Mock Draft

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Lance Zierlein 2022 NFL mock draft 2.0: Seahawks select Malik Willis; Travon Walker first defender selected

EDITOR'S NOTE: Pick No. 9 in this mock draft was updated following news the Seahawks have agreed in principle to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos for a package that includes Denver's first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

In the wake of the NFL Scouting Combine, it's time to take another crack at predicting how the first round will play out in the 2022 NFL Draft. You'll see plenty of changes from my first mock draft, starting at the very top. The first defender off the board might surprise you, too.

Remember, this mock is a projection of where I believe players will go -- not necessarily a reflection of my opinion as to where the players should go.

Ickey Ekwonu
N.C. State · OT · Junior

Big Ickey put on a show at the combine. When his size, explosiveness, upside and football character are all considered, he grabs the top spot.

Evan Neal
Alabama · OT · Junior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH LIONS


The Panthers might not be able to land the offensive lineman they want at No. 6, so they leap up the board to grab one of the safer players in the draft.

Travon Walker
Georgia · Edge · Junior

Walker has the size/length that Nick Caserio likes and the toughness/athletic numbers that Lovie Smith loves. This pick will shake up draft expectations.

Kyle Hamilton
Notre Dame · S · Junior

Hamilton didn't run a fast 40-yard dash (4.59), but the rest of his testing was great -- and his versatility and football character are off the charts. The Jets land a very good football player.

Trevor Penning
Northern Iowa · OT · Senior (RS)

This projection will come as a surprise to some, but this is a make-or-break year for Daniel Jones (and Saquon Barkley?), so addressing the offensive line is a must.

Aidan Hutchinson
Michigan · Edge · Senior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH PANTHERS


Hutchinson is well-liked around the league, but maybe not loved. He lacks explosive get-off and has below-average length, which may push him down a little bit.

Pick
7
New York Giants
(via Bears)
Jermaine Johnson II
Florida State · Edge · Senior (RS)

Here comes the run on edge defenders. This pick could come down to the best interview, Johnson or Kayvon Thibodeaux, but it's likely one or the other lands here.

Kayvon Thibodeaux
Oregon · Edge · Junior

Hard to imagine the Falcons passing on a player with such immense upside at a position of desperate need.

Pick
9
Seattle Seahawks
(via Broncos)
Malik Willis
Liberty · QB · Senior (RS)

The Seahawks are set to acquire this selection after agreeing in principle to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos. With Denver sending Drew Lock to Seattle as part of the deal, the 'Hawks can use him as a bridge starter and potential future trade commodity while they groom Willis to become the face of the franchise.

Pick
10
New York Jets
(via Seahawks)
Sauce Gardner
Cincinnati · CB · Junior

Sauce is a long, competitive ballhawk with press-man and Cover 3 talent to fit into a variety of schemes as a rookie starter.

Garrett Wilson
Ohio State · WR · Junior

The choice here could be between QB Kenny Pickett, OG Kenyon Green and Wilson. Washington goes with the highest-graded player at a position of need.

Derek Stingley Jr.
LSU · CB · Junior

Stingley's name will gain traction once again after his pro day next month, and the Vikings are a team in need of a talented cornerback to tighten up the pass defense.

George Karlaftis
Purdue · Edge · Junior

DT Jordan Davis could be the surprise pick here, but an analytics-driven team like the Browns would likely covet three downs of production at a premium position like defensive end with a selection this early.

Charles Cross
Mississippi State · OT · Sophomore (RS)

In this scenario, the Ravens are likely running the card up for either Cross or Kenyon Green, depending on which position (tackle or guard) they place the highest priority on, based on the current roster.

Pick
15
Philadelphia Eagles
(via Dolphins)
Trent McDuffie
Washington · CB · Junior

Philadelphia lands one of the cleanest cornerback prospects in the draft with the versatility and talent to play wide or over the slot.

Pick
16
Drake London
USC · WR · Junior

London might not have the buzz that the combine speedsters garnered last week, but he's a big ball-winner -- and that is exactly what Philadelphia needs opposite DeVonta Smith.

Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh · QB · Senior (RS)

PROJECTED TRADE WITH CHARGERS


For the second mock draft in a row, I'm having the Steelers swap spots with the Chargers; only this time, Kevin Colbert grabs a quarterback who might be able to start right away for a win-now team.

Kenyon Green
Texas A&M · OG · Junior

The Saints have quite a few needs on the offensive side, but Rome wasn't built in a day. New Orleans grabs a body-mover and plug-and-play starter at guard.

David Ojabo
Michigan · Edge · Sophomore (RS)

Let's get some pass rush going in Philadelphia! Ojabo may be raw as a run defender, but his instincts and upside as a pass rusher are undeniable.

Jordan Davis
Georgia · DT · Senior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH STEELERS


The Chargers were terrible at stopping the run last season. That changes with the addition of the block-eating Davis, whose combination of size and athleticism should allow him to play anywhere along the line.

Kaiir Elam
Florida · CB · Junior

Elam plays a position of need for New England and possesses a combination of size, speed and intelligence that will be very appealing to Bill Belichick.

Devin Lloyd
Utah · LB · Senior (RS)

Very physical take-on linebacker with a nose for the football and an ability to rush the passer. Honestly, he is made for the Silver and Black.

Chris Olave
Ohio State · WR · Senior

Buttery-smooth athlete with home run speed and the athletic ability to uncover on all three levels. Olave can align all over the field, which is perfect for Kliff Kingsbury's offense.

Treylon Burks
Arkansas · WR · Junior

There is about to be a blood-letting at the receiver position in Dallas, so fortifying that spot with a player as talented as Burks should be a no-brainer if he's available here.

Andrew Booth
Clemson · CB · Junior

With such a deep class of pass rushers available in this draft, the Bills decide to boost their secondary in Round 1 with a cornerback who is tough and scheme-versatile.

Tyler Linderbaum
Iowa · C · Junior (RS)

I see the Titans allowing Ben Jones to walk in free agency and taking their chances at finding a center in the draft. OH, LOOK -- it's the draft's best center just waiting at pick No. 26!

Zion Johnson
Boston College · C/OG · Senior

The sudden retirement of Ali Marpet -- as well as potential free-agent losses along the interior -- could make Johnson a perfect match for the Bucs.

Bernhard Raimann
Central Michigan · OL · Senior

The former tight end is a fluid athlete with above-average upside and the potential to play either guard or tackle, which is why he should be in consideration for the Packers.

Pick
29
Miami Dolphins
(via 49ers)
Quay Walker
Georgia · LB · Senior

The Dolphins find an inside linebacker with a blend of size, speed and football intelligence for the middle of their defense.

Devonte Wyatt
Georgia · DT · Senior

Wyatt is a three-down defensive tackle with excellent hands and explosive take-off as a rusher. The Chiefs can find an edge rusher later in the draft.

Tyler Smith
Tulsa · OL · Sophomore (RS)

Smith's stump-grinding power will be an immediate help at guard while he continues to hone his technique before bumping outside as a starting tackle in the future. Smith is a fast riser in the pre-draft process.

Pick
32
Detroit Lions
(via Rams)
Jameson Williams
Alabama · WR · Junior

Williams might not help the Lions much this year as he recovers from an ACL tear, but the long-term potential for the explosive deep-ball threat is what matters most.

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