NFL Draft News & Analysis

2022 NFL Draft: Grades for all 32 first-round picks

The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft lived up to the hype. After Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson spent most of the offseason as the predicted first-overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Georgia edge Travon Walker first overall.  Hutchinson didn't last long — his home-state Detroit Lions picked him up at No. 2.

In fact, the top of this draft was headlined by defensive stars — the first five selections were either edge rushers or cornerbacks.

The real story of the first round, though, was the record-breaking eight draft-day trades that occurred during just the first round. This included blockbuster trades of Marquise Brown from Baltimore to Arizona and A.J. Brown from Tennessee to Philadelphia — both including top-32 picks.

PFF analysts were working all night in PFF's Live Draft Tracker, dissecting every single pick and giving a grade for each selection. Here is a quick recap of all those instant reactions for all 32 first-round picks.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia

Pick Grade: Below Average

Trent Baalke gets his guy. The Jaguars are banking on Walker’s elite traits in a class without a clear-cut No. 1 talent at the top of the board. There are schematic reasons why Walker didn’t post gaudy numbers at Georgia, but there are still plenty of risks involved with taking a player at No. 1 overall who never cleared a 75.0 PFF grade or 10% pressure rate in three seasons with the Bulldogs. -Ben Linsey

21% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: ED – Aidan Hutchinson


2. Detroit Lions: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Pick Grade: Very Good

The Lions gladly take the hometown Hutchinson falling into their laps. Hutchinson has been labeled as the “high floor, lower ceiling” prospect of the top group of edge defenders, but that may be underselling his upside. The only edge rushers drafted in the first round over the last five drafts with a higher overall PFF grade in college than Hutchinson are Chase Young, Nick Bosa and Myles Garrett. The high-end production and athleticism are both there in a versatile 6-foot-7, 268-pound frame. -BL

96% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: ED – Aidan Hutchinson


3. Houston Texans: CB Derek Stingley Jr. LSU

Pick Grade: Very Good

Stingley’s draft stock ended up coming full circle with him coming off the board as a top-five pick and CB1 here for Houston. He was never able to build on a dominant true freshman season with LSU in 2019 where he allowed a 51.4 passer rating into his coverage with 21 combined pass breakups and interceptions. But that talent didn’t go anywhere. Stingley brings rare movement skills and athleticism to the table and can play in any scheme. He’ll be a building block in Houston as Nick Caserio and company overhaul the roster. -BL

66% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: CB – Derek Stingley Jr.


4. New York Jets: CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati

Pick Grade: Very Good

A lot of the talk in the pre-draft process was that the Jets were going to target an edge defender or offensive tackle in this spot, but instead, they opted for the cornerback who didn’t allow a touchdown in his college career at Cincinnati. Gardner is a strong fit in Robert Saleh’s defense, and it’s hard to poke holes in his profile from size to athleticism to college production. He allowed just 43% of the passes thrown into his coverage to be completed across his three seasons with the Bearcats. -BL

91% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: CB – Ahmad Gardner


5. New York Giants: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

Pick Grade: Very Good

It was always going to be a surprise if Thibodeaux fell much further than this, even with “concerns” about his fit with different teams pushing him down boards over the last few months. There was just too much talent there. Thibodeaux recorded over 30 pressures as a true freshman in 2019, and he’s coming off a career-high 91.5 PFF pass-rushing grade last season for Oregon. He fits the mold of the impact pass rusher that New York desperately needed off the edge. -BL

85% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: T – Charles Cross


6. Carolina Panthers: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State

Pick Grade: Good

The board couldn’t have fallen much better for Carolina here with all three of the top offensive tackle prospects still on the board. The Panthers opted for the top run blocker in the class in Ekwonu. The NC State tackle earned PFF run-blocking grades above 85.0 in all three of his college seasons with grades above 90.0 in each of the last two years. It’s worth noting that the Panthers didn’t trade back here to add another pick or two given that they aren’t on the clock again until the fourth round. -BL

84% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: QB – Malik Willis


7. New York Giants: OT Evan Neal, Alabama

Pick Grade: Good

With the Giants going for Thibodeaux at their first pick, it signals that they were comfortable with multiple tackles at this spot. Neal is the cleanest fit as the player who has spent time at right tackle with Alabama in 2020. The 6-foot-8, 337-pound tackle is one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in this class and is coming off back-to-back seasons with PFF grades north of 83.0. There’s a lot to be excited about with the Andrew Thomas-Neal tandem at tackle. -BL

95% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: T – Evan Neal


8. Atlanta Falcons: WR Drake London, USC

Pick Grade: Good

There weren’t many position groups across the NFL in more need of talent than the Falcons receiving corps, and London should provide a nice boost. A lot has been made about his ability to separate because of how much of his production came in contested catch situations (FBS-high 17 contested catches in 2021). But that’s not all he brings to the table. London can create separation underneath and was productive after the catch for the Trojans, as well. His 22 missed tackles forced after the catch last year — in just eight games before going down to injury — were a top-five mark in this class. -BL

49% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: QB – Malik Willis


9. Seattle Seahawks: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

Pick Grade: Very Good

Seattle snags PFF’s OT1 and the last of the top tier of offensive tackles available without having to trade up. Cross has been billed as the top pass protector in the group, and his 84.7 PFF pass-blocking grade in a pass-happy Mississippi State offense last year backs that up. He’s no slouch in the run game, either. Cross earned positive grades in the run game at a top-four rate and played in several different offensive schemes during his career at Mississippi State. He fills a clear area of need for the Seahawks with Duane Brown and Brandon Shell both hitting free agency. -BL

87% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: T – Charles Cross


10. New York Jets: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Pick Grade: Good

The Jets continue to add talent around second-year quarterback Zach Wilson with a 6-foot, 184-pound wide receiver who wins in space before and after the catch. Wilson averaged over 3.0 yards per route run in each of the last two seasons at Ohio State. He rounds out a receiving corps that has added Corey DavisElijah MooreC.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in the last two offseasons. -BL

82% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked:
 WR – Jameson Williams


11. New Orleans Saints (via WSH): WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

Pick Grade: Below Average

Commanders Receive: R1 16, R3 98, R4 120
Saints Receive: R1 11

The fit here is seamless, with Olave stepping into the vertical-threat role in New Orleans’ offense as the WR2 opposite Michael Thomas. Olave recorded 12 touchdowns on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield over the last two seasons at Ohio State, fourth in the FBS. It’s just a lot easier to get behind the value here at one of the Saints’ original pick selections rather than by executing a trade that they lose 61% of the time, per PFF data scientist Timo Riske. -BL

53% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: WR – Jameson Williams


12. Detroit Lions (via MIN): WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

Pick Grade: Good

Lions Receive: R1 12, R2 46
Vikings Receive: R1 32, R2 34, R3 66

This is a massive move up the board for Detroit, but Williams is a game-changing talent when healthy. No one else in this class sniffs Williams’ speed or movement skills. You don’t need to look much further than what he was able to do to Georgia’s defense to see the kind of impact that he can have. In 2021, Williams tied Ja’Marr Chase’s 2019 season for the most 50-plus yard receiving touchdowns since 2014. He should give the Lions two building blocks to work with at receiver after Amon-Ra St. Brown’s impressive rookie season. -BL

77% of PFF Users like this pick!
PFF Users picked: QB – Malik Willis


13. Philadelphia Eagles (via HOU): DI Jordan Davis, Georgia

Pick Grade: Good

Texans Receive: R1 15, 124, 162, 166
Eagles Receive: R1 13

Concerns were brought up throughout the pre-draft process about Davis’ ability to play a high volume of snaps, but there are so many things to love about what the 341-pounder can bring to Philadelphia’s defense. He can single-handedly change the way a defense operates against the run, allowing the Eagles to devote more resources to coverage and creating more third-and-long situations. And Davis’ rare athleticism at his size points to the idea that he’s not just an early-down run stuffer. He represents the future at the position with Fletcher Cox trending in the wrong direction the past few years for Philadelphia. -BL


14. Baltimore Ravens: S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

Pick Grade: Elite

The Ravens, as they are wont to do, sit back and capitalize on value with Hamilton sliding to No. 14 overall. Hamilton’s disappointing 40-yard dash time (4.59 seconds) doesn’t show up as a concern on his tape. He’s coming off three consecutive seasons with PFF grades above 75.0, and he has the size and length (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) to line up anywhere and affect the offense in coverage. Baltimore now has one of the better arguments in the league for the NFL's best secondary with Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Marcus Williams and Hamilton. -BL


15. Houston Texans (via PHI): OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

Pick Grade: Below Average

Texans Receive: R1 15, 124, 162, 166
Eagles Receive: R1 13

This is a bit of a reach based on where Green falls on the PFF Big Board (39th overall), but it’s not difficult to see why the Texans would value him here. Green played every position except center for Texas A&M in 2021 and will probably slot in early at guard for Houston. Despite all that moving around, Green still earned PFF grades north of 75.0 in each of the last two seasons, and he should only continue to improve. -BL


16. Washington Commanders (via NO): WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Pick Grade: Below Average

Commanders Receive: R1 16, R3 98, R4 120
Saints Receive: R1 11

The Commanders were able to pick up some extra draft capital in their move back with the Saints, but this is still a bit rich for Dotson (56th overall on PFF’s Big Board). The biggest concern with Dotson is that he doesn’t have the prototypical size that you want for an outside receiver, but he’s a reliable route runner with some of the best hands in the draft class. He should be a nice complement to Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown, even if this is a bit before he was expected to come off the board. -BL

Pick Grade: Good

This is a quality pick for the Chargers, who will now put Johnson at right guard and move 2021 starter, Matt Feiler, to right tackle (where he ranked fifth in pass-block grade back in 2019). As lead draft analyst Mike Renner highlighted in the 2022 PFF Draft Guide, there are a few cons to his game. He’s a polished and stout performer with standout production. Johnson earned an 80.0-plus grade as both a pass- and run-blocker last season, recording just one penalty en route to an honorable mention PFF All-American honors. He then proceeded to light up the Senior Bowl as he didn’t lose a single pass-blocking rep during Senior Bowl week. -AT


18. Tennessee Titans (via PHI): WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Pick Grade: Below Average

Eagles Receive: A.J. Brown
Titans Receive: R1 18, R4 101

Tennessee executed the blockbuster of the night by trading wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 18 and No. 101 picks. And to replace the star pass-catcher, Tennessee drafts Arkansas’ Treylon Burks. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound wide receiver will offer value vertically and with schemed touches underneath because of his size-speed combo. Burks averaged 8.6 yards after the catch per reception and broke 24 tackles on 115 receptions across the past two seasons. Still, his overall route-running leaves a lot to be desired. He projects as a big slot and has a major hill to climb to get to the level Brown was at for Tennessee. -AT


19. New Orleans Saints: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

Pick Grade: Below Average

Going from Terron Armstead — who is an absolute technician — at left tackle to Trevor Penning — who is very much raw — is a major downgrade for New Orleans. The Northern Iowa product is a high-level athlete at 6-foot-7, 325 pounds, and plays with a killer mindset — so much so that he might need to tone it down a bit. While he did rack up 33 big-time blocks against lesser competition in 2021, he also drew 16 penalties. Along with that, Penning’s pass protection needs to be completely reworked, and he has to do better with playing low. Those significant issues lead me to believe he will face a steeper-than-expected learning curve in the NFL. -AT


20. Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Pick Grade: Below Average

Landing a quarterback without having to trade up is a big win for Pittsburgh, but taking Pickett — in the eyes of PFF — is not. He was the No. 4 ranked quarterback in the 2022 class on PFF’s Big Board. There’s some serious concern with how his game is going to translate in the NFL. The Pitt quarterback averaged 3.19 seconds per throw in 2021, tying for the third-slowest mark in the FBS. In fact, it would have been the slowest among NFL quarterbacks this past season. While Pickett is a quality athlete, he’s nowhere near dynamic enough to make his hay on the ground in the professional ranks. Holding onto the ball often welcomes pressure, and Pickett was charged with 34 pressures this past season, tying for the second-most in the FBS. He has to be quicker and more decisive with his decision-making instead of panicking and holding onto the ball.  And speeding up a quarterback’s processing is easier said than done — it’s a significant issue. -AT


21. Kansas City Chiefs (via NE): CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

Pick Grade: Very Good

Patriots Receive: R1 29, R3 94, R3 121
Chiefs Receive: R1 21

While it did take a trade-up, this is a great addition for the Chiefs at 21 overall. McDuffie was the 11th-ranked player overall on PFF’s Draft Board and had one of the best careers PFF College has ever seen. He turned in an 80.0-plus grade as a true freshman, sophomore and junior, something just one other Power Five corner has accomplished in the PFF College era. He may be small, but he possesses elite awareness, top-notch athleticism and is a physical tackler. McDuffie has all the traits to be a versatile chess piece for Kansas City. -AT


22. Green Bay Packers: LB Quay Walker, Georgia

Pick Grade: Poor

This was a reach in the eyes of PFF, who had Walker as the 45th-ranked player overall on the Big Board and LB4. The Georgia off-ball linebacker isn’t a downhill player in the run game, and he was still more of a reactor than a playmaker. On the bright side, he does have an elite physical profile. Walker is so good at wrapping defenders up with his near 80-inch wingspan. Throughout his collegiate career, Walker missed just seven tackles on 138 attempts. -AT


23. Buffalo Bills (via ARZ through BAL): CB Kaiir Elam, Florida

Pick Grade: Good

Bills Receive: R1 23
Ravens Receive: R1 25, R5 130
Cardinals Receive: WR Marquise Brown, R4 100

Buffalo had a need at corner, and they got one that excels at the line of scrimmage with Elam. The Florida Gator put up a PFF coverage grade of 89.8 as a true freshman in 2019 and followed that up with an 81.0 grade as a sophomore in 2020, dominating so much that opposing offenses largely avoided him in 2021. Elam was targeted three or fewer times in over half of his games this past year. However, his PFF grade was dragged down by penalties, which speaks volumes about how overly physical he can get. -AT


24. Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa

Pick Grade: Good

Smith has had a meteoric rise in recent months. Arguably the most violent offensive lineman at the Group of Five level, Smith led the nation in big-time run-blocks a season ago. His grip strength and power are a sight to see — once his hands get locked into the defender's pads, it’s game over. The Tulsa product earned a 92.1 PFF grade that ranked fourth among FBS tackles in 2021. He was even better from Week 6 on, too, as he graded out at 94.2 over the back half of the season. Smith is going to have a steep learning curve to start, but he is young at just 21-years-old. -AT


25. Baltimore Ravens: C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

Pick Grade: Very Good

Linderbaum is the best center prospect PFF has ever evaluated. He may be undersized, but he’s an ultra-athlete who plays bigger than his size suggests. Linderbaum was a top-five-graded center in all three years starting at the position, including in 2021 when he broke the single-season grading record for a center. The Iowa product’s best landing spot was undoubtedly in a zone-heavy rushing offense, but that’s not here. That makes this pairing with Baltimore — who runs a system predicated on gap scheme — very interesting. -AT


26. New York Jets (via TEN): EDGE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State

Pick Grade: Good

Titans Receive: R2 35, R3 69, 163
Jets Receive: R1 26, R4 101

There were murmurs that the Jets were thinking of Johnson with their No. 4 overall pick, yet they managed to land him at No. 26 after trading up with Tennessee. The Florida State — and former Georgia and JUCO — product was one of the biggest winners at the Senior Bowl, impressing scouts so much that he opted out of the final day of practice and the game itself. The 6-foot-4, 259-pound edge defender has over 34-inch arms and the tools to put them into action. He produced multiple pressures in every game he played for Florida State last season and ended the campaign with an 81.0 PFF grade. -AT


27. Jacksonville Jaguars (via TB): LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

Pick Grade: Good

Jaguars Receive: R1 27
Buccaneers Receive: R2 33, R4 106, R6 180

Jacksonville takes advantage of a big prospect slide by trading up to 27 for Lloyd, who was No. 15 overall on PFF’s Big Board and the favorite to be the first off-ball linebacker on the board. There are few bones to pick with Lloyd’s game as a prospect. He’s explosive, intuitive and has the frame and physicality the NFL is looking for. Lloyd was one of only four players at the position who earned a 90.0-plus PFF grade in 2021. He graded above 80.0 against the run, in coverage and as a blitzer. -AT


28. Green Bay Packers: DI Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

Pick Grade: Good

Many expected Green Bay to break the “no wide receiver in the Round 1” streak, but they opted not to do so by grabbing PFF’s top-ranked interior defensive lineman, Devonte Wyatt. No Power Five interior defensive lineman earned a higher PFF grade in 2021. Wyatt also earned a grade above 80.0 both against the run and as a pass-rusher — something no other player at the position in the Power Five accomplished. The former Georgia Bulldog was the most impactful interior defender in the Power Five. That carried through the Senior Bowl, where he led all at the position in win rate during the one-on-ones. -AT


29. New England Patriots (via KC): OG Cole Strange, Chattanooga

Pick Grade: Poor

Patriots Receive: R1 29, R3 94, R3 121
Chiefs Receive: R1 21

This is the biggest reach of Round 1 as the Chattanooga Mock was 86th on PFF’s Big Board. His anchor and footwork is suspect, making it highly unlikely his early contributions are significant. On a positive note, Strange is a versatile and elite athlete who excels in space. The 6-foot-5, 307-pound lineman posted a mark above the 89th percentile at the position historically at the combine in the 40-yard dash (5.03 second), broad jump (120-inches), three-cone drill (7.44 seconds) and pro agility (4.5 seconds). Before blowing up the event in Indianapolis, Strange impressed many across the league by spending almost all of the Senior Bowl at center despite not playing a single down at the position for Chattanooga. -AT


30. Kansas City Chiefs: EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue

Pick Grade: Elite

Karlaftis’ slide ends with the Chiefs at 30th overall, making him the biggest steal of Round 1. He turned in a 90.6 pass-rush grade as one of the few game-wreckers in college football last season. Also known as the college football Greek Freak,  the 6-foot-4, 266-pounder boasts some of the best hand usage in the class and plays with big-time power and an impressive get-off. Karlaftis turned in the fourth-best win rate in the Power Five on true pass-rushes this past season despite being consistently chipped, doubled and cut. -AT


31. Cincinnati Bengals: S Daxton Hill, Michigan

Pick Grade: Good

Hill has the athleticism, solid collegiate production and versatility that is attractive. While he didn’t wear many hats in Michigan’s defense and primarily covered the slot, he has the skill set to be versatile, and given Cincinnati’s current roster construct, he’s going to be serving a different job than he did as a Wolverine. Hill produced a top-10 coverage slot coverage grade among Power Five defensive backs from 2020 to 2021. -AT


32. Minnesota Vikings (via DET): S Lewis Cine, Georgia

Pick Grade: Good

Lions Receive: R1 12, R2 46
Vikings Receive: R1 32, R2 34, R3 66

After trading all the way back from the 12th overall pick, the Vikings land PFF’s No. 2 safety and 26th-best prospect overall, Lewis Cine at No. 32. The Georgia Bulldog — like most of the people on the team — is an elite athlete, who posted a 4.37 40-yard and 11-foot-1 broad jump at the NFL Combine. He was one of the best safeties in college football last year, turning in an 82.4 PFF grade for the season that ranked eighth in the Power Five. Cine was also one of the best tacklers in the country at Georgia, with just 11 misses on 159 career attempts. He was primarily a deep safety in college, but he can be more versatile in Minnesota. -AT


Teams without a first-round selection:

Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers

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