Lance Zierlein 2022 NFL mock draft 4.0: Steelers trade up for lone Round 1 QB

With 2022 NFL Draft just hours away, here’s my final mock before Round 1 kicks off at 8 p.m. ET. As always, I am projecting where I believe players will go, not necessarily where I think they should go.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Travon Walker

There are some wild whispers out there about how this one could play out, but Walker ends up as the top dog in my final mock.

Detroit Lions
Kayvon Thibodeaux

A bit of a surprise here, as the Lions opt for explosiveness and upside for Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn’s defense.

Houston Texans
Derek Stingley Jr.

Houston has done extensive work on Stingley, and head coach Lovie Smith recently commented on the Texans’ desperate need to get better at CB.

New York Jets
Ickey Ekwonu

What a tough call for New York with Aidan Hutchinson still on the board. The Jets could hear trade offers here, but they stick and pick Ekwonu. The N.C. State product has guard/tackle value and gives Gang Green insurance against Mekhi Becton‘s injury history.

New York Giants
Aidan Hutchinson

I’m sure the Giants will race this card up to the podium, as they take home one of the top players at a major position of need.

Carolina Panthers
Evan Neal

Big win for the Panthers. In Neal, they get a Day 1 starter at left tackle upon which to build a foundation for success.

New York Giants
Sauce Gardner

The Giants already grabbed a pass rusher at No. 5. Now they get the best cornerback in the draft.

Atlanta Falcons
Jermaine Johnson II

Florida State · Edge · Senior (RS)

Sure, the Falcons need help at receiver, but have you seen their pass rush? Atlanta opts for the talented edge here, choosing to target wideout later in the draft.

Seattle Seahawks
Charles Cross

Mississippi State · OT · Sophomore (RS)

Seattle will be pleased to find a quality tackle still on the board at No. 9.

New York Jets
Garrett Wilson

After boosting the offensive line at No. 4, the Jets get first dibs on the WR crop here, ultimately pairing Wilson with (Zach) Wilson.

Minnesota Vikings
Jameson Williams

The Vikings can draft and stash the talented Williams — who’s recovering from an ACL tear — as the future replacement for Adam Thielen.

Houston Texans
Kenyon Green

If the Texans go cornerback at No. 3, they would be wise to bolster their offensive line with a body-moving guard who boasts start-now talent.

Baltimore Ravens
Jordan Davis

Baltimore gets a plug-and-play space-eater to shut down opposing running games within the division.

Philadelphia Eagles
Kyle Hamilton

This is quite a fall from where I first mocked Hamilton, but the talented defender’s slide down the board ends up being the Eagles’ good fortune.

New Orleans Saints
Trevor Penning

Northern Iowa · OT · Senior (RS)

The Saints, in desperate need of a left tackle after Terron Armstead‘s departure in free agency, get the best one still on the board while passing on receiver (for the time being).

Pittsburgh Steelers
Malik Willis

Liberty · QB · Senior (RS)

PROJECTED TRADE WITH LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

In his final draft as Steelers GM, Kevin Colbert moves up for the dual-threat quarterback who has upside but will need additional seasoning before he’s ready to start.

Philadelphia Eagles
Kaiir Elam

Philadelphia has an obvious void at one cornerback spot. Elam has been a riser in the draft process, thanks to strong interviews and a solid showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

New Orleans Saints
Chris Olave

New Orleans takes one of the most polished wideouts in this year’s class to pair with Michael Thomas.

Los Angeles Chargers
Lewis Cine

PROJECTED TRADE WITH PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Chargers move down three spots and take a high-IQ quarterback on the back end who allows L.A. to align with a talented nickel defense in a pass-happy division.

New England Patriots
Devin Lloyd

There are always a few players who just feel like Patriots, and this speedy, physical linebacker is one of them.

Green Bay Packers
Treylon Burks

Green Bay adds a big wideout who can play inside or outside and has loads of talent with the ball in his hands. He’s not Deebo, but is Deebo-esque.

Arizona Cardinals
Devonte Wyatt

Arizona takes the talented three-down lineman who will be ready to learn from J.J. Watt and slide into a starting role by 2023.

Dallas Cowboys
Zion Johnson

Boston College · IOL · Senior

Dallas could go in a variety of directions at this spot, including trading up. But finding a guard is a must, and Johnson is a good one.

Buffalo Bills
Trent McDuffie

McDuffie’s relatively short arms may be a turn-off for some teams, but Buffalo lands a scheme-versatile cornerback with excellent instincts and toughness.

Tennessee Titans
Bernhard Raimann

Central Michigan · OT · Senior

Raimann has only played tackle for two years, so he’s bound to get much better. It’s also worth noting that he could bump inside if tackle becomes too much for him.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tyler Smith

Tulsa · OT · Sophomore (RS)

Tampa, in need of a guard in the worst way, takes a talented drive blocker with guard/tackle flexibility and loads of upside — if he can learn to play with better discipline.

Green Bay Packers
George Karlaftis

This physical edge defender with excellent bull-rush talent gives the Packers a play-now prospect with limited upside.

Kansas City Chiefs
Boye Mafe

Minnesota · Edge · Senior (RS)

The Chiefs need an edge defender and Mafe fits the their profile: He’s a tough, explosive pass rusher with upside traits.

Kansas City Chiefs
Jahan Dotson

The Chiefs add another talented weapon with speed and great hands to their arsenal to keep pace with the loaded AFC West.

Cincinnati Bengals
Kyler Gordon

Washington · CB · Junior (RS)

Gordon didn’t run as fast as expected at the combine (4.52 40-yard dash), but he’s a physical specimen with twitch and toughness and a good deal of improvement still to come.

Detroit Lions
Quay Walker

One of the hotter names on the board at linebacker, Walker is dependable, smart and athletic. The Lions get mocked a QB here often, but this might be the better fit.

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