2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Loaded draft of defensive players, one quarterback cracks Top 25

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, there are only 10 days until the 2022 NFL draft. Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

We are slowly creeping closer to draft week and I am working on finalizing grades and rankings for players. The more time I spend looking at this class, the more I realize how deep it is on defense. It is a really good year to need edge rushing or cornerback help. There are also a couple of great linebackers in this class as well.

A few things to note about how I do my big boards. I rank the best players in the class based on talent and ability to translate to the NFL, not necessarily where they will be drafted. Let’s use Malik Willis as an example. I expect him to be drafted well above where I have him ranked, but that is because the league puts a premium on the position he plays. Same thing goes for Kyle Hamilton, but in reverse. He is a top-five player in this draft class, but he will probably drop out of the top 10 on draft day because the NFL does not value safeties as highly.

Here are my top 25 players. I will have my next 25 players out tomorrow.

1. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
An absolute mountain of a man, I love Neal’s physical traits, experience and versatility. He has above average arm length as well. He started 40 games over three years at Alabama, featuring at left guard, right tackle and left tackle in that span. On top of that, he went up against some of the best competition the country has to offer in the SEC. He is nimble on his feet and brings good play strength for the position. He has Pro Bowl potential at any offensive line position other than center.

2. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
I love long, tall corners. Gardner is a long, tall corner who can run and play shutdown coverage. The popular stat you will see regarding his play was that he did not allow a receiving touchdown during his time in college. He didn’t always face the best competition playing in the AAC, but he stepped up in big games for the Bearcats throughout his career. He mirrors well in coverage and has the length to break up passes. I think he has the potential to be a top-5 corner in the league.

3. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
In a draft full of talented edge rushers, Hutchinson is the most pro ready of the group. He has a full array of pass rush moves, dominates at the point of attack and showcases good play strength on film. His short area quickness for the position is elite and he has the versatility to play with his hand in the ground or stand up as an outside linebacker. If you are looking for a knock on him, it is that he lacks the length teams typically look for in edge rushers, measuring in the eighth percentile among edge rushers, according to Mockdraftable. He might not have the highest upside of any edge rusher in this class, but he seems to have the highest floor.

4. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Much has been made about the former Oregon superstar in this draft cycle. We’ve heard that he didn’t interview well, and teams were disappointed by his lack of fire. I know he didn’t live up to the lofty expectations we all set for him heading into this season, but he still has all the physical ability in the world. Also of note, he had 19 career sacks at Oregon, including seven this past season. He has a tendency of stepping up in big games as well, posting 4.5 sacks in three Pac-12 title games. There are definitely elements of his game you would like to see him improve (consistency at the point of attack, reading his keys in run defense), but I like the upside and talent to win out at the next level.

5. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State
If you like nasty, physical offensive linemen, Ekwonu is just the man for you. Known as the “Most feared player in the ACC,” he routinely pancakes defenders with his impressive play strength and great pad level. However, for all the highlight plays he puts on film, there is still some work to be done. His footwork and technique are a bit inconsistent and he will need to be more disciplined about not leaking downfield on passing plays too early at the next level. That being said, few players offer the type of raw power with upside that Ekwonu does.

6. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Hamilton might have ranked even a bit higher had he turned in a better pre draft performance. His lackluster 40-yard dash time has been picked apart, but he played faster on film, so I’m not too concerned with a lack of speed. He takes good angles in coverage and against the run, which pairs well with elite size at the position. I believe he can still play single high along with dropping into the box and even playing nickel linebacker. The versatility along with the production and “wow” plays on his film make him an elite prospect.

7. Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Reportedly, the NFL is all over this guy. He was a workout warrior at the combine, sending scouts back to the tape. I like what I saw from him a lot, but I’m not putting him in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick. Walker has tons of talent and versatility, but there is still a bit of refining that needs to come in his game. What is great is that he can conceivably line up at defensive tackle, defensive end or outside linebacker, depending on what scheme he lands in. I like the upside a lot. He might not have the biggest impact as a rookie, but two years from now, he could be a top-25 defensive player in the league, regardless of position.

8. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
One of my favorite players in this draft class, Lloyd is a dynamic playmaker with great physical tools. He could play inside backer or outside backer, potentially even lining up on the edge for some pass rushing snaps. Utah put him in that spot on occasion early on in his college career. When watching his tape, I think he played better as a sophomore than he did as a junior, but his combined tape impressed me overall. I think he will probably slide a bit on draft day because the league does not value off-ball linebackers as highly, but he will be an instant impact player.

9. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
One of the most polarizing prospects in this draft class, Stingley is a really tough evaluation. He dominated his freshman season at LSU, shutting down pretty much everyone he faced, including teammates Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson in practice. Unfortunately, his career got derailed from there. He only played 10 games over his final two college seasons, missing time with injuries. He also never returned to that 2019 form that made him look like the best corner prospect since Jalen Ramsey. A solid pro day rebuilt his draft stock a bit. If he can stay healthy, he has immense potential given his size, speed and coverage skills.

10. Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
A late riser in the draft process, Johnson’s season went under the radar as Florida State struggled again in big moments. A closer look at Johnson’s tape shows an elite run defender with room to grow as a pass rusher. He sorts through traffic so well and shows great play strength against the run. He tested very well at the combine and has ideal length for the position. I don’t know if he is quite ready to post double-digit sacks in the NFL like he did this year in college, but I think the physical tools make it easy to project. With some coaching, he might turn out to be the most well-rounded edge rusher in this class.

11. Drake London, WR, USC
The first receiver on my board is a big body playmaker with good hands and impressive yards after the catch ability. At just a shade under 6’4″ with 33-inch arms, London has the makings of a great jump ball receiver. His size and ability to make contested catches makes it easy to project a role for him in the NFL. I think he can be more than just a red zone target. He showed at USC his ability to be a high-level possession receiver as well, catching 88 passes in just eight games before suffering an ankle injury. The concern with him is whether he can generate separation at the next level. He is a solid route runner though, so I think he will be at least average in that department. Give him some bonus points for being a solid run blocker.

12. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Trying to rank the top receivers in this class is like splitting hairs. It really comes down to what teams value in a player’s skill set and scheme fit to determine where teams will rank them. Wilson is a proven receiver with tons of production and good physical traits. He is just a shade under six feet tall and ran an impressive 4.38 40 at the combine. That speed shows up on tape as well. The biggest red flag I have in evaluating Wilson was his shuttle time at the combine, which was in the 20th percentile per Mockdraftable. He also gets redirected on some of his routes. In the right system, Wilson could be a superstar. Put the ball in his hands and let him go to work.

13. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Another wide receiver, Williams would probably have been the top receiver in this class if he had not suffered a torn ACL in the national championship game. One of the best ways to quantify his skill set is that Alabama’s offense fell off significantly after his departure. He is a speedster with good size. He has some room to fill out his frame a little bit, which I think he will need to do in order to survive in the NFL. His big-play ability is through the roof and just about unparalleled in this class, especially among the other top receivers. There are some drops on his film, which is a problem he will need to address at the next level.

14. Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean got the early season hype, but Wyatt has steadily risen up draft boards as more people dove into his film. He is rock solid against the run and an asset on pass rushing downs as well. He didn’t get home too often, posting just 2.5 sacks this season, but he is more than capable of collapsing the pocket. He is also scheme versatile, with the size, strength and speed to line up as a 3-4 defensive end or a 4-3 defensive tackle. He feels like a very safe pick that can contribute right away.

15. Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
Another Georgia defender here, Davis turned heads all season long with an impressive season for the Bulldogs. He is an elite run defender with some occasional pop as a pass rusher. He only posted seven sacks in four seasons. While it is clear that Davis is an incredible athlete, I do have concerns with his weight. He tipped the scales at 341 pounds at the combine. He will need to be disciplined at keeping that number in check throughout his career. That much weight usually takes a toll on a player’s joints before too long. If he can, he might end up being great value for whoever drafts him.

16. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
One of the most tested pass blockers in draft history, Cross played in a Mississippi State offense that threw the ball an absurd 704 times this past season. On the flip side, Cross is very untested as a run blocker, with the Bulldogs rushing just 270 times. There is a lot to like about Cross’ game. He displays good balance and anchors well in pass protection. However, there are some concerns for me when watching his tape. He lets his hands get outside a little too often and has a tendency to get beat across his face in pass protection. In my mind, he is a bit of a project, but he should be impactful in any pass-heavy offense from Day 1.

17. Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
My top interior lineman in this class, Green has experience playing at every position other than center along the offensive line. He actually started at least one game at left tackle, left guard, right guard and right tackle this past season. I like what I’ve seen from Green in pass protection. He has good pad level and good footwork, especially as an interior lineman. He is a little limited as a run blocker with some struggles to reach the second level. On top of that, he tested in the fourth percentile for the 20-yard shuttle, per Mockdraftable. Not super important, but I think he could struggle to fit in outside zone or screen-heavy offensive systems.

18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Robin to Wilson’s Batman, Olave plays a similar style, dominating in open spaces with his speed. He put up impressive numbers this past season, scoring 13 touchdowns in 11 games for the Buckeyes. He has good hands, but he did measure in a little shorter than ideal when it comes to arm length and he posted a well below average 32-inch vertical for receivers. (Take a second and think about the fact that 32 inches is in 12th percentile for receivers. I would be thrilled to have a 32-inch vertical!) I think he could be a solid No. 1 receiver or elite No. 2 receiver in an NFL offense.

19. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
The latest Northern Iowa star set to make the leap to the NFL, Penning will be the highest drafted player in program history, barring something unforeseen on draft day. He checks every box from a size perspective, measuring in at 6’7″ and 325 pounds at the combine. He also has 34.25-inch arms and tested in the 97th percentile for the 40-yard dash and the 98th percentile in the 3-cone, according to Mockdraftable. In short, a great athlete with impressive measurables. He is a bit raw as a run blocker in space and he needs some refining as a pass blocker, but he finishes plays well and shows really good play strength. He is a bit of a project with tons of upside.

20. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
At long last, our first quarterback. Willis is my favorite passer of this group because of his physical tools and the upside he brings. He is not going to be like Lamar Jackson at the next level, but he has good mobility and a penchant for making plays on the run. He needs to improve his pocket awareness and learn to throw the ball away. In 2021, he took an outrageous 51 sacks. Some of that can be attributed to a less than stellar offensive line, but Willis desperately needs to improve his internal clock as well. He has a strong arm with solid accuracy and showed on film that he can hit every throw required at the pro level. He won’t be a Day 1 starter, at least he shouldn’t be, but his ceiling is a borderline top-10 NFL quarterback.

21. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
A player that I think could have pushed his way up draft boards if he had been healthy enough to test, Booth brings all the requisite length to be a starting outside corner in the NFL. Unfortunately, he underwent sports hernia surgery in March, which kept him from participating in drills at the combine or his pro day. He showed at Clemson that he has the athleticism to compete at the position as well. He adjusts well to the ball in the air and uses his hands well to break up passes.

22. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
I’m breaking one of my own rules by giving McDuffie a first-round grade. Pretty much every elite NFL corner that lines up on the boundary is at least 5’11”. Jalen Ramsey and Trevon Diggs are 6’1″. Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, Xavien Howard, Stephon Gilmore are 6’0″. Tre’Davious White is 5’11”. There are two notable exceptions to that rule. Jaire Alexander and J.C. Jackson are roughly 5’10”. That’s where McDuffie falls as well. I think his talent and play style supersedes my concerns over his height. In truth, he is only a quarter inch under 5’11”, so I’m probably splitting hairs. Still, he plays bigger and is very physical. I think he has what it takes to survive on the outside at the next level.

23. Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
NFL teams love versatility from an offensive lineman. Johnson brings plenty of it with the ability to play either guard spot and potentially center at the next level. He took some snaps there during Senior Bowl week. Throw on the tape and you will see a very fundamentally sound blocker who can hold his own in pass protection or the running game. He is a seasoned option having spent two years at Davidson before transferring to Boston College. Expect him to be a Day 1 starter wherever he lands.

24. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Ojabo was knocking on the door of the top 10 before he suffered an Achilles injury at his pro day. The injury will cause him to miss most if not all of his rookie season in the NFL. Truth be told, Ojabo might have benefitted from something akin to a redshirt season anyway. While the athleticism is unquestionable, Ojabo is a bit raw as an overall prospect. He didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school, previously running track and playing soccer and basketball. There are moments of brilliance on film, but they are not consistent enough to think Ojabo would have been much more than a situational pass rusher in his first season. If he can recover and develop as a pass rusher, some team at the end of the first round is going to get a steal in this draft.

25. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
A fun prospect to watch, Hill is the latest safety/slot corner hybrid to make his way into the NFL draft. Think of players like Jevon Holland from last year’s draft as an example. Hill moved around in Michigan’s defense quite a bit under Jim Harbaugh and could bring that same type of chess piece flexibility to an NFL defense. He is best as a strong safety allowed to attack downhill and make plays in the backfield and in the flat, but he has the range to drop into coverage more. I wouldn’t be shocked if a team tested him out at outside corner either given his size, speed and length.

Follow the Aftermath via email to get every article delivered right to your inbox. Enter your email in the text box to subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out our weekly podcast Draft Season Never Ends with new episodes every Friday, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.

NFL Mock Draft 2022: Five quarterbacks go in first two rounds

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, there are only 17 days until the 2022 NFL draft. Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

We are entering the home stretch of draft prep with just over two weeks until the first round kicks off in Las Vegas. Speculation is running wild about what teams are interested in and where certain players will go. It is a really fun time, but it is also incredibly tricky to sort through what is true and what is just a smokescreen.

With the draft drawing closer, I want to go beyond just the first round for the first time in this draft cycle. There are so many teams this year that do not have a first round selection. Plus, it is important to remember that just because a team does not address their biggest need in the first round that they will not address it at all during the draft.

As always, these mocks are a reflection of what I would do if I were the general manager for each team. I will do a predictive mock draft as we get closer, but right now I am going to stick to what I believe should happen. Also, no trades just yet.

With all of that in mind, let’s dive into my latest mock.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
This is going to be unpopular. I believe Neal is the best player in this draft class and plays one of the most crucial positions in the sport. Jacksonville does not have a huge need at offensive tackle for this season with Cam Robinson on the left and some combination of Walker Little or Jawaan Taylor on the right. That being said, Robinson and Taylor are both slated to be free agents after the season and Trevor Lawrence needs protection to develop. Neal has experience playing guard from his time at Alabama and can kick out to tackle in 2023 when Robinson is gone. Finding a franchise tackle is never a bad move.

2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
The player that most expect to come off the board at No. 1 slides all the way to No. 2. I think Hutchinson will be the Jaguars pick on draft day, but I like Neal better in that spot. For the Lions though, this is a slam dunk. They get a local kid with a high motor and a ton of college production. He will immediately make this defense better.

3. Houston Texans – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
The smear campaign against Thibodeaux has been going on for a while now. Reports of poor interviews and criticism over a lack of fire have seemingly tanked his draft stock. Now, I wasn’t in those interviews, but when I turn on the film, I see a twitchy pass rusher with the ability to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. The Texans could desperately use a playmaker like that to pair with Jonathan Greenard.

4. New York Jets – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
New York invested a lot in its secondary over the past two offseasons between spending a bunch of draft picks in the later rounds of last year and signing D.J. Reed this year. Perhaps New York will view that as a complete cornerback room. I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring in Gardner. He is a long, athletic shutdown corner with the physical tools to become one of the best in the league. After watching the secondary get shredded last season, bolstering this group feels like a really smart move.

5. New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
The Giants have pledged to give Daniel Jones a chance to turn things around. In order for him to do so, he needs to have some time to throw the football. Ekwonu is a road-grading tackle with all the physical tools you like to see at the position. He would pair nicely with Andrew Thomas to give New York a very solid foundation to build the offensive line around. Saquon Barkley would also greatly appreciate Ekwonu’s arrival.

6. Carolina Panthers – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
This is a tricky spot. With the top two tackles off the board, this seems like it might be a good space for the Panthers to trade down. I’m not predicting trades quite yet in my mocks, so instead, let’s go with the No. 1 quarterback on my board, which is Willis. He has a strong arm, is incredibly accurate and has plus athleticism for the position. I don’t think he is necessarily a Day 1 starter with some major concerns over his pocket awareness and ability to play against the blitz, but I really like his upside. Darnold can be the starter while Willis gets up to speed in the NFL.

7. New York Giants via Chicago Bears – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
New York addressed its biggest need with its first pick. The question is where do they turn to next. I’m usually not big on drafting safeties this early, but I think Hamilton fits well with the Giants and fills a big need. He would slot in next to Xavier McKinney and give New York a really talented duo on the backend of their defense. There will be edge rushers available for them to target in the second round.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Drake London, WR, USC
Some fans will hope for a quarterback here, but I don’t see it happening. I think Atlanta recognizes this is a rebuild, especially after eating over $40 million in dead cap money in the Matt Ryan trade. The Falcons need to rebuild this roster and could even consider trading out of this spot to acquire a few more 2023 selections so they can target a quarterback there. If they stay put, wide receiver is a must here. Drake London is my top receiver here with this contested catch ability and upside in the red zone. Atlanta has no one in their receiver room that comes close to being a No. 1 receiver. London and Kyle Pitts give the Falcons a good starting point as they reshape the offense.

9. Seattle Seahawks via Denver Broncos – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Another spot where it feels like quarterback could be in play, but I don’t have a first-round grade on anyone other than Malik Willis. Seattle is also more than just a quarterback away from competing. Instead, the Seahawks grab one of the most polarizing prospects in this draft. At this spot, Stingley could be a steal if he is able to reclaim his 2019 form. He had a strong showing at his pro day and I think answered a lot of the questions that existed about what kind of physical shape he was in following an injury-plagued season. There is definitely a bit of projection involved here, but after losing D.J. Reed, Seattle could use an upgrade at corner.

10. New York Jets via Seattle Seahawks – Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
I was tempted to go with a wide receiver here, but I can’t pass up Johnson. He put together a fantastic season with 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. While his pass rushing ability is impressive, I think he is an even better run defender, which goes a long way in the NFL. Pairing Johnson with Carl Lawson, who should be back to full strength after suffering an Achilles injury last preseason, would give New York a really strong complement of edge rushers.

11. Washington Football Team – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Terry McLaurin needs some help. Washington could return to the well so to speak by grabbing another former Buckeye to plug into this offense. Wilson is a talented playmaker who creates separation and has the speed to take the top off a defense. He would give Carson Wentz another reliable receiver as the Commanders hope they can get him to bounce back from a rough end to the 2021 season.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
I have such a tough time knowing what to do with Minnesota. Corner is this team’s biggest need, but with Gardner and Stingley off the board, I don’t think there is one worth going here. This feels like a trade down spot for the Vikings if they can find a partner looking to move up. With no trades allowed though, I will tab Wyatt to take over for Sheldon Richardson on the defensive line. He is stout against the run and can collapse the pocket. Suddenly, that Minnesota front seven looks like a really good group.

13. Houston Texans via Cleveland Browns – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
I went back and forth on this pick for a while, but ultimately landed on a wide receiver capable of changing this offense. Houston made a smart move in locking up Brandin Cooks, but there is not much other proven talent at the receiver position. Williams is coming off an ACL injury he suffered in the National Championship Game against Georgia, but that should not really impact the Texans too much. This team is not a title contender right now and would be wise to focus on the long term. Williams could be someone for Davis Mills to grow with in the coming years.

14. Baltimore Ravens – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
Baltimore loves to load up along the front seven. If Walker is still on the board, I don’t see them passing. Walker is incredibly versatile. He can line up at defensive tackle, defensive end or outside linebacker. I think the Ravens will covet that flexibility and bet on Walker developing his pass rushing skills at the next level.

15. Philadelphia Eagles via Miami Dolphins – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Yes, the Eagles have drafted a receiver in the previous two drafts. No, the Eagles do not have a very good receiver room, outside of DeVonta Smith, despite using premium draft capital at the position. Olave would give Philly a dynamic and dangerous duo to roll out. If this team is serious about giving Jalen Hurts a shot at proving he is the franchise quarterback, giving him the necessary talent to work with is crucial.

16. New Orleans Saints via Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
This is likely a big part of the reason the Saints made this move. They wanted to ensure they could jump ahead of the Chargers to take the top tackle available. Cross is a proven pass blocker with sound technique and tons of reps from his time at Mississippi State. He has limited tape as a run blocker, which makes him a bit of an unknown, but there is enough upside for me to think he can develop into a solid starting left tackle in the NFL.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
The Chargers will be disappointed to see Cross go off the board one pick before them, but Penning is a heck of a consolation prize. He tested really well and showed a good deal of nastiness at the Senior Bowl. He definitely has room to improve when it comes to his hand placement and technique, but with his size and athleticism, Los Angeles would be more than willing to bet on his upside.

18. Philadelphia Eagles via New Orleans Saints – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Darius Slay is a quality starting corner, but the Eagles don’t have much in the way of proven options behind him. Zech McPherson is worth developing, but in the meantime, Booth can start across from Slay and take some pressure off McPherson. Booth has good size and some solid tape from his time at Clemson. He adjusts well to the ball while it’s in the air. Philly will be much better on the boundaries with him and Olave on board.

19. New Orleans Saints via Philadelphia Eagles – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
This is a little bit early for Burks, but New Orleans needs someone to play alongside Michael Thomas and some insurance in case Thomas misses time with injury again. Burks was an exciting playmaker at Arkansas, but struggled a bit with consistency. If he can find his groove, I expect him to be a really strong No. 1 receiver for the Saints with the potential to take over as the top option down the line.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
I thought about taking an offensive lineman here, but I think Pittsburgh can target an interior lineman on Day 2. Instead, they grab the best corner available. McDuffie is a bit undersized, but he plays bigger and is not afraid of contact. He has the tools to become the Steelers’ No. 1 corner, which will be even more important if they do not bring Joe Haden back.

21. New England Patriots – Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
After trading away Shaq Mason this offseason, the Patriots have a big need at interior lineman. Kenyon Green is capable of stepping in and starting from Day 1 at either guard spot. Mac Jones is not a very mobile quarterback and New England loves to run the ball, so rebuilding in the trenches feels like a wise investment.

22. Green Bay Packers via Las Vegas Raiders – Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
Wide receiver is the clear need here, but with five already off the board, it does not make sense to reach for one here. Instead, the Packers can bolster Aaron Rodgers’ protection with a versatile interior lineman capable of playing either guard spot or center. Johnson impressed at the Senior Bowl and has the tape at Boston College to back it up. He could be a Day 1 starter for Green Bay.

23. Arizona Cardinals – Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
I have Davis rated much higher than this, but he slid based on how the board fell. He is an elite run stuffer with incredible athleticism. I think that will translate to him being a solid interior pass rusher as well, but maybe don’t expect him to become Fletcher Cox. For Arizona, this feels a clear need and gives them a devastating defensive line.

24. Dallas Cowboys – David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
With Randy Gregory’s departure this offseason, Dallas has a clear need across from Damarcus Lawrence. Ojabo will not be ready at the start of the season after suffering a torn Achilles last month, but his physical tools had him projected to go in the top 10 prior to the injury. There is obviously a bit of risk involved in taking a player coming off an injury like this, but the upside is enormous.

25. Buffalo Bills – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Tre’Davious White is still recovering from a torn ACL and Dane Jackson had a rocky rookie season. That sets the stage for Buffalo to find defensive back help early in this draft. Elam is what I love in a corner: long and athletic. He has room to improve in zone coverage concepts, but he will excel in any press man situations Buffalo puts him in.

26. Tennessee Titans – Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
Tennessee has gotten by for the past two seasons with David Quessenberry at right tackle, but he is a free agent this year and the Titans have not brought anyone in to replace him. Kinnard is a mauler with impressive play strength and superb length. He will definitely need a bit of refining at the next level, but he also has the potential to kick inside to guard if he struggles at tackle.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bernhard Raimann, OL, Central Michigan
With Ali Marpet and Alex Kappa both departing this offseason, Tampa Bay found itself needing to replace both of its starting guards. The Buccaneers already acquired Shaq Mason via trade so adding Raimann would help solidify the offensive line. Raimann played tackle at Central Michigan, but after watching some tape and seeing his arm length in the 23rd percentile for offensive linemen, I think a move inside is in his NFL future.

28. Green Bay Packers – Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
Green Bay desperately needs receivers capable of playing on the perimeter. Watson fits that mold and should be someone Aaron Rodgers will enjoy throwing to. Watson is an impeccable route runner, getting in and out of his breaks quickly and understanding how to set up opposing corners to get himself open. Adding him would be a good start to the Packers rebuilding their receiver room.

29. Kansas City Chiefs via Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Karlaftis slides a bit with all the receivers and corners coming off the board. That is all well and good for the Chiefs, who need edge rushing help in the worst way. Karlaftis would be a great scheme fit as a 4-3 defensive end and could start across from Frank Clark right away. He has some areas of his game he needs to clean up when it comes to run defense and setting the edge, but he will certainly be capable of creating pressure.

30. Kansas City Chiefs – Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
In a perfect world, there would be a wide receiver or corner worth taking in this slot, but with a run on both positions in the teens and 20s of this mock, the Chiefs will go with the best player available at a position of need. To me, that is Hill. Kansas City lost Tyrann Mathieu this offseason and they tend to run a lot of five or six defensive back sets. Adding in Hill, who can play either safety spot or even slot corner, gives the Chiefs a versatile playmaker on the backend of their defense.

31. Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
If we get to this point, I think the Bengals would be looking to trade down with a team trying to grab a quarterback at the end of the first round. In this scenario, I think continuing to bolster their interior offensive line makes a ton of sense. Linderbaum is definitely undersized, but he makes up for it with physical play and outstanding athleticism in space.

32. Detroit Lions via Los Angeles – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Let me make something clear. I really like Devin Lloyd. I have him ranked among my top 10 prospects. I just had a hard time finding a good landing spot for him where the value of getting an off-ball linebacker made sense. Lions fans would be happy to see him fall this far. He is a dynamic playmaker with some pass rush ability and the versatility to play multiple roles. For a defense starved of talent, this is a great get.

33. Jacksonville Jaguars – Arnold Ebeketie, EDGE Penn State

34. Detroit Lions – Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

35. New York Jets – George Pickens, WR, Georgia

36. New York Giants – Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

37. Houston Texans – Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

38. New York Jets via Carolina Panthers – Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

39. Chicago Bears – Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA

40. Seattle Seahawks via Denver Broncos – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

41. Seattle Seahawks – Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

42. Indianapolis Colts via Washington Commanders – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

43. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

44. Cleveland Browns – Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State

45. Baltimore Ravens – Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

46. Minnesota Vikings – Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA

47. Washington Commanders via Indianapolis Colts – Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

48. Chicago Bears via Los Angeles Chargers – Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

49. New Orleans Saints – Sam Howell, QB, UNC

50. Kansas City Chiefs via Miami Dolphins – Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

51. Philadelphia Eagles – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

52. Pittsburgh Steelers – Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

53. Green Bay Packers via Las Vegas Raiders – Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

54. New England Patriots – Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

55. Arizona Cardinals – Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech

56. Dallas Cowboys – Dylan Parham, G, Memphis

57. Buffalo Bills – Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

58. Atlanta Falcons via Tennessee Titans – Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State

59. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor

60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Jones, DL, Connecticut

61. San Francisco 49ers – Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga

62. Kansas City Chiefs – Cody Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

63. Cincinnati Bengals – Cade Otton, TE, Washington

64. Denver Broncos via Los Angeles Rams – Logan Hall, DL, Houston

Follow the Aftermath via email to get every article delivered right to your inbox. Enter your email in the text box to subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out our weekly podcast Draft Season Never Ends with new episodes every Friday, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.

NFL Draft Daily: The case for Evan Neal at No. 1

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, there are only 31 days until the 2022 NFL draft. Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

For the second straight year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the first overall pick in the NFL draft. In 2021, they used it to select their quarterback of the future and one of the most anticipated prospects in the past decade, Trevor Lawrence.

My message to the Jaguars: don’t pass up the opportunity to give Lawrence the support system he needs. Doug Pederson arriving is already a good start. Jacksonville spent big in free agency, but the upgrades they’ve made feel pretty marginal. Brandon Scherff is a really good addition on the offensive line, but the Jags overpaid for Christian Kirk and probably Foyesade Oluokun as well. They really need to crush it in the draft.

After franchise tagging Cam Robinson, the assumption has been that Jacksonville will now select Aidan Hutchinson No. 1 overall. Pairing the edge rusher from Michigan with Josh Allen would give the Jaguars a talented duo off the edge. However, I’m here to advocate for Evan Neal going first overall.

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke says extension talks with Robinson are ongoing. (Wikimedia Commons)

I talked about this idea a bit this week on my podcast. This has less to do with Hutchinson and more to with both Neal and the Jaguars future at offensive tackle. Lawrence’s rookie season was nothing shy of a train wreck. He threw 12 touchdowns and a league-high 17 interceptions while completing fewer than 60 percent of his passes. That included an eight-week stretch where he only had one touchdown. However, Lawrence was rarely the subject of scrutiny when it came to the Jaguars. Urban Meyer racked up controversy after controversy to keep the spotlight off the former Clemson star. By all accounts, it was a very toxic environment and Jacksonville did not allow Meyer to even finish his first season.

On top of that, his supporting cast was underwhelming at best. Fellow first-round pick and former Clemson teammate Travis Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury that cost him the whole year. The receiving corps was often banged up and lacked a go-to playmaker. The offensive line left a lot to be desired as well.

The case for Neal requires a bit of projecting into the future. This is the second straight year the Jaguars tagged Robinson. I can’t see them doing it a third time and clearly they have some reservations about handing him a long-term extension. On the right side, Jacksonville also has a question mark. Jawaan Taylor is in the final year of his rookie deal and has done little to indicate he deserves an extension. According to PFF, he led the league in penalties for offensive tackles last season on top of allowing six sacks. So both of the Jaguars starting tackles could be gone next season and neither one is truly deserving of being the long-term starter.

That’s why I think Neal should be the pick. He measured in at 6’7.5″ and 337 pounds with 34-inch arms at the combine. In addition to being a massive human being capable of moving like a man 100 pounds lighter, he has experience at both tackle spots from his time at Alabama. He could easily play right tackle this season before sliding over to the left side in 2023 when Robinson’s deal is up. Jacksonville also has 2021 2nd-round pick Walker Little in the fold. If he can continue to develop. He could be in line to be the team’s starting right tackle with Neal on the left in 2023.

Put on Neal’s tape and you can see why he is special. He is rock solid in pass protection and can get to the second level as a run blocker. There is definitely room for him to improve his pad level and balance. If you want to see what he looks like going up against NFL talent, here is his film from the SEC Championship game against Georgia.

I have long been an advocate for building in the trenches, especially on the offensive side. Jacksonville has already invested some resources there this offseason, but they shouldn’t stop. Especially after Brandon Linder announced his retirement on Sunday, this unit still has room to grow.

There is one last piece to this that I think is important to consider. The depth at edge rusher in this draft class is impressive. Players like Arnold Ebiketie, Nick Bonitto, Drake Jackson, David Ojabo, Kingsley Enagbare, Cam Thomas, Josh Pascal and Myjai Sanders will all likely come off the board on Day 2. Jacksonville will absolutely be able to find a quality edge rusher to pair with Josh Allen with the 33rd pick in the draft.

I don’t think the same can be said for offensive tackle. The drop off from Neal to players like Darian Kinnard, Abraham Lucas, Nicolas Petit-Frere and Tyler Smith is much larger than the drop off from Hutchinson to the group I mentioned before. As great a player as Hutchinson may be, the strength of this class is at edge rusher.

If and when Jacksonville ultimately drafts Hutchinson No. 1 overall a month from now, I won’t crush them for making the safe and obvious pick. I will wonder a bit about Lawrence’s long-term protection and if passing on Neal will hurt his long-term development.

Follow the Aftermath via email to get every article delivered right to your inbox. Enter your email in the text box to subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out our weekly podcast Draft Season Never Ends with new episodes every Friday, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.

Way-Too-Early 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Texans, Lions, Giants and Washington go quarterback in Round 1

Already thinking about 2022? That’s the Jets fan in me. Always getting ready for the next draft. Gives me something to talk about every December and January when New York is out of playoff contention.

Anyway, I am just starting the process of watching film of the class of 2022. A few players I am familiar with after scouting them prior to them deciding to return to school. Then of course, names like Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal and Derek Stingley Jr. are known around college football because of their five-star status coming out of high school. Mix in a few quarterbacks and a bunch of receivers and we have an intriguing class.

The 2022 draft will likely look nothing like this. This is mostly just an exercise to identify some of the top players for next year and potential team needs on the NFL side. It’s also a lot of fun if you ask me. It makes it really interesting to go back and compare to the real draft a year later. I’ve been doing that with my first 2021 mock the past few days.

I did not decide the draft order. It is based on Super Bowl odds provided by William Hill. If you don’t like where your team is picking, take it up with them.

Without further ado, let’s dive into my first mock for the 2022 NFL draft.

1. Houston Texans (200-1) – Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
Apologies to Davis Mills, but if the Texans are picking first overall, I don’t see them passing on a quarterback. Spencer Rattler is the latest Oklahoma quarterback to draw national attention. He is a front-runner for the Heisman and should have the Sooners in position to challenge for the College Football Playoff. A quick glance at his 2020 tape will show some inconsistent performances early in the season, but his arm talent is impressive. It is very early in the scouting process for 2022, but Rattler has the early lead for QB1.

2. Detroit Lions (150-1) – Sam Howell, QB, UNC
Detroit opted not to take one of the quarterbacks in the 2021 draft, passing on Justin Fields and Mac Jones. If the Lions ended up with the second pick in the 2022 draft, you can bet that Jared Goff did not transition well to the Motor City. Sam Howell is a bit undersized, but has a live arm and is not afraid to air it out. It will be interesting to see how he fares with so much of his supporting cast now in the NFL. Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome all were drafted over the weekend.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (100-1) – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Possibly the best cornerback prospect to come out since Jalen Ramsey, Derek Stingley Jr. is a reliable, sticky cover corner. He locates the ball well in coverage and does an excellent job pressing off the line. There are a few instances in his play where he grabs receivers after getting beat off the line, but overall, he is a great player. For Cincinnati, who lost William Jackson III in free agency this year, he would fill a huge need.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (100-1) – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
When you have your franchise quarterback, it is best to invest in protecting him. Evan Neal is a mountain of a man who moves like someone 100 pounds lighter than him. He has yet to play left tackle at Alabama, but should take over the position this season with Alex Leatherwood heading to the NFL. Jacksonville can get by for a year with Cam Robinson playing on the franchise tag, but he will likely be gone next year, creating a huge opening on Trevor Lawrence’s blindside.

5. New York Jets (100-1) – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Independent of position, Kayvon Thibodeaux is the top player in this class. After dominating his freshman season, Thibodeaux had a much more modest 2020, posting three sacks in seven games. His size and speed make him one of the most coveted prospects in this class. New York has been in search of a dominant pass rusher for well over a decade. Thibodeaux has the potential to wreak havoc in Robert Saleh’s scheme.

6. New York Giants (75-1) – Kedon Slovis, QB, USC
If the Giants are picking this high, Daniel Jones’ days in New York are likely numbered. Dave Gettleman has surrounded him with a lot of offensive talent, signing Kenny Golladay and drafting Kadarius Toney. There are no more excuses. Assuming New York is searching for a new quarterback, Kedon Slovis could be a great fit. He wowed as a freshman before turning in a rockier sophomore campaign. If he can cut down on his turnovers and regain his 2019 form, he will be challenging for the top quarterback spot in this class.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (75-1) – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Philly missed out on the top corners in the 2021 draft. This team has a huge need across from Darius Slay. Kaiir Elam could be the perfect player to fill it. He is long at 6’2″ and has good speed in the open field. His eye discipline is impressive from the limited film I’ve watched so far. I’ve also appreciate his willingness to make contact as a tackler. He is not afraid to hit people.

8. Las Vegas Raiders (70-1) – DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
After cutting Maurice Hurst and ignoring the position in the draft, the Raiders have a massive need at defensive tackle. Enter DeMarvin Leal. He is built like a prototypical three-technique tackle. His first step is good and he has a nose for the football. Even if he doesn’t get home, his presence is felt as a pass rusher. Las Vegas would benefit big time from having him on the interior of its defensive line.

9. Carolina Panthers (60-1) – Zion Nelson, OT, Miami
I thought the Panthers might select an offensive tackle early in this past draft. They did grab Brady Christiansen in the third round, but that is not enough to make me think they couldn’t use more help. Zion Nelson worked his way into the starting left tackle role at Miami in 2020 and excelled. He brings all the size teams are looking for at the position and could be Carolina’s starting left tackle in 2022 in this scenario.

10. New York Giants via Chicago Bears (50-1) – Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
After selecting a quarterback, Dave Gettleman turns to the defense here. Christian Harris is a do-it-all playmaker. He can drop in coverage like a safety or make plays around the line of scrimmage like a linebacker. He already has two years of experience as a starter in Alabama’s defense under his belt. The Giants would benefit from his sideline-to-sideline range.

11. Atlanta Falcons (50-1) – Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
I like what the Falcons did in the 2021 draft, but they still have yet to address their need on the edge. Zach Harrison has been used primarily as a situational rusher up to this point, but has the length to excel in a 4-3 defensive end role. He came on strong towards the end of the year for the Buckeyes and could be poised for a true breakout season in 2021.

12. Washington Football Team (50-1) – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Washington crushed the 2021 draft, at least on paper. They filled some needs and built quality depth across the roster. However, they still do not have a plan for the quarterback position. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke are currently the only two options on the roster. Desmond Ridder earned some late first-round love before opting to return to school. He is big and mobile. Without question, there are some mechanics you would like to see him improve, but he has enough tools to be in the first-round conversation.

13. Minnesota Vikings (40-1) – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The last time Minnesota drafted a safety from Notre Dame in the first round worked out pretty well for them. Harrison Smith is now 32 though and Anthony Harris departed in free agency. Kyle Hamilton led the Irish in tackles this season. At 6’4″, 219 pounds, he could probably fit into a hybrid linebacker roll in today’s NFL. He started all year at safety for Notre Dame, but he can move around the formation and make plays. The Vikings will sign up for that.

14. Arizona Cardinals (40-1) – Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Arizona is relying on a number of veteran players to produce in pass rushing situations this year. J.J. Watt is 32 and Chandler Jones is 31. The team could use some youth on the outside. Drake Jackson had a quieter 2021 season after picking up 5.5 sacks as a freshman. He is a bit of a tweener, able to line up as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 outside linebacker. His versatility could boost his draft stock as the year rolls on.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (35-1) – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Few teams need offensive line help like the Steelers. Charles Cross started all 10 games at left tackle for Mississippi State in 2020. He checks all the boxes from a physical perspective and should be set for another year of facing elite competition in the SEC.

16. Los Angeles Chargers (35-1) – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave was a borderline first-round player before returning to school. He was Justin Fields’ favorite target and will form one of the nation’s best receiver duos with Garrett Wilson in 2021. It will be interesting to see if Olave can gel as quickly with Ohio State’s new starting quarterback.

17. Tennessee Titans (30-1) – George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Tennessee built some quality depth with Senior Bowl standouts Dez Fitzpatrick and Racey McMath in the 2021 draft. Maybe one of them will develop into a quality starter, but outside of A.J. Brown, this team is lacking in proven options. George Pickens is a bit of a question mark at the moment. He had surgery on a torn ACL in April and will likely miss most, if not all of the 2021 season. His game tape from the previous two years is impressive though and at 6’5″, he will have plenty of suitors in the NFL.

18. New England Patriots (30-1) – Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
Rumors continue to fly about the future of Stephon Gilmore. The team could be betting on the development of 2019 second-round pick Joejaun Williams, but I think corner will be one of the team’s top needs next year. Josh Jobe is a physical corner with good size. He will get a chance to be Alabama’s No. 1 option with Patrick Surtain II now in the NFL.

19. Philadelphia Eagles via Miami Dolphins (28-1) – Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
At 6’6″, 330 pounds, Jordan Davis is a problem. Philly can continue to rebuild its defense with a high-upside space eater. Davis is quicker than most people his size should be. He is routinely double teamed and does well at not allowing offensive linemen into his body. He could be in for a monster season at Georgia.

20. Dallas Cowboys (28-1) – Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State
Dallas missed out on the top corners in this draft class, so I have to imagine they would target one next year if given the chance. Sevyn Banks is a long, fluid defensive back coming off a solid season at Ohio State. He needs to work on his open-field tackling. The effort and form is lacking right now. His coverage skills are well above average. I am looking forward to watching more of him.

21. New Orleans Saints (25-1) – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
The Saints went heavy on defense in the draft, but they still need to find a receiver to complement Michael Thomas. Why not return to his alma mater? Garrett Wilson was arguably the better Ohio State receiver this past season. His production took a dive in the second half of the year though. If Wilson can replicate his hot start and this time maintain it, he will be in the conversation to be the first receiver selected.

22. Indianapolis Colts (25-1) – Thayer Munford, OT, Ohio State
Indy essentially passed on the offensive tackle class this year. I expect Chris Ballard will find a veteran stop-gap option, but a long-term solution is still needed. Thayer Munford enters his fifth season with the Buckeyes having already played in 46 collegiate games. He has been rock solid and should be among the top linemen selected next year.

23. New York Jets via Seattle Seahawks (25-1) – Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
Building in the trenches is often a recipe for success. After grabbing the top edge rusher in the class, Joe Douglas grabs the top interior linemen. Kenyon Green has a mean streak and was an All-American in 2020. He certainly passes the eye test to be an NFL lineman and looks like a reliable pass blocker in the limited tape I’ve watched so far. He would continue to solidify the Jets offensive line in an effort to protect Zach Wilson.

24. Denver Broncos (20-1) – Perrion Winfrey, DL, Oklahoma
Anyone else surprised to see the Broncos picking this late? Who am I to doubt Vegas though. Denver’s biggest need is an edge rusher, but there aren’t any I think are worth going here that fits Vic Fangio’s scheme. Instead, they grab a versatile defensive lineman to prepare for the future. Perrion Winfrey picked up steam as the 2020 season rolled on. He finished the year with six tackles for loss and solidified himself in the starting lineup.

25. Cleveland Browns (18-1) – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
It is hard to find many clear needs for this Browns team on paper. Jadeveon Clowney is on a one-year deal though, so finding a replacement would make sense. Aidan Hutchinson is a prototypical 4-3 end. He had his season cut short in 2020 due to injury, but should be ready to bounce back.

26. Green Bay Packers (16-1) – John Metchie, WR, Alabama
Another Alabama wide receiver goes in the first round. John Metchie will get his chance to shine after sitting behind an all-star group of receivers over the past two years. That’s not to say Metchie hasn’t made plays either. He finished 2020 with close to 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. This year, he will be “the guy” though in this offense. For Green Bay, he would be a great No. 2 option across from Davante Adams with every single receiver, other than recently-drafted Amari Rodgers, set to be a free agent next offseason.

27. Baltimore Ravens (14-1) – Cade Mays, G, Tennessee
The Ravens took big Ben Cleveland to develop along the interior of the offensive line. Kevin Zeitler is 31 and Bradley Bozeman is a free agent after the season, so this is still a potential need. Plus, building in the trenches is always smart. Cade Mays is a former five-star recruit with great size and tons of experience. He would be up for the task of keeping Lamar Jackson healthy.

28. Detroit Lions via Los Angeles Rams (14-1) – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
Detroit grabbed its quarterback of the future and now can find him a weapon to develop with. Treylon Burks was one of the top receivers in the SEC in 2020. He has a big frame with good run after the catch ability. He could be primed for a huge season and a rise up draft boards.

29. Miami Dolphins via San Francisco 49ers (14-1) – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
One of my favorite players in this draft class, I’ve been tracking Devin Lloyd since 2019. He is fast and diagnoses plays well. Utah moves him all over the formation to create confusion. He is best as an off-ball linebacker, but he has shown some ability to rush the passer as well. For Miami, I think Lloyd would challenge for a starting spot right away and that Brian Flores would get the most out of him.

30. Buffalo Bills (13-1) – Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M
Buffalo stacked up on defense in 2021, but still has a clear need at tight end. Jalen Wydermyer is the best one in the class and has the production to back it up. He would be another receiving option for Josh Allen and could cause headaches for opposing defenses with his size and speed.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-2) – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
Even after drafting Joe Tryon, Tampa could go edge rusher again to help lessen the blow of impending free agents. George Karlaftis had a truncated 2020 season between injury and COVID-19. However, he absolutely dominated in 2019, posting 17 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as a true freshman. If he can get back to that type of disruptor in 2021, he will not still be on the board by pick 31.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (21-4) – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Kansas City rebuilt its offensive line this offseason, which means it can turn its attention back to the defense. Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland are both free agents after this season and the Chiefs do not have much proven depth. Andrew Booth Jr. could step in as a potential starter at one of those two corner spots. He is incredibly athletic and should have a chance to prove himself this year as Clemson’s top corner.

Follow the Aftermath via email to get every article delivered right to your inbox. Enter your email in the text box to subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.