2022 NFL Draft Grades


Samuel Fung, Staff Writer

The most important phase of the offseason is over. Teams have done some level of roster strengthening, but not everyone truly succeeded. Here is my take on the 2022 Draft, one of the most chaotic of recent history.

Arizona Cardinals: A-

  1. R2, P55: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State (B): If Zach Ertz had not been re-signed to a three-year deal, this would have been an A. McBride was my number one tight end by a lot. He was stellar at Colorado State, despite only one touchdown catch in 2021. 
  2. R3, P87: Cam Thomas, DE, San Diego State (B+): Thomas excelled in 2021 for the Aztecs, posting 20.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He adds to the Cardinals’ run defense, which lacked quality depth. 
  3. R3, P100: Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati (A-): Sanders can act as a pass rush specialist and fits the scheme well considering his physical traits, which drew a lot of concern from other teams. Arizona did the right thing by taking him to bolster the front seven.
  4. R6, P201: Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC (B-): Ingram is a quick and shifty running back who is practically a partial replacement for Chase Edmonds, who left in free agency. He does not have any standout traits, but should be pretty good as a backup running back.
  5. R6, P215: Lecitus Smith, G, Virginia Tech (A): Similar to Sanders, size was a concern for Lecitus Smith, but his blocking abilities clearly stand out. I had a fourth-round grade on Smith, who should ascend to a starting role by the end of his rookie deal.
  6. R7, P244: Christian Matthew, CB, Valdosta State (C): I did not read up much on Christian Matthew prior to the draft, but he seems to have the ideal size and athleticism to play his position. Mario Goodrich was available at the time, however.
  7. R7, P256: Jesse Luketa, LB, Penn State (A-): Luketa was an amazing hybrid linebacker and leader on the Penn State defense. He plays best on the edge, but could find a decent role in the middle, as that was where he first played when he first joined Penn State.
  8. R7, P257: Marquis Hayes, G, Oklahoma (A): Hayes became well-known for using his power to win against opponents in the Big 12. Kliff Kingsbury knows all too well how well Oklahoma runs the football, and Hayes will be an eventual starter just like Lecitus Smith.
  9. Bonus acquisition: Marquise Brown (B+): Getting Marquise Brown for a first-round pick, along with the pick used on Myjai Sanders is nice value, and a direct replacement for Christian Kirk too.

The Cardinals had an overall nice draft, doing well to upgrade the offensive line and front seven, which needed an influx of youth and quality.

Atlanta Falcons: B+

  1. R1, P8: Drake London, WR, USC (B): Now, Drake London is good, but the Falcons already have Kyle Pitts, who can play the role of big slot receiver that London played at USC. Garrett Wilson would have been a better fit, but London and Pitts could be an awesome duo.
  2. R2, P38: Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State (A-) The Falcons traded up with their fourth-round selection and got Ebiketie, a quick, skillful pass rusher who showed out at the Senior Bowl. He is a Day 1 starter on a weak pass rush unit.
  3. R2, P58: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State (B+): Andersen moved to linebacker in 2021 and showed out, winning Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year. He has outstanding size and athleticism, giving him high upside and room for improvement.
  4. R3, P74: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (A): Desmond Ridder is a high upside quarterback with the arm and leg talent to succeed in the NFL. He will not have to play right away, so he is amazing value in the third round.
  5. R3, P82: DeAngelo Malone, LB, Western Kentucky (B): Lorenzo Carter may not succeed, so having a backup plan is always nice. 82nd overall is a little high for Malone, but he has high upside and is a good fit in the 3-4 scheme opposite Ebiketie. 
  6. R5, P151: Ty Allgeier, RB, BYU (B+): This should have been the time where the Falcons should have taken a defensive tackle, but Allgeier is a good pick nonetheless. Despite the fumble issues at BYU, he was very productive and reliable and should get a decent amount of involvement early in his career.
  7. R6, P190: Justin Shaffer, G, Georgia (B): Shaffer is an average athlete with injury concerns who was inconsistent. However, he is a nasty player and is a nice depth piece for the offensive line.
  8. R6, P213: John Fitzpatrick, TE, Georgia (C): John Fitzpatrick was a good run-blocking tight end at Georgia and should help the run game further. He had very little production in the passing game, but it won’t be needed with Kyle Pitts and Anthony Firkser in the fold.

The Falcons failed to address defensive tackle and safety, but the pass rush got better and so did the offense, which was heavily weakened during the offseason, especially at receiver. 

Baltimore Ravens: A

  1. R1, P14: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (A-): The Ravens got the best defensive back in the class at 14. How wonderful for them, even if safety was not the biggest need for them. He is an upgrade at the position though, over Chuck Clark.
  2. R1, P25: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (A+): After trading Marquise Brown, the Ravens got an extra pick in Round 1 and acquired with the best center in the class. Linderbaum has the potential to be as good as Jason Kelce. The Ravens are set for the next decade.
  3. R2, P45: David Ojabo, LB, Michigan (A+): Had it not been for an Achilles tear at his pro day, Ojabo would have been a top ten player. He should be playing next season and should provide a lot. Another great selection for a team notorious for finding gems.
  4. R3, P76: Travis Jones, DT, UConn (B+): Getting jumped for Jordan Davis was not great, but Travis Jones is a good alternate. He was an amazing leader on the UConn defense, being outstanding in run defense and pushing the pocket in pass rush.
  5. R4, P110: Dan Faalele, T, Minnesota (A+): Faalele was a great player at Minnesota and really should have gone in the second or third round. He is great for their future and even their current team, especially if, say, Ronnie Stanley picks up another injury.
  6. R4, P119: Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama (B): Armour-Davis is only going to get better under John Harbaugh. The Crimson Tide product is a developmental prospect whose best football is certainly ahead of him.
  7. R4, P128: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State (B-): The son of two college professors, Kolar is a very productive tight end with ideal size and solid hands. He makes for a solid third tight end.
  8. R4, P130: Jordan Stout, P, Penn State (C+) Sam Koch is 39, so he won’t be around for much longer. Stout can learn a lot from Koch and assure that the veteran can have an assured replacement in the long-term punting game.
  9. R4, P139: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina (A+): Likely is a superb receiving tight end who flourished at Coastal Carolina. With Marquise Brown gone, he will come in and make big plays in what hopefully will be a Kyle Pitts-type role to stabilize the passing game.
  10. R4, P141: Damarion Williams, CB, Houston (B): Williams is an agile, quick corner who projects best in the slot. He may be an immediate starter in that position. He is a tough, aggressive player that will add some hard-hitting identity to the team.
  11. R6, P196: Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri (A-): A highlight of Tyler Badie’s game is his ball security (two fumbles on 513 carries). He is a talented change-of-pace back who will alleviate any concerns about running backs that the Ravens had last year.

The Ravens did not have that many needs. They filled most of them early and used the rest of the picks to assure depth in case of injury, especially during the fourth round. 

Buffalo Bills: B+

  1. R1, P23: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida (B+): When healthy, Kaiir Elam has been shutdown on the outside. He is great value as a third corner, and he directly replaces Levi Wallace with a high upside, fellow SEC product who excelled in press man. He and Tre’Davious White will be a threatening duo in the future. 
  2. R2, P63: James Cook, RB, Georgia (B+): Speaking of threatening, James Cook, brother to Dalvin, is not only an agile runner, but a backfield receiving threat. Cook fills a need for a change-of-pace back for the Bills. Josh Allen will enjoy having him on third down as a speed mismatch for most linebackers.
  3. R3, P89: Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor (B): Speaking of linebackers, Terrel Bernard has been praised for leadership and was productive at Baylor. He directly replaces AJ Klein as the third linebacker and will make a great special teamer. He could also be good in man coverage against speedier players.
  4. R5, P148: Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State (A-): Speaking of speedier players, Khalil Shakir is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He was a slot beast at Boise State and quite simply should not have been available at 148th overall.
  5. R6, P180: Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State (A-): Matt Araiza should have been the first punter off the board. Not sure how the Bills snagged him at the top of the sixth round as the third punter off the board. He honestly could be a perennial Pro Bowl candidate.
  6. R6, P185: Christian Benford, CB, Villanova (C-): Benford is a smart player with decent ball skills, but has heavy glaring weaknesses. He is a good-sized player who has decent upside, so I cannot blame the Bills for shooting their shot. 
  7. R6, P209: Luke Tenuta, T, Virginia Tech (C-): Tenuta played both tackle positions at Virginia Tech, but has a lot of issues with his technique. He serves best as a backup tackle to Dion Dawkins and Spencer Brown.
  8. R7, P231: Baylon Spector, LB, Clemson (C+): Baylon Spector is a solid backup linebacker. It never is the worst idea to double up on a position when you lose a starter like AJ Klein.

The Bills should have addressed receiver earlier, but they otherwise had a solid draft typical of Brandon Beane. They even got Jalen Wydermyer after the draft—he was my number three tight end).

Carolina Panthers: A+

  1. R1, P6: Ikem Ekwonu, T, NC State (A+): Taking the best tackle in a draft class is always nice. Ekwonu, a Panthers fan, not only creates a great storyline, but he instantly improves the offensive line. He can play either tackle or guard, but will be best suited as a blindside protector opposite Taylor Moton.
  2. R3, P94: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (A+): Corral was a fringe first-round talent with the potential to be a solid quarterback. The Panthers did the right thing trading up for a position they desperately needed as much as they needed tackle. If it does not work out, then so be it. It is only a third-round pick.
  3. R4, P120: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State (A-): Brandon Smith is a superb athlete who is raw, but has a very high upside. Shaq Thompson will be there to develop him into an NFL starting linebacker, but his athleticism is going to give him an advantage early.
  4. R6, P189: Amare Barno, DE, Virginia Tech (A): An ideal Haason Reddick replacement. Not only did Barno post the fastest time by a linebacker ever in the 40-yard dash, he produced mightily in the run-stopping game for Virginia Tech. 
  5. R6, P199: Cade Mays, G, Tennessee (A-): Mays adds much-needed competition at guard, and has played all five positions on the offensive line. He has valuable traits that help him stay square in pass blocking, and this means the competition for a starting spot is going to be tight with Mays in the fold.
  6. R7, P242: Kalon Barnes, CB, Baylor (B+): The Panthers’ final pick was their most interesting, getting combine darling Kalon Barnes. He had the fastest 40 time at the combine and adds solid depth and upside to a secondary which already has tons of youth.
    Once again, Scott Fitterer found gold with all of his picks. This time they have to do well.

Chicago Bears: B+

  1. R2, P39: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington (A-): A versatile player who could succeed as a slot cornerback right away, Kyler Gordon makes an immediate replacement for Artie Burns. He also represents an upgrade on Burns. Gordon could have easily been a first-round selection because of his athleticism and versatility, but he fell to the Bears.
  2. R2, P48: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State (B+): Safety was a need since Tashaun Gipson left in free agency. Brisker is a freak athlete who can help with run support, meaning he can directly replace Gipson. Brisker is tough as well, as he played through injuries in the 2021 season, so there is added value in his pain endurance.
  3. R3, P71: Velus Jones, WR, Tennessee (C+): I believed there were better receivers available, but Velus Jones is not terrible by any means. He ran a 4.31 40 and should be a top slot receiver and returner.
  4. R5, P168: Braxton Jones, T, Southern Utah (A-): Jones is a massive specimen and developmental prospect who was talented enough to go at the end of Round 3/start of Round 4. He has some technique issues, but his size could make him a starter.
  5. R5, P174: Dom Robinson, Edge, Miami Ohio (B+): Robinson is a former wideout who converted to defensive end. He is an explosive athlete and a sudden change of direction to throw off any lumbering tackle. He hails from Canton, Ohio, and has a high ceiling.
  6. R6, P186: Zach Thomas, G, San Diego State (B-): Thomas has the flexibility to play tackle or guard, the latter of which he has played most recently. He is best at run blocking, where he uses his shifty feet to hold up against opponents.
  7. R6, P203: Trestan Ebner, RB, Baylor (B-): Ebner is effectively a direct replacement for Tarik Cohen, as he can carry the ball, catch it out of the backfield, and return kicks and punts. Cohen did it at an All-Pro level at one point, so hopefully, Ebner can do the same.
  8. R6, P207: Doug Kramer, C, Illinois (B-): Kramer is undersized, but is a great leader and experienced player out of Illinois. He has a good football IQ and should compete for a starting job right away.
  9. R7, P226: Ja’Tyre Carter, G, Southern (C+): Carter projects best as a guard at the next level, despite starting most of his games at tackle. Carter adds a little more versatility and depth to the offensive line which lost James Daniels in free agency.
  10. R7, P254: Elijah Hicks, S, Cal (C): Hicks can play either safety position and he seeks to be a very solid backup safety.
  11. R7, P255: Trent Gill, P, NC State (C+) Gill is a direct replacement to Pat O’Donnell, and is good value for his position in the latter stages of the seventh round.

The Bears got much stronger and got a few first-round talents despite not having a first-round pick. Ryan Poles’ first draft was a solid one.

Cincinnati Bengals: B

  1. R1, P31: Dax Hill, S, Michigan (B+): Dax Hill is explosive and versatile, and him in the slot is going to be nice. His instant acceleration means he will make an instant impact on the team, as well as a solid supplanting for Jessie Bates.
  2. R2, P60: Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska (B-): There were better options available, but not many have as much athleticism as Cam Taylor-Britt. He is a physical player who can win 50/50 balls with his ball skills and play strength and sub-4.4 speed.
  3. R3, P95: Zachary Carter, DT, Florida (B+): Carter is a versatile pass rusher who can play on the outside and inside of a four-man front. As of late, his production at Florida has only improved, and he has been consistent.
  4. R4, P136: Cordell Volson, T, North Dakota State (C): Volson is a versatile player with guard/tackle flexibility. He has the ideal size and thickness to move inside, where depth is going to be needed in some time.
  5. R5, P166: Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo (B-): Anderson is a great athlete and could be a sleeper. He may be the guy to replace Vonn Bell if he cannot be kept. Determined in run support, Anderson has sub-4.4 speed that will allow him some early game time.
  6. R7, P252: Jeff Gunter, DE, Coastal Carolina (B): Gunter is a polished pass rusher who could work as a pass rush specialist at the next level. He should be a good blitzer.

The Bengals made mostly luxury picks, and those picks were indeed quite luxurious. Their depth only improved, but nothing special happened.

Cleveland Browns: B-

  1. R3, P68: Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State (B-): Emerson is a long and athletic cornerback who specializes in pass coverage (I had a fourth-round grade on him because of his run defense issues, as well as his relatively mediocre ball skills). 
  2. R3, P78: Alex Wright, DE, UAB (C+): I felt there were better options available for the Browns, like Cam Thomas. Wright, however, is a very athletic pass rusher, albeit raw. With Myles Garrett and Chase Winovich in the fold, he will not need to start right away.
  3. R3, P99: David Bell, WR, Purdue (A-): Bell is not super explosive, but is still a reliable pass catcher with strong hands and run-after-catch ability. He is a savvy route runner who will add some shiftiness and unpredictability to a new look Browns’ offense.
  4. R4, P108: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma (A): Steal. Perrion Winfrey should have been a second or third-round pick, but somehow fell to Round 4. He is explosive in his get-off and has the chance to be an immediate starter on the Browns’ thin defensive line.
  5. R4, P124: Cade York, K, LSU (D+): The Browns really could have waited to get a kicker, even if their kicking unit was so bad that they needed a kicker.
  6. R5, P156: Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati (C): The Browns have a ton of running backs already, so taking Ford was not really necessary. At least the pick spent on Ford was not of high value.
  7. R6, P202: Michael Woods, WR, Oklahoma (C+): Doubling down on receiver is not that bad of an idea. Woods does not stand out in any trait, but he should compete for a practice squad spot and be prioritized as a practice squad elevation if necessary.
  8. R7, P223: Isaiah Thomas, DE, Oklahoma (B+): Isaiah Thomas is a pass rush specialist who is long and rangy. He played multiple position at Oklahoma but did not exactly develop in any of those positions. He is good value for this slot however.
  9. R7, P246: Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech (C-): Deaton is a versatile player who can play as a swing guard or center, the latter of which is more of a need.
    The Browns had a mixed draft with some reaches and some steals, so a B- grade is fair.

Dallas Cowboys: B-

  1. R1, P24: Tyler Smith, T, Tulsa (C+): There were so many players available at the time of this selection, so the selection of Tyler Smith is something I can barely understand. Even if he is guard/tackle flexible, they could have waited till later and taken someone else.
  2. R2, P56: Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss (B): Williams is a solid choice. He was a very productive player as a Rebel and has scheme versatility. Williams should help facilitate a DeMarcus Lawrence move inside on pass rush downs. 
  3. R3, P88: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama (B+): Tolbert is the shifty route-runner and tough-to-tackle player the Cowboys have been looking for. He fights through grabby coverage and has generally reliable hands. He will be a replacement for Cedrick Wilson.
  4. R4, P129: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin (C+): There were some better tight ends available, especially guys that were more athletic than Ferguson. Ferguson is nonetheless a consistent and reliable target with strong hands, so he will be a solid red-zone threat for Dak Prescott.
  5. R5, P155: Matt Waletzko, T, North Dakota (B-): Waltezko is a solid developmental tackle who has massive length in his 35-inch arms. He can play either tackle position.
  6. R5, P167: DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State (C+): Bland should be a good special teams coverage guy, but was not the best choice for the Cowboys if they wanted secondary help, at least not now.
  7. R5, P176: Damone Clark, LB, LSU (A): He will not play his rookie season, but Clark will be the steal of the draft once he recovers from spinal surgery. He is a super athlete who is very productive as a tackler.
  8. R5, P178: John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas (B+): Ridgeway adds a big body to the run game for Dallas, who truly need some help in that department.
  9. R6, P193: Devin Harper, LB, Oklahoma State (C): Since they lost a lot of off-ball linebackers, doubling down was not the worst idea. Harper could star on special teams.

The Cowboys had many big holes to fill, and they did their best, but just did not get a lot of good value until the Damone Clark selection.

Denver Broncos: C+

  1. R2, P64: Nik Bonitto, LB, Oklahoma (B): A solid outside linebacker who can play as a hybrid, Bonitto should help on blitz packages. He should not be played as a full-time inside linebacker in a 3-4, however.
  2. R3, P80: Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA (B): Dulcich is a nice vertical threat in the pass game. He will act as a direct Noah Fant replacement with his strong hands and effective route running.
  3. R4, P115: Damarri Mathis, CB, Pitt (C+): Though I felt there were better options available, none of them will have as much immediate success as a nickel as Mathis. He could compete with Michael Ojemudia for what was Bryce Callahan’s spot on the team.
  4. R4, P116: Eyioma Uwazarike, DT, Iowa State (C+): Again, better options were available, but Uwazarike makes a solid rotational piece in the run game behind DJ Jones.
  5. R5, P152: Delarrin Turner, Yell, S, Oklahoma (C): With all the safeties on the roster, Turner-Yell is likely going to be a special teams coverage guy. He likely will not play the position he is listed as.
  6. R5, P162: Montrell Washington, WR, Samford (C+): Had Washington gone to a bigger school, he would have been much more of a household name than he was. He is undersized and inconsistent, but his return ability could get him a roster spot.
  7. R5, P171: Luke Wattenburg, C, Washington (C+): Wattenburg is position versatile, but likely will serve as a backup center to Lloyd Cushenberry.
  8. R6, P206: Matt Henningsen, DT, Wisconsin (C): Henningsen adds depth to the interior pass rush rotation alongside Dre’Mont Jones. He is best suited as a 3-4 defensive end.
  9. R7, P232: Faion Hicks, CB, Wisconsin (C-): The cornerback room lost a lot of depth, so doubling down with Faion Hicks was not a bad idea.

The Broncos had mostly luxury picks and depth selections, but did not exactly get the most value out of some picks.

Detroit Lions: A-

  1. R1, P2: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan (A+): The Lions got the best player in the draft out of their own backyard. What more is there to say about Hutchinson that we do not know about? He will be a perennial Pro Bowler.
  2. R1, P12: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama (A): Trading up 20 spots without giving up an extra first-round pick, then drafting the best deep threat in the class? Beautiful genius move. Would have been a good spot for Malik Willis, though.
  3. R2, P46: Josh Paschal, DE, Kentucky (B-): Paschal is a scheme versatile player who will likely play as a 3-4 defensive end. However, I liked DeMarvin Leal and Perrion Winfrey in this spot better. However, Paschal is nonetheless talented.
  4. R3, P97: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois (B+): A solid ballhawk who should allow DeShon Elliott into run support. Joseph had a small sample size but did show a lot of flashes of being a top starting free safety in the league. 
  5. R5, P177: James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech (C+): James Mitchell will be a solid number two tight end behind TJ Hockenson, and can play many different roles. He got rushing carries and punt return experience at Virginia Tech, even being an emergency QB.
  6. R6, P188: Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Oklahoma State (B-): Rodriguez was a good leader and star linebacker at Oklahoma State, and his versatility will also be valued.
  7. R6, P217: James Houston, DE, Jackson State (C): A good backup, though not necessarily needed too much with Charles Harris and the Okwaras already under contract with Detroit.
  8. R7, P237: Chase Lucas, CB, Arizona State (B+): Lucas is a solid athlete who is great value for a mid-7th-round pick.

The Lions had a quite solid draft. They heavily improved their roster, but a quarterback for the future would have bumped up the grade a little bit.

Green Bay Packers: A- 

  1. R1, P22: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia (B): Devin Lloyd was available, but it does not take away from Walker’s abilities. He is an uber-athletic run-and-chase linebacker who will make a deadly duo with De’Vondre Campbell.
  2. R1, P28: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia (B+): Kenny Clark finally has help. Wyatt is an instant impact player who will win with his quickness and mobility. He has aligned in many places, so his scheme versatility is added value to his game.
  3. R2, P34: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State (A): The Packers, desperately in need of a wideout, traded up for the best available receiver. Watson has high upside and possesses great speed for his size, making him a mismatch and nightmare for others.
  4. R3, P92: Sean Rhyan, G, UCLA (B+): Rhyan played great as UCLA’s left tackle, and has a frame that allows a move to guard. Coach Matt LaFleur has many options, but playing guard seems to be the best choice for Rhyan’s NFL future.
  5. R4, P132: Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada (B): Solid young depth option for the future and a deep threat who could ascend to a starting role. Doubs and Watson will be a dynamic duo in the future.
  6. R4, P140: Zach Tom, T, Wake Forest (B+): Tom has logged snaps at center and left tackle, and upgrades the depth behind David Bakhtiari. He could even fit in as a swing guard if he must.
  7. R5, P179: Kingsley Enagbare, DE, South Carolina (A): Enagbare should have been gone long before pick 179. The Packers filled a need with a great player in the fifth round somehow. Enagbare could easily be the biggest steal of this draft.
  8. R7, P228: Tariq Carpenter, S, Georgia Tech (C+): Carpenter has value as a hybrid player who will likely be a special teams standout. He should have some impact as a sub-package player on defense.
  9. R7, P234: Jonathan Ford, DT, Miami, (C): A solid backup nose tackle. Was not really needed because of TJ Slaton, but he is only a seventh-round pick.
  10. R7, P249: Rasheed Walker, T, Penn State (A): Had a third-round grade on him. Walker has the ability to start at right tackle right away, and replace David Bakhtiari at left tackle potentially. He is very solid as a run blocker.
  11. R7, P258: Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska (B-): Toure is more of a lightweight guy, as he struggles in contested catch situations. He does add some more dynamo to the receiver room, though.

At the very least, Brian Gutekunst had his best draft in three years and did his best to replace the irreplaceable Davante Adams. Good job, Gute.

Houston Texans: A-

  1. R1, P3: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU (B+): The upside on Derek Stingley is worth a top-three selection. His amazing freshman year is a great example of what he can do when he is in his best form, though he is not always in it.
  2. R1, P15: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M (A-): Green is the best pure guard in the class. This all but signals Tytus Howard is moving back to right tackle, which means Green upgraded to positions on the offensive line.
  3. R2, P37: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor (A-): Piter is super versatile and smart. He plays faster than he actually is, and is a solid fill-in for Justin Reid. Pitre could easily evolve into the future at the position for Houston.
  4. R2, P44: John Metchie, WR, Alabama (A-): The Texans made a bargain trade up for a first-round talent. I liked George Pickens in this spot better, but Metchie’s talent easily outweighs Pickens’. His knack for the big play adds a much needed spark to this team.
  5. R3, P75: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama (A-): Christian Harris was my number 3 linebacker, but the sixth one taken. He is amazing in pass coverage and should be a Day 1 starter alongside Kamu Grugier-Hill.
  6. R4, P107: Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida (A-): Pierce adds a physical identity to the run game which finished dead last in yards per carry and yards per game. He is not super fast, but is a great power back.
  7. R5, P150: Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford (B+): Booker is super intelligent and a great human being, and also a decent developmental defensive tackle. Booker will be solid in a rotational role, but could easily do more than that.
  8. R5, P170: Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State (B-): Quitoriano is a solid backup for Brevin Jordan. He will be a solid blocker in the run game for Pierce and a decent receiver in other situations.
  9. R6, P205: Austin Deculus, T, LSU (C-): Deculus is a solid backup tackle who has good-sized arms that will give him the upper hand in pass protection. He is not super athletic though.

Nick Caserio did a surprisingly good job last year, but was even better this year. The Texans’ future is no longer looking as bleak as it once was.

Indianapolis Colts: B

  1. R2, P53: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati (B): Pierce was a deep-ball mismatch who despite not being the greatest route-runner, makes big plays with his body. He and Michael Pittman are now their own pair of “twin towers”.
  2. R3, P73: Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia Tech (B+): Woods is a freak athlete with a big body and a ton of speed. With better hands and route running, he could become a long-term starter in the league.
  3. R3, P77: Bernhard Raimann, T, Central Michigan (A+): Raimann was a first-round prospect in my book, as he was very refined despite a lack of experience at tackle. The Austrian will be a Day 1 starter at left tackle.
  4. R3, P96: Nick Cross, S, Maryland (B-): Cross adds solid competition to a safety room hit hard last year by injury. Cross should act as a sort of George Odum replacement.
  5. R5, P159: Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State (C+): Johnson is a strong man with wrestling experience and ideal size for an NFL defensive tackle. His lack of tape was made up for by a solid Senior Bowl showing.
  6. R6, P192: Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State (D): Ogletree just does not look great. He is heavily inconsistent with catching and blocking, but has some decent athleticism, which definitely attracted general manager Chris Ballard.
  7. R6, P216: Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati (C-): Brooks, like Johnson, offers solid depth on the defensive line. He is a more elusive and undersized pass-rushing defensive tackle in comparison to Johnson.
  8. R7, P239: Rodney Thomas, S, Yale (C-): There’s not a lot out there on Rodney Thomas, but he could be solid on special teams.

The Colts made some great picks, but doubled down on positions they did not need to double down. Taking a cornerback or a guard would have raised this grade.

Jacksonville Jaguars: B+

  1. R1, P1: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia (B+): I cannot blame Trent Baalke too much for banking on upside. Walker is going to be a beast if utilized properly, as he has rare versatility and athleticism for a player of his stature.
  2. R1, P27: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (A): Devin Lloyd was a much safer pick than Walker, as well as my number one linebacker. He will be a solid inside or outside linebacker in this new look Jacksonville defense.
  3. R3, P65: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky (B-): Brandon Linder created a big gap in the middle of the offensive line, and Fortner is good enough to fill it from Day 1. I liked Dylan Parham better for athleticism, but Fortner’s center/guard flexibility could help make up for it.
  4. R3, P70: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming (A-): Muma was a tackling machine at Wyoming. He has a high football IQ and is quick to diagnose run plays. Having him in on early downs will be a solid role for him.
  5. R5, P154: Snoop Conner, RB, Ole Miss (C+): The Jaguars did not need a short-yardage back, but Conner carries a deadly cutback who could be brought in for change-of-pace situations.
  6. R6, P197: Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist (C+): Junior is an okay depth piece at cornerback. He is a good athlete but lacks technique.
  7. R7, P222: Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas (C+): Brown is not an athlete like Junior, but has some better technique, especially in run support and ball skills.

The Jaguars failed to address guard and safety, but otherwise did a solid job. 

Kansas City Chiefs: A-

  1. R1, P21: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington (A-): McDuffie is a versatile player and great athlete who can succeed in the boundary or in the slot. His lesser size is fortunate for the Chiefs.
  2. R1, P30: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue (A): Karlaftis is a good power rusher who will directly replace Melvin Ingram. He could act as a pass rush specialist early on and make a quick impact.
  3. R2, P54: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan (A-): Moore was consistent in three years as a starter and showed off great vertical speed. He will do as a replacement for Tyreek Hill.
  4. R2, P62: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati (B): Bryan Cook has some nickel flexibility, but is best suited as a strong safety, where he could help out a lot against the run with his style of play. He could be a good starter as a young man.
  5. R3, P103: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin (A): Chenal should be an immediate starter in the Chiefs’ young linebacker trio alongside Nick Bolton and Willie Gay. Despite not being super athletic, he can contribute as a solid tackler.
  6. R4, P135: Josh Williams, CB, Fayetteville State (B-): Williams offers solid athletic depth at cornerback. His level of competition hurt his stock, but he could rise to a solid backup role.
  7. R5, P145: Darian Kinnard, G, Kentucky (A): Kinnard should have been long gone, but no, the Chiefs get a versatile offensive lineman who can play right tackle and guard.
  8. R7, P243: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State (C+): The Chiefs triple down on cornerback with another athlete. I am not a fan of tripling down on a position, however.
  9. R7, P251: Isaiah Pacheco, RB, Rutgers (B-): Pacheco has blistering speed and could be a half-decent change of pace back if utilized properly.
  10. R7, P259: Nazeeh Johnson. CB, Marshall (D+): Johnson just was not draftable in my eyes. He could scrape a practice squad spot.
  11. Bonus acquisition: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson (A+): The spinal surgery will not be a big problem for KC. They made a low-risk move for a high-ceiling player.

The Chiefs’ had a solid draft, gaining depth on defense and picking up a talented player in Justyn Ross to supply Patrick Mahomes with another offensive weapon. The grade would have been higher if a defensive tackle had been drafted.

Las Vegas Raiders: B+

  1. R3, P90: Dylan Parham, C, Memphis (B+): Parham is a versatile athlete who should have been long gone by pick 90. He is going to be a solid center in a few years’ time.
  2. R4, P117: Zamir White, RB, Georgia (B-): I liked some guys better, but White could be a solid successor to Josh Jacobs, who does not appear to be in Vegas’ long-term plans.
  3. R4, P126: Neil Farrell, DT, LSU (B-): Farrell is a nose tackle who can easily ascend to a starting role in the run defense. He is a monster and could have a long NFL career.
  4. R5, P175: Matt Butler, DT, Tennessee (B+): Butler is a solid rotational lineman with an already great understanding of the game. He should produce moderately behind Jon Hankins.
  5. R7, P238: Thayer Munford, G, Ohio State (A): Munford should have been long gone but the middle of the seventh round. He can play many positions and could be a nice steal.
  6. R7, P250: Brittain Brown, RB, UCLA (D+): I simply did not have a draftable grade on Brown.

The Raiders had a few weaknesses going into the draft, and they addressed them all. They did nothing spectacular, but nothing really bad either (other than taking Brittain Brown).

Los Angeles Chargers: B+

  1. R1, P17: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College (B+): Johnson is an immediate starter at right guard who could even play center if needed. I liked Trevor Penning better here, but Johnson is going to make a similar impact.
  2. R3, P79: JT Woods, S, Baylor (B): Woods is a rangy coverage safety who could allow Derwin James to drop down and both can play to their strengths. Woods and Nasir Adderley will make a very athletic safety duo.
  3. R4, P123: Isaiah Spiller. RB, Texas A&M (A-): Spiller should have been a second or third-round pick, so he is great value for 123rd overall. He is a powerful runner that gives the Chargers a reliable insurance policy for Austin Ekeler on goal-line downs. 
  4. R5, P160: Otito Ogbonnia, DT, UCLA (B+): Ogbonnia is a defensive tackle who adds competition to the Chargers’ thin interior defensive line. He will help out against the run.
  5. R6, P195: Jamaree Salyer, G, Georgia (A): Salyer was a third-round talent in my book, so him falling to 195 was shocking. It is great for the Cowboys, who can move him or Matt Feiler to right tackle to replace Bryan Bulaga and complete the offensive line.
  6. R6, P214: Ja’Sir Taylor, CB, Wake Forest (C+): Taylor is a good athlete but lacks production. He should be a solid depth piece behind new signees, JC Jackson and Bryce Callahan.
  7. R7, P236: Deane Leonard, CB, Ole Miss (C-): Leonard should serve more of the same role as Taylor. Either one could do some special teams or practice squad work.
  8. R7, P260: Zander Horvath, FB, Purdue (D): Horvath is more of a positionless player who probably won’t find a spot on the team unless he rapidly improves his blocking ability.

The Chargers also had almost nothing to do in terms of needs, so they made a lot of great luxury picks, like Spiller.

Los Angeles Rams: B

  1. R3, P104: Logan Bruss, G, Wisconsin (B-): Bruss is a well-rounded athlete who could start right away at right guard. Bruss is a powerful man who will supplant Austin Corbett.
  2. R4, P142: Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State (C+): Durant is undersized, but has some solid ball skills in his game. He also has enticing speed, so he could develop into a solid nickel cornerback in the future.
  3. R5, P164: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame (A): Williams is a solid receiving back with lots of talent and burst in his game. He is great value for the 164th overall pick.
  4. R6, P211: Quentin Lake, S, UCLA (C+): Lake should be a decent backup safety and special teamer. He is a smart player, but possesses average athleticism.
  5. R6, P212: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia (A): Kendrick has some off-field concerns, but taking him here is a low-risk, high-reward move for a ball-hawking corner. I had him as a top 100 prospect.
  6. R7, P235: Dan Hardy, DE, Montana State (C): Another potential special teams star. Hardy tested well at the combine, but lacks the size of a defensive end.
  7. R7, P253: Russ Yeast, S, Kansas State (D+): Yeast does not stand out anywhere, but could develop well under this Ram administration.
  8. R7, P261: AJ Arcuri, T, Michigan State (C-): Arcuri is a depth piece at offensive tackle.

The defending champions had little in the name of needs, but the picks they made should keep them in a competitive state.

Miami Dolphins: B-

  1. R3, P102: Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia (B+): Tindall is a rangy linebacker in space. He should immediately ascend to a high rotational role and will be a solid starter in the league alongside Jerome Baker. He filled the Dolphins’ only glaring need.
  2. R4, P125: Eric Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech (B-): Ezukanma makes a good fourth or fifth option in the passing game for the Fins. He lacks polished route running but has good athleticism.
  3. R7, P224: Cameron Goode, LB, Cal (C-): Goode is undersized, but offers decent athleticism, but not much more for the team.
  4. R7, P247: Skylar Thompson, QB, Kansas State (C+): Thompson is, at best, an average backup. He will take the third-string spot behind Teddy Bridgewater.

The Dolphins had not much to do after trading for Tyreek Hill. They filled their one pressing need but probably could have addressed other spots on the team where depth was lacking.

Minnesota Vikings: B+

  1. R1, P32: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia (B): Cine gives the defense the physical identity they need. He is a hard hitter who will be an immediate threat. The Vikings should have gotten more in their trade-down however (they got fleeced by the Lions).
  2. R2, P42: Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson (A): They got actually good value trading down in Round 2, and traded up for a great ball hawk in Andrew Booth. Should it all go to plan, Booth will be a lockdown guy in man coverage for the foreseeable future.
  3. R2, P59: Ed Ingram, G, LSU (A-): No one had Ed Ingram this high, but trust me, he is underrated. Consistent in pass protection, Ingram should be an immediate Day 1 starter at right guard.
  4. R3, P66: Brain Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma (B): There were many better options, but Brian Asamoah is still a good player. He is a rangy athlete who likely directly replaces Anthony Barr.
  5. R4, P118: Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri (B): Evans will be a solid fourth cornerback. His production has been on the up and he should be a comfortable Patrick Peterson replacement.
  6. R5, P165: Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota (B): Otomewo’s profile makes defensive tackle his best fit. He has shown flashes, and should do more of the same on the inside of the d-line.
  7. R5, P169: Ty Chandler, RB, UNC (C-): Chandler is old, and likely will not find a major role on any team, let alone one with Dalvin Cook and Alex Mattison.
  8. R6, P184: Vedarian Lowe, T, Illinois (C+): Lowe is a solid developmental tackle prospect. He has an enticing physical profile and has the talent to be an above-average backup.
  9. R6, P191: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State (B-): Nailor has a blistering sprinter’s speed and sharp cuts that will add a little twitchiness to the Vikings’ passing game.
  10. R7, P227: Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina (C): I liked Jalen Wydermyer better, but Muse should be a competent depth piece replacing Tyler Conklin, who signed for the Jets in free agency.

The Vikings may be a surprise contender this season, with all the improvements made here.

New England Patriots: C+

  1. R1, P29: Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga (C+): This was—what’s the word—an odd move. Strange is going to be a Day 1 starter, but I felt there were many better options available. This would have been a great Christian Watson spot, for example.
  2. R2, P50: Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor (C-): Sure he is fast, but Thornton does not offer that much else. He will show flashes, but will not be the number one wideout the Patriots are looking for. I could be wrong, though.
  3. R3, P85: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston (B+): Jones has great potential as a return man and slot corner. He will start right away at slot corner and kick returner. Maybe he could play receiver…
  4. R4, P121: Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State (B-): Jones is a very good athlete who could supplant Malcolm Butler when he retires again. There are some others who will leave soon as well.
  5. R4, P127: Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State (C+): Strong is going to be a dangerous pace changer in the run game. His straight-line speed is outstanding and it gives the backfield a little more elusiveness.
  6. R4, P137: Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky (D+): Zappe is a good player, but this pick is not only something that feels excessive, but it also gives Zappe almost no chance to show himself as a starter. Mac Jones is the future at starter, so why take Zappe now?
  7. R6, P183: Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina (D): I’m sure the phrase “you can’t have too many running backs” is a little more of an idiom than Belichick thinks. Another wasted pick.
  8. R6, P200: Sam Roberts, DT, Northwest Missouri State (C-): Roberts adds depth to defensive tackle. The three-man front is likely going to lose depth in upcoming free agency.
  9. R6, P210: Chasen Hines, G, LSU (B): Hines is a good value player for this pick. He will likely serve as a versatile backup behind Mike Onwenu and David Andrews.
  10. R7, P245: Andrew Steuber, T, Michigan (A-): This was a steal. I had a fourth-round grade on Steuber and he should not have fallen into the seventh round. He is a versatile tackle who could also serve as a solid backup who could turn into a starter.

At this point, I don’t think Bill Belichick cares about anything. I could easily change the grade in January of next year, but he just looks bad for now.

New Orleans Saints: B+

  1. R1, P11: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State (A-): Trading up for Olave is a bold move that should easily pay off. His master route running and blistering speed should fill a major hole in the passing game for Jameis Winston. 
  2. R1, P19: Trevor Penning, T, Northern Iowa (A-): Penning is a mauler, and his tenacity should add a lot to the offensive line after they lost Terron Armstead in free agency. This compensates for the big loss a little bit.
  3. R2, P49: Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee (B-): Alontae Taylor is a solid corner who will be the bright future in the Saints’ secondary, but they easily could have traded down before getting him.
  4. R5, P161: D’Marco Jackson. LB, Appalachian State (B-): Jackson gives the Saints linebacker depth that they have been crying out for. He should contribute on kickoffs right away and potentially contribute on defense as a third linebacker.
  5. R6, P194: Jordan Jackson, DT, Air Force (C+): Quick-footed versatile lineman who can add some solid depth.

The Saints are clearly putting trust in their current team, and did an ok job improving it.

New York Giants: A-

  1. R1, P5: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon (A+): Thibodeaux is a high upside player that the Giants needed in their pass rush. From Day 1, he will be very, very dangerous. The talent was just too much to pass on.
  2. R1, P7: Evan Neal, T, Alabama (A+): Neal solidifies the offensive line which got a huge makeover this offseason. Neal is a massive mauler that will finally give Saquon the help he needs. Neal was supposedly a penciled-in top-five guy, so you cannot be mad with this at all.
  3. R2, P43: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky (B): Robinson will be very productive in the slot. It seemed a little early for him, but Robinson can become a lighter version of Deebo Samuel for the Giants, so in other words, there is a ton of upside.
  4. R3, P67: Josh Ezeudu, G, UNC (B-): The Giants take an athlete in Ezeudu who is slightly flexible (he can play tackle). Ezeudu can develop into a starter in a few years.
  5. R3, P81: Cordale Flott, CB, LSU (B-): Flott is undersized, but is, like most of the other picks, an excellent athlete. If James Bradberry departs, Flott can slide right in and play slot corner.
  6. R4, P112: Dan Bellinger, TE, San Diego State (C+): There were straightaway starters available at the time. Bellinger was not one of them, but could evolve into a starter.
  7. R4, P114: Dane Belton, S, Iowa (C+): Belton’s ball production was intriguing to look at, but he lacks size. However, he offers high upside and competition with Julian Love.
  8. R5, P146: Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana (B-): McFadden is going to be a solid contributor right away on special teams. He is also a solid backup linebacker.
  9. R5, P147: DJ Davidson, DT, Arizona State (C-): Davidson will be best suited as a nose tackle. He is an ok run stopper, but offers minimal impact in the pass rush.
  10. R5, P173: Marcus McKethan, G, UNC (C): McKethan has premium size and like most players around this part of the draft, will serve as a solid NFL backup.
  11. R6, P182: Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati (A+): Beavers should have been gone on Day 2. He is going to be a steal if given the chance.

This is the best draft the Giants have had in a long time. You can tell Joe Schoen knows his stuff.

New York Jets: A+

  1. R1, P4: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (A+): Sauce was the best corner in the class and should have been the first off the board. The Jets end up with a high floor shutdown cornerback that never gave up a touchdown in college (and scored some himself).
  2. R1, P10: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State (A+): In a similar case to Gardner, Wilson should have been the first receiver off the board. Zach Wilson now has a dangerous target who will be getting reps as a number one receiver in the near future.
  3. R1, P26: Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State (A+): Johnson should not have fallen to 26. His Senior Bowl display should have given him a spot in the top 10. The Jets made a magical move in trading up and getting him.
  4. R2, P35: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State (A): The Jets went and got the best running back in the class, who will be brilliant in a by-committee with Michael Carter.
  5. R3, P101: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State (A-): The Jets signed two tight ends, a vertical guy and a blocker, and now they have a top red-zone threat in Ruckert, who grew up a Jet fan.
  6. R4, P110: Max Mitchell, T, Louisiana Lafayette (A-): Mitchell is a great insurance policy for George Fant and Mekhi Becton, and should supplant the former in 2023.
  7. R4, P117: Michael Clemons, DE, Texas A&M (B): Clemons is a solid depth piece. His pass-rush upside is a good addition to the rotation.

After this draft, I am calling the Jets dark horses for 2022. Mark my words.

Philadelphia Eagles: A

  1. R1, P13: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (B+): I thought Kyle Hamilton was the perfect player to fit in as an Eagle, but Jordan Davis definitely will. He is the future of the defensive line, and Fletcher Cox, who the Eagles ironically traded up to pick, is going to be his mentor.
  2. R2, P51: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska (B-): Jurgens may pull a Landon Dickerson and succeed at guard, but it looks like his main role will be backup to/replacement for Jason Kelce.
  3. R3, P83: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (A+): The Eagles got Nakobe Dean. And they did not move. An unbelievable steal for a team desperately in need of front seven help.
  4. R6, P181: Kyron Johnson, LB, Kansas (B): Another explosive athlete in the front seven. Johnson will add some explosiveness to the pass rush rotation, which itself is kind of stacked already.
  5. R6, P198: Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU (B-): Calcaterra was a dynamic pass catcher at SMU and Oklahoma. He and Dallas Goedert could be a nice tandem together.
  6. Bonus acquisition AJ Brown (A+): Only a 1st and a 3rd were needed to pick up the best young wideout in football. Brown was the main reason the Eagles were considered to have won this draft. He is now the future of the passing attack.

The Eagles had only a few picks, but like the Jets, managed to do something with all of them.

Pittsburgh Steelers: A-

  1. R1, P20: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt (A): Pickett gets to stay in Pittsburgh. Not only that, he is surrounded by a load of weapons that will guarantee success right away. The Ocean Township alum has the highest floor of all the quarterbacks in the class.
  2. R2, P52: George Pickens, WR, Georgia (A): Pickens had first-round talent, but many issues bumped him down. The Steelers did the right thing by taking a chance on him and making their new quarterback’s passing attack that much more dangerous.
  3. R3, P84: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M (A): With Stephon Tuitt on an expiring deal, taking Leal as a future replacement was wise. He will be a very dominant player once he is given the chance to star in a leading role up front.
  4. R4, P138: Calvin Austin, WR, Memphis (B+): Who can blame Pittsburgh for taking the guy for his speed. Austin is a solid fourth option who can add an unexpected burst to the passing game.
  5. R6, P208: Connor Heyward, FB, Michigan State (B): What a story. Connor and Cam Heyward make the Steelers’ fourth set of brothers, and Heyward is the future at fullback for them.
  6. R7, P225: Mark Robinson, LB, Ole Miss (C+): Robinson should be a core special teams coverage player at the next level. He’s still a relative novice at linebacker, having once played running back.
  7. R7, P241: Chris Oladokun, QB, South Dakota State (D+): Oladokun is likely going to be a backup for most of his career. He probably will not make the roster this year. Feels like a waste of a pick.

All of the important picks were golden pieces of business by Pittsburgh. Business is booming.

San Francisco 49ers: B-

  1. R2, P61: Drake Jackson, LB, USC (B-): Jackson is not exactly a scheme fit, but could add something to the pass rush rotation off the edge. He has hand skills and athleticism that could help him make an instant impact, especially if Dee Ford gets hurt again.
  2. R3, P93: Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU (C+): I thought there were many better options, but Davis-Price may well succeed as the bruising, one-cut back in this offense. He is going to do well in situations where Elijah Mitchell needs rest.
  3. R3, P105: Danny Gray, WR, SMU (B-): Gray is an explosive athlete who not only works well as a third or fourth option for the quarterback, but also as a return man.
  4. R4, P134: Spence Burford, G, UTSA (B-): Burford is a mobile and versatile lineman with snaps at tackle and guard, the latter of which needs some help after Laken Tomlinson’s departure.
  5. R5, P172: Sam Womack, CB, Toledo (C+): Turns out Womack is a very productive player on the ball (46 career pass breakups, 18 of which were in 2021). He is undersized, but offers good competition and depth at nickel corner.
  6. R6, P187: Nick Zakelj, T, Fordham (B-): Another flexible offensive lineman, Zakelj was a staple at tackle at Fordham. He offers solid depth behind Trent Williams, who could be gone by year’s end.
  7. R6, P220: Kalia Davis, DT, UCF (C): Davis is an athletic interior defensive lineman. He is going to be a reserve, though a high one considering the 49ers lacked interior depth.
  8. R6, P221: Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State (B): Castro-Fields is going to be a very solid fourth or fifth cornerback. He has nice athletic traits that could honestly make him a surprise starter.
  9. R7, P262: Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State (C-): Purdy is going to be a third-string quarterback for as long as he is with San Francisco. He likely will not ascend to be a starter at any time.

The 49ers’ main focus was depth at several positions. Had they addressed safety as their first priority, the grade would have been higher.

Seattle Seahawks: B+

  1. R1, P9: Charles Cross, T, Mississippi State (A): Cross was the pass protector that the Seahawks have been looking for for years. He is the best pure pass protector in the class and is going to lock down the blindside for the foreseeable future.
  2. R2, P40: Boye Mafe, DE, Minnesota (B+): Mafe is the future of the pass rush, and will help out mightily in the rotation. He is a super athlete who really could have gone in the first round for his upside, but fell all the way to 40.
  3. R2, P41: Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State (B): A little early, but not bad by any means. Walker will compensate for the potential loss of depth at running back in 2023 for Seattle.
  4. R3, P72: Abe Lucas, T, Washington State (B): Lucas is a solid run blocker who can easily develop in pass protection. Seattle doubled down on their weakest position.
  5. R4, P109: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati (B+): Coby Bryant does not have the highest upside, but a very high floor and could be a Day 1 starter across from Sidney Jones.
  6. R5, P153: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA (A-): Woolen should not have fallen this far. The Seahawks get an amazing athlete and a solid corner duo for the future.
  7. R5, P158: Tyreke Smith, DE, Ohio State (B-): Smith was not really a necessity with all the players in the pass rush rotation, but Pete Carroll probably knows what to do with him.
  8. R7, P229: Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers (B+): Melton will be a great return man for Seattle, as well as a nice gadget player. He was great value for the seventh round.
  9. R7, P233: Dareke Young, WR, Lenoir-Rhyne (C): Young seemed a little unnecessary after the Melton selection. He likely will be a practice squad player.

Seattle knew their weaknesses going in and addressed them well, but should not have doubled down on four different positions. Quarterback, center, and linebacker should have been addressed.

Tampa Bay Bucs: B

  1. R2, P33: Logan Hall, DT, Houston (B+): An elusive, flexible pass rusher, Hall will excel on the inside of the defensive line as a replacement for Ndamukong Suh.
  2. R2, P57: Luke Goedeke, G, Central Michigan (B-): Goedeke is tackle and guard flexible, and likely will replace Ali Marpet at left guard.
  3. R3, P91: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State (B-): White is the elusive second running back that Bucs needed. He is a direct replacement for Ronald Jones.
  4. R4, P106: Cade Otton, TE, Washington (B): Otton is a solid tight end who should compete right away for a starting job. He is a good vertical weapon for Tom Brady.
  5. R4, P133: Jake Camarada, P, Georgia (C): Not sure you needed a third punter on the roster. That is what Camarada is right now. You never know, he could be the starter this season.
  6. R5, P157: Zyon McCollum. CB, Sam Houston State (B): McCollum is great value for the early fifth round. He is a great athlete who will help appease concerns over the depth at corner, which has two starters awaiting new contracts.
  7. R6, P218: Ko Kieft, TE, Minnesota (C+): Can’t blame the Bucs for taking another tight end. Kieft makes the position a little less thin.
  8. R7, P248: Andre Anthony, DE, LSU (C-): Joe Tryon needed some more depth behind him. Dre Anthony will provide just that, but options like David Anenih were still available.

Overall, it was an average, basic draft for the Bucs. They still have Brady, so that is really the only thing that matters, right?

Tennessee Titans: B+

  1. R1, P18: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (B): Burks is good, but not worth dumping a sure thing in AJ Brown for a guy who may not be a sure thing after all. He is similar to AJ Brown, but it does not mean he will replicate Brown’s production.
  2. R2, P35: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (B+): McCreary is a solid boundary corner in man coverage. He replaces Janoris Jenkins after he was released.
  3. R3, P69: Nico Petit-Frere, T, Ohio State (A-): Petit-Frere was a second-rounder on my board, so getting him at Pick 69 is nice in many ways. He can replace Taylor Lewan and start at right tackle.
  4. R3, P86: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (A+): I have no idea how he fell, but Malik Willis, a top 20 player in my rankings, fell into the Titans’ lap. They are set for the future at quarterback, and they do not have to play him right away.
  5. R4, P131: Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan (B+): Having an insurance policy for Derrick Henry will be crucial. Haskins is an elusive player who can change the pace of the game.
  6. R4, P143: Chig Okonkwo, TE, Maryland (B+): Okonkwo is the future at tight end, which vastly improved on the position group from last year. Okonkwo is a great vertical weapon.
  7. R5, P163: Kyle Phillips, WR, UCLA (A): Phillips may be a fifth-rounder, but he will be a slot monster off the bat. He should have gone way higher than 163.
  8. R6, P204: Theo Jackson, CB, Tennessee (C-): Jackson adds some secondary depth. All he really did was impress at his pro day.
  9. R6, P219: Chance Campbell, LB, Ole Miss (C): The Titans took a while, but they finally addressed linebacker with a guy who likely is going to be best on special teams.

Tennessee had a good draft, but it was tainted by the fact that AJ Brown got traded and that linebacker was not addressed early enough.

Washington Commanders: B+

  1. R1, P16: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State (B-): Dotson is a good player, but 16 was a little early for him. It does not take away from the upside he offers, whether it be his reliable hands or his catch radius, which makes up for a lack of size.
  2. R2, P47: Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama (B): Mathis acts as an insurance policy for the Bama guys ahead of him. He is a pass-rushing tackle who replaces Matt Ioannidis.
  3. R3, P98: Brian Robinson, RB, Alabama (B+): Another Bama guy? Sure. Robinson offers a lot in goal-line and passing situations. Robinson excelled in pass blocking and is a bruiser.
  4. R4, P113: Percy Butler, S, Louisiana-Lafayette (C+): Butler was a good option for special teams, but I thought they needed real competition for Bobby McCain, and Verone McKinley was available. However, the Commanders have their gunner.
  5. R5, P144: Sam Howell, QB, UNC (A+): Howell has high upside and does well with NFL-quality weapons. Carson Wentz is a little more expendable considering his deal, and he has a high-quality replacement now.
  6. R5, P149: Cole Turner, TE, Nevada (B-): Turner is solid tight-end depth. He is a big guy with upside who can compensate for Ricky Seals-Jones’ departure.
  7. R7, P230: Chris Paul, G, Tulsa (B+): Like Tyler Smith, Chris Paul fits best as a guard based on his body. He is a developmental prospect with the mentality and physicality to play in the NFL, and he could potentially replace Brandon Scherff.
  8. R7, P240: Christian Holmes, CB, Oklahoma State (C): Holmes is a big guy who offers solid corner depth behind the current guys in place.

The Commies made some nice picks throughout the draft. Nothing too special.


The whole draft process is over, and this is the mere culmination of the whole thing. And it is a lot. So, yeah, let’s hope everyone does well.