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Sportskeeda's way too early NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Will there be a shake-up at the top?

Sportskeeda
Sportskeeda's way too early NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Walter Sharp
ANALYST

It's that time again when we bring NFL fans our way too early mock drafts heading into the college and NFL seasons.

In most NFL mock drafts, the Detroit Lions have the number one overall pick and are followed by the Houston Texans. Two teams will most likely look to trade up to select a quarterback to lead their team into the future.

The 2022 NFL Draft class has two quarterbacks ready to compete in the NFL: Sam Howell and Spencer Rattler head into the 2021-2022 college football season in a tussle for the number one overall pick.

There are a couple of defensive players courting interest in Derek Stingley Jr. and Kayvon Thibodeaux. Stingley and Thibodeaux are both looking at the upcoming season as an opportunity to place their names at the top of the draft boards.

With college football and NFL seasons approaching, here's a quick look at our way too early 2022 NFL mock draft 2.0.


2022 NFL Mock Draft first-round selections

North Carolina QB Sam Howell
North Carolina QB Sam Howell

#1 Denver Broncos: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina Tar Heels

As the 2021-2022 NFL season approaches, it's unlikely that the Denver Broncos will land Aaron Rodgers. Denver comes into the 2022 NFL draft with the ninth overall pick. In this scenario, the Lions have the first overall pick but agree to trade back in the draft for future draft capital from the Broncos.

Rattler is firmly in the argument for being the better quarterback, but the numbers don't lie. Sam Howell is the most NFL-ready quarterback in college football. Howell has thrown for over 7,000 yards in two years at North Carolina. He's also registered back-to-back seasons with 30 touchdowns and did this while completing 64.4% of his passes.

Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler
Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler

#2 Houston Texans: Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma Sooners

The Houston Texans are heading into the 2021-2022 season without their franchise quarterback, Deshaun Watson. Houston may never see Deshaun in a Texans uniform again. As things stand, their quarterback room is full of mediocre talent, and it will show.

Many NFL scouts believe Spencer Rattler has many of the same qualities as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Rattler is mobile and doesn't shy away from using his legs if he needs to. In his first season as a starter at Oklahoma, Spencer threw for 3,031 yards, 28 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

Oregon Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux
Oregon Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux

#3 Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon Ducks

The Jacksonville Jaguars made massive improvements to their secondary during the 2021 NFL off-season. Offensively, they made a big jump during the NFL draft by selecting Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.

Jacksonville will pass on the best corner in the 2022 NFL Draft and select the best defensive lineman. Kayvon Thibodeaux has a bright future in the NFL with his ability to rush the passer. Thibodeaux has 23.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in two seasons at Oregon.

LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.
LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.

#4 Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU Tigers

Derek Stingley Jr. enters the 2021-2022 college football season as the top cornerback prospect heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. The Eagles decided to stick with Jalen Hurts and complete a trade in the 2021 NFL Draft to select DeVonta Smith. They'll now turn to the defensive side of the ball and select a lockdown corner in Stingley Jr.

Alabama OT Evan Neal
Alabama OT Evan Neal

#5 Cincinnati Bengals: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama Crimson Tide

The Cincinnati Bengals decided to select Ja'Marr Chase with their top-ten pick in last year's draft since they needed to pick up an offensive lineman to protect Joe Burrow, who's coming off an injury this season.

Evan Neal provides additional protection for Burrow. The Cincinnati Bengals finally invest in their future by selecting Evan Neal. His size, strength, quickness, and technique separate him from other offensive tackles in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ohio State WR Chris Olave
Ohio State WR Chris Olave

#6 New York Jets: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes

The New York Jets selected Zach Wilson with the number two overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. New York also went out and signed Corey Davis during free agency to help their receiving group. The Jets made another offensive move when they selected Elijah Moore out of Ole' Miss.

Chris Olave is projected as the top wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He's a Heisman hopeful and could've taken his talents to the NFL after last season. Olave has caught 110 passes for 1,766 yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons at Ohio State.

Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal
Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal

#7 New York Giants: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M Aggies

The New York Giants just may have had the second-best off-season in the NFL. New York was able to hold on to critical pieces while adding a few others. The most significant signing came on the offensive side of the ball with Kenny Golladay.

The Giants will add more talent on defense with their top-ten pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. DeMarvin Leal is a mountain of a man and uses his size to his advantage. Leal enters the 2021-2022 college football season with 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton
Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton

#8 Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Atlanta Falcons lost both their safeties to the Dallas Cowboys during the 2021 NFL off-season. Atlanta opted out of selecting a quarterback during the last draft and selected Kyle Pitts instead.

Kyle Hamilton is arguably the second-best defensive player in the 2022 NFL Draft. Hamilton is a freak of an athlete and will use the 2021-2022 college football season to prove he's worthy of a top-ten pick. During his two seasons at Notre Dame, Kyle Hamilton has registered 78 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and five interceptions.

Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson
Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson

#9 Detroit Lions: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes

The Detroit Lions are thin at the wide receiver position but Jared Goff has the perfect offensive line to keep him off the turf. It's now time for the Lions to start rebuilding their receiver room.

Garrett Wilson may be the most exciting player in college football. He's one half of the best wide receiving groups in the country. Wilson has caught 73 passes for 1,155 yards and 11 touchdowns in his two years at Ohio State.

Florida CB Kaiir Elam
Florida CB Kaiir Elam

#10 New York Giants: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida Gators

The New York Giants will make their second pick in the top ten of the 2022 NFL Draft. New York turned their attention towards the defensive line with DeMarvin Leal. They'll now turn their attention to the secondary with Kaiir Elam.

Elam has registered back-to-back seasons with multiple interceptions for the Florida Gators' defense. He also has 15 pass deflections and 36 solo tackles over the last two seasons.


#11 Washington Football Team: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty Flames

#12 Las Vegas Raiders: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa Hawkeyes

#13 Carolina Panthers: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide

#14 Minnesota Vikings: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M Aggies

#15 Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M Aggies

#16 Pittsburgh Steelers: Drake Jackson, Edge, USC Trojans

#17 New England Patriots: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas Razorbacks

#18 Los Angeles Chargers: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati Bearcats

#19 Dallas Cowboys: George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue Boilermakers

Ohio State Edge rusher Zach Harrison
Ohio State Edge rusher Zach Harrison

#20 Philadelphia Eagles: Zach Harrison, Edge, Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State has brought the likes of Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa and Chase Young to the NFL. All three edge rushers have been a success. Zach Harrison is another product out of Ohio State with an extremely high ceiling and will work out great with the Eagles.

Alabama safety Jordan Battle
Alabama safety Jordan Battle

#21 Tennessee Titans: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama Crimson Tide

The Tennessee Titans are heading into the 2021-2022 NFL season with a stacked offense. Tennessee traded for former Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones. Defensively, the Titans lost one of their safeties, Kenny Vaccaro, and will replace him with Jordan Battle in the 2022 NFL Draft. Jordan Battle has registered 59 solo tackles, five tackles for loss and two interceptions so far.

Clemson WR Justyn Ross
Clemson WR Justyn Ross

#22 Indianapolis Colts: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson Tigers

The Indianapolis Colts are entering the Carson Wentz era in 2021. Indianapolis doesn't exactly have top talent at the wide receiver position.

Justyn Ross has all the potential to be a number one option for Wentz. Ross will need to stay healthy throughout the 2021-2022 college football season to secure his spot as one of the top wide receivers. Clemson's top wideout is heading into the upcoming season with 112 catches for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns.


#23 New York Jets: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State Bulldogs

#24 New Orleans Saints: Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern Wildcats

#25 Cleveland Browns: Zion Nelson, OT, Miami Hurricanes

#26 Miami Dolphins: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State Cyclones

#27 Baltimore Ravens: John Metchie III, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide

#28 Detroit Lions: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson Tigers

#29 Green Bay Packers: Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan Wolverines

#30 Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M Aggies

#31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma Sooners

Miami safety Bubba Bolden
Miami safety Bubba Bolden

#32 Kansas City Chiefs: Bubba Bolden, S, Miami Hurricanes

The Kansas City Chiefs are set on offense heading into the 2021-2022 NFL season. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. Tyreek Hill is one of the fastest wide receivers, and Travis Kelce is the top tight end.

Bubba Bolden would be a great addition to the Chiefs' defense. Pairing the Hurricanes safety with Tyrann Mathieu will raise Bolden's potential. Bolden has 66 solo tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions for the Hurricanes heading into the season.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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