8th Annual Football Garbage Time Twitter NFL Mock Draft! – Round 1

By the Football Garbage Time Staff

Howdy, y’all!

We all know that the NFL Draft is right around the corner, beginning on April 28th.  And we all know that the choices that teams make that night will be a significant part in whether they end up with the Lombardi Trophy and the 32nd pick in a future draft, or if they end up with the first overall pick looking to rebuild.

Seeing as how important these decisions are, we here at Football Garbage Time again got together and decided to conduct a mock draft.  In fact, this will be our 8th Annual Twitter NFL Mock Draft!

This year, eleven different writers & podcasters from seven different sites participated, including:

Each one took part as GMs of several teams in the draft and conducted the mock draft live over several weeks on Twitter (feel free to check out the back and forth on Twitter by searching for #FGTMock).  A few trends became clear and we certainly had more than a few surprises.

Missed it?  Don’t want to check Twitter?  Well, you’re in luck, because we have Round 1 of that mock draft below along with the reasoning for each pick by each writer.

1 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Aidan Hutchinson – Edge

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

Aidan Hutchinson was the highest graded defender in 2021 by Pro Football Focus and is the consensus best player in the 2022 draft.  He showed a 4.74 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical jump and a 6.73 three-cone time, which was the best among his position group at the combine.  Hutchinson started slow at Michigan, but really broke out in 2021 with 14.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss.  Bottom line is that adding Hutchinson is adding instant pressure on opposing QBs.

Jacksonville took care of the tackle position by franchise tagging Cam Robinson and also have 2021 second-rounder Walker Little to play right tackle.  And with the Jaguars in need of an improved pass-rush after finishing with just 32 sacks last season, tied for the 5th fewest in the NFL, drafting Hutchinson is a no-brainer.  With Hutchinson, the Jags will finally have a solid edge rusher opposite of former first-round pick Josh Allen.

2 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Kayvon Thibodeaux – Edge

Staff: Scott King

The Lions have two first round picks and have to address defense.   They take edge at 2, and I have them taking Kayvon Thibodeaux from Oregon but they can go in a number of directions.  There are rumors about them taking a QB in the first, but they have way too many holes to fill.

3 – Houston Texans

Pick: Ikem Ekwonu – OT

Staff: Eddie Martin

Texans are building from the inside out. They need multiple talents at multiple positions. We take 2 of the most versatile players on both sides of the ball. Walker can be inside or out and is a 3 down lineman.

4 – New York Jets

Pick: Charles Cross – OT

Staff: Adam Aniba

5 – New York Giants

Pick: Evan Neal – OT

Staff: Joanne Kong

To say the New York Giants have needs is like saying a Dalmatian has spots. There are too many to count. And although this has been the case over the past several years, little has been done to close the gap to building a winning team.

With their first pick in the 2022 draft, the Giants will select an offensive tackle to protect Daniel Jones in his final chance to prove that he can the team’s franchise signal caller. Ideally, there should be three capable tackles ready to step in during the game as relief or in case of injury and the Giants have been in need of three capable offense tackles for years. With significant depth at OT in this seasons draft, the Giants might just be able to finally shore up the offensive line.

With 9 quarterback hits and 5 sacks, Evan Neal is coming off three years in Alabama and entering the draft as one of the top offensive tackle prospects. Considered a versatile linesman, Neal is thought to be extremely explosive with excellent mobility, size and balance. He’ll need to practice more control off the line, but his skill is something that can’t be taught.

“You can put me anywhere other than center and I’ll be able to come in and make an impact,” Neal said during his Alabama Pro Day on March 30. “I do see myself as a left or right tackle. But wherever a team needs me, I feel like I can come in and make an impact.”

6 – Carolina Panthers

Pick: Malik Willis – QB

Staff: Jordan Latz

In 2020, Matt Rhule’s first off season as Panthers HC, they spent all their draft capital on defense, and last year traded away Teddy Bridgewater and traded for Sam Darnold – whom they hoped could fill their QB1 role. Darnold certainly has the arm talent, but decision making still seems to be an issue. Carolina fired offensive coordinator, Joe Brady in the middle of last season and nothing changed. You can attribute some of their offensive struggles to losing McCaffery in Week 3, and also the fact they’re 25th in O-line play DVOA, and 27th in adjusted sack rate.

It puts Carolina in an interesting position here. They hired Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator who had some success for the Giants in New York in 2014/15 as he led the Giants to a top 6 scoring offense, but that’s almost a decade ago. The Panthers would be smart to go Tackle or QB here, they can also trade back and target a guy like Jordan Davis as the Panthers were 15th in rush DVOA but I believe their two biggest issues are offensive line play and QB. Malik Willis is my favorite QB in this draft, he has a huge arm and is an unbelievable athlete and with limited picks in this draft I don’t think you can risk not taking a high level QB here.

Passing Stats
Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
Year School Class G Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rate
*2017 Auburn FR 7 6 7 85.7 45 1 0 186.9
*2018 Auburn SO 5 5 7 71.4 24 0 0 100.2
*2020 Liberty JR 10 170 265 64.2 2250 20 6 155.8
*2021 Liberty JR 13 207 339 61.1 2857 27 12 151.1
Career Overall 388 618 62.8 5176 48 18 152.9
Auburn 11 14 78.6 69 1 0 143.5
Liberty 377 604 62.4 5107 47 18 153.2

7 – New York Giants

Pick: Kyle Hamilton – S

Staff: Joanne Kong

As a Giants fan, I’m looking for something to cheer for. With a shallow quarterback draft class, the Giants will allow Daniel Jones one more year while using this draft to build a team for the future.

The Giants defense was 12th overall in yards allowed, but was the 10th worst team in points allowed, averaging 24.5 points per game in the 2021 season. Safety Kyle Hamilton should help improve on that.

Safeties have become undervalued in the league, as teams focus more on offensive tackles and edge players. And that should work to the Giants’ benefit this draft. As a top prospect, Hamilton’s draft position as a safety does not reflect the impact he can ultimately bring to the game on the professional level.

According to the Draft Network “Hamilton… can quite literally do it all. He can fly across the field to make a diving interception, thanks to his incredible instincts and explosiveness. He can both cover the deep pass and excel in the nickel against both blockers and pass-catchers. He can defend the run with his good angles, great ability to shed blocks and superb tackling. He can even line up on the line of scrimmage to add more pressure and cover punts on fourth down.”

Although many quarterbacks are dual threats in today’s game, the necessity for a good safety will always exist in what has become a pass heavy NFL.

8 – Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Derek Stingley – CB

Staff: FXP Jr.

9 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Kenny Pickett – QB

Staff: Ryan Whitfield

10 – New York Jets

Pick: Ahmad Gardner – CB

Staff: Adam Aniba

With HC Robert Saleh, the former SF Defensive Cord finds his corner in Sauce Gardner to lead his defensive backfield of the future.

11 – Washington Commanders

Pick: Garrett Wilson – WR

Staff: Adam Aniba

Wilson solidifies the OSU trio for the Commanders and gives new signal caller Carson Wentz some ammo to work with.

12 – Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Trent McDuffie – CB

Staff: Dan Thury

13 – Houston Texans

Pick: Travon Walker – DT

Staff: Eddie Martin

Texans are building from the inside out. They need multiple talents at multiple positions. We take 2 of the most versatile players on both sides of the ball. Walker can be inside or out and is a 3 down lineman.

14 – Baltimore Ravens

Pick: Jermaine Johnson II

Staff: Dan Thury

15 – Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Chris Olave – WR

Staff: George Templeton

The Eagles addressed the WR position last year with Devonta Smith but if last year showed anything it shows that as good as he is, Philadelphia needed to address the position again.

16 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: Drake London – WR

Staff: Eddie Martin

The defense in NO has not been the problem. Last year they never had a consistent passing attack. Michael Thomas is always hurt so the Saints will be looking at the most versatile WR in this year’s draft class. Big strong and plays with stick em on his hands.

17 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Trevor Penning – OT

Staff: Wole Akinso

Trevor Penning was the best remaining Tackle. He played LT at Northern Iowa. He’s athletic and just fits the build as a promising tackle. The Chargers right side needs help and he is an upgrade. Moving him to right tackle will help solidify the Chargers right side.

18 – Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Devin Lloyd – LB

Staff: George Templeton

For someone like Chris Olave to fall to them at 15 was too good to pass up. Having done that, at 18 I was looking to help an Eagles defense that struggled mightily. And somehow Devin Lloyd is available to bolster a linebacking corps in desperate need of talent.

19 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: Desmond Ridder – QB

Staff: Eddie Martin

If the Saints kept there first pick in 2023 then they would not be taking a QB. But with the addition of London with the first pick and Ridder with the second in the first they have set up there future battery. Ridder is the most NFL ready QB in the draft. Add the athleticism and you have a dynamic weapon. Needs to work on downfield accuracy.

20 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Matt Corral – QB

Staff: Scott King

The Steelers need a starting QB and after the run starts they grab the QB out of Mississippi, Matt Corral.  He can ride the bench for a year and step in to throw next season.

21 – New England Patriots

Pick: Jameson Williams – WR

Staff: Ryan Whitfield

22 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: George Karlaftis – Edge

Staff: Dan Thury

23 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Kaiir Elam – CB

Staff: George Templeton

It was a tough choice between the offensive line and secondary. And this pick was made before the Kyler Murray holdout rumors fired up. But I went Kaiir Elam because the Cardinals defense has collapsed in December two years running. So I felt I had to take a highly-regarded corner at that spot.

24 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Bernhard Raimann – OT

Staff: Joanne Kong

With La’el Collins, previous starting right tackle, cut, the Dallas Cowboys will be looking to shore up the offensive line to protect quarterback Dak Prescott. With the 24th pick in the first round, its certain that the top 4 OT prospects will be off the board, leaving capable but not top offensive tackles remaining. But, waiting for the 56th overall pick in round 2 could leave the Dallas Cowboys vulnerable to having little to no options for the upcoming season.

Bernhard Raimann, Australian Born, started his college career as a tight end and switched to the offensive line. Raimann has the athleticism and the physical tools to provide an elite return to the position. He’ll need development and coaching to tighten his skills in the offensive tackle position, but is certain to pay off In the end.

25 – Buffalo Bills


Pick: Andrew Booth – CB

Staff: FXP Jr.

26 – Tennessee Titans

Pick: Tyler Linderbaum – C

Staff: Jordan Latz

Titans have a big need at center and the best center falls to them at 26 here. Linderbaum is an All-American, all Big 10, a Lombardi Award and Outland Award finalist. He fits how Vrabel wants to play- a tough, run the ball down your throat kind of team and it’s a match made in heaven.

27 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Jordan Davis – DT

Staff: Scott King

The Bucs have Brady coming back and they’re going to help him on the defensive side by adding the speedy DT Jordan Davis out of UGA.

28 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: Treylon Burks – WR

Staff: Dan Thury

29 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Jahan Dotson – WR

Staff: Trevor Stores

With Tyreek Hill, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson all leaving town, the Chiefs are in dire need of restocking their receiving corps, even after signing JuJu Smith-Schuster.  In steps Jahan Dotson, who has a four-year college career totaling 183 receptions, 2,757 yards and 27 total touchdowns. He was the 8th most targeted player in the FBS last season.  Although he recorded a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, and adding just a 36-inch vertical leap and 10’1″ broad jump, basically middle of the pack for WRs.  But Dotson is a solid off-ball receiver with versatility to play in the slot or perimeter and excellent separation skills and a terrific catch radius for his size.  He’s the perfect target for gunslinger Patrick Mahomes, particularly with Travis Kelce still attracting significant attention from opposing defenses.

30 – Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Boye Mafe – Edge

Staff: Trevor Stores

After grabbing a WR, the Chiefs could use a reliable pass rusher at the defensive end position, and Boye Mafe is the perfect answer.  He had a breakout senior year with 7 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss.  He performed incredibly at the Senior Bowl demonstrating elite athleticism, strength and scheme versatility to become a run defender and pass-rusher.  He’ll be plug and play in KC.

31 – Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Kyler Gordon – CB

Staff: Ha Kung Wong

Chidobe Awuzie was solid and Eli Apple was re-signed to a one year deal, but the Bengals need a long term answer at cornerback, particularly with Darius Phillips going to the Raiders.

Kyler Gordon played both slot corner and outside at Washington, totaling 2 interceptions and leading the team with 7 passes defended on his way to to a First-Team All-Pac-12 nomination. Gordon’s versatility along with his dynamic athleticism, great instincts and ability to effectively blitz from the slot makes him an automatic upgrade for the Bengals defense.  He was part of one of the best defensive tandems in the country at Washington with Trent McDuffie and has potential to do the same in Cincy.

32 – Detroit Lions

Pick: Nakobe Dean – LB

Staff: Scott King

At the end of the first round the Lions continue to build defense and grab Nakobe Dean the LB out of Georgia.  Again, rumors are that the Lions may take a QB depending on who’s available at this spot, but filling the gap on defense makes the most sense.

Check back soon for Round 2 of the 8th Annual Football Garbage Time Twitter NFL Mock Draft!