Believe it or not, we’re already in the 2022 NFL Draft season. And with the emergence of a new draft season comes the first cycle of NFL mock drafts.
Pro Football Network recently published a new 2022 mock draft that featured two quarterbacks coming off the board in the first four picks: Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) and Sam Howell (North Carolina).
Both Rattler and Howell have been considered first-round players since the close of the 2020 college season and at this point, it’s unclear which quarterback prospect will end up the most desirable when April rolls around.
Rattler and Howell both possess big-league arms but don’t fit the prototypical physical makeup that teams have prioritized in years past. However, with the way the NFL’s offenses have changed in recent seasons, the old scouting profile usually applied to quarterbacks has changed significantly. Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray were each the first overall picks in their respective draft years and neither possesses the big and sturdy frame that history suggests they should.
Should we put much value in a preseason NFL mock draft?
Rattler and Howell aren’t the only quarterbacks off the board in the top 10 of PFN’s mock; Nevada’s Carson Strong also makes an appearance, and it’s a valuation that appears a bit bold at this point in the process. Another recent NFL mock draft — this one from Pro Football Focus — didn’t have Strong in the first round at all.
It goes to show how volatile mock drafts are at this time of year and why they should be viewed more as a guide to the upcoming season and a preview of the prospect landscape than as any true predictor of what’s to come in April.