In about a week, the 2022 NFL Draft takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Top prospects have already committed to attending the draft in person and many are looking forward to making their dreams come true.
Since my last mock draft, prospects have been visiting with teams that are interested in drafting them. This way teams have a chance to get to know the players they might select. This really gives the chance for some prospects to show who they are, and let their personalities show rather than just their physical attributes.
Teams are allowed to interview and give written tests to up to 30 prospects they are interested in. Players who might be selected in later rounds, due to poor pro-day performances or poor combine performances really have to excel here in order to boost their chance at being drafted. Like I mentioned last year, the draft buzz never truly dies down and teams are always looking for their chance to improve their team. With all that being said and me having already done the top 10 picks, it’s time for picks 11-20. So, the Washington Commanders are on the clock!
*Order subject to change due to trades that might happen from now until the draft
11. Washington Commanders (7-10)
This marks the first time Washington selects a player with their new nickname, The Commanders, which was introduced back in February. Not only did this team get a new nickname in the offseason, but a new quarterback as well. Early in March, the Commanders traded for Quarterback Carson Wentz who was with the Colts for just one year. The Commanders hope that Wentz will be here longer than he was with the Colts, so I think they get him a new weapon to pair with his other weapon, Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin. So, with the 11th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Washington Commanders select: Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC.
12. Minnesota Vikings (8-9)
The Vikings looked like a team that could sneak into the playoffs last year, but amid a breakdown late in the season and a surge from other teams the Vikings missed out. They hope to actually reach the playoffs this year and not miss out like last year. In order to do so I think they need some help on their defensive line or in their defensive backfield, they re-signed cornerback Patrick Peterson but given his age they might look into drafting his eventual replacement. They also signed some good edge rushers this offseason but the middle is their biggest hole. I think they either draft a cornerback or defensive tackle with this pick. So, with the 12th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select: Jordan Davis, Defensive Tackle, Georgia.
13. Houston Texans (4-13)
This pick originally belonged to the Cleveland Browns (8-9), who like the Vikings were a team that had high hopes of returning to the playoffs this past season. However, they struggled in the middle of the season and had an injury to their Quarterback Baker Mayfield. The reason the Texans have this pick now though, is because they traded Quarterback Deshaun Waston to the Browns along with a number of other picks. This created a tension with the Browns and Mayfield, which resulted in a trade request from the former number 1 pick. As of typing this he has yet to be traded, but there’s a chance the Browns might keep him in case the NFL decides to suspend Watson for a number of games. No matter, this is the Texans pick and not the Browns. I’ve already discussed what the Texans need in the Top 10 Mock Draft, so let’s just get into the pick. With the 13th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select: Jermaine Johnson II, Defensive End, Florida State.
14. Baltimore Ravens (8-9)
The Ravens, like the Vikings and Browns, were among the teams that could have made the playoffs but something happened that derailed their season. For the Ravens, it was mostly injury as they were among the teams with the most injuries this year. They suffered injuries to their QB, RBs, and pretty much everywhere else. In order to prevent injuries to the most important positions I think the Ravens select an offensive linemen to help out. However, they could go defensive line as well as they desperately need an edge rusher. So, with the 14th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select: Trevor Penning, Offensive Tackle, Northern Iowa.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8)
The Eagles were among the teams that made the playoffs last year, so why are they picking earlier than some of the playoff teams? Well, this pick originally belonged to the Miami Dolphins who just missed the playoffs with a similar record. The Eagles and Dolphins made this trade during last year’s draft when the Eagles traded up to select a player that I had going to them at 12, Wide receiver Devonta Smith. The Eagles could very well pick a receiver with their first pick for the 3rd straight year, if they like one enough. The Eagles could also address the middle of their defensive line as their top two linemen are set to hit free agency next season. The Eagles have two picks this round via trade so they’ll be able to address both needs if they really want. So, with the 15th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select: Chris Olave, Wide Receiver, Ohio State.
16. New Orleans Saints (9-8)
This pick originally belonged to the Colts but due to the fact that Wentz played 75% of snaps last season, this pick became the Eagles’ who then traded it to the Saints in order to retain another first round pick. The Saints, like the Vikings, were among the teams that could have made the playoffs had other teams not had a surge late in the season. The Saints were also a team that needed a new QB and were in the market for Deshaun Watson, but ultimately lost out. In response they re-signed QB Jameis Winston who was injured last year, and signed veteran Andy Dalton. They also plan to use Taysom Hill as the utility player he is rather than QB. The Saints need a WR they can pair with Michael Thomas as well as help on the offensive line and defensive line but there’s just too much wide receiver talent for them to not grab one here. So, with the 16th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select: Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver, Alabama.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-8)
The Chargers were literally on the cusp of making the playoffs, all they had to do was not call a timeout in overtime in their final game of the season against the Raiders. Had they not done this the Raiders likely wouldn’t have kicked a field goal to end this crazy game that, had they tied, would’ve allowed both teams to make the playoffs. Instead, the Chargers missed out and need help on both of their lines. They could also grab a receiver to pair with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but I think they will do that later. So, with the 17th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select: Kenyon Green, Offensive Guard, Texas A&M.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8)
Here’s the Eagles second pick, which originally belonged to the Saints, but like I mentioned they swapped some trades and are here now. I’ve already addressed their needs and since they selected receiver with their first pick, I think they go defense here but I don’t think they go defensive lineman. Sometimes you have to pick the best player available that has the chance to fit your team. So, with the 18th pick in the 2022, NFL Draft the Philadelphia Eagles select: Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Utah.
19. New Orleans Saints (9-8)
Again this pick originally belonged to the Eagles, as I mentioned before it belongs now to the Saints after the two swapped picks to move around and make the draft order all weird. I’ve already broken down what the Saints need with their first selection so I won’t go into too much detail again. The Saints picked a wide receiver with their first pick so with their second, I think they address their other need. It is possible that they trade out of this to another team as well but for the sake of making anything else more complicated the Saints will make a selection here. So, with the 19th pick on the 2022 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select: Charles Cross, Offensive Tackle, MIssissippi State.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1)
The Steelers barely snuck into the playoffs last year thanks to them winning their last game and the Chargers overtime timeout and a Colts loss. If they want to get back, they’ll have to do so without long time franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who retired after their loss to the Chiefs in the playoffs. They did sign quarterback Mitch Trubisky to a two year deal worth $14 million. I don’t imagine Trubisky to be their long-time starter though, so the Steelers could very well take a quarterback of the future here. They could also take a wide receiver or a defensive back as well. I think they do bring in a QB here to push Trubisky during the season and learn from him at the same time. So, with the 20th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select: Desmond Ridder, Quarterback, Cincinnati.
This concludes the picks 11-20 in my Mock Draft. I am in no way saying that I will be right with these picks, but I think, based on my knowledge, that these are the best fits and situations for each team. The Draft is just days away, and a lot can happen from now until Thursday, April 28th, 2022. Be on the lookout for my Mock Draft for picks 21-32!
Joey Cobb, known on-air as DJ BeeKay is the host of Hoppin’ and Poppin’ Hour, a music and sports radio show that airs on KSSU (every Friday at 7PM).