Mock Draft: Look to the trenches at beginning of selections

Apr 24, 2022, 10:14 PM | Updated: Apr 25, 2022, 10:17 am
FILE - Quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) goes through passing drills during Pittsburgh's football pro d...

FILE - Quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) goes through passing drills during Pittsburgh's football pro day , Monday, March 21, 2022, in Pittsburgh. Pickett is expected to be taken in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

              FILE - Michigan defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson runs during a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 5, 2022, in Indianapolis. Hutchinson is expected to be taken in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
            
              FILE - Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Saturday, March 5, 2022, in Indianapolis. Walker is expected to be taken in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
            
              FILE - Cincinnati defensive back Sauce Gardner participates in a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 6, 2022, in Indianapolis. Gardner is expected to be taken in the NFL Draft.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
            
              FILE - National Team quarterback Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh (8) runs through drills during practice for the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, in Mobile, Ala. Pickett is expected to be taken in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
            
              FILE - Quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) goes through passing drills during Pittsburgh's football pro day , Monday, March 21, 2022, in Pittsburgh. Pickett is expected to be taken in the NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Our head is still spinning from all the draft movement over the past five weeks. There might very well be more trades involving first-round picks before everyone settles in near Caesars Palace and the Bellagio fountains for what promises to be a wild event.

Maybe as wild as the restructuring of the draft order already.

1. Jacksonville

Not as much of a slam dunk as Trevor Lawrence last year at the top. Close enough, though.

AIDAN HUTCHINSON, EDGE, MICHIGAN

2. Detroit

Some believe the Lions will go quarterback here. Maybe in 2021 that would make sense. Not this time.

TRAVON WALKER, EDGE, GEORGIA

3. Houston

The Texans elevated Lovie Smith to head coach and Lovie loves defensive studs. For the first time in 30 years, the top three are from that side of the ball.

AHMAD “SAUCE” GARDNER, CB, CINCINNATI

4. New York Jets

This draft is loaded with receivers, so the Jets wait until No. 10 for one. Instead, they also go defense.

KYLE HAMILTON, S, NOTRE DAME

5. New York Giants

New general manager Joe Schoen knows one thing about this roster: the need for blockers. He gets maybe the best in …

IKEM EKWONU, T, NORTH CAROLINA STATE

6. Carolina

Teams desperate for quarterbacks overreach. We’re not saying Kenny Pickett isn’t deserving of being the first QB taken, but at sixth overall?

KENNY PICKETT, QB, PITTSBURGH

7. New York Giants (from Chicago)

The Giants could go for yet another O-lineman here, but there’s a stud pass rusher available, even though his consistency and ability to stay healthy are questionable.

KAYVON THIBODEAUX, EDGE, OREGON

8. Atlanta

If the Falcons don’t go wideout here, then Atlanta isn’t in Georgia.

GARRETT WILSON, WR, OHIO STATE

9. Seattle (from Denver)

Part of the payment for Russell Wilson. Will it be his eventual replacement? Had Pickett been on the board, certainly. Might be another reach …

MALIK WILLIS, QB, LIBERTY

10. New York Jets (from Seattle)

And now for that receiver, just a decision on going to Ohio State or USC.

DRAKE LONDON, WR, USC

11. Washington

The Jets’ pick makes this one much easier for the Commanders, who go Buckeyes.

CHRIS OLAVE, WR, OHIO STATE

12. Minnesota

The Vikings weren’t focusing on the line in front of Kirk Cousins. Then this stud blocker was available.

EVAN NEAL, T, ALABAMA

13. Houston (from Cleveland)

Part of the Deshaun Watson deal. Houston addressed the D-line and now goes to the other side.

CHARLES CROSS, T, MISSISSIPPI STATE

14. Baltimore

Baltimore’s secondary was a sieve last season, very unlike the Ravens. Here’s some help.

DEREK STINGLEY JR., CB, LSU

15. Philadelphia (from Miami)

Edge rusher or massive DT? The Eagles could go either way.

JERMAINE JOHNSON, EDGE, FLORIDA STATE

16. New Orleans (from Indianapolis through Philadelphia)

Another team some folks believe will go quarterback here. We think the Saints are satisfied with Jameis Winston for a while. Not so satisfied with their receiving group or offensive line.

TRAVIS PENNING, T, NORTHERN IOWA

17. Los Angeles Chargers

This is not a huge need, but with him still around, the Chargers can’t pass on playmaking …

DEVIN LLOYD, LB, UTAH

18. Philadelphia (from New Orleans)

Philly used about 10 seconds to get the other DL it considered at No. 15.

JORDAN DAVIS, DT, GEORGIA

19. New Orleans (from Philadelphia)

We still don’t see the Saints going quarterback. They will decide between a star receiver coming off an ACL tear and a slightly less terrific wideout who is healthy.

TREYLON BURKS, WR, ARKANSAS

20. Pittsburgh

OK, we’ll go the quarterback route here. Steelers can only hope they get another Big Ben career out of …

MATT CORRAL, QB, MISSISSIPPI

21. New England

Even though the Patriots needs pass catchers, they have been burned by going high in the draft for them. So …

TRENT MCDUFFIE, CB, WASHINGTON

22. Green Bay (from Las Vegas)

Part of the Davante Adams deal. And just in time to take a receiver who could fit in quickly.

JAHAN DOTSON, WR, PENN STATE

23. Arizona

The Cardinals also want a wideout, and they will have to wait a spell for this guy — who might be the best receiver in this draft when healthy.

JAMESON WILLIAMS, WR, ALABAMA

24. Dallas

Remember how staunch the Dallas offensive lines were for years? No longer, so the Cowboys address that area.

KENYON GREEN, G, TEXAS A&M

25. Buffalo

An early Super Bowl favorite with the wise guys in Vegas, Buffalo looks for a starting cornerback to go with Tre’Davious White once he is healthy.

ANDREW BOOTH JR., CB, CLEMSON

26. Tennessee

The need for playmakers in the passing game remains in Music City. So the Titans sing out the name of …

GEORGE PICKENS, WR, GEORGIA

27. Tampa Bay

Well, it won’t likely be a QB with Tom Brady ending his short retirement without missing a game.

DEVONTE WYATT, DT, GEORGIA

28. Green Bay

Having taken a wideout earlier, the Packers can concentrate on the defense. They could go secondary here, too.

NAKOBE DEAN, LB, GEORGIA

29. Kansas City (from San Francisco through Miami)

Part of the payment for Tyreek Hill. But the Chiefs snap the string of Georgia Bulldogs with this selection.

TRAVIS JONES, DT, UCONN

30. Kansas City

And again for Kansas City’s D.

DAXTON HILL, S, MICHIGAN

31. Cincinnati

So close to their first Super Bowl title, the Bengals can go for the best player available. He’s a pass rusher who can stop the run.

GEORGE KARLAFTIS, EDGE, PURDUE

32. Detroit (from Los Angeles Rams)

The Lions can’t wait for anyone. They could take a quarterback here, but Detroit goes again in two spots.

CHRISTIAN WATSON, WR, NORTH DAKOTA STATE

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Kansas City Chiefs place kicker Harrison Butker (7) is lifted in the air after his game-winning fie...
Associated Press

Super Bowl 57: Chiefs, Eagles meet for title in Arizona

Patrick Mahomes finally got the best of Joe Burrow. All he needed was a little shove. Harrison Butker made a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left — after Cincinnati’s Joseph Ossai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for shoving Mahomes after he was out of bounds — and the Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 […]
23 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie (21) tackles Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow...
Associated Press

Burrow comes up short of leading Bengals back to Super Bowl

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Joe Cool’s calm demeanor for the Cincinnati Bengals melted on a frigid night against the Kansas City Chiefs. The brilliant Bengals quarterback was sacked five times, threw two interceptions and was unable to drive his team downfield late in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game. That gave the […]
23 hours ago
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo drives past New Orleans Pelicans' Jaxson Hayes during the fi...
Associated Press

Antetokounmpo scores 50 for Bucks; Pelicans lose 8th in row

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo says he wants to keep producing outstanding performances that he can show his kids one day when they’re old enough to appreciate them. The two-time MVP added one more to the list Sunday night. Antetokounmpo scored 50 points while playing only 30 minutes as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a […]
23 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signals teammates during the first half of the NFL A...
Associated Press

Chiefs top Bengals 23-20 on last-second kick for AFC title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes was forced to rely on his badly sprained right ankle rather than his strong right arm when the Kansas City Chiefs were desperately driving with a chance to win the AFC championship. The All-Pro quarterback, missing three wide receivers to injuries and battered himself, took off on a […]
23 hours ago
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) shoots against Los Angeles Clippers center Moses Brown ...
Associated Press

Osman ties career high with 29 points, Cavs rout Clippers

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cedi Osman tied his career high with 29 points and matched the franchise record by making all seven of his 3-pointers as the Cleveland Cavaliers built a 40-point lead on their way to a 122-99 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. All-Star starter Donovan Mitchell had 11 points in […]
23 hours ago
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against ...
Associated Press

Grizzlies use Morant’s triple-double, rally to beat Pacers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 27 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a lackluster first half to defeat the Indiana Pacers 112-100 on Sunday. Brandon Clarke had 13 points, hitting all five of his shots as Memphis snapped a five-game losing streak […]
23 hours ago
Mock Draft: Look to the trenches at beginning of selections