2022 NFL Draft grades, tracker: Analysis for every first-round selection

Want to know what I think of every pick made Thursday in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft? You can find it all below. You can also follow along throughout the rest of the draft on Days 2 and 3 for more grades and more analysis. Be sure to refresh this page throughout the weekend to get the latest grades.

If you want to do all that plus track the best available prospects and get access to every pick in the draft on one page, you can in our draft tracker.

Grades: Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7

1. Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Grade: B-

This is purely a projection. They need edge help, but he plays more like a down 5-technique. He’s a good player, a tough explosive player, a physical player, but he isn’t an rusher. They can pair him with Josh Allen, but I would have gone offensive lineman here.

2. Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Grade: B+

They need a pass rusher in the worst way, and they have to be thrilled that Hutchinson fell to them here. He is a polished edge rusher who will be an impact player right away. The Lions have to be able to impact the quarterback better than they did last year. Hutchinson will do that. But he might be a 12-sack guy most of his career, rather than a 16-sack guy. But that’s OK.

3. Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Grade: B

This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. They play a defense that doesn’t put a premium on cornerback, yet they picked one over pass rusher. Stingley is an outstanding cover corner, but this is a little odd. Pass rusher or tackle was a better option.

4. Jets: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Grade: B+

If you are to win the AFC East, you have to stop the Bills and Josh Allen. That means cover corners are at a premium. Gardner is the best cover player in the draft. This should mean more man for Robert Saleh and crew. Good pick.

5. Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Grade: A

He is the best pure pass rusher in this draft. He has the explosive ability the Giants badly need. The question with him now is his character. Does he love the game? But I think he will get past any of that talk and become a dominant edge player. I love this pick.

6. Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Grade: B+

The Panthers played spinning tops at left tackle last year, so getting a tackle was a no brainer in this draft. I liked Evan Neal more, but I get this choice. Ekwonu needs to work on his pass protection some, but he is fixable.

7. Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Grade: A

The Giants land the best tackle in the draft. He will step in at right tackle and give them a nice pair of bookends with Andrew Thomas. They have to protect the quarterback better, and they will. He will be a long-time starter who goes to a lot of Pro Bowls.

8. Falcons: Drake London, WR, USC

Grade: B-

London is a big receiver, but he doesn’t run that well. This is a team that needed to add more speed. I would have taken Garrett Wilson in this spot. He would have given them more of an immediate impact. London is good. But there were better options.

9. Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi St.

Grade: B

They had a glaring hole at left tackle, so they had to get a left tackle. With the run on them, they end up with a player who is good in pass protection but needs work in the run game. If Seattle wants to run it better, they picked the wrong tackle. But he is good at protecting the quarterback.

10. Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio St.

Grade: A

I love this pick. I know there was talking about trading this pick to get Deebo Samuel, but I love staying put and taking Wilson. He is a speed player who will help Zach Wilson in a big way. He’s fast and he will be a lot cheaper than Samuel.

11. Saints (from Commanders): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio St.

Grade: C+

Giving up all that arsenal to get Olave is risky if you ask me. Olave is a speed receiver who will complement Michael Thomas, but this is a lot to give up to get him. Jameis Winston will be happy, but I don’t love this. The Saints must.

12. Lions (from Vikings): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Grade: B

This is the best receiver in the draft. The Lions can wait to get him healthy. When he is healthy, he will be a dynamic playmaker. They made a bold move to go get him, but they did give up a bunch to get him. They better hope he is what they think he can become. I think he’s a star.

13. Eagles (from Texans): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Grade: B

This is a heck of a pick for the Eagles. They needed to get a power player inside with age becoming a problem there. Davis will be a three-down player in the NFL, even if some don’t think he will be. The Eagles will be much better against the run — that’s for sure.

14. Ravens

15. Texans (from Eagles)

16. Commanders (from Saints)

17. Chargers

18. Eagles

19. Saints

20. Steelers

21. Patriots

22. Packers

23. Cardinals

24. Cowboys

25. Bills

26. Titans

27. Buccaneers

28. Packers

29. Chiefs

30. Chiefs

31. Bengals

32. Vikings (from Lions)

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