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Democrat-Gazette NFL first-round mock draft

by Jeremy Muck | April 28, 2022 at 2:02 a.m.
Alabama’s Evan Neal is projected to be the first offensive lineman taken in the Democrat-Gazette’s NFL Mock Draft with the New York Giants selecting him fifth overall. (AP/Vasha Hunt)

1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia

COMMENT It's a toss up for the Jaguars at edge rusher, but they'll take Walker, the first of a handful of Georgia stars in this draft.

2. DETROIT LIONS

EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

COMMENT The Lions keep the former Wolverine in state and build their defense around him.

3. HOUSTON TEXANS

CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

COMMENT Coach Lovie Smith gets his defensive building block, adding the former LSU star who has the potential to soon be an All-Pro.

4. NEW YORK JETS

CB Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, Cincinnati

COMMENT In the AFC East with great receivers Tyreek Hill (Miami) and Stefon Diggs (Buffalo), the Jets grab a player whose nickname will be loved by the New York headline writers.

5. NEW YORK GIANTS

OT Evan Neal, Alabama

COMMENT The Giants use the first of two top-10 picks to beef up their woeful offensive line.

6. CAROLINA PANTHERS

OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

COMMENT Offensive line is just as important of a need as quarterback for the Panthers.

7. NEW YORK GIANTS (FROM CHICAGO)

EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

COMMENT The All-American, who has top-three talent, finds his way to New York.

8. ATLANTA FALCONS

WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

COMMENT The Falcons needed to improve their wide receiver group before the suspension of Calvin Ridley.

9. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (FROM DENVER)

OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

COMMENT Seattle's offensive line woes are too much to ignore here and Ekwonu comes in to start from Day One.

10. NEW YORK JETS (FROM SEATTLE)

DL Jermaine Johnson, Florida State

COMMENT Johnson turned himself into a top prospect in his only season at Florida State with 12 sacks.

11. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

COMMENT The Notre Dame star becomes the anchor of the Washington secondary.

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

COMMENT Kirk Cousins gets another receiving option alongside Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

13. HOUSTON TEXANS (FROM CLEVELAND)

WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

COMMENT Olave will make incumbent starting QB Davis Mills look good.

14. BALTIMORE RAVENS

DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

COMMENT The Ravens add one of the draft's top run-stuffers from the national champions.

15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (FROM MIAMI)

WR Drake London, Southern Cal

COMMENT Philadelphia is hoping to give Jalen Hurts as much help as possible.

16. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (FROM INDIANAPOLIS AND PHILADELPHIA)

QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

COMMENT It's a quarterback league and Jameis Winston isn't the long-term answer in the Big Easy.

17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

COMMENT The AFC West is loaded with star QBs, so adding a player of McDuffie's caliber is key for the Chargers.

18. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (FROM NEW ORLEANS)

DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

COMMENT The Eagles take advantage of a strong defensive line draft.

19. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (FROM PHILADELPHIA)

OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

COMMENT How about a 6-foot-7, 325-pound behemoth to replace Terron Armstead (UAPB), Saints fans?

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QB Malik Willis, Liberty

COMMENT The addition of Mitchell Trubisky in free agency isn't deterring the Steelers from landing a quarterback in the first round.

21. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

COMMENT Lloyd was all over the field for the Pac-12 champions in 2021.

22. GREEN BAY PACKERS (FROM LAS VEGAS)

WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

COMMENT The former Warren Lumberjack and Arkansas Razorback lands in a great spot in Green Bay.

23. ARIZONA CARDINALS

DE George Karlaftis, Purdue

COMMENT Call this the replacement for Chandler Jones, who left in free agency.

24. DALLAS COWBOYS

G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

COMMENT The Cowboys are not a legitimate Super Bowl contender until they address their offensive line.

25. BUFFALO BILLS

CB Andrew Booth, Clemson

COMMENT Buffalo's defense is already solid and they'll add Booth here.

26. TENNESSEE TITANS

QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

COMMENT Ridder will backup Ryan Tannehill for a year, then take over as the starter in 2023.

27. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

DT Travis Jones, Connecticut

COMMENT The Buccaneers add to their defensive line with Jones.

28. GREEN BAY PACKERS

CB/S Daxton Hill, Michigan

COMMENT Hill will contribute in multiple ways for the Packers.

29. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (FROM SAN FRAN. AND MIAMI)

WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

COMMENT Dotson is not Tyreek Hill, but he'll be just fine in the Chiefs' offense.

30. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

EDGE Boye Mafe, Minnesota

COMMENT The Chiefs are high on this former Golden Gopher standout.

31. CINCINNATI BENGALS

C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

COMMENT The Super Bowl run proved why the Bengals must get better up front.

32. DETROIT LIONS (FROM LA RAMS)

LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

COMMENT Adding the high-character Dean is vital to the Lions' rebuild.


Print Headline: Democrat-Gazette NFL first-round mock draft

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