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2022 NFL Draft: Live Team Grades & Fantasy Analysis (Round 1)

2022 NFL Draft: Live Team Grades & Fantasy Analysis (Round 1)

We’ve finally made it. The 2022 NFL Draft is here. With decisions made and trades accepted, teams are ready to make their selections (or more trades!). We’ll have you covered throughout the draft with real NFL and fantasy football reactions. This season, we have livestreams for Round 1 AND Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft. We’ll also be active on social media and via our Discord channel where you can join fellow football fans as we all enjoy the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 NFL Draft Round 1 Draft Grades

2022 NFL Draft Round 1 Selections

No. 1 - Jacksonville Jaguars - Travon Walker (Edge - UGA) - Draft Grade: B+
Travon Walker led the Georgia Bulldogs No. 1-ranked defense in total pressures this past season, with 13 coming during their playoff run.

His rare agility at 6-foot-5 and 272 pounds will be a significant issue for opposing offensive lines. The former Bulldog flashed his rare speed/bend at the NFL Combine with a 4.51 40-yard dash (98th percentile) and 6.89 3-cone drill (93rd percentile).

With 35 1/2 inch arms to boot, Walker possesses rare traits that make him worthy of a top-5 overall pick. And perhaps in the eyes of Jaguars GM Trent Baalke, the No. 1 overall pick.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 2 - Detroit Lions - Aidan Hutchinson (Edge - Michigan) - Draft Grade: A
Although he wasn't selected No. 1, Michigan pass-rusher Aidan Hutchinson remains No. 1 on my Big Board. His 2021 PFF defense grade (94.5) is the highest among any edge defender entering the NFL since Washington Commander Chase Young.

Hutch’s pressure rate above expectation (10.9%) ranks second in the class and is nearly double that of Kayvon Thibodeaux’s third-place rate (6.6%), per Sports Info Solutions.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 3 - Houston Texans - Derek Stingley (CB - LSU) - Draft Grade: A-
After his freshman season, Derek Stingley was seen as a can't-miss option. The LSU product has regressed the past two years dealing with injuries, but the talent showcased in 2019 - PFF's highest-graded corner - is too good to ignore.

He also dismayed any doubt surrounding his current health after testing at LSU’s pro day. He ran a 4.44 40-yard dash (72nd percentile), jumped 38.5 inches in the vertical (80th percentile), and leaped 122 inches in the broad jump (51st percentile).
- Andrew Erickson

No. 4 - New York Jets - Ahmad Gardner (CB - CIN) - Draft Grade: B
Ahmad (Sauce) Gardner is a lock-down press cornerback from Cincinnati. He played the second-most snaps from man coverage among his classmates in 2021 and allowed just 55 total receiving yards, and Gardner has also never allowed a touchdown in coverage.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 5 - New York Giants - Kayvon Thibodeaux (Edge - Oregon) - Draft Grade: A-
Elite pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux generated 48 pressures in 11 games his junior season - 4.4 per game. That mark ranked tenth among the 2022 edge class.

He also generated a 19% pressure rate — a metric that considers the percentage of pass rushes that resulted in a quarterback hurry, hit, knockdown, or sack (provided by Sports Info Solutions). Only Oklahoma’s Nik Bonitto boasted a higher pressure rate last season (22%).
- Andrew Erickson

No. 6 - Carolina Panthers - Ikem Ekwonu (OL - NC State) - Draft Grade: A-
Ikem Ekwonu allowed zero quarterback hits in 2021 and offered versatility to line up at guard. In the run game, he's also an absolute mauler — PFF's fifth-highest graded run-blocker in 2021.

The Wolfpack offensive lineman did wonders for his draft stock at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 7 - New York Giants - Evan Neal (OT - Alabama) - Draft Grade: A+
The Alabama tackle finished top-10 in his draft class with the lowest pressure rate allowed (2.4%) as a full-time left tackle in his first season. With Evan Neals' mammoth size — 6-foot-7, 350 pounds — he will be a foundation piece addition to any offensive line.

His versatility and experience playing right tackle and guard will go a long way.

No. 8 - Atlanta Falcons - Drake London (WR - USC) - Draft Grade: A
Drake London boasts all the skills to be an alpha possession receiver at the next level. The 6-foot-4 and 219-pound towering wide receiver only played in eight games due to an ankle injury, making every game count. He commanded a 38% target share and led all WRs in contested catches (19). London concluded the year third in yards per route run (3.52) in his draft class.

The USC product has also yet to turn 21. His game as a big-bodied wideout echoes a spry Kenny Golladay.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 9 - Seattle Seahawks - Charles Cross (OT - Miss. St.) - Draft Grade: A
After taking over 1,200 snaps from that position the last two seasons, Charles Cross is a locked-and-loaded franchise left tackle. The Mississippi State Bulldog was elite from Week 4 onward as PFF's second-highest graded pass-blocker (87.6).

Cross also showed up against the most substantial competition allowing just two combined pressures in four SEC matchups against Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, and Auburn.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 10 - New York Jets - Garrett Wilson (WR - Ohio State) - Draft Grade: A
Garrett Wilson was deemed open on 90 of 107 targets in 2021 - an 84% open target rate. Elijah Moore - the Jets' second-round pick in 2021 - earned an 88% open target rate last year at Ole Miss.

The Ohio State wide receiver also tested extremely well with a 4.38 40-time. He has solidified his status as one of the top WRs in the class with impressive testing numbers and his savvy route running.

Wilson finished this past season third in broken tackle and missed tackle rate (29%), per Sports Info Solutions.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 11 - New Orleans Saints (via WAS) - Chris Olave (WR - Ohio State) - Draft Grade: B-
Chris Olave can separate from defenders at an elite level downfield. The former Buckeye wrapped up his 2021 season in the 96th percentile in separation versus single coverage and caught seven touchdowns on throws of 20-plus air yards.

Olave cemented himself as a top-20 selection by blazing a 4.39 40-yard dash (90th percentile) at the NFL Combine.

He parallels Calvin Ridley's route running ability.

No. 12 - Detroit Lions (via MIN) - Jameson Williams (WR - Alabama) - Draft Grade: A
Alabama's Jameson Williams can be the extra firepower a team needs to get over the top after a monster season as the Crimson Tide's No. 1 receiver.

Williams commanded a 31% dominator rating by hanging 1,561 receiving yards, 20 yards per reception, and 15 touchdowns - all achievements that ranked top-three among his 2022 NFL Draft class. His gargantuan yardage totals were fueled by his ability to create yards after the catch and downfield. He finished top-seven among all college-wide receivers in yards after the catch per reception (9.3) and receiving yards on 20-plus air yard throws.

Williams has shades of Will Fuller and Mike Wallace to his game, a big play waiting to happen.

No. 13 - Philadelphia Eagles (via HOU) - Jordan Davis (DT - UGA) - Draft Grade: B+
Jordan Davis' 4.78 40-time at 341 pounds is the best weight-adjusted time among 487 interior defenders to run at the combine. It generated an astounding 130.64-speed score. For perspective, DK Metcalf's 133.3-speed score ranks in the 100th percentile, which he ran at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds.

At worst, Davis can be an elite run-stuffer at the next level. But his uber-athleticism clearly shows he is an absolute game-wrecker in his range of outcomes.

He wrapped up 2021 third in the class in defensive run-stop rate.

No. 14 - Baltimore Ravens - Kyle Hamilton (S - Notre Dame) - Draft Grade: A+
The talented safety didn't necessarily increase his draft stock after running a 4.59 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, but that raw time requires context. Kyle Hamilton is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, so it's a solid time adjusting for size. The Fighting Irish product also posted elite numbers in the jumping drills with a 38" vertical jump (81st percentile) and 131" broad jump (100th percentile).

In this draft, Hamilton is a top-end defensive talent and provides recourse against ever-evolving NFL offenses. With so much to offer - strong tackler, desired length/size, and coverage ability - he fits the profile of a top-10 selection.

No safety forced more broken passes per game than Hamilton did in 2021.

No. 15 - Houston Texans (via PHI) - Kenyon Green (G - Texas A&M) - Draft Grade: C-
Kenyon Green can start from day one at left guard after finishing 2021 as the highest-graded SEC guard in his draft class.

But what separates Green is his versatility. The Texas A&M Aggie has experience playing every position across the offensive line outside the center position.

No. 16 - Washington Commanders (via NO) - Jahan Dotson (WR - Penn State) - Draft Grade: C+

While slightly undersized - 5-foot-10 and sub-180 pounds - Jahan Dotson packs a serious punch, as the Penn State product was a mega-producer in his final college season, earning an absurd 43% dominator rating.

He easily saved his best for last, finishing ninth in PFF receiving grade (87.2) and eighth in receptions among his 2022 draft-eligible classmates. Dotson's sure-hands - 94th percentile career drop rate (2%) - will help him vacuum up targets at the next level, especially if he carves out a role as a team's primary slot receiver.

However, Dotson's draft stock did not rise after testing results. These Penn State guys tend to be athletic freaks, but Dotson was underwhelming. He was vastly underweight and failed to pop in the drills despite being so much smaller.

4.43 40-yard dash (74th percentile), sub-60th percentile jumps, and an abysmal 7.28 3-cone drill (9th percentile).

Dotson's a solid route runner and reliable receiver, but his ultimate upside doesn't seem to be more than real-life WR2. Becoming Emmanuel Sanders might be his best-case scenario.
- Andrew Erickson

No. 17 - Los Angeles Chargers - Zion Johnson (G - Boston College) - Draft Grade: B
Zion Johnson is a solid starting guard from Day 1 and would be an immediate plug-in-play option for any team. Johnson allowed just two quarterback hits and six total pressures in his final season at school.

The BC Eagle tested exceptionally well at the NFL Combine, posting top marks in the shuttle (4.46, 93rd percentile), 3-cone (7.38, 92nd percentile), bench press (38, 97th percentile) and vertical jump (32", 91st percentile).
- Andrew Erickson

No. 18 - Tennessee Titans (via PHI) - Treylon Burks (WR - Arkansas) - Draft Grade: B+
Treylon Burks finished first in his class in yards per route run (3.57) while ranking No. 1 in yards per route run when lined up outside (6.08) among all receivers. It's an encouraging sign that a size-speed specimen delivered when aligned on the perimeter, as he spent 77% of his career in the slot.

His 8.5 yards after the catch rank 14th among 169 qualifying wide receivers (92nd percentile) over the past two seasons.

And R-E-L-A-X about Burks' 4.55 40-yard dash time and less than stellar jumping numbers. The Arkansas wide receiver weighs 225 pounds, so asking for anything in the sub 4.4s is expecting DK Metcalf athleticism. He isn't the freak athlete Metcalf is, but he's still a top-3 wide receiver in this rookie class.

His elite college production and top-notch 32% dominator rating speak for themselves.

Burks remains a weapon waiting to be unleashed by an NFL offense. And I hope that the market sours on him in both best ball and dynasty formats post-combine so he can be acquired at a better value.

My favorite NFL comp for Burks is Josh Gordon.

No. 19 - New Orleans Saints - Trevor Penning (OT - Northern Iowa) - Draft Grade: A-
Trevor Penning's draft stock has been increasing since the Reese's Senior Bowl, and his NFL Scouting Combine performance pushed him further up draft boards.

The 6-foot-7 and 325-pound behemoth ran a 4.89 40-yard dash (97th percentile) and blazed a 7.25 in the 3-cone drill (96th percentile) - tied for the fastest time of tackles that tested.

With a prospect profile that draws parallels to former first-round tackle Nate Solder, Penning won't need to wait long to hear his name on draft night.

Penning's 97.3 overall PFF grade and 99.9 run-blocking grade both ranked first in all of Division 1 college football in 2021.

No. 20 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Kenny Pickett (QB - PITT) - Draft Grade: C
A quarterback emerges from the woodwork every college season into the top-quarterback prospect conversation. In the past two drafts, Joe Burrow and Zach Wilson were that QB riser, and this season it's Kenny Pickett. The Pittsburgh Panther threw more touchdowns (42) than the previous three seasons combined as the entrenched starter (38).

Pickett finished third in PFF passing grade from a clean pocket (94.3) and first in his class in adjusted completion percentage (79%). His overall experience and breakout season make him the most NFL-ready quarterback in this class, but he is far from flawless.

His petite hand size of -8 1/2 inches, 1st percentile, raises some concern, as betting on outliers generates sub-optimal results over time.

Also, Pickett doesn't offer the same type of rushing other QBs in this class offer. He tends to go slowly through progressions and hold the ball too long, as evidenced by a 3.19-second average time to throw - the second-slowest in the draft class (Malik Willis, 3.33).
- Andrew Erickson

No. 21 - Kansas City Chiefs (via NE) - Trent McDuffie (CB - Washington) - Draft Grade: B+
Trent McDuffie was PFF's fifth-highest graded 2022 draft-eligible cornerback in 2021, allowing no more than 39 receiving yards in any game. With the aptitude to play both zone and man coverage, the former Washington Huskie can become a significant immediate contributor to an NFL secondary.

He sticks to wide receivers like glue, evidenced by his No. 1 rank in fewest yards after the catch allowed per reception (0.9) and third-ranked yards allowed per game (11.8), per Sports Info Solutions.

No. 22 - Green Bay Packers - Quay Walker (LB - UGA) - Draft Grade: B
Nakobe Dean's speed is polarizing, but don't forget about Georgia's other starting linebacker Quay Walker. The dude was born to tackle. His 4.3% missed tackle rate ranked fourth-best in the FBS and was superior to his teammates Dean (12.2%) and Channing Tindall (7.4%).

At 6-foot-4 and 241 pounds, Walker's days of bulldozing offenses are far from over.

No. 23 - Buffalo Bills (via BAL) - Kaiir Elam (CB - Florida) - Draft Grade: A
At 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds, cornerback Kaiir Elam is the perfect target for any CB-needy franchise. The Florida Gator allowed the nation's third-lowest passer rating when targeted (18.3) as a true freshman in 2019. Facing SEC wide receivers for three straight seasons - along with 4.4 speed - will translate well into the NFL.

No. 24 - Dallas Cowboys - Tyler Smith (OT - Tulsa) - Draft Grade: A-
Tyler Smith can be a future franchise left tackle.

The Tulsa product has played over 1,700 snaps from the left side in his college career and finished 2021 as PFF's fourth-highest graded tackle.

Smith also finished second in Sports Info Solutions’ expected points added on a per-game basis (3.4), trailing only Charles Cross.

No. 25 - Baltimore Ravens (via BUF) - Tyler Linderbaum (C - Iowa) - Draft Grade: A
An NFL team can lock up their long-term option at the center position with Tyler Linderbaum. He has graded out as PFF's No. 1 center in the nation over the last two seasons.

Linderbaum also owns the second-highest run grade among all OL globally, which bodes well in a run-heavy system. The dude is a mauler.

No. 26 - New York Jets (via TEN) - Jermaine Johnson (Edge - FSU) - Draft Grade: A+
The FSU product tied Aidan Hutchinson with 14 sacks to lead the 2022 NFL Draft class. The former Georgia edge defender averaged one sack per game and earned more offensive holding calls than any other pass rusher in the class.

No. 27 - Jacksonville Jaguars (via TB) - Devin Lloyd (LB - Utah) - Draft Grade: A-
The Utah product is a do-it-all linebacker with the ability to cover tight ends, generate pressure, and play on all downs.

He finished the 2021 season with eight sacks and 90 solo tackles - ninth-most in the FBS. Devin Lloyd should mitigate the damage that opposing tight ends create. The linebacker had the most pass breakups among draft-eligible weak-side linebackers.

No. 28 - Green Bay Packers - Devonte Wyatt (DT - UGA) - Draft Grade: B-
Devonte Wyatt finished the 2021 season as PFF's highest-graded interior defensive lineman as the central force of the No. 1 defense in the nation. He's been overshadowed by all the other talent for the Bulldogs entering the draft - most notably fellow DT Jordan Davis - but it's undeniable that Wyatt was the better pass-rusher at Georgia.

Wyatt is the only interior defensive lineman in the class to rank top-6 in PFF run and pass-rush grades last season, and his actual pass-rush grade ranked first on the Georgia defense.

With 4.77 40-yard dash wheels (97th percentile) and 111" broad jump (82nd percentile) to boot, an NFL team is going to get an immediate impact player by drafting Wyatt.

No. 29 New England Patriots (via KC) - Cole Strange (OG - Chattanooga) - Draft Grade: F-
Cole Strange was PFF's highest-graded run-blocking guard in the FCS, operating heavily from a zone-running scheme. With impressive measurables - 90th percentile short-shuttle, 99th percentile broad jump - he could turn heads in the NFL if he plays up to the increased competition.

He has the ability and experience to play anywhere across the offensive line.

No. 30 - Kansas City Chiefs - George Karlaftis (Edge - Purdue) - Draft Grade: A
Purdue's George Karlaftis fits the mold in a 3-4 scheme. As a freshman in 2019, Karlaftis generated the tenth-most pressures in the FBS. And after a truncated 2020 season due to COVID-19, the Boilermaker edge rusher finished 2021 11th in the nation in pressures per game (4.5) and fourth in team pressure share — a rate that captures individual pressures by the defender compared to the whole team.

No. 31 - Cincinnati Bengals - Daxton Hill (S - Michigan) - Draft Grade: A-
Michigan safety Daxton Hill can line up all over the field. He played slot cornerback (72% slot rate) in 2021 after spending more time in the box and free safety as a sophomore. Kyle Hamilton was the only safety to force more broken passes per game than Hill in 2022. 

No. 32 - Minnesota Vikings (via DET) - Lewis Cine (S – UGA) - Draft Grade: A-
Lewis Cine has been rising up Big Boards across the media, supplanting Daxton Hill as the consensus No. 2 safety per – with some mock drafts putting him in the back of the 1st Round.

There’s no doubt that Cine’s impressive combine performance – 95th percentile 40-yard dash, 96th percentile broad jump – jackrabbited his draft stock. Still, there’s reason to believe the well-rounded Georgia Bulldog should have been in top-tier consideration the entire time.

He’s such a refined tackler that he could easily carve out a role as box-stuffing safety. Keep tabs on his landing spot for your fantasy football IDP leagues.


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