Pros and cons for every first-round pick

The 2022 NFL draft started Thursday and continues via Saturday (ABC/ESPN/ESPN App). The Jacksonville Jaguars had the primary decide of the draft and chosen Georgia pass-rusher Travon Walker.

Without a consensus quarterback, there have been extra divergent opinions about how the highest 20 picks will go among the many scouts, coaches and normal managers. Only 4 occasions within the earlier 15 drafts had a quarterback not been the No. 1 decide — Myles Garrett to the Cleveland Browns in 2017, Jadeveon Clowney to the Texans in 2014, Eric Fisher to the Chiefs in 2013 and Jake Long to the Miami Dolphins in 2008.

We are monitoring all 262 picks for Rounds 1-7, and you can also see all the finest obtainable draft prospects.

The draft continues with Rounds 2-3 on Friday (7 p.m. ET) and concludes with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday (midday ET).

Here is the primary spherical of picks, analyzed by our ESPN NFL Nation reporters.


Travon Walker, LB, Georgia | Highlights

Why they picked him: Walker’s draft inventory shot up after the mix, however the Jaguars had been already intrigued by the Georgia standout due to his versatility. He lined up at defensive finish, defensive sort out and linebacker in 2021, and the Jaguars can transfer him round to get the perfect matchup. He’s athletic sufficient to drop into protection, too, if the Jaguars wish to get artistic with him. It was notable Walker performed his finest soccer within the two College Football Playoff video games; he is a man who ratchets issues up when it issues most.

Biggest query: Walker had a career-high six sacks in 2021 after 3.5 whole in his earlier two seasons, so there’s concern a couple of one-year surge. Walker additionally did not stand out as the perfect participant on the Bulldogs’ protection — that was linebacker Nakobe Dean — so this decide is extra in regards to the Jaguars projecting what Walker can turn into. Every decide is made with that in thoughts to a level, however the Jaguars handed up a participant most draft analysts agree will make an instantaneous impression and be a perennial double-digit sack man (Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson) for a participant who has 9.5 profession sacks. — Mike DiRocco


Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Michigan participant will keep at dwelling. But let’s be actual, that is not the solely purpose behind this decide. The Lions are in determined want of game-changers, particularly on the protection, and Hutchinson checks all the containers. He’ll be prepared instantly — and he is already constructed a neighborhood fan base that ought to convey people to Ford Field. This is a brilliant decide, and it falls according to what the Lions are attempting to perform of their rebuilding course of.

Biggest query: Hutchinson was a 2021 consensus first-team All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist, however will that success carry over to the subsequent degree? As nice as Hutchinson was through the common season, he struggled towards Georgia within the nationwide semifinal loss. Will his manufacturing be stilted towards higher competitors? Only time will inform. — Eric Woodyard


Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU | Highlights

Why they picked him: Coach Lovie Smith made it clear earlier within the month that the Texans cannot play soccer the best way they wish to with out enhancing at cornerback. The Texans have since added veteran Steven Nelson, however drafting Stingley with the No. 3 decide reveals Houston’s dedication to the place. Stingley Jr., who earned first-team All-America honors in 2019 and 2020, will thrive in Smith’s defensive system. Stingley Jr. is coming off an damage — he had surgical procedure in September 2021 after he tore a ligament in his left foot — however was in a position to take part in LSU’s professional day exercise earlier this month and stated he felt “fine.”

Biggest query: Should the Texans have given quarterback Davis Mills extra assist as an alternative? Let me preface this by saying there was no unhealthy decide at No. 3 as a result of the Texans have so many holes to fill on their roster. Although there was actually a necessity within the secondary, Houston additionally must set Mills as much as succeed. Taking both offensive sort out Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal would have given Mills some dependable safety alongside left sort out Laremy Tunsil. — Sarah Barshop


Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati | Highlights

Why they picked him: Gardner is a terrific expertise who performs a place of want. The sport is performed on the perimeter — see all of the star receivers scoring huge contracts — and Gardner will give the Jets an opportunity to compete towards the elite playmakers within the AFC East. Gardner ought to begin reverse free-agent addition D.J. Reed, an enormous improve from the Bryce Hall-Brandin Echols tandem final season. Gardner has the traits that ought to make him a really perfect slot in coach Robert Saleh’s scheme — lengthy physique (6-foot-3), lengthy arms (33 ½ inches) and 4.41 velocity within the 40. He was dominant in school. Get this: He allowed zero landing passes in his profession (1,103 protection snaps). Quarterbacks had been afraid of him, as he was focused solely 3 times per sport in 2021. His ball expertise (9 interceptions in three years) might be a welcome addition to a secondary devoid of playmakers.

Biggest query: What about an edge rusher? The Jets had their selection of Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux. Saleh’s protection is based on move rush, however Gardner was the precise transfer as a result of Thibodeaux and Johnson would’ve been reaches at No. 4. As for Gardner, the large query is, can he lower down on the penalties? He was handsy in school, committing 9 penalties over the previous two seasons (together with seven move interference and holding calls). He’s such a protracted athlete that one scouting supply stated, “I don’t think he can handle quick, speedy guys.” — Rich Cimini


Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon | Highlights

Why they picked him: They wanted a dominant edge rusher. This is how the Giants had been at all times constructed, they usually’ve had only one edge rusher (Markus Golden) document double-digit sacks since 2015. Thibodeaux performed via an ankle damage and nonetheless produced. His 17.8% stress share was third within the FBS. He additionally can be utilized all around the area in new defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s scheme. Thibodeaux and final yr’s second-round decide Azeez Ojulari (8.0 sacks as a rookie) give the Giants two younger and harmful edge rushers. It provides their protection a wholly totally different look.

Biggest query: How will Thibodeaux deal with the Big Apple? There was some discuss Thibodeaux’s effort and motivation all through the draft course of. Some stated he was too involved about his model as an alternative of soccer. Obviously the Giants did not suppose that was an issue. They did not hesitate and made the Oregon edge rusher their first of two first-round picks. — Jordan Raanan


Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State | Highlights

Why they picked him: Other than maybe buying and selling down so as to add second-day picks, this could not have turned out higher for the Panthers. They’re attempting to construct a basis and the most important lacking piece aside from a franchise quarterback is a franchise left sort out. Ekwonu (6-foot-4, 310 kilos) checks all of the containers for a workforce that hasn’t drafted a sort out within the first spherical since Jeff Otah with the nineteenth decide in 2008. Left sort out has been a revolving door since Jordan Gross retired after the 2013 season. And Ekwonu is a Charlotte native who performed at at Providence Day. Go forward and pencil Ekwonu in at left sort out on a line that normal supervisor Scott Fitterer has spent the offseason rebuilding.

Biggest query: The greatest query is how did he fall to No. 6? No sort out on this draft sticks with blocks longer and has a nastier perspective on the place. Not solely can Ekwonu play sort out, he can play left guard if wanted there whereas engaged on move safety and approach. While he is thought of an excellent run-blocker, which offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is searching for, Ekwonu’s been inconsistent at occasions in move safety. But general, it is nothing that may’t be fastened. And Ekwonu has an excellent story. A youth coach nicknamed him “Ickey” because he looked like former Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods. Shuffle him into a starting role. — David Newton


Evan Neal, OT, Alabama | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Giants need offensive line help and wanted to add a tackle early in this draft as long as the board fell accordingly. Neal, who was at the top of my list of most likely players to be selected by the Giants at pick No. 5, has a massive frame (6-7, 360) and moves well, a prerequisite in coach Brian Daboll’s system. He also has experience playing right tackle at Alabama having played there during the 2020 season. It’s the position he is expected to hold down for the Giants, giving them bookend tackles along with Andrew Thomas to protect Daniel Jones or whomever might be their quarterback in the future. Neal allowed only one sack last season, which came in the national title game against Georgia. His run block and pass blocking improved each of his three years at Alabama, according to Sports Info Solutions.

Biggest question: There isn’t a ton to nitpick in his game, but several scouts suggested he’s on the ground too often. Much of that was at the second level. It’s something scouts believe can be rectified with more experience and patience. It’s not a physical or athletic limitation. Neal has the power to dominate as a run-blocker and hold firm against bull rushers. His quickness and footwork for his size allow him to reach that second level. — Jordan Raanan


Drake London, WR, USC | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Atlanta Falcons really — I mean, really — needed a wide receiver. Julio Jones was traded last year. Calvin Ridley is suspended for gambling. Russell Gage is in Tampa Bay. So the Falcons had to find receiver talent in this draft. Add to that, head coach Arthur Smith likes big-bodied receivers and the 6-foot-5 wide receiver makes a whole bunch of sense.

Biggest question: There aren’t many. London makes a ton of sense for Atlanta at a position where the premium has gone up in the past few months because of the spectacular contracts given to Tyreek Hill, Christian Kirk and others. But the question remains for the Falcons — who is going to be rushing the passer? It’s something they have to figure out on Day 2. — Michael Rothstein

Mike Clay’s 2022 projection: 110 targets, 70 receptions, 904 yards, five TDs


Charles Cross, LT, Mississippi State | Highlights

Why they picked him: Offensive sort out was simply the Seahawks’ greatest want. Duane Brown and Brandon Shell are each unsigned, and Seattle has simply three tackles below contract, none of whom have intensive beginning expertise. But it goes nicely past speedy want. GM John Schneider has lengthy talked about how exhausting star offensive lineman are so exhausting to seek out in right this moment’s NFL, particularly if you’re routinely selecting late within the first spherical just like the Seahawks have for a lot of the previous decade. A top-10 decide left them with a uncommon likelihood to get that man, and it was too good to move up.

Biggest query: The speedy query is which aspect Cross will play. The left aspect appears extra doubtless given his background — he performed on the left aspect in school — and the way that is a way more useful place than proper sort out. Jake Curhan, a 2021 UDFA, performed nicely final season whereas filling in for Shell at proper sort out. Longer-term, the query is whether or not Cross would be the higher decide than Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II, maybe the perfect edge rusher that was nonetheless obtainable at No. 9. That’s additionally a necessity spot for the Seahawks, however they should have figured that edge rusher — and every other wants — might be simpler to fill within the second spherical than sort out would have been. — Brady Henderson


Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State | Highlights

Why they picked him: In case you have not been paying consideration the previous few weeks, the Jets have been on a mission to discover a WR1. In Wilson, they’ve a possible star, a participant who can develop with QB Zach Wilson, WR Elijah Moore and RB Michael Carter. He will convey much-needed explosiveness to the offense. Not solely does he have glorious velocity (4.38 within the 40), however he has elite separation capacity and physique management. He improved annually at Ohio State, ending with a excellent season — 70 catches, 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s the Jets’ first first-round receiver since Santana Moss in 2001.

Biggest query: Can he take the pounding? A shade below 6-feet, listed at 183 kilos, Wilson is on the smallish aspect. The very last thing the Jets want is one other injury-prone receiver from Ohio State. (See: Devin Smith, second-round decide, 2015.) Only one among their high 4 receivers is over 6-feet — Corey Davis (6-foot-3). Wilson additionally had some hassle with dropped passes (six final season). Another query: What turns into of Denzel Mims, their 2020 second-round decide? At finest, he is the WR5. It would not be a shock if he is traded. — Rich Cimini

Clay’s 2022 projection: 108 targets, 67 receptions, 852 yards, 5 TDs


Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State | Highlights

Why they picked him: This was one of the apparent instances of filling a obtrusive want within the NFL draft so far after the Saints completed thirty second within the league in passing offense final yr. They needed to transfer up from No. 16 to No. 11 to do it, however they solely had to surrender a third- and fourth-rounder. Obviously getting WR Michael Thomas and QB Jameis Winston again from accidents will assist, however the Saints wanted one other dynamic pass-catcher — they usually bought one within the 6-foot, 187-pound Olave. The Saints have insisted all offseason they do not plan to rebuild below new coach Dennis Allen. And they proved it by making two aggressive trades over the previous month so as to add an instant-impact participant.

Biggest query: The Saints clearly handed on a quarterback right here (like the remainder of the NFL). And they’ve now used up a whole lot of draft capital with their two trades (they traded away subsequent yr’s first-round selection amongst others to accumulate the Philadelphia Eagles’ sixteenth decide within the first place). But they’ve now given Winston a a lot better likelihood to succeed. — Mike Triplett

Clay’s 2022 projection: 101 targets, 60 receptions, 843 yards, 4 TDs


Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama| Highlights

Why they picked him: One of the most important wants on this present roster was the broad receiver place and the Lions regime was aggressive with taking a swing on Williams by buying and selling up for the twelfth general spot. Lions receivers caught 24.5% of their tight-window targets final season per NFL Next Gen Stats, which was third-worst within the NFL. By including Williams, they get one other speedster who is usually a sturdy weapon for quarterback Jared Goff.

Biggest query: How will Williams recuperate from a torn ACL? It’s actually a threat to take an opportunity on a man who’s recovering from damage and can doubtless miss a part of the season, however his on-the-field expertise cannot be denied. Williams made eight landing catches of 50-plus yards in 2021, which tied for essentially the most in a single season by FBS participant over the previous 15 seasons. — Eric Woodyard

Clay’s 2022 projection: 83 targets, 51 receptions, 707 yards, 5 TDs


Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Eagles traded the fifteenth,124th,162nd and166th general picks to pick Davis, the 6-foot-6, 340-pound anchor of Georgia’s championship protection. He has uncommon measurables — he ran a wild 4.78-second 40-yard sprint on the mix — and can function the offensive-line wrecking, pure nostril sort out defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon coveted for his hybrid scheme.

Biggest query: He did not play on third down a lot in school, resulting in questions on whether or not he’ll solely be efficient on this degree as a run-stuffer. The Philadelphia brass believes he has the talent set to be a disruptive power within the passing sport, and that the one purpose he was taken off the sphere was due to the immense expertise on the defensive aspect of the ball for Georgia. — Tim McManus


Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame| Highlights

Why they picked him: Hamilton was clearly the perfect participant on the Baltimore’s board by a large margin as a result of there’s actually no different purpose for this decide. Ravens normal supervisor Eric DeCosta has insisted that he takes the perfect participant obtainable, and he backed that up with this decide, which was a curveball. Hamilton was rated because the No. 4 prospect by Mel Kiper Jr. This is a stunning decide as a result of the Ravens’ greatest free-agent splash was security Marcus Williams. Now, Baltimore follows that up through the use of its highest decide in six years on one other security. Hamilton is flexible and might line up at nickel, the place the Ravens have a void. His eight interceptions since 2019 are tied for the fifth-most amongst Power 5 gamers in that span. Hamilton will instantly assist a Ravens protection that ranked final within the NFL in passing yards (4,986) and recorded the fifth-fewest interceptions (9) final season.

Biggest query: Why did not the Ravens tackle a extra urgent want? Baltimore’s two greatest holes on the roster are at pass-rusher and cornerback, and the Ravens had a possibility to get a top-four prospect at these positions. The Ravens handed on the draft’s fourth-best pass-rusher (Jermaine Johnson II) and the third-best cornerback (Washington’s Trent McDuffie). Baltimore has at all times put a premium at loading up within the secondary, and that actually hasn’t modified with Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson within the division. — Jamison Hensley


Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Texans’ high precedence in 2022 must be determining simply how good quarterback Davis Mills is and including assistance on the offensive line is a step in the precise course. Last season, Houston’s offensive line ranked twenty seventh in move block win charge, based on ESPN Stats & Information, and the workforce completed final within the NFL in speeding yards. Adding Green provides Mills some extra dependable safety and helps put him in a greater spot to reach 2022.

Biggest query: Where does Green match on the offensive line? When requested earlier within the week about the place offensive linemen Tytus Howard would line up subsequent season, Smith stated he is simply targeted on getting the perfect 5 offensive linemen on the sphere without delay and he wasn’t targeted on the person positions. Green began at 4 spots on the offensive line for Texans A&M in 2021 and could possibly be Houston’s proper sort out or play inside for the Texans subsequent season. — Sarah Barshop


Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Commanders have not completed within the high 10 in offense in yards or factors since 2016 so offense was wanted. They now have a quick, dynamic receiving crew with Dotson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown. There’s additionally versatility with this group as every can line up anyplace. Dotson can play inside or exterior; Washington coach Ron Rivera beloved his playmaking capacity. Dotson could make performs at any degree, taking brief passes for lengthy positive factors and profitable down the sphere with athletic grabs. He can also return punts if Washington desires to make use of him on this position.

Biggest query: Play energy. At 178 kilos, there’s concern over his capacity to deal with bodily protection within the NFL, although Washington will help by spreading groups out with good expertise round him. He’s finest at working exterior the hashes, which is not an issue as a result of others can nevertheless it does restrict Dotson a bit of bit. Washington nonetheless may use a bodily receiver to enhance the velocity wideouts. But Washington’s coaches have lengthy appreciated Dotson due to his playmaking capacity. — John Keim

Clay’s 2022 projection: 80 targets, 49 receptions, 640 yards, 4 TDs


Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College | Highlights

Why they picked him: Finding extra safety for quarterback Justin Herbert was a precedence for the Chargers getting into the draft. They solidified the left aspect of their offensive line a yr in the past after they used a first-round decide to pick left sort out Rashawn Slater. Now they use their seventeenth general choice to snag Johnson, who was ESPN’s top-rated guard prospect within the 2022 draft class. The 6-foot-2, 312-pound Johnson will have the ability to instantly begin on the precise aspect of the road.

Biggest query: With Johnson anticipated to step in at proper guard, who will begin at proper sort out? The Chargers have struggled to discover a resolution on the spot after signing veteran Bryan Bulaga in free company in 2020, solely to see him play 11 video games in two seasons attributable to accidents (together with just one final yr), adopted by his launch after the season. Storm Norton began 15 video games at proper sort out, nevertheless it’s unclear if Norton will win the job going ahead or if the Bolts will contemplate shifting Matt Feiler from left guard to proper sort out, a place he performed with the Pittsburgh Steelers — Lindsey Thiry


Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas | Highlights

Why they picked him: Selecting Burks provides the Titans a large receiver to interchange A.J. Brown, who was traded to the Eagles in trade for the No. 18 general decide. Brown didn’t report back to Phase 1 of offseason actions in hopes of securing a brand new contract. The Titans did not wish to pay Brown high greenback. Burks has drawn comparisons to Brown due to his capacity to generate yards after the catch. The Titans rely closely on the play-action passing sport and have discovered success getting the ball to Brown throughout the center. Burks has the identical type of sturdy body to bounce off of tackles and achieve further yards. He was a extremely productive participant at Arkansas as proven by his 11 touchdowns, together with a 91-yard catch and run.

Biggest query: Trading Brown means the Titans are shedding one among their most explosive playmakers on offense. Burks might be requested to fill huge sneakers as a rookie. Although their play types are comparable, it is a tall order. The Titans are taking a giant threat however they may save upwards of $20 million per season by buying and selling Brown. Ryan Tannehill focused Brown greater than every other receiver throughout their time collectively. Now Tannehill has to develop the identical degree of belief with Burks and do it rapidly. — Turron Davenport

Clay’s 2022 projection: 99 targets, 62 receptions, 835 yards, six TDs


Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa | Highlights

Why they picked him: New Orleans went two-for-two on Thursday evening when it got here to filling apparent wants. Penning will get an opportunity to step in instantly because the Saints’ beginning left sort out after they misplaced perennial Pro Bowler Terron Armstead in free company. And as an alternative of changing quarterback Jameis Winston on this yr’s draft, they supported him with Penning and a much-needed broad receiver in Chris Olave. Receiver Michael Thomas’ return from an ankle damage will assist an terrible lot, too.

Biggest query: Penning must make the leap from a decrease degree of competitors at Northern Iowa, so this is not fairly the identical “sure thing” because the three offensive tackles who went inside the highest 10 on Thursday evening. And there isn’t any method he can dwell as much as the immense void left by Armstead straight away. But the 6-foot-7, 325-pounder was in a position to show toughness and again up his movie with sturdy showings in pre-draft exercises. This helped make him the consensus selection as the subsequent finest offensive sort out on this yr’s class. — Mike Triplett


Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Steelers did not wish to let one other franchise quarterback from Pitt escape like Dan Marino within the 1983 draft. Pickett is a well-rounded prospect with mobility — a trait coveted by the Steelers of their subsequent franchise quarterback — together with accuracy, measurement and a robust vertical sport. With his confidence, management and aggressive play, Pickett has the swagger of a franchise quarterback, one thing particularly crucial as he is available in to interchange Ben Roethlisberger.

Biggest query: After throwing 13 touchdowns in every of his two earlier seasons and 12 the yr earlier than that, Pickett shot up NFL draft boards with 42 in a Heisman finalist 2021 marketing campaign. Can he maintain and replicate that success on the NFL degree? And when will he be given the reins to the Steelers offense? The Steelers signed Mitch Trubisky to a two-year deal in free company and have Mason Rudolph below contract, too. Pickett is essentially the most NFL-ready quarterback within the class, however will he compete with Trubisky to start out in 2022 or will he sit a yr? — Brooke Pryor

Clay’s 2022 projection: 213 of 349, 2,312 yards, 11 TDs, 9 INTs; 31 carries, 124 yards, one TD (10 begins)


Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Chiefs had been brief at cornerback after shedding Charvarius Ward to free company they usually felt strongly sufficient about McDuffie to maneuver up from the twenty ninth decide. The Chiefs gave up three picks in return, so McDuffie must be a starter from Day 1.

Biggest query: Did the Chiefs ignore huge wants at broad receiver and defensive finish? The Chiefs wanted assist at cornerback with out query. But with DE Jermaine Johnson obtainable, will the Chiefs remorse not selecting him to enhance a move rush that was twenty ninth within the league in sacks final season? — Adam Teicher


Quay Walker, LB, Georgia | Highlights

Why they picked him: With six receivers already off the board, the Packers believed the worth was higher with Walker than whomever they’d as WR7 on their board. Tennessee buying and selling A.J. Brown to the Eagles ruined any likelihood of the Packers getting the final of the highest receivers; the Titans took Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks at No. 18. He was the sixth receiver taken between decide Nos. 8 and 18. This provides the Packers a working mate for De’Vondre Campbell in the midst of their protection. Campbell would reasonably not must cowl tight ends and backs, and Walker matches up nicely in protection. GM Brian Gutekunst has continued the Packers’ penchant for drafting protection within the first spherical — 10 of the Packers’ previous 11 first-round picks have been on that aspect of the ball.

Biggest query: Why did not the Packers commerce up for a receiver? It doesn’t suggest they did not attempt. Gutekunst has not been afraid to wheel and deal within the first spherical. In his earlier 4 drafts, he is traded within the first spherical in three of them. — Rob Demovsky


Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida | Highlights

Why they picked him: Cornerback was one of many weakest positions on a proficient Bills roster getting into the offseason. With Levi Wallace leaving in free company and Tre’Davious White persevering with to recuperate from a torn ACL, including Elam provides the Bills protection a starting-caliber nook who will solely make the No. 1 protection in 2021 even higher. The 6-foot-1, 191-pound nook allowed a 35.3% completion charge as the first defender in protection during the last two seasons, fourth finest in FBS (min. 50 makes an attempt). Buffalo was aggressive in addressing the line of defense in free company and now invests closely within the defensive backfield for the primary time since drafting White twenty seventh general in 2017.

Biggest query: There’s little question that the Bills wanted assist at cornerback, however with Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr. nonetheless on the board, was buying and selling as much as get Elam the precise resolution? The Bills felt that method as Elam was the final participant on their board with a first-round grade. Elam’s ultimate school season wasn’t good, however he actually would not lack velocity. He ran a 4.39 40-yard sprint, which ought to pair nicely with the variety of proficient receivers now within the AFC East and the remainder of the convention. As far as apparent main considerations, there are none right here. — Alaina Getzenberg


Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa | Highlights

Why they picked him: Offensive line is a serious want for the Cowboys after they lower proper sort out La’el Collins and noticed left guard Connor Williams signal with Miami as a free agent. The Cowboys haven’t added an offensive lineman in free company, so Smith may are available as a left guard straight away and probably transfer to sort out. Mike McCarthy had a historical past of taking school tackles and making them guards in Green Bay (T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton). The Cowboys had solely 14 to 16 first-round grades on gamers, so that they had been doubtless worn out by the twenty fourth decide and couldn’t discover a commerce they had been keen to make.

Biggest query: Williams was the most-penalized lineman within the NFL final yr (15 whole, 12 accepted). Smith had 16 penalties (12 holding calls) final yr at Tulsa. Smith is taken into account athlete however he may wish time to develop. The Cowboys have a monitor document of success with first-round linemen currently with Tyron Smith (2011), Travis Frederick (2013), Zack Martin (2014). Can he proceed that streak, and might offensive line coach Joe Philbin develop him? — Todd Archer


Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Ravens fill their void at middle with Linderbaum, top-of-the-line prospects at this place in latest reminiscence. Baltimore had a gap in the midst of its offensive line after the workforce declined to re-sign Bradley Bozeman, final yr’s starter at middle. Linderbaum ought to present stability for Baltimore, which has had 5 beginning facilities during the last 5 seasons. How a lot did the Ravens like Linderbaum? He’s the primary middle drafted by the Ravens within the first spherical of their 27-year historical past, and this decide was acquired in a deal that despatched broad receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to the Arizona Cardinals.

Biggest query: Once once more, when are the Ravens going to handle their greatest wants? Despite having two first-round picks, Baltimore selected to not fill its high three holes on the roster: pass-rusher, cornerback and offensive sort out. The Ravens now have a necessity at broad receiver as nicely after buying and selling Brown. It was stunning to see Baltimore choose Linderbaum as a result of normal supervisor Eric DeCosta stated within the pre-draft information convention that the workforce needed greater gamers at middle. At 290 kilos, Linderbaum is now the smallest linemen on the Ravens and the one one below 300 kilos. — Jamison Hensley


Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Jets thought of Johnson a top-10 expertise. When he slipped to 26, they traded up with the Titans. It value them second-, third- and fifth-round picks. They bought again a third-rounder. In Robert Saleh’s protection, it is all in regards to the move rush — and the Jets completed twenty fifth in sacks and thirtieth in stress share. That’s a giant purpose they allowed a franchise-record 504 factors. Johnson’s dynamic 2021 season, coupled with an excellent efficiency on the Senior Bowl, vaulted him from a late first-rounder to the fourth decide. Talk about fast ascents. After transferring from Georgia, Johnson dominated the ACC in his solely season at Florida State, with 12 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. He performs exhausting and works exhausting, a really perfect tradition match for Saleh. He’s their first first-round edge rusher since Vernon Gholston in 2008.

Biggest query: Why did he slip? Pass-rushers normally get scooped up rapidly, so it makes you surprise. One purpose is that some expertise evaluators considered him as a one-year surprise. His persona rubs some folks the improper method, based on a number of scouting sources, however his soccer character is sweet. He performs exhausting, with a chip on his shoulder. — Rich Cimini


Devin Lloyd, DE, Utah | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Jaguars wanted to interchange Myles Jack, who they lower in March, on the within of the protection to play alongside Foye Oluokun. Lloyd, the 2021 AP Defensive Player of the Year, has drawn comparisons to Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard in his capacity to diagnose performs and rapidly get to the ball. He’s additionally athletic and quick sufficient to play exterior as nicely, so he and Oluokun, who led the NFL in tackles final season with Atlanta earlier than signing with the Jaguars in March, give the Jaguars a pair of three-down linebackers. They did not have that final season. The Jaguars have achieved job of including items on the entrance seven in free company and the draft to date: first-round decide Travon Walker, Oluokun, Lloyd and defensive sort out Foley Fatukasi. It’s a a lot stronger unit than it was when the season ended.

Biggest query: It value the Jaguars their second-round decide (thirty third general) to maneuver as much as draft Lloyd. They do have two third-round picks, so will they be keen to place collectively a bundle to maneuver again into the second spherical to nonetheless tackle some main wants at inside offensive line and security? Receiver and tight finish are positions to observe as nicely. — Michael DiRocco


Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Packers have one star on the line of defense, however Kenny Clark may use some assist. While Dean Lowry has lengthy been a stable sidekick, they now have a pair of first-round picks on the road. Clark was the twenty seventh general decide in 2016, and that decide has turned out nicely with Clark on his second contract. Clearly, the Packers imagine that Georgia performs the type of protection that may translate to the NFL on condition that they picked his teammate Quay Walker at No. 22 and final yr’s first spherical decide was Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes. The Packers are the primary workforce within the widespread draft period to take two defensive gamers from the identical college within the first spherical of the identical draft..

Biggest query: What does this imply for Lowry? He was one of many few veterans that did not have his contract restructured this offseason. He has a cap cost of $7.922 million this season they usually may achieve $5.8 million in cap house in the event that they launched him after June 1. — Rob Demovsky


Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Patriots traded down from No. 21, receiving No. 29 and in addition third-round (94) and fourth-round (121) picks. So a giant a part of their Day 1 technique was so as to add these midround chips, after which navigate the eight-pick drop and land a participant they hope might be a Day 1 starter. Strange, whom a number of draft analysts projected extra as a second- or third-round decide, tasks as a plug-and-play starter at left guard. Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, a former New England scout, had recognized him earlier than the draft as a really perfect match for the Patriots. “Great-looking, trim, good athlete. He’s physical. Really strong hands. A really tenacious player,” he stated.

Biggest query: Will the Patriots remorse buying and selling out of No. 21, the place the Chiefs chosen Washington CB Trent McDuffie, who performs arguably New England’s biggest place of want? — Mike Reiss


George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Chiefs had been twenty ninth final season in sacks, and one among their high pass-rushers, Melvin Ingram, is a free agent. In addition, this could possibly be Frank Clark’s ultimate season with the Chiefs. So they wanted to replenish on the sting, and Karlaftis was a productive participant at Purdue.

Biggest query: Do the Chiefs have sufficient pass-rush punch? In Chris Jones, Clark and Karlaftis, the Chiefs have a pleasant begin. But is it sufficient? The Chiefs clearly weren’t productive sufficient final season they usually want Karlaftis to be a big addition from the beginning. — Adam Teicher


Daxton Hill, S, Michigan | Highlights

Why they picked him: Secondary depth was a giant level of emphasis for the Bengals. While cornerback was the obtrusive want, Cincinnati additionally may use a security given the roster state of affairs. Jessie Bates III is taking part in on the franchise tag and Vonn Bell is on an expiring deal, leaving each and not using a contract after 2022. Hill provides the Bengals an possibility as a long-term starter.

Biggest query: There is not a whole lot of draw back for Hill with the Bengals. He has been wholesome and productive in three seasons at Michigan. Cincinnati may have opted for a cornerback to fit behind Eli Apple and Chidobe Awuzie, however the Bengals as an alternative opted for somebody who ought to give Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo the schematic flexibility the workforce has loved with Bates the final 4 seasons. — Ben Baby


Lewis Cine, S, Georgia | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Vikings have short- and long-term wants on the security place. Xavier Woods departed by way of free company, and Harrison Smith — whereas he’s nonetheless taking part in at a excessive degree — might be 33 this season. The Vikings may save $8 million in cap house if he is not on the roster in 2023. Second-year participant Camryn Bynum stated not too long ago that he expects to win Woods’ beginning job, however clearly the Vikings had different concepts. Cine bought expertise at each security and slot cornerback throughout his time at Georgia

Biggest query: There might be lots stated and written in regards to the Vikings’ resolution to commerce down from No. 12, the place they might have chosen Notre Dame security Kyle Hamilton, to No. 32. On paper, there’s a drop-off from Hamilton to Cine. Is the hole sufficiently small to justify the improved positioning the Vikings bought by way of the commerce? That query may take a couple of years to determine. One factor we all know for certain: Cine provides velocity to the Vikings’ protection after working a 4.37 within the 40-yard sprint. — Kevin Seifert

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