What to Expect for the 2022 NFL Draft

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Matthew Medina

The 2022 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas for the first time ever.

The 2022 NFL Draft is set to kickoff in Las Vegas this Thursday! The offseason was drama filled and full of insane trades and signings, but can we expect the same excitement on Thursday? 

With the first round around the corner, NFL analysts and enthusiasts are making their own mock draft projections. Let’s take a look through the first 10 picks of the official mock draft of El Paisano Media.

2022 EL PAISANO MOCK DRAFT

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE,  Michigan 

Jacksonville can’t miss this opportunity to pick up the best edge rusher in college football for the 2021 season. Even though the Jags need to protect Trevor Lawrence, Hutchinson will make a big impact on the defensive side of the ball.

2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia 

These two edge rushers are going back and forth between the first and second overall picks in many mock drafts. Travon Walker was electric for the Georgia Bulldogs in 2021, racking up a career high seven pressures in the National Championship.

3. Houston Texans: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

It makes a lot of sense to put three edge rushers as the first three overall picks because of how much talent there is. However, Kayvon Thibodeaux won’t be going third overall due to Cincinnati’s Ahmad Garnder. The 2021 AAC Defensive Player of the Year is best in man coverage and has blazing fast speed and agility. He is worthy of being one of the highest cornerbacks drafted in the NFL and rightfully so. 

4. New York Jets: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

This will be the smart move for the Jets’ first of two picks in the first round. Evan Neal is arguably one of the best prospects in this draft and rightfully deserves to be the fourth overall pick. This 6’7’’, 351lb offensive tackle dominates the trenches with his long wingspan and quick hands. The Jets would be smart to pick him up with their fourth pick. 

5. Seattle Seahawks (Mock trade with New York Giants): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

This is where the fun begins. Seattle is desperate for a quarterback after trading away Russell Wilson for Drew Lock. Let’s be honest, Drew Lock isn’t the best option for Seattle. Malik Willis is projected to be the first quarterback off the board and Seattle will trade up for him. Willis’ speed and arm strength was very attractive to NFL scouts in the combine which is why he will be the first quarterback drafted. 

6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State 

Even though the Panthers need a quarterback of their own, Ekwonu will fill in a much needed position for the Carolina’s offensive line at left tackle. Christian McCaffrey will benefit the most out of an improved offensive line because his overused workload on the field will prevent injury. 

7. New York Giants: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

Not well known by casual NFL fans, Jermaine Johnson II is a very underrated edge rusher from Florida State. His size and strength along with impressive pass rush abilities makes him the best pick for the Giants at seven. In 2021, he recorded 70 tackles and 11.5 sacks for the Seminoles. 

8. Atlanta Falcons: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Atlanta is expected to draft the first receiver off the board from Ohio State after losing Calvin Ridley to suspension. While Wilson isn’t that big in size, his incredible separation speed makes up for it. Atlanta will benefit from his run after catch abilities for first downs and more. 

9. New York Giants (Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks): Derek Stingley Jr. CB, LSU

Originally Seattle’s first pick, the Giants take advantage of having two top ten picks in the draft. Missing out on “sauce” Gardner, the Giants draft the next best cornerback from LSU. His ability to stay mirrored with receivers makes him a top 5 talent in this year’s draft. 

10. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Jets can easily go wide receiver with the tenth overall pick, but missing out on Kyle Hamilton is a big mistake. While the Commanders are in desperate need of a safety, the Jets will steal their shot at Hamilton. Hamilton has elite instincts and vision at the safety position. 

The 2022 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 28th at 8.p.m ET.