2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)


The NFL season is heading into its stretch run here in Mid-December as playoff races in both conferences are tight. For college football, it's officially bowl season as the next few weeks will be filled with entertaining games leading into the College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year's Eve and the title game on January 10th.

With bowl season here and the NFL regular season winding down, I figured this would a great time to release a new mock draft which is my fourth since the 2021 draft concluded. This mock takes a focus on the last month or so of the season and the players and teams going into bowl season. For a lot of these players, they have the chance to up their stock even more with strong performances. 

As it stands now, the Detroit Lions are set to have the top pick in the draft with Jacksonville and Houston right behind them with two wins a piece. The New York Jets have three wins but they also hold Seattle's pick as the Seahawks' pick sits in the Top 10 as well. Then there's the New York Giants. At 4-9, they have the 6th pick but also have Chicago's pick going back to the Justin Fields trade last year. Right now, the Giants are set to have picks No. 5 and No. 6 which could me grounds for a trade back to acquire more capital.

For this mock, I didn't include trades and just went with the players I best feel fit what the team needs at their pick. At the top, I do believe Kayvon Thibodeaux is the best player in this draft right now but Aidan Hutchinson is making up some ground. Then there's Evan Neal, a prospect that could be a franchise tackle for a team to protect their quarterback. I won't spoil the rest of the draft, so let's get into this mock.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Detroit Lions do need a quarterback but no one at the position has justified anything to be taken No. 1 overall in the draft. Here the Lions go with the safe option and take Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux with the top pick in the draft, giving them a building block on defense to go along with offensive tackle Penei Sewell on offense. With another pick in the first round, Detroit will likely go quarterback there or on Day 2 to address that need at the position.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Houston has some interesting choices here. Do they try to land a franchise tackle in Alabama's Evan Neal to protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence? Or do they go with an edge player and take Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson who is on a tear right now? I think they go the route of offensive tackle for this one.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

There might not be a player who has helped his draft stock more than Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson who is on a tear with big games against Ohio State and then Iowa in back-to-back weeks. He lands with a Houston team that is rebuilding and could use a dominant defensive player to replace J.J. Watt.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

One of the top defensive players in all of college football goes to the New York Jets here at No. 4 overall, giving them a playmaking safety at the back end of their defense under Robert Saleh.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The New York Giants are loving having the Chicago Bears pick which is likely going to land in the Top 10. Right now it sits at five and right there for them is LSU defensive back Derek Stingley.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Do the New York Giants need a quarterback? Yes, they do. But it's still too early for one to go and the Giants could find value with one in the second round or potentially move back into the first round if needed. Here they go with a talented defensive end in Purdue's George Karlaftis.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

With their first pick, the Jets took a defensive playmaker to boost their defense. Here they go with a player that can help protect their quarterback of the future with N.C. State's Ikem Ekwonu.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Carolina Panthers are falling apart here down the stretch and they need a lot of help on this roster. Here they start by building in the trenches and landing a potential franchise tackle in Charles Cross.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Atlanta Falcons go with a player on defense here at No. 9 overall, landing Florida's Kaiir Elam to boost their secondary in the NFC South.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The first wide receiver is off the board at No. 10 as Philadelphia adds another weapon to their offense to pair with DeVonta Smith in Ohio State's Garrett Wilson. They could be in search of a quarterback in free agency and draft as well.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

With two picks back-to-back here, the Philadelphia Eagles go offense at No. 10 and then try to sure up the secondary with the next pick. They will have some options at defensive back but with Cincinnati's Ahmad Gardner.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

This draft is loaded with talent on the defensive side of the football and that includes DeMarvin Leal of Texas A&M who falls just outside of the Top 10 to a Minnesota team that has some holes on their defense.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Alabama's Jameson Williams could be the first receiver off the board as well but here he falls to New Orleans, a team that needs to reload on offense with weapons. Getting Williams and landing a quarterback at some point would be a big win for them this offseason.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Las Vegas Raiders are going to have a new head coach and need to fix a lot of pieces on their offense and defense. Here they take Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean at No. 14 to add to their unit.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The first quarterback is off the board in the middle of the first round. Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett did more for his stock than any other quarterback this season, capping it off by being a Heisman finalist. He stays in Pittsburgh and goes to the Steelers here at No. 15.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

After we waited 15 picks for a quarterback to be taken, we get back-to-back selections here with Denver also taking a quarterback. The Broncos passed on the chance to draft Justin Fields or Mac Jones last season and now take a chance on Matt Corral.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Protecting Joe Burrow with a revamped offensive line should be the top priority for the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason. Here they take center Tyler Linderbaum out of Iowa to solidify the interior of their line.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

With the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland needs a weapon at wide receiver and looks in the state of Ohio for Chris Olave. This gives Baker Mayfield another weapon going into a critical year next season.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Football Team needs to improve in a few key areas on offense and to compete in the NFC they are going to need to eventually land a quarterback. Here they take Malik Willis out of Liberty.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Buffalo has a few key needs they can address here but with an offensive lineman like Kenyon Green on the board, they try to solidify their offensive line.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

With three picks in the first round of this draft, Philadelphia could opt to trade back and acquire more capital with this pick. But with no trades for this mock, they go with one of my favorite linebackers in Utah's Devin Lloyd, a player that could increase his stock this offseason.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Miami Dolphins need to build around Tua Tagovailoa and what better way than to get him some protection on the offensive line? Miami's line hasn't been good this year and here they take a chance by selecting tackle Trevor Penning out of Northern Iowa.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

One of the top receivers in college football heads to Los Angeles to play with Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense as the team gives the talented quarterback another weapon in Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)
Sam Howell on Saturday vs. Notre Dame

The Lions address a big need by taking quarterback Sam Howell out of North Carolina here late in the first round with the pick they acquired via the Los Angeles Rams in the Matthew Stafford deal.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

I think the Baltimore Ravens will address their offense with their pick in the first round but it could depend on where they pick. Here at No. 25 they go with offensive tackle Darian Kinnard to help protect Lamar Jackson and start to build up that line some more.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Dallas Cowboys are likely to lose Michael Gallup in free agency and could look at wide receiver here to try and add to their offense. Instead, I have them going with a defensive back to pair along with Trevon Diggs as they select Andrew Booth out of Clemson.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

I think Michigan edge David Ojabo is going to see his stock continue to rise as we get closer to the draft and a good showing in the College Football Playoff would go a long way. Here I have him falling to late in first round which would be a steal for the Kansas City Chiefs, taking the best player available.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

The Arizona Cardinals add a top defensive tackle to their line, opting to go with Jordan Davis out of Georgia late in the first round.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)
Washington defensive back Trent McDuffie

The Titans need some help in the secondary and with defensive back Trent McDuffie out of Washington available, they go this route at No. 29.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Another weapon for Tom Brady? With Chris Godwin potentially leaving in free agency and USC's Drake London sitting here at No. 30, it makes sense for the Buccaneers to select him.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)

Mac Jones has been good for the New England Patriots this season and with this draft, they get him a weapon to throw to as Jahan Dotson out of Penn State goes No. 31 overall.

2022 NFL Draft: Pearson's mock Vol. 4.0 (Pre Bowl Season)
Travon Walker

The biggest question mark of the offseason for Green Bay will be what happens with Aaron Rodgers. But Green Bay still hasn't drafted him a legit weapon on offense yet in the first round. Even if he stays, they take a look at someone like Georgia's Travon Walker to add to their defense on the edge.