Mel Kiper mock draft 2022: Newest ESPN mock has 4 large surprises

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We’re simply over a month away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and no person has any thought what’s going to occur. That’s true to a level in any draft, but it surely feels much more distinct this yr. A deep class, paired with uncertainty at quarterback, has left us in a state of affairs the place any variety of completely different gamers may very well be taken within the Prime 10, they usually nonetheless all make sense.

That’s why on first look at Mel Kiper’s newest mock draft I used to be left surprised, as a result of it so extensively diverse from the normal perceptions of this class — however the extra I take a look at it, and give it some thought, the extra it looks like a risk no less than among the picks will play out this fashion.

You need to check out your entire mock to see the way it performs out, however I wish to dive into the few issues that surprised me essentially the most from Kiper’s newest projection.

No. 1: Drake London is the primary WR off the board, and early

This one actually took me aback. I can actually see a toss-up between Garrett Wilson and London as the highest receiver on this draft relying on what groups worth.

Wilson could be very a lot within the mould of what groups need in receivers proper now. He’s an enormous expertise after the catch with a pure really feel for the right way to evade defenders and choose up further yards. There isn’t an ideal comparability, however consider him extra within the Cooper Kupp mould. Wilson goes to make a quarterback look higher, he’ll catch some downfield passes, however his actual talent comes from placing the ball in his fingers and have him make performs.

London is the exact opposite. He’s a big-bodied receiver with a mammoth catch radius that performs extra like a hybrid tight finish. The talent set isn’t dissimilar to that of Kyle Pitts or a Mike Evans, which is extraordinarily engaging to groups. These are gamers who can take a questionably leap ball and switch it into a giant play, purely as a result of they’ll seize passes smaller defensive backs can’t attain.

This makes a variety of sense for the Jets, who Kiper have taking London at No. 4. This feels ludicrously early, however he’s a receiver who might help Zach Wilson immensely, who’s all the time had a propensity to throw 50/50 balls and ask his receiver to make the play.

No. 2: Carolina screws up … BIG TIME

There’s completely nothing flawed with Travon Walker. Hell, I had him going at No. 12 in my final mock to the Vikings, the place I feel he’d be a tremendous choose. If the Panthers take him with the sixth choose it might be a colossal mistake.

There’s little doubt this staff wants cross dashing assist reverse Brian Burns, they want a variety of every part, however this choose wants to be an offensive lineman, or a quarterback if Carolina falls in love. There’s completely no room for anything, particularly with Mississippi State OT Charles Cross nonetheless on the board, which is a hand-meet-glove choose.

Deciding on Walker can be disastrous to Carolina’s rebuild, as a result of it might supply no assist to their struggling offense, which needs to be the focus right here.

No. 3: The place are the corners?

No cornerback within the prime 10… huh? I undoubtedly see there being some debate between Derek Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner for the highest nook this draft, however there is no such thing as a situation through which I might see each sliding out of the highest 10.

The place is simply too necessary within the fashionable NFL to see six linemen go early, however no corners. I feel in the end each Stingley Jr. and Gardner will go prime 10.

No. 4: The quarterback slide is very large

That is bizarre, however I might completely see it taking place. Kiper doesn’t have a passer go till 18th, when the Saints choose Kenny Pickett. Then the Steelers take Malik Willis at 20.

I’ve been attempting to articulate how I really feel about Willis and Pickett, and I feel I’ve type of settled on the comparability I’m extra comfy with: I really feel like Willis is a poor man’s Kyler Murray along with his elusiveness and arm energy, however with out the resume to again up being taken increased — whereas Pickett is a plus-level Josh Rosen. Similar issues about cockiness, however some pro-level instruments you hope you possibly can construct on as a staff.

These actually aren’t glowing descriptions, which is why I can see this slide into the center of the spherical being very doable. Nonetheless, I’m banking on somebody keen to roll the cube on Willis and him go very early on this draft.

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