The Washington Commanders need to add more talent to their quarterback room. That's not a slight on Taylor Heinicke, who held his own as the team's full-time starter in 2021. But he's probably not the long-term answer. And it feels like a specific quarterback prospect will pique the interest of head coach Ron Rivera.
In this mock, you'll notice five receivers in Round 1. While not as hyped as the Ja'Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle wideout class of 2021, it's a quality group and the position is increasing in value every year.
Now let's get to the picks.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Evan Neal OL
Alabama • Soph • 6'7" / 350 lbs
The Jaguars top priority needs to be protecting Trevor Lawrence and Neal has the physical makeup of a top pick.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Aidan Hutchinson EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 265 lbs
The Lions only had 30 sacks in 2020. They need to get better on the edge. Hutchinson has NFL size, a polished game and got better every season at Michigan.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE
Oregon • Soph • 6'5" / 258 lbs
The Texans could go in any direction. Thibodeaux is a little raw but the tools are All-Pro caliber. Nick Caserio was in New England when they had big-time first-round pass rushers like Richard Seymour and Chandler Jones.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Notre Dame • Soph • 6'4" / 220 lbs
The Jets secondary was really bad in 2021. And safety is a massive need with franchise-tagged player Marcus Maye coming off an Achilles tear. I wouldn't call him the next Derwin James, but he's that type of do-everything safety.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Ikem Ekwonu OL
NC State • Soph • 6'4" / 320 lbs
Giants have to get better in the trenches for Daniel Jones. Ekwonu can play tackle or guard due to his size, athleticism, and power.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Pittsburgh • Soph • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Pickett was once committed to Temple when Matt Rhule was there, and the Panthers have been aggressive trying to find a quarterback.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 7
LSU • Soph • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Stingley can learn from James Bradberry for a season before the veteran is a free agent. He has All-Pro abilities on the outside. GM Joe Schoen was in Buffalo with Tre'Davious White.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 192 lbs
Is Calvin Ridley going to get traded this offseason? Russell Gage, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Olamide Zaccheaus are all free agents. If the Falcons are going to run it back with Matt Ryan one more season, get him another weapon.
Round 1 - Pick 9
George Karlaftis EDGE
Purdue • Soph • 6'4" / 263 lbs
This is probably a trade for Aaron Rodgers. But I wanted to give Broncos fans a feel for who they could pick if they don't swing that trade. Karlaftis is an NFL-ready defensive end.
From Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 10
Mississippi State • Soph • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Cross would provide Zach Wilson more protection on the edge of the offensive line. He's a smooth athlete who was awesome in the SEC in 2021.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Malik Willis QB
Liberty • Soph • 6'1" / 219 lbs
He's not as big as Cam Newton, but there are Newton qualities to Willis' game, which Ron Rivera will gravitate towards.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Clemson • Soph • 6'0" / 194 lbs
Booth is a twitchy former big-time recruit who's made some ridiculous interceptions at Clemson. The Vikings have to get better their CB room.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Arkansas • Soph • 6'2" / 225 lbs
Cleveland has to get a YAC type at receiver. Burks has some A.J. Brown to his game. He's big, deceptively fast, and a real challenge to bring to the turf.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 200 lbs
Gardner is the perfect press man corner to play in the Ravens defense.
From Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 15
Iowa • Soph • 6'2" / 305 lbs
Linderbaum being available is ideal for the Eagles given that Jason Kelce's contract is up and that he's into his mid 30s now.
From Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 16
David Ojabo EDGE
Michigan • Soph • 6'4" / 255 lbs
Ojabo might go higher than this because of his athleticism. But the Eagles have to address the edge spot. Derek Barnett is a free agent. Brandon Graham is into his thirties. So is Ryan Kerrigan.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Kaiir Elam CB
Florida • Soph • 6'1" / 191 lbs
The Chargers didn't have a terrible pass defense in 2021, but the secondary is a bit bare, especially considering Chris Harris is a free agent. Let's get the big, overpowering Elam to pair with smaller but super-quick Asante Samuel.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Matt Corral QB
Ole Miss • Soph • 6'2" / 205 lbs
This could be a veteran quarterback, but the Saints have to address the quarterback spot regardless of who their new head coach is. Corral has the athleticism, and arm talent to be a franchise passer.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Nakobe Dean LB
Georgia • Soph • 5'11" / 231 lbs
Dean was built for the NFL today. Sudden, fluid in coverage and plays bigger than his size against the run. The Eagles have to add to their linebacker room.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Cincinnati • Soph • 6'3" / 207 lbs
Hear me out on this one. The Steelers just had a mobile quarterback who was a successful, multiple year starter from outside the Power 5 conferences. He doesn't need to start immediately but there's upside with him.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Devin Lloyd LB
Utah • Soph • 6'3" / 235 lbs
Lloyd is a missile to the football and excels as a blitzer. The Patriots linebacker group has gotten old. He had 22 tackles for loss and 4 INTs in 2021.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Washington • Soph • 5'11" / 193 lbs
McDuffie is a smooth outside cornerback with the quicks to play inside if need be. The Raiders have to get stingier in their secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Chris Olave WR
Ohio State • Soph • 6'0" / 187 lbs
Olave is a very polished route runner and he tracks the ball outstandingly. The Cardinals have to add more receiving pieces to their offense, especially if Christian Kirk leaves in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Alabama • Soph • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Two years ago, the Cowboys jumped at the opportunity to stop CeeDee Lamb's fall. They roll the dice here on the injured Williams, who looked like a top 20 selection before his ACL tear. He'll instantly replace Michael Gallup.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Drake London WR
USC • Soph • 6'4" / 213 lbs
The Bills have their top two receivers locked in for 2022. Even if Cole Beasley returns, it'd be smart for Buffalo to add more youth to the receiver room, and London is sneaky athletic at his size.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Central Michigan • Soph • 6'6" / 303 lbs
Raimann is a former tight end who should rise boards after the Senior Bowl week. He's long and athletic and his film at Central Michigan was clean in 2021. The Titans have to get sturdier up front for Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Kenyon Green OL
Texas A&M • Soph • 6'4" / 323 lbs
Ryan Jensen and Alex Cappa are free agents. The Bucs should rebuild the interior of their offensive front. Green is probably the best guard in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Jahan Dotson WR
Penn State • Soph • 5'11" / 182 lbs
Regardless of who's playing quarterback in Green Bay next year, the Packers have to get a dynamic complement to Davante Adams. That can be Dotson.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 29
Northern Iowa • Soph • 6'7" / 325 lbs
Penning is tall, well-built blocker with a NFL-ready frame. The Dolphins have invested a lot up front recently, but that has to continue.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Jermaine Johnson II EDGE
Florida State • Soph • 6'5" / 262 lbs
Kansas City needs more youth and talent at the edge-rusher position. Johnson is a long, powerful rusher who had a huge 2021 with 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Georgia • Soph • 6'3" / 304 lbs
Wyatt has elite burst off the line and a nice arsenal of pass-rushing moves. Larry Ogunjobi and B.J. Hill are set to hit free agency inside for the Bengals.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 32
Georgia • Soph • 6'2" / 199 lbs
This could be a quarterback. Maybe Sam Howell. But for this mock, the Lions address their giant need at safety with Cine, one of the most complete defensive backs in this class. He's a big hitter who also makes routine plays in coverage.