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2022 GZL Mock Draft (1-10) v.2
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

This is the second version of my earlier mock draft. I’ve refined my own rankings and there have been a few changes already to the draft board, so why not take another stab.

1.1 - WR Ja'Vonte Nix
The Seahawks have made their intentions clear and it appears Ja’Vonte Nix will be heading to the Pacific Northwest. This is an excellent pickup as Nix is the highest rated player on my board. There’s not a single deficiency in his game – he’s big, fast, agile and has some of the best hands in the draft. Now the question becomes who will be throwing the ball to him?

1.2 - DE Myles Garrett
The Vikings don’t enter the 2022 season with too many glaring holes. The two most obvious are Running Back and Defensive End. The best back in the draft is clearly Leonard Fournette and perhaps the better prospect than the two highly ranked Ends. However, the Vikings have a second first rounder late in the draft and can likely pick up a high quality back there, where the pool of Defensive Ends is not that deep.

1.3 – DE Ja’Bar Powers
The Lions are one of those teams that could go in many different directions. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Detroit pluck CB Humphrey off the board here, or even take one of the remaining WRs. But I have them snagging Powers, who is neck and neck with Garrett in my book for the best DE in the draft. Robert Ayers is getting old and not expected back. Logan Havelock has some talent but doesn’t appear to be the long term answer at the position

1.4 – OLB Carroll Phillips
In looking over the 5 other mock drafts, there are 5 different projected picks for the enigmatic Colts. Will they go Wide Receiver? Defensive Tackle? Offensive Line? All are viable options. I have them going for Carroll Phillips. Outside Linebackers are often not highly coveted, but Phillips looks like he could be an impact player.

1.5 – OT Cam Robinson
Last year’s starting Tackle, Sammy Fraser gave up an eye-opening 12 sacks in 2021. Washington is investing a lot in the development of Jared Goff at QB so protecting his blindside makes a lot of sense here.

1.6 – CB Marlon Humphrey
Many mock drafts have CB Marlon Humphrey as a Top 3 pick, so getting him sixth overall is something of a coup here. The Steelers need a lot of help in the secondary with Price appearing done and Brady Shields and Jamell Fleming both being a little undersized. Humphrey is a good prospect, but not flawless CB of previous drafts. Still, he’s a stud that will improve the Pittsburgh secondary.

1.7 – DT Malik McDowell
No one loves taking a Defensive Tackle in the Top 10, but McDowell is a good fit here. Atlanta appears to have needs at Guard and Outside Linebacker, also not sexy positions. However, McDowell is the real deal with good strength and excellent athleticism. The only knock on him would be he’s a little undersized, but can put on some pounds during training camp.

1.8 – HB Dalvin Cook
Jacksonville has one of the worst stable of backs in the league and finished 31st in the league in rushing. With the selection of Cook the Jags can be a legit contender in the weak AFC South. Cook isn’t as fast or agile as Fournette, but he’s the strongest back in the draft and has the best acceleration. Look for Cook to impress this season and into the future.

1.9 – OT Mike McGlinchey
The Saints need help on their offensive line and McGlinchey is just the player to give them a boost. Even though McClinchey is a Tackle and the Saints need help at Guard, he can easily slide inside and continue the rebuilding at the position that the Saints started with the drafting of Royer and Conklin. If they don’t go O-Line here, look for New Orleans to select either a HB or DE.

1.10 – WR Mike Williams
The Bears also could go Defensive End here, but with Garrett or Powers off the board, such a selection would be a reach. There are still a couple good WRs on the board and look for Chicago to snag one here. It’s a little bit of a toss-up between Williams and Courtland Sutton – the two are fairly evenly matched. Sutton is faster, but Williams is more agile. Sutton has better hands, but Williams has better acceleration. So it’s something of a push, though the edge ultimately goes to Williams who is considerably stronger.
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