As people who cover college football, we are obligated to provide you with a mock draft.

But unlike the other, inferior mock drafts flooding the marketplace, Saturday Tradition’s mock draft is not meant to be predictive. Like predictive text on your phone, predictive mock drafts were made to be, well, mocked.

Instead, fellow Tradition writer Dustin Schutte and I are playing the role of general manager. This is the 2022 NFL Draft as we would pick it.

The only rules: Dustin is the GM for teams with odd-numbered picks. I am the GM for teams with even-numbered picks. We alternate picks.

And since real general mangers make real trades on draft day — there’s a whole movie on this very concept — we are including fake trades in our fake roles.

We look forward to hearing how poorly we did.

Without further adieu, Dustin and the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

It’s really pretty simple — Jacksonville needs a pass rusher (among many other things) and Hutchinson is the best in this year’s draft class. After a meteoric rise to the top of the college football world in 2021, Hutchinson is as ready for the NFL as anyone. His athleticism and suitcase-full of pass-rush maneuvers should overcome the criticism of his arm length.

2. New York Giants (Traded No. 5 and No. 7 to Detroit for No. 2 and No. 32): Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Let’s get crazy.

With hometown hero Hutchinson off the board, I’ve elected to go for strength in numbers. The Lions gladly give up the No. 2 pick in exchange for 5 and 7, and the Giants gain leverage by adding the final pick of the first round — one that is often traded for itself.

If the Giants are still invested in an offense tailored to Saquon Barkley, it would help to have someone flattening some paths for him. It’s the same story for protecting their other recent first-round investment: QB Daniel Jones. Ekwonu is the best-rated run-blocking tackle in the draft, so he is a perfect fit for New York.

3. Houston Texans: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Cornerback is a position of need for the Texans even after signing Steven Nelson to a 2-year deal. This draft class isn’t exactly loaded at the cornerback position and Gardner is the cream of the crop. He never allowed a touchdown in coverage in 3 years at Cincinnati and hauled in 9 interceptions during his career. That’ll fit in perfectly with what Lovie Smith wants to do defensively.

4. New York Jets: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Jets need corners, and they can’t afford to take the chance that Stingley will still be there when they pick again at 10th. As noted, this isn’t a deep cornerback group. Gardner and Stingley are neck-and-neck, and from there it’s a pretty decent drop-off. Plus, the Jets can address their many other needs just 6 picks from now.

5. Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

Thibodeaux might be a high-risk prospect based on recent concerns about his effort on the field at times. The former Oregon defensive end is worth it, though. Detroit was one of the league’s worst teams at getting pressure on the quarterback in 2021 and Thibodeaux is the kind of player who can step in and immediately make a difference on the edge.

6. Carolina Panthers: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Rolling the dice here? You betcha.

But as GM, I have to be responsive to the fact that my coach is going to get canned after another lousy season. But a lousy season with a project at QB who shows some signs of growth? And it’s a QB who has a game similar to a young Cam Newton? That might be worth keeping him around for.

7. Detroit Lions: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Detroit needs a lot of help defensively, especially when it comes to defending the pass. After picking up Thibodeaux to improve the pass rush, adding Hamilton to the secondary could help cure some of the secondary woes the Lions have endured over the past few years (or seemingly eternity). Hamilton reads the quarterback well, flies all over the field and plays with great instinct.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

We know where Walker is projected to go in the real world. But in our world, this is a much better fit — especially with the Panthers taking Willis off the board. The Falcons had 18 sacks in 2021 — 4.5 fewer than TJ Watt alone. Friggin’ pathetic.

Drafting a Bulldog will work wonders for pumping enthusiasm into the fan base — especially one from the best defense in Georgia history. But given Atlanta’s lot, Walker is worth the pick regardless of where he went to school.

9. Seattle Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Getting some immediate help along the offensive line is a necessity for the Seahawks, so why not pick up one of the consensus top 2 offensive tackles in the draft class? Cross has the size, footwork and skill to provide some level of stability up front for Seattle.

10. New York Jets: Drake London, WR, USC

Full disclosure: I’m doing this in part because I believe a guy named London who played college football in Los Angeles is destined to play in New York. Even if it’s technically New Jersey.

More importantly, London is the best receiver in this draft. And I say that with deep love for both Ohio State wideouts. London would have won the Biletnikoff Award if not for his broken ankle. There are great secondaries in the AFC East, and a physical receiver like London who led college football in contested catches despite missing 4 games is the right choice.

11. Washington Commanders: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Washington has a lot of needs to fill. Michigan’s Dax Hill was a consideration at safety, as was Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. But they still have too many question marks for the No. 11 pick.

Olave spent most of his career at Ohio State waiting for defenders to catch him in the open field. He doesn’t cower when facing the top defensive backs and was one of the best route runners at the college level the past 3 seasons. Olave will be an immediate contributor in the passing attack for the Commanders.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

This was an incredibly difficult decision. I considered both Georgia defensive tackles (Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt) before deciding the Vikings need more help in the back than the front. And the reasoning pretty much boiled down to the fact Aaron Rodgers runs this division. McDuffie is more of a project than the first 2 corners off our board, but Patrick Peterson makes for an excellent mentor.

13. Houston Texans: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

Houston could easily go for a wide receiver or edge rusher with this selection, but because this class is deep at both positions, the Texans will have plenty of opportunities to add to talent at those spots. Green is considered one of the top interior offensive linemen and it’s hard to pass on this chance to add depth up front.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

You know how every year it seems like Baltimore grabs a guy in the first or second round that makes you say “How the heck did that guy fall there? Brilliant!” Example: Lamar Jackson.

Here we go again. I’m doing exactly what the Ravens would do if presented with this situation in real life — take the best guy available. And immediately inspire everyone to make fun of the Texans’ pick.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State

Doesn’t it feel like Philadelphia is a piece or two away from making a Super Bowl run? Maybe it’s a little more complicated than that, but the Eagles should be in better shape for 2022 by adding a pass-rusher to the roster.

Johnson is coming off a season in which he racked up 11.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries at Florida State. The Eagles totaled just 29 sacks last season, the 2nd-lowest number in the NFL. Johnson might not be the guy to change it but he adds quality depth to the position.

16. New Orleans Saints: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Michael Thomas has a reputation for being difficult. So how’s about adding another Buckeye to make him smile?

Wilson is a legit deep threat who will make life easier for Thomas. And with those caliber of weapons, an offense piloted by Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston can actually do more than expected.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Chargers need a tackle opposite Rashawn Slater and who better to add than a 6-7, 325-pound lineman who’s been labeled as one of the “nastiest” players in the draft? Evaluations suggest that Penning might be a work-in-progress, but he has a high motor and the physical frame LA is looking for in the draft.

18. Green Bay Packers (Traded No. 22, No. 53, No. 59 and No. 228 to Philadelphia for No. 18, No. 51 and a 2023 6th-round pick): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

With Davante Adams now a Raider, the Packers are in desperate need of a star wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers. That means trading up. And luckily for Green Bay, a player with top-10 potential was still sitting there waiting to be selected.

Rodgers did the Packers a solid by electing to stay put and renew his contract rather than retire. Now it’s time for management to return the favor.

19. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Should the Saints look at offensive tackle with their 2nd pick in Round 1? Probably. But Davis is one of the top players available and fits a need along the defensive line. His combination of size, speed and agility is a pretty rare combination for a defensive tackle. He’s a run stopper capable of getting into the backfield in a hurry. It’s hard to pass up a talent like this.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

The Steelers need to build up their offensive line. But if Pickett is actually still available by the time they pick? There’s no way to pass him up. Pittsburgh has been in this position before, picking nose tackle Gabe Rivera over Dan Marino in 1983.

Pickett’s no Marino, though he has broken a number of Marino’s Pitt records. With Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson as the other quarterbacks in the AFC North, this is a chance the Steelers must take. The stars are too aligned.

21. New England Patriots: Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

New England needs a cornerback and Booth is the best on the board with Gardner and Stingley already taken.

Booth is an athletic DB who showed a true knack for finding the football at Clemson. He was also one of the better cornerbacks when it came to defending middle- and long-yardage throws. The Patriots aren’t getting a lockdown corner out of the gate, but he’s capable of making plays and creating turnovers.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (Trade with GB): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

One reason for the Eagles to be comfortable with trading down with Green Bay? The likelihood of Lloyd or Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean still being available. Linebacker is a must for Philly, and having a solid tandem to choose from sure helps.

In this case, I think Lloyd’s superior size makes him a better fit for the Eagles. I like Dean better as a linebacker in a 3-4, and the Eagles ran a lot of 4-3 last season. So due to scheme, Lloyd gets the nod.

23. Arizona Cardinals: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

Karlaftis is one of those players who isn’t going to have the eye-popping statistics that you’d expect to see in a first-round pick. That’s mainly because the defensive line surrounding him at Purdue was … not great.

The former Boilermaker made a quick impact when he arrived on Purdue’s campus and should be able to jump in and contribute pretty quickly in Arizona. The comparisons are to Ryan Kerrigan, who had a pretty successful career out of Purdue, as well.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

I am putting myself in Jerry Jones’ shoes here, which are less expensive than his face.

The Cowboys need to stock up on the interior of their offensive line, and Linderbaum is considered the best center prospect of the 21st century. Linderbaum is as close to can’t-miss as they come. This is a big win for Dallas.

25. Buffalo Bills: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

This is Vegas, what fun would it be if someone didn’t roll the dice?

Elam might be criticized as a first-round selection because of his inconsistency, a fair critique. He does have a lot of room for improvement and can jump right in and help Buffalo’s secondary, which is in need. This is a high-risk, high-reward pick for the Bills.

26. Tennessee Titans: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

Raimann is quite clearly a project built on potential. The Austrian native signed with Central Michigan as a tight end before shifting to tackle.

But some believe he has the highest ceiling of any tackle in this draft. I cannot say that I’ve watched enough MAC offensive line play to verify this claim. But the offensive line is a position of need for the Titans. With the Texans shrewdly taking Kenyon Green and the Chargers nabbing Trevor Penning, Raimann is Tennessee’s best bet.

After all, Vegas is the ideal spot to draft a guy whose name looks like “Rainman.”

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College

Tampa Bay has holes on both sides of the line, so it could just as easily have grabbed a defensive lineman. With Tom Brady returning, though, the Bucs should put a priority on keeping him upright. He’s not getting younger, after all.

There are some concerns with Johnson’s ability to deal with more athletic defensive linemen, so he may not win a starting job immediately. Johnson could easily work into the rotation, though, and provide some depth for the Buccaneers up front.

28. Green Bay Packers: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

With 2 top offensive linemen taken in front of them and Dean still available, this qualifies as a no-brainer for the Packers.

Dean doesn’t have the build of a Ray Nitschke or Clay Matthews — he looks more like a safety — but his ability to cover ground is reminiscent of a linebacker Packers fans don’t have fond memories of: Brian Urlacher.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Boye Mafe, DE, Minnesota

This draft really worked out perfectly for Kansas City. It needs an every-down pass rusher to go along with Frank Clark and this class was loaded at the position.

The Chiefs get one of the most athletic edge rushers in the class with Mafe. He’s a similar player to Odafe Oweh, who is more impressive with his overall athleticism than a defensive end prospect. Either way, Mafe at No. 29 is steal for the Chiefs.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

With Tyreek Hill gone, the Chiefs need a speedy receiver capable of all sorts of gadgetry. Enter Christian Watson.

Watson ran a 4.36 in the 40, which is the fastest time of the receivers who have had their names called in the first round. The Bison were a run-heavy offense, so Watson was frequently featured in jet sweeps. That’s just one of many reasons he is ideally suited to take Hill’s place.

31. Indianapolis Colts (Traded No. 73 pick and 2023 2nd- and 6th-round picks to Cincinnati): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Needing to pass-catchers to the roster, Indianapolis wasn’t content to sit idly by and not land a difference-maker at wide receiver.

Dotson might have the strongest hands in this draft class and has shown the ability to meet the football at its highest point. He’s a Marvin Harrison-type receiver — avoiding big hits but still serving as a major threat in the deep passing attack. Dotson gives Matt Ryan another option in the passing attack for the Colts.

32. New York Giants (Trade with DET): Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State

Seattle attempted to trade into the first round to secure a quarterback, but wasn’t willing to pay the king’s ransom demanded by the Giants.

Thus, the round concludes with back-to-back Nittany Lions. The Giants needed to improve both their offensive and defensive fronts, and accomplished that task after swapping positions with Detroit. Ebiketie showed he was the real deal after transferring from Temple, finishing with 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in his lone season at Penn State.