Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to predicting what the Jacksonville Jaguars will do atop the 2022 NFL Draft. In this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they bet on the athletic and physical upside of Georgia’s Travon Walker.
When I watch the tape, I do not see a top five pick in Walker. You can understand what teams may see in him, but he lacks the consistency and the production to warrant such a high pick, in my opinion. Nonetheless, Jacksonville could love him.
Evan Neal would be my pick, providing young quarterback Trevor Lawrence with a young staple at left tackle. Aidan Hutchinson seems to be the “safest” pick when it comes to the edge rushers, but I would take Kayvon Thibodeaux over both Walker and Hutchinson.
The buzz could certainly be real when it comes to the NFL’s love of Walker and his meteoric rise up draft boards. He does have all the tools that you look for in a defensive end, and with high-level coaching he could develop into a top player in the league. At worst, Walker provides the Jags with a versatile defensive lineman who could play up and down Mike Caldwell’s defense.
This is the homerun pick in the 2022 NFL Mock Draft for the Detroit Lions. They desperately need to improve their pass rush, and get a Heisman Trophy finalist to do so. The icing on the cake? The kid is Michigan through-and-through and would certainly help the franchise sell some more tickets as well.
Hutchinson’s 2021 production is undeniable. He has a solid blend of size, athleticism, technique and production. I think the Lions would be a bit surprised if he were still on the board at pick two, but would run the card in if he is. If not, I have no idea what Detroit will do. They could take a chance on Malik Willis, go with a different edge rusher in Walker or Thibodeaux, or even grab a top corner in Ahmad Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr.
Speaking of Derek Stingley Jr., we continue the surprises with the Houston Texans taking a chance on the LSU Tiger in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. Houston have needs all across their depth chart, so any position that they decide to draft here should not be a surprise. According to ESPN’s Matt Miller, Derek Stingley Jr. is getting top five buzz and could go second or third on Thursday.
Stingley’s upside is undeniable. As a freshman, he was arguably the best player in college football. Injuries plagued the rest of his college career, but his testing numbers at his Pro Day after returning from his torn Achilles should have shown NFL teams that he could be back to form when back on the field.
As I said, the Texans could go in any direction here. They could get a tackle to protect Davis Mills, an edge rusher in Thibodeaux, a do-it-all defensive playmaker in Kyle Hamilton or even a quarterback if they love Malik Willis. For this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, they take a top talent at a position that is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL, and opt for the upside of Stingley over the consistency of Sauce Gardner.
Kayvon Thibodeaux is the top edge rusher in the 2022 NFL Draft, in my opinion, and is a great fit for Robert Saleh and the New York Jets defense. Once viewed as the sure-fire number pick in this draft, people seem to be trying to find a reason that Thibodeaux shouldn’t be. I don’t see a reason.
Watching the tape, Kayvon Thibodeaux can really do it all. He is an elite athlete that can beat slower blockers with his speed and smaller blockers with his power. He is a great penetrator and an efficient run defender. The Jets really haven’t added early picks to Saleh’s defense since he has come in, and Thibodeaux seems to be a great option in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
Andrew Thomas played well last season for the New York Giants, after struggling a bit as a rookie. Even if the team has found their left tackle of the future, they really need a right tackle, and then some, if they want to protect a quarterback and produce a solid run game with their former second overall pick, Saquon Barkley.
Ikem Ekwonu can really do both as one of the nastiest blockers in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft. He is not as technically sound as Evan Neal and even Charles Cross, but man is he dominant. He is the type of guy that I would think Dave Gettleman would love. That grit will be needed if the Giants want to turn around their offense under new head coach Brian Daboll in 2022.