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NFL Draft Team Grades 2022 | Grading NFL Draft Classes Ranked Worst To Best

Posted: May 7, 2022Last updated: May 11, 2022

The 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone, and it was certainly a wild weekend. Not only did we have several surprising picks, but there were also a handful of big-name players traded.

But what team had the best draft relative to their draft capital? And which teams whiffed on several of their picks?

Here are our draft grades for every team during the 2022 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft Team Grades 2022

32. Los Angeles Rams (Draft Grade: D-)

  • Best Pick: Logan Bruss, OG, Wisconsin (Rd 3, Pick 104)
  • Worst Pick: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame (Rd 5, Pick 164)

The Rams did not have a lot of draft picks, but it’s hard to get excited about the selections they did make. Logan Bruss should compete for snaps at guard, but nobody in this draft class is a lock to make the 53-man roster.

Kyren Williams felt like a reach at No. 164 as he might not be an NFL athlete despite his college production. Cornerback Derion Kendrick had a nice career at Georgia, but his 4.78 40-yard dash just won’t allow him to have any success in the NFL. It’s just not a good class for GM Les Snead, but that was expected given their draft capital.

31. Carolina Panthers Draft Grade: D

  • Best Pick: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State (Rd 1, Pick 6)
  • Worst Pick: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State (Rd 4, Pick 120)

The Panthers grabbed one of the best players in the draft at No. 6 in Ikem Ekownu. It was almost a no-brainer pick as Carolina desperately needed to upgrade its offensive line. However, the rest of the Panthers’ draft leaves a lot to be desired.

I didn’t love the decision to trade up for Matt Corral as Carolina gave up a 2023 third-round pick (plus additional Day 3 draft capital). He is at least a few years away from being an NFL starter and the Panthers have so many other needs.

In the fourth round, they took a project player in Brandon Smith, who is at least two years away from contributing. For a team that needs to win now, only one of their picks will likely help at all in 2022 and we’ll see beyond that.


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30. Arizona Cardinals Draft Grade: D

  • Best Pick: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State (Rd 3, Pick 87)
  • Worst Pick: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State (Rd 2, Pick 55)

The big move that the Cardinals made during the 2022 NFL Draft was trading their first-round pick (No. 23) to the Ravens for Marquise “Hollywood" Brown. He is one of the fastest receivers in the NFL and will add some much-needed speed to their offense.

However, Arizona didn’t help its offensive line early in the draft and the secondary still needs some improvement. Trey McBride is a good tight end prospect, but a little redundant with the Cardinals just signing Zach Ertz to a contract extension.

29. New England Patriots Draft Grade: D+

  • Best Pick: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston (Rd 3, Pick 85)
  • Worst Pick: Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor (Rd 2, Pick 50)

The Patriots made the biggest shock of the draft, selecting center Cole Strange in Round 1, but they somehow managed to top that reach by picking Tyquan Thornton at No. 50. Thornton was viewed as a potential fourth or fifth-round pick entering the weekend and the Patriots made him a top-50 selection.

The only thing saving this draft for New England is Marcus Jones (No. 85), who should be able to help out as a slot cornerback and a kick returner right away. Otherwise, this is another bad class by Bill Belichick.

28. San Francisco 49ers Draft Grade: D+

  • Best Pick: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC (Rd 2, Pick 61)
  • Worst Pick: Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU (Rd 3, Pick 93)

The 49ers did not have a first-round pick due to the Trey Lance trade in 2021, but they still had several picks on Day 2 of the draft. However, there wasn’t a lot to show for it as they selected a running back (Tyrion Davis-Price) and a receiver (Danny Gray), who most thought would be available well into Day 3.

San Francisco did get good value in pass rusher Drake Jackson, who should have an impact in Year 1. Outside of that, there isn’t much to love from this group.

49ers Futures Bet: UNDER 10 Wins

27. Dallas Cowboys Draft Grade: C-

  • Best Pick: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama (Rd 3, Pick 88)
  • Worst Pick: Tyler Smith, OG, Tulsa (Rd 1, Pick 24)

The Cowboys made several reaches during the 2022 NFL Draft, including with their first two picks. Tyler Smith had 16 penalties during the 2021 college season and is a long way away from being a polished player. He does have extreme length and athleticism, so the Cowboys are hoping he will clean up his technique.

EDGE rusher Sam Williams was another reach, but he has SEC production and athleticism. Williams has some off-field issues that need to be vetted, but he is talented. The Cowboys’ best pick was Jalen Tolbert, who should start right away as their No. 3 receiver. He was highly productive in college and has the necessary athleticism to make plays down the field.

26. Green Bay Packers Draft Grade: C-

  • Best Pick: Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina (Rd 5, Pick 179)
  • Worst Pick: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia (Rd 1, Pick 22)

The Packers had additional selections in the first and second rounds due to the Davante Adams trade, but their draft class as a whole leaves a lot to be desired. Quay Walker might have been the third-best off-the-ball linebacker at Georgia, but he does have a ton of athleticism. Still, picking him at No. 22 feels high.

Devonte Wyatt (No. 28) is another talented defender, but again, he was only the third-best defensive tackle at Georgia. Both players should contribute in 2022, but neither are expected to be impact players from Day 1. Green Bay’s best selection was Kingsley Enagbare, who could contribute as a rotational EDGE rusher and can help stop the run.

25. Washington Commanders Draft Grade: C-

  • Best Pick: Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (Rd 5, Pick 144)
  • Worst Pick: Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama (Rd 2, Pick 47)

Jahan Dotson was a slight reach in Round 1, but he should still be a Day 1 starter, whereas Mathis is an uninspiring run defender. Washington’s best pick was Sam Howell, who now gets a chance to sit and develop behind Carson Wentz. Even if he only turns into a quality backup, he was well worth the selection at No. 144.

24. Minnesota Vikings Draft Grade: C-

  • Best Pick: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia (Rd 1, Pick 32)
  • Worst Pick: Ed Ingram, OG, LSU (Rd 2, Pick 59)

The Vikings were a part of several trades, including moving back from No. 12 to No. 32. While they were able to grab a handful of potential contributors on Day 2, this is a team that needed to add impact starters. That didn’t happen as they decided to go with quantity over quality.

Plus, Minnesota invested a ton of draft picks into non-critical positions, such as safety, linebacker, and guard. It’s not an awful draft class for GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, but it does leave you a bit lukewarm.

23. Houston Texans Draft Grade: C

  • Best Pick: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU (Rd 1, Pick 3)
  • Worst Pick: John Metchie III, WR, Alabama (Rd 2, Pick 44)

The Texans drafted arguably the best cornerback prospect we’ve seen over the last few years at No. 3 and added a Day 1 starter at guard in Kenyon Green (No. 15). However, the John Metchie pick in the second round doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Even before his ACL injury, Metchie wasn’t projected to be a top-50 pick as he’s a below-average athlete with sub-par hands. Picking him at No. 44 feels like a major reach as he’ll likely cap out as a WR3 in the NFL. However, safety Jalen Pitre and linebacker Christian Harris should both see significant playing time as rookies for the Texans.

22. Chicago Bears Draft Grade: C+

  • Best Pick: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington (Rd 2, Pick 39)
  • Worst Pick: Velus Jones, WR, Tennessee (Rd 3, Pick 71)

The Bears added two fantastic defensive backs in the second round of the draft, selecting Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. Both players are fantastic athletes who should start right away. However, not drafting an offensive lineman until late on Day 3 didn’t make a ton of sense as the Bears currently have one of the worst units in the NFL.

Chicago also needed wide receiver help, but only grabbed Velus Jones in Round 3. The Bears certainly improved their secondary, they didn’t do much to help Justin Fields in this draft.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Grade: C+

  • Best Pick: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming (Rd 3, Pick 70)
  • Worst Pick: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (Rd 1, Pick 27)

I didn’t mind the Travon Walker pick as much as most since the Jaguars clearly wanted more size and athleticism on the defensive line, but the real head-scratcher here is Devin Lloyd at No. 27. Jacksonville traded back into the first round to select Lloyd, who is an older prospect with some medical concerns.

The Jaguars may have gotten a better player (or at least a similarly graded prospect) in Chad Muma nearly 50 picks later. I did also really like the pick of center Luke Fortner, even though it was a bit early, but he should be able to compete for snaps as a rookie.

Travon Walker, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Georgia pass rusher Travon Walker wasn’t the safest pick at No. 1, but the Jaguars are hoping he reaches his extremely high ceiling. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


20. Seattle Seahawks Draft Grade: C+

  • Best Pick: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA (Rd 5, Pick 153)
  • Worst Pick: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State (Rd 2, Pick 41)

Seattle drafted one of the best pass blockers in the class in Charles Cross at No. 9. There were some talks that he could have been drafted at No. 5, so he was a great value a bit further down the board. Boye Mafe (No. 40) is a talented EDGE rusher, but he needs to continue to develop his skillset.

One pick that didn’t make much sense was Kenneth Walker III at No. 41. The Seahawks had so many other needs to fill and they spent a premium pick on a running back. Walker is a good player, but the Seahawks aren’t in a position to take a running back at this stage of their rebuild. However, Seattle’s selections of defensive backs Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen on Day 3 should get fans excited as both players could see a ton of snaps early in their careers.

19. Tennessee Titans Draft Grade: C+

  • Best Pick: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (Rd 3, Pick 86)
  • Worst Pick: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (Rd 2, Pick 35)

I don’t love the decision to trade A.J. Brown to Philadelphia, but that isn’t factored into this grade. Getting Treylon Burks at No. 18 does help mitigate that loss some as the Arkansas product is experienced in the slot and can be used in a similar way to Brown.

Meanwhile, grabbing Malik Willis at No. 86 is a huge value. Getting him that late in the draft will allow the Titans to sit him for a year or two before making a decision about his future. On the negative side, Roger McCreary and Nicholas Petit-Frere felt like reaches as there were certainly better players still on the board at those same positions. But overall, this is a fine draft for Tennessee.

18. Cleveland Browns Draft Grade: C+

  • Best Pick: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma (Rd 4, Pick 108)
  • Worst Pick: Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB (Rd 3, Pick 78)

The Browns did not have a lot of draft capital to work with after the Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper trades, but they moved back a few times to accrue five picks inside the top 125. Martin Emerson is a long, athletic cornerback that should challenge Greedy Williams for snaps right away, while Perrion Winfrey is a twitchy defensive tackle who should crack the rotation in Year 1.

Even Purdue’s David Bell could find a role as a slot receiver as a rookie. While the Browns didn’t add any elite players or even sure-fire Day 1 starters, this isn’t a bad draft class.

17. Cincinnati Bengals Draft Grade: B-

  • Best Pick: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan (Rd 1, Pick 31)
  • Worst Pick: Zachary Carter, DE, Florida (Rd 3, Pick 95)

The Bengals grabbed one of the most versatile defensive backs in the class at No. 31 in Daxton Hill. He can play in the slot, as a single-high safety, or in the box as a linebacker. He should be a Day 1 starter and gives Cincinnati another athletic defender.

They also added Cam Taylor-Britt, who should challenge Eli Apple for snaps at cornerback. It is interesting that the Bengals waited until Day 3 to grab offensive line help, but they certainly improved their defense in this class.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Grade: B-

  • Best Pick: Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis (Rd 4, Pick 138)
  • Worst Pick: George Pickens, WR, Georgia (Rd 2, Pick 52)

The Steelers 2022 draft class ultimately comes down to what you think of Kenny Pickett. If you believe he is a franchise quarterback and think Pittsburgh got a great value at No. 20, you probably love their draft. But if you were lukewarm on Pickett entering the draft, you probably don’t like their draft haul.

The truth is probably somewhere in between, but we should mention that Calvin Austin III was a great value at No. 138. He can instantly help in the return game and could even carve out a role as a slot receiver as a rookie.

15. Buffalo Bills Draft Grade: B-

  • Best Pick: Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State (Rd 5, Pick 148)
  • Worst Pick: James Cook, RB, Georgia (Rd 2, Pick 63)

It is clear that the Bills wanted to get faster this offseason. They added one of the better cornerback prospects in the class in Kaiir Elam, who should be a Day 1 starter. James Cook will likely take over starting running back duties quickly into the 2022 season and Khalil Shakir should be their starting slot receiver in the near future.

It was a good draft for Buffalo, but not one where they got a ton of value. Still, they added four or five players that should contribute right away.

14. Las Vegas Raiders Draft Grade: B-

  • Best Pick: Matthew Butler, DT, Tennessee (Rd 5, Pick 175)
  • Worst Pick: Zamir White, RB, Georgia (Rd 4, Pick 122)

The Raiders did not make their first selection until pick No. 90 in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they were still able to find multiple values in this class. Their top selection was Memphis’ Dylan Parham, who has experience at three different positions on the offensive line. He’ll likely get a shot to start at right guard this year.

Matthew Butler and Neil Farrell Jr. should both contribute as run stoppers on the defensive line and even Thayer Munford (No. 238) could make the roster as a reserve offensive lineman. For a team short on picks, Las Vegas did well here.

13. Kansas City Chiefs Draft Grade: B-

  • Best Pick: Darian Kinnard, OG, Kentucky (Rd 5, Pick 145)
  • Worst Pick: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati (Rd 2, Pick 62)

Days 2 and 3 were very kind to the Chiefs. They likely found their slot receiver of the future in Skyy Moore (No. 54) and another starting-caliber linebacker in Leo Chanel (No. 103) late in the third round. Plus, Darian Kinnard (No. 145) could compete for the right tackle spot right away and will certainly be one of their top backups on the interior offensive line.

However, the Day 1 picks of corner Trent McDuffie and EDGE George Karlaftis are just okay and don’t bring a ton of excitement. Still, the Chiefs were able to add five or six players that could play important roles in 2022 and beyond.

12. New York Giants Draft Grade: B-

  • Best Pick: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (Rd 1, Pick 7)
  • Worst Pick: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky (Rd 2, Pick 43)

The selections of Evan Neal and Kayvon Thibodeaux were no-brainers for the Giants. They were the best players available and fit New York’s biggest needs, so you have to give them a lot of credit there.

However, their next three picks (Wan’Dale Robinson, Joshua Ezeudu, and Cordale Flott) were all major reaches. None of them are expected to play much in 2022 and you can make a strong case that they are lower-ceiling prospects as well. Neal and Thibodeaux will make this class for New York, but there isn’t much to get excited about after that.

Evan Neal, OT, New York Giants

The New York Giants knocked it out of the park on Day 1 of the draft by selecting USC LT Evan Neal and Oregon EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


11. Denver Broncos Draft Grade: B

  • Best Pick: Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma (Rd 2, Pick 64)
  • Worst Pick: Montrell Washington, WR, Samford (Rd 5, Pick 162)

The Broncos did not have a first-round pick due to the Russell Wilson trade, but they still had a really solid draft. Nik Bonitto was among the most productive EDGE rushers in college football last year and should be a solid No. 3 OLB for Denver.

Greg Dulcich is a receiving threat at tight end and Damarri Mathis should be able to contribute as a No. 3 or No. 4 cornerback right away. Denver’s first three picks should all see the field as rookies.

10. Miami Dolphins Draft Grade: B+

  • Best Pick: Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia (Rd 3, Pick 102)
  • Worst Pick: Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech (Rd 4, Pick 125)

The Dolphins had just two selections in the top 220, so it’s tough to say too much about their class. However, Channing Tindall was a great value at pick No. 102. He is one of the most athletic linebackers we’ve ever seen enter the NFL and he can instantly contribute on special teams. He is going to need some time to learn the position, but he could potentially be a starter by the 2023 season.

9. Indianapolis Colts Draft Grade: B+

  • Best Pick: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan (Rd 3, Pick 77)
  • Worst Pick: Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State (Rd 5, Pick 159)

The Colts did not have a first-round pick due to the Carson Wentz trade from 2021, but they still had a strong haul. Bernhard Raimann should be able to compete for the starting left tackle spot in Year 1, while wideout Alec Pierce and tight end Jelani Woods give Indianapolis more athleticism on offense, which they desperately needed.

After multiple trades, the Colts ended up with four potential starters inside the top 100. It’s not a franchise-changing draft for Chris Ballard, but it’s a pretty good one nonetheless.

8. Los Angeles Chargers Draft Grade: B+

  • Best Pick: Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College (Rd 1, Pick 17)
  • Worst Pick: JT Woods, S, Baylor (Rd 3, Pick 79)

The Chargers made my single favorite pick in the first round, grabbing offensive guard Zion Johnson from Boston College. He is a plug-and-play starter who could be used at nearly any spot on the offensive line. They also added Jamaree Salyer (No. 195), who could compete for snaps at guard in the future.

Late in the fourth round, Los Angeles selected Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller, who should be a major upgrade over Justin Jackson. While his athleticism isn’t ideal, he can play a complementary role to Austin Ekeler right away.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Grade: B+

  • Best Pick: Cade Otton, TE, Washington (Rd 4, Pick 106)
  • Worst Pick: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State (Rd 3, Pick 91)

Tampa Bay traded out of the first round and picked up Logan Hall with their top selection. Hall is a versatile defensive tackle who should be able to make an impact as a pass rusher right away. Later in the second round, the Bucs took Wisconsin’s Luke Goedeke, who should be able to start at guard in the NFL after playing tackle for most of his college career.

Evan Cade Otton should be able to find a role as a blocker and developmental tight end. This wasn’t the sexiest draft for Tampa Bay, but they found three or four players that should be able to help out in 2022.

6. New Orleans Saints Draft Grade: B+

  • Best Pick: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa (Rd 1, Pick 19)
  • Worst Pick: Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee (Rd 2, Pick 49)

I love the aggressiveness of the Saints. They traded up to address their two biggest needs with elite talents on Day 1, selecting one of the best receivers in the draft in Chris Olave (No. 11) and left tackle of the future Trevor Penning. Olave adds speed to an offense that lacked it last year, while Penning will eventually fill a hole vacated this offseason by Terron Armstead.

Alontae Taylor was a big reach, but the Saints made up for it by taking Appalachian State linebacker D’Marco Jackson at No. 161. In the end, New Orleans got two Day 1 starters in this draft, both of whom have Pro Bowl potential.

5. Atlanta Falcons Draft Grade: B+

  • Best Pick: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State (Rd 2, Pick 58)
  • Worst Pick: Drake London, WR, USC (Rd 1, Pick 8)

While I might not have loved Atlanta’s top pick in Drake London, you can’t deny that they desperately needed a receiver after losing Calvin Ridley to a year-long suspension. However, it’s the work the Falcons did on Day 2 that gives them a B+.

Arnold Ebiketie (No. 38) is one of the best pure pass-rushers in the class and could have easily been a top-25 selection. Troy Andersen is an incredible athlete who led Montana State in passing yards, rushing yards, and tackles in three different seasons. And Atlanta found a potential franchise quarterback in Desmond Ridder at No. 74. He can now sit behind Marcus Mariota for a year or two before taking the field.

The Falcons added at least three players that can contribute or start from Day 1 and they took a shot on a quarterback with fantastic intangibles and a proven track record of success. What’s not to like?

4. Philadelphia Eagles Draft Grade: A-

  • Best Pick: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (Rd 3, Pick 83)
  • Worst Pick: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska (Rd 2, Pick 51)

The Eagles had three first-round picks a few weeks ago, but they traded one to New Orleans for a future first-round pick (plus additional draft capital). They turned another into A.J. Brown on Thursday night and then selected the most athletic defensive tackle in history in Jordan Davis.

Philadelphia also got one of the biggest steals of the draft by grabbing Nakobe Dean late in the third round. The only reason this grade isn’t higher is because of the Cam Jurgens selection, which felt about 20-25 spots too high. Other than that, this was a really good draft by Howie Roseman.

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Georgia LB Nakobe Dean had to wait a long time to hear his name called, but the new Philadelphia Eagle could be one of the steals of this draft. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


3. Detroit Lions Draft Grade: A

  • Best Pick: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (Rd 1, Pick 2)
  • Worst Pick: James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech (Rd 5, Pick 177)

The Detroit Lions. What a draft. They added arguably the best player in the class in Aidan Hutchinson and then traded up for Jameson Williams, the fastest receiver in the class.

Plus, Detroit added arguably the best run-stopping defensive end in the draft in Josh Paschal. He should play right away on early downs and could move inside to defensive tackle on third down. Illinois safety Kerby Joseph was another smart selection in Round 3. This is a fantastic draft class for the Lions.

2. New York Jets Draft Grade: A+

  • Best Pick: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State (Rd 1, Pick 26)
  • Worst Pick: Micheal Clemons, EDGE, Texas A&M (Rd 4, Pick 117)

Well done, Joe Douglas. Well done.

The Jets completely nailed the 2022 NFL Draft as they found four players with their first four picks that should all start and play well right away. Trading back into the first round to take Jermaine Johnson was the biggest steal of them all as he could have easily been a top-10 selection. Breece Hall was the best running back in the class and could be a star in New York. And oh yeah, they grabbed the draft’s top cornerback and top receiver at No. 4 and No. 10.

New York also added depth at tight end, offensive tackle, and defensive end later in the draft with three well-above-average athletes. It’s hard to complain about anything the Jets this year.

1. Baltimore Ravens Draft Grade: A+

  • Best Pick: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (Rd 1, Pick 25)
  • Worst Pick: Jordan Stout, P, Penn State (Rd 4, Pick 130)

How can you not love what the Baltimore Ravens did in this draft?

They took arguably a top-five defensive player in the class in Kyle Hamilton, they were able to grab the top center in Tyler Linderbaum, and they took a chance on another top-15 talent in David Ojabo in Round 2. Plus, they added players like DT Travis Jones, OT Daniel Faalele, and TE Charlie Kolar, who could all play significant snaps during the 2022 season.

This is easily the best class of the 2022 NFL Draft and could be a haul that opens Baltimore’s championship window even further.

Ravens Futures Bet: Super Bowl 57 Winner

Author

Marcus Mosher

Marcus Mosher is an NFL analyst at The Game Day, residing in Erie, PA. He covers the NFL from a betting and fantasy perspective, producing written and video content. Marcus currently hosts multiple football-related podcasts and is a managing editor at USA Today’s Sports Media Group covering the Las Vegas Raiders. He has previously worked at The Athletic and Bleacher Report.

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