2022 NFL Draft: 3 Best & Worst Moves Of First Round

NFL Draft, NFL
NFL Analysis Network

Heading into Thursday night, the only thing that anyone knew was that no one knew anything. With question marks throughout the entire draft class, it promised to be a wild night. To put it lightly, the NFL did not disappoint.

After seeing a record number of wide receivers come off the board, two trades for veteran wide receivers, and only one quarterback come off the board, the NFL landscape already looks different.

After all the commotion, these moves were the most notable.

Best Moves Of First-Round in 2022 NFL Draft

New York Jets Load Up

Entering Thursday, the Jets were in desperate need of talent on basically every level of the roster. With two first-round picks, they had the chance to add some difference-makers to a roster just looking for an identity. Luckily for New York, they already have their franchise quarterback in tow so they were free to use those picks however they saw fit.

As mentioned, the Jets needed help everywhere so with the first selection they were able to grab Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner. My number one CB in the draft, he projects as a true number one corner in the NFL. Next, they added Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson to be the new number one wideout for Zach Wilson.

A similar player to the Chargers’ Keenan Allen, Wilson wins with elite route running and will be a great weapon for the Jets’ young quarterback.

Still not done, the Jets added a third pick in the first round and used it to take a pass rusher in Jermaine Johnson from Florida State. A player some projected they might take in the top ten, he represents tremendous value at a position of need. All three of these selections give the Jets a strong young core that will allow them to compete in a few seasons provided Wilson works out.

Eagles Swing Big

Another team with multiple first-round picks, the Eagles were looking to add to a roster fresh off a playoff berth. Selecting at thirteen, they were able to grab one of the drafts’ best overall players in Jordan Davis. An athletic freak at 6’6″ and 340 pounds, Davis is the kind of player who changes the entire outlook of a defense. For Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Davis is a perfect fit.

Picking again at eighteen, the Eagles were in need of a wide receiver to go along with last year’s first-round pick Devonta Smith. However, five wideouts had already been taken off the board at that point, leaving the board a bit light at the position.

Nevertheless, Philadelphia was able to swing a massive trade with the Titans where they surrendered pick eighteen and a third-round selection for the Titans Pro Bowl WR, A.J. Brown. Leaving the first round with perhaps the drafts bet player and one of the best wideouts in the NFL, general manager Howie Roseman had a terrific night.

Ravens Stay Patient

The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft was perfectly on-brand for the Baltimore Ravens. First, they stayed patient in round one and watched as Kyle Hamilton fell right into their laps at pick fourteen. One of the best players in the entire class, he will be a starter from day one in Baltimore with Pro Bowls in his future.

Then, they traded wide receiver Marquise Brown and a third-round pick to the Cardinals in exchange for their first-round selection which they used to take Tyler Linderbaum at 23.

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All in all, the Ravens came away with the best safety in the draft and one of the best interior offensive line prospects available. While this was a masterful job by the Baltimore front office, it was not surprising in the least considering how the Ravens always do business. Truly one of the most well-run teams in the league.

Worst Moves Of First-Round in 2022 NFL Draft

Steelers Make A Risky Investment

After the retirement of the legendary Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers are in search of their next franchise quarterback. The first move they made at the position was for former first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky.

Not satisfied, however, they selected Kenny Pickett from the nearby University of Pittsburgh. Selected twentieth overall, Pickett was the first quarterback off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.

There is a myriad of reasons why this was a risky investment. Firstly, Pickett is old for a prospect. 24 years old by the start of the season, he is only a year younger than both Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow. Last year’s number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence is only 22. Simply, the time is already ticking on Pickett’s future and they cannot afford to let him sot and learn in year one.

Furthermore, he does not possess a truly marvelous physical skill set. In fact, his arm talent is pretty average at best. This, along with his exceptionally small hands, could make life hard for him early on in the NFL. All of this is without mentioning the clear mental deficiencies that pop up in his game. Simply, this selection does very little, if anything, to move the needle for the Steelers in the AFC North.

What Are The Titans Doing?

While the Eagles should be celebrated for how they were able to acquire A.J. Brown, we must also question the Titans for doing so. One of the league’s best wide receivers, he joined the long list of players at that position who were on the hunt for more money.

While he and the Titans were at an impasse in contract negotiations, it is curious that they were not able to get more for their star-wideout. After all, the Ravens got a first for Marquise Brown and a third not too long before.

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With the pick the Titans received from Philadelphia, they selected Arkansas wide receiver, Treylon Burks. A good athlete, he compares somewhat favorably to A.J. Brown.

Regardless, he is not the same caliber of receiver as Brown at this moment, and to expect that from him is unfair. For a team like the Titans, who had the best record in the AFC last year, it would appear they just shut the door on their winning window and, barring an unreal career from Burks, got just a third-round pick for doing so.

Packers Continue To Avoid Wide Receivers

If there was ever going to be a year the Packers finally took a receiver in round one, this was going to be that year. After all, they traded away the NFL’s best receiver in Davante Adams and watched Marquez Valdes-Scantling leave in free agency.

Armed with two first-round picks, the Packers had to watch six receivers come off the board before they finally picked at 22. When they did pick, they selected Georgia linebacker, Quay Walker. A curious selection, but at least they could look forward to a receiver at pick 28. Wrong again as they instead took a defensive tackle in Devonte Wyatt.

Yes, six receivers came off the board before their pick in yesterday’s draft but there was still talent available. Both George Pickens and Christian Watson were available at the end of the night and would be the best receiver on the Green Bay roster.

With a group that features Sammy Watkins, Allen Lazard, and Randall Cobb, the Packers are not making life easy for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Perhaps they are involved in the Deebo Samuel sweepstakes but as of now, their draft has been questionable.