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Lance Zierlein 2022 NFL mock draft 4.0: Steelers trade up for lone Round 1 QB

Lance Zierlein 2022 NFL mock draft 4.0: Steelers trade up for lone Round 1 QB

With 2022 NFL Draft just hours away, here’s my final mock before Round 1 kicks off at 8 p.m. ET. As always, I am projecting where I believe players will go, not necessarily where I think they should go.

There are some wild whispers out there about how this one could play out, but Walker ends up as the top dog in my final mock.

A bit of a surprise here, as the Lions opt for explosiveness and upside for Dan Campbell and Aaron Glenn’s defense.

Houston has done extensive work on Stingley, and head coach Lovie Smith recently commented on the Texans’ desperate need to get better at CB.

What a tough call for New York with Aidan Hutchinson still on the board. The Jets could hear trade offers here, but they stick and pick Ekwonu. The N.C. State product has guard/tackle value and gives Gang Green insurance against Mekhi Becton’s injury history.

I’m sure the Giants will race this card up to the podium, as they take home one of the top players at a major position of need.

Big win for the Panthers. In Neal, they get a Day 1 starter at left tackle upon which to build a foundation for success.

The Giants already grabbed a pass rusher at No. 5. Now they get the best cornerback in the draft.

Florida State · Edge · Senior (RS)

Sure, the Falcons need help at receiver, but have you seen their pass rush? Atlanta opts for the talented edge here, choosing to target wideout later in the draft.

Mississippi State · OT · Sophomore (RS)

Seattle will be pleased to find a quality tackle still on the board at No. 9.

After boosting the offensive line at No. 4, the Jets get first dibs on the WR crop here, ultimately pairing Wilson with (Zach) Wilson.

The Vikings can draft and stash the talented Williams — who’s recovering from an ACL tear — as the future replacement for Adam Thielen.

If the Texans go cornerback at No. 3, they would be wise to bolster their offensive line with a body-moving guard who boasts start-now talent.

Baltimore gets a plug-and-play space-eater to shut down opposing running games within the division.

This is quite a fall from where I first mocked Hamilton, but the talented defender’s slide down the board ends up being the Eagles’ good fortune.

Northern Iowa · OT · Senior (RS)

The Saints, in desperate need of a left tackle after Terron Armstead’s departure in free agency, get the best one still on the board while passing on receiver (for the time being).

Liberty · QB · Senior (RS)

PROJECTED TRADE WITH LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

In his final draft as Steelers GM, Kevin Colbert moves up for the dual-threat quarterback who has upside but will need additional seasoning before he’s ready to start.

Philadelphia has an obvious void at one cornerback spot. Elam has been a riser in the draft process, thanks to strong interviews and a solid showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

New Orleans takes one of the most polished wideouts in this year’s class to pair with Michael Thomas.

PROJECTED TRADE WITH PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Chargers move down three spots and take a high-IQ quarterback on the back end who allows L.A. to align with a talented nickel defense in a pass-happy division.

There are always a few players who just feel like Patriots, and this speedy, physical linebacker is one of them.

Green Bay adds a big wideout who can play inside or outside and has loads of talent with the ball in his hands. He’s not Deebo, but is Deebo-esque.

Arizona takes the talented three-down lineman who will be ready to learn from J.J. Watt and slide into a starting role by 2023.

Boston College · IOL · Senior

Dallas could go in a variety of directions at this spot, including trading up. But finding a guard is a must, and Johnson is a good one.

McDuffie’s relatively short arms may be a turn-off for some teams, but Buffalo lands a scheme-versatile cornerback with excellent instincts and toughness.

Central Michigan · OT · Senior

Raimann has only played tackle for two years, so he’s bound to get much better. It’s also worth noting that he could bump inside if tackle becomes too much for him.

Tulsa · OT · Sophomore (RS)

Tampa, in need of a guard in the worst way, takes a talented drive blocker with guard/tackle flexibility and loads of upside — if he can learn to play with better discipline.

This physical edge defender with excellent bull-rush talent gives the Packers a play-now prospect with limited upside.

Minnesota · Edge · Senior (RS)

The Chiefs need an edge defender and Mafe fits the their profile: He’s a tough, explosive pass rusher with upside traits.

The Chiefs add another talented weapon with speed and great hands to their arsenal to keep pace with the loaded AFC West.

Washington · CB · Junior (RS)

Gordon didn’t run as fast as expected at the combine (4.52 40-yard dash), but he’s a physical specimen with twitch and toughness and a good deal of improvement still to come.

One of the hotter names on the board at linebacker, Walker is dependable, smart and athletic. The Lions get mocked a QB here often, but this might be the better fit.

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