Draft Coverage

Powered By

O'HARA'S MOCK DRAFT 4.0: The final selections

Mock Draft: Final Selection is my fourth and final projection of the entire first round of the 2022 NFL draft with a heavy focus on the Detroit Lions with their two picks at No. 2 and No. 32.

The strength of this year's draft is on defense, which bodes well for the Lions' opportunity to fill a critical need like pass rusher.

This draft is deep at wide receiver, another position where the Lions are likely to add a player early in the draft, but not as high as the No. 2 pick.

Overall, the 2022 draft lacks the star appeal of last year, when quarterbacks were taken with the first three picks and five of the first 15.

That doesn't make it any less important for the Lions, who had a promising beginning to their rebuilding effort last year under GM Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell.

Holmes has shown a willingness to trade. It would not be surprising if he struck a deal this year, either trading back from No. 2, up with No. 32, or with any other Lions' picks.

Following is my Mock Draft: Final Selection. Trades are not allowed.

And as always, feel free to disagree.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-14:

Status: Spent heavily in free agency. Beefing up O-line lets them concentrate on defense with first pick.

Pick: Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan.

2. Detroit Lions, 3-13-1:

Status: They did not make a big splash in free agency, which adds pressure to land key upgrades in the draft.

Holmes has to get a repeat of a good draft in 2021.

Options: Willingness to trade down is not idle talk by Holmes. Trading down a half-dozen picks -- and maybe more -- would still leave quality players on the board at areas that need upgrading on defense and at wide receiver.

I was high on Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton earlier and still am, but a pass rusher makes more impact than a safety.

Pick: Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon. His stock dipped early but rebounded. He's a natural pass rusher.

3. Houston Texans, 4-13:

Status: Their biggest offseason move was trading QB Deshaun Watson. They got draft picks to build with, and moved on from a difficult situation.

Pick: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State.

4. New York Jets, 4-13:

Status: Two top 10 picks add building blocks, starting with the top cornerback.

Pick: CB Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, Cincinnati.

5. New York Giants, 4-13:

Status: In position to deal with Picks 5 and 7.

Pick: Edge rusher Travon Walker, Georgia.

6. Carolina Panthers, 5-12:

Status: Desperation to solve QB problem requires desperate measures.

Pick: Malik Willis, Liberty.

Kenny Pickett of Pitt is a safer short-term pick because of experience, but Willis' raw talent provides long-term development -- and buys time for the coaching staff to use it. Willis is the only QB in this draft with legitimate rising stock.

7. New York Giants, from Bears, 6-11:

Status: More talent for their defense.

Pick: Safety Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame.

8. Atlanta Falcons, 7-10:

Status: Massive rebuild, highlighted by trade of veteran QB Matt Ryan to Indy.

Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama.

9. Seattle Seahawks, from Broncos, 7-10:

Status: Gone are key vets Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner. Seahawks add a playmaker for the middle of the defense.

Pick: ILB Devin Lloyd, Utah.

10. New York Jets, from Seahawks, 7-10:

Status: It's a choice between offense or defense. Defense wins.

Pick: Edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State.

11. Washington Commanders, 7-10:

Status: Washington starts the run on receivers to give QB Carson Wentz a talented target.

Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State.

12. Minnesota Vikings, 8-9:

Status: Vikings have drafted five DBs in the first two rounds in the last five years. Make it six.

Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU.

13. Houston Texans, from Browns, 8-9:

Status: Rebuild project gets QB.

Pick: QB Kenny Pickett of Pitt is the pick. Repeat that three times.

14. Baltimore Ravens, 8-9:

Status: Getting healthy is the key to another playoff run.

Pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa.

View photos from offseason workouts on Monday, April 25, 2022.

15. Philadelphia Eagles, from Dolphins, 9-8:

Status: Eagles need to add a top-tier receiver for young QB Jalen Hurts.

Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State.

16. New Orleans Saints, from Colts, through Eagles, 9-8:

Status: Trade up lets Saints strengthen O-line with value pick.

Pick: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State.

17. Los Angeles Chargers, 9-8:

Status: Chargers add to defense.

Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia.

18. Philadelphia Eagles, from Saints, 9-8:

Status: Eagles are winners in trade shuffle of picks, add to defense. I've flip-flopped on this one. Going back to one of the first picks.

Pick: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia.

19. New Orleans Saints, from Eagles, 9-8:

Status: Another receiver off the board, and he might be the best of all despite knee injury.

Pick: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers, 9-7-1:

Status: Steelers' offense at best when o-Line is stout up the middle.

Pick: Center Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa.

21. New England Patriots, 10-7:

Status: Strange to say this, but the Patriots could be in a battle for third place in AFC East.

Pick: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington.

22. Green Bay Packers, from Raiders, 10-7:

Status: Packers dive into the receiver pool to get a replacement for Davante Adams.

Pick: WR Drake London, Southern Cal. He has size and sure hands.

23. Arizona Cardinals, 11-6:

Status: More ammo for QB Kyler Murray.

Pick: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas.

24. Dallas Cowboys, 12-5:

Status: Take whoever's best -- OL, WR, pass rusher.

Pick: OG Zion Johnson, Boston College.

View photos of NFL prospect Christian Harris.

25. Buffalo Bills, 11-6:

Status: Help for the secondary.

Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson.

26. Tennessee Titans, 12-5:

Status: Receiver adds balance to running game.

Pick: WR George Pickens, Georgia.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 13-4:

Status: Toughening up defense under new head coach Todd Bowles.

Pick: DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia.

28. Green Bay Packers, 13-4:

Status: Another receiver is tempting, but pass rusher makes more sense.

Pick: Edge rusher George Karlaftis, Purdue.

29. Kansas City Chiefs, from 49ers, through Dolphins, 10-7:

Status: Replacing WR Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Dolphins, with another speed receiver.

Pick: WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State.

30. Chiefs, 12-5:

Status: Head coach Andy Reid is not predictable, which is why I won't rule out a running back -- like Kenneth Walker of Michigan State. Corner makes more sense.

Pick: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida.

31. Cincinnati Bengals, 10-7:

Status: A good, young team that lost to the Rams in the Super Bowl partly because they couldn't protect QB Joe Burrow.

Pick: OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan.

32: Detroit Lions, from Rams, 12-5:

Status: Having the last pick on Day One is a good position because of the potential options available.

They could get a good offer from a team that wants to lock up a player they want in the second round.

And they should get a good player if they stay put.

My choice is between two primary needs -- wide receiver (Christian Watson, North Dakota State) and safety (Daxton Hill, Michigan).

Pick: Safety Daxton Hill, Michigan. With the hope that Watson's still on the board on Pick 2 of the second round. I'd also consider it a draft win for the Lions if they take safety Lewis Cine of Georgia.

Related Content

Advertising