HomeUncategorizedDKrom’s Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Free Agency

DKrom’s Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Free Agency

We arguably just experienced the wildest free agency period in NFL history. In essentially two weeks time, nine star players including Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, Davante Adams, Khalil Mack and Tyreek Hill changed teams via trade. Those trades involved seven first-round picks combined, the most ever in a single month during the common draft era. Now the entire focus of the football world shifts back to the 2022 NFL Draft, which is just over three weeks away. We now have a better idea of what teams MAY do when they’re on the clock, but keep in mind that the lying and misinformation will kick into overdrive as April 28 draws near. That said, guessing and speculating is part of what makes the draft process so much fun. And in that spirit, here is DKrom’s Mock 2.0…     

1. Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE, Michigan)

    -Since the Combine, most signs have been pointing to Jacksonville taking Hutchinson to kick off the draft. That said, do NOT be surprised if they end up selecting the guy the Lions take at #2 overall in this mock

2. Lions: Travon Walker (EDGE, Georgia)

    -At no other position do athletic traits translate more to the game than at EDGE pass rusher. Travon Walker has traits that are unheard of for a 272-lb. man as evidenced by his 40-time (4.51s) and his three-cone time (6.89s)

3. Texans: Evan Neal (OT, Alabama)

    -It will likely be either an EDGE or an offensive tackle for the Texans here and given the depth of the EDGE class, the latter may be the better option. GM Nick Caserio has more knowledge about Alabama’s football program than most of his peers given his days in New England, and that makes me think he would prefer Evan Neal over Ikem Ekwonu

4. Jets: Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE, Oregon)

    -Thibodeaux is one of the biggest wild cards in this draft as chatter around the NFL suggests he can fall all the way to 15, if not further. That said, he is the pass rushing talent the Jets sorely need

5. Giants: Ikem Ekwonu (OT, North Carolina State)

    -The Giants reportedly would like to trade one of their two first-round picks in order to amass more draft capital for next year. But it would be hard to see them pass on Ekwonu, who is the big, versatile OT type that Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll coveted during their time in Buffalo together (e.g.: Dion Dawkins and Cody Ford) 

6. Steelers [via Panthers]: Malik Willis (QB, Liberty)

    -Since the Senior Bowl, the worst kept secret in the entire NFL has been the Steelers love for Malik Willis. That said, if they want him as badly as many think, they will almost certainly have to trade up here, if not higher

7. Giants [via Bears]: Sauce Gardner (CB, Cincinnati)

    -In order to run DC Don “Wink” Martindale’s blitz-heavy scheme, you need corners that can lock down WR’s in man-to-man situations all game long. “Sauce” is EXACTLY that kind of corner

 8. Falcons: Kyle Hamilton (S, Notre Dame)

    -Last year, Falcons GM Terry Fontenot went with a true “best player available” approach by taking Kyle Pitts, who many considered the best overall player in the draft. History could very well repeat itself this year if Kyle Hamilton is still on the board when the Falcons are on the clock

9. Seahawks [via Broncos]: Charles Cross (OT, Mississippi State)

    -Even after trading Russell Wilson, the Seahawks should not feel pressured to select a QB here given the underwhelming crop of signal callers in this year’s draft and the large number of holes on their roster. Cross is the type of athletic OT Pete Carroll and John Schneider love and he would upgrade Seattle’s pass protection immediately

10. Jets [via Seahawks]: Garrett Wilson (WR, Ohio State)

    -The Jets still don’t have a legit WR1 for Zach Wilson to throw to. Garrett Wilson (no relation) is the route-running technician that tends to thrive in Mike LaFleur’s offense

11. Commanders: Drake London (WR, USC)

    -The Commanders need to do all they can to help Carson Wentz succeed given all they traded to get him. Drake London’s skill-set makes him the PERFECT complementary receiver to Terry McLaurin, and they would give Wentz the best WR duo he’s ever had in his career

12. Vikings: Jermaine Johnson II (EDGE, Florida State)

    -Even though they signed Za’Darius Smith to team up with Danielle Hunter to hunt down opposing QB’s, you can NEVER have enough pass rushers. Plus, given Smith’s recent injury history and the fact he’s essentially on a one-year deal, EDGE is still more of a need for the Vikings than many may think, and Johnson would be a tremendous fit for Ed Donatell’s defense

13. Texans [via Browns]: George Karlaftis (EDGE, Purdue)

    -Ideally, the Texans would like to come out of the first round with an OT and an EDGE. Karlaftis has that non-stop motor that Lovie Smith deeply desires

14. Ravens: Jordan Davis (DT, Georgia)

    -In the event the top-five EDGE’s are gone, the Ravens could opt to trade down. That said, Davis will remind many in the Ravens draft room about Haloti Ngata (we all know how great of a career he had in Baltimore) and could thus be too enticing for them to pass on 

15. Eagles [via Dolphins]: Derek Stingley, Jr. (CB, LSU)

    -The Eagles have not selected a cornerback in the first round since 2002 when they took Lito Sheppard and this would be a great year for the streak to end. While there is risk with Stingley given his injury history and underwhelming past two seasons, he could also prove to be a major steal here

16. Eagles [via Colts]: Devin Lloyd (LB, Utah)

    -Like the Giants, look for the Eagles to try and move one of their first-round picks for 2023 draft capital. But they stay put here and select Lloyd, who would give them some sorely needed speed and athleticism in the middle of their defense

17. Chargers: Trevor Penning (OT, Northern Iowa)

    -As of right now, the Chargers may be the best team in the star-studded AFC West, at least on paper. That said, they still have a glaring hole at right tackle and Penning would fill it by bringing a welcome jolt of physicality to the Chargers high-powered offense

18. Saints: Kenny Pickett (QB, Pittsburgh)

    -As Mark Schofield said on our episode analyzing the QB class, the Saints would be a very ideal landing spot for Pickett. By playing most of his games either indoors or in warmer climates, Pickett’s hand-size concerns would be significantly mitigated

19. Eagles: Treylon Burks (WR, Arkansas)

    -Philly still lacks that third offensive playmaker aside from DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert. Burks and his Deebo Samuel-like skills would be a PERFECT match with a dual-threat QB like Jalen Hurts

20. Panthers [via Steelers]: Matt Corral (QB, Ole Miss)

    -With increasing buzz that the Panthers will take a chance on a QB in the first round, Carolina should do all they can to trade down, get more picks and still take a signal caller they’re extremely bullish on. Given GM Scott Fitterer’s natural propensity for trading back and the lack of a surefire franchise QB in this year’s draft, it is a good bet this will be the Panthers’ plan of attack if they go all in on a QB

21. Chiefs [via Patriots]: Jameson Williams (WR, Alabama)

    -After the Chiefs surprised many by trading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, notable people on Draft Twitter brought up Williams as the most natural successor to Hill in Kansas City. That said, the Chiefs will likely have to trade up even higher if they want him badly

22. Packers [via Raiders]: Chris Olave (WR, Ohio State)

    -With the Packers trading Davante Adams to the Raiders and losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency to the Chiefs, Aaron Rodgers is currently looking at a pretty bare cupboard of weapons. Look for the Packers to use two of their first four picks on WR’s…and the speedy Olave would be a hand-in-glove fit with the four-time MVP

23. Cardinals: Boye Mafe (EDGE, Minnesota)

    -The Cardinals have big shoes to fill at EDGE after letting Chandler Jones walk in free agency. Mafe may be raw, but his traits are as freakish as any pass rusher in this class

24. Cowboys: Zion Johnson (G, Boston College)

    -The Cowboys offensive line is not as dominant as they’ve been in recent years and could use some new blood. Johnson may be one of the safest bets in this draft at any position because of his athleticism and technique

25. Bills: Andrew Booth, Jr. (CB, Clemson)

    -The Bills may very well enter 2022 as Super Bowl favorites and getting another corner to pair with Tre’Davious White would fill what is arguably the only large hole left on their roster.  Although Booth will miss OTA’s due to a recent sports hernia procedure, he would be EXCELLENT value here for Buffalo

26. Titans: Trent McDuffie (CB, Washington)

    -In the third round of last year’s draft, the Titans selected an undersized, yet versatile DB from Washington in Elijah Molden. McDuffie is like a 10-times better version of Molden and would make the Titans secondary better the moment he steps on the field

27. Bucs: Devonte Wyatt (DT, Georgia)

    -With the un-retirement of Tom Brady, the Bucs are loaded again for another Super Bowl run. A versatile, scheme-diverse DL like Wyatt would make an immediate impact in Todd Bowles’ defense 

28. Packers: Christian Watson (WR, North Dakota State)

    -At the NFL league meetings last week, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said “We need a legit guy that can take the top off the coverage.” Olave and Watson would give them two such weapons

29. Patriots [from Chiefs, via Dolphins, via 49ers]: Bernhard Raimann (OT, Central Michigan)

    -Our friend Jeff Barnes told us on our episode analyzing OL prospects that the Patriots would be a perfect landing spot for the raw, yet talented Raimann. The Austria native could develop in the weight room for about a year and then assume the LT spot, which would kick Isaiah Wynn inside to his more natural guard position 

30. Chiefs: Daxton Hill (CB/S, Michigan)

    -Although the Chiefs signed Justin Reid in free agency, his skill-set and play style do not replace Tyrann Mathieu. On the other hand, Daxton Hill’s would do so on Day 1

31. Bengals: Tyler Linderbaum (C, Iowa)

    -Getting Linderbaum here would be an absolute coup for the Bengals. He would be the final piece of the puzzle that would make Cincinnati’s offensive line into one of the NFL’s best units 

32. Lions [via Rams]: Lewis Cine (S, Georgia)

    -The Lions need another safety to run more of the dime packages that defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn prefers. He would probably love adding Cine’s explosiveness to the Detroit secondary

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