With the 2021 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, why not take a quick look at what the 2022 NFL Draft could look like one year from now.
The 2021 NFL Draft wrapped up on Saturday night, and many teams came away with some draft hauls that should significantly improve their roster for the 2022 NFL season. However, some teams are going to struggle mightily next year, and that could lead to them turning the page at quarterback.
Our way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
QB, Detroit Lions
We kick off our way-too-early 2022 NFL Mock Draft with the Detroit Lions, who traded away Matthew Stafford this offseason to the Los Angeles Rams. Sure, they got Jared Goff in return, but who knows what he is going to be in the Motor City, so if they do have the No. 1 overall pick, that means the season went off the rails.
With the first overall pick, the Lions go with a long-term solution at the quarterback position, adding Spencer Rattler from Oklahoma. They added Penei Sewell in the first round in 2021 and bolstered the defensive line as well early, so bringing in Rattler to hit the reset button at quarterback makes sense.
Edge, Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are an interesting team heading into the summer because we still do not know what is going to happen with Deshaun Watson. Maybe he is cleared of everything and is eligible to play this season, but there is still the question as to whether or not he plans on ever putting on a Texans uniform again.
This year, they took Davis Mills in the first round, and if Watson is not the answer moving forward, you have to believe they are going to give him a shot to be the long-term solution. So, the Texans pass on a quarterback here, landing the best overall player in this draft class in Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux.
OT, Cincinnati Bengals
Incredibly, even though Joe Burrow had his knee blown up as a rookie, the Cincinnati Bengals decided to pass on an offensive tackle with a top-5 pick on Thursday night. They instead went with Burrow’s LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, but even with that deadly combination back together, he is going to need more protection.
Enter Evan Neal, the best offensive tackle in this draft class, and someone who will move Jonah Williams to the right side protecting Burrow. Keeping him healthy is the No. 1 priority for the Bengals moving forward, and there is no way they pass on a tackle in the top-5 two years in a row.
Derek Stingley Jr.
CB, New York Jets
The New York Jets got their quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, adding BYU signal-caller Zach Wilson. Later in round one, they brought in some talent for the offensive line, adding USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker, the best interior lineman in this draft class.
In 2022, if they are picking this high, Wilson suffered through some growing pains, which is perfectly acceptable. With pick No. 4, they add Derek Stingley Jr., the best defensive back in this class, and a plug-and-play cornerback from Day 1.