National Football League
2022 NFL Draft: Grades for all 32 first-round picks
National Football League

2022 NFL Draft: Grades for all 32 first-round picks

Updated Apr. 30, 2022 8:35 p.m. ET

The 2022 NFL Draft is officially here, and all eyes are on Las Vegas, where 32 players will become first-round draft choices Thursday night.

Follow every pick live here and get immediate reaction from FOX Sports NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang, who will be grading every choice. 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia, 6-foot-5, 272 pounds, 4.51 40-yard dash

An exceptional prospect whose talents were hidden at Georgia because opposing offenses were unable to generate enough first downs to give anyone much opportunity to pad their statistics, Walker is already a star. With the gifts, motor and fit in this Jacksonville scheme, he should ascend to superstardom early in his NFL career. He and Josh Allen will be a formidable tandem for years. Grade: A


Notable Numbers: Recorded a sack in each of Georgia’s two College Football Playoff wins in 2021. Becomes the fifth No. 1 overall pick from Georgia, tying the record for most No. 1 picks by any school.

Taking a look at Jaguars' No. 1 pick Travon Walker

Bucky Brooks breaks down game film of Georgia defensive end Travon Walker, the No. 1 overall pick of the Jaguars. Brooks sees similarities to Rams star Aaron Donald.

2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan, 6-7, 268, 4.74

Forget the short-arm narrative, Hutchinson was the best draft-eligible player in the country a year ago, essentially willing the Wolverines to the Big Ten Championship and a College Football Playoff berth with his combination of burst, power and simple relentlessness. There is not a better fit for Dan Campbell and blue-collar Detroit than Hutchinson, who almost certainly would have been the No. 1 overall selection had the Lions owned the first pick. Grade: A

Notable Numbers: Recorded 14 sacks in 2021 season, setting the Michigan single-season record. Finished second in Heisman Trophy voting.

Aidan Hutchinson to Detroit at No. 2

Bucky Brooks takes a look at Aidan Hutchinson, the highly touted edge rusher from Michigan.

3. Houston Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU, 6-0, 188, 4.45

The first slight surprise of the draft, but not one I will quibble with given the unbelievable pure cover skills Stingley offers. Lovie Smith knows an exceptional talent when he sees it, and Stingley's blend of fluidity, speed and ball-skills is special. There is no denying that his durability concerns raised red flags — thus the slightly lower grade — but Stingley is a future NFL interception leader. Grade: B+

Notable Numbers: Two-time first-team All-SEC selection (2019, 2020). Played in only three games in 2021 season due to Lisfranc injury. 

4. New York Jets: Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, CB, Cincinnati, 6-3, 193, 4.41

With a nickname and personality like "Sauce," Gardner was perhaps destined for Broadway. Jets coach Robert Saleh likely saw a faster version of his former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman in Gardner, who did not allow a single touchdown reception over his college career. Pairing Gardner with free-agent addition D.J. Reed (Seattle) gives Saleh and the Jets the cornerback duo to contend with division rival Miami as one of the elite secondary pairings in the league. Grade: A-

Notable Numbers: Did not allow a single TD reception on 138 career targets. The 2021 AAC Defensive Player of the Year is the first Cincinnati player to be drafted in the first round since Bob Bell in 1971.

5. New York Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon, 6-4, 256, 4.58 

A projected top-five pick since dominating the Pac-12 as a true freshman, Thibodeaux is the flashy edge rusher the Giants have lacked since Jason Pierre-Paul left town. His speed and power combination next to Leonard Williams gives New York the 1-2 punch up front to bully NFC East offensive lines. Like Sauce one selection earlier to the crosstown Jets, Thibodeaux has the flashy personality to excel in the big market. Grade: A

Notable Numbers: Led Oregon with seven sacks in 2021 and was voted a unanimous All-American.

Kayvon Thibodeaux's outlook

Geoff Schwartz analyzes Kayvon Thibodeaux's strengths and what he will bring to the table for the New York Giants.

6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State, 6-4, 328, 4.93

The Panthers were thought likely to trade out of this selection given that the club is not scheduled to select again until the fourth round. However, with their choice of the top-rated tackles available, the club fortified its front with the Ekwonu, whose blend of size, agility and power projects beautifully all across the line. 

While a tad shorter than most like at tackle, Ekwonu is functionally bigger than his 6-4 height suggests due to his extraordinary wingspan. Providing Sam Darnold with better protection (and anticipating a healthy 2022 season from Christian McCaffrey) gives the club its best chance to compete immediately. Ekwonu is the second local prospect selected in the first round by Carolina, with the club nabbing South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn a year ago. Grade: A-

Notable Numbers: Third NC State offensive lineman to be drafted in the first round (Jim Ritcher, Garrett Bradbury). Unanimous All-American in 2021.

Carolina takes Ikem Ekwonu

NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu's can set the tone and terrorize defenses, according to Geoff Schwartz.

7. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama, 6-8, 345, 4.90 (Est.)

Big Blue is back! The 2022 draft could not have played out better for the Giants, who nabbed the best combination of twitch and production of the edge rushers in Thibodeaux and now take the massive Neal two picks later. 

The duo will both literally and figuratively push each other as the Giants have completely revamped the line of scrimmage. Neal and Andrew Thomas at tackle allow the Giants to live up to their moniker, with the behemoths giving Daniel Jones his best chance yet at living up to his own top 10 selection. Grade: A

Notable Number: 2021 consensus All-American and Outland Trophy semifinalist.

Giants land Evan Neal

Geoff Schwartz hits on everything you need to know about Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal, from his explosive contact ability to his commitment to the game.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, WR, USC, 6-4, 219, 4.55 (est.)

In the first stunner of the 2022 draft, the Falcons eschewed their league-worst pass rush, instead, nabbing the best jump-ball receiver to pair with last year's star, Kyle Pitts. Often compared to fellow NFC South star Mike Evans in Tampa Bay, London offers the body control and strong hands to play the role of a security blanket for Marcus Mariota (or a quarterback soon to be selected). Grade: B

Notable Number: Led Pac-12 in receptions (88) and receiving yards (1,084) in 2021, despite missing the final four games due to an ankle injury. Was named the 2021 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Drake London headed to Atlanta

Geoff Schwartz breaks down why he is so high upon USC wide receiver Drake London.

9. Seattle Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State, 6-5, 311, 4.95

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 28: (L-R) Charles Cross poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected ninth by the Seattle Seahawks during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

The Seahawks addressed the biggest hole on their roster with Cross, whose initial quickness, lateral agility and balance made him the most polished pass blocker in this draft class. With the vast majority of his run blocking coming out of the two-point stance at Mississippi State, Cross will need some work in Seattle's anticipated run-first offense — but at just 21-years old, his upside is undeniable. Grade: B

Notable Number: First Mississippi State offensive lineman to be drafted in the first round since Derek Sherrod in 2011.

Seahawks get their offensive tackle

Geoff Schwartz examines Mississippi State offensive tackle Charles Cross as an elite 2022 NFL Draft prospect. Despite his experience in an "air-raid" offense, Cross is the "ultimate pass protector."

10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State, 6-0, 184, 4.38

Jets general manager Joe Douglas recently stated that he sees "greatness" in Zach Wilson's future. By surrounding the young quarterback with a pass-catcher of Garrett Wilson's caliber, the QB's job certainly will be easier. The Ohio State receiver offers the stickiest hands of this class, with remarkable body control to hover in the air and make circus catches look easy. Grade: B

Notable Number: Tied for second in the Big Ten with 12 receiving touchdowns in 2021.

Jets take Garrett Wilson

FOX Sports’ Bucky Brooks breaks down the skills that put Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson at the top of the 2022 receiver class.

11. New Orleans Saints (from Washington Commanders): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State, 6-1, 185, 4.39

Perhaps pushed by the early run on receivers, the Saints boldly moved up to nab the speedster Olave, whose elite speed and silky change of direction makes him an exceptional deep threat. Olave will complement veteran Michael Thomas and help quarterback Jameis Winston, one of the league's better deep-ball passers. The Saints will be criticized by many for the aggression of the trade up, but this was anticipated and is in line with previous bold moves orchestrated by Mickey Loomis. Grade: B

Notable Number: Ohio State’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns (35). Two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (2020, 2021).

Saints deal up for Chris Olave

Bucky Brooks breaks down the game of Chris Olave, who is headed to New Orleans after the Saints moved up to No. 11.

12. Detroit Lions (from Minnesota Vikings): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama, 6-2, 180, 4.34 (est.)

It isn't often that divisional rivals work together on trades in the first round — especially when the move helps a franchise land a possible game-changer — but with receivers coming off the board with three of the previous four picks, Detroit jumped up 20 spots to land Williams, the most physically gifted pass-catcher in the class. Williams will need time to recover from the ACL tear suffered in the national title game, making Detroit's trade up that much bolder, but he is the vertical playmaker to take advantage of Jared Goff's touch deep. Grade: B-  

Notable Number: Led SEC in receiving yards (1,572) and receiving touchdowns (15) in 2021. First-team All-American in 2021. 

Lions trade up for Jameson Williams

Geoff Schwartz breaks down Jameson Williams, the highly skilled wide receiver from Alabama.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (from Houston Texans): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia, 6-6, 341, 4.78

The Eagles started to fly a year ago when the club switched to more of a run-heavy approach. With the addition of the massive Davis, opponents won't be able to take that same strategy against Philadelphia. While perhaps not a classic pass rusher, Davis gets a strong push inside that should help the Eagles' speedy rushers on the outside. Teams will struggle moving him off the line of scrimmage. Grade: B+

Notable Numbers: Ran a 4.78 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest by any player 330 pounds or heavier since 2006. Won the Outland Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award in 2021.

Eagles land Jordan Davis

Geoff Schwartz is impressed with Jordan Davis, who was selected 13th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by Philadelphia.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Hamilton, FS, Notre Dame, 6-4, 217, 4.59

Year in and year out, the Ravens get extreme value on draft day. Baltimore was a big winner by landing Hamilton — a player some viewed as the best prospect in this class — at 14th overall. Hamilton's size, physicality and range make him an ideal match in the rough and tumble AFC North. Grade: B+

Notable Numbers: First Notre Dame defensive back to be selected in the first round since Harrison Smith (2012). Consensus All-American in 2021.

15. Houston Texans (from Philadelphia Eagles): Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M, 6-4, 325, 5.24

Amid all the speculation that Houston was looking to replace left tackle Laremy Tunsil, the club instead appeared to double down on him, nabbing a Pro Bowl-caliber guard here. Green's size and agility gives the Texans a formidable left side of the line. This wasn't the sexiest of picks, but it goes a long way toward strengthening the Houston front, which should be a priority given how quarterback Davis Mills struggled with durability during college. Grade: B 

16. Washington Commanders (from New Orleans Saints): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State, 5-11, 181, 4.43

Like the aforementioned Green, Dotson was a bit of a surprise coming off the board this high, but the fit in Washington is a clean one. His savviness as a route runner, along with terrific straight-line speed and sticky hands make him a Tyler Lockett clone. Teams won't be able to double up Terry McLaurin any longer and with Logan Thomas and Antonio Gibson also talented pass-catchers, new quarterback Carson Wentz has the weapons needed to succeed. Grade: B

Notable Numbers: Set Penn State single-game record with 242 receiving yards against Maryland in November 2021. First-team All-Big Ten selection in 2021.

Jahan Dotson highlights

Check out Jahan Dotson's three-touchdown performance against Maryland

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, OG/C, Boston College, 6-3, 314, 5.18

A year ago, the Chargers hit a home run with Rashawn Slater. L.A. might have duplicated that selection with the burly Johnson, whose girth, power and intangibles made him one of the safer prospects in this draft. Whether at guard or center — Johnson can play both — the Chargers got tougher up front and accomplished their No. 1 goal of protecting the investment in Justin Herbert. Grade: A

Notable Number: First-Team All-American in 2021. 

18. Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas, 6-2, 224, 4.55

Prior to the draft I listed Burks as the closest thing in this class to Deebo Samuel. Clearly, the Titans viewed him as an A.J. Brown replacement, nabbing the power-packed 6-2, 224-pounder at No. 18. Boasting a similar combination of size, physicality and better playing speed than his 4.55 in workouts would suggest, Burks has the talent to star immediately … and he didn't cost $100 million. Grade: B

Notable Numbers: First Arkansas wide receiver to be selected in the first round since 2005 (Matt Jones played QB at Arkansas but was drafted by the Jaguars as a WR). First-team All-SEC selection in 2021.

19. New Orleans Saints: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa, 6-7, 333, 4.89

The Saints waited three more picks than I anticipated with their projected selection of Penning. The Northern Iowa product has the frame, athleticism and sheer ferocity to fill a gaping hole at left tackle with Terron Armstead leaving in free agency. Grade: B

Notable Numbers: First Northern Iowa player to be selected in the first round. First-Team All-MVFC selection in 2021.  

Trevor Penning goes to New Orleans

Geoff Schwartz analyzes Trevor Penning, the physical offensive lineman from Northern Iowa.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh, 6-3, 219, 4.73

I anticipated Pittsburgh would take a quarterback at this spot but thought the club might go with Malik Willis. Pickett, in hindsight, makes more sense given the Steelers aren't the kind of club that often waits to develop players selected in the first round, and the Davey O'Brien winner is clearly further along in his development. I have my reservations about Pickett's true arm talent, but he's a confident, cerebral passer with good athleticism. Grade: B-

Notable Numbers: Set Pittsburgh single-season records for passing yards (4,319) and passing TDs (42) in 2021. Second Pittsburgh QB to be drafted in the first round, joining Dan Marino (27th pick in 1983). At 20th overall, it marks the latest that the first QB in the draft has been picked since 1997 (Jim Druckenmiller, first QB taken in 1997 Draft with the 26th pick by the 49ers)

Steelers keep Kenny Pickett in Pittsburgh

Geoff Schwartz explains what the Steelers are going to get from Kenny Pickett, who was selected 20th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft.

21. Kansas City Chiefs: (from New England Patriots): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington, 5-11, 193, 4.44

Kudos to Kansas City for moving up to nab McDuffie, who most viewed as the clear-cut No. 3 cornerback in this class. McDuffie is smooth in coverage and hits above his weight class. His competitiveness and football IQ also showed up on special teams, where he played on all four units at Washington. He is a clean fit in Kansas City's defense and will be a plug and play starter as a rookie. Grade: A

Notable Numbers: Washington’s fifth first-round pick in the past six drafts. First-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021.

22. Green Bay Packers: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia, 6-4, 242, 4.52

The third of five Georgia Bulldog defenders to get selected in the first round, the Packers added speed, power and still-untapped potential with Walker, boosting an already fearsome defense. Walker going before Devin Lloyd was a surprise, but scouts across the league felt he had a real shot to crack the first round, earning him a spot on my Mock-Buster list. Grade: B-

23. Buffalo Bills (from Baltimore Ravens): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida, 6-2, 192, 4.39

Under coach Sean McDermott, the Bills helped turn around gifted cover corner in Tre'Davious White (who entered the draft with some questions about spotty run support) and help him emerge as one of the league's better all-around cornerbacks. The Bills are clearly hoping to do the same with Elam, who offers exciting traits but hasn't always lived up to his prototypical size and NFL bloodlines. Buffalo won with its gamble on White but will need to keep the hot dice rolling if Elam is to justify this selection. Then again, the draft was held in Las Vegas. Grade: B-

Notable Numbers: Son of former NFL safety Abram Elam and nephew of former NFL safety Matt Elam. Second-Team All-SEC selection in 2020.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa, 6-5, 327, 5.02

There are not many teams with the skill-position talent and coaching expertise necessary to justify a selection of a very raw blocker like Smith in the first round, but the Cowboys certainly are one of them. Veteran line coach Joe Philbin will be tasked with molding Smith's undeniable potential into a future starter. Smith could get pushed inside initially, and he will have a great tutor in Tyron Smith to aid his development. Grade: B

25. Baltimore Ravens (from Buffalo Bills): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa, 6-2, 302, 5.02

Few clubs prioritize the offensive line like the Ravens, and that was proven yet again with the selection of Linderbaum, the clear-cut top center in this class. The Iowa standout offers terrific initial quickness, balance on the move and the tenacity to be a longtime starter. Grade: A

Notable Numbers: Rimington Trophy winner (first Iowa player to win award) and unanimous All-American in 2021. 

26. New York Jets (from Tennessee Titans): Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State, 6-5, 260, 4.58

Among the "elite eight" players on my board, I was stunned to see Johnson fall to the 26th overall selection. However, I love his fit in New York, especially given the earlier pick of Sauce Gardner (as well as Garrett Wilson). Sure, having three first-round picks makes winning the draft easier, but there is no question that GM Joe Douglas and the Jets seized the first day of the 2022 draft with this haul. Grade: A

Notable Numbers: Led the ACC with 12 sacks in 2021 and was voted the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah, 6-3, 237, 4.66

Speaking of falling stars, the Jaguars got extreme value with Lloyd at No. 27. The Utah linebacker is a prospect who many viewed as one of the cleaner talents in the draft and a possible Top 10 pick. Lloyd might have slipped slightly simply because of the perceived depth of this year's linebacker corps. Otherwise, he is a full-service LB who will quickly outplay this selection. Grade: A

Notable Numbers: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (first Utah player to win the award) and first-team All-American in 2021.

28. Green Bay Packers: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia, 6-3, 304, 4.77

It is interesting that Wyatt ended up in Green Bay — or perhaps frightening for opponents — as when watching him at Georgia and the Senior Bowl, I had flashbacks to Jarran Reed, who signed with the Packers in free agency, and longtime Green Bay standout Kenny Clark. Stout at the point of attack and a developing pass rusher with quick hands and some slipperiness to him, Wyatt gives the Packers a terrific rotation inside. Grade: A

Notable Number: Second-Team All-American in 2021.

29. New England Patriots: Cole Strange, C/OG, Tennessee-Chattanooga, 6-5, 305, 5.03

Well, the last name certainly is appropriate as the Patriots selection of the UT-Chattanooga blocker was a bit odd. In all seriousness, while Strange caught many of us off guard (he checked in at 87th on my board), I loved the physicality and tenacity he showed against top competition at the Senior Bowl and listed him among my favorite sleepers

Still, this felt like a selection New England could have made on Day Two. Don't be surprised, however, when Strange competes for a starting role early and latches on to that role with the same grip strength he shows as a blocker. Grade: B-

30. Kansas City Chiefs: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue, 6-4, 263, 4.78

It won't earn as much buzz as the Jets' haul, but I loved the Chiefs' first day, with the steady Karlaftis joining McDuffie as two rookies who filled clear needs for Kansas City. They also rank as two of the more polished prospects at their respective positions. What Karlaftis lacks in twitchiness, he makes up for with strength and refined hand play. Grade: B+

Notable Number: First Purdue player to be selected in the first round since 2011 (Ryan Kerrigan).

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Daxton Hill, FS, Michigan, 6-0, 191, 4.38

One of my favorite defensive backs in this draft class due to his unique blend of agility, acceleration and positional versatility, Hill has the range to complement franchise tagged Jessie Bates at safety. He also offers the true cover skills to handle nickel duties. Checking two boxes with one player, the Bengals got good value with Hill here. Grade: B

Notable Numbers: Led Michigan with eight pass breakups in 2021. Younger brother of Ravens RB Justice Hill. First-team All-Big Ten selection in 2021.

32. Minnesota Vikings: Lewis Cine, FS, Georgia, 6-2, 202, 4.37

There is some poetry to the first round of the draft both beginning and ending with a Georgia Bulldog, with Cine the appropriate capper as the last line of defense for the reigning national champions. For so long, the Vikings boasted one of the NFL's best free safeties in Harrison Smith, but age is catching up to the veteran. Cine catches up with opponents in a flash, and he brings the thunder as a hitter. Grade: B+


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