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2022 NFL draft — Analysis of all 262 selections


The first six rounds of the 2022 NFL draft are in the books.

There were nine draft-day trades in the first round, the most in the first round since the draft expanded to three days in 2010. Georgia became the first school in NFL draft history to have five defensive players selected in the opening round. For the first time, no running backs or tight ends were selected in Round 1. And nine teams had multiple first-round picks — the most ever in the common draft era.

Ten teams made their first pick on Friday night, including the defending champion Los Angeles Rams. Quarterbacks Desmond Ridder (Falcons), Malik Willis (Titans) and Matt Corral (Panthers) were all selected.

The draft continues Saturday with Round 7 (noon ET, ABC/ESPN/ESPN App).

Check out NFL Nation’s insights on every team’s draft picks, and follow along as we add analysis on Saturday. Plus: We have updated depth charts for all 32 teams.

Jump to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

AFC EAST

Choosing Kaiir Elam makes all the sense in the world for the Bills. Cornerback was the biggest area of need on the roster after losing Levi Wallace in free agency and with Tre’Davious White coming off a torn ACL in his left knee. Buffalo also had to trade up only two spots to get the last player with a first-round grade on its board. Elam will turn 21 in May, and general manager Brandon Beane described him as having a “high ceiling.” Elam will have the opportunity to quickly earn the starting job and make an immediate impact on the Bills defense. Analysis of every Bills pick from Alaina Getzenberg


The Dolphins brought their entire corps of inside linebackers back this offseason, but it’s still a thin group that could use a sideline-to-sideline defender. Enter: Channing Tindall. The former Bulldog is one of the fastest linebackers in this draft and should contribute quickly. Especially in a division that features one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL in the Bills’ Josh Allen, it was critical for the Dolphins to add as much speed as possible to the middle of their defense. Analysis of every Dolphins pick from Marcel Louis-Jacques


Cole Strange projects to start at left guard, and if he follows in the footsteps of 2005 first-rounder Logan Mankins (32nd) or 2016 third-rounder Joe Thuney (78th), this will be a solid pick that addresses one of the team’s obvious needs (albeit one created by trading veteran guard Shaq Mason). Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, a former New England scout, had identified Strange before the draft as an ideal Patriots fit. One question: Did the Patriots overdraft him? Strange was viewed by some draft analysts as a second- or third-round pick … which was actually what was said about Mankins back in 2005. Analysis of every Patriots pick from Mike Reiss


The Jets addressed a glaring need by scooping up a consensus top-four prospect in cornerback Ahmad Gardner, based on rankings by draft experts. You need top corners, especially in a division that includes wide receivers Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The ideal pick would’ve been an edge rusher, but Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) was gone. Travon Walker (Georgia) would’ve been a consideration, but he was off the board. Gardner is “not Jalen Ramsey,” one scouting source said, but he has the potential to be a very good corner. The Jets haven’t had a shutdown corner since Darrelle Revis. Analysis of every Jets pick from Rich Cimini

AFC NORTH

The selection of Kyle Hamilton underscored what Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has repeatedly said: Baltimore takes the best player available. After the Philadelphia Eagles swooped one spot in front of Baltimore to take Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis — a player frequently linked to the Ravens — Baltimore drafted Hamilton even though safety was near the bottom of the team’s needs. The Ravens’ biggest splash in free agency was safety Marcus Williams (five-year, $70 million contract). This is a steal in terms of value: Baltimore gets Hamilton, who was Mel Kiper Jr.’s No. 4 prospect, at No. 14. He slid because of slower-than-expected times in the 40-yard dash and the fact that teams typically don’t draft safeties high in the first round. The Ravens are now loaded in the secondary with Hamilton joining safeties Williams and Chuck Clark and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Analysis of every Ravens pick from Jamison Hensley


By drafting safety Daxton Hill, the Bengals picked up a position of need with a player they weren’t expecting to be available at No. 31. Even during pre-draft conversations, the Bengals told Hill they’d like to take him — if he was still on the board. Hill will give the Bengals a lot of schematic versatility, which is something that allowed defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo to thrive in 2021. He entered Michigan as a safety and played some slot cornerback toward the end of his time with the Wolverines. With Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell slotted as the starting safeties, Hill can be used in dime packages and find his footing in the NFL before he takes on a full-time role. Analysis of every Bengals pick from Ben Baby


The Browns had glaring needs at wide receiver, defensive tackle and defensive end (the latter at least until pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney re-signs). And yet, Cleveland traded back out of the second round, then selected a corner with its first pick of the draft in the third round. At first glance, it’s difficult to see where Martin Emerson fits in, at least in the short term. The Browns just handed Denzel Ward a massive extension and spent a first-round pick last year on Greg Newsome II. They also have Greedy Williams and Troy Hill in the cornerback rotation. In the QB-loaded AFC, you can never have enough corners. The Browns are putting that theory to the test. Analysis of every Browns pick from Jake Trotter


The Steelers had their choice of quarterbacks with the No. 20 pick, and they went with the most NFL-ready. Though Liberty’s Malik Willis likely has a higher ceiling, the Steelers opted for Kenny Pickett, who Mike Tomlin said has the highest floor. Pickett also believes he’s a good fit with offensive coordinator Matt Canada, who recruited the quarterback to Pitt before he departed to coach Maryland. But will Pickett develop into the next Steelers great, and can he manage the pressure that will come with succeeding Ben Roethlisberger? And how will the Steelers manage a quarterback room with the free-agency addition of Mitch Trubisky, as well as Mason Rudolph? Analysis of every Steelers pick from Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

Texans coach Lovie Smith made it clear he didn’t think his defense could play the way he wanted it to without improved play at cornerback. By drafting Derek Stingley Jr., the Texans have immediately improved a secondary that struggled in 2021. Houston allowed the second-most yards per game last season and were 29th in yards per pass attempt allowed, according to ESPN Stats & Info data. Houston cornerbacks allowed 8.3 yards per attempt as the nearest defenders in coverage, the fourth worst, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Smith has talked about how he and general manager Nick Caserio are on the same page and work well together, and Smith gets a cornerback who will thrive in his defensive system at the top of the draft. Analysis of every Texans pick from Sarah Barshop


Receiver Alec Pierce fits a position of need for the Colts, who hadn’t added anybody on the outside during the offseason after losing Zach Pascal and with veteran T.Y. Hilton unsigned. Pierce will have an opportunity to contribute right away because there is so much uncertainty behind Michael Pittman Jr. at receiver. Pierce, who is 6-foot-3, had 52 receptions for 884 yards and eight touchdowns last season at Cincinnati. The Colts were still able to snag a receiver despite trading back — they gave the Minnesota Vikings the No. 42 and No. 122 overall picks for the Nos. 53, 77 and 192 picks. Analysis of every Colts pick from Mike Wells


The Jaguars had to beef up a pass rush that recorded 50 sacks over the past two seasons, which was fewer than all but the Atlanta Falcons (47). Georgia’s Travon Walker had a career-high six sacks last season while spending the majority of his time at defensive end, but he also lined up at tackle and outside linebacker. Expect the Jaguars to use him similarly under new defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell. Adding Walker should help defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen too. He had 10.5 sacks as a rookie rushing alongside Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue, but he had 10 sacks in his past 24 games without anyone else drawing attention away from him. Analysis of every Jaguars pick from Michael DiRocco


Treylon Burks is a playmaker who will help carry the burden of replacing wide receiver A.J. Brown after he was traded to the Eagles on Thursday. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Burks has a build similar to Brown’s. Burks is a big, sturdy receiver who will bounce off of tackles and be featured across the middle. Coach Mike Vrabel likes wide receivers who make “combat catches” and get yards after the catch. That is Burks’ calling card. Burks can also work on the outside and in the slot. He provides a large catch radius for quarterback Ryan Tannehill — which should help allow him to have an early impact. Analysis of every Titans pick from Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

The Broncos waited until the last pick of the second round to make their first selection in this draft. They have been on the hunt for more depth on the edge of their defense and get that in Nik Bonitto. He’s explosive (4.54 in the 40 at the combine) with 32 tackles for loss in his career with the Sooners. He needs more strength to set a consistently reliable edge in the run game but should contribute quickly as a nickel rusher. Analysis of every Broncos pick from Jeff Legwold


The Chiefs had a need at cornerback after losing starter Charvarius Ward in free agency. They felt strongly enough about Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie to move up from the 29th pick and sent the Patriots three draft picks for the privilege. McDuffie has to be a starter from day one given the price the Chiefs paid to get him. Analysis of every Chiefs pick from Adam Teicher


The Raiders’ biggest need coming into the draft was on the offensive line — didn’t matter whether at tackle or on the interior — and in Dylan Parham, Las Vegas has a versatile former high school tight end and linebacker who probably best translates into a center, which is interesting in that the Raiders’ previous regime anointed Andre James as its center of the future last year. And if Parham translates as a guard, he brings athletic ability to a group that includes starters John Simpson and Alex Leatherwood — last year’s first-round pick — as well as Denzelle Good, who is returning from a torn ACL after being a starter in 2020. Analysis of every Raiders pick from Paul Gutierrez


GM Tom Telesco isn’t taking any chances when it comes to protecting third-year franchise quarterback Justin Herbert, who has demonstrated the talent to take the Bolts deep into the playoffs. Last year, Telesco used a first-round pick to select left tackle Rashawn Slater. Now, the 10th-year general manager remains in the trenches and picks up Zion Johnson, who can start immediately at guard. With Johnson’s selection, it remains unclear who will start at right tackle, but there are options between Storm Norton, who started 15 games at the spot last season, and Matt Feiler, a 16-game starter last season at left guard who also gained experience at right tackle in Pittsburgh. Offensive linemen don’t typically grab headlines in April, but two consecutive years of lineman picks could have the Chargers making news in late January. Analysis of every Chargers pick from Lindsey Thiry

NFC EAST

The selection of offensive lineman Tyler Smith seems more for the future than it does for the present with executive vice president Stephen Jones saying he didn’t want to put “starting right now” on Smith’s plate. He could be the left guard this year if he beats out Connor McGovern. He could be the swing tackle on game day behind Tyron Smith and Terence Steele. The last time the Cowboys used a first-rounder on an offensive lineman this late was in 2013 when they took Travis Frederick at No. 31. They knew he was a Day 1 starter and he made five Pro Bowls before an early retirement. Analysis of every Cowboys pick from Todd Archer


Whoa! Didn’t expect that at pick No. 5. But the way the draft unfolded, it made sense for the Giants to grab Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Oregon edge rusher, with the top three offensive tackles still on the board. Thibodeaux is a big personality, but the Giants aren’t concerned about his motivation. In fact, general manager Joe Schoen mentioned the Giants were especially impressed with Thibodeaux coming back from a pretty serious ankle injury late in the season. That proved something to the Giants, who did extensive research on the polarizing prospect including a FaceTime conversation with him this week. Analysis of every Giants pick from Jordan Raanan


The Eagles moved up to select Jordan Davis, the 6-6, 340-pound anchor of Georgia’s national championship defense. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has been seeking a pure nose tackle to serve as a menacing, block-occupying force in the middle of his hybrid scheme, and he gets his man. With Fletcher Cox potentially exiting Philadelphia after this season, this selection serves short-term and long-term needs. Analysis of every Eagles pick from Tim McManus


All offseason Washington coach Ron Rivera said the Commanders had to do two things for quarterback Carson Wentz — protect him and add weapons. They added a weapon with receiver Jahan Dotson, a smaller but explosive playmaker. Washington wanted to diversify its offense and can now use sets with four receivers who can threaten a defense with Dotson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown. They would win some 4×100 relay races. There’s versatility in that group, too. Washington has had a boring and largely ineffective offense for the past four years, in part because it lacked strong quarterback play and enough weapons. It now has a better quarterback and added a possible playmaker with really good hands. Analysis of every Commanders pick from John Keim

NFC NORTH

Ryan Poles’ first draft pick as Chicago’s general manager addresses a void in the secondary. The Bears need to find a starter opposite Jaylon Johnson at cornerback, and Kyler Gordon‘s outside/inside versatility gives the Bears an intriguing option. Gordon led Washington in pass deflections and interceptions in 2021, starting opposite first-round pick Trent McDuffie. The Bears allowed 31 passing touchdowns in 2021, which is tied for second-most allowed in franchise history (31 in 2015, 34 in 2014). According to NFL Next Gen Stats, a cornerback was the nearest defender on 27 of the Bears’ 31 passing TDs allowed, the most in the NFL. Analysis of every Bears pick from Courtney Cronin


Taking Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 pick makes perfect sense. The Lions need game-changers, especially on defense. Hutchinson has everything it takes to be one and a local fan base that should come along with him. This is a perfect pick to help the Lions in their rebuilding process. Detroit has finished in the bottom five in pressure percentage in each of the past six seasons. Hutchinson should help improve that right away. Analysis of every Lions pick from Eric Woodyard


As improved as the Packers defense was last season, it still had a glaring weakness: Green Bay allowed the third-most yards per rush last season (4.7). Quay Walker could help. This also represents a continuing shift in philosophy when it comes to the middle of the defense. For years, the Packers tried to get by with midround draft picks and moderately priced free agents at inside linebacker. But last year, they brought in De’Vondre Campbell (and then gave him a five-year, $50 million contract to keep him this offseason) and now they’ve gone with a first-round inside linebacker for the first time since A.J. Hawk in 2005. For a good portion of last season, the Packers’ second inside linebacker was Krys Barnes, a former undrafted free agent. Analysis of every Packers pick from Rob Demovsky


The Vikings didn’t get the kind of slam-dunk value you would hope to get in exchange for trading down 20 spots in the first round, where they took safety Lewis Cine at No. 32. They in essence swapped first- and second-round picks with the Lions, going from No. 12 to No. 32 in the first and from No. 46 to No. 34 in the second, in exchange for an early pick in the third round (No. 66 overall). Ultimately, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided he was better off making the deal than turning it down, even if it wasn’t a rout on any trade charts. In the process, he passed at No. 12 on a higher-regarded safety in Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton. If nothing else, Adofo-Mensah left a clear trail for second-guessing his first draft pick. Analysis of every Vikings pick from Kevin Seifert

NFC SOUTH

Drake London is a sensible choice for the Falcons. Receiver is the biggest position of need on offense — and second-biggest on the team behind edge rusher. With three edge rushers already off the board, it was more logical for the Falcons to take who they believe is the best player at his position, rather than the fourth-best player at defensive end or even the third-best offensive tackle, Charles Cross. London immediately becomes Atlanta’s No. 1 receiver and No. 2 pass-catching option behind last year’s first-round pick, tight end Kyle Pitts. Analysis of every Falcons pick from Michael Rothstein


The Panthers didn’t reach for a quarterback, despite the need, instead selecting offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu. That they continued to build from the inside offensively showed a dedication to creating a solid foundation. Securing a left tackle, after all general manager Scott Fitterer has done during the offseason to fix a line that gave up 52 sacks last season, was the final missing piece. Analysis of every Panthers pick from David Newton


You have to love the pick of Chris Olave after screaming from the rooftops about New Orleans’ wide receiver need over the past two months, right? Unfortunately, the Saints had to make two trades over the past month to get up to the 11th pick. But they didn’t give up too much in Thursday night’s trade (sending picks No. 98 and No. 120 to the Commanders to move up five spots). This was the Saints’ most glaring need after they finished 32nd in the NFL in passing offense last season, and the offense should look significantly better once QB Jameis Winston and WR Michael Thomas return from major injuries as well. Analysis of every Saints pick from Mike Triplett


The Bucs wanted to get younger and quicker with their interior pass rush, and they needed a replacement for Ndamukong Suh. Logan Hall notched 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 23 career starts in college. While most talent evaluators have regarded Hall as a defensive end because he has an unusual body type at 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, all but one of those sacks came lining up at defensive tackle. When Hall has lined up on the outside, he’s won only by beating tackles on the inside. He’s developed a particularly strong swim move, along with a bull rush, and a rip move, which he doesn’t use nearly as often. His arm length (32 3/4 inches) is a concern, and he’ll need more pass rush moves to win on the outside. Analysis of every Bucs pick from Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

Tight end Trey McBride has the potential to be an ideal complement to Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams. He’s proven he can produce. He was the Mackey Award winner as the country’s best tight end and a first-team All-American after turning in a season that produced 1,121 yards on 90 catches. He will give coach Kliff Kingsbury options across the passing game, whether that’s on the line or out wide. He could see significant action early in the season depending on how well Williams’ knee has recovered. Analysis of every Cardinals pick from Josh Weinfuss


The Rams added to an offensive line that lost two of the starters from their Super Bowl LVI victory. Los Angeles led the NFL in pass block win rate in 2021, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, but no longer has left tackle Andrew Whitworth (retired) or right guard Austin Corbett (signed with the Carolina Panthers). Last season, the Rams’ top-five offensive line combination played 717 snaps together, which was the fourth-most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Rams didn’t draft an offensive lineman in 2021 but added another former Wisconsin lineman this year, as Logan Bruss joins right tackle Rob Havenstein and left guard David Edwards. He’ll figure into the guard mix with Bobby Evans, who was a third-round pick in 2019 and has started eight games in three seasons. Analysis of every Rams pick from Sarah Barshop


This is the fourth time in six years the Niners have taken a defensive lineman with their first pick in the draft. In defensive end Drake Jackson, the Niners hope to find a long-term running mate opposite Nick Bosa. Jackson, who is known for his speed and athletic ability, had just 12.5 sacks and 25 tackles in three seasons, so the production didn’t match the measurables, but Niners defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has a long history of getting the most out of talented players. There’s enough talent on the defensive line that Jackson won’t have huge expectations immediately, which should allow him to add play strength and technique in the meantime. Analysis of every 49ers pick from Nick Wagoner


The Seahawks have often zigged when draft analysts expect them to zag, but offensive tackle Charles Cross was both an unsurprising pick and one who shouldn’t produce any real objection. How could he? Seattle got one of the top prospects at one of the most valuable positions in football — assuming the plan is to keep him at left tackle — in a part of the draft where analysts generally projected him to be taken. And the Seahawks filled what was easily their biggest need. Last season’s starting tackles (Duane Brown and Brandon Shell), are unsigned, and there’s not much experience among the three tackles who were already on their roster, Jake Curhan, Stone Forsythe and Greg Eiland, as they are all entering their second seasons. Analysis of every Seahawks pick from Brady Henderson



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