Posts Tagged ‘2022 NFL Draft’

First overall pick Travon Walker has agreed to terms on his rookie contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, sources told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport.

Walker will receive a fully guaranteed four-year deal worth just over $37 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The contract will also include a standard fifth-year option.

The Georgia product is the Jaguars’ second consecutive No. 1 pick after the club selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence in last year’s draft.

The Jaguars have finished last in the AFC South in each of the past four seasons and also hold a 4-29 record since 2020. The organization hired former Super Bowl champion Doug Pederson as its head coach this offseason.

The Chicago Bears prioritized their defense in the 2022 NFL Draft despite having major needs on offense, but first-year general manager Ryan Poles remains confident his team will give quarterback Justin Fields everything necessary to thrive.

“We’re all-in on Justin,” Poles said Friday, according to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin. “I believe in Justin. Our coaches believe in Justin. Like I said from the beginning, we’re going to set him up to succeed.”

Chicago entered the 2022 draft with a major hole at wide receiver but didn’t draft a pass-catcher until the third round. The Bears – who didn’t have a first-round selection this year after trading up for Fields in the 2021 draft – instead addressed their secondary early, taking corner Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker in the second round.

The Bears were also expected to upgrade their offensive line after allowing a league-high 58 sacks last season. But Chicago waited until Day 3 to draft a lineman, selecting offensive tackle Braxton Jones in the fifth round.

“I would’ve done harm to this team if I just went with need and I didn’t put the best players available on this team,” Poles said, according to Chris Emma of 670 The Score.

Poles added he has “sky-high” belief in Fields.

“He is locked in, he is focused, and he wants to be great,” Poles said. “He’s a first-in, last-out guy, and he is pulling this team together. … His presence is showing up, and he’s starting to take over.”

The Bears, who lost veteran wideout Allen Robinson in free agency, are set to enter the 2022 season with Darnell MooneyByron Pringle, and third-round rookie Velus Jones as their primary wide receivers. Chicago’s offense also features receiver Equanimeous St. Brown – whom the team signed to a one-year deal – and tight end Cole Kmet.

Fields, the 11th overall pick in 2021, struggled as a rookie after taking over under center during the season. He finished the campaign with a 58.9% completion rate, passing for seven touchdowns against 10 interceptions through 12 appearances.

The 23-year-old, who battled multiple injuries throughout the season, also rushed for 420 yards and two touchdowns.

The Baltimore Ravens traded wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and a third-round pick (No. 100 overall) in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd overall pick.

Brown is coming off his first career 1,000-yard season. He operated as a vertical threat throughout his three campaigns in Baltimore after the team drafted him 25th overall in 2019 with the hopes that he’d develop into an elite playmaker.

The Cardinals will add Brown to a receiving corps featuring DeAndre HopkinsA.J. Green, and Rondale Moore. Hopkins, a perennial Pro Bowler, is coming off an injury-plagued season, while Green and Moore are entering their second campaigns in Arizona. Green recorded 848 yards for the Cardinals last year, while Moore posted 435 yards as a rookie.

Brown’s production gradually grew over his three seasons in Baltimore. He debuted with a 584-yard campaign in 2019, posted 769 yards in 2020, and broke through with 1,008 yards in 2021.

The Oklahoma product will reunite with his college quarterback, Kyler Murray, in Arizona.

“Kyler has wanted ‘Hollywood’ Brown for a couple years, and he’s as happy as I’ve ever seen him,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Thursday night on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Murray has appeared disgruntled with the Cardinals over the offseason but publicly insists that he’s content in Arizona.

The Ravens wound up trading down two spots from No. 23, and they selected center Tyler Linderbaum out of Iowa.

The New York Jets traded up to select Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 26 overall.

The Jets acquired the 26th pick and the 101st pick from the Tennessee Titans for the 35th, 69th, and 163rd choices.

New York made Johnson its third pick of the opening round after drafting cornerback Ahmad Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson earlier in the night. The Jets were rumored to be considering Johnson with one of their top choices and wound up trading back into the first round to get him.

Johnson posted 12 sacks for the Seminoles in 2021, breaking out as a star after collecting just 6.5 sacks combined over the previous two seasons at Georgia. He slid down the board on draft night despite his immense talent, perhaps in part due to concerns about his personality.

Scouting profile: Jermaine Johnson

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In a deep edge rusher class, Johnson is the ultimate consolation prize in the second tier of pass-rushers. He got his first taste of consistent starting experience at Florida State after transferring from Georgia before last season and hasn’t looked back, winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Johnson is a monster in the trenches thanks to his unmatchable size and length. His 34-inch arms are a marvel to watch on the field as he forces his way into the pocket – usually with a variety of swim, swat, or rip moves. That also carries over into the run game – he uses his freak size to obtain the necessary leverage to get off blocks. We’ve gotten a taste of Johnson’s talent, but it seems the best is yet to come.

The Kansas City Chiefs selected Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 21 overall.

The Chiefs sent the 29th, 94th, and 121st picks to the New England Patriots to move to No. 21, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

McDuffie was a star cornerback at Washington despite failing to grab an interception last season. He finished his collegiate career with two picks and one sack.

Kansas City’s pass defense ranked 27th last season and allowed 27 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.

Scouting profile: Trent McDuffie

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McDuffie is an outstanding athlete whose speed and fluidity give him an ideal skill set for sticky man coverage. However, he could thrive in any role he’s asked to take on, as his instincts also show up in zone coverage. The only real question mark in his game will be his ability to match up with big-bodied targets. He could primarily end up in the slot due to a significant lack of length, but there’s no less value in such a player in today’s game, and he’d be particularly impactful in that role with the tenacity he brings as a run defender. Either way, McDuffie should be considered a safe first-round talent with multiple paths to long-term impact play.

The Tennessee Titans selected Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 18 overall.

The Titans acquired the 18th pick in a blockbuster trade that saw A.J. Brown head to the Philadelphia Eagles. They also received the Eagles’ third-round selection at No. 101.

Burks saw his production increase in each of his three seasons at Arkansas. He put up 475 yards in 2019 and 820 yards in 2020 before exploding for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns last campaign.

Brown emerged as one of the league’s bright stars before the Titans sent him to the Eagles. The former second-rounder recorded 1,000-plus-yard campaigns in 2019 and 2020. He ended up with 869 yards in 2021, though injuries limited him to just 13 games.

Scouting profile: Treylon Burks

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Despite having the size of a prototypical alpha outside receiver, Burks is a unique prospect who needs the right offense to unlock his significant potential. That’s because he’s not a polished wideout, but a dominant playmaker with the size and athleticism to challenge NFL secondaries from Day 1. His college coaching staff wisely found ways to get him the ball on high-percentage plays near the line of scrimmage and let him do the rest. The majority of his snaps came out of the slot, which his next club should take advantage of as well. Though the 22-year-old has work to do if he’s going to become a force in the pros, he’s got the attributes to develop into a mismatch nightmare for defensive coordinators.

The Washington Commanders selected Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 16 overall.

Dotson provides the Commanders with a speedy receiver for new quarterback Carson Wentz. The former Nittany Lion put up 1,182 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in his final collegiate season.

Washington lacked production from their second receiving spot last season. Terry McLaurin put up 1,053 yards in 2021, but no other player recorded more than 400 receiving yards. Running back J.D. McKissic ranked second on the team with 397 yards.

The Commanders went 7-10 last season and averaged less than 20 points per game (19.7).

Scouting profile: Jahan Dotson

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Penn State5’111784.43

Dotson is an easy prospect to fall for: a smooth and savvy route-runner whose crisp moves will translate well to an NFL field. He has excellent hands and goes after the ball with conviction, showing almost no regard for his body – a trait that might be problematic and hard to replicate when he’s up against more physical defenders in the pros. Though he’s not equipped to shed tackles, the Penn State star shows the vision and burst to avoid them entirely, which can lead to big plays. His evident natural talents overshadow concerns about his lack of ideal size or play strength.

The Philadelphia Eagles traded up to select Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 13 overall.

The Eagles sent the 15th, 124th, 162nd, and 166th picks to the Houston Texans in exchange for No. 13.

Davis will join a defensive line that features veterans Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, as well as youngsters Milton Williams and Marvin Wilson.

A vaunted run-stuffer who also flashed potential as a pass-rusher at Georgia, Davis won the Chuck Bednarik Award in 2021 as the nation’s top defensive player.

The 22-year-old wowed scouts at the NFL combine with his athletic scores, including a 4.78-second 40-yard dash. He recorded the fastest 40 time since 2003 of any player in the Next Gen Stats database that weighed at least 310 pounds.

Scouting profile: Jordan Davis

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Georgia6’63414.78

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Davis is an absolute menace in the ground game. With a massive frame and freakish movement skills for his size – and his ability to find the ball, toss aside his block, and make a play – he can single-handedly destroy opponents’ rushing attacks. Even if he offers nothing as a pass-rusher, a player this much of a nuisance on early downs is still worth an early pick. Davis’ presence makes it easier to force third-and-longs, where the pass-rush can go to work. And if a ridiculous athletic profile hints at even a little bit of untapped potential for getting after the quarterback himself, watch out.

The Detroit Lions traded up from No. 32 to No. 12 to select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Lions dealt picks Nos. 32, 34, and 66 in exchange for the Minnesota Vikings‘ 12th and 46th overall selections, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Williams is coming off an ACL tear but was regarded as one of the top receivers in the 2022 class. USC’s Drake London and Ohio State wideouts Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave all went off the board prior to the former Alabama prospect.

The Lions have now added Williams and free agent DJ Chark to their receiving corps this offseason. They’ll also return second-year wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown, who led the club with 912 yards last campaign.

Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards with 15 touchdowns in 2021.

Detroit also selected Michigan pass-rusher Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 overall pick.

Scouting profile: Jameson Williams

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Williams is currently rehabbing from a late-season ACL tear that puts his rookie year availability in doubt. Even with the injury uncertainty, he’s a top-three WR prospect in this class with a chance to eventually be the best of the bunch. Prior to undergoing knee surgery, he poured in a 78-catch, 1,561-yard, 15-touchdown campaign for the Crimson Tide – showcasing a devastating combination of speed and electric agility to shake defenders and leave them in his wake. The 21-year-old is more than just a field-stretcher, though. His ball tracking, body, control, and yards-after-catch skills make him a difference-maker with an opportunity to be exceptional at the next level.

The New Orleans Saints selected Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 11 overall.

The Saints, who entered the draft with two first-round picks, traded up for the 11th overall selection, sending a first-round pick (No. 16), a third-round selection (No. 98), and a fourth-rounder (No. 120) to the Washington Commanders, according to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.

New Orleans also drafted offensive tackle Trevor Penning at No. 19 overall. The team acquired an extra Round 1 choice this year in an eight-pick trade with the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in April.

Wide receiver was viewed as a major need for the Saints, who saw running back Alvin Kamara lead the club with just 47 receptions in 2021. Marquez Callaway was New Orleans’ top wideout last year after racking up 698 yards and six touchdowns on 46 catches.

Olave put on a show through four seasons at Ohio State, posting 175 catches, 2,702 yards, and 35 touchdowns.

With Olave, the Saints add an explosive pass-catcher to line up opposite Michael Thomas. Injuries have limited Thomas, the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year, to only seven regular-season appearances over the last two seasons. He didn’t play at all in 2021 due to an ankle ailment.

Scouting profile: Chris Olave

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Ohio State6’01874.39

Olave might be the most pro-ready receiver in this year’s class – sporting high-level route running, fluid athleticism, and the speed to make plays deep. His consistency could lull you into underestimating his accomplishments … which would be a mistake. The 21-year-old is a finesse player, not someone who will overpower press corners or take on linebackers in the middle of the field. He adds little after the catch and won’t do much damage as a run blocker. Instead, he’ll beat you with timing, precision, and acceleration on his way to the end zone (32 touchdowns over the last three seasons at Ohio State).