Draft week has finally arrived. The 2022 NFL Draft is finally almost upon us, beginning with round one on Thursday evening. With the event on our doorstep, Acme Packing Company recently conducted a two-round mock draft, making each selection from one through 64.
Each year, we run through this exercise and give several APC writers the opportunity to make the picks for specific teams. For the 2022 mock, we had seven writers participating, giving us four writers with five teams each and three writers making selections for four teams. We assigned the honor of making the Green Bay Packers’ selections through the luck of the draw, and Paul Noonan won that right this year.
Here are our picks for the first two rounds of the draft.
1. Jaguars (Paul Noonan): Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
The top pick of our mock is no surprise; Hutchinson has been penciled in as the top pick since the Combine, and Paul isn’t buying the rumors about the Jaguars going in a different direction with a tackle or another edge like Walker. Hutchinson seems like a pretty sure thing in a draft with few of those at any position.
2. Lions (Tyler Brooke): Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
The second edge comes off the board immediately, as the Lions grab Thibodeaux to boost their pass rush. Effort concerns seem overblown with Thibodeaux, who should immediately slot in as a starter on the edge.
The first offensive tackle to hear his name called, Ekwonu is in a group of three players at the position who seem to have separated themselves a bit from the rest of the pack. He’ll likely play right tackle for the Texans to start, as the team still has Laremy Tunsil on the left side, but don’t rule out a move to the blind side eventually.
4. Jets (Tex Western): Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
The Jets need to swing for the fences yet again, and Walker seems like a great schematic fit in Robert Saleh’s defense. That gives the Jets a solid front four with Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, and Sheldon Rankins, provided Walker can deliver on the immense promise that his athleticism presents.
5. Giants (Justis Mosqueda): Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
With the top three edge defenders off the board, the Giants rush to the table with their card bearing the name of the best offensive tackle remaining. It feels like a no-brainer that their pick will come at one of those two positions, depending on how the top four picks land.
6. Panthers (Kris Burke): Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Carolina OC Ben McAdoo said that Sam Darnold is the team’s starter for now, then said he shouldn’t have said it. That’s probably because Carolina finds a QB early on in this draft, but whether that’s Pickett or Malik Willis will depend on one’s personal preferences.
7. Giants (Justis): Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
A guy with the name “Sauce” seems like he’d be a great fit in a big media market like New York. Especially given the questions about the Giants potentially trading James Bradberry, this would make a lot of sense.
8. Falcons (Jon): Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
The Falcons look to 2023 Draft to solve their QB question, instead grabbing an athletic pass-rusher to help an edge group that is largely bereft of talent at this point.
9. Seahawks (Tex): Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Is there a more clear need for any team in this year’s draft than the Seahawks’ need at offensive tackle? They would likely be thrilled to see Cross fall to 9 here, with Trevor Penning being a solid consolation if Cross gets picked earlier.
10. Jets (Tex): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
With an edge in the top five, the Jets start the wide receiver run by getting the explosive Wilson to match up with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore. That’s a diverse set of skills and body types in that room, and it should give Zach Wilson plenty of weapons to give him a chance to show he’s worthy of a top-two pick last year.
11. Commanders (Rcon14): Derek Stingley, Jr., CB, LSU
Instead of continuing a receiver run, however, the Commies get some secondary help in Stingley, who would likely start on the outside opposite William Jackson. Don’t rule out a receiver though, especially if Terry McLaurin ends up on the move by draft day.
12. Vikings (Justis): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Instead of a receiver run, it’s a cornerback run, with Elam coming off the board a little earlier than most project. The Vikings certainly look to need the help at that position, however, and Elam brings some much-needed speed (4.39) to a group that includes an aging Patrick Peterson and plodding Cameron Dantzler (4.64).
13. Texans (Jon): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
The most athletic defensive tackle in history (he hit a 10 on the RAS scale), Davis should help plug the middle for a Texans defense that has few strong options on their front four. That defense needs help at all levels, and Davis is a piece to build around in the middle.
14. Ravens (Rcon): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
Offensive linemen don’t come more athletic than Linderbaum, and the Ravens need a new option at center with last year’s starter, Bradley Bozeman leaving for Carolina in free agency. This seems like a seamless fit, as Linderbaum would start on day one and probably could be a ten-year player.
15. Eagles (Kris): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
McDuffie’s 40 time and jumps were great at the Combine, putting him squarely in the mid-first round conversation. Philly seems like a nice fit, where he could play opposite Darius Slay on the boundary.
16. Saints (Tyler): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Here’s the second quarterback off the board, as the Saints take a gamble on the big arm. Willis will need some time to develop, but the Saints can let him sit for a bit behind Jameis Winston.
17. Chargers (Paul): Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
The Chargers desperately need some help on the defensive interior, and Wyatt provides just that. He’ll help both as a penetrating tackle as well as a run-stopper, giving the Chargers some push in between Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.
18. Eagles (Kris): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Packers fans dreams of Olave die in Philly at 18 of this mock. Olave and DeVonta Smith give the Eagles a pair of lean receivers (though Smith still looks like a string bean even compared to Olave) with great speed and route-running skills. Together, they would give defensive coordinators fits.
19. Saints (Tyler): Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Take the QB at 16 and take his long-term blind side protector three picks later. That’s the approach here for Tyler with the Saints, as he gets a road-grading run-blocker for the left tackle spot who has the athleticism to develop into a plus pass-blocker as well.
Another QB! The Steelers have all but telegraphed that they plan to take a quarterback early in this draft, but with Pickett and Willis off the board, they settle for the third one to go in round one. This effectively guarantees that Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph will duke it out for the starting job in week one with Corral viewed as the long-term solution.
21. Patriots (Tyler): Andrew Booth, Jr., CB, Clemson
The last pick before Green Bay’s selection goes defense, where the Patriots need to replace the departed J.C. Jackson at cornerback. Booth was a great player for a mediocre Clemson team in 2021, but injuries at some unfortunate times have prevented him from working out, likely dropping him down boards from a possible top-15 pick.
22. Packers (Paul): Drake London, WR, USC
With the first of a pair of picks in round one and with a few talented receivers still on the board, Paul has the Packers going for the big body in London rather than the speedster who’s still recovering from a torn ACL in Jameson Williams. London can do some of what Davante Adams did on short passes and screens, while also giving Aaron Rodgers a massive target who has a catch radius the size of Lake Winnebago.
23. Cardinals (Tex): George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Chandler Jones makes the trip a few hours north to Las Vegas, so the Cardinals need some help on the edge. Enter Karlaftis, who I think would be a steal anywhere in the late teens or later and whose almost maniacal approach to football will make him a perfect pairing with J.J. Watt.
24. Cowboys (Jon): Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Dallas lost a pair of starters on the offensive line in free agency, with Connor Williams and La’el Collins heading out. Johnson is arguably the most athletic guard prospect this year and could even kick out to right tackle.
25. Bills (Justis): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Buffalo has to be thrilled to find the draft’s top deep threat still available at 25. Does Josh Allen really need more receiving weapons? There’s no harm in finding out.
26. Titans (Kris): David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
The Titans have Bud Dupree and Harold Landry on the edge, but Ojabo would give them a great third option as a rotational pass rusher whenever he is able to return from the injury he suffered at Michigan’s Pro Day.
27. Buccaneers (Tex): Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
The Bucs saw starting left guard Ali Marpet retire this offseason. Enter Green, who is likely a plug-and-play player at that spot.
28. Packers (Paul): Daxton Hill, DB, Michigan
Is safety a need or not for the Packers? What about slot corner? If you think the answer is yes to either of those, then Hill is a perfect fit. He played deep safety for a few years for the Wolverines before transitioning to the Star position last year, and he excelled at both. He also blew up the Combine. We know the Packers like to address “need” positions a year early (except for at wide receiver), and both of their starting safeties are currently set to have their contracts expire after 2022, plus he comes from a blue-blood program that produced multiple current Packers starters (Rashan Gary, Jon Runyan). It all seems to fit.
29. Chiefs (rcon): Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
After transferring from Temple, Ebiketie terrorized the Big Ten for the Nittany Lions last year. The Chiefs need another pass-rusher to line up opposite Frank Clark, and Ebiketie seems like a great fit.
30. Chiefs (rcon): Jalen Pitre, DB, Baylor
Tyrann Mathieu remains unsigned as a free agent, but the Chiefs could get a perfect replacement as a defensive Swiss Army Knife. Pitre’s aggressiveness makes him a great blitzer and slot defender, so schematically the team could use him much in the same way they deployed Mathieu in recent years.
31. Bengals (Tyler): Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
The Bengals remade their offensive line this offseason, but you can never have too much depth. If Smith is ready to start on day one at right tackle, he probably allows them to move new arrival La’el Collins to guard to get the best 5 on the field.
32. Lions (Tyler): Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Detroit closes out the first round with the fourth quarterback of the day, getting a guy who is at the top of some draft analysts’ boards. Ridder might not be the flashiest player, but he’s a smart, consistent player who Dan Campbell will surely love leading his offense.
33. Jaguars (Paul): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
34. Lions (Tyler): Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah
35. Jets (Tex): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
36. Giants (Justis): Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky
37. Texans (Jon): Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
To start round two, the Jaguars get a Laviska Shenault clone. Maybe Shenault gets dealt for a day-three pick later on in the weekend? Lloyd is finally the first off-ball linebacker to go and should be another Dan Campbell favorite. Then there’s a mini-run on edges once again — the Giants getting some pass rush help to match up with Sauce from round one.
38. Jets (Tex): Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia
39. Bears (rcon): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
40. Seahawks (Tex): Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
41. Seahawks (Tex): Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Tex had three out of four picks in this grouping, giving the Jets a hyper-athletic linebacker to play next to C.J. Mosley. Then the Bears show up to land a productive receiver for Justin Fields while the Seahawks feel like they get a steal with a local cornerback before finding a slot receiver to play inside of DK Metcalf (if they can convince him to stick around).
42. Colts (Tyler): Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
43. Falcons (Jon): George Pickens, WR, Georgia
44. Browns (Tex): Logan Hall, DL, Houston
45. Ravens (rcon): Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
46. Vikings (Justis): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
Two of the highest-ceiling wideouts leave the board in the middle of the second, as Pickens and Watson go to Atlanta and Baltimore. Watson could make for a fun pairing with Hollywood Brown if the team turns Lamar Jackson’s strong arm loose on deep balls. Meanwhile, Pierce lands in Minnesota to give the Vikings even more athleticism at the position.
47. Commanders (Rcon): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
48. Bears (Rcon): Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
49. Saints (Tyler): Travis Jones, DT, UConn
50. Chiefs (rcon): Darrian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
51. Eagles (Kris): Leo Chenal, ILB, Wisconsin
52. Steelers (Justis): Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
Ahead of the Packers’ first pick of round two, there are several great athletes coming off the board. Jones feels a bit like Kenny Clark from 2016, while Chenal goes to a team that likes Badger linebackers (T.J. Edwards has started 26 games for the Eagles over the last two seasons). Unfortunately for the Packers at 53, an ideal right tackle prospect comes off the board one pick too early, as Lucas fits all of Green Bay’s athletic testing thresholds and seems like a logical Packers pick in round two.
53. Packers (Paul): Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
The Packers manage to draft both Drakes who played at USC, this time grabbing the edge rusher. The Packers have had varying levels of success with Trojan edge rushers in recent years, having drafted Clay Matthews in 2009 and Nick Perry in 2012. Jackson is a little on the smaller side at 6-foot-2 5/8 and 254 pounds, but he has very long arms (34”) and posted excellent explosiveness and agility times. He didn’t run a 40 at the Combine, but even with his size he managed an 8.6 RAS while totaling 12.5 sacks in the equivalent of 2.5 seasons of college football. He also just turned 21 years old two weeks ago.
54. Patriots (Tyler): Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
55. Cardinals (Tex): Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
56. Cowboys (Jon): Chad Muma, ILB, Wyoming
57. Bills (Justis): Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
58. Falcons (Jon): Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
Between the Packers’ picks, few likely Green Bay targets go off the board. The Patriots take the first running back of this mock, while the Bills take Brisker, who might have been a Green Bay candidate if they hadn’t already found their safety/slot guy in Hill at 28.
59. Packers (Paul): Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
Now the Packers finally get their speed at wide receiver. Pairing Tolbert with Drake London gives Green Bay some variety in these two players — Tolbert’s 4.49 40 is plenty fast to make him a viable deep threat, and his 1.49 10-yard split shows his explosiveness off the line. He was basically South Alabama’s entire offense in 2021, racking up 1,474 yards and eight scores at 18 yards per reception (no other Jaguar had more than 630 yards from scrimmage).
60. Buccaneers (Tex): Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
61. 49ers (Paul): Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
62. Chiefs (Rcon): Troy Anderson, ILB, Montana State
63. Bengals (Tyler): Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
64. Broncos (Kris): Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
As we close out the second round, the first tight ends appear in the mock, with McBride going to Tampa to help replace Rob Gronkowski and Packers media favorite Jelani Woods landing in Cincinnati.
Here’s the full draft board for our two-round mock, with a reminder of who the Packers selected:
22. Drake London, WR, USC
28. Daxton Hill, S/CB, Michigan
53. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
59. Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
APC 2-round mock draft
|3||HOU||Jon B||Item Ekwonu||OT||NC State|
|7||NYG (from CHI)||Justis||Sauce Gardner||CB||Cincinnati|
|8||ATL||Jon B||Jermaine Johnson||EDGE||FSU|
|9||SEA (from DEN)||Tex||Charles Cross||OT||Mississippi State|
|10||NYJ (from SEA)||Tex||Garrett Wilson||WR||Ohio State|
|11||WAS||rcon||Derek Stingley Jr||CB||LSU|
|13||HOU (from CLE)||Jon B||Jordan Davis||DT||Georgia|
|15||PHI (from MIA)||Kris||Trent McDuffie||CB||Washington|
|16||NO (from IND via PHI)||Tyler||Malik Willis||QB||Liberty|
|18||PHI (from NO)||Kris||Chris Olave||WR||Ohio State|
|19||NO (from PHI)||Tyler||Trevor Penning||OT||Northern Iowa|
|20||PIT||Justis||Matt Corral||QB||Ole Miss|
|21||NE||Tyler||Andrew Booth Jr||CB||Clemson|
|22||GB (from LV)||Paul||Drake London||WR||USC|
|24||DAL||Jon B||Zion Johnson||G||BC|
|27||TB||Tex||Kenyon Green||G||Texas A&M|
|29||KC (from SF via MIA)||rcon||Arnold Ebiketie||EDGE||Penn State|
|32||DET (from LAR)||Tyler||Desmond Ridder||QB||Cincinnati|
|37||HOU||Jon B||Boye Mafe||EDGE||Minnesota|
|38||NYJ (from CAR)||Tex||Nakobe Dean||LB||Georgia|
|39||CHI||rcon||Jahan Dotson||WR||Penn St|
|40||SEA (from DEN)||Tex||Kyler Gordon||CB||Washington|
|41||SEA||Tex||Skyy Moore||WR||Western Michigan|
|42||IND (from WAS)||Tyler||Bernhard Raimann||OT||Central Michigan|
|43||ATL||Jon B||George Pickens||WR||UGA|
|47||WAS (from IND)||rcon||Lewis Cine||S||Georgia|
|48||CHI (from LAC)||rcon||Kingsley Enagbare||EDGE||South Carolina|
|50||KC (from MIA)||rcon||Darrian Kinnard||OL||Kentucky|
|52||PIT||Justis||Abraham Lucas||OT||Washington St.|
|53||GB (from LV)||Paul||Drake Jackson||EDGE||USC|
|54||NE||Tyler||Breece Hall||RB||Iowa State|
|56||DAL||Jon B||Chad Muma||ILB||Wyoming|
|57||BUF||Justis||Jaquan Brisker||SAF||Penn State|
|58||ATL (from TEN)||Jon B||Daniel Faalele||OT||Minnesota|
|59||GB||Paul||Jalen Tolbert||WR||South Alabama|
|60||TB||Tex||Trey McBride||TE||Colorado State|
|62||KC||rcon||Troy Andersen||LB||Montana St|
|64||DEN (from LAR)||Kris||Marcus Jones||CB||Houston|