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2022 NFL Season: Grading all 32 first-round picks after Week 17

Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) pressures Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Sauce Gardner with another All-Pro performance: While missed tackles dragged his grade down some, the standout cornerback surrendered just three catches on eight targets for 17 yards.

Aidan Hutchinson sets a career high: The Detroit Lions rookies racked up seven pressures against the Chicago Bears, not to mention an interception.

Kenny Pickett comes up clutch … again: The lone first-round quarterback in 2022 earned his first 90.0-plus game grade after leading another game-winning drive.

Estimated Reading Time: 11 mins

We'll be checking in on the first-round rookies throughout the 2022 NFL season, grading their performances and highlighting their principal individual opponents in each game.

Here’s how the group fared in Week 17, as well as their overall PFF grades for the season.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia

Overall Rookie Grade: 58.6 (Rank: 17/36)
Principal Opponent: T Tytus Howard
Week 17 Snaps: 26

Walker returned from an ankle injury this week against Houston. He played just 26 snaps, all but one of which was a passing play. He tallied two pressures on 22 pass-rushing snaps to continue what has been a generally underwhelming rookie campaign as a pass rusher.

2. Detroit Lions: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Overall Rookie Grade: 79.9 (Rank: 2/36)
Principal Opponent: T Braxton Jones
Week 17 Snaps: 37

Hutchinson had an outstanding game against Chicago this week, finishing with a 90.7 PFF grade — the best mark among all Detroit defenders. Hutchinson racked up seven pressures from 22 pass-rushing snaps and also baited Bears quarterback Justin Fields into an interception — Hutchinson's third of the season.

3. Houston Texans: CB Derek Stingley Jr. LSU

Overall Rookie Grade: 49.1 (Rank: 38/48)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 17 Snaps: 0

Stingley missed this week’s game against Jacksonville with a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Week 10. He has allowed 67.3% of passes thrown his way to be caught this season for an 84.9 passer rating and has yet to surrender a touchdown in coverage.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 89.0 (Rank: 1/48)
Principal Opponent: WR D.K. Metcalf
Week 17 Snaps: 72

The Seahawks came close on a couple of occasions to a big play for D.K. Metcalf over Sauce Gardner, but close doesn’t get it done. Overall, Gardner allowed just three catches for 17 yards from eight targets. The rookie also had two pass breakups and did nothing to harm his All-Pro case.


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