clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

4 things we learned from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s final NFL Mock Drafts

Here are the big things changing ahead of the draft.

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Everyone is releasing their final 2022 NFL Mock Drafts, and that includes Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. The duo have released their own individual ideas of what the draft will look like, one where they combined forces, and now they’re back to their final looks at the draft for the last time before names are called.

There are a lot of similarities. Both thing Travon Walker is going No. 1 overall, from there Aidan Hutchinson is an easy pick for the Lions — then we get some major divergence. Here’s what stands out from these two mock drafts.

No. 1: The top cornerback has everyone baffled

Kiper has Sauce Gardner at No. 4. McShay has Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3. What happens is anyone’s guess. Stingley was the lock for much of the pre-draft process, but was overtaken by Sauce following the combine has never really gained it back.

However, in the last 48-72 hours there have been whispers that the Texans prefer Stingley, and he’d be their choice between the two. This has had a knock on effect and it seems everyone is downgrading Sauce now. We’ll know tonight if this was smokescreen.

No. 2: Jermaine Johnson II has flown up boards

It wasn’t long ago that you’d struggle to find Johnson II in the first round of anyone’s mock, now he’s being discussed as a Top 10 pick. Kiper has the Florida State pass rusher at No. 7 to the Giants, McShay has him No. 9 to the Seahawks. It’s been a wild rise.

It’s interesting because when it comes to pass rusher Johnson is the safest mix of production and upside outside of Aidan Hutchinson. That’s what I think people are catching up to now, and why he’s risen so far up the boards.

No. 3: Charles Cross has jumped Evan Neal

There’s a consensus that Ikem Ekwonu is the best offensive tackle in this class, but after that it’s a real tossup. Neal once had No. 1 overall pick potential, though that’s cooled. He’s big, strong, a little raw, and can do everything. Cross is the best pass blocking lineman in this draft, and that’s why he’s rising more.

We’re seeing that priority being placed on his pass blocking, and it’s caused the jump.

No. 4: The QBs plummet

This shouldn’t really shock anyone, but it’s still wild to see the draft play out like this. Kiper has Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett going 19 and 20 respectively, while McShay has Willis going 20, and Pickett sliding to 32.

There is every chance this happens, but I also think slamming the 2022 QB class has gotten a little dumb. No, it’s absolutely not great and there’s no lock No. 1 overall pick — but I would be stunned if we don’t see someone liking a QB enough to take them earlier than this.