The 2022 NFL Draft is upon us. This offseason has already been wacky and wild, chock-full of blockbuster moves -- surprise trades, big-name holdouts, you name it. But who's to say the draft will be any quieter?
We've got plenty of drama unfolding in our latest first-round mock below, including a couple of surprise quarterback selections and seven -- count them, seven! -- different projected trades. Buckle up:
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Round 1 - Pick 1
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
Michigan • 6'7" / 260 lbs
Protecting Trevor Lawrence is paramount, but Hutchinson is the surest thing in the top crop of impact pass-rushers. Maybe Trent Baalke values upside, but Jacksonville could really use an instant star off the edge, and Travon Walker is better suited for a role in the trenches, not standing up.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Cincinnati • 6'3" / 200 lbs
Kayvon Thibodeaux makes a lot of sense here, as does an offensive tackle, but Gardner is the lock-down stud of the corner class, and Houston has a dire need at the position, not to mention a defensive mind running the show in Lovie Smith.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
Oregon • 6'4" / 254 lbs
Don't rule out a tackle here; Joe Douglas loves investing up front. But they still need more juice off the edge, and Thibodeaux brings requisite size and skill (and then some). He'd be an instant fan favorite in New York.
Mock Trade from New York Giants
Round 1 - Pick 5
Malik Willis QB
Liberty • 6'1" / 219 lbs
And here we go. Seattle hasn't had to think about QB in this way for a long time, and Willis' tantalizing arm and legs could sell them on a quick pivot from one dual threat (Russell Wilson) to another. They've got the ammo to move up after parting with Russ.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NC State • 6'4" / 320 lbs
With Seattle jumping up to secure the draft's high-upside QB, the Panthers stick to their board despite their own dire need for a signal-caller, securing a long-term left tackle for Sam Darnold and/or another addition (Baker Mayfield?) under center.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 7
Round 1 - Pick 8
Jermaine Johnson II EDGE
Florida State • 6'5" / 262 lbs
Atlanta isn't afraid to buck the consensus on draft day, and while Johnson isn't necessarily a popular top-10 pick, his combination of size, strength and ascending production could be too enticing to pass up for a club that's long lacked a pass rush.
Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 9
Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 12
Mississippi State • 6'5" / 311 lbs
After acquiring an extra first with the Eagles, the Saints have the ammo to make a bigger splash. A QB would be spicy (and understandable), but with Terron Armstead gone, their left-tackle need is just as prominent. Cross gives them a long-term No. 1.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 13
Drake London WR
USC • 6'4" / 213 lbs
A pass-rusher would be more preferable, but with guys like Jermaine Johnson off the board, London stands out as a potential Mike Evans for Lovie Smith, who drafted the real Evans with the Buccaneers in 2014.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 15
Mock Trade from New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 16
Round 1 - Pick 17
Devin Lloyd LB
Utah • 6'3" / 235 lbs
Linebacker isn't necessarily an urgent need, even with Kyzir White gone, but boy does Lloyd's athleticism give yet another boost to Brandon Staley's reloaded defense, now featuring Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson.
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • 6'1" / 179 lbs
Hello, Tyreek Hill replacement. Kansas City makes a big leap, dealing with Andy Reid's old friends to secure maybe the top playmaker of this year's receiver class. They can afford to be patient with Williams' injury recovery, securing a fifth-year option and allowing him to grow with Patrick Mahomes.
From Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 19
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • 6'1" / 188 lbs
With a new tackle secured earlier in the first, the Saints shift gears to wide receiver, where Michael Thomas needs a running mate. Olave possesses the all-around skill set to be an instant target funnel for Jameis Winston.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Georgia • 6'3" / 304 lbs
Surprise! With all but one of the top QBs still on the board, Mike Tomlin and Co. stay patient, instead adding some serious muscle to the trenches of an already-stout defense. Cameron Heyward isn't getting any younger, and they like themselves a nasty D-line.
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 21
George Karlaftis EDGE
Purdue • 6'4" / 275 lbs
Chandler Jones is gone, and J.J. Watt is old. While cornerback also deserves a big investment, Arizona moves up to secure the top remaining pass-rusher on the board, adding a plug-and-play starter at defensive end.
From Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 22
Northern Iowa • 6'7" / 332 lbs
Everyone wants a receiver for Green Bay here, but with two first-rounders, Brian Gutekunst bolsters the trenches first, securing a Day One replacement for former right tackle Billy Turner. Gotta keep Aaron Rodgers upright!
Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 23
Nakobe Dean LB
Georgia • 5'11" / 231 lbs
After pulling off a Bill Belichick signature -- the trade down -- the Patriots hold off on addressing receiver and corner to get a new heart for their vaunted defense. Dean's potential as a tackling machine gives New England an immediate upgrade on the inside.
Mock Trade from Buffalo Bills
Round 1 - Pick 25
Matt Corral QB
Ole Miss • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Dan Campbell, you dog, you! After adding Travon Walker near the top of the draft to shore up the D-line, Detroit uses some of its extra ammo to move up from No. 32 and swipe maybe the most aggressive QB of the class ahead of the Titans, a dark-horse landing spot for signal-callers. Get ready for the camp battle with Jared Goff.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Mock Trade from Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 1 - Pick 27
Arkansas • 6'2" / 225 lbs
Another Howie Roseman trade! That makes two first-round swaps just since their pre-draft deal with the Saints. This time, he moves up two spots to snag a running mate for DeVonta Smith, giving Nick Sirianni's run-heavy attack a potential Deebo Samuel.
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 29
Round 1 - Pick 30
Michigan • 6'0" / 192 lbs
This draft is all about betting big on the long term for the Chiefs, and after adding Jameson Williams in their big trade up earlier, K.C. gets a ready-made Tyrann Mathieu replacement to pair with Justin Reid.
Mock Trade from Cincinnati Bengals
Round 1 - Pick 31
Pittsburgh • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Boom! Remember the old days, when they shook up the first round by moving up for Julio Jones? Here, they seize on the opportunity to stop Pickett's slide, trading back in to secure a fifth-year option for the potential next face of their franchise. Falcons ownership adored Matt Ryan for both his on- and off-field leadership, and Pickett has the character to earn their respect early on.
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 32
Quay Walker LB
Georgia • 6'4" / 240 lbs
A corner or running back would be just as smart for Buffalo here, but Walker allows them not to lean too much on Tremaine Edmunds' continued development in the middle of Sean McDermott's playoff defense.