August 11, 2022 8:42 am

2022 NFL Draft: Day 1 quick-snap grades for all 32 teams

Grading teams’ drafts immediately after the event is necessary in order to provide the proper evaluation of their actions in the moment. Waiting three years to evaluate draft classes, without accounting for how the decision was viewed at the time, usually leads to revisionist history.

If a prospect is considered a great pick the day of the draft but doesn’t work out in the long run, that’s a completely different evaluation of his new team’s decision than identifying a player who was considered a reach at the time he was picked. Immediate draft grades provide a foundation for future evaluations.

These 2022 NFL Draft quick-snap grades are an indication of NFL Jerseys for Cheap whether I think a prospect’s selection is of appropriate value given his college film and athleticism scores. Trades are also factored into these grades, both for picks and players, as they help determine the future of a franchise as much as draft selections.

Grade
B+
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals

Draft pick

  • None

Analysis: Arizona traded the No. 23 overall pick for Ravens receiver Marquise Brown and a third-rounder (No. 100). Even though Brown hasn’t been a consistent playmaker in Baltimore, I understand why Arizona made this deal. QB Kyler Murray is familiar with Brown from their days in Oklahoma. The Cardinals get the deep threat they lacked to complement DeAndre Hopkins and last year’s second-round pick, Rondale Moore.

RELATED LINKS

  • The First Read: Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft
  • 2022 NFL Draft: Kyle Hamilton, Jermaine Johnson among Day 1’s top value picks
  • Best prospects available in the 2022 NFL Draft
Grade
B+
Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons

Draft pick

  • USC WR Drake London (No. 8 overall)

Analysis: London has been compared to Chargers WR Mike Williams. The former USC star’s height and strong hands give him a large catch radius on the outside, which he was using to his advantage until an ankle injury ended his season prematurely. Pairing London with TE Kyle Pitts will cause major problems for defenses lacking size in the secondary.

London didn’t run a 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine or his pro day, which means the Falcons don’t really know how fast he is. Regardless, Williams wasn’t a burner at Clemson and still manages to win outside with regularity. Jameson Williams, who went 12th overall Baltimore Ravens Jersey to Detroit, could end up being a better receiver, though it’s hard to fault a team for not spending a top-10 pick on a receiver coming off an ACL tear.

Grade
A+
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens

Draft pick

  • Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton (No. 14 overall)
  • Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum (No. 25 overall)

Analysis: The Ravens have to be thrilled with Hamilton falling to them. Forget his 40-yard dash time, which drew a lot of poor reviews this spring. Hamilton showed great instincts and intelligence in the Notre Dame secondary. His height and length make him a solid tackler in the open field and his range is excellent. I believe he will be a long-time playmaker in Baltimore.

Trading Marquise Brown to the Cardinals made a lot of sense to me. Gaining the 23rd overall pick in that deal, the Ravens then traded back with the Bills to get another fourth-round pick and the opportunity to select a new center in Linderbaum. I projected the team would trade down in the first round and pick Linderbaum months ago. He’s not a big center, so he’ll need to make sure he anchors well against NFL nose tackles. But Linderbaum’s strong hands, quick feet and intelligence make him an excellent pick. The team has to hope he’s a similar find to former All-Pro offensive lineman Marshal Yanda, who also played at Iowa and was a Ravens third-round round pick in 2007.

Grade
A
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills

Draft pick

  • Florida CB Kaiir Elam (No. 23 overall)

Analysis: Cornerback was the team’s biggest need after Buffalo lost Levi Wallace in free agency. General manager Brandon Beane saw the first-round CB market drying up, so he moved up two spots (giving up a fourth-round pick in the trade with Baltimore) to select Elam. The former Gator does not back down from any receiver on the outside. He proved his speed with a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at the combine, and his intensity and short memory on the outside will be welcomed by the Bills.

Grade
A
Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers

Draft pick

  • N.C. State OT Ickey Ekwonu (No. 6 overall)

Analysis: It’s easy to love Ekwonu because he is a beast in the run game (both in the box and downfield against smaller defenders in space) and has the agility, anchor San Francisco 49ers Jersey  and length to hold off NFL-caliber edge rushers. The Panthers fill a major need with the former N.C. State star. He will help whichever quarterback competes with Sam Darnold for the starting gig in the fall and can lead the way for RB Christian McCaffrey.

Grade
A
Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears

Draft pick

  • None

Analysis: The Bears did not have a first-round pick this year because they moved up in the 2021 draft for quarterback Justin Fields. That deal made sense, even though the team’s lack of success last season resulted in the Giants getting a top-10 selection. Fields has a chance to be a very good starting quarterback if new GM Ryan Poles surrounds him with better talent.

Grade
A
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals

Draft pick

  • Michigan DB Daxton Hill (No. 31 overall)

Analysis: Hill can play anywhere in the secondary. If Jessie Bates, who received the franchise tag this offseason, eventually moves on as a free agent, Hill could end up filling the void at safety full time. With the Ravens taking Tyler Linderbaum, who would have been a nice fit in Cincinnati, off the board six picks earlier, Hill was a sensible pick.

Grade
C
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns

Draft pick

  • None

Analysis: The Browns traded their first-round pick this year, as well as four additional picks (including first-rounders in 2023 and 2024) to Houston for quarterback Deshaun Watson and a 2024 fifth-round pick. Cleveland has its quarterback, but I believe the price was too high for Watson, who is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual assault and misconduct, as well as potential discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy pending the outcome of an ongoing league investigation.

Grade
C
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys

Draft pick

  • Tulsa OT Tyler Smith (No. 24 overall)

Analysis: Smith showed very good athleticism for a 324-pounder at Tulsa and at the NFL Scouting Combine but is an extremely raw talent. His power was overwhelming against most of the college competition he faced, so the Cowboys decided to take a shot on the upside to hope he can become a force in time.

Grade
A
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos

Draft pick

  • None

Analysis: The Broncos traded their first-round pick in the deal for Russell Wilson. For a team lacking a strong option at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired, it was a smart move that will allow Denver to compete in a very strong AFC West.

Grade
A-
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions

Draft pick

  • Michigan Edge Aidan Hutchinson (No. 2 overall)
  • Alabama WR Jameson Williams (No. 12 overall)

Analysis: The Lions made the safest pick possible by rolling with the home-state hero in Hutchinson. He’s coveted for his strength against the run and relentless pursuit of quarterbacks from a hand-down or stand-up position — as well as his football intelligence picking up screens and misdirection.

It’s too early to make a complete evaluation of the Matthew Stafford trade, which netted the Lions an extra first-round pick this year. Of course, seeing Stafford win a ring in his first year in Los Angeles while the Lions floundered to a 3-13-1 record was not a great start. Detroit packaged that pick in a deal with the Vikings to land the draft’s top receiver in Williams at the 12th overall selection. If he didn’t get hurt in the national title game, Williams would have been a top-10 pick because of his speed, reliable hands, stop-start ability and toughness. I love the pick in terms of talent, and the injury shouldn’t be a long-term issue, but he’ll need to become an elite playmaker to justify the price.

Lions select Aidan Hutchinson with No. 2 pick in 2022 draft.
Grade
A
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers

Draft pick

  • Georgia LB Quay Walker (No. 22 overall)
  • Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt (No. 28 overall)

Analysis: The Packers received first- and second-round picks from the Raiders for Davante Adams, which is about as good a return as they could have hoped for under the circumstances.

Walker is a versatile player who will be more than just a guy who can make plays versus the run. He could be a strong blitzer inside and a threat on twists or even spell Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. The Packers really needed to bolster the defensive front in this draft, so at No. 28, they chose another Georgia Bulldog in Wyatt. He can play every spot along the line, attacking tackles with strength at five-technique and challenging guards and centers playing inside.

My grade reflects the value of the players selected, who will both be outstanding additions to the defense. If the team had traded up into the top 12 to pick one of the top receivers, it would have cost a significant price — as evidenced by the Lions’ swap with the Vikings on Thursday night. So, it was smart of Green Bay to hang tight and get the best value possible. If they don’t land one of the top receivers in the draft on Day 2, though, it’s going to be tough for Packers fans to swallow.

Grade
B
Houston Texans
Houston Texans

Draft pick

  • LSU DB Derek Stingley Jr. (No. 3 overall)
  • Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green (No. 15 overall)

Analysis: Stingley’s freshman year tape is outstanding, showing excellent ball skills as well as the speed and agility to handle any receiver on the outside. He flashed at times over the past two years, showing some of those same skills but also missing time due to injury. If Stingley becomes the star we all thought he could be, then this pick pays off. There’s clearly significant risk, though.

The Texans traded down two spots from the 13th pick — acquired in the Deshaun Watson trade — and picked up three Day 3 picks (124th, 162nd, 166th) via a trade with the Eagles. It was an excellent move. Then they selected a powerful offensive lineman in Green, who can be a dominant guard or solid right tackle at the next level. It will be interesting to see if two other linemen that were available at No. 15, Zion Johnson and Trevor Penning, prove to have more successful careers.

Grade
D
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts

Draft pick

  • None

Analysis: The Colts gave up their first-round pick in the trade with Philadelphia for Carson Wentz last year. Obviously, that move didn’t work out. The only reason this grade isn’t an F is because of the picks they acquired from Washington for Wentz in March.

Grade
B+
Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars

Draft pick

  • Georgia Edge Travon Walker (No. 1 overall)
  • Utah LB Devin Lloyd (No. 27 overall)

Analysis: Walker’s athleticism scores were outstanding (4.51 40-yard dash, 6.89 three-cone drill, 35 1/2-inch vertical at 272 pounds). Walker was never “the guy” in Georgia’s prospect-studded defense because, well, he didn’t need to be, with all the talent around him. He flashed the quickness and power to be a very good pass rusher from the edge and run defender at 3/4/5-technique. To be considered a success, however, he’ll have to outperform the other edge rushers from a stellar class at the position.

The Jaguars traded two Day 3 selections to move back into the first round for Tampa Bay’s No. 27 pick, selecting Lloyd. That’s a good deal for a team looking for a difference-maker at the second level. Lloyd’s lack of supreme athleticism cost him draft position, but he displayed blossoming pass-rush ability when given the chance at Utah, as well as the willingness to plug gaps against the run and cover tight ends.

Grade
A
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs

Draft pick

  • Washington CB Trent McDuffie (No. 21 overall)
  • Purdue Edge George Karlaftis (No. 20 overall)

Analysis: Tyreek Hill is a special talent, but Andy Reid has always been confident in the ability of his organization to make up for the loss of excellent players. Getting a haul of draft picks from the Dolphins in return for Hill gives Reid another chance to prove that belief is correct.

The Chiefs traded up eight spots to select McDuffie. While there was a lot of discussion about whether he had adequate arm length to be an NFL corner, McDuffie’s simply a versatile, tough and intelligent defender outside and inside, filling a big roster need for Kansas City.

Karlaftis reminds me of former Chief Jared Allen, a powerful rusher who uses his hands as well as any edge rusher prospect I’ve seen in recent years. While he’s not an elite bender on the edge, he uses leverage and violent movements to win outside. It’s just a solid pick for the Chiefs, who were in need of a running mate outside for veteran Frank Clark.

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