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FOX43 Sports 2022 NFL Mock Draft

The 2022 NFL Draft is set for Thursday, April 28 in Las Vegas. Our FOX43 Sports team got in on the mock draft action. Check out their picks below!


The 2022 NFL Draft is right around the corner.

Top prospects from across the nation and representing a multitude of NCAA teams are set to have their NFL dreams come true.

Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions are hoping to land their next franchise cornerstone.

This year, many experts are projecting that it could be a rare time that a quarterback is not selected in the top 10 of the first round.

With a ton of talented players across all positions, it's possible.

Our FOX43 Sports team has cooked up their own mock draft.

Here's where we think these draft-eligible phenoms will land in the first round:


EVAN'S PICK: Aidan Hutchinson DE, Michigan

Hutchinson is the safest pick in the draft. The Jaguars tagged OT Cam Robinson so, the offensive line is probably off the board. Hutchinson has a high motor and was a highly productive EDGE defender who played against excellent competition in the Big Ten. All signs point to him being the number one pick.

ALEX'S PICK: Aidan Hutchinson DE, Michigan 

By all accounts, Hutchinson is 'plug him in and watch him play' ready for the NFL.  He's the closest thing to a 'sure thing' in this draft and if you're Jacksonville, coming off the drama-filled season that you had in 2021, why venture away from that?  Let him and Josh Allen terrorize backfields and build from there.


EVAN'S PICK:  Travon Walker DE, Georgia

Walker played on a stacked defense at Georgia. He has coachable traits for an edge defender and might have the highest upside in the draft. The Lions simply need talent everywhere and Walker could end up being one of the best players in the draft.

ALEX'S PICK: Travon Walker DE, Georgia 

There's a lot of talk that Walker could be the No. 1 overall pick.  His best playing days are still ahead of him.  Walker will be part of a heavy draft class from the Georgia defensive side of the ball, and that depth is a reason that Walker could only do so much with the Bulldogs.  In Detroit, he'll be able to evolve and really lead the Lions for years to come.


EVAN'S PICK:  Ikem Ekwonu OT, N.C. State

The Texans had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Enter Ekwonu who is a mean, physical lineman at the point of attack. Davis Mills showed signs of life so protecting him at all costs has got to be the priority here.

ALEX'S PICK: Ikem Ekwonu OT, N.C. State 

New coach Lovie Smith has a lot to address. With all the teams talking about quarterbacks this year, the Texans don't seem to be in those discussions.  It's never sexy, but if you can get a quality offensive lineman, go for it.  While Houston tries to figure some things out, go with the man thought of as the most feared o-lineman in the ACC. 


EVAN'S PICK: Kayvon Thibodeaux DE, Oregon

Maybe the most polarizing player in the draft. Thibodeaux was the consensus number one pick before last year's draft. His production and skill set is too good to pass up here and Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh made his mark developing Defensive lineman in San Francisco. Carl Lawson coming back from injury gives the Jets a formidable duo on the edge.

ALEX'S PICK: Kayvon Thibodeaux DE, Oregon 

Thibodeaux can adjust his game quickly, but there's still room for improvement.  He's quick off the snap and the Jets ranked 32nd in average yards allowed per game in 2021, 32nd in points allowed per game, and 29th in rushing yards allowed per game.


EVAN'S PICK: Evan Neal T, Alabama

I know I know when will the picks differ. The Giants' offensive line was beyond bad last year. Neal is a high upside lineman who is ready to go right now. Protecting Daniel Jones to see if he is the answer has to be a priority for the Giants.

ALEX'S PICK: Evan Neal T, Alabama 

Neal is an NFL coach's dream, as he's 6-foot-7, 337 pounds, and he can play tackle or guard.  Neal and Ekwonu are seen as the top linemen in the draft.  The Crimson Tide lineman may have opted out of doing drills at the combine, but his tape over the past few years speaks for itself.


EVAN'S PICK: Malik Willis QB, Liberty

Willis by all accounts has the highest upside in the draft for QB's. I know QB Kenny Pickett committed to Matt Rhule in High School, but Willis' tools are very tempting. He has the biggest arm in the draft and for a team that needs a spark, he could be it.

Credit: AP
American Team quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty (7) runs through drills during practice for the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

ALEX'S PICK: Kenny Pickett QB, Pittsburgh

I'm not sure if there's a more important pick in this draft than the Panthers at No. 6.  Carolina's next pick isn't until No. 137 in the fourth round.  Coach Matt Rhule's seat is likely the hottest in the league.  By now, everyone knows that Pickett committed to Temple when Rhule was the head coach, before Rhule went to Baylor, leading Pickett to Pittsburgh.  The Panthers need answers and they need a franchise quarterback, and they can't wait for next year's draft to pull that trigger.


EVAN'S PICK: Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner CB, Cincinnati

There may not have been a more productive player in the country then 'Sauce'. He's a big, long corner that new DC Wink Martindale loves in his cover 1 scheme. 'Sauce' did not allow any touchdowns all year and has shut down corner written all over him at 6'2. 

ALEX'S PICK:  Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner CB, Cincinnati 

Do you have any idea how tough it was to not have a player nicknamed 'Sauce' go at No. 2 to Detroit, where their pizza style has the sauce on top of the cheese?  Gardner is a steal at No. 7 for the Giants.  He ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and did not allow ANY touchdowns in coverage during his college playing career.


EVAN'S PICK: Garrett Wilson WR, Ohio State

The Atlanta Falcons have zero weapons other than Kyle Pitts. Wilson is the best WR in the draft and can make a play from anywhere on the field. His game is similar to Bills WR Stefon Diggs. The suspension of WR Calvin Ridley makes this an easy pick for Atlanta. 

ALEX'S PICK: Garrett Wilson WR, Ohio State 

As Matt Ryan heads out of town and Marcus Mariota takes over at QB1, I could make a case for Liberty QB Malik Willis, but I think that getting a wide out like Wilson is something you can't opt-out of, especially with the Calvin Ridley suspension.  Wilson is considered by most experts to be the top wide out in a very solid wide receiver draft.


EVAN'S PICK: Derek Stingley, Jr. CB, LSU

Stingley would be a lock for the top five you look at his freshman year tape. The Seahawks lost CB D.J. Reed in the off-season and replace him with the immensely talented Stingley. Stingley can play in any scheme when focused and has the chance to be one of the best CB's in the NFL. 

ALEX'S PICK:  Jermaine Johnson III DE, Florida State

Seattle is a big wildcard heading into draft night.  Do they want to try and address the quarterback situation this year, or is Baker Mayfield in the mix?  Johnson is your ACC Defensive Player of the Year, which says something when you consider the struggles the Seminoles have gone through.  He can still get bigger as he really only started for one year in college, but is seen as one of the top edge rushers in the draft.


EVAN'S PICK: Drake London WR, USC

I'm not as high on Drake London as others, but Zach Wilson needs weapons on the outside. The Jets desperately tried to trade for every big-name WR who may have been available in the offseason. London and Elijah Moore would make for a good pairing for second-year QB Zach Wilson to potentially blossom. Wilson loves 50-50 balls and London is the man for the job to come down with them.

ALEX'S PICK: Drake London WR, USC 

The Jets went after Tyreek Hill and missed out, so the easiest way to get a stellar wide out for less money is the NFL Draft. If New York wants a big target, is 6-foot-5 big enough?  Zach Wilson needs someone to throw to and London gives the Jets some seriously needed help at this position.


EVAN'S PICK: Kyle Hamilton S, Notre Dame

Hamilton is a top 5 talent in this draft. A slow 40 time has pushed him down the board but he is too good for the Commanders to pass up here. He can play in the box and on the roof on any defense. His play speed and instincts make up for any worry of long speed. The Commanders get a game-changer at 11 that they haven't had since the unfortunate passing of Sean Taylor.

ALEX'S PICK: Chris Olave WR, Ohio State

The Commanders got a quarterback this offseason in Carson Wentz.  It might not be the first one they wanted, but Wentz's throwing power is an improvement over Taylor Heinicke's.  Terry McLaurin is going to get paid, but you can help Scary Terry and Wentz this season by bringing in another weapon at wide receiver.  Maybe I've been listening to FOX43's Evan Brooks too much on Twitter, but Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave seems to be the right fit.  His speed will let Washington stretch the field, he can get separation, and can really track the ball and make adjustments.

Credit: AP
Ohio State receiver Chris Olave plays against Oregon during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)


EVAN'S PICK: Trent McDuffie CB, Washington

The Vikings' secondary has been a mess for a couple of seasons. Enter McDuffie a physical do it all corner who gives the Vikings defense a boost. Washington defensive backs have faired very well in the NFL and Mcduffie will be no different. He has the potential to be a shutdown corner in the NFL.

ALEX'S PICK: Derek Stingley, Jr. CB, LSU

Between Patrick Peterson and Danielle Hunter, LSU products do very well in Minnesota.  That being said, Peterson isn't getting any younger.  Stingley Jr.'s best tape is from his true freshman season, but there's a support system built-in, in Minnesota.  Sometimes it's about the fit for each team and Stingley Jr. can be a shutdown corner for years to come for the Vikings.


EVAN'S PICK: Jermaine Johnson III DE, Florida State 

Johnson is a high upside player that has sky rocketed-up boards. The former 5 star recruit had a breakout season with the Seminoles this year with 12 sacks. He has a relentless motor and the Texans get a bookend defender for years to come with their second pick in the first round. 

ALEX'S PICK: Jordan Davis DT, Georgia

If Houston goes offensive line early in the first, I think they buff up the defensive line at No. 13.  The Texans have an immediate need on the defensive front and Jordan Davis out of Georgia can be an immediate starter.  A lot of people have compared him to Vince Wilfork and I think with New England ties in the Houston front office, he'll be their guy.


EVAN'S PICK: Charles Cross T, Mississippi State

Cross was a great pass protector in the SEC last season. Not as physical as you would like but his technique is solid. The Ravens dealt with a lot of injuries along the line and Cross could come in and sure up their OL problem. 

ALEX'S PICK:  Trent McDuffie CB, Washington 

McDuffie to me just screams Baltimore.  McDuffie is a tough, hard-nosed, physical corner, which seems hard to come by.  He can play outside or in the slot and teams have noted his high football I.Q. He's as versatile as you'll find at this position in the 2022 NFL Draft. Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are both returning from season-ending injuries, so McDuffie adds depth.


EVAN'S PICK: Chris Olave WR, Ohio State 

Olave is the best route runner in the draft. This pick gives QB Jalen Hurts another weapon for him to show he is the long-term answer. Olave is an easy separator and has brilliant hands to go along with his route running. He would complement star WR DeVonta Smith very well, especially with former first-round pick Jalen Reagor struggling. 

ALEX'S PICK:  Jameson Williams WR, Alabama

For the third straight year, I think the Eagles go for a wide receiver in the first round.  The 2021 pick, DeVonta Smith is going to be a star in this league.  2020's Jalen Reagor is falling out of Philly's favor fast, if not completely already.  Williams might have been the top wide out drafted if he didn't tear his ACL in the National Championship game.  They'll have to be a little patient to get him back to 100% this upcoming season, but it could be a big payoff for Hurts and the Eagles.

Credit: AP
FILE - Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) scores a touchdown against the Miami during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. Alabama plays Georgia in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)


EVAN'S PICK: Jameson Williams WR, Alabama 

Williams very well could have been the first WR off the board had it not been for his ACL tear. He is a burner with sure hands, but can also run the intermediate routes. The Saints need help at WR with the uncertainty of Michael Thomas and replaceable options like Tre'Quan Smith.

ALEX'S PICK:  Charles Cross T, Mississippi State 

While the Saints figure out what they'll do at QB, Cross, who brings stellar pass-blocking ability, can be plugged in instantly, and be a key cog for the Saints for years to come.  He's a great value at 16, especially after New Orleans lost multiple linemen to injury this past season.


EVAN'S PICK: Jordan Davis DT, Georgia 

The Chargers' run defense might have cost them a playoff berth last year. Davis is a mountain of a man who can plug up holes and sure up a weak interior defensive line. He is very athletic for his size and would be a perfect fit for the Chargers.

ALEX'S PICK:  Trevor Penning T, Northern Iowa

Coaches love a mean streak on the offensive line and that's what Penning can bring to your team.  Penning is ready to play immediately and the Chargers have a young franchise quarterback that they need to protect to continue moving forward.  The AFC West didn't get any easier this off-season, and Herbert's been sacked 32 times in 2020 & 31 times in 2021.  He needs protection.


EVAN'S PICK: Devin Lloyd LB, Utah

Lloyd is one of the best football players in the draft. He has sideline to sideline speed that the Eagles lack on the second level of their defense. Lloyd also doesn't struggle in coverage and gives the Eagles a day one contributor on an aging defense.

ALEX'S PICK:  Devin Lloyd LB, Utah 

Utah's Lloyd is a complete linebacker.  He can do it all.  Bringing in Haason Reddick this offseason is an instant upgrade at the position for the Eagles, but bringing in Lloyd, who can line up anywhere, would rally give Philly's defense a whole new vibe heading into the 2022 season.


EVAN'S PICK: Trevor Penning T, Northern Iowa 

The Saints got their WR earlier so now it's time to protect Jameis Winston. He showed life before getting hurt last year. Penning is a nasty offensive lineman who played well against better competition at the Senior bowl. His addition to the Saints would be a perfect fit. 

ALEX'S PICK:  George Karlaftis DE, Purdue

Karlaftis would complement the Saints' defensive rotation nicely.  He has an impressive burst off the snap.  He had 11.5 tackles for loss for the Boilermakers in the Big Ten.  Whether he's got a hand in the ground or standing up, he could give the Saints a new identity in the post-Sean Payton era.


EVAN'S PICK: Kenny Pickett QB, Pittsburgh

Pickett is a well-rounded NFL-ready QB. He played in a pro-style offense in college and would give the Steelers a solid option to succeed Big Ben. He lacks elite arm strength but is very accurate and can make all the throws when necessary. Pickett should be ready to compete on day one.

ALEX'S PICK:  Desmond Ridder QB, Cincinnati

The Steelers have done their homework on the quarterbacks in this draft.  Yes, the Black and Gold signed Mitch Trubisky this offseason, but when I think of Matt Canada's offense, Ritter seems to fit what he wants to do.  The team has commented on how much they like his decision-making, and with Trubisky on the depth chart, he doesn't have to start immediately but can mature behind him.


EVAN'S PICK: Treylon Burks WR, Arkansas

The Pats could use more weapons for QB Mac Jones. Burks needs some work to become a true WR1, but he does have a high ceiling. The Pats could manufacture him touches where he excels after the catch. The team had rumored interest in big-name WR Amari Cooper in the off-season.

ALEX'S PICK: Kyle Hamilton S, Notre Dame

Ultimately, it would be a miracle if Hamilton is still on the board for New England at No. 21.  The guy is a playmaker, he played multiple positions, and that versatility is just textbook, Belichick.  He's getting dinged for his 40-time, but he's a solid all-around player and a steal if available when New England is on the clock.


EVAN'S PICK: Jahan Dotson WR, Penn State

The Packers need weapons to replace the losses of Devante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Dotson might have the best hands in this draft and offers versatility in where he lines up. The speedy WR would be a great option for Aaron Rodgers to have. Dotson has the ability to develop into an eventual WR 1.

ALEX'S PICK:  Treylon Burks WR, Arkansas 

If Green Bay doesn't go with a wide receiver here, Aaron Rodgers and I will be shocked.  Davante Adams is counting his money in Las Vegas and the Packers need someone to throw to and that's why I went with Arkansas' Burks.  The wide out averaged close to ten yards after the catch and with Rodgers thinking on his feet in the pocket sometimes, this could be a great combo.


EVAN'S PICK: Tyler Linderbaum C, Iowa

The Cardinals could go WR here, but I think a chance to sure up their O line would pay dividends for Kyler Murray. Linderbaum is a very athletic center who can also slide to guard. He gives Murray the extra protection he needs so he doesn't have to extend plays as much and can throw from the pocket. 

ALEX'S PICK:  Jahan Dotson WR, Penn State 

Unless you've been under a rock lately, you know that Kyler Murray isn't exactly the happiest person in the world.  Wide out Christian Kirk left town and for the first time, DeAndrea Hopkins is coming off an injury-filled season.  Everyone in the Keystone State knows that Dotson has some of the best, if not THE best hands in this draft.  He can adjust to make any catch, has a history in the slot, and is fast enough to be a contributor for the Cards in 2022.


EVAN'S PICK: Tyler Smith T, Tulsa

The Cowboys line is getting up in age and could use some youth. The loss of La'el Collins hurts, but Smith can be an easy replacement. The decline of the group as a whole has diminished over the years, so Smith could start their run on rebuilding one of the most dominant lines in the NFL.

ALEX'S PICK: Kenyon Green G, Texas A&M

While I like Zion Johnson a little more in this situation, Dallas will no doubt have seen Green play more in the Lone Star State.  Green played four different positions on the line last season.  Dallas needs to protect Dak and Zeke and has been inconsistent on the o-line.


EVAN'S PICK: Andrew Booth Jr. CB, Clemson

The Bills have lots of options at 25. Booth is a very athletic corner who could help the Bills shut down the eventual gauntlet of QBs they have to face in the AFC. He needs some coaching but the athleticism and traits are there. He would be a great addition that offers the defense some versatility in where to play him.

ALEX'S PICK:  Andrew Booth Jr. CB, Clemson 

Buffalo can pretty much do whatever they want with this pick as they have a stout roster.  Levi Wallace left the Bills for Pittsburgh this offseason and Booth can fill that void and work well with Tre'Davious White.  He can play inside and out, as well as be an impact player on special teams.


EVAN'S PICK: George Karlaftis DE, Purdue

You can never have enough pass rushers in the NFL. With Bud Dupree's injury issues Karlaftis give the Titans a twitched-up pass rusher with a high motor to help their defense. He would be a big help to Mike Vrabel getting back to the playoffs this season.

ALEX'S PICK:  Zion Johnson G, Boston College

Johnson is another one of those linemen that can strap on the pads and line up in Week 1.  He allowed no pressures last season.  He'll fit into the Titans' run-happy scheme with his wide frame, likely as a guard.  Plus, at 28 years old, Derrick Henry needs blockers if you're going to extend his prime, coming off an injury in 2021.


EVAN'S PICK: Kaair Elam CB, Florida

The Bucs' secondary was decimated last year. Elam gives them a physical corner to play opposite Carlton Davis. Elam has good length and ball skills the Bucs could certainly use. 

ALEX'S PICK: Devonte Wyatt DL, Georgia

Ndamukong Suh is a free agent and has been an anchor of their defense over the past few seasons.  While Tampa's offense has been getting the headlines, their defensive front has been leading the way for this team.  Devonte Wyatt can slide right in there and line up next to Vita Vea.


EVAN'S PICK:  Nakobe Dean LB, Georgia

Dean and De'Vondre Campbell would give the Packers a lot of speed at linebacker. Dean is undersized but a very quick processor with elite game speed. His coverage skills would be a plus for the Packers who need more speed on defense.

Credit: AP
Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean celebrates after sacking Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

ALEX'S PICK:  Christian Watson WR, North Dakota State

Yes, I think that the Packers double-dip the wide receiver chip.  Watson is 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash.  He's a different type of wide out than what Green Bay has right now and I think Rodgers could utilize his speed.  Plus, Kansas City has a pair of picks after and you know they'll be looking for a wide out.


EVAN'S PICK:  Daxton Hill S, Michigan

Hill is a versatile DB that the Chiefs would love to add to their secondary. Hill can match up with multiple positions and has the ball skills to go with it. The Chiefs defense needs help on all three levels, but Hill takes the place of the departed Tyrann Mathieu and gives the Chiefs' back end a big boost.

ALEX'S PICK: Kaair Elam CB, Florida 

The Chiefs draft back-to-back here and Florida's Elam has the NFL pedigree.  His father and uncle played in the league so he knows what it takes to get there and be successful.  He was a part-time starter as a true freshman in the SEC!  He thrives in man coverage and has 4.3 speed, which doesn't hurt when you think about the wide outs in the Chiefs' division.


EVAN'S PICK: John Metchie III WR, Alabama

The Alabama wide receiver might not be in everyone's first-round mock, but he's in mine.  Tyreek Hill is in Miami now and he was a huge weapon for the Chiefs.  Metchie is coming off an injury, but when he's healthy, he's an explosive player that can uphold Bama's high standard in the league.  With Reid and Bieniemy calling the plays, he can be a big target for Pat Mahomes.

ALEX'S PICK: Arnold Ebiketie DE, Penn State

The Temple transfer shined for the Nittany Lions in 2021.  He collected 9.5 sacks for the Blue and White and while the Chiefs offense had some slow periods last season, their sack production was the fourth-worst in the NFL.  The Chiefs have a pair of picks in each of the first three rounds, so they'll have more chances to find a wide out.


EVAN'S PICK: Kyler Gordon CB, Washington

Gordon played well opposite McDuffie this past year. The Bengals secondary needs an influx of talent and Gordon's physical play would be a big addition. They sured up the OL in the off-season so the secondary is next on the list. Gordon helps the Bengals as a talented DB.

ALEX'S PICK: Tyler Linderbaum C, Iowa

In Joe Burrow's two years in the league, he's been sacked 83 times.  If you saw the Bengals' playoff run last season, it's no secret that an o-line revamp was needed, and to their credit, they've made many moves on that front this off-season. Linderbaum is young, proven, and ready.


EVAN'S PICK: Matt Corral QB, Ole Miss

I think Matt Corral has the chance to be the best QB in this class. Corral has a quick release and can make all the NFL throws. He will have a learning curve coming from a heavy RPO system in college. He is very tough and this pick gives Detroit a high upside QB with a fifth-year option as well. 

ALEX'S PICK: Daxton Hill S, Michigan

Detroit has a need for a safety and Hill has the potential to be that guy. Versatility goes quickly in the NFL Draft, and the Wolverine has it as he can be play cornerback or safety in the league.


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