The 2021 NFL Draft took place barely two months ago, but it's never too early for a mock draft. With the college football season yet to get underway, draft analysts and scouts have already begun preparing for next year's draft.
While some of the players in this mock draft have long been considered first-round picks in the 2022 draft class, there's a possibility of them dropping out due to injuries, poor play, or simply the emergence of another player.
Without further ado, let's take a look at our way-too-early prediction for the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.
2022 NFL Mock Draft Picks 1-10
#1 - Houston Texans - Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
This pick is based on Deshaun Watson continuing his legal battles and having to step away from the game. David Mills and Tyrod Taylor are long-term options, but Howell is an All-American who threw for over 7,000 yards and 68 TDs in two seasons.
#2 - Detroit Lions - Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
If the Lions have the second overall pick, Jared Goff will not be starting next season. Rattler finished third in 2020 in the PFF QB rankings, behind Zach Wilson and Mac Jones.
#3 - Cincinnati Bengals - Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/LB, Oregon
The Bengals are sort of set on skill players on offense but need help on defense to get after the QB more. Thibodeaux has 12 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss and six defended passes in two seasons.
#4 - New York Jets - Derek Stingley Jr, CB, LSU
Stingley is a lockdown corner the Jets haven't had since Darrell Revis. He's recorded six interceptions in two seasons with LSU.
#5 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Hamilton may just be the best safety in college football. He can be placed in different positions all over the field and is one of the best tacklers.
#6 - Philadelphia Eagles - Evan Neal, G/T, Alabama
Neal can swing between guard and tackle and was part of one of the best college offenses in history. He allowed just 1.5 sacks in 2020. Jalen Hurts needs a better offensive line and Neal could be a solid long-term option for the Eagles.
#7 - New York Giants - DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
A 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Leal is a legit run stopper and can even get to the QB too. The Giants have signed Danny Shelton on a one-year deal and Leal will be an instant upgrade if they draft him next year.
#8 - Las Vegas Raiders - Desmond Riddler, QB, Cincinnati
As one of the most experienced QBs in the 2022 class, Riddler will climb the board as the season progresses. He's a dual-threat who averaged six yards per carry and threw for 57 TDs. Derek Carr will be gone if the Raiders find themselves in the top-10 when this mock draft is looked at come January 2022.
#9 - Washington - Kedon Slovis, QB, USC
Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a long-term option at QB for Washington and will likely retire soon. Kedon Slovis is a classic gunslinger and quite accurate as well. There's a chance Slovis could become a top-5 pick if he has an outstanding final year at USC, in which case Riddler could fall to Washington.
#10 - New York Giants via Chicago- Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Two picks in the top-10 for the Giants? They load up on defense and add Harris, who averaged 70 tackles over two years and is capable of falling into pass coverage.