Winners and Losers from the 2022 NFL Draft

The 2022 NFL draft was one that a lot of more casual fans viewed as “weak” or “talentless.” However, that is simply because of the lack of explosive quarterback talent that this class may seem like an overall weaker class. The defensive side of the ball was stacked, from first overall pick Trayvon Walker, all the way down to twenty-sixth pick Jermain Johnsosn, and the offensive side had a plethora of good lineman and wide receivers. Despite this abundance of talent, some teams and players did win the draft, while others were not so fortunate.





The New York Jets had three first round picks, all of which were absolute home runs. With the fourth overall pick, the Jets took Sauce Gardner, who in my opinion is the best defensive back in the class. Gardner allowed no touchdowns in college. None. He was thrown against one time in his final collegiate game against Alabama and allowed -2 yards. This guy is gonna be special, and the Jets kept going. They nabbed the best receiver in the draft in Garret Wilson, giving Zach Wilson some more help, and finished up the first round with stud edge rusher Jermaine Johnson. Now that first round alone would have been considered a win, but in the second round the Jets got running back Breece Hall, a standout at Iowa State, and in the third round got tight end Jeremy Ruckkert, a tough blocker and good pass catcher.



As a Steelers fan through and through, the Ravens being winners hurt to write but was a must; Baltimore nailed this draft. They got the best player in the entire draft in Kyle Hamilton at fourteen, an absolute steal. While this draft class may not be filled with generational quarterback talent, Kyle Hamilton is a generational safety talent, and will wreak havoc on offenses in the upcoming season, a great pick. Following it up, the Ravens helped out star quarterback Lamar Jackson by picking up center Tyler Linderbaum, who I think will have an immediate impact on the field. Just like the Jets, Baltimore didn’t stop in the first round, picking up phenomenal edge rusher David Ojabo in the second round, a really good value pick.


Malik Willis

Willis was one of the best quarterback prospects heading into the draft and he still went in the third round. Personally I think that that is right where he should have gone, he makes some poor choices despite his elite arm talent and running ability and is not NFL ready. That is specifically why he was a winner from this draft. Willis landed on the Titans, a team with a veteran quarterback in Ryan Tannehill (who has actually openly said he will not go out of his way to mentor Willis), a great coaching staff, and the best run game in the league. Willis will have time to adapt to the NFL under Tannehill, and if/when he does have to play, will be a great one-two alongside Derrick Henry.





The Patriots draft was so baffling. Cole Strange in the first round is honestly inexcusable, even if that’s your guy, there is no reason he wouldn’t be there in the second, or even third round. Their next pick made even less sense, taking Tyquan Thornton right before George Pickens, Skyy Moore, and Alec Pierce, all of which I think are higher floor guys. Thornton obviously has that top speed every team wants, but with players like John Ross, Dre Archer, and other pure speedsters in the past decade, he might just not pan out. And then, just to solidify their draft as bizarre, the Patriots took quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth round, a year after they drafted Mac Jones, and far earlier than I think he should have gone.


Sam Darnold

For starters, this guy is on the Panthers, a team that has gotten five wins in each of the last three seasons, so he wasn’t in a great spot before the draft. What’s more, he was really bad throughout the year, getting benched for Cam Newton midway through the season. Now the Panthers did pick up a much needed offensive lineman in Ickey Ekwonu, who I think will be a great tackle in the league for years to come, but that’s the only real help they got Darnold. The Panthers picked up only one more offensive lineman in the sixth round, and there is really no reason to be super confident that this guy will play a snap for Carolina. The Panthers then drafted no wide receivers, and picked up Matt Corral in the third round, a sign that Darnold is very much on thin ice. I also really liked Corral in college, and think that he might be the best quarterback in this draft class.


Seahawks Receivers

The Seahawks are not the losers. Their draft overall was honestly exceptional, Walker in the second round I think was a steal, and Charles Cross is a very promising tackle. However, the Seahawks are still heading into 2022 with Drew Lock at quarterback, a guy who I think has shown he is not NFL caliber, I mean he was outshined by Teddy Bridgewater in the regular season last year. D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are extremely talented receivers, but with Drew Lock throwing them the football, I am not confident in their ability to be high production pass catchers. Having Chris Carson, Rashad Penny, and Kenneth Walker in one backfield will also take away a lot of opportunities for Seattle’s wide receivers, especially with Seattle being the most run-heavy team in the NFL over the last couple of years.


The NFL Draft is always fun to watch, and everyone enjoys giving grades to teams and judging their pick, but the reality is that no one knows how good these players will be until they actually hit the field in an NFL game, and show everybody what they’re made of. Definitely looking forward to this class proving the doubters wrong and showing out.