2022 NFL Mock Draft & Draft Props - Hayden Winks 4.0

Apr 23rd 2022

Hayden Winks

2022 NFL Mock Draft & Draft Props SZN is in full swing now. I've grinded the tape, crunched the numbers, and spent too much time looking at other people's shitty mock drafts to figure out where the edges are ahead of next Thursday's event. You can read my Mock 1.0, Mock 2.0, and Mock 3.0 if you just hate going outside.

1. Jaguars - Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson

Sosa’s Team Needs: C, LB, EDGE, SS

I listened to the Trent Baalke and Doug Pederson press conference last Friday, and I didn't learn much to be honest. It can go either way, for different reasons. Aidan Hutchinson (-200 to go 1st) has 95th percentile production. Travon Walker (+190 to go 1st) has 98th percentile athleticism. I'm leaning Hutchinson still because he's ranked 1st overall by most draft analysts (always has been) and was still mocked 1st overall in Sports Illustrated's John Shipley's latest mock draft. As for the arm length argument, I think there are holes in it. The Jaguars just drafted EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson in 2020 who had the same length arms as Hutchinson's, and the Aldon Smith vs. J.J. Watt debate was never about length. It was about scheme fit and early-career production (Smith was more productive and less athletic than Watt). Having length is a good thing. We know this. Baalke knows this. It's also just one part of the equation. ... Bets previously suggested: Aidan Hutchinson (-250 at 1st overall).

2. Lions - Georgia EDGE Travon Walker

Sosa’s Team Needs: QB, EDGE, LB, FS, CB

I think it's close to a 50/50 between Walker and Kayvon Thibodeaux at 2nd overall if Aidan Hutchinson does in fact go 1st overall, something I'm not 100% on yet. Of the 14 mock drafts I track, Thibodeaux is the pick here six times, Walker five times, and Hutchinson three times. Ultimately I feel good that the Jets like Thibodeaux at 4th overall, so I'm going to work backwards a tiny bit. ... Bets previously suggested: Kayvon Thibodeaux (+500 at 2nd overall).

3. Texans - Cincinatti CB Sauce Gardner

Sosa’s Team Needs: Defense, RG, RT, RB, Slot WR

New Pick: This simply makes sense. CB is a premium position, Houston has a huge need here, the head coach comes on the defensive side of the ball, and Gardner is universally viewed as a top-five prospect. The Athletic's Dane Brugler quote tweeted me saying he's "heard from several teams that believe Sauce could be the pick at No. 3 to Houston." I like Gardner's +450 odds to go 3rd overall at this point. ... Bets previously suggested: Sauce Gardner u8.5 (-200).

The current odds of this 3-pick exact are +1600 right now. Either I'm a genius or completely off. What's new?

4. Jets - Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux

Sosa’s Team Needs: Slot CB, EDGE, WR, Power RB

The Athletic’s Connor Hughes straight up tweeted that the Jets aren’t interested in a CB with the 4th or 10th overall selection. That's been mostly confirmed through other outlets. Hughes leans Thibodeaux (+275) if available, with Ikem Ekwonu (+750) also in the mix. Some of this decision will depend on the team's internal evaluation of LT Mekhi Becton, who was reportedly 400 pounds last year. He opted out of voluntary workouts sparking a lot of Ekwonu buzz last week, but his girlfriend was about to have a child, he was rehabbing his injury, and he was training with OL guru Duke Manyweather at the same time. I think that outcry was an overreaction. At the end of the day, Thibodeaux checks a bigger box. ... Bets previously suggested: Kayvon Thibodeaux top-5 (-105).

5. Giants - Alabama OT Evan Neal

Sosa’s Team Needs: LG, RT, TE, LB, EDGE

ESPN's Giants reporter Jordan Raanan believes Neal (+300) is the favorite for this pick because he's a better scheme fit than Ikem Ekwonu (+300). Neal, who played 765 snaps at RT in 2020 and 723 snaps at LG in 2019, can line up opposite LT Andrew Thomas as a rookie. To put the cherry on top, coach Brian Daboll has the connection to Alabama. ... Bets previously suggested: Evan Neal o3.5 (-175). Kenny Pickett (+7500) to go 5th overall.

6. Panthers - NC State OT Ikem Ekwonu

Sosa’s Team Needs: QB, LT, LG, TE, MLB

New Pick: Carolina seems like an obvious trade down team if the consensus top-two OTs -- Evan Neal (+400) and Ikem Ekwonu (+750) -- are off the board. In this iteration, the Panthers get lucky and find a high-end player for a glaring need. The next step would be finding some Sam Darnold competition. Maybe Baker Mayfield gets cheap enough to add post-draft. Ditto for Jimmy Garoppolo.

7. Giants - LSU CB Derek Stingley

Sosa’s Team Needs: LG, RT, TE, LB, EDGE

New Pick: NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah doesn't think Stingley gets out of the top-10 picks after his Pro Day. He has current odds of: 3rd (+750), 5th (+2000), 7th (+800), 8th (+3000), 9th (+600) if you want to take advantage of that. 7th makes a ton of sense because corner is a massive need with James Bradberry very likely traded before the season. Stingley would be a great fit in Wink Martindale's man-heavy defensive scheme. He always had top-end corners in Baltimore. After adding skill and DL talent in recent seasons, going OL + CB would be the balanced approach to the Giants’ rebuild. Bets previously suggested: Derek Stingley u12.5 (-125).

8. Falcons - Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson

Sosa’s Team Needs: WR x3, LG, QB, DT, EDGE, FS

Wilson (+135 to be 1st WR drafted and +500 to go 8th overall) is the one-for-one Calvin Ridley replacement. In fact, some compare Wilson to Ridley as a slender outside player with three-level abilities. As for QB, I think the Falcons’ initial plan of restructuring Matt Ryan is a sign that they didn’t like this QB class, at least inside the top-10. Marcus Mariota ($6.7M in cash spent) is the one-year stop gap before they look at the 2023 class. Even with the recent Jameson Williams steam, Wilson remains the WR1 in consensus mock drafts (7th overall) and has the best odds of being a top-10 overall pick.

9. Saints (via SEA) - Mississippi State OT Charles Cross

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, LT, QB, DT

Projected trade: NO receives 9th overall (1350 draft chart points). SEA receives 19th overall and 49th overall (1285 draft chart points). NO is always aggressive on draft day, SEA has traded down frequently, and if the Saints are set on Cross then they need to get ahead of the Jets at 10.

New Pick: NewOrleans.Football's Nick Underhill tweeted a possibility that the Saints could move up to draft Charles Cross (+330), who fills the Terron Armstead vacancy that they can't currently fill due to cap issues. Cross isn't a fit for every offense coming out of the air raid, but he would fit in New Orleans' quick-hitting offense. The Saints' initial trade with the Eagles was a sign that they're in win now mode, which to me means fill your biggest needs ASAP. Consider box #1 filled here with 16th overall coming up shortly.

10. Jets - USC WR Drake London

Sosa’s Team Needs: Slot CB, EDGE, WR, Power RB

I personally think the Jets have invested enough into the offense to evaluate Zach Wilson, but their actions suggest they are looking for more – New York was rumored with Tyreek Hill, Amari Cooper, DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and other stud receivers this offseason. London (+500) would complement the current Jets receiving corps best and could take over for Corey Davis ($10.5M in cap savings if cut after this season), as the physical X receiver capable of bunch-set blocking in their balanced offense. The Athletic’s Connor Hughes recently mocked this, sharing a similar evaluation. London has -105 odds of being a top-10 selection. He is my WR1 in this class.

11. Commanders - Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, TE2, QB, LB, CB depth

The Athletic's Ben Standig is a stud at two things that matter to us right now -- covering the Commanders as a beat reporter and just owning mock drafts for the last decade. His analysis has the Commanders player pool mostly concentrated on WRs and DBs, and he wrote that "Hamilton would be enticing if available." In this iteration, Hamilton is. The slower-than-expected forty time has Hamilton (o10.5 -175) sliding to an 11th overall consensus mock draft ranking after being considered as a top-8 overall player pre-Combine. Washington released safeties Landon Collins and Deshazor Everett this offseason. In this simulation, Washington moves down and still gets someone likely high on their draft board. ... Bets previously suggested: Kyle Hamilton Over 8.5 (-150).

12. Steelers (via MIN) - Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett

Sosa’s Team Needs: QB, LT, C, SS, CB

New Projected trade: PIT receives 12th and 156th overall (1228 draft chart points). MIN receives 20th and 52nd overall (1230 draft chart points). There's no conference hiccup here, and MIN is now led by an analytics-based GM who will value trading down.

If Pickett happens, it could require a trade up, as both Dane Brugler and Daniel Jeremiah wrote that New Orleans (16th and 18th overall) is Pickett’s floor. The fit in Pittsburgh makes a ton of sense beyond the geographical connection – Pickett is a distributor with the weapons already in place. Long-time GM Kevin Colbert is retiring after the draft and finding a QB could be his parting gift like it was for Ravens’ ex-GM Ozzie Newsome (Lamar Jackson). More importantly, if the Steelers weren’t serious about this incoming QB class, then they wouldn’t have Mike Tomlin on the pro day circuit or they would’ve given Mitchell Trubisky more than $6.3M in cash. Pickett is +130 to be the 1st QB, despite going ahead of Malik Willis in 10-of-14 mock drafts that I track. ... Bets previously suggested: Kenny Pickett (+175) to be the 1st QB.

13. Texans - Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson

Sosa’s Team Needs: Slot WR, RG, RT, RB, Defense

Houston has been searching for edge rushing help since J.J. Watt’s departure, and Johnson has the elite traits of a potential EDGE1 despite being a very late breakout. Other teams would prioritize college production, but the Texans’ process is all over the place. Give me the over on 9.5 overall (-115) for Johnson with Hutchinson, Thibodeaux, and Walker all firmly projected to go ahead. He’s gone over that number in 9-of-14 mock drafts I trust. ... Bets previously suggested: Jermaine Johnson over 9.5 overall (+110).

14. Ravens - Georgia DT Jordan Davis

Sosa’s Team Needs: WR, LG, C, Slot CB

New Pick: Daniel Jeremiah is as plugged in to the Ravens as anyone. He said that he can't see the Ravens passing on Jordan Davis if he's available because he's such a culture and scheme fit. Baltimore's 14th overall selection is right in Davis' draft projection sweet spot. Most teams have about 15 first round grades, and Davis seems like a universal first-round prospect.

15. Eagles - Alabama WR Jameson Williams

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, Slot WR, RB, CB, LB

Trading away a 2022 first-rounder for a 2023 first-rounder is further confirmation that this team is still in rebuild mode, meaning they can be patient with Williams while he rehabs from a torn ACL. Williams and DeVonta Smith (while small) would be an electric combination for Jalen Hurts in 2022 and whoever they truly build around at QB in 2023.

16. Saints - Ohio State WR Chris Olave

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, LT, QB, DT

After trading up for Charles Cross, the Saints complete their win now draft by adding a weapon for Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton. Olave is an ideal fit as a vertical threat Z receiver with plus route running ability. He can stretch the field while Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara create yards underneath.

17. Chargers - Utah LB Devin Lloyd

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, RT, RB2, LB

New Pick: This would be breaking Brandon Staley's mold of finding nobodies at linebacker, but that trend is based on a sample size of just a few seasons and Lloyd is arguably a value here with both Daniel Jeremiah and Dane Brugler ranking him inside their top-12 prospects. The Chargers' linebacker group was a stone-cold disaster last season -- like bench Kenneth Murray bad -- and this year's looks even worse with Kyzir White out the door. The team need is there and Lloyd checks the character boxes that L.A. looks for, so all this takes is for the "Staley hates LBs" narrative to get busted. Unlikely, but this is the NFL Draft. ... Bets previously suggested: Devin Lloyd (+2000) to go inside the top-10.

18. Eagles - Washington CB Trent McDuffie

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, Slot WR, RB, CB, LB

It’s a premium position for the analytically-savvy Eagles front office, and McDuffie fills a big need at CB2. While small, McDuffie can adjust to the size of the NFL as Darius Slay’s CB2. He has been mocked from 12th to 25th overall in 13-of-14 mock drafts, and Daniel Jeremiah said, “I wouldn’t rule out corner if Trent McDuffie were to get there.”

19. Seahawks (via NO) - Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning

Sosa’s Team Needs: LT, RT, QB, LB, EDGE, CB

New Pick: Finding a LT Duane Brown replacement makes a ton of sense before finding their franchise QB later on (whether that's in the 40s or in the 2023 NFL Draft) when the value aligns. Penning is a classic Pete Carroll type as a run-blocking mauler with attitude. It's even possible they scoop him up at 9th overall.

20. Vikings (via PIT) - Boston College OG Zion Johnson

Sosa’s Team Needs: RG, Slot WR, TE, DT, CB

New Projected trade: PIT receives 12th and 156th overall (1228 draft chart points). MIN receives 20th and 52nd overall (1230 draft chart points). There's no conference hiccup here, and MIN is now led by an analytics-based GM who will value trading down.

New Pick: Johnson fills a need at guard and is a perfect scheme fit. He's light on his toes and will be able to move in this outside zone offense. New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah comes from Cleveland, where they built the offense from the trenches outward.

21. Patriots - Texas A&M OG Kenyon Green

Sosa’s Team Needs: RG, LB x2, CB

New Pick: I’m confused at what New England’s plan is on the offensive interior after trading Shaq Mason to the Bucs. It could be as simple as finding his younger replacement here, as Johnson is considered the top guard prospect in the class with high-end athleticism. NFL Network’s Mike Giardi tweeted “Don't be surprised if the #Patriots go w/ a big body if they stay at #21. They've spent a lot of time with some of the top prospects, from  tackles Trevor Penning & Bernhard Raimann to interior players Zion Johnson & Kenyon Green. They have a hole at LG and future tackle issues.” He's very plugged in.

22. Packers - Purdue EDGE George Karlaftis

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, Slot WR, DE, LB, RG

New Pick: The Packers have some thresholds to note. For the most part, they are drafting premium positions early, and they like their prospects young. Karlaftis checks both boxes and would be a good value compared to his consensus ranking. He'd be the EDGE3 in 2022, but the NFL rotates edge rushers constantly. With Treylon Burks and George Pickens still available, they can afford to wait on WR, something they tend to do more times than not.

23. Cardinals - Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie

Sosa’s Team Needs: LG, EDGE, Boundary CB

New Pick: The Cardinals can't be bad at both EDGE and CB. The debate is one or the other. Not neither. Arizona got sniped pretty hard here and are certainly trade down candidates because they don't have 4th or 5th round picks, but they stand their ground and draft the 91st percentile athlete at a position of need after losing Chandler Jones this offseason.

24. Cowboys - Penn State WR Jahan Dotson

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, LG, EDGE, CB depth

New Pick: Mike McCarthy went to Dotson's Pro Day, and it's obvious that Dallas needs to find a one-for-one Amari Cooper replacement. Dotson's primary weakness of beating press man coverage would be minimized as a secondary target in this loaded offense. He'd crush against zone coverage and is far cheaper than Cooper was going to be. I could also see how Treylon Burks would be a scheme fit here, especially with Jerry Jones' roots to Arkansas.

25. Bills - Michigan S Dax Hill

Sosa’s Team Needs: LG, RB, Boundary CB

Buffalo doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, so they can afford to go best player available here with Hill, who is the only remaining player to be ranked inside the top-20 in both Daniel Jeremiah and Dane Brugler's big boards. Hill is depth behind Micah Hyde (32) and Jordan Poyer (31), is a potential nickel starter, and is a long-term answer with Poyer heading into a contract season.

26. Titans - Liberty QB Malik Willis

Sosa’s Team Needs: Slot WR, LG, RB2, NT

New Pick: The Titans must know they can't win a Super Bowl with Ryan Tannehill, and they can save $17.8M if they trade or release him next offseason. The timing would make sense to do exactly that, as they currently rank 26th in 2023 cap space despite not currently having A.J. Brown on the books. If Willis falls the draft board, the Titans are a sneaky team who can build towards the future. This coaching staff and GM have earned a long leash to take a developmental upside QB like Willis, who would assuredly sit behind Tannehill for all of 2022 in this scenario. ... Bets previously suggested: Under 2.5 QBs to go 1st round (+190).

27. Buccaneers - Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt

Sosa’s Team Needs:  LG, TE, DE, EDGE depth

Vita Vea is a true nose tackle, so Wyatt would line up next door at three tech with William Gholston on a one-year, $4M contract and Ndamukong Suh being a free agent. Wyatt has been included in all mock drafts I trust this month, often going in the early 20s. The Bucs would be stoked if this plays out.

28. Packers - Georgia WR George Pickens

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, Slot WR, DE, LB, RG

New Pick: Pickens has only been mocked inside the top-32 in 2-of-14 mock drafts I track, but he is one of the only true X receivers being mocked in the 20s, a position that GB and KC are particularly looking for. There are concerns that Treylon Burks didn't understand how to play outside receiver, so I don't think he'd mesh well with Aaron Rodgers. Pickens is a more bankable projection in this offense with more thought.

29. Chiefs - Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr.

Sosa’s Team Needs: X WR, RT, EDGE, CB

New Pick: Booth is the consensus CB4 in the class and has been mocked in 8-of-14 drafts I track. I do like Booth's over 26.5 (-115) after listening to Dane Brugler and Lance Zierlein talk about his injury history, but he could still easily go Round 1 and would be a near lock if not for his short-team issue. There's an argument that Kansas City has the worst CB room in the NFL right now. ... Bets previously suggested: Andrew Booth Jr. over 26.5 overall (-110).

30. Chiefs - Arkansas WR Treylon Burks

Sosa’s Team Needs: X WR, RT, EDGE, CB

New Pick: Burks might be slipping. He had a disappointing NFL Combine with 41st percentile adjusted SPARQ athleticism. Then there were two reports that caught my eye. First, Dane Brugler and Brett Kollmann both relayed that Burks has weight concerns, even checking in at 240 pounds at 6'2" last season. Secondly, Burks hasn't been nailing the interviews, primarily because he's raw at what the responsibilities are as an outside receiver. If so, he could fall to the Chiefs. They have a more freestyling offense that features screens, so those concerns wouldn't be as big as they would be elsewhere. Burks (X or slot), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Z), JuJu Smith-Schuster (slot), and Mecole Hardman (gadget) complement each other pretty well. ... Bets previously suggested: Treylon Burks under 23.5 overall (-110).

31. Bengals - Washington CB Kyler Gordon

Sosa’s Team Needs: TE, RB2, LG/C, Boundary CB

New Pick: Center Tyler Linderbaum is a scheme fit and worthy of consideration here, but I think Gordon is more versatile in general and has better odds of going Round 1. He'd be a fit in Cincy, who now need to address their CB depth chart after cleaning up their OL in free agency. Superfan/analyst Joe Goodberry said his Plan A would be Linderbaum and his plan be would be Gordon. Daniel Jeremiah also mentioned Gordon as a potential first-rounder, even listing him ahead of Kaiir Elam. A first-round CB would compete with Eli Apple and Chidobe Awuzie.

32. Lions - Georgia S Lewis Cine

Sosa’s Team Needs: Boundary WR, LG, EDGE, Boundary CB

New Pick: Linebacker and safety seem like the other primary needs on defense after taking Travon Walker at 2nd overall. Like Walker, Cine is a great athlete with an aggressive play style. This was mentioned on Chris Burke's appearance on The Good Football Show. ... Bets previously suggested: Tyler Linderbaum over 27.5 overall (-105).