We’ve had as many as four quarterbacks going in the first round of our weekly mock drafts, and usually the number comes in at three. But this week, only two hear their name called.
Why? In recent mock drafts, we’ve had the Texans targeting a passer at No. 2 but with the news this week that rookie Davis Mills will be the Texans’ starter for the rest of the year, it’s reasonable to think that he’ll get an opportunity in 2022 as well. For now, we have them taking Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Oregon edge rusher, who could end up being the first-overall selection.
We’ve also had Carson Strong in Round 1 for most of the fall but there are concerns about his knee, and we’ll know more once we get further along into the pre-draft process. If he gets the all-clear, he’s a legit Round 1 talent, and given that teams will invariably overdraft the position, Strong could very well be among the top 32 selections.
As for the QBs who we have going in the first round this week, Matt Corral lands in Carolina, a team that desperately needs to upgrade the offensive line. But with two tackles and a center already off the board, finding a passer to replace Sam Darnold and Cam Newton could be a distinct possibility.
The Saints could also be in the quarterback business this offseason, and unlike many of the clubs in similar situations, it could be a great landing spot for a rookie passer. Not unlike the Patriots and Mac Jones, Kenny Pickett would benefit from New Orleans’ offensive line, its running game (possibly it’s passing game if Michael Thomas returns), a solid defense, and most importantly, playing for Sean Payton.
We’ll repeat what we said a week ago: given the state of this QB class, perhaps the real winners might be Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson or any other veteran quarterbacks who force their way off their current clubs. But it’s only mid-December, and a lot can change between now and the draft.
In the meantime, 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 game) to determine selections 1-32 below.