Riley’s Early 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Cover Photo from Grant Halverson/Getty Images & All logos taken from

The 2022 NFL Draft may be a year away, but it is never too early to predict where these future stars may land. Please enjoy my first attempt at a 2022 NFL Mock Draft!

Round 1

  1. Houston Texans Houston Texans logo

Selection: Sam Howell – QB – North Carolina

By the looks of it, Houston is in store for a disaster of a season. I strongly believe Deshaun Watson has played his last down in a Texans uniform and both Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills are not the long-term solution. Insert Sam Howell who I believe is the best Quarterback in next years class.

2. Detroit Lions

Selection: Spencer Rattler – QB – Oklahoma

It is a make it or break it season for Jared Goff and the jury seems to be out on him. Spencer Rattler has all the tools to be great and should show signs of development after this upcoming season.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: Kayvon Thibodeaux – DE – Oregon

The first non-Quarterback goes off the board here to Jacksonville. They are trending in the right direction but it may take another season or two before they can really put a solid team together. Thibodeaux is an absolute beast off the edge and would pair nicely with Josh Allen.

4. Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders logo

Selection: Derek Stingley Jr – CB – LSU

Stingley Jr is my top defensive back prospect heading into next season. I think he will cement himself as a top five prospect and will fall into the Raiders laps after a disappointing year.

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Selection: Evan Neal – OT – Alabama

A year later, and Offensive Line will remain as a priority in Cincy. Joe Burrow got his buddy and former college teammate Ja’Marr Chase in the previous draft, but now it is time to put some protection around their franchise Quarterback.

6. New York Jets

Selection: Kyle Hamilton – S – Notre Dame

New York is headed in the right direction with new Head Coach Robert Saleh. However, a few more pieces need to be added to the puzzle and shoring up the back-end of the secondary with the best Safety in the class will give the Jets a great tandem with Hamilton and Marcus Maye.

7. Philadelphia Eagles

Selection: Kaiir Elam – CB – Florida

Philadelphia still have multiple holes on their roster. Both the Offensive and Defensive Lines are getting old and the season ultimately hangs on the development of Jalen Hurts. Adding Elam to the secondary to learn from and aging Darius Slay will allow for an easier transition once he decides to leave or retire.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Selection: Drake Jackson – DE – USC

Atlanta has been searching for a consistent pass rusher since John Abraham hung up his cleats. Guys like Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley have come and gone leaving the door wide open. Drake Jackson has all the potential in the world to be great and Falcon fans should be excited if they are able to bring him into their organization.

9. New York Giants (via Chicago) See the source image

Selection: Kedon Slovis – QB – USC

This selection suggestion that Daniel Jones shows no signs of improvement after the Giants surrounded him with all the weapons he could ask for. Kedon Slovis will have the opportunity to come in and do what Daniel Jones couldn’t.

10. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints logo

Selection: Chris Olave – WR – Ohio State

I am expecting the Saints to have a down year this season. Drew Brees has moved into the next phase of his life, and the Saints front office had an absolute mess of an off-season trying to get under the cap. I believe Jameis Winston will have a solid season but with so many unknowns at multiple positions, it looks to be an up-hill battle. Adding Olave to this offense will finally add a compliment to Michael Thomas.

11. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos logo

Selection: Christian Harris – LB – Alabama

With the top three Quarterbacks taken, the Broncos address their second position of need with this pick. The Linebacker room scares me in a bad way in Denver and is the biggest weakness on their Defense. Christian Harris will be a day-one starter and will help take this Defense to the next level.

12. New York Giants See the source image

Selection: DeMarvin Leal – DT – Texas A&M

You live and die in the trenches, therefore beefing up the middle of the Defensive Line should always be a priority. Dalvin Tomlinson has moved onto Minnesota leaving a hole in the middle of the Giants Defense. DeMarvin Leal is a great run stuffer and his athleticism is underrated for a big guy.

13. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers logo

Selection: Kenyon Green – OL – Texas A&M

Clearing holes for CMC and protecting Sam Darnold is exactly what Kenyon Green will do for the Panthers. He can play inside and out and will be paving holes in Carolina for years to come.

14. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys logo

Selection: George Karlaftis – DE – Purdue

In 2022, the Cowboys’ Defense will continue to be a liability. It won’t matter how many points the Offense can score if their Defense cannot stop anyone. Pair Karlaftis with DeMarcus Lawrence and the pass rush will get back to where it needs to be.

15. Los Angeles Chargers Los Angeles Chargers logo

Selection: Zach Harrison – DE – Ohio State

Melvin Ingram has yet to re-sign with the Chargers, leaving a big hole on the Defensive Line. Joey Bosa needs a running mate and this leads the Chargers to head back to Ohio State to get him one.

16. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns helmet

Selection: Justyn Ross – WR – Clemson

Once again, Cleveland does not have many holes on their roster. Baker will continue to be a game manager but it could be worse. I think the Odell Beckham Jr experiment ends after this season as it appears he is not the dynamic player he claims to be. Justyn Ross is coming off a season-ending injury but remains as one of the top Receivers in this class

17. New England Patriots New England Patriots logo

Selection: Garrett Wilson – WR – Ohio State

The Patriots got their guy last draft in Mac Jones. Now, they must surround him with weapons on Offense to help him succeed. New England landed the top two Tight Ends in Free Agency this year, but Receiver is still questionable. Wilson would be an immediate impact player for the Patriots.

18. Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco)

Selection: Jaxson Kirkland – OT – Washington

The Dolphins have slowly put together a strong team but the Offensive Line could use some additional work. I like this fit for Jaxson Kirkland and believe it would go a long way in protecting Tua.

19. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals logo

Selection: Zion Nelson – OT – Miami

The same comments I mentioned with the Dolphins can be applied here. Arizona looks to be on the rise but the Offensive Line could use more help.

20. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings logo

Selection: Kingsley Enagbare – DE – South Carolina

I was thinking the Vikings would address this position in this past draft. Unfortunately, they did not until the later rounds. Enagbare would pair nicely with Danielle Hunter the two of them off the edge would be a scary sight for opposing Quarterbacks.

21. Washington Football Team Washington Football Team logo

Selection: Desmond Ridder – QB – Cincinnati

Washington has quietly built a very strong team. However, the long-term solution at Quarterback remains up in the air. Ryan Fitzpatrick will win some games for Washington this season but he is near the end of his career. Ridder will have the opportunity to come in and lead this team for the next two decades.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami)

Selection: Charles Cross – OT – Mississippi State

The youth movement continues in Philadelphia with their second of three first round picks. If the Eagles truly believe in Jalen Hurts than they must do everything they can to maintain their great Offensive Line. Cross is a day one starter caliber player but may be better off sitting behind Lane Johnson for a season to learn and develop.

23. Tennessee Titans

Selection: Andrew Booth Jr – CB – Clemson

Titan fans may be upset with this pick because they drafted a Corner in the first round in this past draft with Caleb Farley. I liked that pick for the Titans but the Secondary is still a mess in Tennessee.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis Colts)

Selection: Treylon Burks – WR – Arkansas

With their third first round pick in this draft, the Eagles are able to address another position of need. It seems as though the Eagles are drafting a Receiver in the first round each year. DeVonta Smith will be a dynamic playmaker but the rest of the current Receivers are lackluster. Burks and Smith will make a great tandem.

25. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens logo

Selection: Ikem Ekwonu – IOL – NC State

The Ravens need to beef up the middle of their run heavy Offensive Line. Ikem Ekwonu will be able to come in and start right away as I believe he is very pro-ready.

26. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers logo

Selection: George Pickens – WR – Georgia 

The Aaron Rodgers era may be over in Green Bay, insert Jordan Love into the QB1 spot. With that being said, Green Bay decides to build around their young Quarterback and give him a weapon opposite of Devante Adams.

27. New York Jets (via Seattle)

Selection: John Metchie III – WR – Alabama

John Metchie III will add a dynamic playmaking ability to this Jets Offense, which has been lacking for some time now. Zach Wilson needs the tools to succeed and he gets one of the top Receivers here.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers logo

Selection: Malik Willis – QB – Liberty 

Ben Roethlisberger is gearing up for what most people assume to be his last season in the NFL. This means Pittsburgh will be in search of his successor. Malik Willis has a lot of potential to be a great Quarterback in the NFL and the Steelers will be able to rest easy knowing he will be throwing passes for the Black and Yellow for years to come.

29. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills logo

Selection: Isaiah Spiller – RB – Texas A&M

The running game will be Buffalo’s Achilles heel this season. Josh Allen was the Bills leading rusher last season and that should scare people. As good as Allen is, he cannot win games solely with his arm. Adding a run game is critical for this Bills team. Isaiah Spiller is currently my top Running Back prospect and think he would bring a new element to the Bills Offense.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo

Selection: Ahmad Gardner – CB – Cincinnati 

I do not see any holes on this Buccaneers roster. I liked the selection of Kyle Trask to learn from Tom Brady and eventually take-over as the starting Quarterback. Tampa could go anywhere with this pick but adding to the secondary is the way I see them heading.

31. Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams)

Selection: Ventrell Miller – LB – Florida 

The Lions are back with their second pick of the first round. First, they addressed the Quarterback position, and now they look to address the Middle Linebacker position. Ventrell Miller is a down-hill, hard hitting linebacker who is excellent sideline to sideline.

32. Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs logo

Selection: Sevyn Banks – CB – Ohio State

Kansas City is another team that has next to no holes. However, I think their secondary could use some help and spending a first round pick on a potential shutdown Corner would add tremendous value to the Chiefs Defense.

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