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2022 NFL Draft Round One Picks – Who Drafted Well?

Round one is over and an exciting one it was too,  with plenty of trades and QB selections being conspicuous by their absence. Overall though it was pretty well balanced with 16 selections on both the offense & defense and very few head-scratching picks (even New Englands was not awful).  No one will know how good or bad these selections will be for at least a couple of seasons however at this stage this is how we view them.

1 Jacksonville Jaguars

Travon Walker DE

Travon Walker


Travon Walker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

College Georgia SEC

A solid pick who we had going second to the Lions in our mock. Some have criticized his lack of sacks however it was not his job at Georgia and he will be a monster at blocking the middle in the NFL. Our grade reflects the fact that we don’t expect him to be used as an out and out edge rusher.

Our Grade A

Mock pick Aidan Hutchinson

 

2 Detroit Lions

Aidan Hutchinson DE

College Michigan Big Ten 

The Lions will be delighted getting Hutch here. A local guy from a local college and one with huge upside. What’s not to like. Detroit are slowly but surely adding the pieces needed to compete in the NFC North.

Our Grade A

Mock Pick Travon Walker

 

3 Houston Texans

Derek Stingley Jr. CB

College LSU SEC

We didn’t expect the Texans to go DB here but when you have as many roster holes as they have we guess it doesn’t matter where you start! We had Stingley going a little later in round one due to his injury record (3rd CB on our board) but their medical team know better than we do. CB was the Texans’ most glaring need but we expected them to address that with a later 1st round pick

Our Grade B-

Mock Pick Evan Neal

 

4 New York Jets

Ahmad Sauce Gardner CB

College  Cincinnati AAC

We expected the Jets to go secondary early but had them going Safety with Kyle Hamilton. Sauce is a lockdown corner and if he comes close to replicating his college career in the NFL he will be a long time pro bowler. We had him going at 7.

Our Grade A

Mock Pick Kyle Hamilton

 

5 New York Giants

Kayvon Thibodeaux DE

College Oregon Pac-12

Grabbing a top edge rusher is never a bad move when picking this high and he fills a position of need. Whether it was their main need is debatable and we think keeping Daniel Jones on his feet was their most glaring issue.

Our Grade B+

Mock pick Ikem Ekwonu

 

6 Carolina Panthers

Ikem Ekwonu OT

College NC State ACC

A great pick for whoever gets to start at QB, although it is doubtful he will be enough to turn Sam Darnold into a game-changer. We thought they might panic and go QB here. We ranked Evan Neal slightly higher just because of his performances against the better SEC defenses.

Our Grade A-

Mock pick Kenny Pickett

 

7 New York Giants

Evan Neal OT

College Alabama SEC 

We had Big Blue going corner here, but only because we expected them to go OT with their first pick. Neal represents excellent value here and he should be a day one starter.

Our Grade A+

Mock pick Ahmad Sauce Gardner

 

8 Atlanta Falcons

Drake London WR

College USC Pac-12

The Falcons receiving lineup was threadbare, to say the least, and as we expected they added another big target to go alongside Kyle Pitts. This duo will be a nightmare to defend in the red zone.

Our Grade A

Mock pick Drake London

 

9 Seattle Seahawks

Charles Cross OT

College Mississippi State SEC 

With big question marks at QB Seattle did the best they could here and ensured that whoever gets the starting job as signal-caller has decent protection. We had Cross at No three on our OT board and had him going here.

Our Grade A+

Mock pick Charles Cross

 

10 New York Jets

Garrett Wilson WR

College Ohio State Big Ten

The Jets needed another option at wideout and the only reason we didn’t have one pencilled in here was that we thought that Kayvon Thibodeaux might slide a little with this being his stopping point. Wilson was our No 2 receiver and this pick will make Zac Wilson very happy.

Our Grade A-

Mock pick Kayvon Thibodeaux

 

11 New Orleans Saints

Chris Olave WR 

College  Ohio State Big Ten 

The Saints desperately needed a WR 2 to play opposite Michael Thomas and they traded up to make sure they got their man. The problem here is that maybe they didn’t get their man with Wilson going at 10. Our grade reflects the cost of trading up (a 3rd & 4th) which looks like a touch of panic!

Our Grade B

Mock pick Jameson Williams at pick 16

 

12 Detroit Lions

Jameson Williams WR

College Alabama SEC

The Loins also moved up the board for a WR and again it looked like a knee jerk move. Still, Williams was the best remaining and definitely wouldn’t have been there at 32!

Our Grade B

Mock pick Trent McDuffie to the Vikings

 

13 Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Davis DT

College Georgia SEC 

Yet another trade! This one seemed like an overpay too as there was a good chance that Davis would still have been on the board at pick 15 given the Texans were most likely going to go OL. Still, he is an intriguing prospect and should anchor their interior line for many years. Our grade again reflects the cost.

Our Grade B

Mock pick we had the Eagles taking Derek Stingley at 15

 

14 Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Hamilton S

College Notre Dame Ind. (FBS)

The Ravens probably couldn’t believe their luck after three teams traded up ahead of them and all passed on Hamilton! He is top 10 talent (we had him going at 4) and should contribute from day one.

Our Grade A+

Mock pick Tyler Linderbaum OC – who they got anyway at pick 25!

 

15 Houston Texans

Kenyon Green OG

College Texas A&M SEC

The Texans managed to trade down and probably get their intended target anyway. We thought they would have addressed the OL at pick three and go corner here however they switched the picks around. Kenyon Green looks good value around this mark being versatile enough to play multiple positions and should start week one. Their QB Davis Mills will like this pick.

Our Grade B+

Mock pick Andrew Booth CB at 13

 

16 Washington Commanders

Jahan Dotson WR

College Penn State Big Ten 

The newly named Commanders did ok here, filling a need while adding some extra latter picks in a deep draft. Dotson is not the biggest WR but he is quick and should be a capable No 2 to Terry McLaurin.

Our Grade B+

Mock pick Garrett Wilson WR at pick 11

 

17 Los Angeles Chargers

Zion Johnson OG

College Boston College ACC

The Chargers biggest need was Interior OL and they filled it nicely with Johnson. With Kenyon Green gone this was the obvious choice and he will instantly make their OL better.

Our Grade B+

Mock pick Kenyon Green OG

 

18 Tennessee Titans

Treylon Burks WR

College Arkansas SEC 

Another trade which worked out well for both parties. The Titans moved on from WR A.J. Brown and picked up a 3rd round pick as well as filling the void. Treylon Burks could easily have gone higher on other years, but this was a deep WR class. He reminds us of Deebo Samuel and if he turns out to be anywhere near as good this will be a masterstroke. Time will tell but it is a gamble.

Our Grade B-

Mock pick We had Philly taking Devon Lloyd here

 

19 New Orleans Saints

Trevor Penning OT

College Northern Iowa Missouri Valley (FCS)

New Orleans needed an OT to replace Terron Armstead who walked in free agency. It’s a big ask for any rookie and probably even more so for one who played at FCS level. We are not knocking Penning but rated him as more of a development pick than a day one starter who would have to replace a three-time pro bowler. It may be 2023 before we see the best of him.

Our Grade C+

Mock pick Bernhard Raimann OT

 

20 Pittsburgh Steelers

Kenny Pickett QB

College Pittsburgh ACC 

The Steelers needed a QB and Pickett is the most NFL ready of this year’s crop. Had Matt Corral not had off-field issues he could have gone here and we expected Pickett to be off the board by now.

Our Grade B

Mock pick Matt Corral (as we expected Pickett to be gone)

 

21 Kansas City Chiefs

Trent McDuffie CB

College Washington Pac-12 

The Chiefs traded up with the Patriots to grab  McDuffle and given there was little chance of him falling much further it was probably the right move. He will probably fill in as slot corner from week one and can cover outside too if needed.

Our Grade A

Mock pick Chris Olave to The Patriots

 

22 Green Bay Packers

Quay Walker LB Georgia SEC 

This was a marmite pick judging by some of the reactions on the Green Bay related FB Groups. However, given that the cream of this year’s wide receiver crop had gone it made sense to address the next biggest need. He played his part in Georgia’s National Title winning team and should find a fill-in roll in his rookie season.

Our Grade B-

Mock pick Treylon Burks WR

 

23 Buffalo Bills

Kaiir Elam CB Florida SEC

Another trade up and again, not one that was really necessary given Buffalo is not in desperate need of secondary cover. Still, he offers extra competition for the right corner position and he has the size & strength to make an impact.

Our Grade B-

Mock pick Breece Hall RB

 

24 Dallas Cowboys

Tyler Smith OT Tulsa AAC

The Cowboys needed an infusion of youth into their OL but we are not sure that Smith will be ready to play Left Tackle this year. He should slot in at Guard though while he learns the ropes.

Our Grade C+

Mock pick Nakobe Dean LB Georgia

 

25 Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Linderbaum C Iowa Big Ten 

Once again good things come to those who wait. The Ravens got this pick through the complex trade that took Marquis “Hollywood” Brown to the Cardinals and even after trading down again, they ended up with who we thought they should draft at 14! Lindenbaum looks like a future pro bowl centre and he should anchor their OL for many years to come. Possibly the best pick of round one.

Our Grade A+

Mock pick we had the Bills taking Breece Hall here

 

26 New York Jets

Jermaine Johnson II DE Florida State ACC 

The Jats pulled off another trade to grab their 3rd first-round pick and didn’t give up too much to get it! Johnson was a bit off the radar playing with a mediocre Florida State but looks decent value here ( We had him going at 23 to the Cardinals). The Jets rebuild is progressing nicely.

Our Grade A

Mock pick we had the Titans taking OT Zion Johnston here.

 

27 Jacksonville Jaguars

Devin Lloyd LB Utah Pac-12 

Yet another trade with the Jags giving up quite a bit to grab a player who may have slid a bit further than expected. He probably wouldn’t have fallen to 33 so pulling the trade was worth it given he fills a need. The grade partially reflects the draft picks given up.

Our Grade B+

Mock pick we had the Buccs going with David Ojabo DE.

 

28 Green Bay Packers

Devonte Wyatt DT Georgia SEC

Again with no WR worthy of a 1st round grade the Packers filled a huge need, stopping the run and collapsing the pocket. Wyatt was one of the unsung heroes on the Georgia title-winning defense and will be a day one starter.

Our Grade B+

Mock pick Arnold Ebiketie DE.

 

29 New England Patriots

Cole Strange OG Chattanooga SoCon (FCS)

After trading down from 21 the Patriots made what was probably the most questionable pick of the 1st round. Cole Strange started all 11 games in 2021 and made the Senior Bowl however we doubt many teams had a 1st round grade on him. Knowing the Patriots he will be a future star, however, for now, we have a fairly modest grade on this pick.

Our Grade C

Mock pick We had the Chiefs taking Jordan Davis DL

 

30 Kansas City Chiefs

George Karlaftis DE Purdue Big Ten

Decent pick for the Chiefs at the tail end of round one. He should start early given they don’t have much depth at RDE. We still think that Boye Mafe would have been a better pick though

Our Grade B-

Mock pick Boye Mafe DE

 

31 Cincinnati Bengals

Daxton Hill S Michigan Big Ten

The Bengals had been busy in free agency so had the luxury of picking for depth rather than need. Their secondary is the only weak area and Hill is a solid pickup here. He plays safety but could fill in at Corner giving them plenty of options.

Our Grade B+

Mock Pick Roger McCreary CB

 

32 Minnesota Vikings

Lewis Cine S Georgia SEC

The Vikings got this pick thanks to their earlier trade with the Lions. They made pretty good use of it adding what they will hope is Harrison Smiths’ replacement in a year or two.  Sine was another unsung part of that Georgia defense and he will benefit greatly from playing alongside Smith.

Our Grade B+

Mock Pick Lions taking QB Malik Willis

So there we have it. No really bad picks in our opinion and a couple of teams really improved.

Round One Statistics

A little bit of round one trivia

SEC Dominates with 12 selections

6 Wide Receivers taken

Even split picks wise with 16 on offense & 16 on defense.

18 of the 32 picks involved a trade, in one shape or form! Is that a record?

Hoping for better luck

Only one QB was taken. When did that last happen? 1997 when Jim Druckenmiller was drafter at 26 by the 49ers. His career stats were 239 yards with 1TD and 4 interceptions. Yikes, let’s hope Kenny Pickett does a bit better otherwise Pittsburgh will be looking for a new front office!

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