Discover more from Seaside Joe
2022 NFL Mock Draft: The FOMO edition, Seahawks trade UP for a prospect
And it's not who you think it is
As hard as it is to believe that the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Broncos — a phrase that won’t truly start to feel real until his first game in a Denver uniform — I am elated to be able to finally write about the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft with some purpose for Seattle.
Not just purpose, but now having a top-10 pick this year, an extra first and second round pick next year, and three picks in the top-41 next month.
As longtime readers of the Seaside Joe substack edition already know, I’ve been preparing for this particular draft for over a year and I that entire time I was under the impression that it would only be for those of you who don’t just love the Seahawks; you love the draft. And especially for those of you who don’t just love the draft; but love the draft quarterbacks.
I heard Ben Baldwin speaking on a podcast this morning and he mentioned that he knows nothing about the 2022 quarterbacks because he didn’t expect this to happen. This is a sentiment I’ve seen shard by most of those people who are placed in the “Seahawks media stratosphere” so I consider myself extremely lucky to have fallen ass backwards into it.
If you haven’t yet and you want to join us in continuing this journey from studying 2022 QBs last March to me vehemently arguing against drafting the 2022 QBs this March, then please hit this button:
However, that doesn’t mean that quarterbacks won’t be drafted in the first round—or that the Seahawks will take my advice—because we all know what is driving teams to pick more quarterbacks on day one than at any other point in NFL history:
FEAR OF MISSING OUT
They watch Patrick Mahomes and they get…
FEAR OF MISSING OUT
They watch Josh Allen and they get…
FEAR OF MISSING OUT
They watch Matthew Stafford win the Super Bowl and the Broncos trade for Wilson because of…
They watch Joe Burrow in the Super Bowl and they reach on a QB early because of…
You get it.
In Dune, we’re told that “Fear is the mind killer.” We already know that many front offices lost their minds years ago. Fear is always driving many decisions, the NFL draft is no exception, so how could FOMO impact this class? And why would it drive the Seattle Seahawks to trade UP for a player in the top-five?
The FOMO Mock Draft will show you.
1 - Jaguars select DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
FOMO: on the once-consensus top-ranked prospect in the 2022 draft
Though there wasn’t a standout prospect for the 2022 draft going into last season like a “Trevor Lawrence”, there was a consensus number one and he be Thibodeaux. He lost that grip a little bit to Aidan Hutchinson based on their respective seasons and now there’s talk he could fall out of the top-five. Is this a sign that Thibodeaux is massively overrated, or are we talking about more of a Joey Bosa situation? Bosa was a consensus number one whose star fell just before the draft, but the Chargers were elated that he was available at three.
I’ve looked over Thibodeaux and I’ve made my decision: He doesn’t have to go number one, but he’s also no less than a top-five player in a class that doesn’t have a clear-cut better prospect than him. I also don’t have concerns about his effort like others do.
2 - Lions select QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
FOMO: on the best QB prospect in this class
This isn’t what I think the Lions should do but if others are going to claim that Detroit could reach for a quarterback here, at least let it be the best quarterback in the draft. I watched all of the top 2022 quarterback prospects every week last season and Pickett stood out by a lot. The numbers (67%, 4,319 yards, 42 TD, 7 INT) are backed up by the eye test. He’s been called a “more athletic Kirk Cousins” before.
This move at least allows Detroit to try to trade Jared Goff before Week 1. Drafting Malik Willis would not do that.
3 - Texans select S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
FOMO: on the best all-around football player in the draft
Every single week, Hamilton was making the types of plays that most players won’t see in their entire careers.
4 - Jets select DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
FOMO: on college football’s MVP (non-QB) of 2021
He’s only had two full seasons on Michigan’s defense, but both times he was outstanding. Here is Robert Saleh’s “Nick Bosa” for the Jets.
5 - (TRADE) Seahawks select OT Evan Neal, Alabama
FOMO: on the top offensive lineman in the draft
Seattle trades picks 9 and 41 (their original second rounder, giving them first pick over the Giants on day two) to the NY Giants so that they can stop Neal’s fall out of the top-four. The Seahawks move into the top-five and essentially can say that they traded Russell Wilson for the next Walter Jones+everything else they got. I’m not putting those expectations on Neal, who not everyone has rated as the top tackle in this draft, but it will be a shock to us all if he’s not a 10-year primo starter on the left side.
This is a shutdown blocker, an elite athlete, and a high character offensive tackle all wrapped in one. Instead of comparing him to Walter Jones, how about Tyron Smith?
Do you HATE it or LOVE it? I have FOMO if you don’t leave a comment:
6 - Panthers select QB Malik Willis, Liberty
FOMO: on the next “Can” Newton
As in, if the last name was a verb: “Yeah, he can ‘Newton’ a little bit.”
For a very short period of time I had Malik Willis as the number two QB prospect for this draft (behind Grayson McCall, who went back to school) but then just as he had most of us all convinced he was ready to take flight—he parked. And left the lights on.
Willis threw three interceptions on three different occasions and of the three, only Ole Miss has any right to call themselves an imposing foe. I’ve noticed more and more people falling for certain traits like having a strong arm or being able to rush the ball from the QB position, but those are so low on the totem poll for QB success as compared to being able to pass the ball accurately to all parts of the field, to improvise under pressure, to read a defense and go through your progressions, to avoid back-breaking mistakes…
And Willis is one of the oldest quarterback prospects in this class while also being one who may need the most development at the next level.
However, he does have a strong arm and he can rush the ball well occasionally, so finding himself as the heir apparent to Cam Newton in Carolina may actually make a lot of sense.
I’m not doubting Malik Willis. I’m just not seeing a player who could be ready in the next two years and that will be concerning for teams, given that he’ll be 25 by that point.
7 - Giants select OL Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
FOMO: on the best all-around offensive line prospect in the draft
New York trades down but because they’re on the board again so quickly, they still get a premium offensive lineman. Daniel Jeremiah says that Ickey is his top-ranked player in the entire class. His potential position versatility means that the Giants can toy with him at tackle or guard for next season.
8 - (TRADE) Eagles select CB Derek Stingley, LSU
FOMO: on a potential shutdown defensive back in the top-10
Philadelphia loves to move around the board and here they pair Darius Slay (whose coming off of a massive bounceback season) with a guy who was getting top-three buzz last year.
9 - NY Giants select CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati (via SEA)
FOMO: on a James Bradberry replacement
New York will reportedly trade Bradberry soon, if not release him, and Sauce Gardner has put himself in position to go in the top-10 by having a great season, a strong combine, and blowing teams away with his interviews.
10 - NY Jets select OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State
FOMO: on buying more time for Zach Wilson
Despite picking Mekhi Becton in 2020 and falling in love with George Fant, you can’t guarantee that the Jets have their bookend tackles set. Becton had everything go wrong last year it seems and that was especially bad for Wilson. I’m a massive believer in Zach Wilson and one thing that hurt him and the Jets the most was the play of the offensive line.
With Cross, Fant, and Alijah Vera-Tucker, things may be looking up again. Not ruling out Becton, but he might turn up on the trade block.
11 - Commanders select LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
FOMO: on college football’s best all-around linebacker in 2021
Despite taking Jamin Davis in the first round a year ago, Washington still has more needs for Ron Rivera’s defense and Lloyd has all the traits you want in an inside linebacker and a person.
Per The Salt Lake Tribune on his decision to return to Utah in 2021 over the NFL Draft, Lloyd values winning above all else:
“More than anything, I want to win,” Lloyd said, via The Salt Lake Tribune. “I want to leave with a championship, with a nice little ring on my finger. Hopefully, a couple of rings. I want to bring guys along with me, too — I love helping others. I’ve said that before. I know this team wants to be great. I know I’m not the only one on the team that wants to be great.”
12 - Vikings select WR Drake London, USC
FOMO: on Kevin O’Connell’s first shot to pair Justin Jefferson with an elite weapon
O’Connell had Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Odell Beckham Jr with the LA Rams. The Vikings have Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but adding the 6’5 London gives Kirk Cousins (or other) a third option and a potential Thielen replacement in 2022 or 2023.
London was about to be college’s most productive receiver in 2021 until an injury and that was with Kedon Slovis (not good) at quarterback.
13 - Browns select DE Travon Walker, Georgia
FOMO: on a fast-rising replacement for Jadeveon Clowney
Walker may make it to the top-eight by late April.
14 - Ravens select C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
FOMO: on a generational prospect at center
This just seems like Baltimore for so many reasons.
15 - Falcons select WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (via Eagles)
FOMO: on Calvin Ridley’s replacement
I’m still very split on this wide receiver class but how I feel or how you may feel is of no consequence. Like the last few first rounds, a bunch of receiver names will get picked and then they’ll start either doing well or doing poorly and the order they went in won’t end up being “right" anyway.
16 - (TRADE) Bills select DE George Karlaftis, Purdue
FOMO: on a sliding edge player to complement Gregory Rosseau
Buffalo gets severe FOMO and trades up from the mid-20s to get a falling edge rusher who could go in the top-10. Despite drafting Rosseau in the first round and Boogie Basham in the second round last year, the Bills are not done rebuilding their pass rush and Brandon Beane has an affinity for making “the big move.”
17 - LA Chargers select CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
FOMO: on Brandon Staley’s next “star” cornerback
Chris Harris Jr is a free agent and perhaps doesn’t have many (any) years left. Staley built Jalen Ramsey into the “star” position with the Rams and that put him on another level. Could he do that for McDuffie?
What do Huskies fans say about this?
18 - Saints select WR Jameson Williams, Alabama
FOMO: on a receiver who New Orleans can be patient with this year
The Saints need a receiver more than they need a quarterback, who would be wasted without a good receiver. Williams tore his ACL and might even miss the whole season, if not probably returning in November or so. I can’t see Dennis Allen putting this team in the playoffs, so just take it easy and bring along a wideout who could eventually be the best in this entire class.
19 - Eagles select DB Daxton Hill, Michigan
FOMO: on one of the combine’s biggest standouts in the secondary
After taking Derek Stingley at eight, Philadelphia goes secondary again by drafting the versatile Hill at 19. This is the type of scary defense that Nick Sirianni wants to build and reaching for a QB who won’t be any better/worse than Jalen Hurts would only prevent the Eagles from doing that.
20 - Steelers select OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
FOMO: on the highest-rated tackle left on their board
Better choice than a quarterback.
21 - Patriots select LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
FOMO: on a guy whose first name sounds a lot like “Jakobi”
I had to do it—”Nakobe Dean” seems like a Pats player already.
22 - Raiders select WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
FOMO: on a receiver, any receiver
Despite getting good value with Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round, perhaps the biggest failure of Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock’s entire tenure was how bad they were at adding wide receivers. I mean truly shocking, from Antonio Brown to Henry Ruggs III and Lynn Bowden Jr. Mayock added about 12-14 receivers in his short tenure and they’re almost all gone. Way gone.
Josh McDaniels and his friend have to start by re-doing what the last regime did, but better.
23 - Cardinals select DT Jordan Davis, Georgia
FOMO: on the most ridiculous big man athlete of his generation
He could be the best all-around athlete in NFL combine history. He was also the leader of Georgia’s defense, which many have called the greatest of all-time. Some say that he’s been a tad overrated because Georgia has far better “NFL prospects” than Davis, who is seen as a two-down nose tackle without a pass rush element to his game.
Maybe. Maybe. But could the team that drafts Jordan Davis really be left feeling disappointed? Go coach him, see what happens.
24 - Cowboys select DE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State
FOMO: on a DeMarcus Lawrence replacement
Johnson’s name has been in and out of the first round for a while. He seems to be back on the way up again, but there’s still six weeks left.
25 - Eagles select RB Kenneth Murray III, Michigan State (via BUF)
FOMO: on the chance to burn Twitter to the ground
Miles Sanders is entering a contract year and this move would allow Philadelphia to avoid an extension, which the people who hate this pick—would also praise. Plus, doesn’t it seem like the Eagles love running backs named Kenneth? I know that I do.
Murray could be a three-down everything fantasy superstar on the Eagles. And people will hate it. I love it.
26 - (TRADE) Bengals select OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
FOMO: on trading up for a potential Week 1 tackle to protect Joe Burrow
Who could have more FOMO than the Bengals and getting someone to block for Joe Burrow?
27 - Bucs select QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
FOMO: on a chance to get a pretty chill player to compete to replace Brady
Blaine Gabbert talk is not real. It’s just what coaches do at this time of year. My take on Desmond Ridder is that he’s a high character, high floor quarterback who has a pretty low ceiling. That might sound a lot like Tom Brady to some people. With Bruce Arians and a Super Bowl cast, Ridder might not be too risky as a Week 1 starter. You just can’t have high “Brady-like” expectations at this point.
His play is fine, but doesn’t come close to “wow”. It’s also not “wow” in a negative way either.
28 - Packers select G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M
FOMO: on surrounding Aaron Rodgers with more talent next season
It’s a need. He’s a good prospect who fits it. Getting more receivers isn’t the only way to help Rodgers.
29 - Dolphins select LB Christian Harris, Alabama
FOMO: on a high-percentage home run type of pick to add to the defense
Mike McDaniel needs a lot of help in Miami. Harris has so many traits that you want in a linebacker and McDaniel won’t forget how much that helped the 49ers over the last few years with Fred Warner and company.
30 - Chiefs select CB Andrew Booth, Clemson
FOMO: on a cornerback who had top-10 potential
“Booth” sounds like a Kansas City cornerback to me.
31 - Titans select WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas (via CIN)
FOMO: on someone who will probably get more targets than Julio Jones next season
I would be just as okay with Treylon Burks in the top-15. He wasn’t just dominant, he was consistent, and he brings down the ball in a similar way to my favorite 2021 receiver: Rashod Bateman.
32 - Lions select CB Kaiir Elam, Florida
FOMO: on Jeff Okudah insurance
I think we all tend to forget about Jeffrey Okudah every day of our lives.
LEAVE A COMMENT AND HIT THIS BUTTON: