The 2022 NFL Draft gets underway this evening with the Jaguars going on the clock at 8 p.m. ET. and we have one final mock draft from ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. to peruse. Kiper doesn’t believe many teams will trade up this season and didn’t project any trades in this mock. There will be some, but the first half of first round isn’t as coveted as it has been in the past.
Kiper has just two quarterbacks moving off the board in the first round, with the first not going until pick 19. He does have seven wide receivers going in the first, but no running backs or tight ends for the offensive inclined.
Kiper isn’t sold on Georgia’s edge defender Travon Walker, but he does think the Jaguars end up taking him and his upside at No. 1 over Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, who he has going to the Lions at No. 2.
There’s nothing too controversial about this mock, as he’s reading the tea leaves like everyone else out there. Much will depend on how well teams have done in pushing out false information to not tip their picks.
Your first offensive player is Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, who Kiper has going to the Falcons with pick No. 8. The Panthers at pick 6 and the Falcons at pick 8 are the most-likely to take a quarterback early, but with this draft class, Kiper doesn’t see that happening.
Kiper has the Jets grab WR Drake London with their second pick of the roound, while the Commanders take WR Chris Olave with the next pick and then the Eagles go for the upside of WR Jameson Williams at No. 15.
Probably the biggest surprise is quarterback Kenny Pickett going to the Saints with pick 19. This does make sense, as the Saints want to win with defense and the running game and Pickett is the most NFL ready quarterback on the board.
Liberty’s Malik Willis comes off the board next to the Steelers with pick 20. Many people have the Steelers trading up to secure Willis, so they would probably be happy if they could get him without needing to trade.
The Titans, Packers and Chiefs all grab wide receivers in this mock, with the Titans getting Jahan Dotson, the Packers, Christian Watson and the Chiefs pick Skyy Moore. The Packers could finally be forced to grab a pass catcher in the first round!
There is nothing in this mock that’s going to surprise you too much. Kiper is trying to get every pick correct instead of going with how he’s evaluated players.