Grading every team’s picks in the 2022 NFL Draft

2016 NFL Draft
swimfinfan from Chicago, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Now that it’s over, it’s time to look at NFL Draft grades by team. Of course, if we’re being fair, the real NFL Draft analysis for 2022 would come five or 10 years down the line.

But fans want NFL Draft reactions right away, which is why we’re here to provide NFL Draft grades by team for the 2022 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft grades by team

What teams put together the best NFL Draft classes this year?

What teams got the most value out of the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Who are the biggest sleeper picks in the NFL Draft, adding value to each team’s class?

We’ll answer all of those questions and more in our NFL Draft grades by team.

Bills – B-

It’s tough to compare NFL Draft grades by team with Buffalo because the Bills didn’t enter the draft with a lot of pressing needs. To their credit, the team’s biggest need was at cornerback and the Bills traded up to grab Kaiir Elam.

But Buffalo might have also jumped the gun a little on James Cook in the second round. Other than that, the Bills did a nice job of adding depth, especially on defense. Plus, punter Matt Araiza looks like he could be a difference-maker on special teams, making him a great addition to a team with Super Bowl aspirations.


Dolphins – F

It’s impossible to look at the NFL Draft grades by team and not give the Dolphins a failing grade.

In their defense, they only had four picks with their first one coming 102nd overall. Getting Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall in the third round was a nice pickup. But with so few picks and several needs to address, Miami opted to use a pick on third-string quarterback candidate Skylar Thompson, which just wasn’t a good use of draft picks.

Patriots – C

There were some confusing picks made by the Pats in this draft. They really reached for Cole Strange at the end of the first round. Taking quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth round was also puzzling.

Second-round pick Tyquan Thornton was also a reach. Plus, the Pats probably didn’t need to draft two running backs. Of their 10 picks, there are only a couple that made much sense.

Jets – A+

In a shocking reversal from convention, the Jets did something right. Actually, they did a lot of things right, knocking it out of the park in this draft. Of course, that’s a little easier when you end up with three picks in the first round and all seven pics are within the first four rounds.

But the Jets did great things with those picks, so when you look at NFL Draft grades by team, they arguably set the curve. Ahmad Gardner is an exciting addition to a position of need. The Jets also help their young quarterback by grabbing Garrett Wilson 10th overall.

Also, Jermaine Johnson is a massive steal at 26th overall. They were also the first team to pick up a running back in this draft, getting a good one in Iowa State’s Breece Hall. One could argue that the Jets drafted the best cornerback, wide receiver, and running back in this draft. They didn’t do so bad with their third and fourth-rounder either, making this draft a huge success for Gang Green.

Ravens – B-

The Ravens have gotten some bad press for trading Marquise Brown during the draft, especially since they didn’t draft another receive to replace him. But Baltimore’s class didn’t turn out half bad.

Kyle Hamilton could end up being a major steal at 14th overall and the same could be true of David Ojabo in the second round. The Ravens also moved up to get center Tyler Linderbaum, who is close to a sure thing and addresses their biggest need. Baltimore also did some good work with six picks in the fourth round. Offensive tackle Daniel Faalele could be a starter one day. Also, the cornerback tandem of Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams will give the secondary even more of a boost.

Bengals – C-

After a strong offseason, the Super Bowl losers rank quite poorly in NFL Draft grades by team. Safety Daxton Hill is a good player but the Bengals didn’t need to use their first-round pick on a safety, nor did they need to use their second-round pick on safety Cam Taylor-Britt.

Keep in mind that Cincinnati only had six total picks in this draft. Yet they drafted three safeties and no cornerbacks. The Bengals didn’t add any depth to their offensive line and waited until the seventh round to add another pass rusher.

Browns – C

The Browns didn’t have their first pick until the 68th overall selection, so at least they have an excuse for a subpar class. To their credit, the Browns did a lot of good things in the third and fourth rounds, taking cornerback Martin Emerson, wide receiver David Bell, and defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey.

Cleveland did a lot at the line of scrimmage in this draft, which is a step in the right direction despite no picks in the first or second rounds.

Steelers – C+

If they could do it over again, the Steelers might have been able to wait to take Kenny Pickett rather than taking him 20th overall. Nevertheless, they got their quarterback of the future and a couple of wide receivers, including second-round pick George Pickens.

But they probably didn’t need to take another quarterback in the seventh round. The Steelers also ignored their need to add depth to the secondary and offensive line and probably didn’t need fullback Connor Heyward when they have Derek Watt.

Texans – B-

With so many needs to address, it was always going to be hard for the Texans to get everything they needed from this draft. But Houston did a lot of good things, especially during the first three rounds. Safety Jalen Pitre and linebacker Christian Harris are both solid additions to a defense in need. Offensive guard Kenyon Green was a slight reach but plays a position that Houston needed to address.

However, Derek Stingley going third overall is a little bit of a risk because he hasn’t played up to his potential or stayed healthy in two consecutive years. While he has a ton of upside, the Texans could have gotten more of a sure thing or addressed their pass rush with one of their first three or four picks. On the other hand, John Metchie and Dameon Pierce are good additions to the offensive skill positions.

Colts – C

The Colts are one of several teams that rank lower on NFL Draft grades by team because they didn’t have a first-round pick. They also struggled to fill some of their needs on defense.

To be fair, Indy found a solid receiver in the second round in Alec Pierce and an intriguing tight end in the third round in Jelani Woods. However, they probably didn’t need to draft two tight ends or two defensive tackles, even if Pierce, woods, and third-round offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann are all good additions.

Jaguars – B-

With the Jags, it’s really a case of only time will tell. Did Jacksonville go along with buying the hype on Travon Walker or will he live up to being the top overall pick? The Jags also overlooked their need to draft a wide receiver early to help their young quarterback.

However, moving back into the end of the first round for Devin Lloyd was huge for the Jacksonville defense. Finding center Luke Fortner at the top of the third round will also help to solidify the Jacksonville offensive line. But outside of those three picks, there’s not a lot to get excited about, especially since the Jaguars doubled up needlessly at inside linebacker, taking Chad Muma in the third round after getting Lloyd earlier.

Titans – C

Looking at NFL Draft grades by team, the Titans belong on the lower end of the spectrum. Trading away A.J. Brown was a controversial and risky move, even if they drafted Treylon Burks to help replace him.

Granted, Tennessee did well with cornerback Roger McCreary and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Free, the team has a much bigger need at offensive guard. On the bright side, the Titans got great value by taking Malik Willis in the third round, meaning they can give him time to develop rather than rushing him onto the field.

Broncos – C+

It was going to be hard for the Broncos to put together a strong class without a first-round pick. But Denver did have nine picks and failed to add any depth to the offensive line, which was a reasonable need.

On the plus side, second-round pick Nik Bonitto looks like a player. The Broncos also added good depth to their secondary and defensive line. But since they didn’t pick until 64th overall, Denver’s draft class doesn’t measure up compared to NFL Draft grades by team.

Chiefs – A-

With two first-rounders and two second-rounders, the Chiefs are near the top of the class in NFL Draft grades by team. Kansas City needed a wide receiver to help replace Tyreek Hill and Skyy Moore in the second round has good value.

The Chiefs also spent five of their first six picks on defensive players, which isn’t a bad strategy. Cornerback Trent McDuffie will help the secondary while defensive end George Karlaftis is a much-needed pass rusher. Second-round safety Bryan Cook should also be an immediate contractor. It’s fair to question some of Kansas City’s late-round picks, but the Chiefs did a great job on the first two days of the draft.

Raiders – C-

Since they didn’t have a pick until 90th overall, the Raiders look bad when judging NFL Draft grades by team.

To their credit, defensive tackles Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler were solid additions in the middle rounds. Third-rounder Dylan Parham was also a good pick to upgrade their offensive line. But with just six picks, the Raiders didn’t need to spend two of them on running backs.

Chargers – C-

The Chargers did a nice job of addressing their offensive line in the first round, although Zion Johnson at 17th overall is a little stretch. But after that, this class started to fall apart a little.

They didn’t draft an offensive tackle or find any linebackers who can help a run defense that struggled last year. Granted, running back Isiah Spiller was a nice selection in the fourth round. But the Chargers focused too much on adding depth to their secondary and ignored too many of their other needs.

Cowboys – C

It hasn’t been a great offseason for Dallas and looking at NFL Draft grades by team, the Cowboys were one of the more disappointing teams. They reached a little for first-round pick Tyler Smith and arguably did the same for second-round pick Sam Williams, especially since he’s an outside linebacker who will have to transition to defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.

Also, Dallas waited until the third round to get a wide receiver to help replace Amari Cooper and waited too long to address their needs at inside linebacker and defensive tackle. However, getting linebacker Damone Clark in the fifth round was a nice pickup.

Giants – A-

With five picks in the first 81 picks, the G-Men had a lot of draft capital to use and were efficient in using it. In fact, they ended up with 11 picks, all but one coming before the end of the fifth round.

The Giants finally look poised to fix their offensive line with seventh-overall pick Evan Neal and third-rounder Josh Ezeudu. With fifth overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, the Giants got the defensive player with perhaps the biggest upside in this draft. Also, don’t sleep on second-round wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson. The Giants also deserve a little credit for using Day 3 of the draft to add depth to all three levels of their defense.

Eagles – B+

While the Eagles only made five picks and didn’t address some key needs, trading for A.J. Brown during the draft has to contribute to a good draft grade. The trade for Brown was draft capital well spent.

It also didn’t stop them from taking Jordan Davis 13th overall. Meanwhile, Nakobe Dean in the third round could be one of the draft’s biggest steals. That gives Philly two members of that historically good Georgia defense. Between those two and the addition of Brown, the Eagles did some good work.

Commanders – B+

The Commanders could end up one of the more underrated classes in this draft. They had to reach a little for Jahan Dotson at 16th overall given the demand for wide receivers. Third-round running back Brian Robinson is also a good pickup while Washington has to feel great about Sam Howell falling to them in the fifth round.

Defensively, the Commanders would have loved to do more. But second-round pick Phidarian Mathis adds to an already strong defensive line while safety Percy Butler is a solid addition at a position of need.

Bears – C

Despite not having a first-round pick, Chicago had 11 picks in this draft. Yet, the Bears failed to address a couple of their needs on the defensive side of the ball. To their credit, the Chicago secondary is much better with Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker being taken in the second round.

But the Bears reached a little for wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. in the third round. Every other pick came in the fifth round or later, so the Bears didn’t add much other than a little more depth.

Lions – B+

The Lions may have failed to address one or two needs, but they came out of this draft looking good.

They got Aidan Hutchinson second overall and then moved up to take wide receiver Jameson Williams. Detroit doubled up on pass-rushers with Josh Paschal in the second round and found a good safety in the third round in Kerby Joseph. Even if their late-round picks don’t pan out, the Lions should feel good about those four picks.

Packers – B+

With two first-round picks, the Packers might have made a mistake by not trading up for a wide receiver. On the other hand, they used those two picks to draft two defensive players from that great Georgia defense, so the Green Bay front-seven got considerably better during this draft.

They also ended up with three wide receivers, although the jury is out on all three of them. Linebacker Kingsley Enagbare was a good snag in the fifth round and the Packers did add plenty of roster depth with 11 overall picks, although four of those picks came in the seventh round.

Vikings – B

Somewhat under the radar, the Vikings had one of the better drafts if you look at NFL Draft grades by team. They did a good job of giving their secondary an immediate boost with their first two picks after trading down.

The only real complaint is that Minnesota didn’t improve a pass rush that struggled last year. But the Vikings did understand that offensive skill players weren’t a huge need and waited a while to draft players at those positions. Meanwhile, third-round pick Brian Asamoah was a good addition at the linebacker spot.

Falcons – B

To their credit, the Falcons did some good things with this draft. Taking Drake London early was a necessity while grabbing quarterback Desmond Ridder in the third round is good value. There is also a lot to like about second-round pick Arnold Ebiketie, third-rounder, DeAngelo alone, and fifth-rounder Tyler Allgeier.

Grabbing a couple of University of Georgia players in the late rounds is also a nice touch on a class that’s solid but not necessarily going to turn the franchise around overnight.

Panthers – C

It was a rather uneven draft for the Panthers, who got Ikem Ekwonu sixth overall but didn’t pick again until the third round. Ekwonu ended up being the first offensive tackle selected, which is great news for Carolina.

The Panthers also got good value with Matt Corral in the third round, not to mention a couple of solid mid-round linebackers in Brandon Smith and Amare Barno. But outside of Ekwonu, there are no players who figure to be immediate difference-makers. 

Saints – C+

The Saints were a little hamstrung with just five picks, although three were within the top-50 picks. New Orleans did great with its two first-rounders, grabbing Chris Olave and Trevor Penning, addressing the team’s two biggest needs.

But second-round pick Alontae Taylor was a reach and didn’t address a serious need. Even if Olave and Penning work out, New Orleans may not get much else from this draft.

Buccaneers – C

There’s not much to get excited about with Tampa’s class, as the Bucs didn’t make a pick in the first round. To be fair, they led off the second round by taking Logan Hall, which addressed a big need for them.

They hope to get something out of offensive lineman Luke Goedeke and running back Rachaad White, who could both play a role as rookies But even they needed depth at tight end, using two of their eight picks on that position isn’t a great use of draft capital, especially when the Bucs also drafted a punter.

Cardinals – B-

Since they traded for Marquise Brown during the draft to address their need at wide receiver, the Cardinals compare somewhat favorably when ranking NFL Draft grades by team because they addressed most of their needs.

The Cardinals also added multiple pass rushers and got an intriguing running back in Keaontay Ingram. On the other hand, they used their first pick on a tight end who will open as a third-stringer, so the first two rounds were a wash outside of trading for Brown.

Rams – C-

The Super Bowl champs didn’t have a pick until 104th overall, so it’s not surprising that they fell behind in NFL Draft grades by team.

But they still found a way to add some decent pieces. Logan Bruss will provide useful depth on the offensive line. Running back Kyren Williams has a good skill set for the fifth round. There is also some upside with Derion Kendrick, a member of last year’s Georgia defense who has some upside at cornerback.

49ers – B-

For a team without a first-round pick, the 49ers put together a halfway decent class. It would have been nice to address the offensive line and secondary earlier.

But San Francisco got good value with pass-rusher Drake Jackson late in the second round. The 49ers should also be pleased with running back Tyrion Davis-Price and wide receiver Danny Gray in the third round, helping to give their young quarterback a couple more weapons, especially with Deebo Samuel’s future uncertain.

Seahawks – C+

The Seahawks had plenty of draft capital, although they probably didn’t use it effectively. To their credit, the Seahawks helped to solve their offensive line woes with Charles Cross and third-rounder Abraham Lucas.

Taking Kenneth Walker in the second round was also a bit of a calculated risk. But Seattle ignored its need for additional depth in the front seven. The Seahawks also passed on taking a quarterback despite most dropping further than expected, leaving Drew Lock without much competition this season.

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About Bryan Zarpentine 237 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

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