With Malik Willis off the board, I think the Seattle Seahawks will look towards the second round and beyond in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft to address their need at quarterback after the departure of Russell Wilson to Denver. Instead, they address arguably a bigger need with their offensive line.
Here, the Seahawks are able to land a top left tackle to protect whoever is under center for Seattle in 2022 and beyond. Charles Cross from Mississippi State is a top talent who is dominant in the run game, but also sound in pass protection.
I cannot imagine Pete Carroll rolling out a team in 2022 with Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan protecting his quarterback at the tackle positions. The team may be in a rebuild mode, but offensive line play and pass protection is pivotal for the growth and development of a young quarterback and offense. So no matter where they go under center, adding a player like Charles Cross in the top 10 of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft would be very important for a young and developing team
After moving down and gaining a second-round pick for this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers still land their hopeful quarterback of the future. While hand size and lack of consistent production may cause Kenny Pickett to fall down some draft boards, the connections are there with the Panthers and really makes sense as a possible home for the 2021 Heisman Trophy finalist.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule recruited Kenny Pickett back when he was coaching the Temple Owls, and after five years at Pittsburgh, Pickett could still end up paired with Rhule in Carolina. Furthermore, Panthers owner, David Tepper, is a Pittsburgh alum, so I’m sure he would love to bring in another former Pittsburgh Panther to the Carolina Panthers.
Pickett showed in 2021 what he can bring to the table. He has a solid arm and is very effective with his legs as a runner and when extending plays. He is a smart player, with his five years of playing experience, and would be able to come in and operate an NFL offense right away (even if he does sit behind Sam Darnold for a year, he could prove that he is able to come in at any time as a rookie).
For Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers front office, their jobs could be in jeopardy. After a great start to the 2021 season, the rest of the year failed miserably. They went back and forth between three different quarterbacks (Darnold, Cam Newton and P.J. Walker) and would really benefit by locking themselves into a young quarterback that they can oversee the development of moving forward. If they don’t, their time in Carolina could come to a quick end if they do not find early success. To me, it makes more sense to look towards to future and try to seize the opportunity of an open division if and when Tom Brady actually retires in the coming years.