Martin McConnell’s Post-Free Agency 2022 NFL Mock Draft

9. Seattle Seahawks- Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: Three quarterbacks in the top ten? In this draft class? And yeah, this is definitely a bit of a reach. But at time of writing, the Seahawks haven’t traded for a quarterback (I have them calling Cleveland about Baker Mayfield) and their current starter is Drew Lock. Are you really okay with that, Pete Carroll? Look into your heart and tell me the truth. In any case, I think the ‘Hawks go for Ole Miss signal-caller Matt Corral if their current QB situation stays the way it is. They’re in a rebuild now, and Corral could be the perfect centerpiece to build around.

10. New York Jets- Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

Maybe New York could opt for one of those top-flight receivers we keep hearing about in this class to help out Zach Wilson, but at No. 10, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux is just supreme value. For my money, Thibodeaux is the best defensive player, and maybe the best player overall in this entire draft class. He might be a bit of a free spirit that has interests out of football, but I refuse to believe that’s a bad thing. The NFL thinks differently, and here, it benefits Robert Saleh and the Jets.

11. Washington Commanders- Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The Commanders just got themselves a slightly-used Carson Wentz from Indianapolis, and they’re going to try as hard as they can to make him work in D.C. Enter Ohio State’s explosive receiver, Garrett Wilson. Now, let me be clear, I think Wilson’s teammate Chris Olave is a stronger prospect, but Wilson is the better fit for Washington. Combined with Terry McLaurin, Dyami Brown, and I think a decent-to-good offensive line, the Commanders are giving Wentz as much help as they can.

12. Minnesota Vikings- Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

This is a chalk pick, as it seems like most mock drafts have the Vikings taking Gardner, and I have zero problems with this. Gardner is an extremely talented defensive back, and will slot in quite nicely to Minnesota’s defense. He can be a CB1, and has the size, durability, experience, and speed to excel at the professional level. No further questions, your honor.

13. Houston Texans- Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Browns sold their soul (and three first round picks) to the devil in order to grab Deshaun Watson from Houston. Now, the Texans reap the rewards of this trade, grabbing some help for Davis Mills in the receiving game. Houston needs help just about everywhere, but they seem at least somewhat confident in their quarterback, so why not throw him a top receiver? Olave is smooth as silk, catches just about everything, and was a big-play machine with the Buckeyes. He should, at the very least, bring some juice to the Texans offense.

14. Baltimore Ravens- Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State

This always happens, doesn’t it? Some awesome player slips through the cracks and then the Ravens swoop in and say “thank you sir, may I have another” and then they always get another. This year, it’s Seminoles standout Jermaine Johnson II. Much like Walker, Johnson is an absolute physical freak, but his real claim to fame is just how smart and technically sound he is. Johnson’s motor runs scorchingly hot, but he always keeps a good head on his shoulders. He’s a little tall and skinny for a pass rusher, but an NFL meal plan can help that. Johnson is a screamer around the edge on run plays, which is really where he’ll make his money.

15. Philadelphia Eagles- Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

After retooling their offense to cater to Jalen Hurts, the Eagles need some serious defensive help. They have three first-round picks in 2022 to work with, so let’s grab them a star corner to start off. LSU’s Derek Stingley has never lived up to his freshman tape from 2019, but he’s still such a promising prospect. Stingley has all the physical tools, but his inability to truly put it all together and become a lock-down defender is deeply worrying. Stingley is boom or bust, and I think Philly takes that chance.

16. Philadelphia Eagles- Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Oh boy, the Eagles with back to back picks on defense? You bet. Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd is, in my opinion, highly underrated by draft media this year. Lloyd is physically imposing at 6’3 and 237 pounds, and he plays to his size and uses it to his advantage. The former Ute is productive, and faster than most linebackers his size are going to be in the modern NFL. Is he a bit inconsistent? Yes. But once again, I think Philly is willing to make this gamble to improve their defense.

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