2022 NFL Mock Draft: Matt & Mello Make the Picks

Mock Drafts are our favorite part of covering the NFL Draft, but we know sometimes it gets stale reading the same person predict the same moves over and over again. One way to cure that is what we call a “ping-pong Mock Draft” where two people play general manager in a rotating draft order.

This week, our college football lead writer Mello and myself took turns making the picks for every team in the first round of the 2022 draft. It led to some wild results.

1. Detroit Lions
GM: Mello

Pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

Analysis: It has become very obvious that the Lions need a franchise quarterback but there are no franchise quarterbacks in this draft. Therefore, the Lions get a franchise pass rusher. I know Lions fans might not be happy about passing up a passer, but they could still select a quarterback with pick 28 or 33 - and it won’t be much of a drop from QB1.

2. Houston Texans

GM: Matt

Pick: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan

Analysis: I know, I know. They need a quarterback. But if you’ve kept a close eye on the quarterbacks likely to be eligible in the 2022 Draft class, you’d know there isn’t one worthy of this selection based on what we’ve seen thus far. That can change--January through April are key for quarterbacks--but Hutchinson is the best defender in college not named Will Anderson and would give Houston the outside pass-rush they so desperately need.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (MIA)

GM: Mello

Pick: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Analysis: The Eagles have Jordan Mailata at left tackle and Lane Johnson at right but Johnson is nearing the end of his run and you can never have too much pass protection. Evan Neal is a dominating tackle and very comfortable at multiple positions across the offensive line. If Neal needs to play guard for a year, he can. If he needs to play left tackle, he can. This is the best option if the Eagles decide to keep this pick.  

4. NY Jets

GM: Matt

Pick: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Analysis: The top two edge-rushers are off the board and the best player available is a safety--and we all know what happened the last time the Jets drafted one of those early in Round 1. Instead, Joe Douglas bolsters the group he cares most about and grabs the most athletic tackle in the draft class.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

GM: Mello

Pick: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Analysis: The Jaguars desperately need to upgrade their offensive line and Ekwonu is another player that can play multiple spots along the line but has proven this year that he can be a franchise left tackle. And that’s exactly what the Jags need for Trevor Lawrence. 

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