida defensive back likely to be drafted in the first round.
He was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2020 and possesses the ideal size to be an outside cornerback in the NFL.
9. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Another intriguing defensive end to watch during the 2021 season is USC’s Drake Jackson. He wasn’t quite as productive in 2020 as he was in 2019, but the talent is there.
He has been a second-team All-Pac-12 selection in back-to-back years, but the expectation is that he will make a leap in Year 3.
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10. ATLANTA FALCONS
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Could we see another small-school quarterback end up in the first round of next year’s draft? Potentially, as Malik Willis from Liberty is a fascinating prospect.
A transfer from Auburn, Willis is a dual-threat quarterback who ran for 944 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games last season.
Willis will be eligible for the Senior Bowl in 2022 and could be a big riser in next year’s draft.
11. NEW YORK GIANTS (via BEARS)
Kenyon Green, OT, Texas A&M
The Giants ignored the offensive line for the most part during the 2021 draft, but don’t expect that to be the case in 2022. Kenyon Green is an All-American left guard who may be moving to tackle this year.
Given his position flexibility, this 2022 Round 1 mock pegs him as a top-15 pick, much like USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker was in the 2021 NFL Draft.
12. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College
The fifth quarterback off the board is another senior in Phil Jurkovec from Boston College. While his numbers weren’t all that impressive in 2020, he’s really improved over the last few years since transferring from Notre Dame.
13. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Kyle Hamilton, FS, Notre Dame
The Cardinals continue to add to the defense and pick a player that should fall outside the top-10 in safety Kyle Hamilton. He’s another big, long, athletic defender who can play multiple positions in the Cardinals’ defense.
Combining him with Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins would give Arizona one of the biggest and most versatile defenses in the NFL.
14. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
JT Daniels, QB, Georgia
Pittsburgh will likely be in the quarterback market next year, but it’s unlikely they will have a top-10 pick. That means they might have to take a chance on a project quarterback, and JT Daniels from Georgia could be an option.
Daniels is a transfer from USC but played well in four games for Georgia last season. He’ll have a chance to improve his draft stock this year but will have to do so without his top weapon in George Pickens, who was lost for the year due to an ACL injury.
15. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
With Melvin Ingram leaving in free agency during the 2021 offseason, the Chargers could use a long-term option opposite Joey Bosa.
George Karlaftis would make sense in the middle of the first round as he was super productive as a freshman, totaling 17 tackles for a loss in 12 games.
He played in just two games in 2020, but the expectation is that he will return to his usual self in a somewhat normal college football season.
16. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State
No team in the NFL drafts more cornerbacks in the first round than the Minnesota Vikings, and Ohio State’s Sevyn Banks is a perfect fit in Mike Zimmer’s defense.
At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, he has the ideal size to be an outside cornerback in the NFL. There are still some inconsistencies in his game, but another year with the Buckeyes should help iron those out.
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17. TENNESSEE TITANS
John Metchie, WR, Alabama
A.J. Brown is an absolute star, but the Titans need to add some talent around him after losing Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis in free agency.
John Metchie is the next Alabama receiver that should be a first-round pick after totaling 916 yards and six touchdowns last season. He should be in line for more work this year with DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle headed to the NFL.
18. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (via DOLPHINS)
Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Yes, I know that the Eagles don’t draft linebackers in the first round. But they might have the worst off-the-ball linebacker rooms in the NFL.
Harris is fantastic against the run and is only getting better in coverage. He is one of the best linebackers to come through Tuscaloosa in some time.
19. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Kedon Slovis, QB, USC
There were some rumblings that the Saints were trying to get ahead of the Patriots to select Mac Jones, but they will roll into the 2021 season with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston.
They could go quarterback in 2022 and Kedon Slovis is an intriguing option in the middle of the first round. In six games last season, he threw 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
It was a step down from his amazing freshman season, but it’s hard to blame him too much considering the odd Pac-12 year. Look for him to rebound in a big way in 2021.
20. DENVER BRONCOS
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
Michigan has sent several defensive linemen to the NFL over the past few seasons, but Hutchinson might be the most talented. He had 10 tackles for a loss during the 2019 season but only played in two games during 2020.
He is a massive defensive end at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds and can play all over the defensive line. He gives the Broncos more depth on the defensive line to help rush Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in the AFC West.
21. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (via COLTS)
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave might have been the fourth receiver drafted in 2021 if he declared, but instead, he goes back to school to improve his strength.
Will the Eagles draft a receiver in the first round for a third consecutive year? Maybe not. But Olave should be a top-25 pick next year. And considering Philly has this as an “extra” first-round pick via the Carson Wentz trade, Olave may be too good to pass up here.
22. NEW YORK JETS (via SEAHAWKS)
Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
After addressing their cornerback need early, the Jets go back to offense to help out Zach Wilson. Justyn Ross suffered a spine injury before the 2020 season, but he is healthy and one of the most talented receivers in this class.
As a freshman at Clemson, he totaled 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging nearly 22 yards per catch. He’s still incredibly young and would be a perfect fit with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore.
23. DALLAS COWBOYS
Jordan Battle, FS, Alabama
Will this be the year the Cowboys address their safety position early in the NFL Draft? Probably not.
But Jordan Battle is a worthy pick who should go inside the top 25. He is strong against the pass and run but will be fighting against the league going away from the safety position in the round.
24. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
With both Stephon Gillmore and JC Jackson on one-year deals, the Patriots could look to add more secondary help from a school they know well in Washington.
Like most Washington defensive backs, McDuffie lacks ideal size but wins by his intelligence and route recognition.
25. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
The Packers love to add size to their defensive line, and Jordan Davis can do just that. He was eligible for the 2021 draft but decided to go back to school for another year.
Davis is all of 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, and is a force in the run game. He doesn’t offer much pass-rush upside, but he is one of the few nose tackles worthy of a first-round pick.
26. MIAMI DOLPHINS (via 49ERS)
Kingsley Enagbare, DE, South Carolina
The Dolphins drafted Jaelan Phillips in Round 1 in the 2021 NFL Draft, but you can never have too many defensive ends.
Kingsley Enagbare is an athletic pass rusher who had six sacks and three forced fumbles in limited action last season.
27. BALTIMORE RAVENS
DJ Dale, DT, Alabama
The Ravens love to draft players from big schools, especially from Alabama. Dale is a throwback player who fits well inside for the Ravens.
He isn’t an elite pass rusher, but he can stop the run. With Baltimore getting a little older on the defensive line, Dale would be a fine pick at the end of the first round.
28. BUFFALO BILLS
Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Much like the Ravens, the Bills love to use early-round picks to improve the trenches.
Linderbaum is the top center prospect entering the 2021 college season and would be a great fit late in the first round with the Bills.
29. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Jamaree Salyer, OT/G, Georgia
The Browns have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and they appear set at the offensive tackle position. But Joel Bitonio has just two years left on his contract and no guaranteed money left on his deal entering 2021 or 2022.
Cleveland could take Jamaree Salyer here to replace Bitonio in 2023. This is a team without many holes, so continuing to invest in the offensive line makes sense.
30. DETROIT LIONS (via RAMS)
George Pickens, WR, Georgia
After addressing their quarterback need early with Howell, the Lions use their second first-round pick to get him a weapon.
George Pickens tore his ACL this offseason and will miss the 2021 season. However, he’s talented enough to still go in the first round despite his injury.
Detroit has one of the worst receiving units in the league, and adding an elite wide receiver prospect like Pickens makes too much sense.
31. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
A running back in the first round? Why not? Tampa Bay doesn’t have many needs on their roster, and Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones are on one-year deals.
Spiller is a big-play running back who averaged 5.9 yards per touch in 2020 in the SEC. Spiller could easily be the No. 1 running back off the board next year, and Tampa Bay could be the first to do so.
32. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati
The Chiefs don’t have many holes on their roster, so they could easily use this pick to replenish their pass rush.
Sanders is a senior who is coming off an impressive seven-sack season in 2020. With ideal size and athleticism, Sanders needs to get a little bit stronger this offseason to ensure that he finds himself in the first round.
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