2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Dallas Cowboys go big and make waves

(Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /
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2022 NFL Mock Draft
(Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /

“Welcome to paradise” has more than one meaning when it comes to the 2022 NFL Draft (and this 2022 NFL Mock Draft). Usually we’d say it to express the utopia (and at times dystopia) that is draft season.

This year, however, the franchise altering NFL Draft selections are expected be made in the unincorporated town of Paradise, Nevada. Home to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a good portion of the Vegas Strip. By the end of Day One of the NFL Draft (April 28th), the strip could get a little busier.

Here is our 2022 NFL Draft Mock Draft 1.0 now that the official order is fully set.

With the first pick in 2022 NFL Draft the Jacksonville Jaguars select:

Michigan. Aiden Hutchinson. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Defensive End. 12. 52

  • The top pick is believed to come down to Jacksonville’s preference between Hutchinson and Thibodeaux out of Oregon. As the best player on many boards, Hutchinson gets the nod and the Jaguars give a boost to a bottom third defense.

2. Detroit Lions:

Scouting Report. Kayvon Thibodeaux. player. 50. Pick Analysis. EDGE. Oregon. 13

  • We’ve long figured Thibodeaux would be a top guy in his eventual draft class for awhile now. In a lot of drafts a team like the Lions could see this as their chance to grab a QB, but in this class it may not be worth it. They drafted Sewell last season and paid Taylor Decker. Mostly, though, Detroit ranked near the bottom in sacks and pressures, so they’re selecting an incredible athlete with an incredible ceiling.

3. Houston Texans: 

14. player. 10. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Tackle. Alabama. Evan Neal

  • You could see the first QB go off the board here, but then again everyone knows as little as the next person regarding Deshaun Watson’s status with the team. Laremy Tunsil and Marcus Cannon both ended the 2021 season on IR and Cannon’s contract certainly wouldn’t hold Houston back from taking the top tackle off the board. After all, regardless of who the QB is, protecting him is a top priority and it should be here for the Texans.

4. New York Jets: 

Pick Analysis. NC State. player. 30. Scouting Report. Tackle. Ikem Ekwonu. 15

  • Some argue Ekwonu is the best offensive linemen in this draft. He plays guard and tackle which works out well for the Jets since they currently need one of both with RT Morgan Moses and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif being over 30 and hitting free agency. To add to their OL questions starting LT Mekhi Becton is recovering from injury as well. The Jets obviously have several other holes but protecting Zach Wilson must be top priority.

5. New York Giants: 

player. 31. Pick Analysis. Notre Dame. Kyle Hamilton. 16. Scouting Report. S

  • Logan Ryan is over 30 with an out in his contract after 2022. Xavier McKinney is on a cheap deal that doesn’t impact your decision in the draft. Jabril Peppers spent the better part of the season on IR and is a UFA. Giants don’t need to overthink this. Hamilton is the most highly coveted player on the board and the Giants need the best player to prepare for the future.

6. Carolina Panthers: 

Mississippi State. Charles Cross. Pick Analysis. T. 17. player. 87. Scouting Report

  • The Panthers have a modestly paid Left Tackle and a modestly paid Quarterback. They could go either direction here, but Cross would be an instant upgrade and convert Cameron Erving into a well paid Swing Tackle. Sam Darnold is in the last year of his contract and it’s hard to say which or if any QB in this class will be an upgrade, so the Panthers choose protection.

7. New York Giants: 

Scouting Report. EDGE. Purdue. Pick Analysis. George Karlaftis. 18. player. 31

  • On paper you’d expect the Giants investments on defense to produce more, but the team actually regressed in sacks and pressures from 2020 to 2021. While Karlaftis isn’t a polished player and doesn’t provide a lot in the run game yet, he’s a force when getting after the QB. The Giants need offensive linemen as well, but the Panthers steal Cross with no other tackles worthy of pick 7, Giants take one of the best pass rushers remaining and will figure the rest out later.

8. Atlanta Falcons: 

Scouting Report. WR. Ohio State. 44. Pick Analysis. Garrett Wilson. 19. player

  • The Falcons are still a disaster when it comes to their QB situation, but adding a weapon could help so that’s the direction they take in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Garrett Wilson is the most ready to go offensive weapon in this draft and pairing him up with a mismatch nightmare like Kyle Pitts could help jump start the Falcons in a division that may struggle to be competitive.

9. Denver Broncos: 

Scouting Report. Pitt. 20. player. Pick Analysis. QB. Kenny Pickett. 45

  • The reaction to this pick is likely to be everyone jumping to the conclusion that “Aaron Rodgers will be the QB of the Broncos in 2022.” Well, right now he isn’t, nor can we be certain he will be. So the Broncos take the first QB off the board at pick No. 9 here in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Pickett enters a solid situation and has a chance to start day 1 with quality weapons to throw to.

10. New York Jets:

player. 30. Pick Analysis. WR. Alabama. Scouting Report. Jameson Williams. 21

  • The Jets have invested in a QB, their OL and now need weapons. Elijah Moore showed promise, but the Jets received very little production otherwise. A healthier OL plus a legitimate threat in Williams gives Zach Wilson a chance to take a big step in 2022.

11. Washington Commanders: 

58. Pick Analysis. Sam Howell. 22. player. Scouting Report. QB. North Carolina

  • Washington could reach for an offensive lineman here, but the need at quarterback is too glaring. Hitting on their QB could be the biggest impact pick in the entire draft. The hope would be for Howell to step in and clearly beat out Taylor Heinicke for the starting job year one giving Washington a new face and a fresh start at the position.