NFL Draft News & Analysis

2022 NFL Draft: Biggest Day 3 steals

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) warms up on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NFL Draft has officially come to a close.

Over the last three days, 262 players were selected to join the NFL. Let's wrap up an action-packed draft by identifying the steals of Day 3.

Here, we use the information available in PFF Premium Stats, the PFF big board and the PFF 2022 NFL Draft Guide to identify the NFL teams that got the best bang for their buck in Round 4, Round 5, Round 6 and Round 7.

You can find our full draft recap by clicking here.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: WR CALVIN AUSTIN III (138TH OVERALL)

Austin has legit track speed and quickness. His athleticism, top-tier route-running and excellent release package help him overcome his diminutive stature.

The Memphis product may stand at 5-foot-7, and he may weigh 173 pounds with 30.6-inch arms, but that didn't stop him from producing at a high level as an outside receiver in 2021 — he broke 14 tackles on 74 receptions, generating an 85.2 receiving grade and 2.99 yards per route run. 

Austin earned the highest receiving grade among qualifying wide receivers at Senior Bowl practice and generated multiple steps of separation on over half of his targets against single coverage, good for the highest rate of such plays among all wide receivers in attendance.

GREEN BAY PACKERS: T ZACH TOM (140TH OVERALL)

Tom was quietly one of the best pass-protectors in college football last season. The Wake Forest Demon Deacon led all FBS tackles in pass-block grade for the season, allowing just 13 pressures in 14 starts, including zero to Jermaine Johnson II in their Week 3 showdown. 

Given his relatively slight frame, Tom will likely end up on the interior,  which is where he spent his first few years on campus before moving to left tackle in 2020. 

Still, the 6-foot-4, 304-pound lineman should at least get a shot at tackle. He’s already an advanced pass-protector and is a natural at using his hands independently. After a stellar collegiate career, Tom proceeded to light up the scouting combine, recording a 4.94-second 40-yard dash (97th percentile among interior offensive linemen historically), 1.70-second 10-yard split (96th), 33-inch vertical (96th), 9-foot-10 broad jump (99th), 4.47-second pro agility (94th) and 7.32-second three-cone (97th). 

Tom fits like a glove in Green Bay’s offense. Don’t be surprised if he becomes a quality starter at the NFL level.

WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: QB SAM HOWELL (144TH OVERALL)

Shockingly, just one quarterback was taken in the first round of the draft after it was rumored that three or more could be taken on Day 1. Even more shocking was the fact that it took until Round 3 for the next quarterback to hear his name called.

Desmond Ridder, Malik Willis and Matt Corral all found new homes in the third round, while North Carolina’s Sam Howell missed out, somehow going from the 2021 preseason's top pick to a Day 3 selection.

North Carolina's offense didn’t have Howell do a lot of “NFL quarterbacking.” It featured a hefty dose of run-pass options and simplistic reads. Still, he managed to showcase top-tier arm talent, totaling 86 big-time throws in three seasons — the most of any quarterback in the class.

He also is a proven gamer. After losing four marquee weapons to the NFL prior to the 2021 season, Howell was forced to make up for a one-dimensional skill position group by utilizing his legs. He thrived on the ground despite not being a dynamic athlete, generating the second-most 10-plus-yard runs (45) among FBS quarterbacks. And despite having few pass-catching weapons to speak of, Howell still earned an 80.3 passing grade for the season.

While there are rightful concerns with his game, Howell should have come off the board multiple rounds sooner.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: OL DARIAN KINNARD (146TH OVERALL)

Kinnard can use his brute strength to immediately provide value in the run game: He posted run-blocking grades of 89.1, 91.9 and 91.8 in his three years starting at the collegiate level.

The Kentucky Wildcat is a candidate to kick inside given his sluggish movement ability, and his pass sets need to be completely reworked. Still, at a minimum, he’s going to be a significant add for this rushing attack.

BUFFALO BILLS: WR KHALIL SHAKIR (148TH OVERALL)

Shakir is likely a slot-only player at the next level with his oddly short arms, measuring in at just over 29 inches. Still, he has elite body control, stout collegiate production and a feel for finding soft spots, all making him a promising NFL player. Shakir posted a PFF grade above 86.0 in three straight seasons from 2019 through 2021 with the Broncos. He saw more than 305 targets in his career and generated a 111.9 passer rating on those reps with 42 broken tackles and 2.80 yards per route run.

TENNESSEE TITANS: WR KYLE PHILIPS (163RD OVERALL)

Philips may be pigeonholed to the slot, but there’s nothing wrong with that. He is a crafty route-runner with sweet short-area quicks and can separate at a high level. Despite a lackluster quarterback situation at UCLA, Philips was the model of consistency, posting PFF grades of 72.9, 73.1 and 77.6 in his three years with the team. At the East-West Shrine Bowl, he was the highest-graded wide receiver in one-on-ones. The 5-foot-11, 189-pounder should have been off the board a couple of rounds sooner.

CHICAGO BEARS: EDGE DOMINIQUE ROBINSON (174TH OVERALL)

Robinson ranked 81st on the PFF big board not because of what he is right now, but because of what he can be. The 6-foot-5, 253-pound Miami (OH) product converted from wide receiver to the edge a couple of years ago and has rushed the passer just 314 times in his career. He is undoubtedly a raw player, and his production shows that with just 32 pressures a 68.1 pass-rush grade, but his traits give him a high ceiling. Robinson is an electrifying athlete, evidenced by his 41-inch vertical and 4.19-second shuttle time.

GREEN BAY PACKERS: EDGE KINGSLEY ENAGBARE (179TH OVERALL)

Enagbare has a high motor, excellent length and big-time pop in his hands, which helped him record a 92.5 pass-rush grade this past season. The problem is his lack of refinement, inability to play in control and limited physical tools. All of that likely played a role in the former South Carolina Gamecock's slide, but this was a bit too far.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: IOL JAMAREE SALYER (195TH OVERALL)

Salyer played all five spots along the offensive line during his Georgia career, and he showcased quality pass protection, regardless of position, allowing just 14 pressures across 794 career pass-blocking snaps. The 6-foot-3, 321-pound Georgia product packs power in his punch and brings a physical presence in the run game. He may be stuck inside at the next level due to athletic limitations, but his on-field play when healthy warranted him to be drafted on Day 2.

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