The long wait is finally over and the 2022 NFL draft starts tonight in Las Vegas at 8pm. We’ve gone through hundreds of mock drafts over the last few months, and the Washington Commanders first round pick seems to have been narrowed down to one of a handful of the top WRs and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. The most smoke recently at WR has been about USC’s Drake London, but he could be gone by #11. Chris Olave has also been heavily connected to Ron Rivera and the team for months. It’s no surprise that these are the two receivers who have split the vote between ESPN’s Mel Kiper(Olave) and Todd McShay(Olave).
Kyle Hamilton has been a steady mock draft selection for the Washington Commanders throughout the draft process, but he became more likely after his slow testing numbers dropped him from guaranteed Top 10 status. There are still plenty of mocks today that have Hamilton going in the first 10 picks, but I found a dirty dozen’s worth this week that have him suiting up for Washington’s defense this year.
A segment of Washington fans want the team to trade down every year, but with the teams lack of a 3rd and 5th this year, the calls have been pretty loud to acquire more picks. GM Martin Mayhew hinted that the team would likely be trying to get more picks and praised the middle of this draft which he said starts pretty early this year. He said they have explored trades both up and down the draft, and don’t expect to end up with the 6 picks they currently have. We have a few mocks here that feature Washington trading down in the first, and one that has them trading down twice!
I have said it multiple times here in the Hogs Haven comments section and on twitter, but I’ll give my official prediction here for this final mock draft roundup of the 2022 NFL Draft(before tomorrow’s Day 2 roundup). I don’t expect Washington to trade down from their #11 pick in the first round, but do expect a trade down from #47 in the second round. My prediction for that 11th overall pick is Ohio State WR Chris Olave. Enjoy the draft tonight and thanks as always for reading and following along!
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State (Draft Profile)
If Washington wants to put Carson Wentz in a position to succeed, it could take Olave and pair him with another Ohio State receiver in Terry McLaurin. The Commanders’ defense has a lot of young talent, but the offense is lacking. Olave is great after the catch.
The WR run continues with Washington adding yet another Ohio State product.
How cool would it be if it fell Wilson-Williams-Olave … teammates at Ohio State in 2019 and 2020 before Williams transferred to Alabama? They combined for 40 touchdowns last season in Columbus and Tuscaloosa. I wish I could figure a way for Olave to fall to Green Bay, because with his precision route-running and vaunted football smarts, he’d be a perfect 2022 fit for Aaron Rodgers. But I can’t see him lasting to the twenties. The fourth of four straight wideouts makes too much sense for Washington, which I think loves Drake London but will be thrilled with the sub-4.4 speed and top football IQ of Olave.
If the Falcons take Wilson, and London somehow slips, I think that’d be the ideal scenario for Washington. In this one, Ron Rivera takes home a very solid, do-everything program fit who happens to be very close with the veteran receiver he’s trying to re-sign.
Yes, I know Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame) is still on the board, but this is PREDICTIVE, not a “what I would do” mock. The tea leaves are just too apparent here to deny the fit and with Head Coach Ron Rivera’s extensive history in taking players from the pipeline in Columbus. Olave fits the script and fills an immediate need for the new-look burgundy and gold offense under quarterback Carson Wentz’ command. The most fluid route runner in the class, Olave’s polished skill set should jigsaw well with McLaurin and do-it-all weapon Curtis Samuel.
The Commanders need to give Carson Wentz and Terry McLaurin some help at wideout and getting a true speedy No. 1 outside would be a great decision for Scott Turner’s offense. Olave has a little more all-around appeal for his explosiveness than former teammates Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams.
Round 2: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The Commanders acquired Carson Wentz but they should know they need to have a contingency after what happened with him in Indianapolis. This is good value to take a shot on Corral’s combination of athleticism and an aggressive big arm.
Round 4: M.J. Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
Round 6: D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State
Round 7: Derek Deese Jr., TE, San Jose State
Round 7: Percy Butler, S, Louisiana-Lafayette
The Commanders surprised most draftniks last year by selecting Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis in Round 1 instead of a player like Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. They surprise again by drafting Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave over USC’s Drake London. With London working himself back from a broken ankle and the Commanders needing an instant-impact player, Olave becomes the more alluring option of the two or even Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton.
Terry McLaurin had 1053 receiving yards in 2021. The next closest player, RB J.D. McKissic, had 397. McLaurin can’t do it all on his own.
Drake London, WR, USC (Draft Profile)
The Commanders probably would consider tackle Charles Cross and perhaps receiver Jameson Williams, depending how confident they are about when he’d return from a torn ACL in his left knee. But Washington would like a big target among its receiving corps and really likes London. At 6-foot-4, he provides a wide catch radius for quarterback Carson Wentz so he doesn’t always have to pinpoint throws. The Commanders also love how London makes contested catches; for some that reveals an inability to create separation but for others it shows the type of catches players have to make all the time in the NFL. Washington’s offense hasn’t ranked in the top 10 in yards or points since 2016; adding more talent was a must.
Terry McLaurin had 1,053 receiving yards last season, but no other Washington player broke 400. I love London’s ability to box out defenders and come down with tough contested catches, and new Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz would too.
This pick would likely come down to London and Kyle Hamilton, and right now I’m leaning toward the big offensive playmaker who will help put points on the scoreboard.
While the team’s other top pass catchers battled injuries, Terry McLaurin (1,053 yards) was the only Commander to exceed 400 receiving yards last season. London uses his 6’5” frame and large catch radius to turn contested catches into his advantage. The former basketball player had 88 catches for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in only eight games before his season was cut short by an ankle injury.
Will pick: Drake London, WR, USC
Should pick: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Dark horse: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Commanders are well-positioned to land a falling prospect on defense or one of the top receivers in this year’s draft. London (6-4, 219 pounds) is arguably the best receiver left on the board, as he is a great contested-catch receiver who totaled 88 catches, 1,084 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season in just eight games.
Washington could pair London with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel to make a diverse receiving corps. They could also add Chris Olave to make an all-Ohio State room.
All that said, their best option would be to trust that Hamilton can find a home as a hybrid playmaker at the NFL level. His 40 time wasn’t good, but the Notre Dame product can play. He’d be a great replacement for Landon Collins in a hybrid role.
Carson Wentz in going to need all the help he can get, especially if Terry McLaurin joins the long line of young receivers willing to play hardball for a hefty payday. This scenario gives them the opportunity to pick from all of this year’s top pass-catchers, and London gives them a dominant red-zone threat.
Round 2: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
If Ron Rivera is intent on rolling with Carson Wentz — and it appears that he is — then the team might as well get him some weapons. At 6-foot-5, London was a high-point-catch machine before his ‘21 season ended prematurely with an ankle injury. He reminds us some of his former teammate at USC, Michael Pittman, and London has all the tools to be WR1.
Round 2: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
They need to get a big-bodied receiver who can help Carson Wentz. London would be that guy. He would give them a nice group of pass-catchers.
The run on WR is real. I would have put Kyle Hamilton here in many previous iterations of this, and I am far from convinced he will still be here (if the Jets don’t land Deebo some GMs believe London is in play fourth overall). But if he is, I think that’s the pick.
The Commanders could go defense here, particularly in the secondary with safety Kyle Hamilton or cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. But taking a wide receiver to complement Terry McLaurin would boost the chances of success for new quarterback Carson Wentz.
Drake London is a big physical receiver who comps well to Michael Thomas. The Commanders will have a legitimate 1-2 punch with McLaurin and London who have complimentary skill sets.
The Redskins traded for Carson Wentz, so how can they not provide their new quarterback with some new receiving talent? All they have is Terry McLaurin at the position. Wentz will struggle to catch on in Washington if they don’t give him another dynamic weapon.
Drake London has mismatch size, and he could be the first receiver off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has drawn comparisons to Mike Evans.
Round 2: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
The Redskins had major problems at cornerback last year, so they could address the position early in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Kaiir Elam has a good mix of length and quickness.
Round 4: Jayln Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
Round 6: Otito Ogbonnia, DT, UCLA
Round 7: David Anenih, CB, Fresno State
When your primary option at quarterback is Carson Wentz, you’re going to need receivers with crazy catch radii, and the ability to win contested catch battles. London has proven able to check both boxes, and while he isn’t a separator at a Jameson Williams level, he’s more active in space than you may have been led to believe. With London, Terry McLaurin, and Curtis Samuel, the Commanders have a receiver group even Wentz can be productive with.
Round 2: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
The run on WRs continues with Washington taking USC’s Drake London. Flying the big-bodied pass catcher cross country, London will instantly become Carson Wentz’s favorite target. That isn’t a shot at Terry McLaurin. But if you go through Wentz’s career, his top targets have all had similar statures to London. However, London is a more fluid mover than Alshon Jeffery, Travis Fulgham, and Michael Pittman Jr.
After confidently mocking Kyle Hamilton in this spot for the past month, I am officially changing this pick. I am hearing that the offensive side of the ball is enamored with Drake London and that Ron Rivera and Co. believe they can land a Buffalo Nickel/safety in the second round in a player like Lewis Cine, Jalen Pitre, or Jaquan Brisker. Washington’s top option is trading down, and Ron Rivera and Martin Mayhew made that clear on Monday.
The team would be happy with Hamilton if London isn’t available, but reports are that Jack Del Rio isn’t as high on the pick, as Hamilton must be specifically schemed for week-in and week-out. However, if a trade-down is not available, London is the top target. The former two-sport athlete at USC would provide Carson Wentz with a big target, the type he has succeeded with in both Philadelphia and Indianapolis.
Round 2: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Round 4: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
Round 6: Matt Waletzko, OL, North Dakota
Round 7: Mykael Wright, CB, Oregon
Round 7: Mario Goodrich, CB, Clemson
Kyle Hamilton is a strong option here as well, but Washington ends up opting for help on offense. London lined up outside and in the slot for USC while totaling 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games last season before suffering an ankle fracture.
Washington has lacked consistent production opposite Terry McLaurin, and London’s size (6-4, 219 pounds) is a big element here. Carson Wentz has always had that reliable big target, whether it was Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz in Philly or Michael Pittman in Indy. London could instantly become that for Wentz in Washington. Head coach Ron Rivera also has a history of drafting big-bodied receivers during his time in Carolina, selecting Kelvin Benjamin (2014) and Devin Funchess (2015).
London gives Carson Wentz a big, possession target while also taking some of the defense's attention away from Terry McLaurin.
Washington gets a big (6-foot-4, 219 pounds), physical receiver who can make tough plays in traffic.
I love the fit of London with Terry McLaurin in this Commanders offense. I feel like London’s frame (6-foot-4, 219 pounds), catch radius and competitiveness with the ball in the air provide a measure of forgiveness for new QB Carson Wentz’s sometimes-perilous passing.
One of the sneakier selections, the Commanders add a big body to their offense with the versatile Drake London. Rivera has reportedly loved London through this process and Wentz has thrived with bigger targets.
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State (Draft Profile)
This selection would surely be made with the blessing of — or as the result of begging by? — current Commanders WR1 Terry McLaurin. These former Buckeyes in tandem would really give new QB Carson Wentz an excellent chance at recapturing his former glory. It was very tough to not ink Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton here, but “Scary Terry” has earned the right to some big-time (and familiar) assistance.
Washington has wide receiver Terry McLaurin and... that’s about it. If you’re going to give new quarterback Carson Wentz any chance at all to succeed, you’re going to need to give him some guys to throw to and Wilson is about as good as it gets in this class. And no, that didn’t feel good to type considering his alma mater.
He is sudden and violent with his hips in and out of breaks. At his best on a vertical plane where he can manipulate space and stop on a dime creating ample separation. Wilson shows good pace and stride variation making him tough to predict especially with his hip fluidity. Good understanding of finding soft spots in zone and working back to the QB.
Round 2: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
Washington adds another dynamic playmaker for new quarterback Carson Wentz by selecting Wilson here. Wilson would be a nice complement to Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel and should help Wentz bounce back from a rough finish in Indianapolis.
Wilson has great body control and gets off the line super quick. He can get open and give Carson Wentz a nice short passing weapon who has deep speed too. Ron Rivera went to Ohio State’s Pro Day and saw Wilson and teammate Chris Olave first hand, so pairing Terry McLaurin with another Buckeye makes sense.
Round 2: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Walker would give a compliment to Antonio Gibson and add another major weapon.
Round 4: Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State
Round 6: Gerrit Prince, TE, UAB
Round 7: Chance Campbell, LB, Mississippi
Round 7: Juanyeh Thomas, S, Georgia Tech
Kyle Hamilton was definitely a consideration here, but the Commanders have to do whatever they can to make the Carson Wentz experiment succeed.
A new Buckeye receiver could replace a current Buckeye receiver to whom they may not want to give big money.
General manager Martin Mayhew and Ron Rivera got their QB in the Carson Wentz trade with the Colts and added $28 million in cap reduction. They need weapons, and Wilson is the most complete receiver left. He has some Cooper Kupp in-route wiggle that Chris Olave doesn’t have. He also uses multiple moves within the route to get separation. With the moves and the 4.38 speed, he is the most complete package at receiver this year.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama (Draft Profile)
With Washington star wideout Terry McLaurin looking for a new contract before the 2022 season gets underway, Washington makes a pick that provides leverage in negotiations in addition to the obvious value that comes with landing the Alabama speedster.
New Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz certainly made a habit of finding one of the great deep threats in wide receiver DeSean Jackson deep downfield during their time spent together in Philadelphia, and Williams could provide the field-stretching presence this offense needs.
Both Wentz’ Eagles and Ron Rivera’s Panthers teams put a lot of value on big-bodied receivers, so perhaps USC’s Drake London is the target here with a skill set that no one in Washington currently has, but Williams has the rare speed that can give opposing defenses fits while opening things up for others around him.
The Commies need Carson Wentz to help save some jobs and/or prevent the hot seat for Ron Rivera in 2023. Washington could use another receiver to go with Terry McLaurin. Wiliams would provide more game-breaking speed for the offense.
The Ohio State transfer was an electric playmaker for the Crimson Tide in 2021, averaging 19.9 yards per catch for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns on 79 catches. The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Williams has quality height and explosive speed alongside suddenness and a burst that catches defensive backs by surprise. Williams tore his ACL tear in the National Championship game, so he could miss part of his rookie season as he comes back from the injury.
Round 2: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Washington’s pass coverage in 2021 lived up to “the Commodes” nick name that some Redskins alumni have been calling the team privately. The organization could use a replacement for Landon Collins.
Brisker is a talented player with speed, instincts and versatility, plus he is willing to get physical. Brisker collected 43 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up in 2021. In 2020, he flashed at times for the Nittany Lions while recording 57 tackles, four passes defended and an interception. He totaled 31 tackles, two interceptions and four passes defended in 2019. Brisker has a tendency to get banged up and gets more attention from trainers than NFL teams like to see. The 6-foot-1, 203-pounder has starting potential and could be a good value pick on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Round 4: Mario Goodrich, CB, Clemson
Round 6: Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers
Round 7: Isaiah Chambers, DE, McNeese State
Round 7: Malik Davis, RB, Florida
The run on wide receivers starts with Williams, who has rare speed and ball-tracking ability at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. He tore his ACL in the national championship game, so he might not be healthy to start the season, but he’s the highest upside receiver in the class.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (Draft Profile)
Commanders Receive: No. 20, No. 52 and 2023 third-round pick
Steelers Receive: No. 11
Burks is built like a taller running back at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. He dominates after the catch and will surprise defensive backs with his speed, regardless of whether the ball is in his hands. He’ll likely assume a slot role at the next level, but he’ll still command a lot of attention from the inside. He earned an 88.0-plus receiving grade in back-to-back seasons to close out his career at Arkansas.
The Commanders’ bet on quarterback Carson Wentz will fall flat on its face if the team doesn’t prioritize adding talent around him. Burks can step in immediately and play the role they hoped for Curtis Samuel at a much higher level right out of the gate.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (Draft Profile)
Carson Wentz isn’t good enough to dissuade the Commanders from taking a potentially game-changing quarterback like Willis. Washington will never be a serious contender until they fix their quarterback situation. Willis has the highest ceiling of all the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
#11: Washington gets No. 23, No. 55 and a 2023 third-round pick from Arizona.
#23: Washington gets No. 26, No. 90 and No. 169 from Tennessee.
Another trade-back by the Commanders. More selections for Ron Rivera’s squadron. At this stage in Round 1, they’re smitten with the opportunity to pick Ridder to be the heir apparent to Carson Wentz. Or maybe Wentz insurance.
Round 2, #47: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
Round 2, #55: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
Round 3, #90: Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
Round 4, #113: Zonovan Knight, RB, NC State
Round 5, #169: Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
Round 6, #189: Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
Round 7, #231: Jake Camarda, P, Georgia
Round 7, #241: Jeremiah Gemmel, LB, North Carolina
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (Draft Profile)
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound playmaker could add a dimension to Washington’s defense as a versatile box safety with outstanding instincts, awareness and ball skills.
Hamilton is not a perfect prospect but he is a unique combination of size and speed. He can erase tight ends in the NFL and play downhill with force. His awareness and football IQ will endear himself to coaching and some of that leadership was missed on that side of the ball last season.
Round 2: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
He’s 6-4 and 220 pounds with sub-4.6 speed and can shore up deficiencies at the second and/or third levels. Hamilton can provide coverage, a box presence, blitzing ability and an intimidation factor – a varied skill set recently released S Landon Collins just couldn’t provide in D.C. Hamilton is widely regarded as a top-five talent in this draft who’s being undercut by the positional value of safeties.
This pick comes down to Hamilton, Drake London, Chris Olave, or a trade down for me. I really like London and Olave but I think Kyle Hamilton’s pro bowl ability is too good to pass up here. He will come in and excel in the buffalo nickel role from day one. Hamilton has elite ball skills and elite instincts. He would help transform this defense into a more complete and diverse unit.
Acquiring Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts helped take Washington out of the running to select a first-round quarterback. Head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio would happily pounce on the best player available at No. 11 overall, and in this scenario, that happens to be the best overall player left on the board regardless of position. There’s nothing Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton can’t do. Hamilton is a remarkable talent with a rare blend of explosiveness, size, speed, length, and overall athleticism.
Rejoice, Commanders fans. Because of the NFL’s silly “positional value” mindset surrounding safeties, the best athlete in this draft class fell all the way out of the top 10. Washington does not let Kyle Hamilton fall any further, and they get a do-it-all defender that immediately makes their secondary more formidable.
The Commanders have a solid roster and could gain a superstar here with Hamilton. As many times as I have let it play out, I don’t see Hamilton falling further than Washington.
I’ve gone WR and QB here in previous mock drafts, but Hamilton makes a ton of sense, considering that Washington’s starters at safety are seventh-rounder Kamren Curl and fifth-rounder Bobby McCain.
One could make an argument that Washington has bigger needs than safety. But coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are as old-school as they come, and Hamilton has the range and playmaking ability to truly turn around this defense should the pass rush come together. At this point, Hamilton might be too good to pass up.
The freak show gets another addition. The Commanders have added some insane athletic outliers to their defense in recent years, and the 6-foot-4, 220-pound safety is no exception.
They’ll draft a safety in either Round 1 or 2, and here they get a player who profiles as a bigger, more talented Landon Collins. Hamilton shouldn’t have fallen this far. (Ohio State WR Chris Olave, whom the team is said to be a big fan of, was another prime option here.)
I hope that Hamilton’s film is not overshadowed by his average 40 time (4.59) and the idea that safety doesn’t have “premium positional value.” Washington’s pairing of Hamilton (roaming the back half with his exceptional football IQ and range) and Kamren Curl (working around the line of scrimmage) will give offenses fits.
Round 2: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Round 4: Marquis Hayes, G, Oklahoma
Round 6: Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati
Round 7: Aaron Hansford, LB, Texas A&M
Round 7: Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky
The Commanders are obsessed with filling the Buffalo Nickel role, where Landon Collins played before being cut to say $16 million.
Who do you want Washington to pick in the first round?
This poll is closed
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Drake London, WR, USC
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas(after trade down)
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati(after trade down)
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame