* Order based on tankathon.com and was done before the 10/18 MNF game between the Bills and Titans.
1. Detroit Lions- Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best prospect in this draft and is the favorite to go first overall. With no quarterback taking a massive leap, I don’t think it makes sense to reach for one here. It’s true that Goff isn’t the answer, but this team has much bigger problems than just one position. Thibodeaux is a skilled pass rusher who has performed at a high level since he was a Freshman in 2019. He’s battled injuries this year, but in the few games he’s played he has looked like a man among boys.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins)- Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
No team is in a better spot right now in terms of draft picks than the Eagles. Tthey could target any position, but I think it’s wise for a talent-deficient team to go with the best player available. Luckily for them, that player also fills a need. Hamilton is listed as a safety, but he can play all over the field. Think of how Derwin James is used with the Chargers when thinking of how Hamilton will fit in the NFL. Just get him on the field and he’ll become an All-Pro.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Despite battling through injuries the last two seasons, we’ve known for a while now that Stingley Jr. is a superstar in the making. Very few Freshmen are able to be a stud on any team, let alone a National Championship team. I do think there’s a chance that he falls a bit on draft day due to his inability to stay on the field, but at this point, he’s still the second-best prospect in the class. The Jaguars just traded away CJ Henderson (which made no sense) and need more playmakers on defense.
4. Houston Texans- Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Deshaun Watson will never play for the Texans again so it’s time to start looking for the next signal-caller. I’m not convinced any of these quarterbacks are worth an early selection, but Willis has proven himself as a unique talent with huge potential. Gifted as a runner and as a passer, Willis is the perfect option for a rebuilding team as he continues to develop.
5. New York Giants- Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Andrew Thomas has had an up-and-down tenure with the Giants, but they could still use a big body like Neal on the line. At 6’7″ and 350 pounds, Neal can play either tackle spot and is a force as a run and pass blocker. Who knows if Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will be on the team in the long haul, but building an elite offensive line will always be helpful.
6. New York Jets- Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Nobody has helped their stock more this year than Hutchinson. From a fringe first-round pick to a likely top-ten selection, the Michigan edge rusher looks like an impact player from the get-go. The Jets need more defensive talent, but really need someone who they can pair with Quinnen Williams on the defensive line. Robert Saleh succeeded in San Francisco with a strong pass rush and will look to replicate that in New York.
7. New England Patriots- DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
A pro-ready, big-bodied player who can play in multiple schemes is the Belichick prototype. It’s been a few years since the Patriots had a stud pass rusher, but Leal could change that. He’s coming into his own as a player this season and figures to earn some accolades when it’s all over. The Patriots have a way of seeing these players fall to them and Leal could be the Richard Seymour type this new Patriots generation needs.
8. Philadelphia Eagles- Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson
The Eagles are really hoping that Carson Wentz plays 75% of the snaps this year because that would mean they would have three first-round picks in 2022. Outside of Darius Slay, Philadelphia’s secondary is a mess. When playing in a division with Dak Prescott, you might want to figure out that position. Booth is still raw, but he has the potential to be an elite cornerback.
9. Philadelphia Eagles- George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Karlaftis is an absolute machine. He’s a perfect example of a player who’s gotten stronger and more explosive every season and has bounced back after only playing two games in 2020. He is consistently drawing double teams, yet makes an impact every week. The Eagles are likely to move on from Brandon Graham and possibly Derek Barnett, so the defensive line will be a spot to address this offseason. Of course, they could move on from Jalen Hurts at quarterback, but lets give him the rest of the season before we get too crazy.
10. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks)- Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
If your nickname is “Sauce” then you better be pretty good. Luckily for Gardner, he meets that qualification and is the best player on an undefeated team. Built like a modern-day cornerback, Gardner uses his size and athleticism to shut down receivers on the boundary. The Jets cornerback room is probably the worst in the league and our man Sauce will be able to step in right away as their top guy.
11. Washington Football Team- Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
I’ve said this several times, but I absolutely love Carson Strong. He’s the best pure passer in this class by a decent margin, but is limited with his mobility. A throwback passer, Strong has great zip on his passes and makes some big-time throws. If he was playing 20 years ago, he’d be a slam dunk first-overall pick. Fitzpatrick and Heinecke aren’t the answer for the Football Team at quarterback and need someone who can feed McLaurin on all three levels.
12. Atlanta Falcons- Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
I was iffy on Corral as a possible NFL quarterback coming into the year, but his decision-making has improved so much this season and there are some similarities to Zach Wilson in his game. He might need a season to develop as a passer, but in the long run, he has some qualities that NFL teams will love. While I fully expect Kyle Pitts to become the best tight end in football in a few years, I think the Falcons missed a huge chance to draft a quarterback for the future. Matt Ryan is still a good quarterback, but seems to be on his last legs.
13. Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco 49ers)- Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
The Dolphins offensive line is heading in the wrong direction and it’s too early to move on from Tua at quarterback. Green is a versatile offensive lineman, but I think he has All-Pro potential at guard. If the team continues to rely on average players to run the football for them, they’ll need to have mauling people-movers on the interior of their offensive line to create holes.
14. Carolina Panthers- Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
I love what the Panthers are doing as a franchise. They’re being aggressive in acquiring players via trade, but also drafting a lot of defensive talent. Despite this, they’ve ignored the very important left tackle position. Kirkland is a two-year starter on the blindside and still has plenty of room for growth. If he doesn’t work out at the position, he has some versatility to kick inside and play guard.
15. New York Giants (via Chicago Bears)- Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
The edge group for the Giants is… not great. Rookie Azeez Ojulari has shown a lot of promise so far with three sacks, but he’s outperforming the rest of the unit by himself. They’ll need to continue to find players who can get to the quarterback if they’re ever going to beat out the Cowboys in the NFC East. Sanders is electric off the edge and gets off the ball very quickly. Don’t be fooled by his lack of sacks this season as he’s been putting a ton of pressure on quarterbacks every week.
16. Cleveland Browns- Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
The Browns defense has underperformed this year, but it’s not because of the defensive line. However, if you look at the defensive tackle position, there’s not a whole lot of stability. Malik Jackson is on a one-year deal and Malik McDowell is still an unknown. Bringing in a run-stuffer like Davis who can also take up blockers as a pass-rusher would free up Myles Garrett to create even more big plays. He could be their version of Vita Vea.
17. Kansas City Chiefs- Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
If the Chiefs used every pick on defense this upcoming draft I’m sure their fans would be elated. The last few years the Chiefs have been more focused on drafting offensive players and have avoided developing young defenders. Harris is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who would solidify the middle of a very bad defense and bring a new voice to a defense that needs a spark.
18. Denver Broncos- Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
It’s time that the Broncos figured out their quarterback situation. They were rumored to be in the running for both Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson this past offseason, but it doesn’t appear those talks got anywhere. They could try for those guys again, but I’m giving them a quarterback here just in case. Ridder is a flat-out winner and has improved as a passer every season. Of all of the quarterbacks in the draft this year, I actually think Ridder is the safest option. There are things he still needs to show a lot of improvement on, but he’s also ready to start right away.
19. Minnesota Vikings- Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
The Vikings secondary is a mess and their once young and promising cornerback, Cameron Dantzler, seems to be on the way out. Luckily for them, this might be the deepest cornerback class in recent memory. Elam has been battled tested in the SEC and has the size and ball skills to produce right away. In Mike Zimmer’s defense, Elam would also be surrounded by sound players who can help mask any deficiencies he has.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
It becomes more obvious every week that Big Ben cannot be the quarterback for the Steelers anymore. In fact, I think he’s likely to retire after the season. Howell has some qualities of Big Ben, despite being much smaller, and would integrate very well into the Steelers offensive attack from the get-go.
21. Tennessee Titans- Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
After the absolute whiff of a first-round pick on Isaiah Wilson, the Titans are still in dire need of help on the offensive line. As a unit, they’ve been bailed out by the greatness of Derrick Henry, but they need to play better as a unit. Kinnard has the versatility to play guard or tackle at a high level. He’s been rock solid for the Wildcats and is one of the best run blockers in college football.
22. New Orleans Saints- Drake London, WR, USC
We still don’t know if Jameis Winston is the future for the Saints, but it appears that Payton loves him and will try to continue to put him in positions to succeed. With Michael Thomas battling injuries and off-the-field issues, the team desperately needs another pass catcher. 2022 is once again a good wide receiver class, but it might not have a top-ten pick like in past years. London is a Mike Evans clone and requires little to no separation to haul in a catch. Even an inaccurate thrower like Winston can’t fail when throwing London’s direction.
23. Las Vegas Raiders- Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Raiders defense is much improved and it is one of the reasons why they’ve looked good so far this season. If there is room for improvement though, it’s in the secondary where both Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullens haven’t lived up to expectations. McDuffie isn’t the flashiest of players, but he can play both in the slot and on the boundary. If you’re going to play Mahomes and Herbert multiple times a year, you’ll need guys who can cover any type of receiver.
24. Green Bay Packers- Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Packers finally draft a receiver after Aaron Rodgers left? If Jordan Love is going to be your starter, you can’t expect him to carry the offense like Rodgers has for years. Also, Davante Adams is a free agent with the rest of the position group being relatively average. Olave has a similar skillset to Devonta Smith in that he’s not the biggest receiver, but he is an A+ route runner who can get open on any level. He’s probably the most pro ready receiver and could start as a rookie.
25. Los Angeles Chargers- Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Ok, just hear me out on this one. I know that the duo of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams has been awesome this year, but Williams is a free agent who’s coming off of the best year of his career and Allen will turn 30 next offseason. The rest of the Chargers receiver core is below average and if they want to put Herbert in the best position to succeed, they need to build out the rest of the offense. Burks is a beast at 6’3″ and 225 pounds who can stretch the field. His ability to make plays after the catch also makes him that much more desirable to any team.
26. Cincinnati Bengals- Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
I can’t believe I’m saying this. The Bengals are actually good. Burrow and the boys have this team on the right path and the defense is playing much better than we expected. Their offensive line still needs some help and Linderbaum would be a huge upgrade from current starter Trey Hopkins both in the run and pass game. Protect your franchise quarterback at all costs.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
It’s actually easy to point out the weakness on this Buccaneers team. It’s the cornerbacks. They made a move to acquire Richard Sherman, but even the former All-Pro hasn’t helped them much and is already injured. Luckily for them, this draft has a ton of talented defensive backs. Kendrick has had some issues off the field but has played in a lot of big-time games with Clemson and Georgia. He should be able to step in early and produce for a team that needs starters in the defensive backfield.
28. Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams)- Garret Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Amon-Ra St. Brown is the Lions best wide receiver, but he’s a rookie 4th rounder. As a unit, they easily have the worst wide receiver group in the league. They would be struggling on offense regardless of who the quarterback was. Many people feel Wilson is even better than his teammate Chris Olave and think he could be a future star. He’s incredibly quick and can turn a short pass into a long gain any time he touches the ball.
29. Buffalo Bills- Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
Surprise, surprise. Another cornerback is included in this mock draft. The Bills are stacked, but if there’s one position group that could use some depth, it’s the secondary. McCreary would pair very nicely with Tre White and help bolster an already impressive Bills defense. McCreary is also one of, if not the best, tackling cornerbacks in this draft class and seems to be in the right place at the right time to make plays for the Tigers.
30. Dallas Cowboys- Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern
Trevon Diggs is the best player on the Cowboys right now, but even he can’t carry the secondary all by himself. The team has never seemed to take the safety position seriously, but at this point, Joseph would be a gift. Still a redshirt sophomore, Joseph could stay in college, but after bringing down six interceptions in 2020 I think he’s ready for the NFL. Ball skills carry over from college to the NFL so the Cowboys could become a very dangerous secondary with two ball hawks giving their offense more chances to score.
31. Baltimore Ravens- Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Lamar Jackson is about to get PAID this offseason, so the Ravens have to make sure their offensive line is up to par. Ronnie Stanley has the left side locked down, but Alejandro Villanueva is most likely a short-term option. Cross is very raw and has more experience as a pass blocker than a run blocker, but he’s too skilled to pass up in this situation. Have him redshirt his rookie year then take over the right side for the future.
32. Arizona Cardinals- Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Not many expected the Cardinals to be in this spot, but they look like a legit Super Bowl contender. They still haven’t replaced Patrick Peterson in the secondary and will need some talent and youth at the position. Joey Porter Jr. (yes, his dad is the former Steelers great and we are officially old) is long and rangy, but he’s raw. He might return to school due to how deep this cornerback group is, but I’m very high on him. Porter Jr. has some big games coming up to up his stock even more and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts shooting up people’s draft boards.