Want to know what I think of every pick made Thursday in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft? You can find it all below. You can also follow along throughout the rest of the draft on Days 2 and 3 for more grades and more analysis. Be sure to refresh this page throughout the weekend to get the latest grades.
If you want to do all that plus track the best available prospects and get access to every pick in the draft on one page, you can in our draft tracker.
Grades: Round 1 •• • • • •
1. Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
This is purely a projection. They need edge help, but he plays more like a down 5-technique. He’s a good player, a tough player, a physical player, but he isn’t an explosive rusher. They can pair him with Josh Allen, but I would have gone offensive lineman here.
2. Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
They need a pass rusher in the worst way, and they have to be thrilled that Hutchinson fell to them here. He is a polished edge rusher who will be an impact player right away. The Lions have to be able to impact the quarterback better than they did last year. Hutchinson will do that. But he might be a 12-sack guy most of his career, rather than a 16-sack guy. But that’s OK.
3. Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. They play a defense that doesn’t put a premium on cornerback, yet they picked one over pass rusher. Stingley is an outstanding cover corner, but this is a little odd. Pass rusher or tackle was a better option.
4. Jets: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
If you are to win the AFC East, you have to stop the Bills and Josh Allen. That means cover corners are at a premium. Gardner is the best cover player in the draft. This should mean more man for Robert Saleh and crew. Good pick.
5. Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
He is the best pure pass rusher in this draft. He has the explosive ability the Giants badly need. The question with him now is his character. Does he love the game? But I think he will get past any of that talk and become a dominant edge player. I love this pick.
6. Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
The Panthers played spinning tops at left tackle last year, so getting a tackle was a no brainer in this draft. I liked Evan Neal more, but I get this choice. Ekwonu needs to work on his pass protection some, but he is fixable.
7. Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
The Giants land the best tackle in the draft. He will step in at right tackle and give them a nice pair of bookends with Andrew Thomas. They have to protect the quarterback better, and they will. He will be a long-time starter who goes to a lot of Pro Bowls.
8. Falcons: Drake London, WR, USC
London is a big receiver, but he doesn’t run that well. This is a team that needed to add more speed. I would have taken Garrett Wilson in this spot. He would have given them more of an immediate impact. London is good. But there were better options.
9. Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi St.
They had a glaring hole at left tackle, so they had to get a left tackle. With the run on them, they end up with a player who is good in pass protection but needs work in the run game. If Seattle wants to run it better, they picked the wrong tackle. But he is good at protecting the quarterback.
10. Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio St.
I love this pick. I know there was talk about trading this pick to get Deebo Samuel, but I love staying put and taking Wilson. He is a speed player who will help Zach Wilson in a big way. He’s fast and he will be a lot cheaper than Samuel.
11. Saints (from Commanders): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio St.
Giving up all that arsenal to get Olave is risky if you ask me. Olave is a speed receiver who will complement Michael Thomas, but this is a lot to give up to get him. Jameis Winston will be happy, but I don’t love this. The Saints must.
12. Lions (from Vikings): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
This is the best receiver in the draft. The Lions can wait to get him healthy. When he is healthy, he will be a dynamic playmaker. They made a bold move to go get him, but they did give up a bunch to get him. They better hope he is what they think he can become. I think he’s a star.
13. Eagles (from Texans): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
This is a heck of a pick for the Eagles. They needed to get a power player inside with age becoming a problem there. Davis will be a three-down player in the NFL, even if some don’t think he will be. The Eagles will be much better against the run — that’s for sure.
14. Ravens: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
The Ravens will be getting a player who will help their back end right away. I like Hamilton, but I don’t love him like most. He will have some problems in coverage, but they need to use him in a variety of ways to take advantage of his talents. He isn’t Ed Reed. That’s for sure.
15. Texans (from Eagles): Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
They get a player who can play right tackle or inside at guard. This is a team that needs a lot of help, and Green is a player who can step in and play right away. He is a good, physical player who fits what they want to do if he plays right tackle or guard.
16. Commanders (from Saints): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn St.
They trade back and land a receiver who will give them more juice in the passing game. They needed to help Carson Wentz and Dotson will give them another speed player. Landing the extra picks and getting a a good receiver makes this a good move.
17. Chargers: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
They have to protect their quarterback. This is a player who can play guard, tackle, center for the Chargers. This was about making their line better for Justin Herbert. I love Johnson. position versatility is important. He brings it.
18. Titans (from Eagles) Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
They essentially exchanged a big, physical receiver to replace A.J. Brown. Burks will come a lot cheaper. I am not sure he’s A.J. Brown, though. But the philosophy makes sense. Draft and get a cheaper player. Burks has to keep his weight down some.
19. Saints: Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa, OT
This fills a need for the Saints. They had to get a left tackle and Penning fits the bill. He is an aggressive player that will give them a nice tackle combo to go with Ryan Ramczyk. They are both maulers.
20. Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
I love this pick. They take the local kid to play quarterback and he will prove to be the best quarterback in this class. Give him a few games, and he will have the job. Pickett has the tools to become a quality starter. This works in a lot of ways.
21. Chiefs (from Patriots): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
The Chiefs moved up to get McDuffie, but I think they could have waited to take his teammate, Kyler Gordon, who I think will be a better player. It fills a need at corner, and he’s a good player, but they could have stayed in their spot.
22. Packers: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
This is a heck of a pick. He is a playmaking, speed linebacker who will give their defenses a nice complement to De’Vondre Campbell. I know they could have gone receiver here, but they can wait. Walker will be big time.
23. Bills (from Ravens via Cardinals): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
He is a good cover player who fills a major need. The Bills had one hole on their team and that was corner. Now they add a long cover player who can give them a nice corner to go with Tre’Davious White. He does need to tackle better. Love the aggression to go get him.
24. Cowboys: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
This is one of my favorite picks in this draft. This kid is a mauler who will help them at right tackle right away. He needs a little help in pass protection, but the Cowboys will coach him up. Teams loved him more than analysts and his tape showed you why. This is a really good pick.
25. Ravens (from Bills): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
They needed to get a center, and they got the best one. I love the idea of him taking over in the middle of their line. He will play in front of Lamar Jackson for a long time. His athletic ability is outstanding.