The 2022 NFL Draft has finally arrived! Last night the second and third rounds were very exciting. It was wilder than many expected. The first round was filled with a lot of shocking selections and some selections that could push a team to the next level. Some fans will be thrilled with their team’s selections and others are left scratching their heads wondering what their team wants to do. Here are the 2022 NFL Draft: Second round grades and reactions.
33. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Jacksonville Jaguars): Logan Hall, DT/EDGE/ Houston
The first pick of the night is not a major surprise. Ndamukong Suh has not resigned with Tampa Bay and may not return this offseason. Selecting Logan Hall gives the Buccaneers a younger replacement for Suh in the middle of their defensive line. He may not be the run defender Suh was for them but should be able to replicate the pass rush production from the interior. New head coach Todd Bowles should have fun scheming Hall to play different roles in his defense. Hall is versatile enough to line up on the interior and also on the edge.
34. Green Bay Packers (via Minnesota Vikings from Detroit Lions): Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
It didn’t take very long for the Green Bay Packers to land the wide receiver they needed. Green Bay traded both of their second-round picks to move all the way up to the 34th overall pick. That is a huge price to give up to move up 20+ picks in the second round.
They ended up selecting North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson. He emerged as a potential Day 2 prospect after being the best receiver at the Senior Bowl. Watson has a great combination of size and speed that Aaron Rodgers will love. It would be hard to imagine Watson not being Green Bay’s number one receiver next season because he will be competing with Sammy Watkins and Allen Lazard for targets.
There were more refined receivers available but Watson has the highest upside of the receivers available. Filling in for All-Pro Davante Adams may be a tall task from the receiver out of North Dakota State. It may take a year for him to fully develop into the number one receiver the Packers need.
35. Tennessee Titans (via New York Jets): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
Tennessee made a somewhat surprising selection by taking cornerback Roger McCreary in the second round. McCreary was likely going to be selected in the top-40 so the value checks out. However, cornerback is a position where the Titans have solid depth. They currently have 2020 second-round pick Kristian Fulton, 2021 first-round pick Caleb Farley, and 2021 third-round pick Elijah Molden are their listed starters. All three were former premium draft picks who have played well early in their careers.
McCreary played extremely well against the top receivers in the SEC last season. His concerns were more about his physical measurements. He has extremely short arms which will limit him to the slot at least early in his career. This brings up the question of what it means for Molden’s long-term future as a starter for this team. However, Fulton was also expected to be a nickel back at the next level for Tennesee and has transitioned to outside cornerback.
Overall they got McCreary at a great value here with the 35th overall pick. However, they did not address a need or get a player that will have a major role early with this selection.
36. New York Jets (via New York Giants): Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
The New York Jets traded a fifth-round pick to move ahead of the Houston Texans to grab the consensus best running back in the draft Breece Hall. New York lands a running back in Hall who will be their starter right away and has Pro Bowl potential. Hall’s running style draws comparisons to Ezekiel Elliott and Jonathan Taylor. Zach Wilson now could have a dynamic running game to fall back on during early downs. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur gets to center his run-first offense around a dynamic running back with a massively high ceiling. New York will now move second-year running back Michael Carterto the third-down passing down role. This is an outstanding addition to a Jets offense that should look a lot better after all of the additions they have made this offseason.
37. Houston Texans: Jalen Pitre, CB/S, Baylor
Houston was likely blindsided by the Jets jumping in front of them to grab Breece Hall. However, they don’t flinch and address a major need on this roster by drafting Jalen Pitre. He is a versatile defensive back who could line up at either safety or nickel back. Pitre’s versatility and play style has been compared to Pro Bowler Tyrann Mathieu. The Texans fill the void in their secondary left by Justin Reid with a player in Pitre who may have more upside.
38. Atlanta Falcons (via New York Giants from New York Jets): Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
The New York Giants added another fourth-round pick to trade down to 43rd overall and allowed the Atlanta Falcons to move up to the 38th overall pick. Atlanta addressed a massive need for their roster by adding pass rusher Arnold Ebiketie. The Falcons have been one of the worst teams at rushing the passer over the last couple of seasons. Ebiketie was outstanding this past season at Penn State and likely would have been a first-round pick if not for all the top-end edge rusher talent in this year’s class. Atlanta is getting an immediate starter that could have a chance to lead the team in sacks in his rookie season, similar to what Azeez Ojulari did for the Giants last season.
39. Chicago Bears: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Rather than take a wide receiver the Chicago Bears finally land themselves a cornerback to line up opposite Jaylon Johnson in Kyler Gordon. Playing for new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus will be outstanding for Gordon’s development. During his time in Indianapolis, Eberflus has gotten outstanding production out of defensive players with the tools to eventually become stars. That perfectly describes Gordon who was the tools to be a great cornerback but needs to refine his craft. He is an outstanding selection for the Bears who are trying to rebuild their defense.
40. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos): Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Many thought the Seattle Seahawks could take an edge rusher with their first-round selection. Instead, they wait till the second round to get a pass rusher in Boye Mafe who could have been selected with the later picks of the first round. Mafe solidified his status as a top-40 selection after having an outstanding Senior Bowl. Seattle hasn’t had an impactful pass rusher since they traded away Frank Clark in 2019. Mafe’s freak athleticism should lead to success early and often for Seattle early in his career.
41. Seattle Seahawks: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
After taking Boye Mafe many speculated this would be where Malik Willis comes off the board. Instead, Seattle makes a very Seattle-esc selection of taking a running back here in Kenneth Walker. The Seahawks are getting the best running back in College Football this past season. Walker is a long-term starter at running back since Seattle only has Rashaad Penny on a one-year deal and Chris Carson has his injury issues. He will likely be the focal point of the Seahawks’ offense this season depending on who is their starting quarterback. That being said the Seahawks could have addressed a few more pressing needs including a quarterback here to help round out this roster.
42. Minnesota Vikings (via Indianapolis Colts from Washington Commanders): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
The Minnesota Vikings have moved all over the draft board and finally make their second selection here at the 42nd overall pick. Minnesota lands a player who many thought was the third-best cornerback in this class and a bonified first-round pick in Andrew Booth Jr. If not for some injury concerns and rawness to his game he would have been a top-20 pick. Booth Jr. immediately will start opposite Patrick Peterson and should be their CB1 of the future. The Vikings have done a great job rebuilding their secondary already adding Lewis Cine and now Booth Jr.
43. New York Giants (via Atlanta Falcons): Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
The New York Giants surprisingly took a wide receiver in the second round in Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson. He is a versatile offensive weapon that will likely line up in the slot. This sounds eerily similar to a player currently on the Giants roster in Kadarius Toney. There was speculation earlier this week that the Giants could be shopping the 2021 first-round pick receiver after reports that he hadn’t reported to the Giants’ offseason program. New York already has major investments in Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard along with Toney. Robinson feels like an insurance policy or the beginning of a rebuild that will take place in this receiver room.
This was definitely a reach for New York considering Robinson’s ceiling was likely somewhere in the third round and was likely going to be selected in the fourth round. The Giants also have much more pressing needs on this roster besides wide receiver that they could have addressed with this second-round pick. This selection feels like the Giants trying to prepare themselves to possibly be without Kadarius Toney in the near future.
44. Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns): John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
It was genius for the Houston Texans to realize think that the Baltimore Ravens could be interested in targeting an Alabama wide receiver in John Metchie because of Ozzie Newsome’s Alabama roots and their need at wide receiver after trading away Hollywood Brown. Houston gets themselves another pass catcher for Davis Mills to throw to this next season. Metchie would have received more hype as a prospect if he wasn’t recovering from a torn ACL. The trio of Brandin Cooks, John Metchie, and Nico Collins are a nice group of receivers for Mills to throw to and prove to the Texans that here could be their franchise quarterback.
45. Baltimore Ravens: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
There was a lot of anticipation for when Michigan pass rusher David Ojabo was going to come off the board. His floor felt like it would be this selection by the Baltimore Ravens. He has so many connections to this team for this selection not to happen. Ojabo had a career year this past season when current Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald was his defensive coordinator at Michigan. He also drew comparisons to Baltimore’s first-round pick a season ago Ofafe Oweh in playstyle and raw potential. Ojabo also was Oweh’s teammate in high school. For the second straight season, Baltimore lands an edge rusher who is an athletic freak which a massive ceiling. Ojabo has the potential to be Baltimore’s best pass rusher at some point in the near future.
46. Detroit Lions (via Minnesota Vikings): Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky
For the second time in this year’s draft, the Detroit Lions drafted a pass rusher. Josh Paschal now joins an interesting pass-rushing room featuring second overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, Charles Harris, and Romeo Okwara. Pascal’s toughness matches the culture Detroit is trying to install in their locker room. He is also versatile enough to play all over the Lions’ defensive line. He is a rock-solid selection by the Lions who could have used more pass rushers to their group of defensive linemen.
47. Washington Commanders (via Indianapolis Colts): Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
After this selection, it is very clear that the Washington Commanders have a thing for interior defensive linemen from Alabama. Phidarian Mathis is joining a defensive line room with fellow Alabama Crimson Tide alumni Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne. Defensive tackle was not a pressing need at all for the Commanders. This selection could have been made to not only replace Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle who left in free agency. It also could be because there has been speculation that they could move on Da’Ron Payne. Mathis won’t be a star but will be a solid pro at the next level. Washington likely should have addressed another position of need with this selection.
48. Chicago Bears (via Los Angeles Chargers): Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
For the second time in the second round, the Chicago Bears take a defensive back who will make an impact on their defense right away. Jaquan Brisker is an exciting safety prospect that can do it all. He is a ball hawk that is great in coverage. Pairing him up with former Pro Bowler Eddie Jackson gives the Bears an exciting tandem of safeties. Chicago’s starting secondary looks a lot better after their first two selections of the 2022 NFL Draft.
49. New Orleans Saints: Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee
The New Orleans Saints don’t have a need at cornerback but this selection allows them to move some pieces around in their starting secondary. Taylor will likely be New Orleans’ starting nickel-back which would allow C.J. Gardner-Johnson to move to free safety to replace Marcus Williams. Taylor is an extremely quick cornerback that has some ball skills. This is a solid selection for a Saints team trying to patch the little holes they have across their roster to be competitive next season.
50. New England Patriots (via Kansas City Chiefs from Miami Dolphins): Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor
The New England Patriots don’t have a great history of drafting wide receivers in the Bill Belichick era. They reach a little bit here by taking Tyquan Thornton in the second round. It is apparent that they want fast receivers. Thornton was a track athlete that ran a 4.28 at the combine. Thornton will be joining a speedy receiver room featuring the likes of DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, and Kendrick Bourne. New England apparently has a type at receiver and that forced them to reach o Thornton here who many thought would go sometime on Day 3.
51. Philadelphia Eagles: Cameron Jurgens, IOL, Nebraska
For the second season in a row the Philadelphia Eagles draft the potential replacement for Jason Kelce. 2021 second-round pick Landon Dickerson will likely stick at guard which begs the question of who will replace Kelce who will likely retire next offseason. Jurgens was the best center in the draft for multiple scouts around the league. He started getting national attention during the combine when he was arguably the most athletic interior offensive lineman at the event despite his size. This selection could be great long-term, however, it doesn’t help the Eagles right now who are preparing to potentially make the playoffs for the second year in a row.
52. Pittsburgh Steelers: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Even when the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t need a pass catcher, they still manage to add one on Day 2 of seemingly every draft. This year the Steelers needed to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. They take the receiver with one of the highest upsides of the entire draft. When healthy Pickens was one of the best receivers in college football. He has all the tools to be a number one receiver in the NFL. Pickens has great size, route-running ability, and speed. People questioned his durability and maturity. Pittsburgh has never had an issue taking immature pass catchers in the past (ex: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool). Pickens projects to be an outside receiver so it’ll be interesting to see who transitions to the slot whether it be Diontae Johnson or Chase Claypool.
53. Indianapolis Colts (via Minnesota Vikings from Green Bay Packers originally from Las Vegas Raiders): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
After losing T.Y. Hilton in free agency the Indianapolis Colts needed to add a wide receiver at some point in the offseason. Indianapolis took Cincinnati wide receiver Alec Pierce in the second round. Similar to current Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr., Pierce is a bigger receiver. At his size, Pierce is extremely fast and showed that during the combine when he ran a 4.4 forty. He should immediately be the team’s number two wide receiver and could potentially pass Pittman Jr. as the team’s number one receiver.
54. Kansas City Chiefs (via New England Patriots): Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
There was a lot of speculation that the Kansas City Chiefs could be interested in drafting Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore in the second round. Even after trading down, they were able to land Moore with the 54th pick. Moore is a perfect fit for what the Kansas City Chiefs need in their wide receiver room. Moore won’t exactly fill the void left by Tyreek Hill, but he could emerge as the Chiefs’ top receiver. He has the speed and separation that Patrick Mahomes likes his receivers to have. Adding Moore to the receiver room of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman will allow the Chiefs to be comfortable enough with their receiver room to be contenders again next season.
55. Arizona Cardinals: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
This selection came as a shock for a few reasons. The biggest need for the Arizona Cardinals was an edge rusher because they lost Chandler Jones in free agency. After that, the Cardinals’ biggest need was likely an interior offensive lineman. Arizona used their first draft pick in the second round on Colorado State tight end Trey McBride who is considered the best tight end in the draft.
From a value standpoint, this makes sense for McBride to go at this point of the draft. However, there are a lot of questions as to why the Cardinals would take him here. Earlier in the offseason, Arizona signed Zach Ertz to a three-year $31.7 million extension. The Cardinals could use both Ertz and McBride on two-tight end sets, but there’s a problem with that. Arizona runs the majority of its offense using four-receiver sets. That was the reasoning many people came up with for why they traded their first-round pick for Hollywood Brown.
How are the Cardinals supposed to get DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, Hollywood Brown, Zach Ertz, and Trey McBride on the field all at the same time? The answer is they can’t and this is why this selection is a misuse of resources. Arizona shouldn’t worry about not giving Kyler Murray enough weapons because he clearly has enough to succeed. This selection should have been used on an offensive lineman to protect Murray or on a pass rusher to set Murray up with better field position.
56. Dallas Cowboys: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
Dallas’ second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft sounds very similar to their second-round selection from the 2015 NFL Draft. The Cowboys take a pass rusher with first-round talent that falls late in the second round due to some off-the-field issues. This selection is basically the second coming of Randy Gregory in Dallas. Now the Cowboys hope that Williams can clean up his act off the field so he doesn’t spend years away from the team as Gregory did. After losing Gregory in free agency the Cowboys needed to add another edge rusher. This is a high-risk/high-reward pick selection for Dallas that Jerry Jones is not afraid to make if he feels that player could be the difference between his team being a contender or not.
57. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Buffalo Bills): Luke Goedeke, OT/IOL, Central Michigan
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up in the second round to take Central Michigan offensive lineman Luke Goedeke. Even though Goedeke played tackle at Central Michigan he will likely play guard in the NFL. He will now solidify the Buccaneers’ offensive line by competing for and likely winning the Buccaneers’ starting left guard spot which was occupied by Pro Bowler Ali Marpet before he retired. Goedeke is a nasty blocker who fits the attitude the Buccaneers like in their offensive lineman shown by the additions of Tristan Wirfs and Shaq Mason in recent years.
58. Atlanta Falcons (via Tennessee Titans): Troy Andersen, LB, Montana St.
Atlanta added a versatile defender when they drafted Montana State linebacker Troy Andersen in the second round. Andersen is known for playing both quarterback, safety, running back, and linebacker during his football career. Andersen is a very smart football player and a defensive playmaker. Andersen is still learning the linebacker position, however, the Falcons are hoping that Andersen could develop into the quarterback of their rebuilding defense.
59. Minnesota Vikings (via Green Bay Packers): Ed Ingram, IOL, LSU
It seems like every season the Minnesota Vikings invest an early draft pick into their offensive line. This year they invest a late second-round pick on LSU guard Ed Ingram. He is a solid interior offensive lineman that should be able to start right away for the Vikings. This raises questions about the long-term futures of 2020 second-round pick Ezra Cleveland or 2021 third-round pick Wyatt Davis. Both were projected to be the team’s starting guard. But the new Vikings regime took Ingram to improve the interior of their young offensive line.
60. Cincinnati Bengals (via Buffalo Bills from Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
For the second time in this draft, the Cincinnati Bengals draft a versatile secondary player in Nebraska defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt. He is one of the bigger cornerbacks in this year’s class who could lineup on the inside and outside. Cincinnati clearly wants to add depth to their secondary which was a major weak point during their playoff run. Taylor-Britt should have a role on this Bengals defense whether it be replacing Eli Apple or being the team’s fourth cornerback.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
A discrete need for the San Francisco 49ers was an edge rusher. Now that Arik Armstead is expected to primarily play on the interior of the 49ers’ defensive line, they need a consistent edge rusher opposite Nick Bosa. Veteran Dee Ford has not been available or reliable for the 49ers despite having a large contract with the team. There were reports earlier this offseason that Ford would not be on the team this upcoming season. Jackson had all the tools to be a first-round edge rusher if he was coached right at USC. By staying in California and joining the 49ers’ defense he will be coached by one of the best defensive coaching staffs in the league which should be able to unlock his potential. This has all the makings of a home run pick if they could get the best out of Jackson early in his career.
62. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
Outside of taking Skyy Moore, the Kansas City Chiefs have focused on rebuilding their defense that struggled this past season. Even though they replaced Tyrann Mathieu with Justin Reid, the Chiefs needed to add a third safety to their starting lineup. Cook should be a great coverage safety which should allow Justin Reid to primarily play in the box. Also, Cook could be the long-term replacement for Juan Thornhill who is expected to hit free agency next offseason.
63. Buffalo Bills (via Cincinnati Bengals): James Cook, RB, Georgia
There was a lot of speculation that the Buffalo Bills were going to add another running back at some point during the draft. After passing on Breece Hall in the first round for Kaiir Elam, the Bills took Georgia running back James Cook in the second. Cook may not be the every-down back that the Bills need, but he could be their best running back and a more explosive version of Devin Singletary. Cook will likely replace Singletary long-term who is expected to hit free agency next year. This may be a slight reach considering Cook was given a third-round grade from most scouts. However, a team like Buffalo, who seems to be nearing Super Bowl contendership, could afford to take prospects like Cook in the second round if they’ll be the difference between contending or not.
64. Denver Broncos (via Los Angeles Rams): Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
Denver didn’t make their first selection until the last pick in the second round. They took pass rusher Nik Bonitto who has been on draft radars since this summer. Bonitto is a speed rusher who may be able to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. Instead, Bonitto is expected to be a designated pass rusher for the Broncos who already have a dangerous duo of edge rushers in Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory. This should allow Denver to kick Chubb inside while allowing their speed rushers Gregory and Bonitto to set the edge on passing downs.