2022 NFL draft: Analysis of all 262 selections

The first round of the 2022 NFL draft is in the books, and it included a lot of firsts. There were nine draft-day trades, the most in the first round since the draft expanded to three days in 2010. Georgia became the first school in NFL draft history to have five defensive players selected in the opening round. For the first time, no running backs or tight ends were selected in Round 1. And nine teams had multiple first-round picks — the most ever in the common draft era.

With so many teams having multiple picks, a record 10 teams didn’t get to join in the fun and draft on Thursday night. They’ll all be making their first picks in Rounds 2 or 3 of the NFL draft on Friday night (7 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN/ESPN App).

Check out NFL Nation’s insights from every team that drafted on Day 1, and follow along as we add analysis on the others as they make their first selections throughout the night. Plus: We have updated depth charts for all 32 teams.


Buffalo Bills

Choosing Kaiir Elam makes all the sense in the world for the Bills. Cornerback was the biggest area of need on the roster after losing Levi Wallace in free agency and with Tre’Davious White coming off a torn ACL in his left knee. Buffalo also had to trade up only two spots to get the last player with a first-round grade on its board. Elam will turn 21 in May, and general manager Brandon Beane described him as having a “high ceiling.” Elam will have the opportunity to quickly earn the starting job and make an immediate impact on the Bills defense. Analysis of every Bills pick from Alaina Getzenberg

  • Bills depth chart

Miami Dolphins

No picks yet.

New England Patriots

Cole Strange projects to start at left guard, and if he follows in the footsteps of 2005 first-rounder Logan Mankins (32nd) or 2016 third-rounder Joe Thuney (78th), this will be a solid pick that addresses one of the team’s obvious needs (albeit one created by trading veteran guard Shaq Mason). Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, a former New England scout, had identified Strange before the draft as an ideal Patriots fit. One question: Did the Patriots overdraft him? Strange was viewed by some draft analysts as a second- or third-round pick … which was actually what was said about Mankins back in 2005. Analysis of every Patriots pick from Mike Reiss

  • Patriots depth chart

New York Jets

The Jets addressed a glaring need by scooping up a consensus top-four prospect in cornerback Ahmad Gardner, based on rankings by draft experts. You need top corners, especially in a division that includes wide receivers Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The ideal pick would’ve been an edge rusher, but Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) was gone. Travon Walker (Georgia) would’ve been a consideration, but he was off the board. Gardner is “not Jalen Ramsey,” one scouting source said, but he has the potential to be a very good corner. The Jets haven’t had a shutdown corner since Darrelle Revis. Analysis of every Jets pick from Rich Cimini

  • Jets depth chart


Baltimore Ravens

The selection of Kyle Hamilton underscored what Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has repeatedly said: Baltimore takes the best player available. After the Philadelphia Eagles swooped one spot in front of Baltimore to take Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis — a player frequently linked to the Ravens — Baltimore drafted Hamilton even though safety was near the bottom of the team’s needs. The Ravens’ biggest splash in free agency was safety Marcus Williams (five-year, $70 million contract). This is a steal in terms of value: Baltimore gets Hamilton, who was Mel Kiper Jr.’s No. 4 prospect, at No. 14. He slid because of slower-than-expected times in the 40-yard dash and the fact that teams typically don’t draft safeties high in the first round. The Ravens are now loaded in the secondary with Hamilton joining safeties Williams and Chuck Clark and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Analysis of every Ravens pick from Jamison Hensley

  • Ravens depth chart

Cincinnati Bengals

By drafting safety Daxton Hill, the Bengals picked up a position of need with a player they weren’t expecting to be available at No. 31. Even during pre-draft conversations, the Bengals told Hill they’d like to take him — if he was still on the board. Hill will give the Bengals a lot of schematic versatility, which is something that allowed defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo to thrive in 2021. He entered Michigan as a safety and played some slot cornerback toward the end of his time with the Wolverines. With Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell slotted as the starting safeties, Hill can be used in dime packages and find his footing in the NFL before he takes on a full-time role. Analysis of every Bengals pick from Ben Baby

  • Bengals depth chart

Cleveland Browns

No picks yet.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers had their choice of quarterbacks with the No. 20 pick, and they went with the most NFL-ready. Though Liberty’s Malik Willis likely has a higher ceiling, the Steelers opted for Kenny Pickett, who Mike Tomlin said has the highest floor. Pickett also believes he’s a good fit with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who recruited the quarterback to Pitt before he departed to coach Maryland. But will Pickett develop into the next Steelers great, and can he manage the pressure that will come with succeeding Ben Roethlisberger? And how will the Steelers manage a quarterback room with the free-agency addition of Mitch Trubisky, as well as Mason Rudolph? Analysis of every Steelers pick from Brooke Pryor

  • Steelers depth chart


Houston Texans

Texans coach Lovie Smith made it clear he didn’t think his defense could play the way he wanted it to without improved play at cornerback. By drafting Derek Stingley Jr., the Texans have immediately improved a secondary that struggled in 2021. Houston allowed the second-most yards per game last season and were 29th in yards per pass attempt allowed, according to ESPN Stats & Info data. Houston cornerbacks allowed 8.3 yards per attempt as the nearest defenders in coverage, the fourth worst, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Smith has talked about how he and general manager Nick Caserio are on the same page and work well together, and Smith gets a cornerback who will thrive in his defensive system at the top of the draft. Analysis of every Texans pick from Sarah Barshop

  • Texans depth chart

Indianapolis Colts

No picks yet.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars had to beef up a pass rush that recorded 50 sacks over the past two seasons, which was fewer than all but the Atlanta Falcons (47). Georgia’s Travon Walker had a career-high six sacks last season while spending the majority of his time at defensive end, but he also lined up at tackle and outside linebacker. Expect the Jaguars to use him similarly under new defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell. Adding Walker should help defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen too. He had 10.5 sacks as a rookie rushing alongside Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue, but he had 10 sacks in his past 24 games without anyone else drawing attention away from him. Analysis of every Jaguars pick from Michael DiRocco

  • Jaguars depth chart

Tennessee Titans

Treylon Burks is a playmaker who will help carry the burden of replacing wide receiver A.J. Brown after he was traded to the Eagles on Thursday. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Burks has a build similar to Brown’s. Burks is a big, sturdy receiver who will bounce off of tackles and be featured across the middle. Coach Mike Vrabel likes wide receivers who make “combat catches” and get yards after the catch. That is Burks’ calling card. Burks can also work on the outside and in the slot. He provides a large catch radius for quarterback Ryan Tannehill — which should help allow him to have an early impact. Analysis of every Titans pick from Turron Davenport

  • Titans depth chart


Denver Broncos

No picks yet.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs had a need at cornerback after losing starter Charvarius Ward in free agency. They felt strongly enough about Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie to move up from the 29th pick and sent the Patriots three draft picks for the privilege. McDuffie has to be a starter from day one given the price the Chiefs paid to get him. Analysis of every Chiefs pick from Adam Teicher

  • Chiefs depth chart

Las Vegas Raiders

No picks yet.

Los Angeles Chargers

GM Tom Telesco isn’t taking any chances when it comes to protecting third-year franchise quarterback Justin Herbert, who has demonstrated the talent to take the Bolts deep into the playoffs. Last year, Telesco used a first-round pick to select left tackle Rashawn Slater. Now, the 10th-year general manager remains in the trenches and picks up Zion Johnson, who can start immediately at guard. With Johnson’s selection, it remains unclear who will start at right tackle, but there are options between Storm Norton, who started 15 games at the spot last season, and Matt Feiler, a 16-game starter last season at left guard who also gained experience at right tackle in Pittsburgh. Offensive linemen don’t typically grab headlines in April, but two consecutive years of lineman picks could have the Chargers making news in late January. Analysis of every Chargers pick from Lindsey Thiry

  • Chargers depth chart


Dallas Cowboys

The selection of offensive lineman Tyler Smith seems more for the future than it does for the present with executive vice president Stephen Jones saying he didn’t want to put “starting right now” on Smith’s plate. He could be the left guard this year if he beats out Connor McGovern. He could be the swing tackle on game day behind Tyron Smith and Terence Steele. The last time the Cowboys used a first-rounder on an offensive lineman this late was in 2013 when they took Travis Frederick at No. 31. They knew he was a Day 1 starter and he made five Pro Bowls before an early retirement. Analysis of every Cowboys pick from Todd Archer

  • Cowboys depth chart

New York Giants

Whoa! Didn’t expect that at pick No. 5. But the way the draft unfolded, it made sense for the Giants to grab Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Oregon edge rusher, with the top three offensive tackles still on the board. Thibodeaux is a big personality, but the Giants aren’t concerned about his motivation. In fact, general manager Joe Schoen mentioned the Giants were especially impressed with Thibodeaux coming back from a pretty serious ankle injury late in the season. That proved something to the Giants, who did extensive research on the polarizing prospect including a FaceTime conversation with him this week. Analysis of every Giants pick from Jordan Raanan

  • Giants depth chart

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles moved up to select Jordan Davis, the 6-6, 340-pound anchor of Georgia’s national championship defense. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has been seeking a pure nose tackle to serve as a menacing, block-occupying force in the middle of his hybrid scheme, and he gets his man. With Fletcher Cox potentially exiting Philadelphia after this season, this selection serves short-term and long-term needs. Analysis of every Eagles pick from Tim McManus

  • Eagles depth chart

Washington Commanders

All offseason Washington coach Ron Rivera said the Commanders had to do two things for quarterback Carson Wentz — protect him and add weapons. They added a weapon with receiver Jahan Dotson, a smaller but explosive playmaker. Washington wanted to diversify its offense and can now use sets with four receivers who can threaten a defense with Dotson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown. They would win some 4×100 relay races. There’s versatility in that group, too. Washington has had a boring and largely ineffective offense for the past four years, in part because it lacked strong quarterback play and enough weapons. It now has a better quarterback and added a possible playmaker with really good hands. Analysis of every Commanders pick from John Keim

  • Commander depth chart


Chicago Bears

No picks yet.

Detroit Lions

Taking Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 pick makes perfect sense. The Lions need game-changers, especially on defense. Hutchinson has everything it takes to be one and a local fan base that should come along with him. This is a perfect pick to help the Lions in their rebuilding process. Detroit has finished in the bottom five in pressure percentage in each of the past six seasons. Hutchinson should help improve that right away. Analysis of every Lions pick from Eric Woodyard

  • Lions depth chart

Green Bay Packers

As improved as the Packers defense was last season, it still had a glaring weakness: Green Bay allowed the third-most yards per rush last season (4.7). Quay Walker could help. This also represents a continuing shift in philosophy when it comes to the middle of the defense. For years, the Packers tried to get by with midround draft picks and moderately priced free agents at inside linebacker. But last year, they brought in De’Vondre Campbell (and then gave him a five-year, $50 million contract to keep him this offseason) and now they’ve gone with a first-round inside linebacker for the first time since A.J. Hawk in 2005. For a good portion of last season, the Packers’ second inside linebacker was Krys Barnes, a former undrafted free agent. Analysis of every Packers pick from Rob Demovsky

  • Packers depth chart

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings didn’t get the kind of slam-dunk value you would hope to get in exchange for trading down 20 spots in the first round, where they took safety Lewis Cine at No. 32. They in essence swapped first- and second-round picks with the Lions, going from No. 12 to No. 32 in the first and from No. 46 to No. 34 in the second, in exchange for an early pick in the third round (No. 66 overall). Ultimately, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided he was better off making the deal than turning it down, even if it wasn’t a rout on any trade charts. In the process, he passed at No. 12 on a higher-regarded safety in Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton. If nothing else, Adofo-Mensah left a clear trail for second-guessing his first draft pick. Analysis of every Vikings pick from Kevin Seifert

  • Vikings depth chart


Atlanta Falcons

Drake London is a sensible choice for the Falcons. Receiver is the biggest position of need on offense — and second-biggest on the team behind edge rusher. With three edge rushers already off the board, it was more logical for the Falcons to take who they believe is the best player at his position, rather than the fourth-best player at defensive end or even the third-best offensive tackle, Charles Cross. London immediately becomes Atlanta’s No. 1 receiver and No. 2 pass-catching option behind last year’s first-round pick, tight end Kyle Pitts. Analysis of every Falcons pick from Michael Rothstein

  • Falcons depth chart

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers didn’t reach for a quarterback, despite the need, instead selecting offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu. That they continued to build from the inside offensively showed a dedication to creating a solid foundation. Securing a left tackle, after all general manager Scott Fitterer has done during the offseason to fix a line that gave up 52 sacks last season, was the final missing piece. Analysis of every Panthers pick from David Newton

  • Panthers depth chart

New Orleans Saints

You have to love the pick of Chris Olave after screaming from the rooftops about New Orleans’ wide receiver need over the past two months, right? Unfortunately, the Saints had to make two trades over the past month to get up to the 11th pick. But they didn’t give up too much in Thursday night’s trade (sending picks No. 98 and No. 120 to the Commanders to move up five spots). This was the Saints’ most glaring need after they finished 32nd in the NFL in passing offense last season, and the offense should look significantly better once QB Jameis Winston and WR Michael Thomas return from major injuries as well. Analysis of every Saints pick from Mike Triplett

  • Saints depth chart

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs wanted to get younger and quicker with their interior pass rush, and they needed a replacement for Ndamukong Suh. Logan Hall notched 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 23 career starts in college. While most talent evaluators have regarded Hall as a defensive end because he’s got an unusual body type at 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, all but one of those sacks came lining up at defensive tackle. When Hall has lined up on the outside, he’s won only by beating tackles on the inside. He’s developed a particularly strong swim move, along with a bull rush, and a rip move, which he doesn’t use nearly as often. His arm length (32 3/4 inches) is a concern, and he’ll need more pass rush moves to win on the outside. Analysis of every Bucs pick from Jenna Laine

  • Buccaneers depth chart


Arizona Cardinals

No picks yet.

Los Angeles Rams

No picks yet.

San Francisco 49ers

No picks yet.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have often zigged when draft analysts expect them to zag, but offensive tackle Charles Cross was both an unsurprising pick and one who shouldn’t produce any real objection. How could it? Seattle got one of the top prospects at one of the most valuable positions in football — assuming the plan is to keep him at left tackle — in a part of the draft where analysts generally projected him to be taken. And the Seahawks filled what was easily their biggest need. Last season’s starting tackles (Duane Brown and Brandon Shell), are unsigned, and there’s not much experience among the three tackles who were already on their roster, Jake Curhan, Stone Forsythe and Greg Eiland, as they are all entering their second seasons. Analysis of every Seahawks pick from Brady Henderson

  • Seahawks depth chart

Source: Read Full Article