NFL Draft 3 Winners & 3 Losers

NFL Draft 3 Winners & 3 Losers

Barry Devoe
7 months ago
4 min read
Baltimore Ravens draft Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton No. 14 overall

Another successful NFL Draft is in the books, with 32 teams feeling encouraged by their newest draft classes. However, a few clubs should either jump for joy or wonder where things went awry.

Once these rookies take the field, we’ll have a greater picture of who “won” and “lost” the 2022 NFL Draft. 

But for now, let’s identify who nailed their picks and who had a draft to forget.

Winner - Baltimore Ravens

Browns and Bengals fans won’t be happy, but the Ravens crushed the draft by simply selecting the best players available.

Baltimore selected Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton 14th overall, a player many viewed as a surefire top-ten prospect. Then, after trading veteran WR Marquise Brown and securing another first-round pick, the Ravens used the 25th pick on Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, who projects as a solid multi-year starter at worst.

The Ravens’ quest for value didn’t end there. In Round 2, Baltimore drafted Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo, a player many viewed as a first-round talent. UConn DT Travis Jones (No. 76) and Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele (No. 110) are two more prospects that fell into the Ravens’ lap.

With 11 new rookies (four of whom possessed first-round upside), the Ravens showed their 31 competitors what the draft is all about. As usual.

Loser - Chicago Bears

With no first-round pick, new GM Ryan Poles needed to hit a home run. However, his first draft class fails to inspire confidence.

The Bears made good on addressing a critical area of need with the 39th pick, taking Washington cornerback Kyler Gordon. Chicago went with another defensive back nine picks later, selecting Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker.

But when it comes to its greatest weakness, Chicago added a single wideout in the draft — Tennessee’s Velus Jones Jr. His limited upside and age (he turns 25 in May) make him more of a fifth- or sixth-round prospect than a high third-round one. And though the Bears added four offensive linemen, none should compete for a starting spot anytime soon.

Last year’s trade for quarterback Justin Fields is why the Bears didn’t have a first-rounder in 2022. But rather than surrounding Fields with more talent, the team largely ignored pass-catchers and pass-blockers, which should make year two a difficult one for the former Ohio State QB.

Winner - Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles went into this draft with two first-round picks. They used those picks to land a high-caliber prospect and a Pro Bowl wideout.

First, Philadelphia moved from No. 15 to No. 13 to take Georgia nose tackle Jordan Davis. At 6-foot-6 and 341 lbs., Davis is an excellent run defender who can easily replace starters Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, two vets who aren’t under contract past 2022.

Next, the Eagles traded the 18th pick to the Titans for veteran WR A.J. Brown. Brown, who’s entering his fourth year in the NFL, inked a four-year, $100 million extension that makes him one of Philly’s go-to weapons for the long term, joining last year’s first-rounder Devonta Smith.

Philadelphia’s third-round selection of Nakobe Dean could make or break this draft. The Georgia standout was arguably the top inside linebacker and a surefire first-round pick, but a pectoral injury made him fall to No. 83 overall. 

If Dean becomes a star, the Eagles will have done more with five selections than most teams do with ten.

Loser - New England Patriots

No one was surprised to see the Patriots trade down from pick No. 21 to No. 29. But their selection at 29 was “strange,” to say the least.

New England used its first-round pick on Cole Strange, an offensive guard from Chattanooga. While Strange might be a Week 1 starter, he was almost universally considered a third-round prospect heading into the draft.

After going off the conventional draft board for Strange, the Patriots moved up in the second round to select Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton. Even though Thornton possesses desirable speed, the Pats also took him two or three rounds above his projected landing spot.

The Patriots used seven of their ten picks on offense, including two running backs and even a QB. However, few are in a position to help the team in the short term.

Winner - Georgia Bulldogs

2022 has been good to Georgia fans. Months after destroying rival Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Bulldogs shattered an NFL Draft record.

Starting with first-overall pick Travon Walker, 15 Georgia players were drafted this year, setting a new seven-round draft record. Ohio State set the original record of 14 in 2004, with LSU tying the Buckeyes in 2020.

Five Bulldogs went in the first round alone, all of whom were on the defensive side of the football. But Georgia also had a few offensive weapons hear their names called, mainly second-round WR George Pickens (No. 52 to Steelers) and RB James Cook (No. 63 to Bills).

In total, UGA had eight defensive players, six offensive players, and a punter get drafted. Don’t be surprised if at least a few of them become big-time players on Sundays.

Loser - Rookie Quarterbacks

It’s no secret the 2022 NFL Draft had little in the way of elite quarterback prospects. Sure enough, the league seemed to agree.

Kenny Pickett was the lone first-round QB, going 20th overall to the Steelers after a breakout season at Pitt. After that, no signal-callers went for the remainder of the first round and the entirety of Round 2. Finally, with the 74th pick, the Falcons nabbed Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder.

In what might have been the greatest shock of all, Liberty’s Malik Willis went from being the favorite QB to go off the board first to a mid-third-round selection. The Titans drafted Willis with the 86th pick, ensuring his pro career starts as a backup for Ryan Tannehill.

With Matt Corral (No. 94 to Panthers) and Sam Howell (No. 144 to Commanders) also falling further than expected, one thing is sure. Most QB-hungry teams would rather wait for the star-filled 2023 class before addressing their issues behind center.

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