It’s that time of the year. Prospect profiles and mock drafts. Some love it, some hate it, but you have to respect it. It’s 2022 NFL Draft season!
Today we’re going to knock out a five-round mock draft using The Draft Network’s NFL Mock Draft simulator. Let’s get it started.
Round 1: 24th Overall
Tyler Linderbaum | Iowa | Center | 6’3” 290lbs | RS Junior
Players still available: Nakobe Dean, Zion Johnson, Garrett Wilson, Roger McCreary
There’s no secret that the Cowboys want to upgrade the offensive line this offseason. With Connor Williams likely leaving in free agency, the Cowboys will need to add a starting-caliber left guard to compete with Connor McGovern. For the Cowboys in this mock draft, they went ahead and took the best player available in Iowa center, Tyler Linderbaum. While Tyler Biadasz hasn’t been a huge issue yet, he isn’t a guy you shy away from when it comes to upgrading. Linderbaum is the no-doubt best center in this draft class, and brings a physical, athletic, and nasty mentality to this offense is desperately lacked in 2022. The only real knock on Linderbaum’s game is that he’s sub-300lbs, but you wouldn’t know it watching him play. With the addition of Linderbaum, the Cowboys offensive line would immediately be upgraded from where it ended in 2021, and the interior of the offensive line would look much different from a pass protection and run blocking perspective.
Round 2: 56th Overall
Travis Jones | iDL | UConn | 6’4” 328lbs | Junior
Players still available: Arnold Ebiketie, Darian Kinnard, Josh Pascal, MyJai Sanders
After a big week down in Mobile at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, interior defensive linemen Travis Jones is getting a ton of top 50 love. The Cowboys luck out here and have him fall to them just outside the top 50, and upgrade the defensive trenches, after spending their first-round pick upgrading the offensive trenches. Travis Jones has an under-tackle play style in a nose tackle’s body. While having the size and anchor to be a force against the run, Jones also shows the ability to disrupt pockets and put pressure on quarterbacks from multiple alignments. He’s not quite the athletic freak that Vita Vea was coming out of Washington a few years ago, Jones’ style of play is in a similar light with the ability to put stress on opponents running game, while offering the ability to give you some things on passing downs as well with his quickness, power, and length.
Travis Jones is the best nose tackle in this class IMO pic.twitter.com/8884iwALT8— No Flags Film (@NoFlagsFilm) February 7, 2022
Round 3: 88th Overall
Boye Mafe | EDGE | Minnesota | 6’4” 265lbs | RS Senior
Players still available: Cade Otton, Chad Muma, Kyle Philips, Kerby Joseph
The closer we get to the draft, the more the worry that Boye Mafe is going to be drafted higher than he lasted in this mock draft, but for today, we rejoice. Mafe has all the tools to develop into a force off the EDGE in the NFL with his size and athletic traits. While he’s by no means a finished product, the athletic traits fly off the tape from his time at Minnesota. He is going to be a guy that tests really well at the NFL Combine, and after a really nice showing at the Senior Bowl, the hype train is already starting to get rolling. The addition of Mafe would provide Dan Quinn with an uber athletic, high-ceiling pass rusher to add to a room that already possesses a freak in Micah Parsons and more than likely one of (hopefully both) Randy Gregory or DeMarcus Lawrence.
Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe attacks with the stab/club. @boye_mafe finishes with the rip, reaches & gets to the QB for the strip sack. Have a pass rush plan! #PassRush #SkiUMah #NFLDraft— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) February 9, 2022
Credit: @PFF_Anthony pic.twitter.com/Yr6M0rehGu
Round 4: 127th Overall
Terrel Bernard | LB | Baylor | 6’1” 222lbs | RS Senior
Players still available: Troy Anderson, Jake Ferguson, Coby Bryant, Josh Jobe
With Mafe’s stock likely to rise as we get closer to the draft, the same could be said for Baylor linebacker Terrel Bernard. For an undersized linebacker, Bernard rarely plays as such. Bernard is exactly what you want your linebackers to play like in 2022, showcasing the ability to run, chase, and cover from the linebacker position. Bernard would fit in really well in Dan Quinn defense, a scheme that excels at using smaller linebackers or even a safety as a linebacker to play the run and matchup against tight ends and backs. Bernard also offers a ton of value as blitzer with excellent feel for how to create pressure against opposing quarterbacks.
If you love linebackers who play with their hair on fire then Baylor’s Terrel Bernard is for you. Incredible play speed and gets downhill immediately to shoot the gap and beat RG for TFL. pic.twitter.com/gR1Mc3HDh2— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) July 30, 2021
Round 5: 166th Overall
Thayer Munford | iOL | Ohio State | 6’6” 320lbs | Senior
Players still available: Matt Hankins, Bryan Cook, Micah McFadden, Dameon Pierce
When you get this late in the draft, you’re normally either 1) drafting traits or 2) drafting positions of need hoping to strike gold. Here the Cowboys do both of those things. While they have a multiple options at left guard heading into 2022 (McGovern, moving La’el Collins and playing Terence Steele at RT, adding a LG in free agency), they’ll definitely try to add a guy in this draft class to compete at the position in camp. While many will roll their eyes at a fifth-round pick starting in his rookie season, Munford’s tape at Ohio State is impressive. Munford has started at both left guard and left tackle for the Buckeye’s offense, and while he does need to develop in certain areas of his game, his size, versatility, and overall play strength and athleticism will allow him to find a role in the NFL.
Very impressive first performance at guard for Thayer Munford. Love his play/grip strength, body control to sustain blocks, and finishing mentality. pic.twitter.com/NBGeYcDwp5— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 8, 2021
Round 5: 175th Overall
Reggie Roberson Jr. | WR | SMU | 6’0” 200lbs | RS Senior
Players still available: Josh Thompson, Thomas Booker
If not for the injury concerns that sidelined Roberson for some of 2019 and most of 2020, he would be viewed in a much different light coming into the draft. I’ll never forget watching Courtland Sutton, Trey Quinn, and James Proche over the last few years and being in awe of the talent of Roberson when on the field. While the injuries are definitely something that will need to get checked out, the talent and ability on the field is not much of a question. Having the size, athleticism, and explosiveness to line up anywhere on the field, Roberson will need to be drafted understanding that his health could always be an issue, but if he does stay healthy, you have the chance of landing a top talent at the position on day three of the draft. Roberson would add a deep threat to the Cowboys offense it could be without if Michael Gallup lands elsewhere in free agency, but he’s more than just a vertical player, showing the ability to win as a route-runner and after the catch from the boundary and the slot.