Picks 11-20 incoming, with so much talent still on the boards… if you missed part 1 of my first 2022 mock draft, you can find it right here…
11. Minnesota Vikings – DeMarvin Leal IDL Texas A&M
With the way Leal has been playing, it’s a surprise the Vikings are able to get him this late. However, it’s also the perfect fit for them. Leal would fit perfectly into their defensive line either alongside the recently acquired Michael Pierce or as his long term replacement.
Leal is a natural run defender, and to me it’s ability to get off blocks, locate the ball carrier and drag him down, that stand out to me the most on tape. I love the versatility, and he’ll come in with that ability to line up anywhere across the defensive line. Leal would be a great compliment to Danielle Hunter, and can absolutely force his way through and create pressure up the middle, in similar fashion to the style of Quinnen Williams. Leal is a great asset to a currently struggling defence, and as we all know, it starts up front.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers – Malik Willis QB Liberty
There’s absolutely no way the Steelers can leave this draft without Big Bens replacement. He looks woeful at the moment, and like his age and long list of historic injuries are catching up to him. With a young group of elite weapons already in place, Malik Willis could come in here with the aim to become the starter mid way through his first season.
Of course, much like Trey Lance, my only question mark would be the level of competition Willis has been facing. That being said, it doesn’t stop him being able to pick out throws down the field, hitting receivers in stride over tight coverage, and doing it all week in week out. Willis has been playing lights out for the last couple of years, and is now right at the very top of those QB conversations around the 2022 draft. I love how electric he is when he takes off and runs, and his running style dodging tackles and getting extra yardage really reminds me of Deshaun Watson. Malik Willis changes everything in Pittsburgh, and in a team featuring Najee Harris, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and Juju if he re signs… he’d be a lot of fun to watch, injecting life into a currently stale Pittsburgh offence.
13. Miami Dolphins – Darian Kinnard OL Kentucky
Everybody and their dog can tell Miami needs to build an offensive line. Should they have done so successfully already? Yes. But having failed, they must continue to spend HIGH draft picks on the line until they rectify it. Kinnard can play inside, but largely plays right tackle, and that’s why the Miami Dolphins need to draft him without even thinking about it.
If Tua is to have any succeed, you need to protect his blindside, Kinnard is the second best tackle, and best right tackle, in the 2022 draft, it’s a no brainer. He positions himself well in the pass game, and while he still has areas to develop in, Miami can put their trust in him to start and start early. In the run game, he’s a mauler. Kinnard has graded an 89+ s in the run game at Kentucky for 3 seasons in a row. He will bully defensive lineman and linebackers at the second level and create gaps. A perfect pick for the Dolphins, and an essential one too. Even if he becomes a guard at the next level, which I’m told is the best fit for him, he’d be a very welcome addition to a struggling offensive line.
Kinnard featured in Tom’s pre season top 10 offensive tackles, and is climbing that list as the season goes on…
14. New York Jets (via Seattle) – Ahmad Gardner CB Cincinnati
Ahmad Gardner is a lengthy corner, who improved as a tackler in 2020, to add to his elite coverage skills in 2019, and could be one of the most well rounded talents at the position. Now in his third season for the Bearcats, . With 3 picks each season so far, Gardner has already done plenty of work to encourage NFL teams to pay attention, and already has two interceptions in 4 games so far this season.
Gardner is 6’2″, and an extremely long body type. Long arms, I dread to even think what his wing span would be. But he uses his length to his advantage, pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage, and giving up very little in the way of separation. A top athlete who could play day 1 in the NFL. The Jets adding Hutchinson and Ahmad Gardner in the first round is enough to put Robert Saleh and his staff through the ceiling with joy.
15. New Orleans Saints – Garrett Wilson WR Ohio State
The Saints need to add weapons. The offence, even if Michael Thomas was playing, lacks dangerous options in the pass game, and the Saints end up having to hyper target Thomas due to lack of alternatives. Garrett Wilson would feast in that offence playing alongside Thomas and Kamara, and it makes me tingle even thinking about that group of talent.
It’s a toss up who might go first between Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, Wilson is the more explosive, big play threat, which is why I placed Olave with the Patriots. This man is just an athlete. The infamous catch, pictured below, will live in my memory forever. Wilson would likely line up in the slot, and offers speed, versatility, agility and excellent hands to either Jameis Winston, or the future signal caller in New Orleans. For me, an essential pick for the Saints.
16. New York Giants (via Chicago) – Kenyon Green IOL Texas A&M
Best player available, and an essential need filled for the Giants. In similar fashion to the Dolphins, the Giants have struggled to solidify their offensive line since Daniel Jones came to town. Kenyon Green is a great sized NFL offensive lineman who will help keep Daniel Jones protected, and open up gaps for Saquon Barkley.
Green takes control quickly in the blocking game, and once he has his hands on you, it’s curtains. A consensus 5 star prospect out of high school, Green has developed extremely well, and should transition nicely into an NFL guard.
17. Kansas City Chiefs – Daxton Hill S Michigan
Ahh the 2-2 Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, I’d be stunned if the Chiefs were actually drafting 17th overall, but in this current day scenario, adding Daxton Hill to their defence makes them immediately better.
Hill would align at free safety right next to Tyrann Mathieu, and adds an element to whats been a struggling secondary. Has been recorded to run a sub 4.4 40 yard dash, and with his speed, and recognition of the game, the Chiefs would relish the chance to draft him. Hill can cover in the slot, play in the box, and would work extremely well as a sideline to sideline single high safety, allowing the Chiefs to bring Tyrann Mathieu down into the box. Love this fit.
18. Cleveland Browns – Jordan Davis IDL Georgia
One of the leaders on what might be the best defence in college football this season, Jordan Davis is a monster. 6’6″, 340 pounds, with excellent athleticism and quickness for a talent that size. The Browns have one of the most elite pass rushers off the edge in the entire league in Myles Garrett, and Jadeveon Clowney might have found home there too. Adding Jordan Davis up the middle, who plays the game aggressively and with a high motor, would be enough to give offensive lines nightmares.
Davis would give the Browns a great push in their run defence, filling holes up the middle and disengaging his blocks extremely well in order to affect the play.
19. Tennessee Titans – Christian Harris LB Alabama
The Titans need to figure out what they’re doing on defence, and while the secondary also needs a lot of work, Christian Harris is rising up my draft boards every week. Transitions well to a run stuffing, hard hitting linebacker in the NFL, and is something the Titans very desperately need.
Harris can blitz, and does a fine job of generating pressure when doing so too, but he’s most effective at the second level. Whether that’s stuffing the run, or dropping into coverage, he’s a difference maker. The Titans need linebackers they can rely on, and Harris might be the next, every down, do it all linebacker in the league.
20. Washington Football Team – Sam Howell QB North Carolina
Howell is going to need to be scouted based on his 2020-2021 campaign, as the current campaign is not going to do him any favours. Had he not lost both running backs, and both of his top two targets to last years draft, there’s a real chance Sam Howell could have been the first pick in the draft in April.
As it turns out, he’s having to do way too much this season. However, even with all the changes for the Tar Heels. Howell bounced back from a terrible opening night, and is illustrating just how good he can be even without a strong group around him. He’s getting better with the newer guys on the team each week, and his natural ability to lead is shining. Howell has a superb release, get the ball out fast and trusts his instincts when it comes to decision making. His accuracy needs to improve slightly, but has the tools to develop nicely into an NFL QB. Howell has dual threat ability too, able to get out of trouble and take off whenever he needs to. This young man is tough.
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