NFL Mock Draft 2022 3-option edition Jag

  • The is shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable ones in recent memory. A weaker draft cla s devoid of high-end quarterback talent is rendering the top of this year's cla s muddled. We don't yet know who the No. 1 pick will be, and draft boards are seemingly varying wildly from team to team.Part of this is because many of the higher-end prospects in this year's cla s play the same position. Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Jermaine Johnson are all edge rushers. Evan Neal, Ickey Ekwonu, Charles Cro s and Trevor Penning are all offensive tackles.Nobody really knows how the order will shake out at those positions. It's similarly jumbled at receiver and quarterback, to a le ser extent.In short, anything can happen. The one thing we do know is that each team will have many options to sort through on draft day. And this year, they are going to have to trust their boards, because there is little consensus about how to rank this year's first-round picks.With that in mind, The Sporting News is breaking out a little twist with our latest 2022 NFL mock draft. We'll run through which player a team will pick and should pick when they are on the clock while also naming a dark-horse candidate for the pick.Without further ado, let's get started.MORE NFL DRAFT: | 1. Jacksonville JaguarsWill pick: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, MichiganShould pick: Evan Neal, OT, AlabamaDark horse: Travon Walker, EDGE, GeorgiaThe top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is not set in stone. The Jaguars could in several different directions with the top selection, but it seems like they are leaning toward taking a defender. Hutchinson is the safest of the top prospects and had 14 sacks last season, so he will get the nod for now, though Walker (six sacks) could overtake him after proving electric at the NFL combine.That said, the Jaguars should add offensive line help with the top overall pick to bolster Trevor Lawrence's supporting cast. Drafting Neal (6-7, 337 pounds) would give them a versatile, athletic and powerful weapon. He could battle Walker Little and Cam Robinson for playing time and shift inside to guard if needed.2. Detroit LionsWill pick: Travon Walker, EDGE, GeorgiaShould pick: Travon Walker, EDGE, GeorgiaDark horse: Drake London, WR, USCIt seems like the Lions are going to take whichever of the defensive ends that the Jaguars don't take. It's hard to argue with them taking Walker in this scenario, as Walker's athleticism (4.51 40-yard dash, 6.89 3-cone drill, 4.32 shuttle) gives him a very high ceiling. That gives him bust potential, but the Lions can take a chance on his upside as they continue to rebuild.If the Lions go in another direction, don't be surprised if they pursue a guy like London. They could use a true, No. 1 receiver and London has skills that are comparable to Mike Evans. They probably would look to trade down if they liked London enough to take him, but he's someone who is firmly on Detroit's radar.3. Houston TexansWill pick: Evan Neal, OT, AlabamaShould pick:Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, OregonDark horse:Sauce Gardner, CB, CincinnatiNobody seems to know what the Texans are going to do here. They have needs at position, so they could legitimately take anybody. Neal is arguably the best player on the board here and would give Houston a bookend along with Laremy Tunsil to help keep Davis Mills clean.Neal is definitely a strong option for the Texans, but considering the type of rebuild they are enduring, they may want to look for more upside with their pick. As such, Thibodeaux should draw consideration for them. He's an excellent athlete and put up 19 sacks over three years at Oregon. Gardner could also be a sneaky good option for the team as they look to add talent at all levels of their defense.4. New York JetsWill pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, OregonShould pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, OregonDark horse: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSUJoe Douglas has tended to search for upside when conducting drafts with the Jets. It will be hard for him to pa s on Thibodeaux, who has a great combination of size, strength and production. He had seven sacks in 10 games during his final season at Oregon and 19 sacks in 30 career games. There are some concerns about his work ethic and love of football, but if those prove unfounded, Robert Saleh and Co. could get a steal.If the Jets don't want Thibodeaux, they could turn their attention to another high-upside player in Stingley. He was the best corner in the country as a freshman but has seen his last two seasons derailed by injuries. If he can get healthy, he could be the top corner in this cla s. This is probably a bit too early for him, however, so are more likely to look at him with the 10th overall pick. (Getty Images) 5. New York GiantsWill pick:Ickey Ekwonu, OT, NC StateShould pick:Ickey Ekwonu, OT, NC StateDark horse:Sauce Gardner, CB, CincinnatiThe Giants are in the proce s of overhauling their offensive line after former GM Dave Gettleman struggled toput it together. They are almost certainly going to take a tackle with the fifth overall pick. It's just a matter of which one.In this case, Ekwonu is the best tackle remaining on the board. He's smaller than Neal at 6-4, 310 pounds but he put together excellent tape during his final season at NC State. The Giants can play him at right tackle and hope that, if Andrew Thomas continues to develop, they have their tackle situation figured out.Gardner is an option for the Giants here, too. They are rumored to want a tackle and corner with their first two picks, but tackle is the more pre sing need.6. Carolina PanthersWill pick:Malik Willis, QB, LibertyShould pick: Kenny Pickett, QB, PittDark horse: Charles Cro s, OT, Mi si sippi StateIt would be a surprise if the Panthers don't take a quarterback. Not doing so would mean that they are content with Sam Darnold starting, as Carolina doesn't have another pick until Round 4 (No. 137 overall) after this.In terms of which quarterback the Panthers should take, it's Pickett. Willis needs time to develop while Pickett, being more pro-ready, would be able to contribute right away. However, it seems like the Panthers might prefer Willis at this time, as he has the better long-term upside due to his arm strength and mobility. Both would be risky picks.If the Panthers surprisingly eschew a quarterback, expect them to target a tackle. Cro s is the best one on the board with Neal and Ekwonu already selected.NFL MOCK DRAFT: 7. New York Giants (from Bears)Will pick:Sauce Gardner, CB, CincinnatiShould pick: Sauce Gardner, CB, CincinnatiDark horse: