NFL Draft 2022: Team-by-Team Analysis and Grades for Rounds 1-3

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 30, 2022

NFL Draft 2022: Team-by-Team Analysis and Grades for Rounds 1-3

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    The 2022 NFL draft tumbles of Malik Willis and Nakobe Dean to the middle of the third round may end up benefiting both players.

    Willis and Dean were hoping to hear their names called during Thursday's first round, but the lack of quarterback needs and a potential injury scare, respectively, dropped them deep into Friday's selection process.

    Willis landed with the Tennessee Titans at the 86th overall pick. The Titans were mentioned as a possible landing spot in the first round for the Liberty quarterback because of Ryan Tannehill's contract situation.

    Tennessee waited until its fourth selection of the draft to land Willis, who may end up as its quarterback of the future after learning under Tannehill.

    Before landing Willis, the Titans picked up three solid players, including Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks, who is expected to be A.J. Brown's replacement.

    The Philadelphia Eagles landed Brown in the most stunning first-round trade. The NFC East side has been praised as one of the draft's biggest winners so far because of the Brown trade and its picks.

    Philadelphia landed Dean with the 81st overall pick after bolstering its interior presence with Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis and Nebraska offensive lineman Cam Jurgens.

    The Eagles were not scared off by Dean's potential injury risk, and he will be even more motivated to shine in the NFL than if he was a first-round selection.

Team Grades

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    Arizona: C

    Arizona's most notable move was its trade for Marquise Brown on Thursday. It landed some depth behind Zach Ertz and J.J. Watt with its three Friday selections.


    Atlanta: A

    Atlanta nabbed Drake London to kick off the run on wide receivers on Thursday. It landed Desmond Ridder in the third round. He is expected to compete with Marcus Mariota for the starting quarterback job. The Falcons made three other practical picks to improve their front seven.


    Baltimore: A

    Baltimore killed it with the selections of Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum in the first round. Second-round pick David Ojabo could be a great player if he bounces back from the Achilles injury he suffered at Michigan's pro day.


    Buffalo: B+

    Buffalo made a sneaky good second-round pick in the form of Georgia running back James Cook, the younger brother of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.


    Carolina: B-

    Carolina brought in protection for its quarterback in Ikem Ekwonu in the first round. The Matt Corral third-round pick is intriguing if he can compete with Sam Darnold.


    Chicago: B-

    Chicago added two secondary players with its first two picks and landed a speedster in Tennessee's Velus Jones Jr. in the third round.


    Cincinnati: B+

    Cincinnati had a clear directive of improving its secondary and did so with the selections of Daxton Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt.


    Cleveland: C

    Third-round pick David Bell could be a good fit in the slot alongside Amari Cooper in the reworked Browns offense.


    Dallas: B-

    Dallas reached a bit by landing Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith at No. 24, but it did address needs on the offensive interior, at linebacker and at wide receiver with its first three picks.


    Denver: B

    Denver filled two needs with a pair of Day 2 selections. Tight end Greg Dulcich out of UCLA could turn into Noah Fant's primary replacement.


    Detroit: A

    The Lions will be judged on the Aidan Hutchinson pick and the trade up to land Jameson Williams. On paper, it looks like a fantastic haul for Dan Campbell's squad.


    Green Bay: A-

    Green Bay finally got a wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers in the form of North Dakota State's Christian Watson. The Packers did that after landing two members of Georgia's historically good defense in Devonte Wyatt and Quay Walker.


    Houston: B

    Houston landed a potential All-Pro cornerback in Derek Stingley Jr. The Texans added nice pieces with their four other picks, and all of them could contribute in 2022 with so many roster holes.


    Indianapolis: C

    The Colts added four players on Day 2. Alec Pierce and Jelani Woods should be nice depth pieces to help Matt Ryan get the best out of the offense.


    Jacksonville: B-

    Time will tell if Travon Walker over Aidan Hutchinson was the right move for the Jaguars. To their credit, they addressed a glaring need in the front seven with Walker and two Day 2 linebackers.


    Kansas City: A

    Second-round pick Skyy Moore could end up as Tyreek Hill's replacement with his pure speed and playmaking ability. The Chiefs made four solid moves on defense, including two additions to a secondary that will be busy chasing down the AFC West's top wideouts.


    Los Angeles Chargers: A-

    The Chargers filled their primary need on the offensive line with the first-round selection of Zion Johnson.


    Los Angeles Rams: C

    The Rams did not pick until No. 104, and they made a practical move by adding Wisconsin guard Logan Bruss.


    Las Vegas: C

    Like the Rams, Las Vegas waited until the third round to make its first selection. Memphis guard Dylan Parham could be a nice piece on the inside.


    Miami: B

    Miami's lone pick was used on a Georgia defensive player. In this draft, that has to be viewed as a strong selection.


    Minnesota: B-

    Minnesota improved its top roster hole by landing Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth Jr. with its first two picks. The Vikings should be praised for attacking their need in the secondary and ending up with two solid players.


    New England: C-

    New England reached on Cole Strange in the first round and Tyquan Thornton in the second round.


    New Orleans: B

    The Saints landed another weapon for Jameis Winston with the Chris Olave pick, and they added extra protection with Trevor Penning. They had a solid first day of the draft.


    New York Giants: A

    The Giants got two players in the first round in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal that were considered to be the potential No. 1 pick at points of the draft process.


    New York Jets: A

    The Jets added the top running back in the draft class, Breece Hall, to one of the best first-round hauls. Ahmad Gardner, Garrett Wilson and Jermaine Johnson could go down as the best first-round class.


    Philadelphia: A-

    Philadelphia landed two of the most important players on Georgia's title-winning defense. Nakobe Dean may be the steal of the draft at No. 81.


    Pittsburgh: A

    Pittsburgh was rewarded for its patience in the first round, and it led to Kenny Pickett at No. 20. George Pickens will be a nice complement to its crop of young playmakers on offense.


    Seattle: C+

    Seattle had a practical draft, starting with the first-round selection of Charles Cross, but there are still questions about its starting quarterback for Week 1.


    San Francisco: B-

    All anyone wanted to talk about this weekend was Deebo Samuel's status with the 49ers. San Francisco ended up with three decent picks. Do not be surprised if Tyrion Davis-Price earns carries and plays well at running back if he adapts to the offensive system, like Elijah Mitchell did last season.


    Tampa Bay: B
    Tampa Bay landed a nice pass-rushing piece in Logan Hall. Rachaad White could be important out of the backfield behind Leonard Fournette in 2022.


    Tennessee: A
    Tennessee got its potential quarterback of the future two rounds later than he was expected to be picked. Malik Willis is the most important player in the team's draft class. Treylon Burks is second on that list since he will be dubbed as A.J. Brown's replacement.


    Washington: B-
    Jahan Dotson and Brian Robinson Jr. could be great fits around Carson Wentz inside the new-look Commanders offense.

Tennessee: A

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Tennessee had a questionable start to its draft on Thursday. 

    The Titans traded away A.J. Brown to Philadelphia, and he immediately signed a four-year, $100 million extension, which is something the AFC South side could not afford. 

    Ryan Tannehill's contract is one of the reasons why the Titans can't afford Brown at an expensive number. 

    Tannehill has a $38.6 million salary-cap hit for the 2022 season, but there is the potential for the Titans to exit the contract next offseason. 

    That is why the third-round selection of Malik Willis makes sense from a long-term perspective. The Liberty product can learn under Tannehill throughout the next year. 

    Willis and Treylon Burks could be the Titans' top quarterback-wide receiver connection for years to come if everything works out.

    Burks was selected 18th overall as the immediate, and cheaper, replacement for Brown. The Arkansas wide receiver will be asked to contribute right away, and if he thrives with Tannehill, the Brown trade could sting less among the fanbase. 

    The Titans made two other solid picks on Friday, with Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary and Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere coming into the squad. 

    Petit-Frere was one of the highest-rated recruits in his class entering Ohio State, and he could be a mainstay on the offensive line for years. 

    If Petit-Frere and Willis live up to their potential, the Titans might end up with the most productive third round of any NFL team. 

Philadelphia: A-

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Philadelphia's biggest move from the last two days is the Brown trade. 

    The Eagles missed out on the run on wide receivers in the first round, and instead of reaching for a new wideout with one of their two first-round picks, they brought in a proven commodity in Brown. 

    Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert provide plenty of offensive firepower for the Eagles offense in a massive year for Jalen Hurts. 

    Hurts needs to improve in 2022 in order for the Eagles to avoid selecting a quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft. 

    The Eagles had an eye on the future with their first two picks. Jordan Davis and Cam Jurgens could eventually be the long-term replacements for Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce. They will get on-the-job training from the veteran players in 2022. 

    The third-round selection of Nakobe Dean may go down as the team's second-best draft weekend move behind the Brown trade.

    Dean was arguably the best player on the Georgia defense, but he fell because of some shoulder injury concerns. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said the team is comfortable with where Dean is at from a physical standpoint, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank

    Linebacker was the Eagles' biggest positional need going into the draft, and the Dean selection has the potential to go down as one of the biggest steals if the injury issues are not as major as his draft slide made it seem. 


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