CultureWednesday 05.04.22

The 2022 NFL Draft’s Biggest Winners and Losers

The NFL Draft is as scrutinized, analyzed, and dissected as any sporting event there is. Already, millions of fans and experts have decided which teams were smart, which teams were dumb, who overreached, and who got a steal. The first game of the regular season doesn’t happen until September 8th, but that won’t stop LZ and Will from weighing in. Which teams positioned themselves best after the draft and which ones screwed up?

Will confesses that his Arizona Cardinals did poorly, in part by trading their first round pick for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Sure, they needed another wide receiver given that DeAndre Hopkins will be suspended. Still, “the Cardinals look like a team that is scrambling right now,” Will says.

LZ’s “other team” — not the Los Angeles Rams, but the Detroit Lions — did okay. One of their picks, University of Michigan star defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, “looks to be a beast,” LZ says. “I'm not willing to call him the second coming of Aaron Donald or anything like that, but he seems to be a very determined, hardworking, talented, young player.”

The New York Jets had a better draft still, landing Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner with the 4th overall pick. Many consider him the best cornerback in the draft.

Beyond team-by-team performance, the draft also set a few interesting records and trends. First round picks were traded more than ever. Ten teams didn’t even make first round selections, which is another first. Seventeen wide receivers were drafted in the first three rounds – which has only happened once before.

Only one quarterback was taken in the first round — Kenny Pickett to the Pittsburgh Steelers — and not until the 20th pick. That’s the latest a QB has been drafted since 1997. In addition, the second quarterback wasn’t grabbed until late in the third round – the third latest in any draft for a second QB to be selected.

The University of Georgia supplied a total of 15 picks, the most by any school through seven rounds, and 65 SEC players were taken overall – which is tied for the most from one conference in a single draft (also the SEC, just last year).

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