2022 NFL Mock Draft: Texans make two picks post-Deshaun Watson trade, Jets support Zach Wilson

Michigan

• Sr

• 6’7″

/ 260 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

2nd

I am still not convinced that Jacksonville is totally out on taking an offensive lineman at No. 1 overall. The primary objective is to put the five best offensive linemen on the field. Evan Neal/Ikem Ekwonu, Cam Robinson and Brandon Scherff all starting is possible considering the flexibility of Neal having played right tackle and guard. However, I would be naive to ignore the momentum moving towards Hutchinson. It is a very real possibility that they just take the Wolverine.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 272 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

1st

If Hutchinson is the No. 1 overall pick, then Detroit gets complicated at No. 2 overall. They don’t really need offensive tackle so that would typically lead me to Kyle Hamilton or one of those cornerbacks. Walker may physically remind John Dorsey of Myles Garrett and although he has a lot of work to do in order to become as skilled of a pass rusher, it is difficult to overlook the traits. I have heard Liberty quarterback Malik Willis could also be an option here but I am not buying it yet; that is too rich for my blood.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 337 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

1st

Houston’s choice comes down to one of those offensive linemen or a cornerback. As noted, Neal has played right tackle in the past so the Texans can pair Laremy Tunsil with the former Alabama lineman.

NC State

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

4th

New York continues filling out its offensive line with the selection of Ekwonu. There is a lot of talk that the Jets are very interested in Ekwonu and that suggests they may already be done with Mekhi Becton, who has started 14 games total over the last two seasons.

Mississippi State

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 307 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

3rd

The Giants have two picks in the span of three so they take the player more likely to be taken by Carolina at No. 6 overall. Cross gives New York bookend tackles for the next decade after signs of life from Andrew Thomas in 2021.

Cincinnati

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 190 lbs

Projected Team

Carolina

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Carolina is likely to lose Stephon Gilmore in free agency and Jaycee Horn will be returning in free agency. The Panthers still have this pick under the assumption that they will miss out on Deshaun Watson so they upgrade the secondary with the offensive linemen off the board.

Oregon

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 254 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

New York adds the pass rusher that they have been looking for over the past decade. Some may be turned off by the personality Thibodeaux has shown at times but let’s not pretend he might be the first NFL player with an ego or to care about his personal brand. On-field success will directly fuel his aspirations off the field much like it did for Odell Beckham Jr.

USC

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 219 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Atlanta needs wide receiver help with Russell Gage off to Tampa Bay and Calvin Ridley’s suspension. Kyle Pitts is the Fresh Prince of Bel Air meme where Will Smith is looking around at an empty living room. London has some questions to answer at his Pro Day but his size alongside Pitts would give the Falcons two difficult playmakers to defend.

Liberty

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 219 lbs

Projected Team

Seattle

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

2nd

Seattle and Russell Wilson finally parted ways, which means the franchise is looking for a quarterback for the first time since he was drafted in 2012. Willis is a ball of clay but Seattle will give him time to develop as a team that wants to run the ball anyway.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 183 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

1st

General manager Joe Douglas has added a few tight ends in free agency and selected an offensive lineman with the team’s first pick. Although I would personally go with defense, I can understand the train of thought to support Zach Wilson by giving him another outlet like Wilson, who has elite body control and balance.

Notre Dame

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

Landon Collins is gone from the nation’s capital and that leaves Washington in a position to capitalize on arguably the draft’s top talent slipping to No. 11 overall. When you look at the contracts being handed out in free agency, most positions are ridiculous. Safety is not and that might be an indication of the league’s outlook on the position. The selection of Hamilton would mean that Washington has used six of its last seven first round choices on defense.

Florida State

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 254 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

4th

Minnesota could be facing a total overhaul of the edge rusher group as they look to clear salary cap space. LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. would make a lot of sense here but the Vikings will build from the front seven out with the selection of Johnson.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

1st

Of the four teams that are in the mix for Deshaun Watson, Cleveland gives him the best chance to compete right now. Will he choose the Browns? Probably not, because then I would have to update this mock draft and we all know that is the most likely outcome. Houston uses one of the picks acquired on Stingley. (Updated the mock draft originally posted Thursday to reflect that Cleveland actually DID acquire Watson.)

Georgia

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 341 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Baltimore made a splash Wednesday with the signing of former Raven Za’Darius Smith. It is easy to see that defensive front coming together but Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell are still free agents. Davis would be the latest investment in that front seven.

Utah

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 237 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

1st

Philadelphia was aggressive in signing Haason Reddick and that relieves some of the push to add an edge rusher. It would still make sense for the Eagles to supplement the linebacker room with a talent like Lloyd. He is the first of three first round picks for the NFC East franchise.

Arkansas

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

4th

As currently constructed, Philadelphia is a team that is going to work horizontally in the pass game rather than vertically. Smith has the capability to be that deep threat when called upon but Burks gives the team another option in the short to intermediate to make plays after the catch. I also like him working on a vertical plane so that gives the offense some flexibility.

Northern Iowa

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 321 lbs

As Los Angeles looks around the AFC West, they may notice something — as the others are as well — teams in their division are loading up on pass rushers. Denver has Randy Gregory and Bradley Chubb. Las Vegas has Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby. Kansas City has Frank Clark and Chris Jones. The offensive lines better be prepared and the Chargers add a little fire of their own in the form of Penning.

Pittsburgh

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

3rd

At least three teams are going to lose in their pursuit of Deshaun Watson, which means they will be left scrambling for quarterback help. New Orleans targets a long-term option with Pickett. It is an ideal situation for him considering the conversation around his lack of hand size. He gets to play in a dome for at least half of his games.

Georgia

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 307 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

33rd

POSITION RNK

3rd

Philadelphia has already added Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd and Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks. They round out the first round haul with Wyatt, who serves as insurance in the event that the team trades Fletcher Cox.

Cincinnati

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 211 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

76th

POSITION RNK

5th

Although Pittsburgh signed Mitchell Trubisky in free agency, the financial commitment suggests what most of us assumed — they view him as a competent player capable of holding the position down in the present. His signing does not take them out of the quarterback market. Ridder is a good prospect to develop as Trubisky shoulders expectations.

Ohio State

• Sr

• 6’0″

/ 187 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

5th

New England adds a reliable wide receiver for Mac Jones. Olave has speed and is going to be in the right place every time Jones looks his way.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 179 lbs

Projected Team

Las Vegas

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Las Vegas has added speed to its defense through free agency and now adds speed to the offense. Williams is coming off a torn ACL injury but had an argument for the best wide receiver in the draft prior. His ability to take the top off defenses will keep the walls from closing in on Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller underneath.

Iowa

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 296 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Arizona gets younger and cheaper along its offensive line with the addition of Linderbaum, who is one of the best prospects in this draft class regardless of position.

Purdue

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 266 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

3rd

As of Thursday morning, Dallas has lost out on Randy Gregory and Von Miller. Without a viable solution in place, it would make sense for them to capitalize on Karlaftis sliding. Michigan’s David Ojabo could be another option at the position.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 191 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Buffalo has made it clear that they are bolstering the roster for a Super Bowl run. With Von Miller in tow, the Bills turn their attention to the secondary. Hill is a versatile player that can play in the slot or be the eventual replacement at safety.

Central Michigan

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 303 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

5th

Tennessee attempted to solve the right tackle issue a few years ago with the selection of Isaiah Wilson but that did not work out well. Right tackle remained unaddressed until now. Raimann has played left tackle but is uber athletic and capable of working in space for that run game.

Boston College

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 312 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

8th

Tampa Bay lost Ali Marpet to retirement and Alex Cappa signed with Cincinnati. The Buccaneers responded by trading a Day 3 pick to New England for Shaq Mason and now select Johnson to once again complete the offensive line.

North Dakota State

• Sr

• 6’4″

/ 208 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

53rd

POSITION RNK

8th

I do not personally value Watson at this point in the draft but it feels like Green Bay will do everything in their power to appease Aaron Rodgers. For the first time since 2002, the Packers use a first round choice on a wide receiver to pair with Davante Adams.

Houston

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 282 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

34th

POSITION RNK

4th

Miami retained Emmanuel Ogbah after drafting Jaelan Phillips last year. They draft Hall to play the 3-technique next to Christian Wilkins.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

40th

POSITION RNK

6th

Kansas City has re-structured Frank Clark’s deal to keep him in the fold but it would make sense for them to add someone long-term. Ojabo is raw in run defense but has as much natural pass rush skill as anyone in the class. He can be a situational player until he feels more comfortable in a more expanded role.

Florida

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 191 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

6th

Cincinnati adds a big body at cornerback. They have done well to upgrade the offensive line through free agency so that allows them flexibility in the first round. The Bengals have cobbled together a cornerback room in recent years but Elam gives them a long-term presence.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 199 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

60th

POSITION RNK

6th

After his performance at the NFL Combine, Cine has emerged as a possible first round pick. His play on tape matches his athletic traits. With Detroit missing out on the top safeties in free agency, the Bulldog could be an option for the second first-round choice after selecting Travon Walker No. 2 overall.

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