“[Hutchinson] has the definite capability of being one of the best edge players in football. He’s as quick of an athlete as I’ve ever seen at that size.” – Simms on Michigan edge Aidan Hutchinson
“He’s raw…but he’s a really big-time talent. I like his motion and he makes some ‘wow’ throws.” – Simms on Liberty QB Malik Willis
NBC Sports’ 2022 NFL Draft Coverage Continues This Week on Across NBC Sports Platforms
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 27, 2022 – With the NFL Draft beginning tomorrow, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms has released his first-round mock draft on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast.
Simms, a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 NFL Draft who played eight NFL seasons, was joined by NBC Sports’ Ahmed Fareed on Simms Unbuttoned to offer evaluation, insight and analysis on the draft’s top prospects and each team’s needs heading into the draft.
Click here to watch the full episode of the Simms Unbuttoned mock draft episode. In the weeks leading up to the Draft, Simms has provided position-by-position breakdowns of the top prospects. Click here for a full playlist of Simms’ positional rankings.
Throughout the first round of the NFL Draft tomorrow night, follow along on Twitter (@CSimmsQB) and Instagram (@simmsunbuttoned) as Simms reacts and provides live analysis.
Simms has had recent success in projecting college quarterbacks – including naming Patrick Mahomes as his most exciting prospect in 2017, listing Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen as his top-two QBs in 2018, and having Justin Herbert as his No. 2 QB in 2020.
Earlier this week, NBC Sports NFL Insider Peter King unveiled his 2022 first-round mock draft, projecting Georgia DL Travon Walker to go No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Click here for King’s mock draft. On ProFootballTalk.com, Mike Florio unveiled his mock draft, also with Walker going No. 1 to Jacksonville.
For more NFL coverage, Peacock offers daily programming on the NBC Sports channel for free, including Pro Football Talk at 7 a.m. ET every weekday, Chris Simms Unbuttoned, The Peter King Podcast, The Rich Eisen Show, Brother from Another, and The Dan Patrick Show. To learn more about the NBC Sports on Peacock channel and how to sign up, click here.
The following is Chris Simms’ first round mock draft:
|1) Jacksonville: Michigan Edge Aidan Hutchinson||17) LA Chargers: Connecticut DT Travis Jones|
|2) Detroit: Georgia DL Travon Walker||18) Philadelphia: Washington CB Trent McDuffie|
|3) Houston: NC State T Ikem Ekwonu||19) New Orleans: Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson|
|4) NY Jets: Cincinnati CB Sauce Gardner||20) Pittsburgh: Liberty QB Malik Willis|
|5) NY Giants: Alabama T Evan Neal||21) New England: Northern Iowa T Trevor Penning|
|6) Carolina: Mississippi St. T Charles Cross||22) Green Bay: Ohio State WR Chris Olave|
|7) NY Giants: Florida St. Edge Jermaine Johnson||23) Arizona: LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr.|
|8) Atlanta: Georgia DT Jordan Davis||24) Dallas: Boston College OL Zion Johnson|
|9) Seattle: Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt||25) Buffalo: Iowa State RB Breece Hall|
|10) NY Jets: Alabama WR Jameson Williams||26) Tennessee: Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green|
|11) Washington: Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton||27) Tampa Bay: Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr.|
|12) Minnesota: Oregon Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux||28) Green Bay: Michigan S Daxton Hill|
|13) Houston: Utah LB Devin Lloyd||29) Kansas City: North Dakota State WR Christian Watson|
|14) Baltimore: Purdue DE George Karlaftis||30) Kansas City: Minnesota Edge Boye Mafe|
|15) Philadelphia: USC WR Drake London||31) Cincinnati: Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum|
|16) New Orleans: Central Michigan T Bernhard Raimann||32) Detroit: Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett|
|On the 2022 NFL Draft
Simms: “It’s a weird year. To me, the quarterback issue is real in trying to figure out the draft – especially the top 10 – and I think that’s most of the NFL. I don’t think most of the NFL has much of a feel exactly of where these quarterbacks are going to go. And then you’ve got a few wild card players in the draft too that can disrupt or upset things…specifically Derek Stingley and Kayvon Thibodaux. Those two guys, to me, are kind of the wild cards and could go in the top 10. Most likely won’t, but if they do, man, that’s going to leave some people on the board a little down the line that might make some teams happy.”
Simms on the depth of this year’s draft class: “There’s not a lot of superstars in the draft…when I finally got done with all my evaluations, I think I had close to 80 guys that I wrote, ‘(picks) 25-40’ so that to me is where the value is.”
Simms on Malik Willis to the Steelers at No. 20: “He’s raw…but he’s a really big-time talent. I like his motion and he makes some ‘wow’ throws as easy as anybody you’re going to find. Throws bombs to Chase Claypool – I think that’s the style of play [the Steelers] want to play.”
On Kenny Pickett to the Lions at No. 32: “I think it’s going to be an upgrade over what [the Lions currently] got. I do think he’s a guy that could be your starter really quickly, and dependable, and have a long career. The ceiling I don’t see tremendously high.”
On Jameson Williams to the Jets at No. 10: “Jameson Williams is the best receiver in the draft. I don’t think anyone in football really disagrees with that. He’s every bit as good as DeVonta Smith last year, in fact, I might think he’s better as the time went on. [The Jets] aren’t desperate at receiver, but it’s a situation where you go, ‘We just want one more guy and we’re going to be really dangerous with our biggest investment, our quarterback.’”
On Drake London to the Eagles at No. 15: “Jalen Hurts is a good big-body-receiver thrower…Drake London is just made for that to me. His ability to run routes and his size are real and they’re elite.”
On Garrett Wilson to the Saints at No. 19: “They need a difference maker. [It is] one of the glaring needs on their roster. I certainly think Wilson can open it up for them a little bit.”
On Breece Hall to the Bills at No. 25: “They want a guy who’s a little bit more of a real thing in the pass game. You know he’s smooth and can run routes out of the backfield, and that makes sense for what they want to do there in Buffalo.”
On edge Aidan Hutchinson to the Jaguars at No. 1: “I haven’t heard enough tangibles to know it’s Travon Walker for me to change my pick that way. [Hutchinson] has the definite capability of being one of the best edge players in football. He’s as quick of an athlete as I’ve ever seen at that size.”
On S Kyle Hamilton to the Commanders at No. 11: “This one to me was one of the easiest picks of the draft. You look at Washington, their roster, what they got there, they don’t have enough numbers at the safety position. There’s a real need. He’s another guy that I just look at and go, ‘As safe as it gets in the NFL Draft.’ There’s no bust factor with this kid at all.”
On edge Kayvon Thibodeaux to the Vikings at No. 12: “It makes too much sense here. [You’ve] got to be a little concerned with some of the medical issues he’s had to deal with the last few years…[but] I think [the Vikings] are going to have more of a desperate need to go [with] the pass rusher, the difference maker.”
On CB Derek Stingley to the Cardinals at No. 23: “There’s a huge need on their football team at the corner position. They’re a team that seems to be into the Isaiah Simmons, Rondale Moore guys…I feel like they’re the team that will be a little bit like, ‘He’s there. We got to take him.’”