Monday, January 24, 2022

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Giants trade up to No. 2 for edge rusher, four quarterbacks go in Round 1

It’s Christmas week so let’s get crazy

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We’ve admitted throughout the fall that we have no idea how many quarterbacks end up going in Round 1, though the reality is, we currently have first-round grades on just two of them: Matt Corral and Carson Strong.

There are mitigating circumstances, of course, most notably: Teams will overdraft the position and there’s no reason to expect anything different this time around. It’s why we have four passers coming off the board, though the first doesn’t hear his name called until the No. 9 pick, when the Falcons plan for life after Matt Ryan. Even more interesting: Six picks later, the Steelers roll the dice on Malik Willis, who can be electric but who also is incredibly raw.

Put another way: He’ll need to land in a great spot to maximize his success, and what better spot than Pittsburgh, where the second-most important offseason priority (after finding a QB) is fixing the offensive line.

And while quarterbacks are often the most important topic in any mock draft, here’s something else to chew on with days remaining in 2021: There could be a situation where a team eager to land an elite pass-rusher, Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux, could be willing to move up a few spots to make it a reality. This week, the Giants pull off such a move, and we know what you’re thinking: OK, what did it cost?

Remember back in 2018, the Jets shipped three second-rounders to Indy to move up from No. 6 to No. 3 to take Sam Darnold. So there’s precedent, though the trade details aren’t critical here; the bigger takeaway is that we could see a team trade up next April not for a QB but for an edge rusher.

For now, keep reading to see how the entire first round unfolds.

One other thing, and this is important: now that we’re past the midway point of the season, we’re using the 2022 NFL Draft order (via tankathon, with results prior to Monday’s and Tuesday’s games) to determine selections 1-32 below.

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