Matthew NFL Mock Draft Version 1- GM Edition

Rules of the Mock Draft:

For this particular mock draft, I decided not to have any trades happen, because we don’t know exactly where teams will be at the end of the season. The order of the draft has been decided based on the record of each team prior to week 6. The order that I used for this mock is from Tankathon. Finally, this is not a prediction of what I think each team is going to do. Instead this is what I would do if I was the GM of each team. Now that all of the rules are covered, let’s get into it!

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon EDGE)

Kayvon Thibodeaux is my favorite prospect in this entire draft. He is not your average EDGE rusher, he is arguably a generational prospect. His athleticism is unlike any other EDGE rusher in the nation (not including the NFL obviously). However, you could already compare him to top EDGE rushers in the NFL like Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt. The reason why he is a good fit for Jacksonville is because they need as much help on the defensive line as possible. Also, adding someone who can line up the opposite side of the line from Josh Allen will boost the entire defense.

2. Detroit Lions – Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame Safety)

Kyle Hamilton is a special talent at the safety position. His size and athleticism make him the best safety in college football. Hamilton stands at 6’4” and weighing 220 lbs. This allows him to be very versatile, he can play anywhere on the field. Since the Lions need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball, drafting a “do it all” player would be a great idea for them. If necessary, I think that they could play him as an inside linebacker a few snaps a game.

3. Houston Texans – Matt Corral (Ole Miss QB)

Matt Corral has flown up draft boards this season. Coming into this season, he was ranked as the 4th best QB in this class in my opinion. He was ranked behind Sam Howell, Spencer Rattler and Desmond Ridder. After watching his film this season, I have been blown away by his overall talent. If I was the Texans GM, I would not think twice about drafting Corral this early because he is a special talent. In just five games so far this season he has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. As if this isn’t impressive enough, he has no interceptions so far this year. He would be a good pick for the Texans because Deshaun Watson is on his way out the door and from what I have seen so far this year, Davis Mills is not the answer.

4. New York Jets – Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU CB)

The New York Jets are getting a gem with this pick. Not only is Stingley the best corner in the nation, he may be one of the best athletes. Stingley’s athleticism is what makes him a potential generational talent at the cornerback position. His ball skills are incredible and he can accredit that to his high school days where he played corner and wide receiver. Whenever the ball is thrown in his direction, it seems like he has a chance to make a play on it. He would be a fantastic fit for any team in this draft, but especially the Jets because their secondary has been struggling all year and adding Stingley will help them immediately.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami) – DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M DL)

Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal

Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal

DeMarvin Leal is a very athletic defensive lineman. Throughout his time at Texas A&M, he has lined up as a defensive tackle and a defensive end. Although this pick may be a little bit of a reach, I think that having freak athlete lined up next to Josh Sweat would make the Eagles defense a lot scarier.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis) – Kenyon Green (Texas A&M G)

Surprisingly, Evan Neal is not going to be the first offensive lineman off the board. Instead, the Philadelphia Eagles are getting another Texas A&M lineman, but this time they are getting an offensive lineman to help protect Jalen Hurts. Although Hurts is not a pocket passer, in order for the Eagles to win games, they need to improve on their offensive line and they are getting a guard who will make an instant impact.

7. New York Giants – Evan Neal (Alabama OT)

Although Kenyon Green would be a better fit for this Giants offensive line, I think they would be more than happy if Neal fell to them at pick seven. Regardless of where you put Neal, he will be an upgrade as both a pass and run blocker. As the GM, I would want to experiment with putting Andrew Thomas at left guard and starting Neal as the left tackle.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Garrett Wilson (Ohio St. WR)

Now that Julio Jones is out of Atlanta, their talent at the wide receiver position needs help and that is where Garrett Wilson comes in. In my scouting report on Wilson, I mention how his route running and athleticism separates him from his teammate and potential WR1 Chris Olave. Having a wide receiver duo of Calvin Ridley and Garrett Wilson with Kyle Pitts at the tight end spot will make this Falcons offense a huge threat.

9. New England Patriots – Kaiir Elam (Florida CB)

The Patriots’ secondary has struggled a lot so far this season and if I am the Patriots’ GM I want to get the best press coverage corner in all of college football. In my report on Elam, I mentioned a PFF stat that blew my mind. When in press coverage, Elam only allows around half a yard per snap.

10. Philadelphia Eagles – Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan EDGE)

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson

With the Eagles’ 3rd top ten pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, they continue to solidify their defensive line. Behind Thibodeaux, Hutchinson is the most explosive EDGE rusher in this draft class. With that being said, I think that he may be the most powerful EDGE rusher in this class. His ability to overpower the offensive tackle and get to the quarterback with ease is very impressive.

11. Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco) – Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa C)

The Miami Dolphins need to solidify their offensive line if they want to take their team to the next level. They have many young offensive linemen who have a bright future in this league. However, they still have a lot of improving to do. Drafting Linderbaum is a perfect fit because the center position is the biggest need on that offensive line. Also, Linderbaum is a fantastic run and pass blocker so he will be able to help Gaskin and Tua in the long run.

12. New York Jets (via Seattle) – Drake Jackson (USC EDGE)

With this pick the Jets continue to solidify their defense. Jackson is a very athletic EDGE rusher and can either play defensive end or outside linebacker. As the GM for the Jets, I would focus on the defense for a majority of this draft because that is their biggest weakness.

13. Washington Football Team – Malik Willis (Liberty QB)

Malik Willis is the stereotypical quarterback we keep seeing in today’s NFL. He is a quick, athletic, scrambling quarterback who has a fantastic arm. He is another quarterback who has moved up a lot of draft boards this season, including mine. Willis would be a great fit for Washington because it would be like drafting a rawer RGIII.

14. Minnesota Vikings – Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson CB)

Although this is not their biggest need at the moment, having a complete secondary is important for an elite defense. Therefore, that was my strategy for this pick. Booth is a great all-around corner who is very good in man coverage. Although they did draft Cameron Dantzler in 2020, they still need to add another piece to that puzzle. Most importantly because Bashaud Breeland has struggled so far this year.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Sam Howell (North Carolina QB)

North Carolina QB Sam Howell

North Carolina QB Sam Howell

Sam Howell would be a perfect pick for the Steelers. As I mentioned in my Sam Howell scouting report, Howell needs a solid supporting cast to be successful and that is exactly what he will have day one in Pittsburgh. He has a fantastic arm, especially when throwing the ball deep down the field.

16. Kansas City Chiefs – George Karlaftis (Purdue EDGE)

It is very weird to see the Chiefs have a draft pick this high. With that being said, they need to make sure to hit with this pick because they won’t likely have a pick this high again. Although linebacker is their biggest weakness, I think that it is too early to draft Christian Harris. So instead they are going to draft their second biggest need and get a guy who has a bright future in this league. Karlaftis is the perfect blend of size, speed and power. Regardless of who he lines up against, he has the ability to overpower them and get to the QB with ease.

17. Cincinnati Bengals – Darian Kinnard (Kentucky OT)

After another injury scare during the Packers game, the Bengals need to prioritize protecting Joe Burrow. Kinnard is a right tackle for the Wildcats, but has the ability to transition to guard. If I was the GM of the Bengals, I would do put Kinnard at right guard and move Jackson Carman to left tackle or left guard. Then I would put Jonah Williams at the other position Jackson is not playing.

18. New Orleans Saints – Chris Olave (Ohio St. WR)

I know, it is shocking that Olave has fallen this far in this draft. However, I think the Saints will be more than happy with that. Olave is arguably the best deep threat in this draft class. This would be a good pick for the Saints because Olave allows their offense to be even more versatile and unpredictable.

19. Tennessee Titans – Christian Harris (Alabama LB)

The Titans are reaching a little with this pick, especially after seeing that the Chiefs pass on him. I would draft Harris because their front seven needs improvement and Harris could be the guy to step in and make an instant impact. His ability to be an effective run stopper and be able to drop back in coverage is incredible. In the scouting report one of our analysts did on Harris, they mentioned that he played defensive back in high school. Therefore, his ability to cover running backs and tight ends is almost unmatched in this draft class.

20. Denver Broncos – Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati QB)

With this pick, Denver is not expecting Ridder to start day one. I am drafting him here so they can experiment with a dual quarterback system with Ridder and Bridgewater. I am really high on Ridder and I think that he has potential to be something special in the NFL. In my scouting report on Ridder, I mentioned that he is as good of a runner as he is a passer.

21. Carolina Panthers – Rasheed Walker (Penn St. OT)

This pick may be seen as a little bit of a reach, but I love Walker’s athleticism and strength. I think that Walker could be a day one starter for the Panthers. He does a fantastic job of using his quick feet to stop any defender in their tracks. Certainly, that is exactly what you want when you have a pocket passer like Darnold.

22. New York Giants (via Chicago) – Nik Bonitto (Oklahoma EDGE)

Oklahoma LB Nik Bonitto

Oklahoma LB Nik Bonitto

I am a huge fan of Nik Bonitto and I think he would be a great fit for the Giants. I am not the only one here at Draft Dive that thinks that, in the 2022 NFL Mock Draft 1.1, Ken Noble also had him getting drafted by the Giants. He would be a great fit because he is a fantastic pass rusher and that is where the Giants need help.

23. Cleveland Browns – Jordan Davis (Georgia DT)

Jordan Davis is one of the most athletic defensive tackles in college football. That is really impressive considering he is almost 350 lbs. When watching his film, I was blown away by his strength and ability to overpower the offensive lineman. This allows him stop the run or sack the QB with almost no obstacles in his way. Davis would take the Browns’ defensive line to the next level because they already have two incredible EDGE rushers in Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney.

24. Detroit Lions (via LA Rams) – Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati CB)

I know these two picks for the Lions may be a little surprising as many people have them getting a QB with one of their picks. Let me explain why I did not do that. Having the second overall pick in this year’s draft is a little too early to draft a QB considering there is no can’t miss QB1 available and you already have Jared Goff as your starting QB. If one of the top quarterbacks fell to this pick, I would consider drafting them but I think that their secondary should be their primary focus.

25. Las Vegas Raiders – Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa OT)

Even though the Raiders drafted Alex Leatherwood in the first round last year, they need to continue to improve that offensive line. David Carr needs more time in the pocket to be successful. Penning is a big tackle coming in at 6’7” and weighing at around 320 lbs. He is a very effective blocker in both the run and pass game.

26. Buffalo Bills – John Metchie III (Alabama WR)

Why not give Josh Allen another weapon? Metchie is an all-around receiver who can line up anywhere on the field. He is a fantastic route runner and does a great job of making a play on the ball. This is also a good pick for the Bills, because they need depth at the WR position and Metchie could be a day one starter.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Charles Cross (Mississippi St. OT)

Even though the Buccaneers are in a win now mindset, they need to start thinking about their future. Those ideas can intersect though, as the Bucs protect Tom Brady now and Kyle Trask later. Cross is a fantastic left tackle who is very explosive and powerful. When watching his film, I realized that he is the kind of tackle I want protecting my QB’s blindside.

28. Green Bay Packers – Treylon Burks (Arkansas WR)

Although the Packers have a lot of depth at the WR position, they should draft a WR this year because we are unsure of Davante Adams’ future is in Green Bay. By drafting Treylon Burks, you are either drafting a second option directly behind Adams’ or you are getting your new number one receiver once Jordan Love takes over.

29. Los Angeles Chargers – Myjai Sanders (Cincinnati EDGE)

The Chargers have proven that they have an offense that can compete for a Super Bowl. With that being said, their defense needs to be improved slightly and getting someone to line up opposite of Joey Bosa would help their overall defense immensely.

30. Dallas Cowboys – Brandon Smith (Penn St. LB)

Penn State LB Brandon Smith

Penn State LB Brandon Smith

The Cowboys do not have many needs going into this draft, but they do have some positions that need some improvement. Linebacker is the biggest position that needs improvement. Even though they drafted Micah Parsons in the first round last year, they should definitely think of getting another linebacker to help their front seven.

31. Baltimore Ravens – Kingsley Enagbare (South Carolina EDGE)

The Ravens have been very productive on the offensive side of the ball, but similar to the Cowboys, they need to improve their front seven. Enagbare would be a perfect fit, because he already has the physical tools to make it in the NFL. Consequently, all he needs to do is work on his craft.

32. Arizona Cardinals – Zach Harrison (Ohio St. EDGE)

This pick was difficult to make because there are so many positions that they can go with here. I chose Zach Harrison, because he is a physically gifted EDGE rusher who can sit behind veteran EDGE rushers like Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt and learn from the best. As a result, when he finally gets to start, he will be a force to be reckoned with.

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