2022 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

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2022 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

2022 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis Of Every Pick, From The College Perspective

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2022 NFL Draft: First round breakdown and analysis of every pick, from the college perspective.


2022 NFL Draft: First Round Analysis

Welcome to my self-serving, pretentious stream-of-consciousness musings for the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, commenting during and after each and every pick.

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews | @PeteFiutak

1
Jacksonville Jaguars

And the pick is … LB Travon Walker, Georgia

CFN Best Available Player
OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Everyone was acting like Travon Walker wasn’t great in college. No, the stats weren’t amazing, but that was thanks to the defense that had almost all pro talents doing things. Get past the stats, or the lack of them. However …

No pressure, but this is a call. This is still a bit of a projection based on how he worked out and how good the measurables are. But he’s the freaking No. 1 pick in the freaking draft. He had better be Bruce Smith/JJ Watt or this doesn’t work.

2022 Jacksonville Draft Analysis

2
Detroit Lions

And the pick is … DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

CFN Best Available Player
OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Well that was quick. If only the Detroit receivers could run as fast as that card was flown up to the podium.

If it’s possible to get a good value with the No. 2 pick, Detroit might have just got it. Just about everyone I know who does this thinks Hutchinson is the better prospect.

That Hutchinson family … I want to be a Hutchinson.

Walker feels like a piece of the puzzle pick – because that’s what he was at Georgia. Hutchinson feels like a franchise-changer.

2022 Detroit Draft Analysis

3
Houston Texans

And the pick is … CB Derek Stingley, Jr, LSU

CFN Best Available PlayerOT Evan Neal, Alabama

So what have we learned about two of the first three picks in this draft? Workouts, workouts, workouts.

Last year at this exact time if you had said Stingley would be selected No. 3 overall, you would’ve said, “so he slid?”

Houston has another pick coming up at the 13. I like the offensive tackles here at the 3 for a team that needs to upgrade everywhere, but they needed a corner, and again, when he’s healthy and right, Stingley might just be the best player in this draft.

2022 Houston Draft Analysis

4
New York Jets

And the pick is … CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

CFN Best Available Player
OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Wait … what? The Jets SWORE they weren’t going with a defensive back early – at least the coaching staff did.

Gardner has all the tools and all the upside, but that’s one high pick for a guy who gets way too grabby and needs to all but start over technique-wise.

The Jets have so many early picks, so go with the best player on the board. New York needed defensive backs, and it got a fantastic one.

They also needed an edge rusher, and they just pass on Kayvon Thibodeaux for a corner.

2022 Jets Draft Analysis

5
New York Giants

And the pick is … DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

CFN Best Available Player
OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Boom. The Jaguars and the Lions paid for defensive ends who are supposed to get into the backfield. Thibodeaux is going to fit in perfectly with the Giants as a pure pass rusher who should be incredible once he’s turned loose.

The all-around ability are there, the Giants needed a defensive wrecking force, and … they needed an offensive tackle, too, and two elite ones are there.

The personality and style will be PERFECT for New York. He’s going to be a superstar who won’t have any problem with the expectations or pressure.

2022 Giants Draft Analysis

6
Carolina Panthers

And the pick is … OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

CFN Best Available Player
OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Perfect. I like Neal better because of his versatility and power, but Ekwonu is the elite offensive tackle who’ll be an instant Pro Bowl talent and a fixture on the line.

The Panthers have been saying they like Sam Darnold. That might not be true, but if they wanted a quarterback, this was the spot. They don’t have another pick until the fourth round with the 137.

Take the great offensive tackle over the questionable quarterback prospect. The world – hand raised – thought this was going to be the franchise-changing pick with Malik Willis. Nothing against him, but getting this guy here is terrific.

2022 Carolina Pre-Draft Analysis

7
New York Giants (from Chicago)

And the pick is … OT Evan Neal, Alabama

CFN Best Available Player 
OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Well THAT worked out perfectly. The Giants got their elite pass rusher at the 5, and now they got – our call – the best player in the draft.

The Giants were able to get their offensive tackle, at a good value slot. It wouldn’t have been wrong if he went No. 1.

Neal can work at tackle, he can be a dominant guard, he can play almost anywhere on the line and dominate. He didn’t exactly drop, but for a guy who doesn’t need any extra motivation, he just got it by sliding a wee bit.

2022 Giants Draft Analysis

8
Atlanta Falcons

And the pick is … WR Drake London, USC

CFN Best Available Player
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

Quick, off the top of your head, name an Atlanta Falcon wide receiver who’ll actually play this year. They have Kyle Pitts at tight end, but with Calvin Ridley out, and with nothing else, they had to go receiver, but …

I honestly thought they’d go quarterback here. Marcus Mariota is on a backup’s contract, and this would’ve been a spot to make a big statement with a passer.

But there’s no point in taking a quarterback if he doesn’t have anyone to throw to. London over Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and Jameson Williams … that was a call.

2022 Atlanta Draft Analysis

9
Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)

And the pick is … OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

CFN Best Available Player
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

The Seahawks will have to address quarterback later. They can’t go on with Drew Lock and Geno Smith, but value-wise, this is still too early for one of the passers.

No argument whatsoever with Cross. Compared to the other offensive tackles, he’s a different sort of talent as a pure technician and not a blaster, but that’s a need position and the Seahawks got a great one.

They also need a cornerback. They would’ve dreamed of Ahmad Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr. to slide here, but they got a great one in Cross. He’s about as clean a blocker as they get.

2022 Seattle Draft Analysis

10
New York Jets (from Seattle)

And the pick is … WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

CFN Best Available Player
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

Sort of got one of these picks right … FINALLY. The Jets needed receiver help, and they had their choice of several terrific ones.

Kyle Hamilton was there, though. If the Jets really wanted to solve that secondary problem, Hamilton and Sauce Gardner would’ve instant fixed it. But …

Wilson’s 4.3 wheels and Elijah Moore? Good luck dealing with the New York speed for Zach Wilson to work with for the next several years. The vertical game is going to devastating.

2022 Jets Draft Analysis

11
Washington Commanders

And the pick is … WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

CFN Best Available Player
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

Here’s the only issue with Olave here. Is he really a No. 1 go-to target? He’s smooth as glass, and he’s got elite warp speed, but he’s not bulky and he’s not going to muscle his way to the ball.

He’s ALWAYS going to be open. If the Saints can get everyone healthy in the receiving corps, Olave is going to be devastating as long as he’s not dealing with a physical corner.

The quarterbacks keep on sliding. The Saints might have Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton, but they need a star to build around. As long as Winston is fine, having Olave will change everything. He’s going to be ready right out of the box.

2022 Washington Draft Analysis

12
Detroit (from Minnesota)

And the pick is … WR Jameson Willams, Alabama

CFN Best Available Player
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

So Minnesota – who desperately needs secondary help – traded away this pick so Detroit could get what might be the best receiver in this draft? What could possibly go wrong?

The Lions gave away some key picks to get Williams. That might mean they really do like Jared Goff and aren’t going to get too crazy about spending value on replacing him.

If Williams didn’t hurt his knee, he’d probably be the top receiver off the board. He’ll be back with at least half the season to go, and he’ll add a whole bunch of pop to an offense that found something with Amon-Ra St. Brown last year.

2022 Detroit Draft Analysis

13
Philadelphia Eagles (from Houston)

And the pick is … DT Jordan Davis, Philadelphia

CFN Best Available Player
DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

Oh hell yeah. That’s the guy. That’s the pick who makes your defense something serious, that’s it.

He’s not flashy and he’s not going to get into the backfield, but he’s EVERYTHING you want in a defensive tackle. He’s got the size, the strength, the personality, and … the speed?

This has been said a few different times so far, but it fits here, too. He might just be the best player in this draft.

Considering the defensive tackles in this are just okay, Davis stands out that much more. This is a brilliant pick who’ll be a fixture on the Eagle D and an anchor for the next ten years.

2022 Philadelphia Draft Analysis

14
Baltimore Ravens

And the pick is … S Kyle Hamilton

CFN Best Available Player
S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

Hook up every scout and every analyst to a lie detector, and they’ll all say Hamilton is one of the three best players in this draft.

4.59 … 4.59 … 4.59 … whatever. He’s always around the ball, and he’s not a free safety at the next level. He’s an intimidating big force who’s like another linebacker.

He’ll be more than fine. The Ravens know a little something about drafting safeties. He’s a defense-changer with the 14th overall pick. Great pick at a fantastic time.

2022 Baltimore Draft Analysis

15
Houston Texans (from Philadelphia)

And the pick is … OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Love the player, love the infrastructure pick, love guys who can dominate on an offensive line. However, the Texans could’ve taken Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal at the 3 and picked Washington CB Trent McDuffie here to get the better offensive lineman and a great corner prospect.

This is a wee bit of a call for a team that needs more. The Texans could’ve used a receiver, the value on Green is probably around the 20s, and … it’s fine. They traded down to get their guy.

2022 Houston Draft Analysis

16
Washington Commanders (from New Orleans)

And the pick is … WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Interesting pick considering the run the receivers are on. Dotson isn’t in the class of the guys who went earlier, but there are teams at the end of the first round breaking something tasteful over not getting him.

The Commanders – dear lord is that nickname awful – got the position they needed. They also need a quarterback to work around, and the passers keep on sliding.

The other option would’ve been an offensive tackle, but this is the range for the guards.

2022 Washington Draft Analysis

17
Los Angeles Chargers

And the pick is … OG Zion Johnson, Boston College

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

NO ISSUE AT ALL. The Chargers have a superstar under center, and now they got a need to help protect Justin Herbert.

This might have been a wee bit early, and it would’ve been nice if Kenyon Green fell here, but he’s one of those picks who might not seem that exciting and will sit on a line for the next ten years.

2022 Chargers Draft Analysis

18
Tennessee Titans (from Philadelphia)

And the pick is … WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Uhhhhhh, is something wrong with AJ Brown? The Eagles only gave away a third rounder – forget the 18th overall pick; that’s basically Brown with this deal – for a No. 1 receiver?
Burks is an excellent prospect and a great get considering where all the other receivers went, but would you rather have an unproven prospect at receiver or AJ Brown?
No pressure, new guy, but be the go-to franchise wide receiver IMMEDIATELY. Brown might have been expensive, but there’s a reason.

2022 Tennessee Draft Analysis

19
New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia)

And the pick is … OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

The Saints got their receiver at the 11 with Jameson Williams, and this was the spot to go quarterback if they were going to go quarterback. They got the guy to protect the quarterback.

You want intense? Penning is a killer up front who’ll be great right out of the gate. The Saints needed more help on the line, and they could’ve maybe used defensive line help, but Penning is a good, literally strong get.

They passed on Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis at just the right spot. This could be a problem if Pittsburgh at the 20 goes …

2022 New Orleans Draft Analysis

20
Pittsburgh Steelers

And the pick is … QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Great time, great value, interesting pick. It says something that teams that needed a quarterback passed on the quarterbacks – they guy’s the 20th pick – but the Steelers need a game-ready option and he’s it.

Is he the shoot-for-the-stars dominant force Malik Willis is? No. Does he have elite measurables and skills? Not really. But he’s going to have the running back behind him, and he’s not going to have to do it all himself.

The Steelers need more offensive linemen, and they could use a receiver, but the 20 is a nice time to take a shot at a needed pick.

2022 Pittsburgh Draft Analysis

21
Kansas City Chiefs (from New England)

And the pick is … CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Need pick, good value. McDuffie probably could’ve and should’ve gone to Minnesota had it stayed at the 12, and he should’ve been valued a bit more considering where Derek Stingley Jr. and Ahmad Gardner went.

Tough as nails, he might be one of the better tackling corners in the draft. He’s got the raw speed to go along with the lock-down attitude.

The Chiefs still have to work on wide receiver, but getting this guy at 21 was excellent.

2022 New England Draft Analysis

22
Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas)

And the pick is … LB Quay Walker, Georgia

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Ehhhhhhhhhhh. okay.

Fine, he’s a nice prospect with a ton of talent and size, but … ehhhhhhhh.

Walker is probably a second round talent, but he’s a huge 6-4, 240-pound thumper who can move. Can he grow into a pass rusher? There’s a lot more projection on him then there probably should be for this pick.

At some point the Packers need a receiver, but there isn’t a sure one here with Treylon Burks and Jahan Dotson going a wee early.

2022 Green Bay Draft Analysis

23
Buffalo Bills (from Arizona)

And the pick is … CB Kaiir Elam, Florida

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Need, need, need. The Bills could’ve done what it wanted and go Best Player Available, but with the corners flying off the board, they had to get a part of the puzzle now.

Again with the value. Quay Walker was a second round talent – who obviously isn’t after going in the first – and Elam is probably around the 50s in terms of prospect.

He’s not going to be much of a hitter, but if he’s right after having a few knee problems last year, he could be more than fine. Again, this was a need for Buffalo, but some corners other corners – like Clemson’s Andrew Booth – were still there.

2022 Buffalo Draft Analysis

24
Dallas Cowboys

And the pick is … OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

ATTITUDE. Smith is a tough guy who knows how to beat up defensive linemen. He’s got size and he’s enough of a blaster to like as a possible guard if he doesn’t work out at tackle.

You think Dallas wants to keep Dak Prescott safe? The running game has to be stronger, the line had to be better, and this pick is a big one for a team that has to win RIGHT NOW.

Jermaine Johnson? The Cowboys could’ve used another pass rusher, too, and the Florida State edge rusher is sliding on down. That would’ve been a great value get.

2022 Dallas Draft Analysis

25
Baltimore Ravens (from Buffalo)

And the pick is … C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Right guy, right team. This was a terrific get for a team that needed help for the offensive front. He’s a technician who slid because 1) he’s a center and 2) he’s not all that big.

The Ravens got Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum? Some franchises just know how to do this drafting thing.

Blow off that he’s not huge. He can move, he’s a mauler, and he’s going to fit in right away and be a great fit for the right line. The Iowa line wasn’t all that great last year, but Linderbaum was terrific.

2022 Baltimore Draft Analysis

26
New York Jets (from Tennessee)

And the pick is … EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

The Jets are crushing this draft. They were able to slide on into Tennessee’s pick and got a top ender rushing prospect at an amazing value price.

Johnson only did it for one year at Florida State after transferring over from Georgia. He’s an amazing all-out player who has all the measurables and tools.

Again, value. Even if it doesn’t work, to get this guy at 26 is fantastic. Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Jermaine Johnson?

2022 Jets Draft Analysis

27
Jacksonville Jaguars (from Tampa Bay)

And the pick is … LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

I personally like the game of Nakobe Dean better, but this is a phenomenal linebacker pick.

Not that Travon Walker was a bad choice at the 1, but … Lloyd will probably be the leader of the Jacksonville defense right out of the gate.

Tough, reliable, and again, an instant leader, he’s got the size, tools, and personality to be exactly what this franchise needs. He might not be ultra-athletic, but he reads everything three steps ahead.

2022 Jacksonville Draft Analysis

28
Green Bay Packers

And the pick is … DE Devante Wyatt, Georgia

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

So we’re just not going to do that wide receiver thing? Okay. Aaron Rodgers will make any receiver good. The more good defensive parts, the better.

The Packers got two Georgia defensive players, but they didn’t get the best one on the board. Linebacker wasn’t a big head, but they took Quay Walker. Defensive tackle help was more of a must.

The receivers here just aren’t as strong. The Packers have plenty of picks to come to work on the problem.

2022 Green Bay Draft Analysis

29
New England Patriots (from Kansas City)

And the pick is … OG/C Cole Strange, UT Chattanooga

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Yes, I’m questioning the greatest football coach of all-time. Nakobe Dean was the PERFECT fit for that defense.

Strange isn’t all that big, but he’s versatile, was fantastic in the offseason process, and he fills the need at guard. It would’ve been great to get Dean – and there are some other nice players sliding – and a receiver is a must, but Strange will step in and produce right away.

But, again, there are guys slipping, like …

2022 Kansas City Draft Analysis

30
Kansas City Chiefs

And the pick is … DE George Karlaftis, Purdue

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

The Chiefs got their corner in Trent McDuffie, and now they got their pass rusher. Karlaftis slid a bit because he wasn’t all that great through the offseason scouting process, but he always goes 100 miles an hour and he’s always working.

No, he’s not quite the edge rusher with the speed the Chiefs might love, but he’s going to get into the backfield at a great value price late in the first round. He fits this team’s style.

Again, though, the measurables. More speed on the D would be nice on the other side, but there will be a whole lot of plays behind the line.

2022 Kansas City Draft Analysis

31
Cincinnati Bengals

And the pick is … S Daxton Hill, Michigan

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

FAST. Not just a speedster, he’d versatile enough to fit in a Cincinnati secondary that needs him. He’ll find a role in some spot to get his wheels on the field with all his playmaking upside.

The Bengals addressed the offensive line in free agency, but it would’ve been interesting if Cole Strange had slid here. However, defensive back was a relative need, and Hill could’ve easily have gone ten spots earlier.

2022 Cincinnati Draft Analysis

32
Minnesota Vikings (from Detroit)

And the pick is … S Lewis Cine, Georgia

CFN Best Available Player
LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Very, very nice get for the last pick in the first round. He led the national champion in tackles, he’s big, and he can really, really hit.

For a Minnesota team that needs defensive back help, Cine is the intimidating force who’s going to bring the big pop and a whole lot of run support. Now the Vikings need to do more and go get a corner.

2022 Minnesota Draft Analysis

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