Bucky Brooks 2022 NFL mock draft 2.0: Panthers take first QB off the board at No. 6 overall

With college all-star game season in the rearview and the NFL Scouting Combine beginning this week in Indianapolis (March 3-6 on NFL Network), here’s my updated forecast for Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Evan Neal

Protecting franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the No. 1 priority for Jacksonville. With Cam Robinson set to hit free agency, the Jaguars could pair Neal with 2021 second-rounder Walker Little to man the edges for years to come.

Detroit Lions

Aidan Hutchinson

Detroit coach Dan Campbell could fall in love with the ultra-athletic, high-motor pass rusher with Michigan roots. Hutchinson’s relentlessness and superb technique could make him a double-digit sack artist early in his career.

Houston Texans

Kayvon Thibodeaux

The electric pass rusher has a boom-or-bust feel to his game, but his raw tools are just too enticing to ignore. If NFL coaching can fully unlock his potential, Thibodeaux could shine as a shop wrecker off the edge on Sundays.

New York Jets

Ickey Ekwonu

Adding more protection around Zach Wilson should help the Jets’ young QB1 develop in 2022. With Morgan Moses‘ contract up, general manager Joe Douglas could opt to take the big, athletic tackle to shore up the offensive line.

New York Giants

Charles Cross

Mississippi State
·
OT · Sophomore (RS)

Rebuilding the Giants’ offensive line has to be a top priority for new general manager Joe Schoen. As a Day 1 starter, Cross could immediately help Big Blue re-establish a blue-collar mentality on offense.

Carolina Panthers

Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh
·
QB · Senior (RS)

Matt Rhule throws another asset at the quarterback position to try to help the Panthers finally solve their problems under center.

New York Giants

David Ojabo

Michigan
·
Edge · Sophomore (RS)

The Giants have always been at their best when a dominant defensive front can take over the game. The ultra-twitchy pass rusher from Michigan would add significant juice.

Atlanta Falcons

Sauce Gardner

The long, rangy cover corner could form an impressive lockdown combination with A.J. Terrell on the island. 

Denver Broncos

Devin Lloyd

The versatile Lloyd is a sideline-to-sideline playmaker with exceptional instincts, awareness and ball skills. 

New York Jets

Garrett Wilson

Building around Zach Wilson will require the Jets to expend top picks on perimeter playmakers. Wilson is an A+ wideout with soft hands and superb route-running skills.

Washington Commanders

Derek Stingley Jr.

Stingley is a five-star talent with All-Pro potential. He did not finish his collegiate career with a bang, but his impressive freshman season could prompt Ron Rivera to roll the dice on his upside. 

Minnesota Vikings

George Karlaftis

The energetic pass rusher could step in immediately to spark a front line that needs another QB hunter.

Cleveland Browns

Drake London

Perhaps adding a supersized pass catcher with extraordinary length and leaping ability can unlock Baker Mayfield‘s full potential. London is a former stud basketball player with a knack for winning 50-50 balls on the perimeter.

Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Linderbaum

The team’s success with eight-time Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda could prompt general manager Eric DeCosta to fish in the Hawkeye pond again when searching for a potential replacement for pending free agent Bradley Bozeman. As an exceptional athlete with a refined technical game, Linderbaum could step in and dominate from Day 1.

Philadelphia Eagles

Kyle Hamilton

The addition of a playmaking safety with range, ball skills and thump would upgrade an Eagles secondary that could lose a pair of starters in the back end.

Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Olave

The Eagles have the draft capital needed to make the necessary upgrades at wide receiver. Olave is a polished route runner with the potential to flourish as a WR2 opposite DeVonta Smith

Los Angeles Chargers

Trevor Penning

Northern Iowa
·
OT · Senior (RS)

The need to protect Justin Herbert could prompt general manager Tom Telesco to seek an upgrade at right tackle. Penning has the size, length and athleticism to stymie pass rushers in their tracks.

New Orleans Saints

Matt Corral

Mississippi
·
QB · Junior (RS)

The crafty Corral would give head coach Dennis Allen a young quarterback to build around. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Jermaine Johnson II

Florida State
·
Edge · Senior (RS)

The Eagles need to find a replacement for 33-year-old Brandon Graham on the edges. Not to mention, Derek Barnett‘s hitting the open market. Johnson could get the call as an athletic pass rusher with a non-stop motor.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Malik Willis

Liberty
·
QB · Senior (RS)

Head coach Mike Tomlin ushers in a new era with an ultra-athletic quarterback supported by a defense that could enable the Steelers to survive the youngster’s growing pains.

New England Patriots

Andrew Booth

The potential loss of pending free agent J.C. Jackson could prompt the Patriots to select a scheme-friendly cover corner with outstanding skills.

Las Vegas Raiders

Jordan Davis

Taking a run-stopper early in the draft isn’t sexy, but Davis is a true difference-maker at the point of attack. The mammoth defensive tackle could single-handedly neutralize opposing ground games and create more pass-rush opportunities for Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue.

Arizona Cardinals

Trent McDuffie

U-Dub has treated the Cardinals well, with Budda Baker and Byron Murphy contributing in a major way in the desert. McDuffie could emerge as the next Husky to step into a starring role as a rock-solid corner with a steady game.

Dallas Cowboys

Kenyon Green

The Cowboys must address their declining offensive line to help Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott improve their play in 2022. Green would step in as a Day 1 starter at left guard and eliminate some of the leakage in the middle.

Buffalo Bills

Jameson Williams

General manager Brandon Beane could gamble on a swift pass-catcher coming off a knee injury to upgrade the perimeter playmakers around Josh Allen.

Tennessee Titans

Jahan Dotson

Upgrading the WR corps is a priority, seeing how the passing game struggled at times this season. Dotson is a big-play specialist with sticky hands and outstanding route-running skills.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Roger McCreary

Cornerback could be a top priority for Bruce Arians and Jason Licht with Carlton Davis headed for free agency.

Green Bay Packers

Devonte Wyatt

The Packers could opt for an energetic interior defender to boost the defense.

Miami Dolphins

Nakobe Dean

Dean is a high-IQ linebacker who can help coordinator Josh Boyer add some sizzle to the Dolphins’ defense.

Kansas City Chiefs

Dax Hill

Kansas City needs more playmakers in the secondary. Hill’s versatility, instincts and awareness would make him a nice fit in the Chiefs’ dynamic scheme. 

Cincinnati Bengals

Bernhard Raimann

Central Michigan
·
OT · Senior

The Bengals will make upgrading the offensive line the No. 1 priority this offseason. Raimann has the potential to play inside or outside as a pro. 

Detroit Lions

Travon Walker

As an explosive defender with the versatility to play inside or outside, Walker gives defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn more options to utilize on the front line.

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