Round One NFL Mock Draft!
My first one ever.
The 2022 NFL Draft is only three days away and you know what that means! MOCK DRAFTS. With the season coming to its close on Thursday, I wanted to push myself to do something I have never done before. A full round one mock draft, all 32 picks without trades. Yes, I know that there will be trades the night of round one, but I thought it would be a good excersize to treat every team as if they were unable to trade up or down and view the draft in the lens of what each teams need is with the board they see on their pick. There are tons of rumors flying around this time of year, and this will give you an idea of how these teams can and should look to improve with their first round draft capital.
Now, I know there are bound to be some questions about how this came to be and let me just go over a few of the picks to start:
The edge run to start made the most sense to me for a couple reasons, the first being all 4 of these teams need pass rush in a bad way. The Jets LOVE Johnson and with edge being one of the strengths in this class, especially at the top, it made sense to go in that direction. I think the general idea that Thibodeaux is “falling” is vastly overblown and he will be a top five pick in this draft. He has the traits to be the best edge player from this class and teams won’t take that lightly.
The Falcons going Jameson Williams with the eigth pick is relatively simple in my eyes. Arthur Smith needs to start assembling a winning team after dealing Matt Ryan and bringing in Marcus Mariota as the bridge QB. They took Kyle Pitts at four last year, so why go offensive weapon in the top ten again? Just look at that receiver room and you’ll have your answer. Williams will be ready sooner than anticipated and will bring immediate big-play potential to pair with Kyle Pitts.
The Ikem Ekwonu slide was as much a surprise to me as it was to you. I do see him as a top player in this draft and while I think the Falcons, Jets, Texans, and Panthers all seem like logical spots, I wonder how teams view him. If he’s seen more along the lines of an interior player, which I’ve heard from a few good places, that drops his positional value. If the run on edges happens like this, which I clearly think is likely, I think one of the top two offensive lineman in this draft falls just because of defensive positional need.
I had more trouble putting this together than I anticipated, but I’m happy with how it turned out. A few surprises I didn’t excect, but that’s what makes these things fun! I know I won’t be right in the end, but as I said, if each team has to treat the board as it falls, this is an outcome I can see pretty easily. Now let me have it; which picks did you love? Which did you hate? Which were the most surprising that make sense? And why am I absolutley crazy?!