Ranking 2022 NFL Head Coaching Hires

Ranking 2022 NFL Head Coaching Hires

Willie Lutz
2 years ago
3 min read
Josh McDaniels photo is displayed outside of the Las Vegas Raiders' Allegiant Stadium ahead of the Pro Bowl late last week.

The 2022 head coaching cycle is complete in the NFL, as the New Orleans Saints named former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen as their new showrunner. Overall, it was a pretty good class without an indefensible hire (see David Culley to the Houston Texans in 2021). Now, it’s a good time to stack up these hires and see which franchises got the best man for the job.

9 - Jacksonville Jaguars, Doug Pederson

Frankly, the Jacksonville Jaguars seem to be taking a bet that they just hired the wrong task master in 2021. While Doug Pederson brings good credentials and less volatility to the Jags in 2022, it’s not like the former Eagles coach left Philadelphia on amicable terms. Regardless, Pederson should bring some amount of stability to Trevor Lawrence and the upstart Jaguars compared to his predecessor. 

Grade: C-

8 - Chicago Bears, Matt Eberflus

Having Matt Eberflus this low isn’t so much an indictment of the 51-year-old first-time head coach. Instead, the hire seems to have a hint of naivety from a team that needs to get their young quarterback cooking. Certainly, a lot of other names on this list seemed like appealing options for the Chicago Bears. Instead, they picked a defensive mind to be the savior for Justin Fields. 

Grade: C

7 - New Orleans Saints, Dennis Allen

This was the “easy button” for the New Orleans Saints after Sean Payton announced his half-hearted retirement. Certainly, it’ll help keep a defensive group that ranked third in DVOA last season. However, their offense lacked firepower and really any semblance of competent quarterback play after Jameis Winston tore his ACL in Week Eight.

Grade: C

6 - Las Vegas Raiders, Josh McDaniels

Call it a love for the underdog, but not retaining Rich Bisaccia seemed like a miss. Instead, the Raiders introduced Josh McDaniels as a head coach for the first time since he spurned the Colts just days after his hiring. McDaniels pushing the Patriot Way might not sell for a Raiders locker room that’s already been through a lot together. However, his offensive mindedness still could be enough juice to get them over the hump. 

Grade: B-

5 - Houston Texans, Lovie Smith

Maybe it wasn’t the hiring that made the biggest splash. However, during his time as the head coach of the Chicago Bears, Lovie Smith was one of the most beloved coaches by his players that could be found around the league. For a Texans team that needs an infusion of culture to counteract their front office toxicity, Smith seems like the right man for the job. 

Grade: B

4 - Minnesota Vikings, Kevin O’Connell

The old joke goes, “just hire someone from the Sean McVay tree and let success follow.” Well, just like the Packers bet on Matt LaFleur, the Vikings are betting on Kevin O’Connell to revamp their offense. For a team with star talent in Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and the aging-but-deadly Adam Thielen, an offensive upgrade should be a welcome change from the Mike Zimmer era.

Grade: B+

3 - Denver Broncos, Nathaniel Hackett

Going from the Vic Fangio ‘defense over everything’ lifestyle will be a drastic shift, as Nathaniel Hackett brings the Packers offensive approach to a team that desperately needs that boost. However, this is seen by many as a move to draw Aaron Rodgers, who obviously worked with Hackett in Green Bay, to be Denver’s next Peyton Manning project. If that’s the case, Hacket is a homerun hire for the Broncos. 

Grade: A- (or if it attracts Aaron Rodgers, A+)

2 - New York Giants, Brian Daboll

Certainly, this was a candidate for the top spot, although there’s reasonable concern over how much one can do with Daniel Jones at quarterback. Brian Daboll receives much of the credit for Josh Allen’s year three turnaround and is generally considered a bright offensive mind. The Giants didn’t get much from their offense this season, but with stars like Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley, Daboll might be able to get this machine turning. 

Grade: A

1 - Miami Dolphins, Mike McDaniel

Coming from the Kyle Shannahan shadows, Mike McDaniel made all the sense in the world as the answer for the Dolphins slagging offense. With the quick passing game and outside zone running game coming with him from San Francisco, McDaniel is the right coach to get the best version of Tua Tagovailoa to appear on Su ndays.

Grade: A

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