LAS VEGAS, NV – With the 2022 NFL Draft now in the books and all players have been drafted and about to start the next chapter in their football journey, now is the time to look back and review which teams made the grade.
Cleveland Browns: No first round pick? No problem for Andrew Berry and company as the Browns addressed big needs at DB, WR, DL, OL and special teams in drafting CB Martin Emerson out of Mississippi State, a promising edge rusher in Alex Wright and speedy WR David Bell out of Purdue in the third round.
The Browns shrewdly took Senior Bowl standout DT Perrion Winfrey 108th overall and LSU kicker Cade York 124th. Some may wonder why a kicker in the fourth round? If you are a Browns fan, you’d get it. Former Cincinnati Bearcats running back Jerome Ford is a potential steal at No.156 due to the current contracts of Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson, so look for Ford to get some reps this coming season.
Seventh round picks, Isaiah Thomas and Dawson Deaton were graded much higher than they were picked (No.223 and 246) and could turn into quality depth chart bodies, who could see time on the field.
Detroit Lions: Clearly, second-year head coach Dan Campbell likes Jared Goff enough to give him some weapons such as Jameson Williams at No.12 overall out of Alabama, but the second overall pick in former Michigan Wolverine edge rusher, Aidan Hutchinson is the player that could help restore the roar in Motown.
Adding Josh Paschal, Kerby Joseph and Malcolm Rodriguez in the second, third and six rounds, shows how much Detroit wants to revamp their defense. Especially in a division that features NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, Justin Fields and Kirk Cousins.
Kansas City Chiefs: What’s scarier than the Chiefs letting Tyreek Hill walk in free agency? How about drafting his potential replacement in Skyy Moore in the draft.
Moore, a speedy 5’11 195-pound wideout out of Western Michigan, fell into the arms of the Chiefs at No.54. Thanks to running a 4.41 40 time at the dradft, Moore quickly emerged on the radar of many teams, and no team better for the former western PA native to land than Kansas City.
While not being the headliner pick of the Chiefs 2022 draft class, he along with former Purdue edge rush George Karlaftis and Washington Huskies DB Trent McDuffie—taken in the first round at No.21 and No.30, and Cincinnati Bearcats S Bryan Cook—show how much the Chiefs value stacking up on defense in what will be the most entertaining division in football this coming season.
Baltimore Ravens: Outside of their bitter archrivals from the Steel City, no other franchise has such a storied history of drafting well than the Baltimore Ravens.
Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, Orlando Pace. All are either in Canton or bound to be one day. While longtime general manager Ozzie Newsome is no longer calling the shots in Charm City, his protégé and successor, Eric DeCosta, is already proving to be quite the draft wizard, in his own right.
Thanks to his recent draft that landed arguably the best players on the board, that somehow slipped due to the run of edge rushers, the Ravens reloaded in grabbing Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton at No.14, Iowa center, Tyler Linderbaum, Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo and UConn defensive tackler Travis Jones.
Clearly, it’s a sign that they want to protect their former NFL MVP QB Lamar Jackson and continue their stellar tradition of drafting top talent on defense.
New York Jets: While they didn’t win the Super Bowl, the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets won the NFL Draft.
If there was a team that needed to hit a proverbial homerun in Vegas, it was Gang Green, as they grabbed arguably the top defensive talent in the whole draft in Cincinnati Bearcats DB Sauce Gardner fourth overall, the top wide receiver in Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson at No.10, edge rusher Jeremaine Johnson out of Florida State 26th overall and a potential workhorse tailback in Breece Hall out of Iowa State at No.36.
Teams are not often blessed to get three first round picks, let alone grab three Top 50 prospects, the way the jets did. Now, the only question that remains to be asked is how soon do we get to say Wilson-to-Wilson!