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Monday, January 24, 2022

2022 NFL Mock Draft: A Fourth QB Goes In The First Round – Sportliva

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College football is about to enter its playoffs. Many fans will watch the College Football Playoff and bowl games to see their favorite teams and top NFL Draft prospects for the 2022 season. We’ll then proceed to the league’s scouting combine and the major event after that.

Will this year’s draft provide a franchise quarterback? CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson has had three quarterbacks selected in the first round in prior editions. This week, four new players enter the top 32.

“We’ve usually had three quarterbacks go in the first round of our weekly mock drafts,” Wilson wrote. “But now that the college season is over (except for the playoffs) and draft season is unofficially underway, don’t be surprised if that number grows as we hear about quarterback-needy teams talking themselves into second-round talents who end up being overdrafted.”

Which quarterback is assigned to which position? To view every round one pick from Wilson’s newest mock, scroll down:

1. Detroit Lions: DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Aidan Hutchinson returning to Michigan Wolverines football team

It’s difficult to pick out a single individual who has had a greater impact on the Wolverines’ breakthrough 2021 season. He’s ubiquitous in opposition backfields and can shut down an offense on his own. In the 42-27 victory against Ohio State, the whole country saw it. Hutchinson had three sacks and a total of 15 pressures at the conclusion of the day. He also had a sack in the Big Ten championship game triumph on Saturday.

“Rather of leaving school early, Hutchinson remained in school, balled out as a senior, and established himself into perhaps the top player — on either side of the ball — in the nation during the ’21 college football season,” according to CBS Sports.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

NC State lineman Ikem Ekwonu among Outland Trophy semifinalists

Last autumn, the Associated Press named Ekwonu to the second team All-ACC and the league’s third team. For the second year in a row, he received the Jim Ritcher Award, which is presented yearly to NC State’s outstanding offensive lineman, while posting a team-high 50 pancake blocks.

CBS Sports: “One of our favorite players in this draft class is Ekwonu. There’s discussion that he’ll have to go inside to guard, but seeing him play, it’s clear that he’s most suited to be a dominating tackle, which is precisely what the Jags want.”

3. Houston Texans: QB Matt Corral

2022 NFL Draft: QB Matt Corral says farewell to Ole Miss, signaling draft  intentions - CBSSports.com

Corral is a dual-threat with the ability to sling it. Lane Kiffin’s scheme aids him, but Corral is a pocket passer who is incredibly clever with the ball and placement. He revealed that this will be his last season with the Rebels earlier this month. Corral has 3,334 yards throwing and 20 touchdowns against four interceptions heading into their bowl game.

CBS Sports: “…if the Texans believe one of the quarterbacks in this class can act as a big red reset button, it’s definitely worth taking a chance. Corral is the top quarterback in this class, and he improved significantly in ’21 after a strong ’20 season.”

4. New York Jets: OL Evan Neal, Alabama

2022 NFL draft: Alabama OT Evan Neal is absurdly athletic for his sheer mass

On one side of the ball, there is usually a huge guy from Alabama who sticks out among the others. This year’s winner is Neal. Neal, who is 6-foot-7, is a massive offensive lineman. He’s not just big, but he can also play numerous positions on the offensive line, having previously played guard, right tackle, and now left tackle. He has an edge in pass protection because of his large body, and he’s a freight train going forward when Alabama chooses to run the ball.

CBS Sports: “The Jets must safeguard Zach Wilson, and this should be the team’s philosophy going into every draft meeting. Neal is a gifted athlete who has played many O-line positions for the Crimson Tide.”

5. New York Jets (Via Seattle Seahawks): DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

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This is Thibodeaux’s lowest position in this mock draft. Despite missing a large amount of the 2021 season due to injury, he still managed seven sacks and two forced fumbles. Thibodeaux’ participation in the Alamo Bowl will be intriguing to see.

CBS Sports: “They take Thibodeaux on defense after addressing the offensive line at No. 4. He endured an ankle ailment early in the season but has since demonstrated that he’s almost unstoppable on the field – almost to the point of being unfair.”

6. New York Giants (Via Chicago Bears): S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

Notre Dame to be without star defender vs. Navy

Hamilton’s covering ability are frightening for someone who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 220 pounds. Hamilton can go side to side in coverage with ease and make a variety of plays at the line of scrimmage. This season, he has 34 tackles, four passes defensed, and three interceptions.

CBS Sports: “Although the Giants have young safety in Xavier McKinney and Julian Love, there is still space in the secondary for Kyle Hamilton. He’s a 6-4, 220-pound version of Ed Reed, a sideline-to-sideline ball hawk who can make an immediate impact.”

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

Why OL Charles Cross is ready to start for Mississippi State football

Cross is very essential to teams in need of offensive linemen because the NFL has shifted to pass-heavy systems, but he’ll need to improve his lower body strength to take the next step as a run blocker.

CBS Sports: “The Giants could have taken two of the greatest defenders in the draft, but they chose to pass on Derek Stingley in order to boost their offensive line. Cross has a high ceiling, but he is an athletic offensive lineman with a lot of promise who had a great season for Mississippi State.”

8. Atlanta Falcons: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

Meet Derek Stingley Jr.: A football robot who has exceeded even the highest  expectations – The Athletic

After missing the last two months of the regular season, Stingley is unlikely to play in LSU’s bowl game, but that isn’t affecting his draft status. In every mock of significance, he projected to be in the top ten.

CBS Sports: “AJ Terrell, a former first-round pick, is enjoying a fantastic season, and Isaiah Oliver, who has also been excellent in coverage, is in the last year of his deal. After that, there isn’t much depth, and if the top CB in the draft is available, it’ll be difficult to pass on Stingley. Of course, another alternative is to go for a quarterback.”

9. Carolina Panthers: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Kenny Pickett - Football - Pitt Panthers #H2P

Pickett has a massive arm, is very accurate, and is a total player. By returning to Pitt for a fifth season, he performed a huge favor to his draft prospects. With a victory over Wake Forest on Saturday night, he helped lead the Panthers to an ACC crown.

CBS Sports: “Pickett has done a lot this season, but we didn’t give him a first-round grade because of it. That isn’t to say he hasn’t had a great season or that he won’t be selected among the first 32 players. And, as is the case in every draft, clubs will overdraft quarterbacks in 2022 as well.”

10. Minnesota Vikings: CB Andrew Booth, Clemson

Preliminary Report: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson —

This season, opposing quarterbacks haven’t put much of a task in front of Booth. He had 35 tackles, five passes defensed, and three interceptions, two of which came against South Carolina in the season finale.

CBS Sports: “Patrick Peterson is on a one-year contract after the organization parted ways with 2020 first-round pick Jeff Gladney. Wide receiver is also a possibility, but stockpiling defensive backs is always a good idea. Booth had all of the necessary athleticism and attributes to be a terrific player, and he performed well for Clemson this season.”

11. New Orleans Saints: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Ranking Ohio State football's Garrett Wilson's touchdown catches and why  they still aren't impressive - cleveland.com

Wilson stands out among Ohio State’s wide receivers, despite the fact that the Buckeyes have a top quarterback and several strong receivers. Throughout his tenure in Columbus, he was constant in his output. His speed is appealing, especially given his route running is razor-sharp.

CBS Sports: “Quarterback will undoubtedly be a factor here,” CBS Sports writes, “but only wide receivers Michael Thomas, Marquez Callaway, and Tre’Quan Smith are under contract, and Thomas’ return isn’t guaranteed.”

12. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Miami Dolphins): CB Roger Mccreary, Auburn

Auburn football: Roger McCreary is moving up NFL draft boards

The choice by McCreary to return for his senior season paid off handsomely. He has a total of 49 tackles, 14 passes defensed, and two interceptions.

CBS Sports: “This may seem to be a lofty goal for McCreary, but he was the most reliable cornerback in college football this season. While he lacks the high-end athleticism of some of the other names often discussed as first-round prospects, he seldom plays out of place and virtually always makes beneficial plays for his club.”

13. Philadelphia Eagles: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Nakobe Dean moves up in Kiper's draft rankings, still no Jordan Davis

Dean’s most valuable skill is his ability to stop the run either up the gut or sideline to sideline. He isn’t afraid to play off the ball, which is where he excels. Dean is very good in coverage, especially on running backs, so avoid the check-down ball when Dean is in the vicinity. This season, Dean’s blitzing improved, as he picked up five sacks and a forced fumble.

CBS Sports “Dean plays with a level of energy and toughness that has been absent at times in the center of this Eagles defense,” according to.

14. Denver Broncos: LB David Ojabo, Michigan

Michigan football David Ojabo stuck in Scotland due to coronavirus

Ojabo exploded into the spotlight this season, ending the regular season with 11 sacks, 33 tackles, three pass breakups, and five forced fumbles, transforming himself from a guy who played just 26 plays the previous season to a likely first-round NFL Draft choice in 2022.

CBS Sports: “The Broncos moved Von Miller to the Rams right before the trade deadline and, not surprisingly, have failed to get after the quarterback regularly,” according to 

15. Las Vegas Raiders: CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

Ahmad Gardner helps keep No. 5 Cincinnati in College Football Playoff  conversation — The Undefeated

Opposing quarterbacks didn’t throw many passes at the 6-foot-3 corner this season, and when they did, they failed miserably. Gardner has intercepted three passes and intercepted four passes this season.

CBS Sports: “The Raiders’ off-field drama has led to the termination of their head coach and the release of both of their 2020 first-round choices, including CB Damon Arnette. Sauce Gardner, on the other hand, is a long, press cornerback who might start right away in the Vegas secondary.”

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