2022 NFL Draft Grades for All 32 NFL Teams
The 2022 NFL Draft has reached its conclusion after months of blood, sweat and tears poured into the hundreds of college prospects.
Draft day did not disappoint, with blockbuster trades, massive rookie fantasy football rankings implications and certain prospects — especially quarterbacks — falling down boards to keep us on the edge of our seats with anticipation.
Also mesmerizing was the way savvy teams navigated up and down the draft board to get their top Big Board guys while also accruing value and future draft capital. There’s wizardry to the way certain teams approach the draft that is utterly impressive — cough, cough, Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens draft picks 💯
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) April 30, 2022
And those are the teams that will come away as winners with the highest NFL Draft Grades. It’s not just about the specific players — it’s about the value of the pick, did the pick fill an area of need, are more future picks accrued, and the actual opportunity cost of the selection. In the words of Marvel supervillain Thanos, did it really cost everything?
You’ll find my final draft grades for all 32 teams below in the order of their odds to win the Super Bowl. Pre-draft odds are provided by Tipico Sportsbook.
Buffalo Bills (+650)
- 1 (23) Kaiir Elam (CB – Florida)
- 2 (63) James Cook (RB – Georgia)
- 3 (89) Terrel Bernard (ILB – Baylor)
- 5 (148) Khalil Shakir (WR – Boise State)
- 6 (180) Matt Ariaza (P – San Diego State)
- 6 (185) Christian Benford (CB – Villanova)
- 6 (209) Luke Tenuta (OT – Virginia Tech)
- 7 (231) Baylon Spector (LB – Clemson)
Credit to the Bills for resisting the urge to draft a running back in the first round. For a team without many needs picking at the tail end of Thursday night, it would not have been too shocking for them to invest in that position, especially considering their buzz connected to Breece Hall.
But they maintained discipline and drafted cornerback Kairr Elam. He not only fits a need for the Bills at cornerback but was one of the top players on the board at 23. Buffalo moved up two spots to lock in Elam by giving up a fourth-rounder.
They waited until the end of Round 2 to select running back James Cook, a dynamic pass-catching back for Josh Allen. Not a huge need, but still an upgrade for the Buffalo backfield. And I do wish the Bills went elsewhere than linebacker/safety hybrid Terrel Bernard in Round 3. It’s not an area of need, and it was a slight reach for a versatile yet undersized player. Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal was available at this pick and would have been the better option as a pure linebacker.
But they did get “Punt God” Matt Araiza, so they can’t receive anything less than a B. Araiza set an NCAA record by averaging 51.2 yards per kick and won the Ray Guy Award.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B-
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+700)
- 2 (33) Logan Hall (DT – Houston)
- 2 (57) Luke Goedeke (OT – Central Michigan)
- 3 (91) Rachaad White (RB – Arizona State)
- 4 (106) Cade Otton (TE – Washington)
- 4 (133) Jake Camarda (P – Georgia)
- 5 (157) Zyon McCollum (CB – Sam Houston)
- 6 (218) Ko Kieft (TE – Minnesota)
- 7 (248) Andre Anthony (DE – LSU)
The Buccaneers didn’t have many holes on their roster but addressed their biggest one on the defensive line in Round 2 with Logan Hall. Hall was projected to be a late-Round 1 selection, so Tampa Bay got great value while adding more draft capital to move back from 27. He adds an element of interior pass rush that Tampa was so desperate for.
They used the additional sixth-rounder to move up four spots in the second round and snag tackle Luke Goedeke. He’s got tackle/guard versatility and didn’t allow a sack all last season. The Central Michigan product is also great in the run game, earning accolades as PFF’s sixth-highest-graded run blocker in 2021. And Per Sports Info Solutions, Goedeke also had the lowest percentage of blown blocks on rushing attempts. He’ll push 2018 undrafted free agent Aaron Stinnie for the starting job at left guard.
Rachaad White adds depth at the running back position behind Leonard Fournette, who has dealt with his fair share of injuries. White is a slick receiver and likely a potential 1-for-1 replacement if Fournette has to miss any time.
The Bucs added well-rounded tight end Cade Otton as a Rob Gronkowski replacement who fell to Day 3 because of injury concerns and cornerback Zyon McCollum to add depth to the secondary. McCollum is the perfect Round 5 selection with off-the-charts athleticism. Adding to the secondary was a sharp play with Sean Bunting and Jamel Dean hitting free agency in 2023.
However, opting for a running back and punter in Rounds 3 and 4 instead of a long-term replacement for safety Jordan Whitehead with talent off the board prevents Tampa from receiving a higher grade.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B
Kansas City Chiefs (+900)
- 1 (21) Trent McDuffie (CB – Washington)
- 1 (30) George Karlaftis (DE – Purdue)
- 2 (54) Skyy Moore (WR – Western Michigan)
- 2 (62) Bryan Cook (S – Cincinnati)
- 3 (103) Leo Chenal (ILB – Wisconsin)
- 4 (135) Joshua Williams (CB – Fayetteville State)
- 5 (145) Darian Kinnard (OG – Kentucky)
- 7 (243) Jaylen Watson (CB – Washington State)
- 7 (251) Isaih Pacheco (RB – Rutgers)
- 7 (259) Nazeeh Johnson (S – Marshall)
The Chiefs hit this draft extremely well. Their major needs coming in were WR, CB, DL and EDGE, and they addressed them with potential impact players. They traded up with the Patriots to acquire CB Trent McDuffie, who will start from Day One on the outside.
Then, Karlaftis fell into their laps as the best available pass rusher at No. 30. But my favorite pick from a real-life and fantasy perspective was WR Skyy Moore at 54 overall. His 3.40 yards per route run ranked in the 99th percentile among 2022 draft-eligible wide receivers over the past three seasons. It was highway robbery for KC to get him in the middle of Round 2.
The Bryan Cook selection was a slight reach, however. They needed to add a third safety alongside Justin Reid and Deon Bush for Steve Spagnuolo’s multiple-safety defense, but there were a few other safeties I wish they would have targeted instead.
They didn’t need a linebacker, but Chenal was too good to pass on. He finished first in PFF run defense and second in PFF pass-rush grade last year among all linebackers in the FBS. Former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons finished first in those two categories in 2019.
The Chiefs rounded out the first five rounds with CB Joshua Williams and OL Darian Kinnard. I like both these picks for the low cost. Williams’ 91st percentile arm length checks the box for what many NFL GMs covet at the position. And Kinnard is the quintessential solid backup on the OL who can be trusted in a pinch. In 2019, the Wildcat offensive tackle graded top-10 at the position, per PFF, and he followed that up with back-to-back top-five grades the last two seasons.
Running back Isaih Pacheco is a solid dart throw in Round 7. He has 4.37 speed and explosiveness.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
Los Angeles Rams (+1000)
- 3 (104) Logan Bruss (OG – Wisconsin)
- 4 (142) Decobie Durant (CB – South Carolina State)
- 5 (164) Kyren Williams (RB – Notre Dame)
- 6 (211) Quentin Lake (S – UCLA)
- 6 (212) Derion Kendrick (CB – Georgia)
- 7 (235) Daniel Hardy (LB – Montana State)
- 7 (253) Russ Yeast (S – Kansas State)
- 7 (261) A.J. Arcuri (OT – Michigan State)
The Rams are such a fun team to grade because the scale needs to be adjusted based on their lack of draft capital. They didn’t pick until 104th overall and used that pick on guard Logan Bruss. Targeting the offensive line makes sense after right guard Austin Corbett left in free agency.
Bruss has some athletic traits, so he’s a solid pick outside the top 100. Corner Decobie Durant helps mitigate the loss of Darious Williams, but he’s extremely undersized at 5-9⅝ and 180 pounds. Derion Kendrick allowed just a 38.6 passer rating in coverage last season — fourth-best in the class. But he tested like a slug. The Rams are hoping his football tape reflects his ability better than his measurables.
The Rams also added Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams for whatever reason. I’d rather they had focused on back-filling the roster at positions where they lost talent in free agency: CB, DT, OL and EDGE.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C
Green Bay Packers (+1000)
- 1 (22) Quay Walker (LB – Georgia)
- 1 (28) Devonte Wyatt (DT – Georgia)
- 2 (34) Christian Watson (WR – North Dakota State)
- 3 (92) Sean Rhyan (OG – UCLA)
- 4 (132) Romeo Doubs (WR – Nevada)
- 4 (140) Zach Tom (OT – Wake Forest)
- 5 (179) Kingsley Enagbare (EDGE – South Carolina)
- 7 (228) Tariq Carpenter (CB – Georgia Tech)
- 7 (234) Jonathan Ford (DT – Miami)
- 7 (249) Rasheed Walker (OT – Penn State)
- 7 (258) Samori Toure (WR – Nebraska)
The Packers’ streak of not drafting a WR in the first round will continue for another season, with the team opting for two Georgia Bulldogs in Round 1. They apparently didn’t have any more first-round grades on the receivers remaining after all the trades, which is why they addressed the defense.
But drafting the first linebacker off the board is never a great look based on how much the position has been devalued in recent seasons. DT Devonte Wyatt was a nice grab at the end of Round 1, and the Packers will add him to a defensive interior that already includes Kenny Clark and free-agent signee Jarran Reed.
WRs and OLs round out the next four picks, and I like all of them. Christian Watson’s got great upside based on his profile. WR1 potential is in his range of outcomes, so no issue with Green Bay using both their twos to acquire him.
Sean Rhyan is a strong run-blocking guard, and tackle Zach Tom posted the lowest blown pass-block percentage (0.7%) last year despite 633 pass-blocking snaps.
The Doubs pick was somewhat surprising at first. Not by means of his measurables as a big-bodied wide receiver, but from a value standpoint. But when I further looked at the other available WRs, it wasn’t that outlandish of a selection. The Wolfpack wide receiver broke out at age 19, so his top-tier production in the two years that followed should not have shocked anybody. He put a bow on his Wolfpack career with a top-10 dominator rating in the 2022 draft class, headlined by a 36% score in 2020. As a consistent downfield threat — 55 targets of 20-plus air yards the last two seasons — Doubs has an archetype that fits well with Aaron Rodgers. And I like the fact that Green Bay is double-dipping at WR instead of putting all the chips on Watson.
The cherry on top of the Packers’ draft is stealing Kingsley Enagbare in Round 5. He was a top-60 player on my Big Board because only two edge players – Aidan Hutchinson and Nik Bonitto – earned a higher PFF pass-rush grade than Enagbare in 2021. The South Carolina product’s pressure didn’t necessarily translate to many sacks (4), which may have been the reason he slid so far. Still, his ability to win one-on-one matchups – he had the third-highest pressure win % – suggests he has a pass-rush ceiling at the next level.
Rasheed Walker and Samori Toure were solid upside picks in Round 7.
WR Samouri Toure — 7th round pick by Green Bay — posted a school-record 303 yards on 12 catches against Southeast Louisiana while playing for Montana.
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) May 1, 2022
I want to give the Packers an A grade because they came into this draft with a solid approach. But the fact that Davante Adams was dealt for a linebacker and second-round rookie WR leaves me asking for more. They also failed to replace slot cornerback Chandon Sullivan with worthwhile draft capital.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B+
San Francisco 49ers (+1300)
- 2 (61) Drake Jackson (EDGE – USC)
- 3 (93) Tyrion Davis-Price (RB – LSU)
- 3 (105) Danny Gray (WR – SMU)
- 4 (134) Spencer Burford (OT – UTSA)
- 5 (172) Samuel Womack (CB – Toledo)
- 6 (187) Nick Zakelj (OT – Fordham)
- 6 (220) Kalia Davis (UCF – DT)
- 6 (221) Tariq Castro-Fields (Penn State – CB)
- 7 (262) Brock Purdy (Iowa State – QB)
My two biggest needs for the 49ers entering the draft were offensive line, cornerback and defensive tackle. They hardly did much to address those holes on their roster outside of a few late shots on tackles.
USC’s Drake Jackson has immense upside at just 20 years old but will be a rotational player at best in Year 1.
But the most egregious selection by far was LSU’s Tyrion Davis-Price in Round 3. Why on Earth would you invest another Day 2 pick in a running back when you have rookie sensation Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon — the guy you traded up for in 2021 — on the roster.
The only pick I really liked was my sleeper wide receiver, Danny Gray, whom the 49ers snagged at the end of Round 3. Gray caught my attention late in the process, and he’s someone who could have a Darnell Mooney-like impact in Year 1. With elite speed (4.33), separation skills and experience playing out wide, Gray fits the archetype as a Day 3 player who could easily outperform his draft capital. Vertical prowess is a common trait among late-round WRs who make noise as rookies.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C-
Dallas Cowboys (+1500)
- 1 (24) Tyler Smith (OT – Tulsa)
- 2 (56) Sam Williams (EDGE – Ole Miss)
- 3 (88) Jalen Tolbert (WR South Alabama)
- 4 (129) Jake Ferguson (TE – Wisconsin)
- 5 (155) Matt Waletzko (OT – North Dakota)
- 5 (167) DaRon Bland (CB – Fresno State)
- 5 (176) Damone Clark (LB – LSU)
- 5 (178) John Ridgeway (DT – Arkansas)
- 6 (193) Devin Harper (LB – Oklahoma State)
Hard to complain about Dallas’ haul in this draft. The biggest needs were OL, EDGE and WR — all of which the team dealt with in the first three rounds.
Tyler Smith has the tools and traits of a future franchise left tackle. Sam Williams finished with nearly one sack per game in 2021 (0.9), equal to Aidan Hutchinson. And Jalen Tolbert fits in perfectly with the Dallas offense as a vertical field stretcher while Michael Gallup returns from injury.
I also love what Dallas did in the later rounds. Matt Waletzko is a 6-foot-8 project tackle with elite arm length and wingspan (97th percentile).
Linebacker Damone Clark is going to miss the 2022 season having undergone spinal fusion surgery, but he should be a starter by 2023. When healthy, he is a disruptor. His 32% pressure rate and tackles per game (11.6) both ranked first in the class in 2021. A great investment at the price of a fifth-round selection.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B+
Denver Broncos (+1500)
- 2 (64) Nik Bonitto (OLB – Oklahoma)
- 3 (80) Greg Dulcich (TE – UCLA)
- 4 (115) Damarri Mathis (CB – Pittsburgh)
- 4 (116) Eyioma Uwazurike (DE – Iowa State)
- 5 (152) Delarrin Turner-Yell (S – Oklahoma)
- 5 (162) Montrell Washington (WR – Samford)
- 5 (171) Luke Wattenberg (C – Washington)
- 6 (206) Matt Henningsen (DT – Wisconsin)
- 7 (232) Faion Hicks (CB – Wisconsin)
Denver’s got a Super Bowl-caliber roster, so there aren’t too many needs the Broncos had to chase after. Adding Nik Bonitto alongside Randy Gregory creates a fearsome pass-rush duo that will be a necessity with the AFC West slated for shootout after shootout. In 2021, Bonitto ranked third in PFF pass-rush grade and fourth in pass-rush win rate (29%).
Tight end Greg Dulcich helps fill the void left by Noah Fant. The offense should feature plenty of 12 personnel based on Nathaniel Hackett’s coaching history.
Green Bay ranked second in 12 personnel usage (two TE sets) with Nathaniel Hackett as OC in 2021.
Strong chance that Denver isn't done revamping their tight end room after trading away Noah Fant.
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) March 12, 2022
My favorite Day 3 pick was easily Eyioma Uwazurike. The Iowa State defensive tackle is a 6-6, 316-pound disruptor who can play anywhere across the defensive line. He finished second in the defensive tackle class in both pressure share (17%) and sacks per game (0.7), trailing only Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal. But keep in mind that Leal weighs almost 30 pounds less than Uwazurike.
I am displeased that the Broncos did not add any linebackers or offensive tackles. Billy Turner is slated to start after being released by the Packers. Denver also has major linebacker depth issues.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C+
Los Angeles Chargers (+1500)
- 1 (17) Zion Johnson (OG – Boston College)
- 3 (79) J.T. Woods (S – Baylor)
- 4 (123) Isaiah Spiller (RB – Texas A&M)
- 5 (160) Otito Ogbonnia (DT – UCLA)
- 6 (195) Jamaree Salyer (OG – Georgia)
- 6 (214) Ja’Sir Taylor (CB – Wake Forest)
- 7 (236) Deane Leonard (CB – Ole Miss)
- 7 (260) Zander Horvath (FB – Purdue)
Nobody can complain about the Zion Johnson selection with the Chargers’ first pick. It may have been slightly high for a guard, but without any of the top tackles available on the board, the Chargers get immediate protection for quarterback Justin Herbert. Last year’s starting right guard, Michael Schofield, remains unsigned. Schofield’s backup last season, Oday Aboushi, is also a free agent.
The Chargers didn’t have a Round 2 pick because of the Khalil Mack trade.
In Round 3, they reached on the speedy safety J.T. Woods instead of shoring up the tackle position. Projected starter Storm Norton was PFF’s worst-graded pass-blocking tackle in 2021.
L.A. also really needed to add some linebacker depth on Day 3 after losing Kyzir White to the Eagles. But instead, the Chargers drafted a running back and defensive tackle in Round 5.
I like the Isaiah Spiller pick from a real-life and fantasy perspective because he can help take the load off Austin Ekeler. Spiller’s got the capacity for three-down spot-start duties, and L.A. has missed on Day 3 RBs in the past with guys like Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree. Spiller is a much better prospect, so I expect him to carve out a nice role with Justin Jackson also a free agent.
Jamaree Salyer allowed just four pressures on 577 snaps in 2021, cementing his status as the most efficient tackle at a Power 5 school on a per-snap basis. With experience playing every position on the offensive line, Salyer’s versatility will be highly coveted by the Chargers.
He was an excellent value in Round 6 and could be the answer L.A. needs at tackle.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B
Cleveland Browns (+1500)
- 3 (68) Martin Emerson (CB – Mississippi State)
- 3 (78) Alex Wright (DE – UAB)
- 3 (99) David Bell (WR – Purdue)
- 4 (108) Perrion Winfrey (DT- Oklahoma)
- 4 (124) Cade York (PK – LSU)
- 5 (156) Jerome Ford (RB – Cincinnati)
- 6 (202) Michael Woods II (WR – Oklahoma)
- 7 (223) Isaiah Thomas (EDGE – Oklahoma)
- 7 (246) Dawson Deaton (C – Texas Tech)
The Browns traded back with the Texans to pick up a boatload of third-round picks, getting more shots at the 2022 class after the Deshaun Watson trade. The Browns were solid across the board in Round 3, with Martin Emerson, David Bell and Perrion Winfrey filling team needs.
Emerson fits the profile of a lengthy cornerback due to his 96th percentile wingspan and 97th percentile arm length. Bell finished third in the FBS in receiving yards on the outside (1,097), second in total forced missed tackles (25), and 10th in PFF receiving grade (86.9) among this draft class. Winfrey can wreak havoc on the interior versus slower guards after finishing with the 13th-best PFF pass-rush grade among the 2022 draft class.
However, the Browns neglected to add any help at safety or linebacker, leaving some holes in their defense. They could have easily invested in those positions instead of drafting ANOTHER running back and kicker.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B-
Cincinnati Bengals (+2000)
- 1 (31) Daxton Hill (S – Michigan)
- 2 (60) Cam Taylor-Britt (CB – Nebraska)
- 3 (95) Zachary Carter (DT – Florida)
- 4 (136) Cordell Volson (OT – North Dakota State)
- 5 (166) Tycen Anderson (S – Toledo)
- 7 (252) Jeffrey Gunter (DE – Coastal Carolina)
After addressing the offensive line in free agency, Cincy needed to add to its secondary with its early picks. The Bengals did just that by adding versatile safety/slot cornerback Daxton Hill from Michigan and trading up for cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt. Hill’s addition gives the Bengals flexibility to potentially move on from franchise-tagged safety Jessie Bates.
Zachary Carter should also help create an interior pass rush. He finished with the fourth-highest pressure rate (12%) among defensive tackles in the 2022 class.
I am concerned that the Bengals didn’t add much else to their offensive line and failed to draft any tight ends after losing C.J. Uzomah. Hayden Hurst is on a one-year deal.
The Bengals also traded up for a guy they believe can exceed his Round 5 draft capital in Tycen Anderson. The Toledo safety boasts impressive size and speed. He ran a 4.36 40-yard dash and 6.64 3-cone (93rd percentile).
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B
Baltimore Ravens (+2000)
- 1 (14) Kyle Hamilton (S – Notre Dame)
- 1 (25) Tyler Linderbaum (C – Iowa)
- 2 (45) David Ojabo (EDGE – Michigan)
- 3 (76) Travis Jones (DT – UConn)
- 4 (110) Daniel Faalele (OT – Minnesota)
- 4 (119) Jalyn Armour-Davis (CB – Alabama)
- 4 (128) Charlie Kolar (TE – Iowa State)
- 4 (130) Jordan Stout (P – Penn State)
- 4 (139) Isaiah Likely (TE – Coastal Carolina)
- 4 (141) Damarion Williams (CB – Houston)
- 6 (196) Tyler Badie (RB – Missouri)
While the rest of the NFL plays checkers, the Baltimore Ravens play 4-D chess. The organization’s approach to the draft is like none other, and it’s so apparent in the superb value the Ravens get with their selections.
They drafted the top safety and center in the draft, both of whom could become the top players at their respective positions at the NFL level. Center was also a need after last season’s starting center, Bradley Bozeman, signed with Panthers
Baltimore was able to accomplish so much because it traded Marquise Brown on an expiring contract and a third-rounder for Arizona’s first-round pick.
They Ravens nailed Day 1 and followed it up with an equally impressive Day 2. Pass rusher David Ojabo was a projected top-15 pick before his Achilles injury. He reunites with his former Michigan defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald, and high school teammate Odafe Oweh.
Baltimore than scooped up run-stuffer Travis Jones, a player some had graded as a first-round pick, in third round.
Day 3 continued the Ravens’ draft dominance with project tackle Daniel Faalele in the fourth. He’s raw, but the traits are there for Faalele to be a franchise tackle in the NFL. The Golden Gopher offensive tackle weighs 384 pounds and measures a towering 6-8.
The Ravens just drafted OT Daniel Faalele in the 4th.
I thought he would be solid upside option in Round 2
KINGS STAY KINGS 👑
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) April 30, 2022
With more depth added at cornerback with two of their six fourth-round picks — many accrued by way compensatory picks are assigned — Baltimore gets an A+ from me.
The Ravens attack the draft with a value-based approach that is unmatched by the majority of the 31 other teams.
@DannyBKelly the ravens as drafters pic.twitter.com/TwmA76uPVB
— jason brown (@numba1punna) May 1, 2022
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A+
Indianapolis Colts (+2000)
- 2 (53) Alec Pierce (WR – Cincinnati)
- 3 (73) Jelani Woods (TE – Virginia)
- 3 (77) Bernhard Raimann (OT – Central Michigan)
- 3 (96) Nick Cross (S – Maryland)
- 5 (159) Eric Johnson (DT – Missouri State)
- 6 (192) Andrew Ogletree (TE – Youngstown State)
- 6 (216) Curtis Brooks (DT – Cincinnati)
- 7 (239) Rodney Thomas II (S – Yale)
The Colts addressed the losses of WR T.Y. Hilton and OT Eric Fisher with Alec Pierce and Bernhard Raimann on Day 2 of the draft. The Pierce pick fills the vertical threat role the Colts were missing, but how productive he will be in a run-heavy offense remains to be seen.
The Raimann selection in Round 3 was a great pick. The 6-7 tackle went from playing tight end two years ago to being PFF’s third-highest-graded tackle in 2021 (94.6). His short-area quickness and burst (91st percentile 20-yard shuttle, 85th percentile three-cone drill, 97th percentile broad jump) give him a sky-high ceiling, so I love that he ended up on a team notorious for developing top-tier lineman.
Replacing retired Jack Doyle with a freaky athlete like TE Jelani Woods makes sense from an upside perspective. But I can’t help but view Woods as a somewhat redundant asset to Mo Alie-Cox.
Safety Nick Cross is a great addition in Round 3, as he boasts excellent range due to his 4.34 speed and explosiveness (92nd percentile broad jump).
The major miss by Indy in the draft was lack of investment in pass rush. DT Eric Johnson is a interior run-stuffer, so I wish they had gone in a different direction.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C
Las Vegas Raiders (+3000)
- 3 (90) Dylan Parham (OG – Memphis)
- 4 (122) Zamir White (RB – Georgia)
- 4 (126) Neil Farrell Jr. (DT – LSU)
- 5 (175) Matthew Butler (DT – Tennessee)
- 7 (238) Thayer Munford (OT – Ohio State)
- 7 (250) Brittain Brown (RB – UCLA)
I don’t understand why teams with limited draft capital burn picks on non-premium positions.
I understand that the team declined to pick up Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option, but do you really need to burn your second pick on his future replacement?
Dylan Parham’s a prospect who caught my eye because of how versatile he is. He’s earned top-six-grades per PFF at both right tackle and right guard. However, at his size, I am skeptical that he can be the long-term answer at tackle for the Raiders. Seventh-rounder Thayer Munford might be able to play tackle, but pegging a player who almost went undrafted as an impactful selection would be malpractice.
They have a glaring hole at tackle after RT Brandon Parker allowed the most QB pressures per game in 2021.
More defensive tackles wrapped up the Raiders’ draft on Day 3, which did address a need, although they didn’t add any depth at linebacker.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: D+
Miami Dolphins (+3000)
- 3 (102) Channing Tindall (LB – Georgia)
- 4 (125) Erik Ezukanma (WR – Texas Tech)
- 7 (224) Cameron Goode (LB – California)
- 7 (247) Skylar Thompson (QB – Kansas State)
With only four picks to work with, there’s not much work for me to do here. But I’ll admit that I was rather pleased to see Miami draft Channing Tindall, whom I had them drafting in my final three-round mock draft.
Linebacker is where the Dolphins needed to improve the most, and the Georgia Bulldog fits the bill. The linebacker finished as PFF’s eighth-highest-graded linebacker in 2021 and tested off the charts at the Combine. Miami got a steal with Tindall’s sure tackling and imposing presence outside the top 100 picks.
After that, there’s not much to go on. Erik Ezukanma is a protypical special teams wide receiver who will add value to his real-life NFL team but is someone to ignore in fantasy.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C+
Tennessee Titans (+3000)
- 1 (18) Treylon Burks (WR – Arkansas)
- 2 (35) Roger McCreary (CB – Auburn)
- 3 (69) Nicholas Petit-Frere (OT – Ohio State)
- 3 (86) Malik Willis (QB – Liberty)
- 4 (131) Hassan Haskins (RB – Michigan)
- 4 (143) Chigoziem Okonkwo (TE – Maryland)
- 5 (163) Kyle Philips (WR – UCLA)
- 6 (204) Theo Jackson (S – Tennessee)
- 6 (219) Chance Campbell (LB – Ole Miss)
The Titans had quite a busy draft weekend. They traded A.J. Brown to the Eagles and replaced him with Arkansas WR Treylon Burks.
They moved down with their other first-round pick to get additional draft compensation and settled on cornerback Roger McCreary to bolster the secondary.
Tackle needed improvement as well, which made the Nicholas Petit-Frere tackle selection an extremely sharp transaction. He’s an impressive run blocker — 15th in the nation in PFF run-block grade – which is a great skill to have on a run-heavy offense.
But the pick that stands out the most is quarterback Malik Willis in the third round. Willis was a projected top-10 pick not long ago, and the value of getting Willis’ upside and potential that late is absurd. He could easily be quarterbacking the Titans as early as 2023 if the team elects to move on from Ryan Tannehill’s bloated contract.
I don't think Malik Willis sees the field in 2022. Honestly better he sits a year and gives Titans flexibility to move on from Ryan Tannehill and his bloated contract in 2023+
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) April 30, 2022
Adding some much-needed depth at WR and RB in Day 3 was also smart. The fact that Ohio State alum Mike Vrabel drafted a running back from Michigan should tell you the Titans think highly of Hassan Haskins. With an identical PFF rushing grade to Breece Hall (91.6) over the last three seasons, Haskins looks primed to exceed expectations in the NFL.
Kyle Philips is a plug-and-play slot wide receiver who commanded a 30% target share at UCLA in 2021. I guarantee he produces more than anyone else will expect, and he could become a top underneath option for Tannehill.
I felt strongly about not giving the Titans an “A” mark after they traded A.J. Brown as a win-now team, but the remaining picks are impressive enough to mitigate the final grade.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
New England Patriots (+3000)
- 1 (29) Cole Strange (OG – Chattanooga)
- 2 (50) Tyquan Thornton (WR -Baylor)
- 3 (85) Marcus Jones (CB – Houston)
- 4 (121) Jack Jones (CB – Arizona State)
- 4 (127) Pierre Strong Jr. (RB – South Dakota State)
- 4 (137) Bailey Zappe (QB Western Kentucky)
- 6 (183) Kevin Harris (RB South Carolina)
- 6 (200) Sam Roberts (DT Northwest Missouri State)
- 6 (210) Chasen Hines (OG – LSU)
- 7 (245) Andrew Stueber OG – Michigan)
Sigh. Where to begin?
The New England Patriots’ selection of Cole Strange was outright egregious. Drafting a projected late Round 2 or early Round 3 pick at the back of Round 1 is horrible process. Especially when it’s a non-premium position like offensive guard.
#Patriots Cole Strange pick isn't even about the player. He's going to start at OG as a rookie.
Was PFF’s highest-graded run-blocking guard in the FCS with impressive measurables – 90th percentile short-shuttle, 99th percentile broad jump
but would have been there at 54.
— Andrew Erickson™ (@AndrewErickson_) April 29, 2022
But that wasn’t the worst of the Patriots’ selections. The Patriots took Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton — whose draft stock rose solely based on his blazing 4.28 40-yard dash time — in Round 2 over WRs projected to go well ahead of him in Geroge Pickens and Skky Moore. Per Grindingthemocks.com, Thornton was expected to be drafted early Round 4.
Strange and Thorton may go on to have extremely productive careers in the NFL. I, for one, believe Strange is a solid offensive lineman, and he will start right away at guard. But the sheer lack of awareness the Patriots displayed by reaching immensely on these two players shows poor preparation.
It’s funny that Bill Belichick said that Strange would be gone by pick No. 54, but zero offensive lineman were taken until pick 57, after they were back on the clock.
The silver lining with the Patriots is that they did do some things after the first two rounds that I thought were savvy. Cornerbacks Marcus Jones and Jack Jones help fortify a secondary that needed bodies.
Marcus Jones excelled playing in the slot – he allowed a 0.0 passer rating from the inside in 2021 – and offers kick return ability. He finished the 2021 season as PFF’s highest-graded returner.
Jack Jones ranked third in the CB class in pass breakups while primarily operating on the outside. Marcus Jones ranked first in pass breakups. I love that New England was targeting DBs who get their hands on the ball.
But alas, two undersized CBs after two poor value picks isn’t enough to boost the Patriots’ failing draft grade. Drafting two more running backs and a backup quarterback with obvious linebacker need was a head-scratcher.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: F
Arizona Cardinals (+3000)
- 2 (55) Trey McBride (TE – Colorado State)
- 3 (87) Cameron Thomas (EDGE – San Diego State)
- 3 (100) Myjai Sanders (EDGE – Cincinnati)
- 6 (201) Keaontay Ingram (RB – USC)
- 6 (215) Lecitus Smith (OG – Virginia Tech)
- 7 (244) Christian Matthew (CB – Valdosta State)
- 7 (256) Jesse Luketa (LB – Penn State)
- 7 (257) Marquis Hayes (OG – Oklahoma)
Arizona used its first-round pick to acquire Marquise Brown and eventually edge rusher Myjai Sanders in the third round. It’s a move that made sense in the moment for a team that needs to keep its quarterback happy, but it’s hard to be over the moon about giving up a 1st and having to pay a WR who doesn’t profile as a true No. 1.
Second-round TE Trey McBride gives Murray another pass-catching weapon as Zach Ertz’s eventual replacement. Selecting Cameron Thomas in Round 2 gives Arizona a chance to make up for the loss of Chandler Jones. The former Aztec led his class with 77 total pressures and 21 quarterback hits, with 12 sacks (sixth).
I can’t help but knock the Cards down because this roster still has major holes post-draft. The Cardinals have zero cornerbacks on the roster who earned a top-35 PFF grade in 2021 and drafted none aside from a seventh-round pick.
They also have major depth issues along the offensive interior but failed to invest significant draft capital in the weakness.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C-
Philadelphia Eagles (+3000)
- 1 (13) Jordan Davis (DT – Georgia)
- 2 (51) Cameron Jurgens (C- Nebraska)
- 3 (83) Nakobe Dean (LB – Georgia)
- 6 (181) Kyron Johnson (LB – Kansas)
- 6 (198) Grant Calcaterra (TE – SMU)
No team saw a bigger move in the betting market than the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s undoubtedly related to the acquisition of A.J. Brown, which cost the Eagles one of their two first-round picks. Obviously, signing Brown to an extension has to be considered in the deal, but there’s no denying the Eagles are clear winners in the wake of the trade.
Considering their haul of two Georgia defenders (Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean) along with a future starting center (Cameron Jurgens) when Jason Kelce retires, the Eagles and Howie Roseman deserve applause.
The only blemish I can find is not adding any secondary help.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
Minnesota Vikings (+4000)
- 1 (32) Lewis Cine (S – Georgia)
- 2 (42) Andrew Booth (CB – Clemson)
- 2 (59) Ed Ingram OG – (OG – LSU)
- 3 (66) Brian Asamoah (LB – Oklahoma)
- 4 (118) Akayleb Evans (CB – Missouri)
- 5 (165) Esezi Otomewo (EDGE – Minnesota)
- 5 (169) Ty Chandler (RB – North Carolina)
- 6 (184) Vederian Lowe (OT – Illinois)
- 6 (191) Jalen Nailor (WR – Michigan State)
- 7 (227) Nick Muse (TE – South Carolina)
The Vikings were busy making trade calls throughout the draft, moving up and down the board to get their guys and accrue value.
They were able to snag a first-round talent in CB Andrew Booth on Day 2 because he fell due to injuries. They replaced Xavier Woods with Georgia safety Lewis Cine and stabilized the linebacker room with sure tackler Brian Asamoah, whose 2% missed tackle rate ranks first among the weak-side linebackers in the class.
Ed Ingram has all the traits to be a starting-caliber NFL guard and makes up for the loss of Mason Cole.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B
New Orleans Saints (+4000)
- 1 (11) Chris Olave (WR – Ohio State)
- 1 (19) Trevor Penning (OT – Northern Iowa)
- 2 (49) Alontae Taylor (CB – Tennessee)
- 5 (161) D’Marco Jackson (LB – Appalachian State)
- 6 (194) Jordan Jackson (DT – Air Force)
Nobody could confirm exactly what Saints would do with their two first-round picks, but the consensus mock drafts always had them tied to WR Chris Olave and OT Trevor Penning. Lo and behold, that’s exactly who they selected.
But they did have to trade up to select Olave at No. 11 by giving up 2022 third- and fourth-round picks.
That left the Saints’ remaining draft picks somewhat barren, and I wasn’t thrilled about any of the selections. Second-round CB Alontae Taylor was viewed more as a late-Day 2 pick, but New Orleans no longer had the picks to wait until then.
Can’t say the Saints had a bad draft because they did hit on all their needs, but the way in which it was conducted could have played out differently. I’m not so sure that pegging Olave as “the” receiver they had to trade up for made the most sense in hindsight.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B-
Pittsburgh Steelers (+6000)
- 1 (20) Kenny Pickett (QB – Pittsburgh)
- 2 (52) George Pickens (WR – Georgia)
- 3 (84) DeMarvin Leal (DE – Texas A&M)
- 4 (138) Calvin Austin III (WR – Memphis)
- 6 (208) Connor Heyward (FB – Michigan State)
- 7 (225) Mark Robinson (LB – Ole Miss)
- 7 (241) Chris Oladokun (QB – South Dakota State)
Whether Kenny Pickett turns out to be a top-tier NFL quarterback or not does not impact this grade. He was clearly a massive notch above every quarterback in this class, and Pittsburgh had to execute zero trades to acquire him.
It’s always going to be +EV to invest the 20th overall pick in an NFL-ready starting quarterback.
I also love that Pittsburgh paired Pickett with two WRs in George Pickens and Calvin Austin III. Pickens is super talented and likely fell due to character/maturity issues. Austin is a speed demon who can take advantage of Pickett’s deep ball.
Leal was an interesting pick. Pittsburgh’s run defense was atrocious last season, but Leal hardly profiles as a run-stuffer. At 6-4 and 283 pounds, he isn’t your prototypical defensive lineman. Leal’s tweener size makes him too small to be used strictly in the interior and too big to be a strict edge defender. His addition doesn’t aid in run defense.
My major complaint is that Pittsburgh didn’t address OL at all. It’s par for the course with the Steelers never investing draft capital in the offensive line, but with a rookie QB under center, it should have been more at the forefront of their draft strategy.
Still, snagging the only Day 1-ready quarterback in the draft without paying up boosts their overall grade.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B+
Washington Football Team (+6000)
- 1 (16) Jahan Dotson (WR – Penn State)
- 2 (47) Phidarian Mathis (DT – Alabama)
- 3 (98) Brian Robinson Jr. (RB – Alabama)
- 4 (113) Percy Butler (S – Louisiana)
- 5 (144) Sam Howell (QB – North Carolina)
- 5 (149) Cole Turner (TE – Nevada)
- 7 (230) Chris Paul (OG – Tulsa)
- 7 (240) Christian Holmes (CB – Oklahoma State)
Washington addressed its major need at wide receiver by trading down and selecting Jahan Dotson, but I thought the team could have done more with its second-round pick. Everybody knows that the Commanders’ defensive line is stacked, so it seems like an overpay in drafting Phidarian Mathis in Round 2. Mathis is a seasoned interior tackle who can line up all over the defensive line but mainly just contributes to stopping the run. That’s not the archetype of a player I want in Round 2.
Drafting Brain Robinson Jr. in Round 3 is OK for a running back, as he figures to be the thunder to Antonio Gibson’s lightning.
The best value pick by far was stopping the slide on UNC quarterback Sam Howell. It’s a no-risk move that could pay massive dividends. Howell was once viewed as a clear-cut No. 1 overall pick, so there’s definitely a lot of upside with him if Carson Wentz cannot get the job done.
I was also displeased to see the Commanders not add any OL, LB or CB of consequence with depth a major need.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: C+
Seattle Seahawks (+9000)
- 1 (9) Charles Cross (OT – Mississippi State)
- 2 (40) Boye Mafe (EDGE – Minnesota)
- 2 (41) Kenneth Walker III (RB – Michigan State)
- 3 (72) Abraham Lucas (OT – Washington State)
- 4 (109) Coby Bryant (CB – Cincinnati)
- 5 (153) Tariq Woolen (CB – UTSA)
- 5 (158) Tyreke Smith (EDGE – Ohio State)
- 7 (229) Bo Melton (WR – Rutgers)
- 7 (233) Dareke Young (WR – Lenoir-Rhyne)
No team’s post-draft Super Bowl odds fell more than those of the Seattle Seahawks, who elected to not draft a quarterback. America will now get to see Geno Smith and Drew Lock battle out for the QB1 gig. Can’t wait.
But give the Seahawks credit, as they didn’t view any quarterback worthy of high-end capital. Considering how far the quarterbacks all fell outside of Kenny Pickett, can’t say I blame Seattle. Still, for the Seahawks not to take a shot on one of them in the third round was a bit shocking.
Seattle’s start to the draft with tackle Charles Cross had me optimistic that the days of off-the-wall picks were history. But that lasted until pick No. 41. The Seahawks added edge rusher Boye Mafe, but then they drafted running back Kenneth Walker. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the Rashaad Penny pick, but it’s still not something winning franchises often do. At least Walker is talented, which makes the pick more acceptable. The Seahawks also figure to run the ball a ton, so they’ll get their money’s worth (hopefully).
And Seattle’s value selections after Walker make his selection justified. Abraham Lucas, Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen were all solid values. Lucas could easily be a Day 1 starter opposite Cross based on how bad Seattle’s tackles were entering the draft.
The 6-6 pass-protector has more than 2,100 pass-play snaps on his college resume and has allowed just six quarterback hits.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B
Chicago Bears (+9000)
- 2 (39) Kyler Gordon (CB – Washington)
- 2 (48) Jaquan Brisker (S – Penn State)
- 3 (71) Velus Jones Jr. (WR – Tennessee)
- 5 (168) Braxton Jones (OT – Southern Utah)
- 5 (174) Dominique Robinson (LB – Miami (OH))
- 6 (186) Zachary Thomas (OT – San Diego State)
- 6 (203) Trestan Ebner (RB – Baylor )
- 6 (207) Doug Kramer (C – Illinois)
- 7 (226) Ja’Tyre Carter (OG – Southern)
- 7 (254) Elijah Hicks (S – California)
- 7 (255) Trenton Gill (P – NC State)
The Bears sure have a funny way of showing that they are building around franchise quarterback Justin Fields. I don’t hate that they drafted CB Kyler Gordon and S Jaquan Brisker in the second round with holes in the secondary under new defensive-minded head coach Matt Eberflus.
Gordon was elite in man coverage last season, allowing the nation’s second-lowest passer rating (12.8). Brisker led the 2022 draft class in snaps from the box while boasting PFF’s third-highest coverage grade (89.5).
But to follow up in Round 3 with a 25-year-old wide receiver in Velus Jones Jr., who took five years in college to do next-to-anything, is a fireable offense. He’s older than Darnell Mooney.
Although, a more fireable offense is ignoring the offensive line. Fields was frequently running for his life last season, and the Bears proceeded to use zero picks inside the top 150 on offensive linemen. Not using at least one of the second-rounders on the OL was grave mistake.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: D
New York Giants (+9000)
- 1 (5) Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE – Oregon)
- 1 (7) Evan Neal (OT – Alabama)
- 2 (43) Wan’Dale Robinson (WR – Kentucky)
- 3 (67) Joshua Ezeudu (OG – North Carolina)
- 3 (81) Cordale Flott (CB – LSU)
- 4 (112) Daniel Bellinger (TE – San Diego State)
- 4 (114) Dane Belton (S – Iowa)
- 5 (146) Micah McFadden (LB – Indiana)
- 5 (147) D.J. Davidson (DT – Arizona State)
- 5 (173) Marcus McKethan (OG – North Carolina)
- 6 (182) Darrian Beavers (LB – Cincinnati)
The Giants blew the doors off Thursday night. Obtaining two players who were in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick at 5 and 7 was too good to be true. Evan Neal’s addition was particularly spectacular, as he can slide in at RT to keep Andrew Thomas on the blind side.
But after Round 1, things got interesting. Wan’Dale Robinson’s early selection as a very undersized WR raises some eyebrows, especially when the team has been unsuccessful trying to trade 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney. Robinson’s a playmaker — he has the No. 1 career receiving grade (93.4) in the 2022 draft class — but early Round 2 seemed like a bit much for a guy who’s 5-8 and 178 pounds soaking wet. The pick will look better in hindsight if the team ultimately does trade Toney.
Guard Joshua Ezeudu was also a reach in Round 3 with an expected draft projection at 132.
I do like the Cordale Flott pick as a bet on a cornerback’s development. He’s only 20 years old and ranked third in the class in fewest yards per coverage snap (0.5). Flott also fits the press-man scheme we should expect to see deployed in Don Martindale’s defense.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
Carolina Panthers (+9000)
- 1 (6) Ikem Ekwonu (OT – NC State)
- 3 (94) Matt Corral (QB – Ole Miss)
- 4 (120) Brandon Smith (LB – Penn State)
- 6 (189) Amare Barno (LB – Virginia Tech)
- 6 (199) Cade Mays (OG – Tennessee)
- 7 (242) Kalon Barnes (CB – Baylor)
It was the perfect storm for the Carolina Panthers. Not only did they address their glaring need at tackle with Ikem Ekwonu, but they also snagged a quarterback without having to drastically overpay.
It gives them a chance of being much better than they were in 2021, with the two greatest needs on the roster getting help. Matt Corral being only slightly better than Sam Darnold can make a huge difference.
Linebacker Brandon Smith was also a steal in Round 4. He needs some fine-tuning, but he possesses the requisite athleticism that will allow him to be a gliding force all over the field. The Penn State product has scary speed and burst at his 6-3 and 250-pound size.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
Atlanta Falcons (+10000)
- 1 (8) Drake London (WR – USC)
- 2 (38) Arnold Ebiketie (EDGE – Penn State)
- 2 (58) Troy Andersen (LB – Montana State)
- 3 (74) Desmond Ridder (QB – Cincinnati)
- 3 (82) DeAngelo Malone (DE – Western Kentucky)
- 5 (151) Tyler Allgeier (RB – BYU)
- 6 (190) Justin Shaffer (OG – Georgia)
- 6 (213) John FitzPatrick (TE – Georgia)
It’s difficult to leave a draft having filled all of your roster holes, but the Falcons came as close as you could ask.
At WR, EDGE, QB and RB, they checked off all the boxes they needed to.
Pressure rate has been an issue for this team for the longest time, and they addressed it twofold. Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone can both deliver explosiveness off the line of scrimmage.
Desmond Ridder was a can’t-miss value as the second most pro-ready QB in the class. I could easily see him starting over Marcus Mariota this year and potentially being the Falcons’ future at the position.
But the Troy Andersen and Tyler Allgeier selections were what put Atlanta into the 90-plus-grade territory. I love both their prospect profiles. As a converted running back and quarterback – among other positions – Andersen finished with the second most tackles in all of college football in 2021. Swiss army knife is an understatement for what this guy can offer the Falcons.
Allgeier has been a monster over the past two seasons, ranking first in rushing yards after contact (1,847), second in rushing touchdowns (36) and third in PFF rushing grade (94.8) among FBS players with at least 150 carries. Don’t be surprised if he has an Elijah Mitchell-esque rookie season with little competition for touches in the Atlanta backfield.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10000)
- 1 (1) Travon Walker (EDGE – Georgia)
- 1 (27) Devin Lloyd (LB – Utah)
- 3 (65) Luke Fortner (C – Kentucky)
- 3 (70) Chad Muma (LB – Wyoming)
- 5 (154) Snoop Conner (RB – Ole Miss)
- 6 (197) Gregory Junior (CB – Ouachita Baptist)
- 7 (222) Montaric Brown (CB – Arkansas)
We can debate Aidan Hutchinson versus Travon Walker all day long, but I’m in the camp that when you get the chance to bet on the higher upside, that’s the move to make. And based on the traits Walker offers, he makes sense as the No. 1 overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But I’ll be frank: I don’t love the rest of the Jags’ draft. They invested a lot in linebacker when I think they should have opted for some more help on the defensive interior.
Center Luke Fortner was a huge reach at the top of Round 3 with an expected draft position of 143rd overall. The Jags took him 65th. It wasn’t a Cole Strange-type reach, but it was nevertheless an unnecessary reach to fill a need.
Also — and this is me just being petty — why not throw a bone to Trevor Lawrence’s go-to WR at Clemson, Justyn Ross? Here’s hoping he signs with the Jaguars as a UDFA.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: B+
Detroit Lions (+10000)
- 1 (2) Aidan Hutchinson (EDGE – Michigan)
- 1 (12) Jameson Williams (WR – Alabama)
- 2 (46) Josh Paschal (EDGE – Kentucky)
- 3 (97) Kerby Joseph (S – Illinois)
- 5 (177) James Mitchell (TE – Virginia Tech)
- 6 (188) Malcolm Rodriguez (LB – Oklahoma State)
- 6 (217) James Houston (LB – Jackson State)
- 7 (237) Chase Lucas (CB – Arizona State)
There’s not a single selection the Lions made that would deter me from awarding them an A-level grade. They got a certified stud off and on the field with Aidan Hutchinson and arguably the best WR when healthy in Jameson Williams.
Even though they traded up for Williams, the team acknowledges that his game-breaking speed and explosiveness will provide immediate results.
What’s even more scary is pairing Hutchinson with Josh Paschal on the other side of him. The Kentucky product was PFF’s fourth-highest-graded edge run defender in the nation last season, but the upside for more pass-rush impact is present based on his impressive testing numbers.
Joseph earned PFF’s highest defensive grade at the safety position this past year due to his outstanding coverage skills. He allowed less than a 50% completion percentage when targeted and racked up nine defensive plays – five interceptions, four pass breakups – on balls thrown in his direction.
The only reason the Lions don’t get an A+ is because they still have major issues at cornerback. No linebacker or cornerback graded top 45 at their position (per PFF) for the Lions last season. But perhaps the lack of investment is a sign the team is hopeful that former first-round pick Jeff Okudah is rehabbing well from his season-ending injury.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A
New York Jets (+10000)
- 1 (4) Ahmad Gardner (CB – Cincinnati)
- 1 (10) Garrett Wilson (WR – Ohio State)
- 1 (26) Jermaine Johnson (Edge – Florida State)
- 2 (36) Breece Hall (RB – Iowa State)
- 3 (101) Jeremy Ruckert (TE – Ohio State)
- 4 (111) Max Mitchell (OT – Louisiana)
- 4 (117) Micheal Clemons (DE – Texas A&M)
The New York Jets were one of only two teams to see their Super Bowl odds improve post-draft.
It’s warranted after an A+ effort on Thursday night that saw the Jets pull out three excellent first-rounds picks. One could argue that all three were worthy of top-10 selections. Moving back into the first round to snag pass rusher Jermaine Johnson put a bow on Joe Douglas’ excellent draft night.
But the good vibes continued to roll in the Gang Green war room, as they continued to make selections with their second-year quarterback’s future in mind. Breece Hall and Jeremy Ruckert have the ability to be instant impact players.
Tackle Max Mitchell was also a sneaky Day 3 addition. The former Ragin’ Cajun is a great addition for the Jets and their zone-heavy running scheme.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A
Houston Texans (+20000)
- 1 (3) Derek Stingley Jr. (CB – LSU)
- 1 (15) Kenyon Green (OG – Texas A&M)
- 2 (37) Jalen Pitre (S – Baylor)
- 2 (44) John Metchie III (WR – Alabama)
- 3 (75) Christian Harris (LB – Alabama)
- 4 (107) Dameon Pierce (RB – Florida)
- 5 (150) Thomas Booker (DT – Stanford)
- 5 (170) Teagan Quitoriano (TE – Oregon State)
- 6 (205) Austin Deculus (OT – LSU)
You can tell just by looking at the Texans’ draft picks that Nick Caserio comes from the New England Patriots organization in their prime years: valuing pass coverage over pass rush, as evidenced by selecting Derek Stingley Jr. third overall; reaching on a starting-caliber guard with Kenyon Green in the first round; selecting slot cornerback/safety hybrid Jalen Pitre because of his versatility; drafting two players from Alabama who can start from Day 1 coming from a Nick Saban program; and unearthing Day 3 gems like running back Dameon Pierce and defensive tackle Thomas Booker, betting on the coaching staff to get more out of these players than their final college stats would indicate.
Dameon Pierce never topped 106 carries in any college season but forced a nasty 39% missed tackle rate — second best in the class. At 5-10 and 224 pounds, there’s no reason this guy can’t be Houston’s bellcow.
Thomas Booker led the FBS in tackles and ranked sixth in run stops among his 2022 defensive tackle classmates.
Houston executed everything you’d want a rebuilding franchise to do in its first year post-Deshaun Watson.
My one slight complaint is that they moved up a decent bit to snag John Metchie, who resembles a strong WR2 at best.
FINAL DRAFT GRADE: A-
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