The NFL Draft was full of surprises, players slipping, teams reaching, and everything in between. Amidst those surprises, we saw some clear winners and losers in the draft which we’ll be breaking down who earned those nods.
2022 NFL Draft Winners:
Excluding the Marquise Brown trade as Brown wanted to be traded, the Ravens had an incredible few days during the draft. The Ravens got one of the top 5 overall players in the draft all the way at the #14 spot in Kyle Hamilton. The Ravens also got steals later on in David Ojabo, Daniel Faalele, Isaiah Likely, and Tyler Badie. The Ravens had a great draft combining their best player value method along with addressing needs in the process.
New York Jets
Most years, the Jets are used to fans booing at them for their selections. This year there was a change of scenery as fans were ecstatic with some of the choices that the Jets made. The Jets got Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Jermaine Johnson II & those 3 were just in the 1st round alone. Getting the #1 cornerback, wide receiver, and running back in the same draft is a very impressive feat they managed.
Rookie Wide Receivers
For the past few seasons, it’s felt like that the rookie wide receiver class is just getting better and better & that is what we’re seeing with this class. This was one of the deepest classes in years and through just the first 3 rounds, there were 17 wide receivers drafted alone which was more than any other position during that time. 6 of those 17 were drafted in the 1st round showing that this is a new prime position for teams.
University of Georgia Players
The University of Georgia football program broke the record for the most players selected in a single draft in the modern draft format with 15 players. 5 of those 15 players were drafted in the 1st round which shows just how talented that national championship winning football team was.
2022 NFL Draft Losers:
There was a lot of speculation about which teams were going to go for their franchise quarterback of the future in this draft and only one appeared to do so with the Pittsburgh Steelers being the only team to draft a quarterback in the 1st round. The next time a quarterback was drafted wasn’t until the 3rd round when the Falcons selected Desmond Ridder. Despite the speculation, many teams decided not to jump the gun and overreach for a quarterback that they didn’t have confidence in. The quarterbacks were overvalued in this class and teams made the smart move by passing on them early on. It also was one of the fewest quarterbacks drafted in the last 10-15 years with only 9 total in all 7 rounds. As of right now, it appears only one of those 9 quarterbacks will be a starting quarterback to start the season with a couple others having potential to later on.
After the Browns made a blockbuster trade for Deshaun Watson with the Houston Texans, Baker Mayfield wanted to part ways with the Browns and take his talents elsewhere. Baker has been waiting since the trade for Watson to be moved and was hoping that over the course of the draft that this would happen, but he is still technically a member of the Cleveland Browns as that did not happen. We were surprised to not see Baker traded for a late round pick from any team and hope to see him moved by the start of the season.
In the offseason, the Packers traded away Davante Adams and let both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown walk in free agency. This made getting a wide receiver a top priority for Green Bay which they decided not to trade up or even draft one in the 1st round at all. The Packers did trade up in the 2nd to get Christian Watson, but Watson is a huge talent gap between the hole those 3 are going to leave. With Marquise Brown & AJ Brown traded on draft night and Packers not getting either one, this is a huge disappointment to Aaron Rodgers who will now have his top 2 options as a 2nd round rookie wideout and Allan Lazard. Aaron Rodgers deserves better from his management than to go through that.