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KS4GM’s Slightly Delayed First 2022 Mock Draft

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Oregon v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It’s been an odd offseason, and for any variety of reasons I’ve been a little slow getting into the draft preparations this year. But, with the fervor of free agency upon us, the draft bug appears to have infected me once again. What follows is my inaugural, and very provisional, 2022 mock draft.

For this mock, I used the PFF Mock Draft Simulator. As per usual, I was looking to trade back if the right opportunity arose. As it so happened, the Browns were looking to come up to #11, and the Commanders received #13 and #78 in return.

Round 1, Pick 13

Trent McDuffie (CB)

Like William Jackson III, McDuffie excels in man coverage. He has the ability to play inside or outside. Lance Zierlein comps him to Green Bay’s Jaire Alexander, one of the top CBs in the league, and describes him as “carrying a very high floor with the potential to become one of the league’s top corners at some point during his first contract.” That’s what I like to hear about my first rounders. It’s been a long time since Washington took a first round corner, but given how the board could fall, it looks like it could be the time to go back to that well for BPA at a position of need.

Round 2, Pick 47

Trey McBride (TE)

Some might accuse me of reaching with this pick, but the reality is, while three top ILB prospects were on the board at this point - including Chad Muma - the more I’ve read about each of them, the less convinced I am that any of them are worth a second rounder. McBride may be the best TE in the class, and he’s already a strong blocker coming out of college. With Ricky Seals-Jones gone in free agency, and Logan Thomas still recovering from injury, I like the idea of refreshing the tight end pipeline.

Round 3, Pick 78

Carson Strong (QB)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If Washington doesn’t come out of this draft with a Day 1 or 2 QB prospect, it will have been a failure. I, like all of us, hope that Carson Wentz kills it as QB1, but that’s neither guaranteed, nor a responsible long range plan. With Taylor Heinicke topping out as a high end back-up, there needs to be a Plan B in the pipeline. Strong has concerns - most notably around the condition of his knees - which is why he may be available on Day 2, but NFL scouts say he has “special arm talent.” Realistically, if Washington really wants Strong, they may have to take him with their second rounder, particularly if they don’t trade back from #11.

Round 4, Pick 113

Christian Watson (WR)

With 4.3 speed and a host of other top measurables, Watson is an impressive, athletic specimen. He played against lower level competition at North Dakota State, but had significant special teams experience in college, and comes from a family of professional football players. He will need to bulk up a bit for the NFL, but as a developmental option at WR, he presents potentially high upside.

Round 6, Pick 189

Ty Chandler (RB)

Chandler has sub-4.4 speed and filled in nicely for UNC, with the loss of their two drafted backs who excelled in 2021. Chandler has kick return experience and is noted for his ability to pass protect, showing the potential to be an eventual 3-down back in the NFL.

Round 7, Pick 230

Darien Butler (LB)

Looking at 7th rounders at this point in the offseason is essentially throwing darts blindly at the players who have the highest potential ceiling, despite often critical shortcomings. Interestingly enough, Zierlein comps Butler to Khaleke Hudson, Washington’s 5th rounder from a couple of years ago. Butler was a three-time captain at Arizona State, and is noted for his coverage ability, one of the weakest elements of Washington’s LB corps for years now. Butler likely starts as a special teamer, perhaps displacing one of the older vets on the squad, but possesses the ability to be eventual depth at LB.

Round 7, Pick 239

Nick Zakelj (T)

Zakelj is a big tackle out of Fordham who needs to improve his technique in order to succeed in the NFL. With John Matsko’s steady training, Zakelj possesses the ability to serve as a swing tackle, with potential starter upside - eventually - if he stays on track. At this point, he’s a roll of the dice.


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