2022 NFL Draft Grades: Pick-by-Pick Grades for All 32 Round 1 Selections

Max Staley
2022 NFL Draft Grades: pick-by-pick analysis & grades for all 32 first-round selections.
2022 NFL Draft Grades: pick-by-pick analysis & grades for all 32 first-round selections. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 NFL Draft is less than an hour away. There's no better draft tradition than overreacting to each pick and instantaneously assigning a grade that eventually looks foolish. But here at The Duel, we do things a little differently.

We're going to assign a grade for all 32 first-round picks – but we're going to be proven 100% correct about every single evaluation (or at the very least, we'll do our best).

Check back throughout the night for our pick-by-pick grades and analysis for all 32 first-round picks.

Draft Grades

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Grade: C+
Travon Walker might be the least-productive No. 1 pick in recent memory. He's got all the talent in the world, but he only has 9.5 sacks in three collegiate seasons. This is a boom-or-bust pick, and it's rare to see that at No. 1 overall.

2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Grade: A+
No player in this class fits with Dan Campbell's knee-biting ethos better than Aidan Hutchinson. The hometown kid fills an immediate need, too. This is an absolute home run.

3. Houston Texans: Derrick Stingley, CB, LSU

Grade: B
Derrick Stingley is probably the most talented cornerback in this class, having put together one of the best freshman seasons we've ever seen from a corner. But injuries derailed his next two campaigns. It's a bit risky, but Stingley has superstar potential for a secondary that really needs a lockdown CB.

4. New York Jets: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Grade: A-
On talent alone, Sauce Gardner is probably the No. 2 corner in this class. But when it comes to production and, well, "Sauce," he's the clear-cut No. 1. He's a safer pick than Stingley and has a chance to become the next Darrelle Revis in New York. He should be a franchise cornerstone for years to come.

5. New York Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Grade: A+
Kayvon Thibodeaux was in the conversation for the No. 1 pick all season. Few EDGE rushers have the ceiling that KT does. Having him slip to No. 5 feels like the best-case scenario for NYG.

6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Grade: A-
The most physically dominant tackle in this class, Ikem Ekwonu will be a real building block for Carolina. He should revitalize this run game and improve the pass protection from Day 1. The Panthers also deserve some kudos for not reaching for a quarterback in a weaker class.

7. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Grade: A
Evan Neal is the most polished tackle in this class. With Andrew Thomas and Neal bookending the offensive line, this could be a dominant unit for the foreseeable future. The only concern here is Neal's medicals, as some teams have removed him from their draft board. But assuming NYG is comfortable with his health, it's hard to see this pick being anything but a win.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, WR, USC

Grade: B+
The Falcons probably have the worst wide receiver group in the league this year because of Calvin Ridley's suspension. But putting London alongside Kyle Pitts gives ATL two of the biggest freaks in the league. The injury history is a concern, but London and Pitts will be monsters in the red zone.

9. Seattle Seahawks: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Grade: B
Charles Cross is a rock-solid tackle, and he should be a rock-solid pick for Seattle. It's not the sexy start to the rebuild fans might've been hoping for, but it's better than reaching for a QB like Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.

10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Grade: A-
Garrett Wilson feels like the safest receiver in this class. He might be the most complete, polished and healthy wideout available in the Draft. I would've swung for the fences with Jameson Williams, but it's hard to argue with an NFL-ready prospect like Wilson.

NFL Draft Picks So Far

11. TRADE – New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Trade: New Orleans Receives: No. 11 | Washington Receives: No. 16, No. 98, No. 120
Trade Grade: Saints: B- | Commanders: B+
Pick Grade: B+
Chris Olave is arguably the most-polished route runner in this class. He's joining a WR group that features fellow Ohio State WR Michael Thomas and little else. Olave should be an instant-impact contributor for a team that needs one. New Orleans doesn't have much draft capital left over the next few seasons, but it's hard to argue with the fit.

12. TRADE – Detroit Lions: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Trade: Detroit Receives: – No. 12, No. 46 | Minnesota Receives: No. 32, No. 34, No. 66
Trade Grade: Lions: B | Vikings: A-
Pick Grade: A+
Trade value aside, this pick is a home run for Detroit. Jameson Williams is the best WR in this class when healthy and would've undoubtedly been the first wideout off the board were it not for his ACL injury. It wasn't cheap, but he should revitalize a boring Lions' offense.

13. TRADE – Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Trade: Philadelphia Receives: No. 13 | Houston Receives: No. 15, No. 124, No. 162, No. 166
Trade Grade: Eagles: B- | Houston: A+
Pick Grade: B+
Jordan Davis is an absolute freak, putting up insane numbers at the combine despite being a 6-foot-6, 341-pound DT. He should be like a supercharged Vita Vea. Trading up to get him wasn't exactly cheap, though. And Houston deserves a ton of credit for picking up three mid-round picks to move back two spots. That's exactly what a roster with this many holes needs. It's a very Bill Belichick move from his pupil, Nick Caserio.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Grade: A+
Kyle Hamilton was viewed as a bonafide top-five pick all offseason. Getting him at No. 14 feels like a classic Baltimore Ravens move. It's just a perfect fit. He'll form a nasty safety duo with offseason addition, Marcus Williams.

15. TRADE – Houston Texans: Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M

Trade: Philadelphia Receives: No. 13 | Houston Receives: No. 15, No. 124, No. 162, No. 166
Trade Grade: Eagles: B- | Houston: A+
Pick: B+
This is a rock-solid addition for the Texans. He'll be an immediate starter and a legit cornerstone for this offensive line. And, as mentioned above, this team has holes all over the roster. Green plugs one up instantly and Houston now has three extra picks to shore up the rest. This is excellent stuff from Caserio, even if the positional value isn't totally there with a guard at No. 15.

16. TRADE – Washington Commanders: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Trade: New Orleans Receives: No. 11 | Washington Receives: No. 16, No. 98, No. 120
Trade Grade: Saints: B- | Commanders: B+
Pick Grade: C+
Jahan Dotson is solid. He'll be a nice addition to a WR corps that includes Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Dyami Brown. Personally, I would've gone with Treylon Burks, but Washington deserves credit for moving back, getting their guy, and picking up a few picks in the process. Carson Wentz is smiling somewhere.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College

Grade: B
Drafting Zion Johnson should give Brandon Staley (no relation) and the Los Angeles Chargers one of the best offensive lines in football. When you have Justin Herbert, that's exactly the approach you want to take. It's a great under-the-radar addition.

18. TRADE – Tennessee Titans: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Trade: Tennessee Receives: No. 18, No. 101 | Philadelphia Receives: AJ Brown
Trade Grade: Titans: B | Eagles: A
Pick Grade: A
After trading AJ Brown, Tennessee almost had no other choice. Treylon Burks was the best receiver left and has the same size-speed combo that Brown is known for. I wouldn't have traded AJ Brown, but Burks is realistically as good of a replacement as you could hope for. Philadelphia, on the other hand, knocked this trade out of the park. Brown and Devonta Smith are now one of the best young WR duos in the league.

19. New Orleans Saints: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Grade: D
I'm not a Trevor Penning fan. He's something of a blank canvas as a huge, athletic prospect. But, in my opinion, he's not nearly polished enough to be a top-20 pick. Expect a lot of penalties in year one, but this does fill a need for the Saints after they lost Terron Armstead.

Steelers Draft Grade

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Panthers

Grade: C-
Everyone in the building thought Pittsburgh was going with Malik Willis. But the Steelers hit us with a fake slide and went with the man who invented that move – Kenny Pickett. This is a huge miss in my opinion. Willis is the far more talented prospect and I think the Steelers will regret this.

21. TRADE – Kansas City Chiefs: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Trade: Kansas City Receives: No. 21 | New England Receives: No. 29, No. 94, No. 121
Trade Grade: Chiefs: B | Patriots: B+
Pick Grade: B
The Chiefs needed a cornerback and they traded up to get the best one on the board. He'll be a great fit in KC. From a trade perspective, this is vintage Bill Belichick – it'd be a shock if he didn't move down in Round 1. But picking up two top-120 picks to move back eight picks is great value. And the Chiefs have a surplus of capital, so this was a move they could afford without breaking a sweat.

Packers Draft Grade

22. Green Bay Packers: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

Grade: C+
This is a surprising selection with Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd still available, but Quay Walker had been rising over the last week or so. It's a fine pick, but linebacker doesn't offer the most positional value and Green Bay still desperately needs pass-catchers. That's especially true since this pick is the crown jewel GB got in the Davante Adams trade. This is a very on-brand move for Brian Gutekunst, and it's one that will likely anger a ton of Packers fans.

23. TRADE – Buffalo Bills: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida Gators

Trade: Buffalo Receives: No. 23 | Baltimore Receives: No. 25, No. 130
Trade Grade: Bills: B | Ravens: B+
Pick Grade: B
The Buffalo Bills desperately needed another corner to pair with Tre'Davious White after they lost Levi Wallace. Picking a CB was something of a no-brainer. Kaiir Elam has true lockdown potential and isn't even 21 yet. I would've gone with Andrew Booth Jr., but we're splitting hairs here.

Cowboys Draft Grade

24. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa

Grade: B-
Tyler Smith is a really solid tackle, and he should be a nice replacement for La'El Collins, who bolted via free agency. Smith isn't the most NFL-ready prospect, though, and that might be an issue for a team that fashions itself a Super Bowl contender. I would've gone with Bernhard Raimann, though I'd understand if the iffy medicals scared Jerry Jones off.

25. TRADE – Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Linerbaum, C, Iowa

*Baltimore Sent No. 23 to Buffalo, as Denoted Above*
Trade: Baltimore Receives: No. 23 | Arizona Receives: Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, No. 100
Trade Grade: Ravens: A+ | Cardinals: D
Pick Grade: A
Ravens GM Eric DeCosta should teach a MasterClass on how to nail the NFL Draft. He shipped Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for No. 23. Brown can get open with the best of them, but his hands aren't that much better than mine (I topped out in eighth-grade flag football). With Rashod Bateman ready to ascend to WR1, Brown was pretty expendable for Baltimore – and now, they won't have to pay him, either. Instead, the Ravens get one of the best center prospects in recent memory. Tyler Linderbuam has First-Team All-Pro potential as a rookie and he'll likely be in contention for that spot for the next decade. As for the Cardinals, it's hard to view this as anything but a disaster, but maybe Brown can reach his ceiling with his college QB, Kyler Murray.

26. TRADE – New York Jets: Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

Trade: New York Receives: No. 26, No. 101 | Tennessee Receives: No. 35, No. 69, No. 163
Trade Grade: Jets: B | Titans: B
Pick Grade: A+
The Jets were rumored to be taking Jermaine Johnson at No. 4 overall. Instead, they landed him at No. 26. That says everything you need to know. From a trade perspective, Tennessee got a slight edge in pure value, but you can't argue with what GM Joe Douglas has done tonight.

27. TRADE – Jacksonville Jaguars: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Trade: Jacksonville Receives: No. 27 | Tampa Bay Receives: No. 33, No. 106, No. 180
Trade Grade: Jacksonville: B- | Buccaneers: B+
Pick Grade: A-
The Jaguars needed a leader on defense and they just found one in Devin Lloyd. He'll be a great replacement for Myles Jack; Lloyd was viewed as a potential top-10 pick earlier in the pre-draft process and is one of the most complete defensive prospects in this class. From the Bucs' perspective, they only had to move down a few picks to snag the first pick in Round 4 and Round 6. This feels like a win-win move for both parties.

28. Green Bay Packers: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

Grade: D+
Brian Gutekunst Strikes Back. And this pick is even more Gutekunst-y. Seemingly content to roll with Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins at WR, Gutekunst went with Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt. He'll likely form a dynamic duo with Kenny Clark on the interior. But from a team-needs perspective, this a failure. The grade has nothing to do with Wyatt, who is an awesome prospect, but Green Bay had two cracks to land a pass-catcher in Round 1 and didn't get it done.

29. TRADE – New England Patriots: Cole Strange, OG, Chattanooga

Trade: New England Receives: No. 29, No. 94, No. 121 | Kansas City Receives: No. 21
Trade Grade: Chiefs: B | Patriots: B+
Pick Grade: F
Excuse the pun, but this is a Strange pick. This grade (my only F of the night) has less to do with Cole Strange and more to do with New England's organizational philosophy. The Patriots needed a guard because they traded Shaq Mason to the Buccaneers this offseason. But why would a team that spent record amounts of money in free agency last year be selling off one of its best players a year later? A spending spree like that suggests you're in win-now mode, while trading an elite 28-year-old guard (with two years remaining on his deal) suggests you're in a rebuild. Sure, Strange fills a need created by that trade; but this team has plenty of other holes and Strange would've almost certainly been there in Round 2. For the first time in the Bill Belichick era, the New England Patriots appear to be rudderless – a franchise without a clear path forward.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Grade: A
George Karlaftis was getting top-10 buzz at points in the pre-draft process. He's the No. 3 EDGE on ProFootballFocus' board and their No. 10 prospect overall. Obviously, getting a talent like that at No. 30 (without having to move up) is a home run. The cherry on top is that the Chiefs have needed another EDGE for the past few seasons, and Karlaftis finally fills that need.

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Daxton Hill, CB/S, Michigan

Grade: A
Daxton Hill serves two purposes for the Bengals: he adds depth & athleticism to a secondary that needs some, and he could be a Jesse Bates replacement if the two sides can't come to an agreement on a long-term extension. Hill is an athletic freak and one of the most versatile DBs in this class – he'll be a Day 1 contributor on a Super Bowl-caliber defense.

32. TRADE – Minnesota Vikings: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia Bulldogs

Trade: Detroit Receives: – No. 12, No. 46 | Minnesota Receives: No. 32, No. 34, No. 66
Trade Grade: Lions: B | Vikings: A-
Pick Grade: B
Lewis Cine should be a fixture in the secondary for years to come in Minnesota. He's one of many elite Georgia Bulldog defenders in this class, but even among that group, Cine's athleticism stands out. Eventually, he'll be a great replacement for Harrison Smith, but in year one the two should form a dynamic safety duo.

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