The 2022 NFL Draft is now upon us. Sportsnaut has been workng hard to provide in-depth seven-round mock drafts throughout the entire process.
Check out these mocks as t
he teams prepare to draft in Las Vegas starting Thursday evening.
Related: 2022 NFL mock draft
AFC East mock drafts
The Buffalo Bills reigned supreme in this division a season ago before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs in an epic AFC Divisional Playoff game. Buffalo joined the Miami Dolphins in improving big time leading up to the NFL Draft.
Meanwhile, the New England Patriots are coming off a surprising playoff appearance in 2021 with then-rookie Mac Jones leading the charge. Speaking of rookies, New York Jets signal caller Zach Wilson struggled in his first season. Will general manager Joe Douglas find him more weapons? Perhaps, a Deebo Samuel blockbuster could be in the cards.
“Running back has become a point of contention for the Bills’ brass. It’s something general manager Brandon Beane touched on during the NFL Scouting Combine. Devin Singletary has played well in spurts, but he doesnt seem to be a three-down back.
The trenches represent another need for Buffalo, both on offense and defense. That includes the interior of the offensive line at guard as well as linebacker and cornerback on defense.”
“At this point, there’s every reason to believe that Tua Tagovailoa will return for his third season as the Miami Dolphins’ starting quarterback. They also have a young stud wide receiver in that of Jaylen Waddle and the aforementioned Tyreek Hill.
It’s now up to the combo of Mike McDaniel and Chris Grier to find some solid value with their limited draft pick assets.”
New England Patriots
“The New England Patriots draft needs are headlined by defense, with cornerback, linebacker and the defensive line all positions that should be addressed.
ill Belichick also needs to find more receiving help for his young quarterback. It’s unlikely to happen in Round 1, but the Patriots need to draft some weapons to justify praise coming out of the 2022 NFL Draft. Otherwise, this team could be poised for a step backward next season.”
New York Jets
“The early returns from quarterback Zach Wilson weren’t especially promising in his rookie season. But the New York Jets also didn’t surround him with enough talent to perform a quality evaluation.
Strengthening the offensive line and adding more explosive weapons will go a long way in helping New York determine if Wilson can be a franchise quarterback.”
Related: Top 2022 NFL Draft prospects
AFC South mock drafts
Despite the Tennessee Titans winning this division a season ago, is going to be competitive in 2022. That’s primarily due to the Indianapolis Colts adding former NFL MVP Matt Ryan to the mix. He changes the dynamics heading into the draft.
As for the two other teams in this division, it’s all about rebuilds. The Jacksonville Jaguars boast the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft for a second consecutive season. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans just moved off Deshaun Watson and have two first-round picks in this week’s annual draft.
“The entire focus in our Houston Texans mock draft is taking the best player available. Positional value at a certain draft slot or doubling up at a certain area doesn’t matter. Houston needs to find players who can be part of its long-term mission to find success.
Holding a pair of top-15 picks, there are several directions Houston can take things. Snagging a premium offensive tackle at the 3rd pick and then grabbing a defender with the Cleveland Browns‘ first-round pick.”
“The Indianapolis Colts replaced a struggling Carson Wentz with former NFL MVP Matt Ryan under center this offseason.
The Colts must walk a tight rope during the NFL Draft. Ballard has built up a roster capable of contending. Finding immediate impact performers will have to be a core part of their process.”
“The good news for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence is still the face of the franchise with elite talent.
He struggled in his rookie season, but a toxic coaching situation and one of the worst supporting casts in the NFL played a huge part in that. That’s why the upcoming NFL Draft is about creating a team that will help Lawrence thrive.”
“Some will focus on the need for Tennessee to add a quarterback of the future in the draft. We’re just not seeing it with the draft class at that position seen as weak. Meanwhile, Tennessee remains in win-now mode.
Instead, there’s certainly some need for immediate-impact performers in Nashville. That includes both the front seven and the defensive secondary as well as the all-important tight end position.”
AFC North mock drafts
We have to give the Cleveland Browns some credit for doing everything posible to improve their team by acquiring both Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper. Cleveland should compete with the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in this division (that’s still weird to say).
As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they are now entering their first Ben Roethlisberger-less season since all the way back in 2003. Pittsburgh joins the Baltimore Ravens in attempting to overcome down 2021 seasons. The 2022 NFL Draft will have a major impact here.
Related: 2022 NFL Draft rumors
“Bringing in Morgan Moses, Michael Pierce, and Marcus Williams are all important additions. Yet, after losing Bradley Bozeman in free agency, having Za’Darius Smith back out of a deal to add to their group of edge rushers, in addition to not bringing back cornerback Jimmy Smith, the Ravens still have their fair share of roster needs.
This is where the 2022 NFL Draft comes in. Starting off with a total of 10 selections, with their first coming at pick No. 14, general manager Eric DeCosta has the team in a good position to improve yet this offseason.”
“Young head coach Zac Taylor worked wonders with an equally young Bengals roster a season ago. In no way does this mean Cincinnati’s roster is complete. With eight selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Among the Bengals’ biggest needs, guard still must be addressed after they signed Alex Cappa away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tight end, linebacker and cornerback also must be seen as needs.”
“Despite not having that first-round selection, Cleveland still has an opportunity to create depth on the roster. It’s going to be a key part of the team’s draft plans.
The good news? This is seen as a deep draft with teams being able to acquire potential starter talent on Day 2 and early on Day 3. The Browns could also potentially add another pick or two by trading Baker Mayfield after acquiring Deshaun Watson.”
“Quarterback remains a major need for Pittsburgh. And while we hate focusing on the football aspect of the tragedy, Dwayne Haskins’ death does add another layer to this.
Outside of that all-important position, there’s needs at wide receiver,left tackle, out on the edge and in the defensive secondary.”
AFC West mock drafts
Talk about a division loading up. The Denver Broncos’ acquisition of Rusell Wilson started this process. It was followed by the Las Vegas Raiders acquiring Davante Adams in a blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers.
Interestingly enough, the Kansas City Chiefs took a step back on the field by trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. As for the Los Angeles Chargers, their biggest get was former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack.
“The Broncos entered the offseason desperate for a quarterback, hoping its draft picks would land a superstar. Sure enough, that’s what happened.
While sending the 9th overall pick and a second-round pick takes away the ability to fill some needs, landing a top quarterback is far more valuable. Plus, the Broncos still have plenty of capital to address other positions.”
Kansas City Chiefs
“Andy Reid and Co. have earned four consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances and seem set up for continued title contention.
However, the aforementioned Hill trade changes the dynamics here. Simply put, the Chiefs are thin at a number of positions. That includes wide receiver, cornerback, edge pass rush and linebacker.”
Las Vegas Raiders
“Despite the serious talent, the Raiders brought in over the last month, the offensive line remains one of the weakest units on the team.
It is a bit surprising that they didn’t end up going after an upgrade on the free-agent market, but you can’t knock the team for the star power it did add.”
Los Angeles Chargers
“As far as Chargers roster needs, the most pressing area to address is finding a way to protect Justin Herbert better on the right side of the line.
On defense, they could still add to their depth chart in the front seven, particularly along the defensive line while adding a middle linebacker. In a receiver deep class, might as well dip a toe into that talent pool too.”
NFC East mock drafts
The Dallas Cowboys’ division championship culminated in an ugly home loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs and some major off-season losses. Can the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders narrow the gap even more in the 2022 NFL Draft?
Philadelphia boasts two first-round picks in the annual event and is set up well to succeed. As for the New York Giants, they have a new brass calling the shots and two top-10 picks in the draft.
Related: Full 2022 NFL Draft order
“Dallas needs help at several key spots, with its offensive line being chief among them. Jones also needs to draft at least one wide receiver to negate Cooper’s departure, not to mention that this is a class deep at the position and the Cowboys must come away with at least one.
The Cowboys should also be looking to bolster their secondary, and they’ll have a chance to leave this year’s draft with both a cornerback and a safety.”
New York Giants
“If New York’s brass is sold on Daniel Jones for the 2022 season, the draft will prove to be a boon for this organization.
It can go a number of different directions with top-end players at other positions within the first seven picks. The team could also potentially look to trade down and acquire more selections as a roster-building method.”
“The Philadelphia Eagles are in store for a franchise-altering 2022 NFL Draft. General manager Howie Roseman and Co. boasted three first-round picks in the annual event.
Then, with less than a month to go before the draft, Philadelphia pulled off a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Saints. That included the Eagles giving up the 16th and 19th picks in the draft for a package including the 18th selection as well as a first-round pick in 2023 and a second-round selection in 2024.”
“Like it or not, Carson Wentz is also now in the mix, which checks off the biggest question mark of the offseason, but there are still other areas Washington must address.
A No. 2 receiver, another starting cornerback, safety, linebackers, and possibly running back are all needs.”
NFC South mock drafts
It really is an important NFL Draft for this division. That’s especially true in New Orleans with Sean Payton having retired. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers’ brass is under a ton of pressure to acquire a quarterback after the ill-fated Sam Darnold trade.
“With Ryan now calling another NFL city home, the focus here is going to be on quarterback. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that this team won’t be looking for a signal caller of the future moving forward.”
“Holding the 6th overall pick, Carolina is realistically looking at two choices. Either the Panthers take the best quarterback on their draft board or they snag the best offensive tackle available.
Moving down is very possible given the team’s needs. For now, we’re focused on a decision at No. 6.”
New Orleans Saints
“The New Orleans Saints pulled off an epic blockbuster ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft, acquiring an additional first-round pick from the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now set to move forward without longtime head coach Sean Payton, the Saints are obviously angling to add a young quarterback to the mix.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
“New head coach Todd Bowles and longtime general manager Jason Licht find themselves in an interesting situation heading into the draft.
Tampa firmly believes that it is still a championship contender with Brady back in the mix. It also has to consider finding a long-term replacement in case 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask isn’t the answer.”
NFC North mock drafts
Can the Green Bay Packers repeat in this division after trading away Davante Adams? Recently-extended quarterback Aaron Rodgers is banking on that. The Minnesota Vikings have acted the part of Green Bay’s chief rival. With Kirk Cousins coming back, the 2022 NFL Draft will be big for that team’s new brass.
As for the other two NFC North teams, it’s all about expediting rebuilds. The Chicago Bears’ new front office and coaching staff is banking on Justin Fields taking that next step. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions boast two first-round picks in this week’s draft.
“New Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has a lot of work in front of him if he wants to present first-year head coach Matt Eberflus with anything that resembles a competitive roster.
Unfortunately for Chicago, it does not have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after trading it away for a move up to acquire Fields in last year’s draft.”
“There is no Trevor Lawrence-caliber quarterback prospect in the 2022 draft class. Frankly, there isn’t even a Justin Fields-level passer. However, Malik Willis is an intriguing option for Detroit at two.
Even without a franchise-caliber quarterback, Detroit can walk out of the 2022 NFL Draft very happy. A premium edge rusher, an impact wide receiver and multiple starting-caliber talents can all be selected within the top-75 range.”
Green Bay Packers
“The Green Bay Packers offseason has been eventful with the Aaron Rodgers contract extension and the blockbuster Davante Adams trade. Needless to say, it makes the 2022 Packers draft a lot more interesting.
One thing the Packers should feel confident about in 2022 is their defense. The secondary will be one of the best in the NFL with Jaire Alexander healthy and Douglas coming back.”
“Some would dream of selecting the top quarterback on the board in an attempt to look to the future, but with Kirk Cousins being an above-average QB, that seems unlikely.
Instead, the team may look to continue fixing a defense that ranked 24th in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed a year ago.”
NFC West mock drafts
The defending champion Los Angeles Rams remain the cream of the crop in the NFC West. Depending on the Deebo Samuel trade request, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to compete with them after losing to Los Angeles in the NFC Championship Game.
A bit further down on the hierachy, the Arizona Cardinals are mired in a contract stalemate with Kyler Murrray. They really need to find him more weapons in the NFL Draft. As for the Seattle Seahawks, it’s all about a rebuild after the Wilson trade.
“The Arizona Cardinals are coming off yet another late-season meltdown under head coach Kliff Kingsbury. After starting the season 7-0, Arizona lost six of its final 10 regular-season games.
Heading into the draft, there’s multiple needs on the defensive side of the ball. That includes both edge pass rush and cornerback. Below, we address those needs and more in our initial Arizona Cardinals mock draft.”
Los Angeles Rams
“For a team that just won a championship, it is not easy to point out a bunch of flaws and areas that need major upgrades.
However, the Rams were far from perfect and have some weaknesses that require improvements if they want to repeat next season. That’s pretty scary for a franchise that is currently the best in the game.”
San Francisco 49ers
It’s a major backdrop in Northern California. Star wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s trade request adds another layer to the situation, too.”
“Russell Wilson covered up a lot of holes on the Seahawks’ roster over the past few seasons. His excellent play also covered up some major draft misses from general manager John Schneider and the Seahawks’ front office.
Now that Wilson is in Denver, the pressure is on Schneider to hit big time. That includes finding talent with the three 2022 draft picks the Seahawks acquired from Denver for Mr. Wilson.”