Nick Jacobs: 2022 NFL Draft final 1st-round mock draft

NFL Draft
Posted at 1:12 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 16:07:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — My first-round mock draft will have a little bit of a twist on it.

Up top, I've put what I think they will do for prediction purposes, but below it I will add in what I would do in their spot.

So, this is my one, only and final first-round mock draft:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Projected Pick: DE Travon Walker, Georgia
My Pick: Same

General Manager Trent Baalke will likely go with the player who has one of the highest ceilings among edge rushers. It also gives him leverage if negotiations with Josh Allen before they potentially elect not to exercise his fifth-year option.

Doug Pederson likely would prefer to have an offensive tackle who can give second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence reliable bookends up front.

2. Detroit Lions
Final Projected Pick: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
My Pick: CB Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati

Lions coach Dan Campbell likes players who play with an edge. Hutchinson gives them a local story for the press but, more than that, a reliable pass rusher to pair with Charles Harris.

Detroit could use help at corner in the long-term quest to try and chase down Green Bay in the NFC North.

3. Houston Texans
Final Projected Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama
My Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

The Texans next help on their offensive line as well as at wide receiver, pass rush and cornerback. They honestly can't go wrong if they stick in that ballpark.

Neal gives them flexibility for the eventual departure of Laramey Tunsil and he seems like a player who would already hit the Patriot Way check list for General Manager Nick Caserio.

But Stingley would provide new head coach Lovie Smith with the playmaker he needs in his secondary.

4. New York Jets
Final Projected Pick: DE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State
My pick: Same

The Jets may not even have this pick by the time the draft begins. "San Francisco East" may have their eyes on wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

New York needs a dynamic receiver, but second-year coach Robert Saleh's squad also could use help at left tackle, defensive end and cornerback for his schemes to work.

Johnson gives them one of the better edge rushers if they stay at pick No. 4.

5. New York Giants
Final Projected Pick: OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
My Pick: Same

The Giants have a long-term rebuild on their hands. General Manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll are going to need the next three years before they see Buffalo Bills-type results in New York.

Again, it's hard to go wrong with this pick, but Ekwonu would give them a physical and athletic offensive tackle to help provide an accurate evaluation on Daniel Jones' future before making a long-term decision on his fifth-year option or a long-term extension.

6. Carolina Panthers
Final Projected pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty
My Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama

The Panthers have two choices: Get an athletic quarterback who can evade the pass rush or find some offensive tackles. When Cameron Erving goes in as the projected starting left tackle, you are going to have a bad time.

Coach Matt Rhule's job is likely on the line this season, so the key for him is convince ownership and General Manager Scott Fitterer that he can make it work with a quarterback. Willis provides them the most athletic guy with a good arm to go with it.

7. New York Giants
Final Projected Pick: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
My Pick: Same

The Giants need help across the board and the opportunity to begin rebuilding both sides of the line is a great start for a team that has a lot of holes to fill. New York could actually benefit from flipping this pick to enhance their rebuild with an additional second- and third-round pick.

8. Atlanta Falcons
Projected Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
My Pick: Same

The Falcons primary needs are arguably at quarterback, wide receiver and edge rusher.

The top edge rushers are off the board, so they team needs to take the receiver they can plug in immediately and play.

Atlanta would also benefit from adding another receiver in the later rounds to pair with Wilson.

9. Seattle Seahawks
Final Projected Pick: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State
My Pick: Same

The Seahawks will need to find their next quarterback long-term if Lee's Summit and University of Missouri graduate Drew Lock, who was acquired in the Russeell Wilson trade, isn't the answer.

But they can't properly evaluate him until he has quality offensive tackles to keep him clean. Cross provides an athletic offensive tackle to get the job done.

10. New York Jets
Final Projected pick: WR Drake London, USC
My Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

The Jets need an impact player at wide receiver.

Jameson Williams would be an ideal fit for their scheme, but their offense is going to need the receiver to be available immediately. I still think they try to move the pick if they aren't comfortable with the pass rushers, corners and wide receivers on the board.

11. Washington Commanders
Final Projected pick: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
My Pick: Same

The Commanders have invested in wide receiver and in their pass rush. The only real causes for concern appear to be offensive line and safety.

The investment they made in Carson Wentz may force them to debate on their line. This is also a prime spot for Washington to look for a trade down.

12. Minnesota Vikings
Final Projected Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
My Pick: Same

The Vikings defense has the linebackers and secondary needed to succeed this season, and the offense appears to be in good shape.

The biggest missing piece that stands out looking at their depth chart is a powerful space-eating defensive lineman. Davis provides that for them immediately, but again this is also another potential trading spot if someone wants to come up in the draft.

13. Houston Texans
Final Projected pick: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
My pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

The Texans were able to find their tackle at No. 3. The team also could use a wide receiver, but they would potentially be reaching in this spot, especially if Jameson Williams is off the board — and I expect him to be through an aggressive trade.

McDuffie provides Lovie Smith with the corner he needs.

14. Baltimore Ravens
Final Projected pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
My pick: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue

If there were ever two guys who fit the physical mentality of the Baltimore Ravens, it's the two players listed above.

Powerful, physical and high-energy describe both Penning and Karlaftis.

Penning would provides the Ravens a more athletic and physical option at right tackle as well as a guy who could move into the left tackle spot, if needed.

15. Philadelphia Eagles
Final Projected pick: DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
My pick: Same

The Eagles need to begin finding a younger solution for Fletcher Cox at defensive tackle. This would provide the team with an escape hatch long-term.

It also feels like one of the moves General Manager Howie Roseman would make, but I have no doubt they will be in the market for wide receivers Jameson Williams and Chris Olave, if they are on the board.

16. New Orleans Saints
Final Projected pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
My pick: WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Long-term, the Saints need a quarterback, an offensive tackle and wide receivers.

New Orleans has positioned itself with both of their picks to trade up and strike for their offensive tackle or receiver, but I think they just want to see how the board plays out until No.7 and Olave happens to fall into their laps here.

17. Los Angeles Chargers
Final Projected pick: OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
My pick: same

The Chargers need to find a help along the right side of their offensive line. Those positions need to be locked down before the season begins.

Green provides them with a versatile offensive lineman who can play at every spot but center. He has power in his hands that can stun defenders and projects as an immediate plug-and-play for the Chargers.

18. Philadelphia Eagles
Final Projected Pick: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
My Pick: Same

The Eagles were awful at linebacker last year. Lloyd is a guy who's coaches film didn't match his testing numbers, but he isn't out here trying to win trophies for best exerciser.

Lloyd likes to slip around blocks rather than take them on, but he has the ability to make game-changing plays when he does and can rush the passer on third downs, if needed.

It would make for a promising combination with Lloyd and Haason Reddick.

19. New Orleans Saints
Final Projected Pick: OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa
My pick: Same

The Saints were able to get Olave and now they move on to secure the tackle position.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Final Projected Pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida
My Pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty

The Steelers need a quarterback for the future. If Malik Willis is their guy, they need to go get him if the Panthers don't take him as Pittsburgh also doesn't currently have reliable one on the roster.

But with the way the projected picks have gone, they still need quality help at the cornerback spot. Elam would provide them a physical presence that fits the Steelers way.

21. New England Patriots
Final Projected Pick: S Daxton Hill, Michigan
My Pick: Same

Coach Bill Belichick could go a number of different roads with wide receiver, offensive line and corner. Hill gives him necessary versatility at corner or safety.

22. Green Bay Packers
Final Projected Pick: WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
My Pick: WR George Pickens, Georgia

Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst needs to get Aaron Rodgers some weapons.

After trading away Davante Adams, there is no reason to wait around on this position, so Watson or Pickens is the play here.

Is it a reach? Maybe, but only if they don't help you win.

23. Arizona Cardinals
Final Projected Pick: DE Drake Jackson, USC
My Pick: Same

The Cardinals need to find an edge rusher to replace Chandler Jones. Jackson provides them with a player who has played both defensive end and outside linebacker.

He will need help improving his strength against the run, but the ability to rush the passer, hand fight and bend is already there.

24. Dallas Cowboys
Final Projected Pick: OG Zion Johnson, Boston College
My pick: Same

The Cowboys need to find help along the interior of their offensive line. Johnson provides them an immediate jolt to a decaying interior.

25. Buffalo Bills
Final Projected Pick: CB Kyler Gordon, Washington
My pick: Same

The Bills are in a great spot. They don't have a ton of needs on their football team, but long-term Buffalo needs to begin making additions along the right side of the offensive line and at cornerback.

Gordon gives them a physical presence in the secondary.

26. Tennessee Titans
Final Projected Pick: OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
My pick: Same

The Titans are going to need to find help at offensive tackle and safety. There will be plenty of receivers to complement AJ Brown in the next few rounds and create leverage during contract extension talks.

Raimann provides the team an offensive tackle who can allow them to get a little better athletic long-term and become the heir apparent to Taylor Lewan.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Final Projected Pick: DE George Karlaftis, Purdue
My Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

The Buccaneers' defense needs help along the line and at corner. Tom Brady could also use a tight end.

Tampa Bay can find tight end later, but they need a physical presence opposite of Shaquil Barrett, which Karlaftis would provide.

28. Green Bay Packers
Final Projected Pick: DL Logan Hall, Houston
My Pick: DT Travis Jones, Connecticut

The Packers need push along their defensive line to pair with Kenny Clark. Hall and Jones provide those options for them. — unless the team hasn't addressed wide receiver and needs to do so here with their top receiver on the board.

29. Kansas City Chiefs
Final Projected Pick: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
My Pick: Same

Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams is expected to go anywhere from 10th to 17th overall, which means the Chiefs will have to trade up, but he is arguably the only player in the draft who can replicate the parts of Tyreek Hill's game that make the offense so dangerous.

The reality is that Hill got too expensive, especially with the typical wide-receiver cliff looming at the age of 30. Getting Williams in the first round provides five cost-controlled years of a player with similar traits and skills when healthy from the ACL tear he suffered in the national championship game.

30. Kansas City Chiefs
Final Projected Pick: DE Boye Mafe , Minnesota
My Pick: Same

Kansas City probably will want to come away with an edge rusher among their top-four picks.

Minnesota defensive end Boye Mafe has been linked to them through the mock draft process for a reason. We'll see on draft night whether those rumors circulating have been on purpose or not.

Mafe already has the size you want in an NFL defensive end. He showcases the necessary speed-to-power to succeed in the NFL and is a strong run-support defensive end.

Mafe has really quick hands when he gets an offensive tackle one-on-one. He is a savvy pass rusher who can utilize his hand speed to disengaged from tackles.

Mafe will hustle down the line of scrimmage and give max effort. He just runs a little hot and cold at times, like Chris Jones did coming out of Mississippi State.

He could replace the ability lost when Emmanuel Ogbah left for free agency.

31. Cincinnati Bengals
Final Projected Pick: OL Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
My Pick: Same

The Bengals are another team that finds themselves in really good position roster-wise, like Buffalo.

The team needs another addition along the offensive line at center or left guard as well as cornerback help. If the Bengals had the necessary help at those positions last season, they would have been the team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

32. Detroit Lions
Final Projected Pick: QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
My Pick: S Lewis Cine, Georgia

The Lions will have a golden opportunity to trade this pick and move back in the second round if a team that would like a fifth-year option on a player, especially a quarterback.

If they stand pat, Ridder could be a player that helps them push Jared Goff or replaces him.

But Cine would provide a physical presence when he takes out knee caps rather than bites them.


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