After months of hypothesis and postulation, it’s all come right down to this. The primary spherical of the NFL Draft is going down on Thursday evening, and we’re right here to interrupt down each choose as they occur, in addition to grade every choice because it is available in from Las Vegas.
A deep, talent-rich draft, the 2022 class is missing the top-end expertise (notably at quarterback) that usually shapes the category. This can be a line-deep group of prospects who may not appear attractive on draft evening, however may form the NFL for years to return. So let’s dive in.
No. 1: Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE — Georgia
I just like the participant, I don’t just like the choose. Personally, I’m extraordinarily excited to see Walker within the NFL and witness whether or not his phenomenal athletic means interprets right into a perennial All Professional profession, however this was an enormous threat. The Jaguars simply took a man with 9.5 profession sacks with the No. 1 general choose, they usually’re not able to whiff on this in the event that they’re attempting to construct sustained success. I actually hope this all works out for each Jacksonville, and NFL followers — as a result of Walker being legit can be wonderful, however there’s an enormous likelihood he flames out as nicely.
No. 2: Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE — Michigan
This was a no brainer, regardless of some late smokescreen about Kayvon Thibodeaux. Hutchinson stays in Michigan, and this was an very simple choice for them. The Lions want dependable cross rush, and get the most-reliable lock defensive finish on this draft. Hutchinson may not have the ludicrous ceiling of Travon Walker or Thibodeaux, however he’s going to be a ten+ yr power and anchor Dan Campbell’s cross rush. The Jaguars’ mistake is Detroit’s acquire.
No. 3: Houston Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB — LSU
There was actually a tossup between Stingley Jr. and Sauce Gardner for finest cornerback on this draft, however it appears Houston wasn’t scared off due to Stingley’s harm. For a very long time the LSU cornerback was seen as the highest defensive again on this class, and the rise of Gardner overtook him. A traditional, ideally-framed CB, Lovie Smith appears to have gone with soccer IQ over athletic potential, which was actually the distinction right here.
No. 4: New York Jets: Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB — Cincinnati
I believe Sauce Gardner would be the finest cornerback from this draft when the mud settles. He’s obtained phenomenal measurement, nice instincts, and let’s face it — he by no means allowed a landing in faculty. There are some self-discipline points with how he performs, as he likes to seize and quit some dumb penalties infrequently, however that’s not a priority for me. We’re speaking a couple of man with Darrelle Revis expertise in Richard Sherman’s physique. I like it.
No. 5: New York Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE — Oregon
This one is a large shock. It’s not that I didn’t assume the Giants would need Thibodeaux, it’s that they took him with the No. 5 choose. One has to marvel in the event that they have been afraid Carolina would commerce their choose, in order that they made the soar now — they usually’re proud of one other offensive sort out at No. 7. There have been questions on Thibodeaux’s drive, however all that’s silly. The man is a monster, he can play quite a lot of positions on the sector, and a few consider this was the very best participant within the draft … interval. That stated, I don’t love not taking Ikem Ekwonu right here, who appeared like a pure choose.
No. 6: Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT — N.C. State
The Panthers need to be foaming on the mouth with how this all went. I truthfully don’t assume they anticipated Ekwonu to be on the board at No. 6, and find yourself getting the very best offensive sort out on this draft with out query. Followers can breathe a sigh of aid that this workforce didn’t get monumentally silly and draft Kenny Pickett at No. 6, as an alternative fixing their woeful offensive line and get an absolute anchor. Nice luck, nice choose, this one is straightforward.
No. 7: New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT — Alabama
I don’t hate this in any respect. I personally would have most popular Thibodeaux and Ekwonu for the Giants, which might have gotten the very best marks potential, however that is nonetheless actually good. Neal was garnering No. 1 general choose buzz as early as final month due to his size, athleticism, and room to develop. There isn’t any doubt Neal has large upside at offensive sort out, and the flexibleness to maneuver all around the line. This has been a hell of a draft for the Giants to date.
No. 8: Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, WR — USC
It’s a daring transfer to safe your receivers earlier than realizing who will likely be throwing the ball long run is attention-grabbing. The very fact is, the way in which this draft was shaping up it type of make this a necessity — however the major concern is that I don’t actually know the way this makes the Falcons a greater workforce within the brief, or medium time period. When they lastly get a quarterback there will likely be passer-friendly targets with London and Kyle Pitts, however man… I simply don’t know the way lengthy that may take. If the Falcons suck in 2022 and draft Prime 5 in a yr, then we’re onto one thing. If not, that is going to be ugly for some time.
No. 9: Seattle Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT — Mississippi State
This felt like a extremely apparent selection. The Seahawks have been at all times going offensive sort out right here if one of many huge three have been on the board, they usually possible ended up with the one they most popular. Cross will not be practically as well-rounded as Ekwonu or Neal, however he’s the very best cross blocker on this draft. That doesn’t imply something proper now, as a result of Drew Lock is the QB — however it bodes nicely for whoever steps in subsequent to have such a dependable left sort out. Seattle didn’t overthink this course of, and that’s the most important factor right here.
No. 10: New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR — Ohio State
Wilson’s was my favourite WR within the draft. A clean, do-everything receiver who could make a quarterback’s life simpler — and that’s simply what Zach Wilson wants. There are nonetheless main issues concerning the safety in New York, however no less than they now have a reputable participant who could make the QB look higher. Garrett Wilson’s catch level, his means to catch tough passes, and work in tight areas is every little thing this workforce wants.
** TRADE** The New Orleans Saints commerce as much as the No. 11 choose, giving the No. 16, 98 and 120 to the Washington Commanders.
No. 11: New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR — Ohio State
This ain’t it. I like Chris Olave simply fantastic — he’s a fluid, good route runner with lots of talent, however I’m mystified why the Saints felt the necessity to transfer up. I actually don’t assume there was an enormous WR threat between now and the No. 16 choose, so giving up extra belongings in a deep draft feels off to me. It feels quite a bit just like the Saints performed themselves into making this choose and giving up picks to make it.
** TRADE** The Detroit Lions commerce as much as the No. 12 choose, giving the No. 32, 34 and a fourth spherical choose to the Minnesota Vikings.
No. 12: Detroit Lions: Jameson Williams, WR — Alabama
I’m completely shocked. Jameson Williams is a superb participant, however I didn’t peg the Lions to be on the lookout for a WR in any respect. This was a big transfer too, as Detroit gave up their ultimate choose of the primary spherical, and a excessive second spherical choose to leap up. Even following an harm within the Nationwide Championship sport he’s going to be an amazing participant within the NFL who will win now, and sooner or later.
** TRADE** The Philadelphia Eagles commerce as much as the No. 13 choose, giving the Texans the fifteenth general choose, a 2022 4th spherical choose and two 2022 fifth spherical picks.
No. 13: Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, DT — Georgia
Davis is a power within the center who I completely noticed as a possible Ravens goal. This made the soar mandatory for my part, they usually get an anchor at DT. Davis’ athleticism as a 300+ pound sort out is ridiculous, and whereas he’s not a penetrating cross rusher, he can shove a lineman again right into a QB’s pocket and make life tough.
No. 14: Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Hamilton, S — Notre Dame
I don’t care about place, Kyle Hamilton was one of many Prime 5 gamers on this draft. With unnatural soccer IQ and management potential, Hamilton is destined to change into the following nice Ravens security. I actually assume he may have gone wherever from No. 3 onwards and it could have been justified, however that is an absolute steal. I really like this choice, and this occurred due to the trades for the 2 large receivers.
No. 15: Houston Texans: Kenyon Inexperienced, OG — Texas A&M
I actually like Kenyon Inexperienced, however this was very early. Very, very early. I’m somewhat mystified why you’re taking an inside offensive lineman when Jermaine Johnson II is on the board and also you want a cross rusher. The commerce again offers Houston some depth picks, however this was not an impression choice.
No. 16: Washington Commanders: Jahan Dotson, WR — Penn State
One other extremely early choose. I had Dotson going within the late 20s to a playoff workforce, not at No. 16. I do know he has velocity, and there’s been a run on WRs, however that is so early. Getting weapons for Carson Wentz isn’t a recipe for fulfillment for my part, and there have been a lot, a lot better gamers on the board at positions of want for this workforce.
No. 17: Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, OG — Boston School
This draft has been a little bit of a nightmare for the Chargers who miss out on mainly each high receiver by ready. Johnson is a strong participant, and bulks up their offensive line — however it’s a really bland choose. It’s not likely the workforce’s fault primarily based on how the board formed up, nevertheless this positively appears like a comfort choose made out of necessity.
** TRADE** The Tennessee Titans commerce WR A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 18th general choose and a 3rd spherical choose.
No. 18: Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR — Arkansas
The receivers are FLYING off the board and the Titans want a alternative after dealing A.J. Brown. Burks is a robust, physique receiver who’s really quite a bit like … A.J. Brown. Significantly, that’s the very best participant comparability right here, and this deal and choose appears like an acknowledgement that this workforce has some huge retooling to do.
No. 19: New Orleans Saints: Trent Penning, OT — Northern Iowa
I like this choose a complete lot. Penning is a nasty, nation robust lineman with a big-time imply streak. Offensive sort out was a necessity for the Saints, they usually get the very best one left on the board. Penning will possible by no means be a real left sort out, however could be a mauling proper sort out that followers fall in love with. When an OT has a spotlight reel he’s one thing good.
No. 20: Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB — Pitt
Okay then. Properly. Yeah.
Look, this was the lengthy set choose and I assume they actually like him? The factor is, long-term I believe Kenny Pickett goes to be a center, unremarkable QB within the NFL. Malik Willis was the dude with the potential for greatness, and I believe would have been a a lot better swing at No. 20. Clearly they felt otherwise, and this isn’t a horrible choose contemplating the way in which the draft was going, however I personally don’t like it.
** TRADE** The New England Patriots commerce the No. 21 choose to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs for the No. 29 choose, in addition to a third and 4th spherical choose in 2022
No. 21: Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: Trent McDuffie, CB — Washington
McDuffie is way, a lot better than this place dictates and with out the wild WR run I see him going quite a bit earlier. I’m shocked that the Patriots didn’t take him as an alternative, however possible view this group of second tier cornerbacks quite a bit nearer than I do. McDuffie is a smaller, ballhawk nook who likes to make performs, and he’s gifted at enjoying the person and making tackles greater than his measurement may recommend.
No. 22: Inexperienced Bay Packers: Quay Walker, LB — Georgia
This has been a catastrophe for the Packers who missed out on not simply the WRs, however impression defensive gamers too. Walker is a curious participant, a attain and I’m actually unsure what the Packers see right here. I don’t assume he’ll be a top-level participant, and can as an alternative be a good starter at finest. I’d nearly simply recommend they need to have reached for a WR right here, reasonably than take a linebacker.
** TRADE** The Arizona Cardinals commerce the No. 23 choose to the Baltimore Ravens for WR Hollywood Brown and a 3rd spherical choose
** TRADE** The Baltimore Ravens commerce the No. 23 choose to the Buffalo Payments for No. 25 and No. 130
No. 23: Buffalo Payments: Kaiir Elam, CB — Florida
Elam was the final of the cornerbacks I had a primary spherical grade on, and I believe he’s actually gifted. A protracted ballhawk with an incredible means to find the ball within the air, he’ll punish quarterbacks who make ill-advised throws in his space.
No. 24: Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Smith, OT — Tulsa
This can come off like a shock, however possibly it shouldn’t be. The Cowboys really want offensive line assist, and Smith is not going to be obtainable on the back-end of the second spherical. That stated, this can be a huge attain. He has a nasty streak and will likely be a good participant, however I believe there have been higher gamers on the board.
No. 25: Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linderbaum, C — Iowa
For a very long time I had the Ravens taking Linderbaum at No. 14, so shifting again, making trades and getting right here right here is a large steal so far as I’m involved. Linderbaum is essentially the most gifted heart to return alongside in a really very long time, and I believe he’s going to be a ten+ yr Professional Bowl participant. He’s unimaginable, and I really like the worth right here.
** TRADE ** The Tennessee Titans commerce the No. 26 choose to the New York Jets for No. 35, 69 and 153.
No. 26: New York Jets: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE — Florida State
I don’t perceive how Johnson lasted this lengthy. It is unnecessary. Right here was a man who on the worst was going within the teenagers in nearly each mock draft, and he plummets to No. 26. I really like the aggression and the pickup right here, and he provides to the massive haul from the Jets. The previous ACC Defensive Participant of the 12 months, Johnson will instantly bolster the cross rush.
** TRADE** The Tampa Bay Buccaneers commerce the No. 27 choose to the Jacksonville Jaguars for No. 33, 106 and 180
No. 27: Jacksonville Jaguars: Devin Lloyd, LB — Utah
I really like Devin Lloyd. He’s not the bulkiest dude on the earth, however makes up for it with mammoth soccer IQ and intuition. In lots of methods he jogs my memory of Luke Kuechly or Bobby Wagner with how he performs the sport, and has nice size to intrude with passes. Lloyd will add management and reliability to the middle of the sector, and I don’t assume the Jags gave up the world to maneuver up.
No. 28: Inexperienced Bay Packers: Devonte Wyatt, DT — Georgia
I hope Aaron Rodgers likes throwing the ball to a working again. I don’t get it. Wyatt good participant who will likely be a staple at DT, however he’s not a penetrator, he’s not a sport changer — he’s merely actually dependable. I can not fathom not taking somebody like George Pickens at WR. It appears like this workforce is trolling Rodgers.
No. 29: New England Patriots
No. 30: Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
No. 31: Cincinnati Bengals
No. 32: Minnesota Vikings