Round One of the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone in spectacular fashion (pun intended!), with a number of surprising and expected moves. As the draft wraps, TGH previews the impact of Round 1 on the Madden NFL series.
The Least Shocking Move of Round 1 (Pick #1)
Unsurprisingly, Travon Walker was selected #1 Overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Leading a Georgia Bulldogs defense coming off a National Championship victory vs the Alabama Crimson Tide, Walker produced an impressive statline over the course of his junior year (33 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery). Walker’s selection marks the first time a defensive lineman was picked #1 overall since the 2017 NFL Draft; when the Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M. Entering into the league with similar strengths/weaknesses as Garrett, expect Walker to enter into the next version of Madden with similar rookie ratings as Garrett.
Projected Madden 23 Rating: 83 overall
Another Less Shocking Move in Round 1 (Pick #2)
The Detroit Lions were on the clock at #2 and made another widely expected move: selecting Aidan Hutchinson at #2 overall. An edge rusher out of Michigan, Hutchinson had a dominant senior year producing a statline of 62 total tackles (16.5 for a loss), 14 sacks, 3 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles (1 recovery). Picking up on a recent trend of pass-rushers being selected 2nd overall (Chase Young, Washington Commanders 2020, Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers 2019), the expectations will be high for Hutchinson to produce at Defensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl level immediately for a Lion’s defense ranked in the bottom half of the NFL. The #2 Overall Pick, Hutchinson was widely regarded and ranked as the number one overall prospect in the draft. Expect Hutchinson’s rating in the next installment of Madden to be similar to the player selected just before him.
Projected Madden 23 Rating: 82 overall
First Round Run on WRs
After the selection of 5 defensive players in the first 5 picks (three defensive linemen, two cornerbacks) and two offensive linemen, the excitement in the first round began: with the selection of six WRs over the course of the next eleven picks. This would include:
- Drake London (USC) to the Atlanta Falcons (#8 overall)
- Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) to the New York Jets (#10 overall)
- Chris Olave (Ohio State) to the New Orleans Saints (#11 overall after trade up from pick #16 with the Commanders)
- Jahan Dotson (Penn State) to the Commanders (#16 overall)
Top Rookie WR Projected Madden 23 Rating: 75 overall (Drake London)
The most shocking movement came as the Philadelphia Eagles traded pick #18 for A.J. Brown (87 overall rating) from the Tennessee Titans who then selected Treylon Burks (Arkansas) as his replacement. Movement continued at pick #23, with the Baltimore Ravens trading Marquise Brown (84 overall rating) to the Arizona Cardinals. The wide receiver run at the middle of round-one shifts the offensive potential of each team in the upcoming Madden series.
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Featured image courtesy of the NFL