2022 NFL Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 43 (Buffalo Bills)*
*From the earlier trade with the Atlanta Falcons (Pick 25)
The Buffalo Bills defensive line could take hit this offseason, specifically in the interior of the line. Both Harrison Phillips and Vernon Butler will become free agents, taking away two key pieces of this unit. Ed Oliver and Star Lotulelei can hold it down, but adding another to the group for not only depth but to rotate will be key.
With the amount of talent that runs through Alabama, nearly every player there understands how to be the focal point of the position, but also how to play a depth and rotation role. Phidarian Mathis fits that perfectly. Early in his time at Alabama he made an impact as a rotation player, but broke out as a starter.
During the 2021 season, Mathis tallied 10.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks with 53 tackles. Those are impressive stats from the defensive tackle position and could be a huge gain for this Buffalo defensive line.
2022 NFL Mock Draft: Round 2, Pick 44 (Cleveland Browns)
The Cleveland Browns lacked a true run stuffer up the middle of their defense during the 2021 season. The loss of Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi prior to the season took its toll and the unit could lose even more this offseason with Malik Jackson set to become a free agent.
At 6-foot-5 330+, Travis Jones has the ability to immediately step in and change the landscape of the Browns’ run defense. He exhibited consistency at UConn over his four years. Over that time, he played 33 games, sitting out the 2021 season, with 134 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. His greatest strength is his strength and he knows how to use it against blockers.