The NFL Draft has ended and of course, there were some major surprises. History was set with a record 15 Georgia Bulldogs chosen in the draft. There’s sure to be plenty of future busts, and some serious head scratchers. It’s hard to truly evaluate a draft before we’ve seen rookies take the field and learn what they have and if they can cut it at the NFL level, but for the time being we can look at which teams got the best value in the draft. Here are the 2022 NFC draft grades.
Philadelphia Eagles: A
I don’t care what you think about the rest of their class, trading for WR A.J. Brown before his prime has even begun and locking him up long-term is a massive success. DT Jordan Davis (Georgia) and LB Nakobe Dean (Georgia) are great additions and proven winners.
New York Giants: A-
I really thought the Giants were wise in looking at both sides of the ball with their first two picks which fell inside the top 10. They have a new regime and they wanted to make major impacts. They did exactly that with some household names like EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) and OT Evan Neal (Alabama).
Dallas Cowboys: C-
Once again, it was Jerry Jones media fest for the Cowboys. The OT Tyler Smith (Tulsa) pick is suspect, considering he’d likely still have been available in round two. Adding depth at tight end and wide receiver keeps this draft process in the C range and not D.
Washington Commanders: B
The Commanders focused mostly on offense, grabbing WR Jahan Dotson (Penn State), RB Brian Robinson (Alabama), and QB Sam Howell (North Carolina) who could maybe take over for Carson Wentz down the line. I thought most of the names here weren’t star-studded guys, but they could develop into something.
Atlanta Falcons: B+
The Falcons had a tremendous draft, grabbing the first wide receiver off the board in Drake London (USC) and using a third-round pick on QB Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati). Linebacker Troy Anderson (Montana State) may just be the most underrated defensive player to come out of this year’s crop as well.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+
The Bucs knew they needed to increase depth and they added to that big time, getting deeper on the defensive line with DE Logan Hall (Houston) and the secondary with CB Zyon McCollum (Sam Houston State). The Bucs likely drafted three immediate starters and general manager Jason Licht masterfully traded back for more picks.
New Orleans Saints: B-
Many thought that the Saints were going all-in on a quarterback in this draft, but they have confidence in Jameis Winston. WR Chris Olave (Ohio State) and OT Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa) are two home run picks, and they will have two immediate starters with them.
Carolina Panthers: C-
The Panthers didn’t have a ton of picks and didn’t necessarily move the needle to get better. QB Matt Corral (Mississippi) is an interesting pick, but they had lots of other needs in the third round, and it feels like they won’t really give him much of a chance to start this year.
Detroit Lions: A-
The Lions got their hometown kid in EDGE Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) and they traded up for WR Jameson Williams (Alabama) who in my opinion is the best wideout in this class. I felt like good value in the mid-rounds could make this a stellar draft.
Chicago Bears: C
The Bears had to focus on getting QB Justin Field some protection and they didn’t even address that until the fifth round with their selection of OT Braxton Jones (Southern Utah). Sure, they went with the best available on the board, but it didn’t feel like they had the luxury to do so.
Green Bay Packers: B-
While Packers fans may obliterate the team for again not looking at wide receiver in round one, the Packers took a couple of defensive studs in LB Quay Walker and DT Devonte Wyatt both from Georgia. They also added WR Christian Watson (North Dakota State) at the top of the second round.
Minnesota Vikings: C+
Getting S Lewis Cine (Georgia) at the end of the first round was a total steal for the Vikings who wanted a more stable secondary. They followed that up with CB Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson). They just didn’t do a whole lot after that.
Los Angeles Rams: D
For a team that said screw the picks, the Rams still selected eight times. The only problem is that six of those eight came in the fifth round or later. They didn’t grab anyone who catches my eye or that will contribute this year. OG Logan Bruss (Wisconsin) was probably their best pick.
Arizona Cardinals: C-
Personally, getting WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown for a first-round pick was a stretch. I’d have rather seen Arizona trade up for one of the more elite wideouts in this draft. I do like the TE Trey McBride (Colorado State) pick, but the Cards left a lot to be desired.
Seattle Seahawks: B
The Hawks got way better on the offensive line with OT Charles Cross (Mississippi State) and addressed a defensive issue that will likely make Pete Carroll smile. The RB Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) pick was a head scratcher, but I love playmakers and perhaps he’ll evolve into that.
San Francisco 49ers: C
San Fran didn’t have a ton of early draft capital to deal with, so they had to allow the board to come to them and go from there. They weren’t in a great spot to succeed, but I think they will connect on some of these. EDGE Drake Johnson (USC) was their first pick and QB Brock Purdy (Iowa State) may be worth watching.