Alex Katson Mock Draft 2.0

With less than a month to go before the 2022 NFL Draft, the top 10 still feels as fluid as ever. Despite a weak QB class, teams seem intent on tying their future to one of this year’s prospects. Others have filled gaping holes in free agency, wiping out popular mock draft picks by adding established veterans. Players we knew were good this summer have slipped a bit, either due to injury (Derek Stingley Jr.), positional value (Kyle Hamilton), or questions about their passion for the game (Kayvon Thibodeaux). With 3 teams holding multiple top 15 picks and a complete lack of clarity at the top end of the draft, we could be in for one of the wildest rides in recent memory. Here’s my take on how it’ll all go down – 262 picks with explanations for each one.

Note that the first three rounds are heavily influenced by Matt Alkire’s Top 100 Market Values, a big board he aggregated from talking to various sources throughout the league. This mock is not what I would do in these situations, it’s what I think will happen. Rounds 4-7 are naturally influenced by my own opinions on prospects and the rankings on the RiseNDraft simulator, but I tried to keep things predictive as best I could. Trade values are also handled by the simulator, so no complaining about your team giving up too much or getting back too little.

Lastly, it’s incredibly possible, likely even, that I mocked a few players that your favorite team would never pick. That’s probably because I’m not very familiar with that team’s strategy, which is the case for a large portion of the league. If you notice those, tweet at me (politely) @alexkatson and let me know what your team’s tendencies are.

Photo from USA Today

1.1 Jacksonville Jaguars – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Despite reports that the Jaguars might surprise people and spring for Georgia’s Travon Walker, I think Hutchinson has been the pick all along. GM Trent Baalke isn’t typically the smokescreening type – if anything, he’s the exact opposite. The Michigan and soon-to-be PFF star said that he had just one private workout scheduled before canceling it after witnessing teammate David Ojabo’s Achilles tear at the Wolverines’ pro day. That workout? In Jacksonville.

1.2 Detroit Lions – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Detroit has long been connected to Hutchinson, as he’s the exact kind of player head coach Dan Campbell seems to covet. If Jacksonville truly likes Walker as much as it seems, I wouldn’t rule out the Jags trying to squeeze a couple extra picks out of GM Brad Holmes to ensure that Hutchinson ends up in Honolulu blue.

Without such a trade in place, I think Detroit turns to the future at the QB position, an opinion I’ve held since Jacksonville’s need at tackle was erased with the flurry of moves they made. Willis wowed at the combine and his pro day, and I think it’s long been Detroit’s plan to snag a QB to push Jared Goff with one of this year’s two first rounders. With a year to sit and absorb the offense, Willis could push into the league’s upper echelon quickly if he hits his sky-high ceiling.

1.3 Houston Texans – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Walker has traits for days, but his varied usage at Georgia leaves some questions about his best fits. 5 tech is probably my preference, but he has the chops to play all the way to the outside and turn offensive tackles’ lives into a living nightmare. Houston has been missing a consistent EDGE presence since saying goodbye to JJ Watt. While that leaves impossibly big shoes for anyone to fill, Walker may be the most athletically capable of reaching those heights. 

1.4 New York Jets – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State

If you told me this is how the first three picks went down a month ago, I’d be scrambling to run the Evan Neal card to the podium on behalf of the Jets. I’d also assume you were on drugs, but that’s besides the point. However, Alkire’s market chart lists the top 3 tackles as Ekwonu, Charles Cross, and then Neal – a departure from how it looked to be stacked up as recently as February. For the Jets in particular, I can’t say I’d be surprised – Ekwonu plays with the same aggressive, pancaking style that Mekhi Becton showed at Louisville. A Becton-Ekwonu tandem just might flatten opposing defenses wholesale, or Ekwonu can take over at left tackle if New York and Becton continue to have issues.

1.5 New York Giants – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

As recently as last week, I would’ve told you that Cross would be the faller of the top 3 tackles, simply because he lacked prior experience on the right side, where most of the teams at the top need an upgrade. Fast forward to Cross’ pro day in Starkville, and we’re getting heaps of reports that he looked incredible in drills as a right tackle. One such report went as far as to say that the Giants made sure to voice their approval. Now, the retirement of Dave Gettleman means that Big Blue probably aren’t going to be quite as easy to pin down, but connecting the dots paints a picture of the former Bulldog heading north to team up with Andrew Thomas, another former (Georgia) Bulldog.

1.6 Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

David Tepper is probably fuming that Carolina still owns this pick in the first place, considering that the Panthers owner hasn’t been shy about wanting to go out and get a proven QB. For a while, everyone thought that would be Deshaun Watson, but he’s now in Cleveland. Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, and Carson Wentz have changed teams too. Baker Mayfield and Carolina are mutually disinterested in one another. That leaves the Panthers with Sam Darnold, who they can’t have been happy with in 2021.

Carolina has sent the full court press to just one QB pro day this cycle – Pitt’s. Considering that Pickett was also the first of the major names to work out, I don’t think it’s farfetched to say that GM Scott Fitterer and co. saw all they needed to lock in their selection.

1.7 New York Giants – Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

With two QBs already off the board, I find it unlikely that New York would use this pick as trade bait despite rumors that they’re willing to move down. Instead, I think they’ll grab Johnson, who has had a meteoric rise up boards following a dominant pre-draft circuit. Something about this fit just speaks to me, even if the Giants didn’t send a hugely noticeable contingent to Florida State’s pro day. While he isn’t the bendiest rusher on the planet, Johnson is capable of winning in plenty of other ways and would complement 2021 pick Azeez Ojulari nicely.

HOU sends 1.13 and 3.68 to ATL for 1.8

1.8 Houston Texans – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Despite rumors still floating around that Neal could be the #1 pick, it wouldn’t totally shock me to see him slip a little bit if other teams in the top ten like Ekwonu or Cross more. In this scenario, it works out for Houston, who sends Atlanta the 68th pick to move up 5 spots. Neal would then slot in as the Texans’ starting right tackle from day 1 following the release of Marcus Cannon. For the Falcons, adding extra ammo for a potential trade up for a QB later on in the draft is prudent with the top two options off the board.

Photo from PFF

1.9 Seattle Seahawks – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

I think Seattle genuinely believes in Drew Lock, at least enough to not overextend for a rookie passer with their top ten pick. With that theory in place, the Seahawks’ most likely outcome seems to be snatching up the best player left with this pick, whether that be one of the tackles or Gardner. EDGE seems less likely following the signing of Uchenna Nwosu, which gives Seattle a pass rusher duo I believe in between Nwosu and Darrell Taylor. Sauce is the type of aggressive and instinctive corner Pete Carroll defenses always covet, making him a nice fit here.

1.10 New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Personally, I think the Thibodeaux character stuff is overblown. But if NFL teams cared what I thought, I’d be occupied with much more than a 262 pick mock draft. We’ve seen pro clubs ding players for interests outside the game over and over and over, and ultimately I think Thibodeaux becomes the latest victim of that cycle. Despite adding some EDGE help in free agency, I don’t think the Jets have anyone impactful enough to prevent them from sprinting this card to the podium if they have the chance.

1.11 Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Hamilton just might be the best player in the draft, but he also plays safety. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times before. Jamal Adams was the last safety to be picked in the top 5, and he barely made it to a second contract before being traded. Derwin James, perhaps the most popular Hamilton allegory, fell to 17th overall before being scooped up by the Chargers. (Granted, James’ fall was medical related.) So, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Hamilton hits the double digits. For a Washington team that has rid itself of the Landon Collins albatross, it’s a jackpot – even if it means they miss out on a receiver to pair with Terry McLaurin.

1.12 Minnesota Vikings – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Vikings fired Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman, which would normally be enough to convince me to retire the first round corner jokes at their expense. But have you looked at Minnesota’s depth chart lately? Cameron Dantzler, Harrison Hand, Chandon Sullivan, Kris Boyd…that room needs help, even after re-signing Patrick Peterson.

Stingley has fallen quite a ways since being anointed the prince that was promised after one of the best freshman seasons of any player at any position, as injuries have taken their toll. The tape has never reached the same heights even when he’s been healthy, but I think NFL teams will still be chomping at the bit to add a player who at his height looked like the latest megastar cornerback.

1.13 Atlanta Falcons – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Atlanta hasn’t done much to address their needs in free agency, probably because OverTheCap lists them as having just $4.5 million in cap space. Change is in the air in Atlanta after trading Matt Ryan to Indianapolis, but you have to believe that the Falcons knew this was a possibility all along. With that in mind, I’ll stick to what I’ve been told Atlanta’s draft plan was back in January: a game-changing EDGE (all gone) or a YAC heavy WR. The latter description fits Wilson and Drake London, but with London’s pro day workout still to come, I lean the Buckeye product here.

1.14 Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia

One thing has always been true about the Ravens while Ozzie Newsome and/or Eric DeCosta have been in charge: their first rounders are tape standouts. For example, while Odafe Oweh didn’t have stellar production, his film showed a disruptive pass rusher with upside to grow into a double digit sack artist. It’s the same principle with Davis, whose impact is impossible to quantify with a box score. The amount of space and attention he occupies in the middle of the defense is reminiscent of Ravens great Haloti Ngata, a presence that Baltimore could use with the likely departure, either through free agency or retirement, of Calais Campbell.

1.15 Philadelphia Eagles – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

I don’t think the Derek Barnett re-signing changes the calculus here for Philadelphia, although I do think it will make them think twice about which player they’re targeting. David Ojabo seemed like a slam dunk with one of these Eagles selections before tearing his Achilles, so now the case for Karlaftis seems like a stronger one. For one thing, an EDGE duo of Josh Sweat and Ojabo would’ve been atrocious against the run, whereas Karlaftis is a much stouter player in that area. The Purdue product also hits the athletic thresholds Howie Roseman usually falls back on, despite looking like a middling athlete on film at times. 

1.16 Philadelphia Eagles – Drake London, WR, USC

This is pending London’s makeup pro day in early April following the ankle injury he suffered in October, but assuming he hits Philly’s benchmarks, I think this might be the former Trojan’s floor. There’s real buzz that the Jets love London’s game, and I think it’s quite possible that he ends up the 10th pick if the board above him falls a bit differently than it did in this exercise.

The Jalen Reagor and JJ Arcega-Whiteside experiments need to end, point blank. London has the versatility as an outside receiver or big slot to minimize both of their roles while giving Jalen Hurts a legit option other than DeVonta Smith in what might be a prove-it year for the QB.

Photo from UW Athletics

1.17 Los Angeles Chargers – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Chargers fans are concerned about the right tackle spot, and probably rightfully so, which probably makes me the bad guy for passing on Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning here. But Alkire’s market chart has Penning at 26th, a far cry from the top ten valuation we’ve seen other media members bestow upon him. I’m of the opinion that Los Angeles has a plan at right tackle, hence their lack of moves. That plan is likely to move last year’s left guard Matt Feiler to the outside, where he has prior experience from his time as a Steeler.

That brings us to defense, where slot corner is still a question mark. I believe the preference is to keep Asante Samuel Jr. on the outside, where he excelled last season before injuries slowed his momentum. But he has the flexibility to swap inside also, making him and McDuffie essentially interchangeable parts. In an AFC West (and AFC at large) with such variation in weapons, the ability to swap players inside and out depending on matchup could be the key Brandon Staley’s defense needs to take a step forward in 2022.

1.18 New Orleans Saints – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Michael Thomas should be suiting up for the Saints again this season, but his absence in 2021 proved that the other options currently on the roster are bleak. Olave is one of the draft’s most polished players as a technically refined route runner and natural separator that would make the game a million times easier for the returning Jameis Winston. Jameson Williams is another option that makes sense as a deep threat, but I still envision New Orleans’ offense as a quick passing system where Winston acts as a point guard rather than a deep shot chucker.

Left tackle is a concern with Terron Armstead’s departure for Miami, but there’s really no natural fits here with most of the remaining linemen fitting better on the right. A couple people have suggested the possibility of moving Ryan Ramczyk to the left side, in which case an offensive lineman at this pick would make more sense to me.

ATL trades 2.43, 3.68, and 3.82 to PHI for 1.19 and 5.154

1.19 Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

Remember how I was saying that the 68th pick could end up proving to be valuable ammo for a potential trade up later in the draft? Well, it’s later now, and I think in this scenario Atlanta packages that pick from Houston with a 2nd and another 3rd to jump Pittsburgh and snag their QB of the future. I made this trade before the rumor came out that Philly wants 2023 picks in any trade down scenario in case they need to make a move for a QB next year, but adding 3 top 100 picks isn’t half bad!

For Atlanta, I think their QB rankings are Malik Willis and then Ridder. With Willis off the board well before their pick at 8, the focus shifts to the Cincinnati QB, who the Falcons have been conducting heavy research on since at least the Senior Bowl. Many media members think Ridder is the most pro-ready, and while there are some concerns about his accuracy, someone will tie their future to him in the first round. That much I am almost certain of.

1.20 Pittsburgh Steelers – Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

Having been jumped for Ridder, it’s easy to predict that Pittsburgh panics and takes the next QB on their board, whether that’s Matt Corral or Sam Howell. That said, I have never pegged the Steelers as an organization that panics. They have Mitchell Trubisky, who they gave $7 million a year to presumably start week 1, rookie QB in the fold or not. Mason Rudolph is still kicking and could give Trubisky some competition in camp. If the guys that the Steelers like at QB are gone, they don’t have to make a move.

That brings me to Hill, whose pro day at Michigan was attended by both Tomlin and Colbert, thus qualifying him as a potential first round selection in this spot. The fit with Hill and Minkah Fitzpatrick may seem a bit awkward, but Pittsburgh led the league in Cover 2 usage last season, which blurs the lines between traditional free and strong safety responsibilities. Adding Brian Flores, whose Miami defenses disguised just about everything by utilizing versatile players wherever they could, only adds to the intrigue a defense manned by both Hill and Fitzpatrick could produce.

KC trades 1.29 and 2.62 to NE for 1.21 and a 2023 3rd

1.21 Kansas City Chiefs – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

This seems almost too obvious after Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill to Miami. The only question really is whether or not Williams even makes it this far, because I heavily doubt he’ll last to 29th. Alkire’s market chart has the Bama receiver 18th and above Olave, which makes him a candidate to go as early as 13 in my view. Here, he falls to 21 because I made this pick before videos of his ACL recovery hit the Twitter timeline.

For New England, taking Williams themselves is certainly a possibility, but adding a second rounder to drop 8 spots is a nice deal. I have my doubts that the Patriots go receiver early, but things in Foxboro will be difficult to predict as long as Bill Belichick is at the helm.

IND trades 2.42 and a 2023 1st to GB for 1.22 and 2.59

1.22 Indianapolis Colts – Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

I actually made this pick before the Colts traded for Matt Ryan, but I still think it’s a possibility. The former MVP is on his last legs and his presence never quite ruled out the chance that Atlanta would take a successor this year, so I have trouble with the notion that a change of scenery suddenly solves that equation. The Colts have been through this before with Philip Rivers. That season, they took Jacob Eason in the hopes that he’d turn into something, which never came to fruition. So, they could do that again and target someone like Kaleb Eleby in the middle rounds, or they could forge a new path and get an heir on the roster right now.

Howell has gotten a bit lost in the Twittersphere as people continue to trash this QB class, but Alkire’s chart has him at 15th(!) and the third QB overall. The accompanying notes also say that we should expect 5 first round QBs, an outcome that will undoubtedly blow Draft Twitter into smithereens. Personally, I like Howell – he’s produced when there was talent around him, seems like a leader, made tangible progress day over day at the Senior Bowl. Fifth year options are only going to get more valuable to teams as the QB market rockets into the $50 million a year range, so taking your shot in the first isn’t the worst plan.

1.23 Arizona Cardinals – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Arizona needs some corner help, but there’s also production that needs to be replaced on the offensive side of the ball. DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore return, but AJ Green and Christian Kirk depart. Antoine Wesley seems to be Arizona’s preferred backup option for Hopkins and Andy Isabella has struggled to make headway, leaving the WR3 spot wide open. For most teams, that’s not a huge issue, but Arizona’s Air Raid style offense operates best with 3 or 4 legit options on the field at once.

Burks has become a difficult study due to some less than optimal testing numbers, but the on-field production doesn’t lie. He’s been compared, perhaps unfairly, to the likes of Deebo Samuel and Cordarrelle Patterson as the kind of versatile receiver who can moonlight as a running back if you need him to. Pairing him with Kliff Kingsbury would surely produce some entertainment value, even if it doesn’t immediately contribute to the bottom line.

1.24 Dallas Cowboys – Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College

The dominant Cowboys offensive line of the mid-2010s has shown its age in recent years, plus guard Connor Williams just left in free agency. Zack Martin is still a phenomenal player and Connor McGovern has performed well in spurts, but fans seem ready to move on from the Tyler Biadasz experiment at center. Johnson has the versatility to play virtually any spot on the line after learning to play center in Mobile and logging time at tackle and guard while at Boston College. Picking him up allows Dallas to simply play their best 5 guys on the line to protect Dak Prescott and open lanes for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.

Photo from The Athletic

1.25 Buffalo Bills – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

This is where things get a bit tricky, as Alkire has Andrew Booth Jr., Roger McCreary, and Elam all hovering around second round territory. Upon asking him about it, the consensus seems to be that those 3 make up the second tier of this year’s CB class, but we should only expect one of them to sneak into the first. For a Bills team that primarily plays single high in base coverage packages, I think the best fit is Elam, who excels in such roles. Corner is also the only need on the Bills roster that they haven’t patched in free agency to date, as Levi Wallace left for Pittsburgh and has not been replaced.

1.26 Tennessee Titans – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Penning’s stock has been all over the place. He performed well at the Senior Bowl, launching him from second round status to the top ten of some mock drafts. That cooled down until the combine, where Penning tested as one of the most athletic tackles ever, scooting him back into the top 15. Alkire has Penning at 26th, right where he lands here. Most of the teams that sent heavy hitters to Northern Iowa’s pro day are picking in this mid to late 20s range, which gives me confidence that this valuation is right on the money. Tennessee sent GM Jon Robinson and OL coach Keith Carter to Cedar Falls, and Penning fits the aggressive style the Titans like to employ up front (see Lewan, Taylor).

1.27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M

The retirement of Ali Marpet and departure of Alex Cappa via free agency opened some holes on Tampa’s line. Although they fixed one problem with the addition of former Patriot Shaq Mason and apparently like Aaron Stinnie enough to let Cappa walk, adding another piece to protect a (very slowly) aging Tom Brady couldn’t hurt. Green has experience at all five offensive line positions, making him the ultimate sixth lineman if he can’t crack the starting lineup as a rookie. While other areas of the team need help as well, particularly corner, the value at those positions compared to snagging Green just doesn’t line up.

1.28 Green Bay Packers – Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa

The Packers generally do not take players older than 22 in the first round. There are also certain size thresholds players need to fit in order to be under serious consideration in the first round. That rules out wide receivers Christian Watson (23 years old when the season kicks off) and Jahan Dotson (181 lbs), two very popular mock picks for Green Bay. GM Brian Gutekunst has said that they’ll make exceptions for players they fall in love with, but I don’t see that happening here.

The reason for that is Smith, who will be a 21 year old rookie and is gaining steam as a potential first rounder. After cutting Billy Turner, the Packers’ best right tackle is Yosh Nijman, assuming they keep Elgton Jenkins on the interior. Not so if they add the Tulsa product, who has the size to play right tackle and the mean streak to excel at guard if the outside doesn’t work out for him.

1.29 New England Patriots – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Lloyd feels like a Patriots linebacker, and he’s only 25th on Alkire’s market chart, so this wouldn’t be too steep of a fall for him after New England traded down earlier in this mock. After the release of Kyle Van Noy, the Pats defense lacks the hybrid linebacker/blitzer type that Bill Belichick loves to employ. Josh Uche could potentially fill that void, but there’s not a lot to suggest the organization has any confidence in him doing so. Lloyd, on the other hand, is a perfect fit for that role as one of the best blitzing backers in the class. He’d likely start at SAM over the recently acquired Mack Wilson for the time being.

1.30 Kansas City Chiefs – Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

Perhaps a surprising name in the first round unless you’ve arrived here directly from September 2021, in which case I think you might still be wrestling with the question “who the hell is Travon Walker?”, among other things. Jackson’s stock has bounced around all season, but Alkire has him 29th and added in his notes that teams love his movement skills. A 7.09 3 cone and 4.28 shuttle (unofficially) will only help that case, especially since he did them at 273 lbs, up from 254 during the season. Kansas City needs additional ammo on the pass rushing front if they want to keep up with the other duos in the AFC West – Joey Bosa/Khalil Mack, Maxx Crosby/Chandler Jones, and Bradley Chubb/Randy Gregory.

1.31 Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa

Quite the consolation prize for losing the Super Bowl. Linderbaum has plenty of fans in the media because he’s a dominant zone blocking center, but his value will likely be hampered by the fact that he’s only a zone blocking center. To my knowledge, he’s never played guard, and he might be too small to do so effectively. For Cincinnati, Linderbaum is a scheme fit, which is more than you can say for last year’s selection Jackson Carman. Drafting the former wrestler kicks Ted Karras to guard, where he has plenty of experience, and relegates the likes of Carman and Hakeem Adeniji to the bench. That gives you a line of Jonah Williams-Karras-Linderbaum-Alex Cappa-La’el Collins, which should do a better job protecting Joe Burrow than the 2021 version.

SEA trades 2.40 and 4.109 to DET for 1.32

1.32 Seattle Seahawks – Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi

That’s right, five first round QBs. Remember what I said about the 5th year option when I had Indy trade up for Sam Howell and apply the same logic here, except that Seattle’s current QB isn’t exactly an aging former MVP. Instead it’s Drew Lock, who I mentioned much earlier as someone the Seahawks staff seems to have confidence in. In my opinion, that’s all the more reason to grab the 5th year option on a guy much later in the first round. Play Lock this season; if he’s great, you have a young backup you can dangle as trade bait the way Green Bay has been doing with Jordan Love. If he sucks, he’s a free agent after the season anyway, so then you can hand Corral the reins and see how things go from there. Bottom line: even if you like Lock, even if you love him, he hasn’t proven he’s good enough to warrant putting all your eggs in his basket.

Photo from NDSU Athletics

2.33 Jacksonville Jaguars – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Jacksonville could really use players who can actually catch the ball, considering their best receiver last season was Laquon Treadwell. Dotson could easily sneak into the first if the board falls a different way in April.

2.34 Detroit Lions – David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

After an entire season of mocking a Michigan EDGE to Detroit, Lions fans probably thought they were safe. Not so any longer, as a team with a timeline as long as Detroit’s can afford to wait out the Achilles tear Ojabo suffered mere weeks ago.

2.35 New York Jets – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

The Jets’ starting strong safety is currently Ashtyn Davis, who I feel like has been injured more often than he’s been on the field. Cine and Jordan Whitehead would be an underrated safety duo after losing Marcus Maye.

2.36 New York Giants – Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Once a popular first round selection, Dean’s stock has fallen lately. That’s ostensibly because he didn’t test at either the combine or Georgia’s recent pro day after measuring in a bit smaller than we were expecting. Other teams also reportedly like linebackers like former teammate Quay Walker better, according to Alkire.

2.37 Houston Texans – Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

Houston is one of the rare teams that can afford to go BPA with pretty much every pick. Scooping up McCreary helps bolster a secondary that just let arguably its best corner (Terrance Mitchell) walk in free agency.

2.38 New York Jets – Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

Watson, Corey Davis, and Elijah Moore would give Zach Wilson very few excuses for underperforming this season. As one of the most athletic receivers ever, the North Dakota State product may not even last this long.

2.39 Chicago Bears – Devonte Wyatt, IDL, Georgia

Alkire’s notes mention that he hasn’t heard much first round buzz for Wyatt at all, despite media anointing him a top 20 pick at times. Considering that Wyatt is on the older side with a few pockmarks in the off-field resume, I tend to side with the market chart here. However, he’d be a valuable replacement for Akiem Hicks in Chicago, who has a roster that needs fixing at nearly every position.

2.40 Detroit Lions – Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

Adding Brisker would damn near complete the secondary remodel in Detroit. A corner throuple of Jeff Okudah, Amani Oruwariye, and 2021 UDFA Jerry Jacobs plus safeties Tracy Walker and Brisker is a more formidable unit than anything in recent Lions memory, at least as far as I know.

2.41 Seattle Seahawks – Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

Seattle seems like exactly the kind of team that won’t care that Raimann is going to be a 25 year old rookie. With Duane Brown and Brandon Shell still available as free agents, the Seahawks’ starting tackles are currently Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe. One word? Yikes.

2.42 Green Bay Packers – Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ebiketie goes higher than this, maybe even above the ailing Ojabo. Teams seem to be in love with his combination of production (9.5 sacks in 2021) and athleticism (a 9.07u RAS). While he’s a touch old for Green Bay’s liking, I think he might have been the focus when Gutekunst attended Penn State’s pro day.

2.43 Philadelphia Eagles – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

The Eagles demand that their corners be active tacklers and run supporters, and Booth is just that. Plenty of people, including myself, have Booth roughly 30 spots higher than this in their personal rankings, but the NFL seems to be lower on him for reasons beyond my comprehension.

2.44 Cleveland Browns – Travis Jones, IDL, UConn

Like the Packers, the Browns have what they call the age guardrail: Andrew Berry has never drafted a player who turns 23 before the start of the season. Jones clears that threshold and provides Cleveland with some much needed help up front; their best interior lineman right now might be recent free agent signing Taven Bryan.

2.45 Baltimore Ravens – Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky

Baltimore signed Morgan Moses this offseason, which all but eliminated RT as an option in the first round. Here in the second, I wouldn’t be shocked, if only as an insurance policy for one of last year’s most snakebitten teams. Kinnard can also (and probably will) play guard at the next level, where he profiles as a mauler that will clear plenty of holes in the run game.

2.46 Minnesota Vikings – Logan Hall, IDL, Houston

On the interior, Minnesota has Dalvin Tomlinson (a nose), Harrison Phillips (a 1 tech), and 2021 rookie Jaylen Twyman (a 3 tech). However, they’re also moving to a 3-4 defense under new DC Ed Donatell, most recently of the Broncos, which means they could use a 5 tech to start on passing downs at the very least. That’s where Hall comes in.

2.47 Washington Commanders – Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

Jamin Davis struggled as a rookie and the names around him aren’t very inspiring, either. Walker has his fans, as I mentioned earlier, and should start from day 1 if everything we’ve heard about his valuation in league circles is true.

2.48 Chicago Bears – Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State

Larry Borom was fine at right tackle last season, but he has guard flexibility that may need to be utilized to shore up an anemic interior offensive line in Chicago. Lucas comes with the same criticisms every Air Raid tackle does, but his pass protection will be sorely needed to keep Justin Fields breathing this season.

2.49 New Orleans Saints – DeMarvin Leal, IDL, Texas A&M

Leal was once one of this year’s premier prospects, but a quiet season and poor workout numbers have plummeted his stock. New Orleans doesn’t desperately need help on the defensive line, but their more pressing needs don’t have obvious answers in this spot.

2.50 Kansas City Chiefs – Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

Nick Bolton and Willie Gay have performed well, but Kansas City is missing a MIKE unless they think free agent signing Jermaine Carter can fill that role. Muma looks like a throwback player but tested like an alien and plays coverage as well as anyone in the class.

2.51 Philadelphia Eagles – Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

Philly doesn’t value linebackers very much and adding former Charger Kyzir White has elevated this room beyond roster building malpractice. That said, I still have my reservations about guys like TJ Edwards or Davion Taylor.

2.52 Pittsburgh Steelers – George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Pickens has been mocked much higher than this in the past, but Alkire’s chart has him all the way down at 64. The Steelers worked with him in depth during Georgia’s pro day, and all signs seem to point to them adding a receiver early-ish.

2.53 Green Bay Packers – Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

Double dipping at EDGE to fill out the room with the guy many have mocked to Green Bay in the first round. Mafe doesn’t hit the Packers’ age thresholds for a first round pick, but his ascent has also slowed down since the conclusion of the combine because of an early pro day.

2.54 New England Patriots – Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

I love Jakobi Meyers, but the rest of New England’s WR room is far too inconsistent to give Mac Jones the environment he needs to make a jump in year 2. Moore is one of the winter’s biggest risers and should contribute from the slot right away.

2.55 Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

Arizona grows ever closer to having an all-Husky secondary with Byron Murphy and Budda Baker already in the fold. Marco Wilson had an alright rookie season, but adding a hyper athletic player like Gordon could take the room to the next level.

2.56 Dallas Cowboys – Phidarian Mathis, IDL, Alabama

Dallas needs a run stopper in the middle, and Mathis is just that. With some pass-rush upside from 3 tech, a Mathis and Neville Gallimore duo should free up Demarcus Lawrence and newly acquired Dante Fowler on the edges.

2.57 Buffalo Bills – Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

Devin Singletary is a fine 1B guy and Zack Moss has struggled to produce in the NFL. Buffalo needs a legitimate threat out of the backfield to make defenses allocate resources away from Josh Allen.

2.58 Atlanta Falcons – Josh Paschal, EDGE/IDL, Kentucky

Paschal is a bit of a surprise this high, but Alkire’s chart has him above DeMarvin Leal. He’s also a bit of a hybrid: in Atlanta his best fit would likely be at 5 tech, where his bigger frame and pass rush chops both get to shine.

2.59 Indianapolis Colts – Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA

Indianapolis loves their tight ends. With the retirement of Jack Doyle, the best option on the roster is Mo Alie-Cox, who’s a good Y option. Kylen Granson fills the H-back/TE hybrid role, leaving the move TE position open to be filled. Dulcich is by far the best mover this year as essentially a big wide receiver with not-so-great blocking skills, making him a nice fit in Indy.

2.60 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Perrion Winfrey, IDL, Oklahoma

Ndamukong Suh won’t last forever, if he even re-signs with Tampa. Neither will William Gholston, who turns 31 in July. Winfrey and Vita Vea would make for a devastating one-two punch on the interior if the former can keep his effort up.

MIA trades 3.102 and a 2023 2nd to SF for 2.61 and 3.105

2.61 Miami Dolphins – Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M

Miami is without a pick in the top 100 after sending their first and second rounders to Kansas City for Tyreek Hill, so a trade up will have to be in order if they’re going to go after a top rookie running back. Spiller seems like the most natural fit in teal.

2.62 New England Patriots – Sean Rhyan, OT/IOL, UCLA

I think Rhyan has enough skill to hang as a left tackle, but the NFL seems to disagree. Guard is a rough spot on the Patriots roster after trading Shaq Mason and losing Ted Karras, although Mike Onwenu is still holding things down on the left side.

2.63 Cincinnati Bengals – Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

I made this pick before the Bengals signed La’el Collins, but there’s still virtually no depth on the offensive line in Cincinnati. With just $5 million guaranteed on Collins’ deal, the Bengals may not have confidence that they can rely on him long term. If that’s the case, an insurance policy wouldn’t be the worst idea.

2.64 Denver Broncos – Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State

Andersen is a freak athlete who’s played four different positions in college. Denver reportedly is considering moving Baron Browning to EDGE full time (why?), which leaves a gap in a linebacker room currently headlined by Josey Jewell and Jonas Griffith.

Photo from The Reading Eagle

3.65 Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor

Versatile safety who would pair nicely with 2021 pick Andre Cisco.

3.66 Detroit Lions – John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

Another rehab pick, but Metchie is one of the draft’s more polished receivers when healthy.

3.67 New York Giants – Cole Strange, IOL, Chattanooga

Guard/center flexibility is a plus with the interior in New York in flux.

3.68 Philadelphia Eagles – Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State

Philly needs something better than Miles Sanders and Boston Scott.

3.69 New York Jets – Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia

The Jets played two converted safeties (Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood) at LB last season. They need an upgrade.

3.70 Jacksonville Jaguars – Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

Right tackle is still in a weird spot with Jawaan Taylor’s underperformance and Walker Little looking best on the left side.

3.71 Chicago Bears – Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis

Darnell Mooney is the only wide receiver on the Bears I choose to acknowledge as of today.

3.72 Seattle Seahawks – Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State

Thomas has the bulky build of DEs Seattle has liked in the past and helps fill out the EDGE rotation.

3.73 Indianapolis Colts – Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

Chris Ballard loves tall receivers and Pierce is basically a ball of clay at this point.

3.74 Atlanta Falcons – Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

Adding more pass rush to a team that has struggled since Vic Beasley’s one good season never hurts.

3.75 Denver Broncos – Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

The Packers ran 12 personnel at one of the highest rates in the league under new Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett, and Albert Okwuegbunam is the only TE of note on the roster currently.

3.76 Baltimore Ravens – Cameron Jurgens, IOL, Nebraska

Baltimore’s center question has yet to be answered and Jurgens is the draft’s second best pure option.

3.77 Minnesota Vikings – Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA

Long, fast, and plenty of room to develop in what would likely be a trial by fire in Minnesota.

3.78 Cleveland Browns – Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB

One of the most underrated players in the class, Wright and Myles Garrett would make for a formidable duo.

3.79 Los Angeles Chargers – Joshua Ezeudu, IOL/OT, North Carolina

Ezeudu can play guard or right tackle, depending on what the Chargers’ plan is for Matt Feiler.

3.80 Houston Texans – Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama

Houston’s best running back is the slowly decaying husk of David Johnson.

3.81 New York Giants – James Cook, RB, Georgia

Joe Schoen and co. apparently weren’t shy about their love for Cook at Georgia’s pro day.

3.82 Philadelphia Eagles – Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati

Cook has been hampered by injury through the pre-draft process, but he’d fit nicely in the Eagles scheme.

3.83 Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Fortner, IOL, Kentucky

Jason Kelce is returning, but for how long? Best to grab his successor now.

3.84 Pittsburgh Steelers – Dare Rosenthal, OT, Kentucky

Rosenthal has some off-field baggage to get over, but profiles as a potential long term starter at LT.

3.85 New England Patriots – Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma

Death, taxes, the Patriots drafting a mid round EDGE that everyone on Twitter likes.

3.86 Las Vegas Raiders – Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

Vegas signed Jayon Brown, but that’s a temporary fix to a long-term problem. Chenal is an athletic freak in the middle of any defense.

3.87 Arizona Cardinals – Luke Goedeke, IOL/OT, Central Michigan

Kelvin Beachum is 33 and a free agent after this season. Goedeke could take over his right tackle spot or establish himself inside against Justin Pugh or recent signee Will Hernandez.

3.88 Dallas Cowboys – Sam Williams, EDGE, Mississippi

Dallas was all over Williams at his pro day. He has top 50 talent but some lingering off-field issues that will push him down the board.

3.89 Buffalo Bills – Dylan Parham, IOL, Memphis

Another guard/center hybrid, Parham can hold down the spot vacated by Jon Feliciano and maybe take over center duties from an aging Mitch Morse down the line.

3.90 Tennessee Titans – Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

Tennessee’s offense functions best with a reliable TE, and Ruckert is nothing if not reliable.

3.91 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

Tampa has a corner problem and a returner problem. Jones could solve both.

3.92 Green Bay Packers – Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State

A little similar to Amari Rodgers from last year, but the 2021 pick had a rough time in the shadow of the other A. Rodgers last season.

3.93 San Francisco 49ers – Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska

San Francisco likes their corners fast, and Taylor-Britt was clocked at 4.38 at the combine.

3.94 Kansas City Chiefs – Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois

Tyrann Mathieu seems like he’s packed his bags. Justin Reid is in town now, but a third safety will be necessary in such a high powered division.

3.95 Cincinnati Bengals – Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State

Eli Apple is still CB2 for the AFC champions, which simply will not be tenable long-term.

3.96 Denver Broncos – Zachary Carter, IDL, Florida

Shelby Harris replacement for a team that does not seem eager to start McTelvin Agim on the interior.

3.97 Detroit Lions – Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

That secondary remodel I was talking about continues. Jeff Okudah hasn’t been able to stay healthy, which could open up a spot for the Thorpe Award winner.

3.98 New Orleans Saints – Nick Cross, S, Maryland

Malcolm Jenkins retired as I was writing this mock draft, which made it convenient that I already had them taking a replacement.

3.99 Cleveland Browns – Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky

Anthony Schwartz and Robinson blazing trails downfield leaves plenty of space over the middle for Amari Cooper and David Njoku to feast.

3.100 Baltimore Ravens – Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech

After the Za’Darius Smith signing fell through, Baltimore still needs a running mate for Odafe Oweh.

3.101 New Orleans Saints – Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Strong’s knee has been the talk of the town all fall. And winter. And probably most of spring. New Orleans can afford to give him another year to get healthy.

3.102 San Francisco 49ers – Jamaree Salyer, IOL, Georgia

Potential guard replacement for Laken Tomlinson or Alex Mack’s successor at center.

3.103 Kansas City Chiefs – Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana

Lucas Niang had his ups and downs as a pass blocker, which could make the Chiefs paranoid enough to pounce on another RT option.

3.104 Los Angeles Rams – Brian Asamoah II, LB, Oklahoma

The Super Bowl champs don’t really need much, but there’s virtually zero depth at linebacker behind Ernest Jones and Travin Howard.

3.105 Miami Dolphins – Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State

Keep picking linemen until you hit on enough to field a full team, Miami.

Photo from The Athletic

4.106 Jacksonville Jaguars – Christopher Hinton, IDL, Michigan

Maybe it was more Urban Meyer than Trent Baalke, but 2021’s draft class featured a disproportionate number of former 5 star recruits. Hinton is another.

4.107 Houston Texans – Matthew Butler, IDL, Tennessee

Butler is one of my favorite defensive tackles in the draft. Houston has a quietly good group here, but not good enough to pass on the Volunteer.

4.108 Houston Texans – Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

Apparently the Texans picked up DaeSean Hamilton at some point. If Brandin Cooks gets traded, there’s really not anyone I like in that receiver room.

4.109 Detroit Lions – Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State

Smith is more athlete than football player right now, but the Lions have an excellent defensive coaching staff that could maximize his potential.

4.110 Baltimore Ravens – Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee

Baltimore should pad the secondary room up to avoid a repeat of last season’s all-practice squad group.

4.111 New York Jets – Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State

DJ Reed, Bryce Hall, and Brandin Echols is a nice trio, but TCF adds a higher ceiling to the group on the whole.

4.112 New York Giants – Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon

McKinley and McKinney is a safety duo guaranteed to not confuse anyone ever.

4.113 Washington Commanders – Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Terry McLaurin is going to end up with a broken back if the Commanders don’t add to the receiver room.

4.114 Atlanta Falcons – Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati

After Ridder finished his work at pro day, every Falcons staffer left the building except the RB coach, who stayed behind to work with Ford.

4.115 Denver Broncos – Mario Goodrich, CB, Clemson

Denver needs a couple more bodies in the secondary, particularly in the slot.

4.116 Denver Broncos – Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri

With Melvin Gordon still on the street, a new partner for Javonte Williams could be in order.

4.117 New York Jets – Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

Likely had a rough workout circuit, but I still like his upside as a move tight end.

4.118 Cleveland Browns – Jeremiah Gemmel, LB, North Carolina

Cleveland likes Jacob Phillips, but they could afford to add some depth after trading Mack Wilson.

4.119 Baltimore Ravens – Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

A true flier pick, as Ross has dealt with a multitude of injuries after a red hot start to his college career.

4.120 New Orleans Saints – Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah

Developmental left tackle who could step into the void left by Terron Armstead.

4.121 Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU

Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn’t quite cutting it and I’m not a big Ronald Jones guy. Give me Allgeier over both by the end of the season.

4.122 Indianapolis Colts – Dominique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (OH)

Robinson was practically made in a lab to be a Colts guy. Long, skinny, not totally raw but a little undercooked.

4.123 Los Angeles Chargers – Neil Farrell Jr., IDL, LSU

LA still needs one more piece on the defensive line after adding Austin Johnson and Sebastian Joseph-Day.

4.124 Philadelphia Eagles – Cade Otton, TE, Washington

Otton should be healthy by the start of training camp, which takes some pressure off Dallas Goedert.

4.125 Miami Dolphins – Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati

What is a Sam Eguavoen and why is he listed as the primary backup linebacker for Miami?

4.126 Las Vegas Raiders – David Bell, WR, Purdue

Bell is like that guy that looks like your best friend if you’re not wearing glasses and are far away, except that in this scenario your best friend is Allen Robinson.

4.127 New England Patriots – Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama

Bill Belichick will take an Alabama player at some point. It’s in his blood.

4.128 Baltimore Ravens – Jesse Luketa, LB, Penn State

Luketa is a LB/EDGE hybrid guy that could do some damage paired back up with college teammate Odafe Oweh.

4.129 Dallas Cowboys – Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State

Dallas did a lot of homework on Kolar at Iowa State’s pro day and he’s someone that seems to be graded higher in NFL circles.

4.130 Buffalo Bills – Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA

Jamison Crowder is a marginal upgrade over Cole Beasley, but I’ll take Philips over both of them by 2024.

4.131 Tennessee Titans – Jeffrey Gunter, EDGE, Coastal Carolina

Harold Landry and Bud Dupree is a fine duo, but there’s virtually nothing behind them. Unless you count Rashad Weaver.

4.132 Green Bay Packers – Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia

Woods measured like Marcedes Lewis, who just so happens to still be hanging out in Green Bay.

4.133 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kaleb Eleby, QB, Western Michigan

Kyle Trask is not the answer. I know this because Bruce Arians was trying to sell us on Blaine Gabbert starting games as recently as two months ago before retiring.

4.134 San Francisco 49ers – Tyreke Smith, EDGE, Ohio State

Smith and Nick Bosa get to reunite from their time together in Columbus. SF will hope that reunion takes place at the quarterback.

4.135 Kansas City Chiefs – Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri

DeAndre Baker is not a reliable CB3 in the year of our Lord 2022.

4.136 Cincinnati Bengals – Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin

CJ Uzomah went to the Jets, which means former second rounder Drew Sample is currently TE1. Probably not the best plan.

4.137 Carolina Panthers – Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State

Carolina gets their left tackle, who I made sure has long enough arms for Matt Rhule.

4.138 Pittsburgh Steelers – Dohnovan West, IOL, Arizona State

Kendrick Green had a hard time at center last season and Mason Cole has never been starter material. Time for new blood.

4.139 Baltimore Ravens – Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame

JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards seem entrenched on this team, but past that all bets are off.

4.140 Green Bay Packers – Zakoby McClain, LB, Auburn

McClain versus Krys Barnes could be a fun training camp battle for the LB spot opposite 2021 All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell.

4.141 Baltimore Ravens – JT Woods, S, Baylor

Refer to pick 110 and the 2021 injured reserve lists.

4.142 Los Angeles Rams – Mykael Wright, CB, Oregon

The champs need a Darious Williams replacement after Jacksonville gave him the bag for his efforts covering new teammate Christian Kirk.

4.143 Tennessee Titans – Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech

Tennessee still needs a reliable WR3 behind AJ Brown and Robert Woods if 2021’s passing results are to be believed.

Photo from USA Today

5.144 Carolina Panthers – Thayer Munford, IOL, Ohio State

Carolina has done quite a bit of work to upgrade the offensive line, but adding more young pieces never hurts.

5.145 Denver Broncos – Micheal Clemons, EDGE, Texas A&M

Malik Reed is a fine designated pass rusher, but Clemons has the potential to be a legit rotational piece in Denver.

5.146 New York Jets – Haskell Garrett, IDL, Ohio State

The Jets let Foley Fatukasi walk and replace his presence with the former Buckeye.

5.147 New York Giants – Cole Turner, TE, Nevada

Beyond Ricky Seals-Jones, the Giants have a bunch of camp bodies at tight end. Turner is a little stiff but would be a serviceable option.

5.148 Chicago Bears – Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama

Armour-Davis was a surprise declaration, which has made his stock hard to pin down. Chicago can afford to take shots like this as a team with a ways to go before they’re in contention.

5.149 Carolina Panthers – Aaron Hansford, LB, Texas A&M

Hansford gained a bit of traction with some good workouts and could eventually grow into a serviceable starter.

5.150 Chicago Bears – Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin

Khalil Mack’s brother Ledarius is currently listed as a starter at linebacker for the Bears, and he’s a pass rusher.

5.151 Atlanta Falcons – Damarri Mathis, CB, Pitt

Mathis had a tremendous pro day workout and Atlanta could use a bit more quality depth at corner.

5.152 Seattle Seahawks – Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State

Time for the obligatory Seahawks running back pick. Considering the depths they turned to last season, this time it might actually be worth it.

5.153 Seattle Seahawks – Chris Paul, IOL, Tulsa

Paul can play right tackle or kick inside to guard, but I’d let him take his lumps at tackle first.

5.154 Atlanta Falcons – Smoke Monday, S, Auburn

Recently I found out that Falcons fans do not enjoy the on-field stylings of Erik Harris, who was re-signed.

5.155 Dallas Cowboys – Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor

Let’s stretch that field and open YAC room for CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.

5.156 Minnesota Vikings – Lecitus Smith, IOL, Virginia Tech

Oli Udoh is listed as the starter at right guard. Oli Udoh is also listed as the backup at right guard.

5.157 Jacksonville Jaguars – Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State

Bellinger is the value menu TE this cycle – athletic as hell and an adequate blocker.

5.158 Miami Dolphins – DeAngelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky

Zero depth at EDGE for Miami currently after Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel.

5.159 Indianapolis Colts – Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota

Matt Pryor does not seem like a long-term solution at left tackle, but Waletzko could very well become one.

5.160 Los Angeles Chargers – Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

Sanders had some sort of illness at the combine, but it was enough for everyone to forget about him. LA needs one more piece to fill out the EDGE rotation.

5.161 New Orleans Saints – Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida

Tony Jones Jr. never really took a step forward after the Alvin Kamara injury. Pierce is a thumper who could take some hard hits off Kamara’s plate.

5.162 Philadelphia Eagles – Matt Henningsen, IDL, Wisconsin

Fletcher Cox is in his last year as an Eagle. Henningsen has flown under the radar all cycle but could very well grow into an important role player.

5.163 New York Jets – Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan

Haskins provides the thunder to Michael Carter’s lightning.

5.164 Las Vegas Raiders – Kalon Barnes, CB, Baylor

The Raiders love their track stars, no matter the regime.

5.165 Las Vegas Raiders – Otito Ogbonnia, IDL, UCLA

Vegas is currently slated to start Kendal Vickers and Bilal Nichols on the interior. Fine players, but upgradeable.

5.166 Philadelphia Eagles – Nick Zakelj, OT, Fordham

The way Philadelphia operates means it could be time to go shopping for Lane Johnson’s successor.

5.167 Dallas Cowboys – JoJo Domann, LB, Nebraska

Keanu Neal is moving back to full-time safety this season, but Domann could fill his hybrid linebacker-safety role.

5.168 Buffalo Bills – John Ridgeway, IDL, Arkansas

Buffalo has done a lot of shuffling on the defensive line, but those are mostly short term fixes.

5.169 Tennessee Titans – Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor

Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown are gone, leaving their spots up for grabs from the likes of David Long and Zach Cunningham.

5.170 New England Patriots – Spencer Burford, OT, UTSA

New England will draft young linemen just so they have reasons to trade or decline to re-sign the old ones.

5.171 Green Bay Packers – Marquis Hayes, IOL, Oklahoma

Jon Runyan and Royce Newman starting aside, there are exactly zero backups currently on the roster.

5.172 San Francisco 49ers – Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers

Melton might be a tad redundant with Ray-Ray McCloud right now, but he’s a better deep threat as a receiver.

5.173 New York Giants – Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State

Another of this year’s workout warriors could fight for a chance to start if James Bradberry ends up being traded.

5.174 Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Rose, LB, Iowa State

Logan Wilson, Germaine Pratt, and Akeem Davis-Gaither isn’t a terrible trio, but the next man up if any of them gets injured is Clay Johnston.

5.175 Los Angeles Rams – Zach Tom, IOL, Wake Forest

Tom could play any of the five positions on the offensive line, but he’d probably be a center for the Rams.

5.176 Dallas Cowboys – Leon O’Neal Jr., S, Texas A&M

O’Neal is a local product who’d provide some quality depth to Dan Quinn’s defense.

5.177 Detroit Lions – Jayden Peevy, IDL, Texas A&M

Michael Brockers is only getting older, which leaves some not so inspiring names in line for snaps as depth pieces.

5.178 Dallas Cowboys – Obinna Eze, OT, TCU

Let’s dip back into Texas and get some competition for Terence Steele going.

5.179 Indianapolis Colts – Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

Kendrick had some of the best tape of any corner in 2021, but he had an abysmal pro day and concerns over his speed seem warranted. Indy is currently slated to start Brandon Facyson.

Photo from On3

6.180 Jacksonville Jaguars – Alec Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College

Jacksonville cut Brandon Linder, which leaves a huge question mark at center.

6.181 Detroit Lions – Zamir White, RB, Georgia

I liked the Craig Reynolds story as much as the next guy, but Detroit needs a legit third guy in that backfield.

6.182 New York Giants – Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee

Bringing in Jones to return kicks and punts keeps key cogs Kadarius Toney and Adoree’ Jackson from taking unnecessary hits.

6.183 Houston Texans – Ed Ingram, IOL, LSU

Ingram has some pretty severe off-field issues, but his tape is that of a Day 2 player.

6.184 Minnesota Vikings – Christopher Allen, EDGE, Alabama

Allen is one of the draft’s wildcards. He looked like a world beater early this season before suffering a season ending injury and falling completely off the radar.

6.185 Buffalo Bills – Kana’i Mauga, LB, USC

Mauga gives Buffalo insurance in case they decide it’s time to pull the plug on the Tremaine Edmunds experience.

6.186 Chicago Bears – Justin Shaffer, IOL, Georgia

More linemen to protect Justin Fields and hopefully keep Dakota Dozier limited to a bench role.

6.187 San Francisco 49ers – Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State

Strong could be this year’s Elijah Mitchell, which is exactly why he’ll end up stealing Mitchell’s job on his way up.

6.188 Jacksonville Jaguars – Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State

Corner depth beyond Tyson Campbell in Jacksonville is suspect and Williams has plenty of athletic upside.

6.189 Washington Commanders – Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky

Zappe is pretty comparable to Taylor Heinicke, but comes much much cheaper.

6.190 Atlanta Falcons – Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State

Atlanta’s punting game was awful last season and Araiza showed at his pro day that he has the ability to hang balls to the NFL’s standards.

6.191 Minnesota Vikings – Danny Gray, WR, SMU

Adding a deep threat to keep defenses honest is my favorite way to prop up middling quarterbacks.

6.192 Minnesota Vikings – Damone Clark, LB, LSU

Clark has a spinal injury that will keep him out of his rookie season, but he’s thankfully expected to make a full recovery.

6.193 Dallas Cowboys – Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist

You can never have too much secondary depth, especially with teams shifting more and more to base nickel.

6.194 Philadelphia Eagles – Reggie Roberson Jr., WR, SMU

Roberson got off to a slow start this season while recovering from a torn ACL, but I like him as a WR3 or 4 in the NFL.

6.195 Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Stout, P, Penn State

JK Scott is the guy for now, but there’s a reason he was on the market for four months during the season. Add some competition.

6.196 Baltimore Ravens – Ko Kieft, TE, Minnesota

Nick Boyle left in free agency, which means the Ravens need a new TE who does nothing but block. That’s Kieft’s specialty.

6.197 Jacksonville Jaguars – Nephi Sewell, LB, Utah

Starting Shaquille Quarterman should automatically disqualify you from playoff contention.

6.198 Jacksonville Jaguars – Kennedy Brooks, RB, Oklahoma

The Jags seem interested in adding another RB with Travis Etienne and James Robinson coming off injuries.

6.199 Carolina Panthers – Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo

Anderson tested well and would be a good depth piece and potential special teams ace.

6.200 New England Patriots – Thomas Booker, IDL, Stanford

Booker is one of the draft’s smartest players, which sounds like something New England would be the most interested in.

6.201 Arizona Cardinals – Isaiah Thomas, EDGE, Oklahoma

The departure of Chandler Jones leaves a pretty large void at EDGE that Thomas could help fill.

6.202 Cleveland Browns – Cordale Flott, CB, LSU

Flott could go much higher than this, but he’s another surprise declaration that hasn’t gotten much buzz.

6.203 Buffalo Bills – Esezi Otomewo, EDGE, Minnesota

Buffalo likes to think ahead; Otomewo could be the 4th EDGE in 2023 if Shaq Lawson isn’t worth retaining.

NYG trades a 2023 6th for 6.204 and a 2023 7th 

6.204 New York Giants – Jake Camarda, P, Georgia

Jamie Gillan is not one of the league’s 32 best punters.

6.205 Houston Texans – Yusuf Corker, S, Kentucky

One of the most famous things about one of Houston’s current backup safeties is that he’s Simone Biles’ boyfriend.

6.206 Denver Broncos – Jack Coan, QB, Notre Dame

Someday Brett Rypien will get the chance Draft Twitter knows he deserves, but Coan has his fans too.

6.207 Houston Texans – Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU

If Calcaterra is cleared to play a full career after a history of concussions, he could very well take over a TE room led by Brevin Jordan.

6.208 Pittsburgh Steelers – EJ Perry, QB, Brown

If you’re not gonna add a quarterback at the top of this draft, I’m not sure there’s many better options value-wise than Perry.

6.209 Cincinnati Bengals – Eyioma Uwazurike, IDL, Iowa State

I have a gut feeling I’m undervaluing Uwazurike here, but he spent six years in college, which will turn some teams off.

6.210 New England Patriots – Sincere McCormick, RB, UTSA

You know that theory that you should draft a QB every year at some point? New England does that with running backs.

6.211 Los Angeles Rams – Tyler Goodson, RB, Iowa

I don’t have much confidence in Jake Funk turning into a reliable RB3 piece.

6.212 Los Angeles Rams – Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State

This accomplishes the same things signing DeSean Jackson was supposed to accomplish a year ago.

6.213 Atlanta Falcons – Marquan McCall, IDL, Kentucky

McCall is a ridiculously large man who plugs up the depth chart at nose tackle.

6.214 Los Angeles Chargers – Jashaun Corbin, RB, Florida State

Another year, another Day 3 swing on a running back. Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree struggled to find footing last season.

6.215 Arizona Cardinals – Chasen Hines, IOL, LSU

Hines can play guard or center, so Arizona could very well groom him to replace Rodney Hudson down the line.

6.216 Indianapolis Colts – Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana

The Colts could use some touch ups in the linebacker depth department.

6.217 Detroit Lions – Cade Mays, IOL, Tennessee

Mays was once a prized recruit, but here he’d be battling Tommy Kraemer for an opening day active roster spot.

6.218 Los Angeles Rams – Carson Wells, EDGE, Colorado

The departure of Ogbonnia Okoronkwo leaves the Rams without an unheralded EDGE rusher to log a few sacks a season and then leave for greener pastures.

6.219 Tennessee Titans – Chase Lucas, CB, Arizona State

Lucas is a high-energy guy that would presumably be Tennessee’s CB4 over AJ Moore Jr.

6.220 San Francisco 49ers – Markquese Bell, S, Florida A&M

I’d rather start Talanoa Hufanga over George Odum, but if those are really my two choices, I might just stick to single high forever if you don’t let me add Bell.

6.221 San Francisco 49ers – Eric Johnson, IDL, Missouri State

The interior defensive depth chart in San Francisco is not my favorite one in the league.

6.222 Jacksonville Jaguars – Jaivon Heiligh, WR, Coastal Carolina

More guys that can catch the ball. Somebody please help out my guy Trevor Lawrence.

Photo from The Salt Lake Tribune

7.223 Cleveland Browns – Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland

Okonkwo technically counts for the age guardrail, I think? He turns 23 the day of the Thursday night season opener.

7.224 Miami Dolphins – Jaquarii Roberson, WR, Wake Forest

I didn’t mind Roberson’s tape, but he doesn’t have a ton of special teams upside.

7.225 Pittsburgh Steelers – Jermaine Waller, CB, Virginia Tech

Waller has had a quiet pre-draft process, which in his case has mostly left him forgotten.

7.226 Cincinnati Bengals – Abram Smith, RB, Baylor

Why Samaje Perine was on the field for that final play, I will never understand.

7.227 Las Vegas Raiders – Connor Heyward, FB, Michigan State

The Raiders committed the cardinal sin of letting their fullback leave in free agency, so I’m forcing them to take a new one.

7.228 Green Bay Packers – Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, IDL, Notre Dame

There are five players total on Green Bay’s defensive line.

7.229 Seattle Seahawks – Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

Bolden is a former four star recruit who simply never improved in college. If anyone can get value out of him, it’s Pete Carroll.

7.230 Washington Commanders – Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State

Watson is one of my favorite sleeper corners this year due to his size. He’d be good depth and special teams fodder in Washington.

7.231 Buffalo Bills – Bamidele Olaseni, OT, Utah

I will be inconsolably depressed if Olaseni goes undrafted.

7.232 Denver Broncos – Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State

Volson would allow Denver to train Tom Compton exclusively at guard and Quinn Meinerz at center, giving them defined backups at each spot.

7.233 Kansas City Chiefs – Ja’Tyre Carter, IOL, Southern

Every AFC West team should add OL depth just in case.

7.234 Detroit Lions – Alex Akingbulu, OT, Fresno State

Akingbulu is your off the radar name you can pretend to know to the sickos you trick into watching the seventh round with you.

7.235 Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeremiah Moon, EDGE, Florida

EDGE is a sneaky need for the Jags because K’Lavon Chaisson has been disappointing, but I think they might wait one more season to deal with it for real.

7.236 Los Angeles Chargers – Isaiah Weston, WR, Northern Iowa

Chargers staff seemed more interested in chatting with Weston than studying Trevor Penning, which is my primary motivation for this one.

7.237 New Orleans Saints – Logan Bruss, IOL, Wisconsin

Calvin Throckmorton is the only backup guard on the roster as of today.

7.238 Los Angeles Rams – Andrew Stueber, OT, Michigan

Depth, depth, depth for a line losing Andrew Whitworth and Austin Corbett.

7.239 Indianapolis Colts – Zonovan Knight, RB, North Carolina State

The Colts seem to like having three guys to tote the rock and currently only have 2, unless you really like Deon Jackson.

7.240 Washington Commanders – Jerrion Ealy, RB, Mississippi

JD McKissic is back, but Washington didn’t seem too bothered about letting him walk.

7.241 Pittsburgh Steelers – Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC

Pittsburgh has done a lot of homework on Day 3 running backs, as they should with a bunch of failed development projects behind Najee Harris.

7.242 Carolina Panthers – Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina

D’Onta Foreman is probably not your best option at RB3.

7.243 Kansas City Chiefs – Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

Wydermyer had one of the worst pro days in internet history, but his plummeting stock only makes him feel like more of a Chiefs pick.

7.244 Arizona Cardinals – Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina

I believe in Eno Benjamin, but the RB3 choices after him are pretty gross.

7.245 Houston Texans – Chance Campbell, LB, Mississippi

Campbell is probably going to have to excel on special teams to keep hold of a roster spot.

7.246 Cleveland Browns – Tyler Vrabel, OT, Boston College

Every depth piece on the Browns OL is a guy I’ve heard of for some reason, but I don’t recall any of them being very good.

7.247 Miami Dolphins – Luke Tenuta, OT, Virginia Tech

One of these OL picks for the Dolphins has to be good.

7.248 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dane Belton, S, Iowa

Belton is a Tampa product who has met with the Buccaneers, who need a replacement for Jordan Whitehead. Dots: connected.

7.249 Green Bay Packers – Isaac Taylor-Stuart, CB, USC

The USC corners (Taylor-Stuart and Chris Steele) seem to be afterthoughts in this draft, but they could end up anywhere on Day 3 and I wouldn’t be surprised.

7.250 Minnesota Vikings – Skylar Thompson, QB, Kansas State

Thompson is my pick for this year’s Sean Mannion Award, the guy that hangs around for a billion years because he’s smart and knows the playbook. Who better to learn this art from than Mannion himself?

7.251 Kansas City Chiefs – LaBryan Ray, IDL, Alabama

Ray never gained a real footing at Alabama with the neverending tidal wave of high-end recruits, but he has draftable traits.

7.252 Cincinnati Bengals – Ty Fryfogle, WR, Indiana

Auden Tate is a Falcon now, which leaves WR4 open for the taking.

7.253 Los Angeles Rams – Isaiah Pola-Mao, S, USC

People weren’t even sure if Pola-Mao was going to be in this draft class until he participated at USC’s pro day.

7.254 Los Angeles Chargers – Jequez Ezzard, WR, Sam Houston State

GM Tom Telesco is dragging his feet on an Andre Roberts re-signing, so let’s take one of college football’s most electric returners.

7.255 Los Angeles Chargers – Trae Barry, TE, Boston College

Telesco is also dragging his feet on bringing Stephen Anderson back, which means an addition at tight end is not out of the question.

7.256 Arizona Cardinals – D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State

Jackson was relatively anonymous at the Senior Bowl, but it’s rare that alumni go undrafted.

7.257 Arizona Cardinals – Kolby Harvell-Peel, S, Oklahoma State

Harvell-Peel is spot-limited because of his stiff hips, which will prevent him from going much higher.

7.258 Green Bay Packers – Kevin Austin Jr., WR, Notre Dame

Notre Dame specializes in making anonymous receivers into hot names by consistently acquiring aliens to test in their place. Austin is no different.

7.259 Kansas City Chiefs – Ali Fayad, EDGE, Western Michigan

Fayad is small for a full-time EDGE, but he’ll contribute on special teams while potentially learning to be an off-ball linebacker.

7.260 Los Angeles Chargers – D’Anthony Bell, S, West Florida

The Chargers need another safety in order to play Derwin James in the box more often and have enough guys to survive a wave of injuries.

7.261 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tanner Conner, WR, Idaho State

Conner will go higher than this, but I had him as a UDFA before he blew up UW’s pro day on Tuesday and I didn’t want to rework all of the sixth and seventh rounds.

7.262 San Francisco 49ers – Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Oklahoma State

Rodriguez benched 225 36 times at the Cowboys’ pro day, and that type of strength may be just enough to get him drafted.

Best FAs

Photo from USA Today

QB – Aqeel Glass, Brock Purdy, Dustin Crum, Cole Kelley, Cole Johnson

RB – Tyrion Davis-Price, D’vonte Price, CJ Verdell, Max Borghi, ZaQuandre White

FB – Jeremiah Hall, Clint Ratkovich

WR – Jerreth Sterns, Josh Johnson, Tre Turner, Dontario Drummond, Dai’Jean Dixon

TE – Derrick Deese Jr., James Mitchell, Armani Rogers, Gerrit Prince, Austin Allen

OT – Ryan Van Demark, Andrew Rupcich, Alec Anderson, Zachary Thomas, Austin Deculus

IOL – James Empey, Blaise Andries, Aaron Frost, Tyrese Robinson, Luke Wattenberg

IDL – Noah Elliss, DJ Davidson, Jordan Jackson, CJ Wright, David Anenih

EDGE – Adam Anderson, Tyree Johnson, Aaron Mosby, Zach VanValkenburg, De’Shaan Dixon

LB – Kyron Johnson, James Houston IV, Josh Ross, Nate Landman, Darien Butler

CB – Jack Jones, Josh Thompson, Decobie Durant, Chris Steele, Ja’Quan McMillian

S – Sterling Weatherford, Percy Butler, Brendan Radley-Hiles, Quentin Lake, Reed Blankenship

K/P/LS – Cal Adomitis, Cade York, Gabe Brkic, Ryan Stonehouse, Tommy Heatherly

Follow Alex on Twitter @alexkatson.

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