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The “three number” is a number that has three digits. It can be written as 1, 2, or 3.
6:35 a.m. Eastern Time
Mel Kiper Jr. is the son of Mel Kiper.
- Since 1984, Mel Kiper has worked as an NFL draft commentator for ESPN. He’s a frequent on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio, and he writes for ESPN Insider on a weekly basis.
Senior Writer for ESPN
- Analyst for ESPN College Football and the NFL Draft
- In 2006, he joined ESPN.
- In high school, he was a quarterback, and at the University of Richmond, he was a backup quarterback.
In nine short days, Round 1 of the 2022 NFL draft will finally be here. One day later, we’ll get Rounds 2 and 3. So NFL draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. is the son of Mel Kiper. and McShay, Todd are here to project all 105 picks of the first three rounds.
What’s the catch? Each option was alternated by Kiper and McShay. They based their Rounds 1-3 predictions on a combination of what they believe each team will do and what they would do. They’re playing general manager for all 32 clubs and guiding them with their own personal rankings. The following are the rules for the draft:
Three complete rounds, a total of 105 choices, including prospect forecasts at each position.
Each choice was rotated between Kiper and McShay, with McShay beginning at No. 1 and picking the odd numbers while Kiper took the evens.
There are no arrangements that even hint at “I’m not taking Player X until you take Player Y.” There will be no cheating.
There are no transactions permitted here. We’re simply going with the flow of the board.
Eight teams make at least five picks, and all 32 franchises have at least one selection — though the Dolphins and Rams will have to wait until late in Round 3. McShay gets us going with the Jaguars at No. 1, and he’ll also get the final pick of this mock draft as we go through the compensatory selections to the 49ers at No. 105. Check out the SportsCenter Special: Kiper & McShay Three-Round Mock Draft at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday on ESPN2 and ESPN+.
An asterisk indicates a compensating choice.
1 | 2 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 1 | 2 | 3
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan, is McShay’s choice.
The best player on the board has been chosen. That’s all there is to it. In Jacksonville, Josh Allen and Hutchinson, who combined for 14 sacks last season, would be a formidable edge-rush tandem.
Travon Walker, DE, Georgia, is Kiper’s choice.
Walker isn’t listed this high on my Big Board (he’s No. 10), but because of his upside, he’ll go in the first five choices. If the Lions can’t acquire Hutchinson, Walker might provide immediate edge-rush support.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon, is McShay’s choice.
Last season, the Texans only recorded 32 sacks, and Thibodeaux possesses a lightning quick first step off the edge. Since parting ways with J.J. Watt last summer, Houston has been on the lookout for a quality pass rusher.
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati CB, is Kiper’s selection.
I believe the Jets will go with the best defense available now that the top three edge rushers are gone. Gardner has the potential to be a shutdown corner.
Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State, is McShay’s choice.
The Giants still need a tackle opposite Andrew Thomas in 2021, and the best one in the class is still here at No. 5. If the board went this way, new GM Joe Schoen would be running to turn in the choice card.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty, is Kiper’s choice.
The Panthers will have no selections on the second day of the draft unless they trade down. This is their opportunity to get a quarterback. Kenny Pickett is not as talented as Willis.
Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State, is McShay’s choice.
Hutchinson, Walker, and Thibodeaux went 1-2-3, but Johnson is also a top-10 selection, and the Giants have an edge rusher problem. The Giants would be off to a tremendous start in the draft if they could check off two boxes with their first two choices.
Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State, is Kiper’s choice.
Todd, what do the Falcons need in this situation? Everything would be spoken by me. Wilson, a fluid route runner with exceptional speed, has the potential to be their top receiver.
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama, is McShay’s choice.
Sure, quarterback is a possibility, but the Seahawks need to make this happen now that Duane Brown’s left tackle job is open and Neal is on the way out. It doesn’t matter whether Drew Lock or someone else begins under center; if he can’t keep upright, he’ll struggle.
Drake London, WR, USC, is Kiper’s choice.
Unless a club moves up, this may be a wide receiver-only situation. Although Jameson Williams is a possibility, I like the 6-foot-4 London. In the red zone, he’s a lethal weapon.
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame, is McShay’s choice.
London would have been a great match for Washington, and Ohio State receiver Chris Olave wouldn’t have been out of the question either. However, Hamilton’s worth is too great to ignore. Let’s get the Commanders a defensive difference-maker on Day 1 and worry about receivers on Day 2.
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU, is Kiper’s choice.
Stingley was on my list of top prospects, and I suggested that Minnesota would likely be his first-round floor. Even after back-to-back injury-plagued seasons, NFL clubs will gamble on his skill.
Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State, is McShay’s choice.
If Davis Mills wants to be a success in the NFL, Houston must provide him with some protection. Cross has the potential to be the finest pure pass-protector in the class.
Trent McDuffie, Washington CB, is Kiper’s selection.
The Ravens have choices in this situation. They might either go for a defensive lineman or an offensive tackle. McDuffie adds variety and depth to a position that was plagued by injuries last year.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama, is McShay’s choice.
Williams may not be ready for Week 1 as he recovers from a ruptured ACL, but he possesses the speed, elusiveness, and hands to pose a real threat to NFL defenses. The Eagles have a habit of choosing Day 1 receivers, but teaming Williams with DeVonta Smith, a first-round pick last year, should put a stop to it for a while.
Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa, is Kiper’s selection.
The Saints have two first-round picks now and can either keep them or try to trade up for a quarterback. They’ll need to find a starting right tackle if they maintain them. Finally, if they believe they are a contender, they should target players who can play right away. Penning has a horrible way of putting the game away.
Jordan Davis, Georgia’s defensive tackle, is McShay’s choice.
Are you taken aback? Given the Chargers’ signings of Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson, I don’t believe the necessity for a run-stopper like Davis is as great as it previously was. This 341-pounder, though, has been a popular mock draft choice in this city, and he would only assist the team’s dreadful run defense.
Daxton Hill, S/CB, Michigan, is Kiper’s choice.
Hill, who spent last season mostly as a slot corner for the Wolverines, is a tremendous admirer of mine. As a center fielder, he could load the stat book for the Eagles, making tackles at the line of scrimmage and catching passes.
Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State, is McShay’s choice.
Mel took care of Terron Armstead’s offensive line replacement (Penning), so I’ll wrap up the Saints’ first-round pick with a receiver. Michael Thomas hasn’t played much in the last two seasons, and the depth chart behind him is quite thin. Olave is an excellent route runner who can can produce vertical plays.
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt, is Kiper’s selection.
Will Pickett rise beyond No. 20? Probably. However, barring trades, and with the Saints receiving two immediate starters while foregoing a quarterback, Pittsburgh is the most plausible landing location for him. I wouldn’t be shocked if he beats out Mitch Trubisky for the starting job.
Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia, is McShay’s choice.
If you’ve read any of my earlier mock drafts this spring, you already know how much I like this look. Coach Bill Belichick would use Dean on defense in a variety of ways because he had incredible footage.
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State, is Kiper’s choice.
This one is problematic since the top four receivers may be off the board by the time the Packers choose, so they may have to package Nos. 22 and 28 and move up if they want their man. Watson, who has great physical talents but is still a bit raw, makes sense if they remain put.
Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas, is McShay’s choice.
Mel, Watson trumps Burks? The Cardinals, in my opinion, are fortunate in this situation. A.J. Green was re-signed, but Christian Kirk was traded to Jacksonville, and Burks is a tough receiver who can produce after the catch and cause problems out of the slot in Arizona.
Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State’s DE/OLB, is Kiper’s selection.
This team-prospect pairing is fantastic, especially with so many receivers already taken. Micah Parsons, another former Nittany Lion, will be able to remain at off-ball linebacker if Ebiketie joins him in Dallas.
Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB, is McShay’s choice.
Six receivers are no longer available, therefore I’m focusing only on cornerbacks. Booth would be an excellent substitute for Levi Wallace opposite Tre’Davious White, since he excels at press-man coverage (who is recovering from a torn ACL).
Zion Johnson, G/C, Boston College, is Kiper’s choice.
This is a choice for a position with a definite need. Last season, Johnson dominated at left guard for Boston College, but he could also play center if necessary. To make room for Derrick Henry, the Titans will need to hire road graders.
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia, is McShay’s choice.
Johnson would have been a great pick for Tampa Bay, but you stole him, Mel. Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green could make sense, too, to help fill the Ali Marpet/Alex Cappa void on the interior line. But I’m going with the interior of the other line, where the Bucs appear set to lose Ndamukong Suh.
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George Karlaftis, Purdue’s defensive end, is Kiper’s selection.
Although the Packers have parted ways with Za’Darius Smith, they still want edge-rush assistance. Karlaftis is a good match for Joe Barry’s system since he played both stand-up outside linebacker and hand-in-the-dirt end for the Boilermakers.
Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State, is McShay’s choice.
With these back-to-back choices, I believe the Chiefs will be in the market for a trade-up, but since we’re not simulating such moves today, I’m going with another quick pass-catcher with outstanding hands for Patrick Mahomes.
David Ojabo, Michigan’s OLB, is Kiper’s selection.
Why not take a shot on a pass-rusher with top-10 talent for a contender like Kansas City? The ruptured Achilles he sustained in March is the sole reason Ojabo has slipped this far. The Chiefs have the financial means to wait for him. He has a chance to make an impact as the season progresses.
Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah, is McShay’s choice.
I considered Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum for this spot at first, but Lloyd’s drop out of the top 30 forced my hand. Lloyd has a huge influence on the game in a variety of ways, and he might be the Bengals’ long-term solution in the center of the defense.
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati, is Kiper’s selection.
Todd, how about this one? The Lions would obtain Ridder’s fifth-year option, which we all know is crucial. And I believe he will be their starting in the near future. Ridder is a seasoned veteran who has composure, arm power, and the ability to throw on the fly.
Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa, is McShay’s choice.
Linderbaum, a first-round pick, is still on the roster for Day 2. And, surprise, surprise, the Jags have a void at center after Brandon Linder’s retirement this offseason.
Lewis Cine, S, Georgia is Kiper’s selection.
Last season, Cine started at safety, nickel corner, wide corner, and linebacker for the national champions. At the combine, he also ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash. The Lions might receive a guy that improves the whole defense with their third choice in the top 34.
Boye Mafe, OLB, Minnesota, is McShay’s choice.
Mel, you had the Jets’ two first-round picks and passed on edge rushers, so it’s on to me to find someone to pressure the quarterback. And if you’re looking for a high-octane explosion, Mafe is the man for you.
Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor, Kiper’s selection
If the Giants fix their offensive and defensive lines with the fifth and seventh choices, they will be able to move on to a safety or linebacker. Pitre is a powerful defender who also has decent covering range.
Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State, is McShay’s choice.
It’s no secret that Houston’s roster is riddled with holes, and following a strong Day 1 haul of Thibodeaux and Cross, we could go almost anywhere. However, the Texans were worst in the NFL in running last season (3.4 yards per carry), and Hall is difficult to stop when he gets some room.
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State running back, is Kiper’s selection.
Walker is a tough runner who works well with Michael Carter. Zach Wilson has to surround himself with more aid — Drake London at No. 10 is a terrific place to start — and this is a chance to relieve some of the strain.
McShay’s pick: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
With my No. 27 prospect, Chicago gets things started on draft weekend. Green is a versatile player who can play both pass-protector and run-blocker for the Bears.
Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss, is Kiper’s selection.
Todd, am I selecting all of the quarterbacks in this exercise? Seattle isn’t going into the season with just Drew Lock and Geno Smith, in my opinion. Corral has a rapid release, but he’ll need time to learn to the demands of directing an NFL offense.
Quay Walker, ILB, Georgia, is McShay’s choice.
Mel, you got the better of these two back-to-back Seattle draft selections, but don’t overlook what Walker might accomplish in the Seahawks’ defense. At the second level, I like the concept of pairing the hard-hitting Walker with Jordyn Brooks.
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Tyler Smith, OT/G, Tulsa, is Kiper’s choice.
I believe the Colts will choose the best offensive lineman on the board with their first-round choice. At right guard and left tackle, they have a void. Smith has the ability to fill any of those deficits. Last season, he was nearly too aggressive at times (12 penalties), but he is a muscular defender.
Kyler Gordon, Washington CB, is McShay’s choice.
Casey Hayward Jr. was signed by the Falcons, although he is 32 years old. Gordon has some value for a squad that, behind A.J. Terrell, still needs more difference-makers in the secondary.
Travis Jones, DT, UConn, Kiper’s choice
Jones, a 6-foot-4, 325-pound nose tackle, can eat up double teams and free up the linebackers in front of him. Jones is a great match for the Browns, who don’t have a lot of draft resources to spend on impact players.
Cameron Jurgens, C, Nebraska, is McShay’s choice.
This is a bit of a stretch, but Baltimore is in desperate need of a center after Bradley Bozeman left in free agency. Jurgens’ quickness as a zone blocker also appeals to me, since it fits well with the Ravens’ run-heavy strategy.
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State, is Kiper’s choice.
Even with Irv Smith Jr. returning from injury, McBride is the first tight end off the board in a mediocre class, and the Vikings need to replace Tyler Conklin. McBride can play both inline and out of the slot.
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan, is McShay’s choice.
Moore had a fantastic combine and shown outstanding ball skills on video. His finest quality is his ability to contribute quickly after catching the ball. Along with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel, this would provide Carson Wentz another great pass-catching option.
Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida, is Kiper’s choice.
Last season, the Bears’ pass defense was terrible, allowing 31 touchdown passes, and they need someone to play opposite Jaylon Johnson. Elam is 6 feet 1 inches tall, runs a 4.39 40-yard dash, and has excellent ball skills.
Sam Howell, UNC quarterback, is McShay’s selection.
I guarantee I’m not making my decision based only on Mel’s selection of the top four quarterbacks. Allow Howell to mature behind Jameis Winston (his footwork, for example, requires improvement) and see what you have. On film, his deep ball touch shines out.
Roger McCreary, Auburn CB, is Kiper’s selection.
The Chiefs’ success was aided by Charvarius Ward, who signed with the 49ers this summer. Kansas City has failed to find a suitable substitute. McCreary’s arms are short, yet he can play either outside or in the slot.
Christian Harris, Alabama ILB, is McShay’s choice.
Harris’ flexibility and full-throttle commitment to the game make it simple to fall in love with him. Last season, Philadelphia struggled to handle tight ends, and Harris excels in coverage.
Alabama’s John Metchie III, WR, is Kiper’s selection.
In my latest two-round mock, I forecasted this choice as well. After free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Steelers are in need of a slot playmaker. Metchie tore his ACL in December, but he may be able to participate in training camp.
Logan Hall, DE, Houston, is McShay’s choice.
Some perceive Hall as a 283-pound tweener who can play any position, but I think his flexibility is a plus. In Green Bay’s 3-4, I could see him playing many positions, including 5-technique.
Dylan Parham, C/G, Memphis, is Kiper’s choice.
Parham has the appearance of a Patriots lineman. He’s a seasoned pro with 51 collegiate starts under his belt. For the Tigers, he played both guard and right tackle, but he’ll most likely stick at guard in the NFL.
Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma’s OLB, is McShay’s choice.
Last season, Arizona’s pass rush victory rate off the edge was 27th in the NFL (10.9 percent), and that was before Chandler Jones left for another team. So, yes, there is an issue. Bonitto possesses the quickness and bend to beat the QB to the finish line.
Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State, is Kiper’s choice.
Lucas might fight for the right tackle job in Dallas now that La’el Collins is gone. He’s not a lock to start right away, but his experience at right tackle (2,862 college plays) makes him a good value selection this late in the second round.
George Pickens, WR, Georgia, is McShay’s choice.
Josh Allen would have a field day attacking Pickens on vertical shoots since he follows the deep ball effectively. One of the NFL’s best offenses just got better.
Drake Jackson, OLB, USC, is Kiper’s choice.
Last season, Atlanta’s pass rush was awful, with just 18 sacks, the fewest of any club. Even though he didn’t always deliver for the Trojans, Jackson has some potential. He’d be a perfect fit for a Dean Pees defense.
Greg Dulcich, UCLA TE, is McShay’s choice.
Robert Tonyan is back, but he’s coming off an ACL tear. Aaron Rodgers like to go for seam stretchers like Dulcich.
Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga is Kiper’s selection.
Tampa Bay has an obvious need at this position after losing Alex Cappa to free agency and Ali Marpet to retirement. The Bucs still have a void, even after trading for Shaq Mason. Strange started 44 games as left guard in college, including a stellar Senior Bowl performance.
Nick Cross, S, Maryland, is McShay’s choice.
When it comes to the secondary, the Niners may look at UTSA cornerback Tariq Woolen, but the value on Cross is much greater. Cross has size, range, and flexibility, while Jimmie Ward is approaching the last year of his contract.
Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati, is Kiper’s choice.
Todd did give the Chiefs a wideout in the first round, but if Pierce is still available, they should pick him as well. He’s a quick (and large) deep threat capable of making difficult receptions. He and Jahan Dotson could be able to step in for Tyreek Hill.
Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama, is McShay’s choice.
There isn’t much in this range for cornerbacks, and the Bengals could use a boost on the defensive line, particularly after losing Larry Ogunjobi. In 2021, Mathis’ game progressed to a new level.
Cam Taylor-Britt, S, Nebraska, is Kiper’s choice.
This choice came from the Rams’ trade for Von Miller, and it was given up by Denver in exchange for Russell Wilson. Scouts were impressed with Taylor-4.38 Britt’s 40 time at the combine. In college, he mostly played cornerback, but I believe his greatest position in the NFL is free safety.
Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky, is McShay’s choice.
Put the ball in this guy’s hands as soon as possible. With his explosive shiftiness, he’ll shatter your ankles and then sprint away from you. For Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville could use another playmaker.
Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia, is Kiper’s selection.
Todd, I think we’ve underestimated Tindall a little bit; I believe he’ll go in the first 45 choices. A speedy off-ball linebacker with promise may be a bargain for the Lions.
Chad Muma, ILB, Wyoming, is McShay’s choice.
Why not grab some insurance at inside linebacker with Blake Martinez coming off an ACL tear? Muma was tied for the most tackles in the FBS last season (125).
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Jaquan Brisker, Penn State, is Kiper’s selection.
This is my first Texans choice, and they need need to acquire as much skill as possible, regardless of position. Brisker might be a successor for Justin Reid.
Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan, is McShay’s choice.
Raimann, who has a lot of potential, is a steal for the Jets. He provides the Jets some tackle alternatives, particularly if Mekhi Becton’s injury worries persist.
Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis, is Kiper’s choice.
Because I’m not sure Laviska Shenault Jr.’s future in Jacksonville, I’m going to double up on small slot receivers for the Jags. Todd traded Robinson to the Jaguars a few selections ago, and Austin is a powerhouse when he has the ball in his hands. At the combine, he ran a 4.32 40 in his 5-foot-8 frame. For a quarterback who needs them, Austin and Robinson can be flexible targets.
Josh Paschal, DE, Kentucky, is McShay’s choice.
If any of the two players who just came off the board were still available, the Bears would have taken them. Chicago could use Raimann on the offensive line and Austin as a receiver. Paschal, on the other hand, might have an immediate difference, particularly in defending the run off the edge.
Amare Barno, Virginia Tech’s OLB, is Kiper’s selection.
Barno, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 246 pounds, ran a 4.36 40 at the combine. With a 10-foot-11-inch wide jump, he topped all edge rushers there. In this draft, Seattle needs to acquire front-seven skill.
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama, is McShay’s choice.
Even though 13 receivers are already off the board, the Colts need to find one by the end of Friday night. Meet Tolbert, a smooth route runner with excellent speed, Matt Ryan.
Troy Andersen, ILB, Montana State, is Kiper’s choice.
Andersen, who started his collegiate career as quarterback and running back, is one of my favorite prospects in this class. Last season, he recorded 150 tackles, and he’ll burn up ball carriers this year.
Leo Chenal, ILB, Wisconsin, is McShay’s choice.
Chenal is the best player still available, and even if the Broncos re-signed Josey Jewell, his sideline-to-sideline range would make an impact in the center of the Denver defense.
Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma, is Kiper’s choice.
Todd, now that you’ve filled Baltimore’s vacancy at center, I’m moving on to defensive tackle. Winfrey may be a bargain in this situation. Though he was inconsistent at Oklahoma, he was one of the better prospects at the Senior Bowl. In a 3-4 setup, he might play end.
McShay’s pick: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
Last season, the Vikings allowed 4.7 yards per run, which was tied for third worst in the NFL, so they’ll need some assistance up front. Their edge rushing might benefit from more depth. Despite the fact that Leal lacks the desired speed of an edge rusher and the ideal stature of a typical defensive lineman, Minnesota would appreciate a player who can move about and impact different parts of the defense.
Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State, is Kiper’s choice.
I assumed Cleveland would pursue one of the first-round wideouts before trading the No. 13 overall selection to obtain Deshaun Watson. The Browns might get a slot receiver to replace Jarvis Landry in this deal. Shakir gained 789 of his 1,117 yards last season when lining up in the slot.
Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota, is McShay’s choice.
Opposite Rashawn Slater, a 6-foot-8, 384-pound right tackle? What are your chances in the third round? Even if Faalele takes some time to develop into a regular starter, the Chargers would be thrilled with this result.
Marcus Jones, Houston CB, is Kiper’s choice.
I’m going to offer the Texans a rising corner who is the greatest return guy in the class with the final of Houston’s five first-round choices. Last season, he was named the most versatile player in NCAA football, winning the Paul Hornung Award. Jones is just 5-foot-8, so he’ll most likely be a slot corner.
Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA, is McShay’s choice.
I adore this guy’s characteristics. Woolen is a former receiver who is still learning how to play cornerback, but at 6-foot-4, he clocked a 4.26 in the 40-yard sprint at the combine. Add in the explosiveness of a 42-inch vertical leap and an unbelievable 33 5/8-inch length, and you have someone who has the potential to become a star over time.
Matthew Butler, Tennessee’s defensive tackle, is Kiper’s selection.
Let’s keep the Falcons’ flawless class going, because I’ve already covered four of their five choices. Butler is underappreciated; if you watch his footage against Alabama, you’d think he’d be a first-round certainty. He was uneven at times, but for a 300-pounder, he possesses exceptional endurance. In Atlanta’s 3-4 system, he may play end.
Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois, is McShay’s choice.
Mel had already given the Eagles a defensive back in Hill, but keep in mind that this secondary allowed a 69.4% completion rate previous season (tied for the worst in the NFL). Oh, and Joseph is a ball hawk who can fill in for a variety of defensive back positions.
Coby Bryant, Cincinnati CB, is Kiper’s selection.
Last season, it was Bryant, not Ahmad Gardner, who received the Jim Thorpe Award for best defensive player in Cincinnati. Bryant lacks exceptional straight-line speed, but he possesses sharp reflexes and lubricated hips. Over the last two seasons, he’s had seven selections.
Cordale Flott, CB, LSU, is McShay’s choice.
New England needs cornerback depth after losing J.C. Jackson to free agency. Because of his stature and quickness, Flott has a lot of potential.
Luke Goedeke, OT, Central Michigan, is Kiper’s choice.
The Raiders only have one first-round selection, and they need to find a right tackle who can at least challenge for the starting position. Alex Leatherwood, their first-round pick in 2021, is clearly superior at guard. In college, Goedeke started 26 games as right tackle.
James Cook, Georgia RB, is McShay’s choice.
James Conner was re-signed by the Cardinals, while Chase Edmonds was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Cook adds breakaway speed and lots of receiving potential out of the backfield for Arizona, which like to run with two running backs.
Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers, is Kiper’s choice.
Dallas might go to Day 2 to take a slot receiver, particularly if it wants CeeDee Lamb to play more outside now that Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson are gone. In college, Melton was a screen devil, and in the combine, he ran a 4.34 40.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State, is McShay’s choice.
This is a good match for Buffalo since Petit-Frere has a lot of diversity in their product. As he progresses, he may be able to fill in where required.
Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee, is Kiper’s choice.
Because Tennessee lost its second-round pick in the Julio Jones trade last year, it could use this pick to add a playmaker to Ryan Tannehill’s offense. Jones, who will be 25 years old before the start of the 2022 season, is a lightning fast athlete (4.31 40 at the combine) who will contribute in the return game.
Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State, is McShay’s choice.
Thomas had a strong year in college, racking up 11.5 sacks (tied for sixth) and 23.5 tackles for loss (tied for second) in 2021.
Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky, is Kiper’s choice.
Except for the one at guard, we’ve covered all of Green Bay’s primary needs thus far. Kinnard, a three-year starter for the Wildcats, usually played right tackle in college, but I think his best NFL position is guard. He didn’t do well in the combine, but when he hooks on to defenders, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State, is McShay’s choice.
After obtaining Cross at safety earlier, it’s time to check off the other defensive back necessity for San Francisco. McCollum has speed, size, and ball skills, and I believe he has the potential to develop into a dependable No. 2 cornerback early in his career.
DeAngelo Malone, OLB, Western Kentucky, is Kiper’s choice.
David Ojabo was anticipated to go to the Chiefs in the first round, but they might still hunt for edge rushers on Days 2 and 3. In college, Malone has 34 sacks and 62 total tackles for loss. He knows how to pressure the passer. Even if he’s simply a third-down player as a rookie, the Chiefs should strive to add him to their rotation if he’s still available.
Josh Jobe, Alabama CB, is McShay’s choice.
Jobe’s press coverage skills would be a welcome addition to a Bengals defense that might lose a lot of cornerbacks after this season.
Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia, is Kiper’s choice.
Who will play tight end in Denver now that Noah Fant has been traded to Seattle in exchange for Russell Wilson? Woods wasn’t much of a receiver at Oklahoma State, but after moving to Virginia in 2021, he caught eight touchdown passes. He also has some remarkable physical apparatus.
McShay’s pick: Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
Although the Lions have more immediate needs, this is a fantastic deal for Spiller. And keep in mind that D’Andre Swift has yet to play a complete NFL season.
JT Woods, S, Baylor, Kiper’s choice
Baylor has lately produced a number of outstanding prospects, and two safeties might be selected in the first 100 choices this year. Over the last three seasons, Woods has had nine draft choices and possesses tremendous track speed. As a rookie, he might get time as a third safety.
Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina, is McShay’s choice.
The Browns have franchised David Njoku, but the team might need another pass-catcher. In terms of receiving yards (912) and touchdown receptions, Likely finished second among FBS tight ends (12).
Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati OLB, is Kiper’s selection.
Another option for adding depth to Baltimore’s front seven. Sanders is still developing into his 6-foot-5 size (after a stomach virus, he weighed just 228 pounds at the combine), but as a rookie, he may be a situational pass rusher. He has the ability to put pressure on quarterbacks.
Dohnovan West, C, Arizona State, is McShay’s choice.
Jason Kelce has returned on a one-year contract, but Philadelphia should start planning for the future. West’s zone-blocking abilities at the second level would aid the Eagles’ run attack.
Brandon Smith, ILB, Penn State, is Kiper’s choice.
Because this is Miami’s first-round selection, I’m going to stick to my plan and choose the best talent available. Smith’s coverage skills are limited, but he will go after and smash running backs. Smith will be essential if the Dolphins are serious about stopping the run in 2022.
Neil Farrell Jr., DT, LSU, is McShay’s choice.
Up the middle, Farrell is disruptive and forceful, and he plays with a never-say-die attitude.
Sean Rhyan, UCLA’s OT/G, is Kiper’s selection.
The Rams might spend their first-round choice on a college tackle who could play guard in the NFL now that Andrew Whitworth and Austin Corbett are gone. In pass pro, he may shift his feet. The Super Bowl champions might be interested in defensive backs as well.
David Bell, Purdue WR, is McShay’s choice.
Bell’s 40-yard sprint time at the combine was 4.65 seconds, but he’s a skilled route runner who would provide variety to an offense that’s expected to change quarterbacks.
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