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USATSI

The 2022 NFL Draft is going to be very entertaining for fans of the Jets, Giants and Eagles. Meanwhile, Rams fans have not tuned in to the draft since 2016. Three teams are responsible for six of the top-10 picks. Although last year was heavily focused on the quarterbacks and wide receivers, defense will be king in 2022. In today's thought exercise, we explore the roster-building strategy that teams could employ with multiple picks in the first round. 

The 2022 NFL Draft order was determined by Tankathon.com with results prior to Week 13. 

Without further ado, let's kick this off!

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
Detroit is not going to take a safety or offensive tackle, so that leaves the team with cornerback or defensive line. Thibodeaux is a twitchy player who is also wiry strong. Romeo Okwara and Thibodeaux is a fine pairing in the Motor City.
Round 1 - Pick 2
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
Houston keeps Stingley in the south with the No. 2 overall pick. It is a short drive from Baton Rouge and likely the start of a busy offseason for the Texans.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Alabama • Jr • 6'7" / 350 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
Some of the top prospects in this class are edge rushers and Jacksonville has taken edge rushers in two recent draft classes. It could still be argued that the Jaguars need one of those players, but they have bigger fish to fry. They also addressed safety and cornerback last offseason. It all leads back to Neal, who has the flexibility of playing with or without Cam Robinson.
Round 1 - Pick 4
NC State • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
1st
General manager Joe Douglas believes in building through the trenches, so he attacks each side of the ball. Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Ekwonu is a sturdy and physically imposing group.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Michigan • Sr • 6'6" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Jets pair Hutchinson with Carl Lawson. The Wolverine has taken the college football landscape by storm. He has registered 13 sacks and delivered some huge moments against the likes of Ohio State.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Purdue • Jr • 6'4" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
2nd
New York is going to target each side of the ball with its first-round picks. With the first of those picks, the Giants add Karlaftis to bolster the pass rush. He is a mature, physical prospect who has been contending against double teams for most of his time in the Big Ten.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Iowa • Jr • 6'3" / 290 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Naturally, everyone is putting themselves in the shoes of Dave Gettleman, but it has already been reported that Gettleman may not be making these picks. Whether or not Gettleman is there is irrelevant in this case, as Linderbaum is a special talent who would give New York more than it was hoping when it selected Weston Richburg years earlier.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
Philadelphia's zone scheme is a perfect marriage with Hamilton's skillset. He is a long athlete who is capable of making plays in coverage or making ball carriers feel his pain playing downhill.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Utah • Jr • 6'3" / 235 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
1st
Philadelphia fans told me last year that the team does not take linebackers in the first round, and that is likely the problem. The Eagles have reached the tipping point with the linebacker play and want some stability. Lloyd is a player who I have been comparing to Fred Warner for months because of his ability to get off blocks. He has been improving in pass coverage.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Ole Miss • Jr • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
1st
Matt Rhule has taken a chance on Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and now Cam Newton. None of those are long-term fits, so the Panthers once again find themselves in the quarterback market. Corral has shown improved decision-making and accuracy at all three levels.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Texas A&M • Jr • 6'4" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
3rd
I still believe in Green's value as an interior offensive lineman, but his versatility makes him even more valuable. Atlanta plugs him into an offensive line that has really struggled this year. The Falcons still have questions on defense and the long-term outlook at quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Cincinnati • Jr • 6'2" / 188 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Minnesota went on a stretch where it brought in a lot of cornerbacks over a few draft classes but that did not work out. Gardner could be the answer to the question the Vikings have faced since the decline of Xavier Rhodes.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Pittsburgh • Sr • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
It feels like this season was always about clearing salary cap space and putting the team in position to make a run at acquiring a quarterback next offseason. I never imagined Sean Payton was truly excited about the possibility of starting Jameis Winston and/or Taysom Hill. Pickett is a smart player who Payton could trust. Plus, traditionalists would not have to worry about Pickett's sub nine-inch hands consistently playing in inclement weather.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Clemson • Jr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Philadelphia continues a defensive overhaul with the selection of Booth. The Eagles walk away with Kyle Hamilton, Devin Lloyd and Booth in the first round. Who, in the city of Brotherly Love, would not sign up for that outcome? The only concern is that you're placing a lot of faith in the healthy return of both lines.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Ohio State • Jr • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
Last week's game against Baltimore exposed the issues of not having a wide receiver capable of causing strain on the defense. The Ravens stacked the box and made life difficult on Nick Chubb knowing they could lock down Cleveland's wide receivers in single coverage. Wilson has sensational body control and some flash.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'5" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
5th
Pittsburgh made the decision to take the running back before the offensive line last year. It fixes an ongoing problem by heavily investing at offensive tackle. The Steelers still need to find a solution at quarterback, but that will have to come in a later round or free agency/via trade.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Georgia • Jr • 6'0" / 225 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Dean is a block buster. He plays the game with reckless abandon and no fear for his own body. His athleticism is off the charts, and that will pair nicely with Bradley Chubb and Jonathon Cooper moving forward.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
6th
Williams is the college football darling at wide receiver this year. He is such a smooth player. DeSean Jackson has been able to give the Raiders moments, but that is not long-term sustainability. The team still needs answers outside of Darren Waller.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Liberty • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Washington will spend the rest of the season determining whether or not Taylor Heinicke is a long-term option. He may be able to do enough to convince the franchise that he is worth giving the keys to for a year. In that scenario, it would be able to divert its assets elsewhere.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Georgia • Soph • 6'6" / 330 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK
Los Angeles' issues have become evident in recent weeks. It cannot stop the run, and the offense is underwhelming relative to its vertical potential. Davis is a big man who will occasionally push the pocket in addition to shutting down the run game.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Washington • Soph • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
50th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Cornerback may seem unorthodox considering the amount of money and the investment of a first-round pick Miami has already made, but the team does not have a player who ranks higher than No. 50 at that position, according to PFF. It could be an opportunity for the Dolphins to save some money and start from scratch.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Texas A&M • Jr • 6'4" / 290 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
Leal is not going to be every team's cup of tea, nor will he be a fit for everyone. Buffalo made a substantial investment at edge rusher over the last two years, and now it addresses the interior defensive line. Leal is a player who can apply pressure up the middle and create some one-on-one opportunities for those edge rushers.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Ohio State • Sr • 6'1" / 188 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Detroit is not one wide receiver away from contention, but it is a huge position of need. The current group is not instilling fear in anyone, and Olave is too good a value to pass up at this point in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Auburn • Sr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
33rd
POSITION RNK
5th
McCreary is not flashy. He is just a sound player who gets the job done, and that seems to be how Cincinnati's organization likes it. The Bengals have taken steps on defense, but adding some young pieces while slowly saving salary cap space to afford Joe Burrow's extension in a few years will be important.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Georgia • Sr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
1st
Dallas has invested in the cornerback position with a few second-round picks -- Trevon Diggs and Kelvin Joseph -- but that is still a position of need. If Joseph ever gets meaningful reps and shows he can be a long-term option, then we will back off of this.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Arkansas • Jr • 6'3" / 225 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
Burks has the size and versatility to play in the slot or wide. His skillset, alongside Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, would be scary for opposing defenses. Kansas City has been searching for a more stable option at the position and Burks can be the answer.
Round 1 - Pick 27
USC • Jr • 6'5" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
5th
Tennessee and Julio Jones could realistically part ways after the season, and that would leave the Titans in a similar position as last season -- without a running mate for A.J. Brown. London is a jump-ball specialist who can give the team more size at the position while saving some money.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Florida • Jr • 6'2" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
4th
Whether through inconsistencies or injury, Tampa Bay has had a difficult time finding steady play on the boundary. Elam is a big-bodied cornerback who can bridge the gap.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Penn State • Sr • 5'11" / 184 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Dotson is a great fit for New England because he can play underneath and create yards after the catch, or he can carry the route up the field for a deep shot. His speed and versatility will keep defenses honest in an otherwise dunk-and-run offense.
Round 1 - Pick 30
USC • Jr • 6'4" / 250 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
35th
POSITION RNK
4th
Rashan Gary has certainly improved from his days in Ann Arbor, but Green Bay will likely move on from one or both of Za'Darius and Preston Smith, which creates an opportunity for Jackson.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Northern Iowa • Jr • 6'7" / 321 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
38th
POSITION RNK
8th
Baltimore needs to upgrade the offensive line this offseason and Penning represents good value at this stage of the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Kentucky • Sr • 6'5" / 345 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
41st
POSITION RNK
1st
Darian Kinnard specializes in run blocking but has steadily made improvements in pass protection. Arizona adds a long-term building block to the offensive line.