NFL Draft Spots Locked For Non-Playoff Teams, And Our First Mock

The order for the top 18 picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft is set as the non-playoff teams have settled into their slots and will begin prep on who they will take.

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions both secured surprising victories this weekend over Indianapolis and Green Bay, respectively, and neither moved off the top spots. The Jags will pick No. 1 for the second year in a row, while Detroit takes the No. 2 spot.

Houston mercifully ended its disaster of a season with the third-worst record and will pick after those two dumpster fire franchises.

From there it gets pretty New Yorky.

The Jets (due to the Jamal Adams trade with Seattle) and Giants (via a trade with Chicago) have two picks among the Top 10, with The Jets will be on the clock at pick Nos. 4 and 10, while the Giants hold pick Nos. 5 and 7.

The Philthydelphia Eagles have three first-round picks, the most of any team, but the first one doesn’t come up until No. 15 (thanks to a trade with Miami). The team also has pick No. 16 and a to-be-determined selection depending on how far they go in the playoffs.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars — OT, Evan Neal, Alabama. The Jags have to keep Trevor Lawrence off the ground and Neal is the best tackle prospect, by far, in the draft.
  2. Detroit Lions — EDGE, Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan. Detroit needs toughness on defense and a local product that can check that box will be too good to pass here.
  3. Houston Texans — EDGE, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon. The Texans will know if Deshaun Watson is coming back or not and it is the bet that he does. No need to reach for a QB when you can get a disruptor.
  4. New York Jets — CB, Derek Stingley, LSU. The Jets secondary was absolute trash this year and with Josh Allen, Mac Jones, and Tua in the division, there has to be an upgrade here.
  5. New York Giants — OT, Icky Ekwonu, NC State. The Giants trench play on both side has been terrible of late, but the offensive line has been so bad for so long that they have to address it in this draft.
  6. Carolina Panthers — OT, Charles Cross, Mississippi State. The Panthers gave up their second round pick to get Sam Darnold, and picked up his option already. They need to fix the OL and there isn’t a QB worth taking this early.
  7. New York Giants — EDGE, David Ojabo, Michigan. Ojabo is a a reach here, but that is what the Giants do. He is a freak athlete that exploded this year. He will crush the combine and soar to a Top 10 pick to try and help the defensive line.
  8. Atlanta Falcons — EDGE, George Karlaftis, Purdue. Atlanta has not been able to sack the quarterback in years and has missed on several picks to address it. The team is going back to the well again.
  9. Denver Broncos — QB, Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh. The Broncos search for a quarterback continues and it will reach for Pickett. It will just mean the search continues because there is not a top flight QB to be found in this draft. He is just the best of a bad bunch.
  10. New York Jets — S, Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame. New York continues to invest in its secondary with a player that can do a little bit of everything. It is not a sexy name to call but it is a flag in the ground to improve the defense under Robert Saleh.
  11. Washington Football Team — C, Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa. The Football Team has a lot of needs, and maybe it takes a playmaker at receiver here, but the offensive line has age and questions. Linderbaum can be an anchor for years.
  12. Minnesota Vikings — LB, David Lloyd, Utah. Lloyd is a complete package at linebacker, being able to blitz, tackle, and cover. The Vikings need help at each level of its defense and grabbing the most athletic player on the board helps.
  13. Cleveland Browns — DT, Jordan Davis, Georgia. The Browns have to battle against Najee Harris, Joe Mixon, and the bevy of Ravens, so stopping the run is crucial. David plugs and plays.
  14. Baltimore Ravens — OT, Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa. Baltimore had a very tough time protecting Lamar Jackson this year… Ronnie Stanley was hurt… and they lack depth. Penning may be a reach here, but it is a position of need.
  15. Philadelphia Eagles — CB, Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati. Having a compliment to Darius Slay would be a bigtime win for the Eagles. If there was a passrusher that slipped he could have filled this slot or No. 16, but there wasn’t.
  16. Philadelphia Eagles — DL, Travon Walker, Georgia. Walker is more of a run-stuffer than a pass-rusher however he has an elite nose for the ball and that always plays at the NFL. It helps in a division with a steady supply of backs.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — WR, Jameson Williams, Alabama. Do the Chargers need another playmaker, maybe not, but when you can get another weapon that Justin Herbert can’t overthrow, it helps keep pace with Kansas City.
  18. New Orleans Saints — QB, Matt Corral, Ole Miss. After suffering through Jameis, Taysom, and Trevor Siemian AND Ian Book this year, Sean Payton is not going to let Corral fall any further. His arm strength and mobility may make the Saints trade up.

Written by Malcolm Henry

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