2021 NFL Draft process "Haul" rankings

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: May 26, 2021, 12:52 pm ET

LA Chargers | 2022 Draft Picks (11): 1 2 3 4 5 6 6c 6c 6c 7 7c*

Talent: 17 | Equity: 13 | ROI: 15

1.13OT211Rashawn Slater6'43049.71Terron Armstead
2.47CB538Asante Samuel Jr.5'101807.46Jaire Alexander
3.77WR21142Josh Palmer6'12107.6Corey Davis
3.97TE9182Tre' McKitty6'4246---Jordan Akins
4.118EDGE12104Chris Rumph II6'3244---Leonard Floyd
5.159OT19190Brenden Jaimes6'52988.53Rick Wagner
6.185LB22193Nick Niemann6'32349.51Cole Holcomb
6.198RB25300Larry Rountree III5'92112.08Alex Collins
7.241S19248Mark Webb6'12076.31Javin White
UDFALB19164Amen Ogbongbemiga6'12315.13Tegray Scales
UDFADL29333Forrest Merrill6'03222.02John Penisini
UDFATE22458Hunter Kampmoyer6'42433.41Luke Stocker
UDFADL38466Jared Goldwire6'52938.5Kheeston Randall
UDFAOT39483Darius Harper6'73008.25Charlie Heck
UDFAS40500Ben DeLuca6'12024.94Deon Bush
UDFAWR79XEli Stove5'111942.26Stacy Coley
UDFAOT44XKyle Spalding6'62992.12---
UDFAK8XAlex Kessman6'2189---Dominik Eberle
UDFALS-XXRyan Langan6'2185------

*LAC projected to tie for league-high with four 2022 comp picks

*LAC lost six qualifying FAs --  Dan Feeney (NYJ), Hunter Henry (NEP), Rayshawn Jenkins (JAX), Denzel Perryman (CAR), Sam Tevi (IND), Tyrod Taylor (HOU) -- signed only two


NFL Draft: The NFL’s concerns about Slater and Samuel's dimensions provided a sticker-price discount on both. And there’s minimal risk, here: Slater dominated a procession of future NFL edge rushers along with Chase Young as Northwestern’s left tackle. Samuel was a shut-down corner CB1 in the ACC. He wasn’t hampered by his stature on the boundary in college and has the cover chops, play style and athleticism to stay there in the NFL, ala former Louisville CB Jaire Alexander.

UDFA: The Chargers used UDFA to continue fixing the league’s worst special teams unit. The Chargers would love for Kessman to put them to a decision on Michael Badgley, who converted just 24-of-33 field goal attempts last season. Oklahoma State LB Amen Ogbongbemiga, the team’s most talented UDFA prospect, took over 500 special teams snaps in college (and made almost 200 tackles overall the past two seasons between his defensive and special teams work). He’s going to make the Chargers for the bump he’ll give the coverage unit alone.

Still need: Edge rusher, safety, receiver

LA Rams | 2022 Draft Picks (11): 2 3 3c* 4c 5 6 6c 6c 6c^ 7 7#

Talent: 31 | Equity: 29 | ROI: 25

2.57WR1175Tutu Atwell5'91556.26Hollywood Brown
3.103LB15152Ernest Jones6'12306.4Micah Kiser
4.117DL8102Bobby Brown III6'43219.82B.J. Hill
4.130CB15113Robert Rochell6'01939.65Xavier Crawford
4.141WR33249Jacob Harris6'52119.88Dezmon Patmon
5.174EDGE35314Earnest Brown IV6'42704.7Jalyn Holmes
7.233RB19251Jake Funk5'92049.76Mike Boone
7.249WR58410Ben Skowronek6'3220---Lawrence Cager
7.252LB29279Chris Garrett6'3241---Michael Divinity
UDFAOT21221Alaric Jackson6'53213.27Dennis Daley
UDFAS27328Paris Ford6'11971.03DJ Swearinger
UDFAiOL46421Jordan Meredith6'33029.36Adrian Klemm
UDFAS35430Jovan Grant6'02147.75Jacob Thieneman
UDFAWR78XLanden Akers6'01896.2Stedman Bailey
UDFAWR88XJeremiah Haydel6'01701.03Harry Douglas
UDFADL48XGeorge Silvanic6'52866.18---
UDFAEDGE47XMax Roberts6'12566.24---
UDFACB74XBrontae Harris5'91780.03DeAndre Presley
UDFAS46XTroy Warner6'1200------

*LAR received 2021 and 2022 R3 comp selections for DET hiring ex-LAR college scouting director Brad Holmes as GM

^LAR tied LAC for league-lead with max four projected 2022 comp picks based on qualifying FA losses

*Projected to receive comp picks for qualifying FA losses John Johnson (Browns), Samson Ebukam (49ers), Gerald Everett (Seahawks) and Troy Hill (Browns)

^Along with R3 comp for minority HC/GM hire (Holmes), LAR projected to lead league with five 2022 comp picks


NFL Draft: For the second consecutive year, the Rams took a receiver with a second-round pick. In those two drafts, the Rams devoted a total of one R7 pick to an offensive line badly in need of young blood. I actually like Tutu Atwell -- he's a nice fit with Stafford in particular because of his wheels -- but am confused why the Rams, always so pick-poor, continue to invest all the Round 2 picks into offensive skill players. The Rams started out Day 3 strong with a pair of nice fourth-rounder picks, but instead of focusing on infrastructure late, Los Angeles couldn't help itself from adding two more receivers and another running back.

UDFA: Best prospect by margin is Iowa OT Alaric Jackson, and the Rams, who have declined to add young blood to an offensive line in desperate need of it the past few drafts, could sure use him. Los Angeles may have to keep Jackson on the active roster to retain the opportunity to develop him, however. In the week following the NFL Draft, Jackson, a native of Windsor, Canada, was taken No. 15 overall in the CFL Draft. Los Angeles’ only other noteworthy signing was Pitt S Paris Ford, an unathletic freelancer with a handful of flash plays in college. 

Still need: Offensive line, edge rusher, linebacker

Las Vegas Raiders | 2022 Draft Picks (8): 1 2 3 4 5 5 6 6c

Talent: 25 | Equity: 15 | ROI: 31

1.17iOL973Alex Leatherwood6'53129.69Cam Robinson
2.43S132Trevon Moehrig6'12027.37Harrison Smith
3.79EDGE22189Malcolm Koonce6'2249---Harold Landry
3.80S7105Divine Deablo6'32268.03Kyzir White
4.143S12181Tyree Gillespie6'02076.03Rudy Ford
5.167CB38313Nate Hobbs5'111969.62Breshad Breeland
7.230iOL30280Jimmy Morrissey6'33039.01Matthew Paradis
UDFATE6130Matt Bushman6'52455.91Mark Andrews
UDFADL18211Darius Stills6'02788.16Henry Melton
UDFARB18236Trey Ragas5'112184.93Samaje Perine
UDFAWR54387Dillon Stoner6'01947.81Cole Beasley
UDFAFB5412Garrett Groshek5'11217---Darrel Williams
UDFAOT38459Devery Hamilton6'73018.17Alex Taylor
UDFALB50478Max Richardson5'112236.72Dat Nguyen
UDFAWR74485DJ Turner5'92067.03Antonio Callaway
UDFAS48XShaun Crawford5'91824.56---
UDFACB-XXTJ Morrison5'10185------

*LVR traded 2022 R7 and acquired 2022 NEP R5 in Trent Brown trade (October 2020)


NFL Draft: Mike Mayock set the table for Day 1’s most egregious reach when he blew up his strong offensive line over the offseason to create the need he had to fill -- and then he blew out his shoulder reaching for Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood over a host of talented prospects, including Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw at his own position group. I disagreed with many of Mayock’s picks, TCU S Trevon Moehrig in R2 being the notable exception.

UDFA: I had a fourth-round grade on BYU TE Matt Bushman, who went undrafted following a season-ending injury in August last year (he's also older, having served a two-year LDS mission -- Bushman is the same age as Mark Andrews, the guy I comp him to). In Bushman’s last two active years, 2018-2019, he dropped only two balls on 117 targets and averaged 13.0 and 11.8 ADOT -- and that was in the prehistoric BYU offense. He has the second-best ball skills in this TE class behind Kyle Pitts. Bushman drew a bidding frenzy post-draft, garnering $135k guaranteed, No. 8 overall in the UDFA class. The Raiders also sunk top-31 UDFA guarantees into WR Dillon Stoner, OT Devery Hamilton, RB Garrett Groshek. Mayock did well in UDFA his first two processes and appears to have another good class on his hands.

Still need: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker

Miami Dolphins | 2022 Draft Picks (10): 1* 2 3c^ 4 4% 5 5c 6 6# 7@

Talent: 3 | Equity: 3 | ROI: 23

1.6WR39Jaylen Waddle5'9180---Joey Galloway
1.18EDGE221Jaelan Phillips6'52609.87Jason Pierre-Paul
2.36S349Jevon Holland6'12079.54Xavier McKinney
2.42OT746Liam Eichenberg6'63068.56Riley Reiff
3.81TE481Hunter Long6'52548.6Austin Hooper
7.231OT24277Larnel Coleman6'63078.6Christian DiLauro
7.258RB27322Gerrid Doaks6'12288.32Kevan Barlow
UDFACB14108Trill Williams6'02087.71James Bradberry
UDFAiOL21210Robert Jones6'43076.85Mike Gandy
UDFADL30366Jerome Johnson6'22964.46Kevin Wilkins
UDFAFB6469Carl Tucker6'12452.32Dan Kendra
UDFACB68XJaytlin Askew5'91803.28---

*MIA acquired 2022 and 2023 SF R1 in trade for 2021 1.3 (March 2020)

*MIA traded its own 2022 R1 to PHI in trade for 2021 1.6 (March 2020)

^MIA acquired 2022 R3 comp pick from SF in trade involving 1.3 (SF awarded comp pick for NYJ hiring Robert Saleh as HC)

%MIA acquired 2022 PIT R4 for 2021 R5 (April 2021)

#Acquired 2022 R6 from NE for Isaiah Ford that could convey to 2022 NE R7 (conditions unknown)

@Acquired 2022 TEN R7 and Isaiah Wilson for 2021 MIA R7 (March 2020)

@MIA's own 2022 R7 was dealt to LAR in Aqib Talib trade (October 2019)


NFL Draft: The Dolphins left NFL Draft weekend with four immediate starters and a fifth that’ll be on his way soon in TE Hunter Long. I would have played things a little different up top, taking Penei Sewell. But I also spent the two months leading up to the draft arguing that you can’t begin judging Tua until you let him get fully healthy and construct a receiving corps of zippy receivers who can separate in the intermediate area (at least). Waddle is a great first step in that direction. Keeping Phillips in Miami is such a cool story. If that kid's concussions issues are in his past, he's going to be a star.

UDFA: MTSU iOL Robert Jones, a two-year collegiate starter at RT, is headed inside at the next level. A former basketball player, Jones didn’t pick up football until his junior year of high school. I had a R6 grade on him because he played like a draftable position convert despite his inexperience and has an above-average frame and athleticism. In the weeks after the NFL Draft, Miami also scored when New Orleans waived DB Trill Williams, one of the best UDFA in the class -- the Dolphins pounced and in so doing brought in a legitimate developmental project who has starting-level upside at corner or safety but needs a position and polish.

Still need: Running back, receiver, offensive line

Minnesota Vikings | 2022 Draft Picks (7): 1 2 3 4 5* 6 6^

Talent: 16 | Equity: 12 | ROI: 16

1.23OT316Christian Darrisaw6'5322---Duane Brown
3.66QB8124Kellen Mond6'2211---Josh Dobbs
3.78LB9110Chazz Surratt6'22298.47Telvin Smith
3.86iOL664Wyatt Davis6'4315---Trai Turner
3.90EDGE18153Patrick Jones6'42616.28Mathias Kiwanuka
4.119RB17233Kene Nwangwu6'02109.89Charles Sims
4.125CB18155Camryn Bynum6'01967.82Jordan Poyer
4.134EDGE19160Janarius Robinson6'52639.33Cornelius Washington
5.157WR32243Ihmir Smith-Marsette6'11816.81Paul Richardson
5.168TE5115Zach Davidson6'62458.8A.J. Derby
6.199DL17195Jaylen Twyman6'23014.42Mike Bennett
UDFALB23196Tuf Borland6'02291.32Tyler Matakevich
UDFAWR38287Whop Philyor5'101841.67Keke Coutee
UDFADL27324Jordon Scott6'0311---Antwaun Woods
UDFARB29330Asim Rose6'12157.49Bilal Powell
UDFALB35334Christian Elliss6'22288.91Alex Gray
UDFAK3XRiley Patterson5'10181---Cody Parkey
UDFAWR63433Blake Proehl6'21868.57Ricky Proehl
UDFAP6XZach Von Rosenberg6'4235------
UDFAWR81XMyron Mitchell6'0180---Terry Godwin
UDFADL42XZeandae Johnson6'42802.69Frostee Rucker
UDFALS-XXTurner Bernard6'1205------

*MIN traded 2022 MIN R5 to JAX in Yannick Ngakoue trade (August 2020)

*MIN acquired conditional 2022 BAL R5 in Yannick Ngakoue trade (October 2020)

^MIN acquired 2022 KC R6 and traded back 2022 R7 in Mike Hughes trade (May 2022)


NFL Draft: The Vikings picked up a pair of badly-needed third-round picks (and sent back a mid-R4) in trading down from 1.14 to 1.23 with the Jets and somehow still ended up with OT3 Christian Darrisaw. The Vikings likely would have taken Darrisaw at 1.14 if they'd been stuck there. Darrisaw and Davis will both start from Day 1, presumably next to each other at LT and LG. Using a R3 pick on Kellen Mond was odd for a roster with so many needs. Mond projects as a solid backup. Surratt is athletic and vacuums up tackles, but he’s old for a prospect (24), only has two years' experience at LB, is poor in coverage, and has T-rex arms and an unrefined approach that led to a bloated missed-tackle rate at UNC.

UDFA: It’s likely that either Borland or Ellis will make the team as the last linebacker. I give Borland the edge heading in, especially because he’s a really good special teamer. As Minnesota showed with Dan Chisena last year, it will give roster spots to UDFA on special team utility alone. It was notable that the Vikings, who have one of the shallowest receiving corps in the NFL, signed WRs Whop Philyor and Blake Proehl. I expect K3 Riley Patterson to beat out Greg Joseph in camp.

Still need: Safety, cornerback, edge rusher

New England Patriots | 2022 Draft Picks (6): 1 2 3 4 7^ 7*

Talent: 18 | Equity: 16 | ROI: 13

1.15QB525Mac Jones6'32177.2Andy Dalton
2.38DL120Christian Barmore6'43108.22Quinnen Williams
3.96EDGE1087Ronnie Perkins6'22535.13Mario Addison
4.120RB6111Rhamondre Stevenson6'02314.02Eddie Lacy
5.177LB13133Cam McGrone6'1234---Malik Jefferson
6.188S17222Joshuah Bledsoe5'11204---Louis Delmas
6.197iOL19200William Sherman6'33045.98Ben Grubbs
7.242WR35255Tre Nixon6'01878.98Titus Young
UDFAK6XQuinn Nordin6'1193---Rhys Lloyd

*NEP acquired 2022 LVR R7 as part of Trent Brown trade (March 2021)

*NEP traded conditional 2022 R7 to DET for Michael Jackson (August 2020)

*NEP acquired 2022 R7 from HOU for Ryan Izzo (March 2022)

^NEP traded conditional 2022 R6 to MIA for Isaiah Ford that could revert into 2022 NE R7 based on unknown conditions


NFL Draft: I had no problem with the Pats paying a slight premium for a quarterback to take Mac Jones at 1.15. I suspect he’ll be starting over Cam Newton sooner rather than later. This class went to the next level for me, however, after that. Barmore was a mega-steal. Nice value on Oklahoma teammates Perkins and Stevenson. I may have been highest in the industry on Stevenson -- ranking him RB6 and No. 111 overall -- and it naturally piqued my interest that New England in particular was feeling the same vibes, popping the bruiser with sweet feet at 4.120. McGrone has upside and could blossom in this system.

UDFA: In my three years quantifying UDFA classes, the Patriots became the first organization to not sign a UDFA on Saturday night after the draft — and only the third team to sign a one-prospect UDFA class: Michigan K Quinn Nordin, my K6! Nordin connected on a not-good 72.4% of his FG attempts in college. He’s to compete with two-year starter Nick Folk and former NFL Draft bust Roberto Aguayo.

Still need: Wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback

New Orleans Saints | 2022 Draft Picks (9): 1 2 3 3c* 4 4c 5 6c 7^

Talent: 29 | Equity: 26| ROI: 32


1.28EDGE970Payton Turner6'52709.74Deatrich Wise Jr.
2.60LB8107Pete Werner6'32389.52Nick Kwiatkoski
3.76CB751Paulson Adebo6'11989.55D. Rodgers-Cromartie
4.133QB14302Ian Book6'02117.39Trace McSorley
6.206OT22240Landon Young6'63109.18Yodny Cajuste
7.255WR37268Kawaan Baker6'02109.08Anthony Ratliff-Williams
UDFATE10188Dylan Soehner6'72685.85Jack Doyle
UDFARB24292Stevie Scott III6'12253.49LeGarrette Blount
UDFACB36301Bryce Thompson5'111823.17Justin Coleman
UDFADL28329Josiah Bronson6'33046.25Timmy Jernigan
UDFALB46435Shaq Smith6'32374.22Abdul Hodge
UDFAP5XNolan Cooney6'2195---Sterling Hofrichter
UDFAiOL53482Michael Brown6'33401.5Mark Jackson
UDFACB57XLawrence Woods5'91824.44Nigel Tribune
UDFADL46XLorenzo Neal6'23181.48Louis Nix

*Awarded 2022 R3 comp pick for ATL hiring Terry Fontenot as GM

^Forfeited 2022 R6 for violating the league's COVID-19 guidelines


NFL Draft: Paulson Adebo was one of my favorite defensive sleepers in this class. I absolutely adored that pick at 3.76. A few tweaks to his game could yield a top-20 overall player from this class. The rest of the Saints’ haul didn’t impress. Every prospect the Saints picked outside of Ian Book had a 90th-percentile or above size-adjusted athletic composite. But New Orleans passed on superior players time and time again. Promise you the Bills, Ravens and Bucs -- who went on a three-EDGE run of Gregory Rousseau, Jayson Oweh and Joe Tryon to close shop on Thursday night -- were thrilled the Saints reached for Payton Turner. I actually like Turner, an ascending prospect. But does he have more ceiling than Rousseau or Oweh? Is he a better player than Tryon?

UDFA: TE Dylan Soehner was my No. 18 overall UDFA. Soehner tested as a slightly above-average athlete for his size, which is all I thought he would have to do to get drafted. After all, he’s the draft’s best blocking inline prospect. The Saints fleshed the class out with a group of prospects that won’t look out of place in an NFL training camp. I think RB Stevie Scott, a bruising hammer back in the LeGarrette Blount vein, has a shot to stick around for a while. New Orleans signed Syracuse DB Trill Williams after the draft but curiously waived him a week later -- it wasn't a surprise that the Saints lost him on waivers, to Miami. 

Still need: Quarterback, wide receiver, secondary

New York Giants | 2022 Draft Picks (10): 1 1* 2 3 3^ 4 4* 5 6 7

Talent: 26 | Equity: 22 | ROI: 26

1.20WR965Kadarius Toney5'111949Curtis Samuel
2.50EDGE428Azeez Ojulari6'22498.17Shaqil Barrett
3.71CB976Aaron Robinson5'11186.08.38D.J. Hayden
4.116EDGE16137Elerson Smith6'62529.72Yannick Ngakoue
6.196RB30341Gary Brightwell6'12184.62DeeJay Dallas
6.201CB25199Rodarius Williams6'01898.14A.J. Green
UDFAEDGE36331Raymond Johnson6'32605.11Jerome McDougle
UDFAiOL38370Brett Heggie6'43104.11P.J. Lonergan
UDFAOT45XJake Burton6'53033.1---

*NYG acquired 2022 CHI R1/R4 in trade for 2021 1.11 (Justin Fields)

^NYG acquired 2022 MIA R3 in 2021 NFL Draft swap of R2 picks


NFL Draft: Giants GM Dave Gettleman did well in the aftermath of getting sniped by the Eagles for WR DeVonta Smith, acquiring Chicago’s 2022 R1/R4 picks along with a fifth-rounder to trade-down to 1.20. Make no mistake: That was fabulous value. Gettleman then picked up Miami’s 2022 R3 by dropping back a mere eight spots in R2. Gettleman got exceptional slot value at a position of need after that when he stole Azeez Ojulari at 2.50. Robinson was also fine value in R3. Only quibble here, and it's not a minor one, was taking older gadget prospect Kadarius Toney at 1.20 over Rashod Bateman or Elijah Moore

UDFA: With roster spots already delineated for Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith, Raymond Johnson feels like a long-shot to make the Week 1 roster. Heggie’s got the best odds of making the team because of New York’s issues with interior depth.

Still need: Offensive line, linebacker, defensive line

New York Jets | 2022 Draft Picks (11): 1 1* 2 2^ 3 4^ 5 5& 6 6% 6@

Talent: 1 | Equity: 2 | ROI: 14

1.2QB410Zach Wilson6'2214---Baker Mayfield
1.14iOL116Alijah Vera-Tucker6'43089.04David DeCastro
2.34WR523Elijah Moore5'91788.68Antonio Brown
4.107RB579Michael Carter5'82016.23Clyde Edwards-Helaire
5.146S21264Jamien Sherwood6'22164.24Nate Gerry
5.154CB43335Michael Carter II5'101845.73Jeremy Ware
5.175CB35296Jason Pinnock6'02049.78Tye Smith
6.186S585Hamsah Nasirildeen6'32157.78Kyle Dugger
6.200CB33285Brandin Echols5'101799.15Sam Shields
6.207DL13159Jonathan Marshall6'33109.99Luis Castillo
UDFATE8173Kenny Yeboah6'42505.93Chris Herndon
UDFAEDGE27214Hamilcar Rashed6'22518.31Harold Landry
UDFALB32298Milo Eifler6'12287.86Juwan Simpson
UDFAiOL31305Parker Ferguson6'42906.5Jon Runyan Jr.
UDFAS25316Brendon White6'12156.42Josh Jones
UDFAiOL37363Tristen Hoge6'5306---Kurtis Gregory
UDFAOT32399Grant Hermanns6'73007.59Jackson Barton
UDFAOT35423Teton Saltes6'53007.95Terry Poole
UDFACB53479Isaiah Dunn5'111898.93Richard Marshall
UDFADL41XMichael Dwumfour6'1294---Ricky Walker
UDFAS41XJordyn Peters6'12024.66---
UDFAK/NAXChris Naggar6'1194------

*Acquired 2022 R1 from SEA and sent back own 2022 R4 in Jamal Adams trade (July 2020)

^Acquired 2022 CAR R2/R4 in Sam Darnold trade (April 2021)

&NYJ acquired 2022 PIT R5 in exchange for Avery Williamson and 2022 R7 (January 2021)

%NYJ acquired 2022 TB R6 in exchange for Steve McLendon and 2023 NYJ R7 (October 2021)

@NYJ acquired 2022 SF R6 in Jordan Willis trade (January 2021)


NFL Draft: Felt the Jets sold-low on Sam Darnold to buy-high on Zach Wilson to find out if Wilson's one year of superstar-level play -- against the No. 89 SP+ strength of schedule -- is a mirage or not. Respect the gumption, but I couldn't have pulled the trigger at 1.2 myself. I liked the Elijah Moore pick a ton, and Hamsah Nasirildeen could prove to be a R6 steal. Circumstances conspired against Nasirildeen -- that kid's got a lot of skills. But I question the Wilson decision, and I thought the Jets overpaid to trade-up for Vera-Tucker (it cost three picks, including two R3) when guys like Teven Jenkins and Creed Humphrey ended up coming off the board a round later.

UDFA: The Jets signed the AFC’s best UDFA crop. The Jets became the first team to give a $200k guaranteed UDFA deal, handing it to Mississippi TE Kenny Yeboah, the collegiate teammate of R2 WR Elijah Moore. The deal snapped the previous record of Jacksonville signing SDSU CB Luq Barcoo to $180k in guarantees last year. The Jets then broke Barcoo’s guaranteed UDFA money record for a UDFA corner, handing Oregon State CB Isaiah Dunn $185,000. The Jets also signed Dunn’s collegiate teammate EDGE Hamilcar Rashed. Rashed was a second-team AP All-American in 2019 when he led the FBS with 22.5 TFL and tied for third with 14 sacks.

Still need: Cornerback, tight end, edge rusher

Philadelphia Eagles | 2022 Draft Picks (9): 1 1* 1^ 2 3 4 5 5# 6 7

Talent: 7 | Equity: 11 | ROI: 11

1.10WR28DeVonta Smith6'1170---Keenan McCardell
2.37iOL350Landon Dickerson6'6333---Frank Ragnow
3.73DL348Milton Williams6'32849.96Turk McBride
4.123CB34293Zech McPhearson5'111959.56Corey White
5.150RB8117Kenneth Gainwell5'112015.7Raheem Mostert
6.189DL10116Marlon Tuipulotu6'23076.78Foley Fatukasi
6.191EDGE32281Tarron Jackson6'22545.67Dawuane Smoot
6.224S18229JaCoby Stevens6'22307.85Greg Blue
7.234EDGE20167Patrick Johnson6'22407.25Derek Barnett
UDFAQB7118Jamie Newman6'3234---David Garrard
UDFAiOL17161Kayode Awosika6'33075.03Lucas Nix
UDFAWR29226Trevon Grimes6'42208.45Chris Henry
UDFAiOL32310Harry Crider6'33077.62J.D. Walton
UDFAWR50356Jhamon Ausbon6'22174.67Amara Darboh
UDFATE19394Jack Stoll6'42477.98Jake Murphy
UDFAEDGE40411JaQuan Bailey6'22461.57Michael Sam

*IND 2022 R1 conveys to PHI if Carson Wentz plays 75% of 2021 snaps (drops to 70% if Colts qualify for 2021 playoff) -- otherwise IND receives PHI 2022 R2 (February 2021)

^Acquired MIA 2022 R1 in trade involving 2021 1.6 (March 2021)

#PHI acquired 2022 WAS R5 in exchange for 2021 R6/R7 selections


NFL Draft: In a blockbuster March trade, Philly picked up San Francisco’s 2022 R1 by moving from 1.6 to 1.12 with the idea they could still get one of Alabama's receivers in that slot. The Eagles ended up having to trade up with the Cowboys to 1.10 to hop the Giants to secure DeVonta Smith. Turns out they were correct that New York would have taken Smith. Landon Dickerson will start for a decade if his body complies. I was a big fan of three of the Eagles’ next-four picks, getting nice value on iDL Milton Williams, RB Kenneth Gainwell and iDL Marlon Tuipulotu

UDFA: My top-ranked undrafted QB, Jamie Newman, ranked as PFF’s No. 6 graded quarterback on throws 10-plus yards downfield and No. 2 (behind Trevor Lawrence) on graded throws beyond 20 yards in 2019. He may have been a R2 pick in the draft had he been Georgia’s starting QB in 2020, but Newman opted-out after the pandemic hit. Awosika was a three-year starter at OT who’ll kick inside due to a lack of length. He was one of the MAC’s best run-blocking tackles over the past three seasons.

Still need: Linebacker, cornerback, tight end

Pittsburgh Steelers | 2022 Draft Picks (8): 1 2 3 3c 5c 6 7 7*

Talent: 20 | Equity: 21 | ROI: 24

1.24RB234Najee Harris6'2232---Steven Jackson
2.55TE242Pat Freiermuth6'5251---Tyler Eifert
3.87iOL1293Kendrick Green6'23059.24Cody Whitehair
4.128OT20215Dan Moore Jr.6'63118.97Martinas Rankin
4.140LB16154Buddy Johnson6'02299.22Kendell Beckwith
5.156DL32383Isaiahh Loudermilk6'62743.64Billy Winn
6.216EDGE17143Quincy Roche6'32456.4Jeremiah Attaochu
7.245S26325Tre Norwood6'01922.7Jayden Peters
7.254P4N/APressley Harvin III5'11263---Ryan Plackemeier
UDFACB26207Shakur Brown5'101852.75Nate Hairston
UDFALB31289Jamar Watson6'22414.13Azeem Victor
UDFACB42326Mark Gilbert6'01867.2Dane Jackson
UDFAS29358Donovan Stiner6'12057.73Saquan Hampton
UDFALB42388Calvin Bundage6'22212.86Alvin Bowen
UDFAiOL41390Chase Behrndt6'33242.3Jon Toth
UDFAWR57409Isaiah McKoy6'22002.36Jaelen Strong
UDFAWR60419Rico Bussey Jr.6'01866.21Ryan Grice-Mullen
UDFAS37450Lamont Wade5'91904.95Ahmad Black

*PIT acquired Avery Williamson and 2022 NYJ R7 in exchange for 2022 PIT R5 (January 2021)


NFL Draft: RB Najee Harris brings Pittsburgh’s offense a move-TE like weapon in the passing game. Very smooth receiver with a huge catch radius. Speaking of tight ends, I liked the value on Freiermuth. Rest of the class was a straightforward infrastructure exercise. 

UDFA: The most interesting name in Pittsburgh’s UDFA class is Michigan State CB Shakur Brown, whom I had a sixth-round grade on. In just seven games last year, Brown drew Ohio State's Garrett Wilson, Indiana's Whop Philyor, Penn State's Jahan Dotson and Michigan's Nico Collins -- and ended up leading the nation with 0.7 interceptions per game. The one area Brown struggled: Getting taken over the top by longer, faster, more physically dominant receivers. Brown lacks speed, and he made only 12 starts in college. But man was he impressive in those starts, posting PFF’s seventh-highest CB grade in the FBS last season (82.2) and the highest coverage grade in the Big Ten (84.2). Stick him in the slot and take him off the field against big slot receivers, and you may well squeeze some value out of this penny stock.

Still need: Cornerback, offensive line, quarterback

Seattle Seahawks | 2022 Draft Picks (7): 2 3 4 4* 5 6 7

Talent: 30 | Equity: 32 | ROI: 1

2.56WR1388D'Wayne Eskridge5'91906.73Mecole Hardman
4.137CB19163Tre Brown5'101856.36John Reid
6.208OT1283Stone Forsythe6'83078.78Jared Veldheer
UDFAWR1594Cade Johnson5'111843.04Dennis Northcutt
UDFAWR27220Tamorrion Terry6'32077.3M. Valdez-Scantling
UDFAiOL29275Jared Hocker6'63278.65Spencer Long
UDFACB37304Bryan Mills6'11742.94Daryl Worley
UDFAS24306Aashari Crosswell6'0202---Josh Mettelus
UDFARB31352Josh Johnson5'92095.09Darius Anderson
UDFAOT30379Jake Curhan6'53161.76Robert Hunt
UDFARB35386BJ Emmons5'112158.57Dan "Boom" Herron
UDFALB43391Jon Rhattigan6'02362.92Hardy Nickerson Jr.
UDFAOT33408Greg Eiland6'83211.73George Hegamin
UDFAWR66445Connor Wedington6'01968.48Trishton Jackson
UDFADL40492Jarrod Hewitt6'1290---Maurice Hurst
UDFAiOL-XXPier-Oliver Lestage6'3310------

*Acquired 2022 NYJ R4 and traded back 2022 R1 in Jamal Adams trade (July 2020)


NFL Draft: I like the Forsythe flier late -- especially for an organization that always need offensive line help -- but felt any gains Seattle made there only served to help offset the losses of the Eskridge reach. Non-factor draft by a team that doesn't appear to value the draft much.

UDFA: High-quality UDFA class with multiple draftable prospects at positions of need that are also scheme fits. The headliner is South Dakota State WR Cade Johnson, who I had a late third-round grade on. Following a prolific collegiate career (163-2863-28) and a strong Senior Bowl, Johnson was almost assured of being drafted, perhaps even in the middle rounds, despite SDSU's season having been cancelled in 2020. But a disastrous pro day (4.49 40-yard but with a ninth-percentile broad jump) changed all that. Terry, Hocker and Mills all have intriguing skillsets.

Still need: Offensive line, edge rusher, cornerback

San Francisco 49ers | 2022 Draft Picks (7)*: 2 3 4 5 7 7c 7c

Talent: 14 | Equity: 9 | ROI: 18

1.3QB37Trey Lance6'4224---Steve McNair
2.48iOL561Aaron Banks6'53257.21Rodger Saffold
3.88RB467Trey Sermon6'02159.66Joe Mixon
3.102CB13103Ambry Thomas6'01918.97Jourdan Lewis
5.155OT16121Jaylon Moore6'43117.48Donald Stephenson
5.172CB31266Deommodore Lenoir5'101997.6Damon Arnette
5.180S13187Talanoa Hufanga6'01995.77Andrew Wingard
6.194RB11168Elijah Mitchell5'102019.5Royce Freeman
UDFALB21177Justin Hilliard6'02294.3Skai Moore
UDFAWR26209Austin Watkins6'12072.63Gabriel Davis
UDFALB33303Elijah Sullivan6'02144.87Beniquez Brown
UDFATE27XJosh Pederson6'42322.88Isaac Nauta

*Traded 2022 R1 to MIA in swap for 2021 1.3 (Trey Lance)


NFL Draft: If Trey Lance pans out, he’ll be worth his weight in gold, and we will never again talk about what San Francisco relinquished to acquire him. There is no bigger cheat code in the NFL than an above-average starting quarterback on a rookie contract -- and in terms of size, athleticism, arm strength, and limiting turnovers, Trey Lance is one of the most intriguing prospects at the position we’ve seen over the last decade. Banks and Sermon are going to start alongside him for years. 

UDFA: San Francisco signed two of my top-25 overall UDFA in LB Justin Hilliard and WR Austin Watkins. I graded Hilliard as a fifth-rounder, Watkins as a sixth-rounder. The 49ers also signed LB Elijah Sullivan. It wasn’t a surprise that half its UDFA class was off-ball LB, the one area of need San Francisco wasn’t able to check off over NFL Draft weekend. You can bet at least one of Hilliard or Sullivan makes the roster. Watkins, Sammy’s cousin, won’t wow anyone athletically, but he caught 98-of-99 career catchable targets at UAB.

Still need: Edge rusher, cornerback, receiver

Tampa Bay Bucs | 2022 Draft Picks (7): 1 2 3 4 5 7 7c

Talent: 28 | Equity: 28 | ROI: 27

1.32EDGE743Joe Tryon6'52599.29Robert Quinn
2.64QB9184Kyle Trask6'52365.94Trent Edwards
3.95OT18157Robert Hainsey6'43068.07Joe Haeg
4.129WR18128Jaelon Darden5'81747.15Isaiah McKenzie
5.176LB20171K.J. Britt6'02354.7Antonio Morrison
7.251CB39315Chris Wilcox6'21988.8Holton Hill
7.259LB30284Grant Stuard5'11230---Brandon Magee
UDFAiOL16151Sadarius Hutcherson6'33219.89Michael Jordan
UDFAEDGE37338Elijah Ponder6'22685.76Victor Abiamiri
UDFAK1XJose Borregales5'10206---Austin Seibert
UDFAOT34415Calvin Ashley6'63142.22Kent Perkins
UDFAEDGE43464Leighton McCarthy6'22266.33Tahir Whitehead
UDFAWR70474T.J. Simmons6'12085.33Isaiah Coulter
UDFACB59XCameron Kinley6'12016.18Rasul Douglas
UDFAS52XLawrence White6'01962.9---
UDFAS-XXAugie Contressa6'0210------


NFL Draft: Trask’s an unathletic late-bloomer that didn’t pop until he was playing with all-time CFB TE Kyle Pitts, top-20 NFL Draft pick Kadarius Toney, and Trevon Grimes, who also has an NFL future. When those three skipped the bowl game against Oklahoma, the pixy dust wore off and Trask was just the statuesque pocket-passer with placement issues he’d been before. instead of taking Trask, the Bucs could have had, for instance, Trey Sermon, who would have been a Week 1 starter. Sermon assuredly would have improved this year's team as it prepared to defend its title.

UDFA: I was surprised Sadarius Hutcherson and Jose Borregales didn’t get drafted. Hutcherson in that he’s an explosive, projectable athlete, and Borregales in that he was considered by most to be the class’ top kicker. Hutcherson is a big ball of clay. During the draft cycle he was called boom-or-bust, but of course UDFAs can’t bust. Bucs GM Jason Licht, who once traded up in the second round to take K Roberto Aguayo, got the last laugh on the NFL on the kicker position in this process, perhaps getting the best in show without having to spend a pick.

Still need: Running back, receiver, cornerback

Tennessee Titans | 2022 Draft Picks (7): 1 2 3 4 4c 5 6

Talent: 15 | Equity: 18 | ROI: 8

1.22CB319Caleb Farley6'2197---Jimmy Smith
2.53OT534Dillon Radunz6'63019.28Brian O'Neill
3.92LB11127Monty Rice6'02337.21Elandon Roberts
3.100CB645Elijah Molden5'91924.66Antoine Winfield Jr.
4.109WR36257Dez Fitzpatrick6'22088.82KeeSean Johnson
4.135EDGE14126Rashad Weaver6'42597.33Preston Smith
6.205WR51362Racey McMath6'22117.44Mack Hollins
6.215S22294Brady Breeze6'01976.7Jared Mayden
UDFAiOL25225Chandon Herring6'73079.84Jackson Barton
UDFATE11230Briley Moore6'42409.03MyCole Pruitt
UDFAFB3263Tory Carter6'02294.13Eddie Williams
UDFADL26311Naquan Jones6'33131.21Daylon Mack
UDFAiOL35337Cole Banwart6'4298---Dan Feeney
UDFARB36396Mekhi Sargent5'82083.64Matthew Dayes
UDFAP2XJames Smith6'5231---Shane Tripucka
UDFAK4XBlake Haubeil6'4233---Daniel Carlson
UDFATE21440Miller Forristall6'52415.94Cole Hikutini
UDFAEDGE42442Justus Reed6'32533.83Josh Carraway


NFL Draft: The Caleb Farley pick reminded me so much of the Jeffery Simmons selection from a perception-of-risk perspective. Such a steal if Farley’s back doesn’t derail his career. I was surprised Tennessee took Radunz, an athletic tackle on the leaner side, only because just last year they selected his polar-opposite with a decade-plan for him in the elephantine Isaiah Wilson. But I love Radunz -- had him just outside R1. Loved the value on Elijah Molden later on.

UDFA: Tennessee got pretty good bang-for-its buck at the UDFA thrift store. I particularly like the signing of Chandon Herring, who was a starter for a top-5 overall FBS offensive line last year. Herring posted an absurd 98th-percentile size-adjusted RAS athletic composite score at a muscled-up 6’7/307. He’s older for a prospect, having served a two-year church mission, followed by a redshirt season. The Titans’ biggest reported expenditure of UDFA guaranteed money went to LSU FB Tory Carter. Carter would make for a punishing lead battering-ram for Derrick Henry.

Still need: Wide receiver, tight end, safety

Washington Football Team | 2022 Draft Picks (6): 1 2 3 4 6 7

Talent: 21 | Equity: 14 | ROI: 28

1.19LB429Jamin Davis6'32349.94Willie Gay Jr.
2.51OT644Samuel Cosmi6'63149.99Kolton Miller
3.74CB17146Benjamin St-Juste6'32028.13Tre Flowers
3.82WR1696Dyami Brown6'01898.38Darius Slayton
4.124TE13265John Bates6'52606.8C.J. Fiedorowicz
5.163S15205Darrick Forrest5'112069.69Chuck Clark
6.225LSN/ACam Cheeseman6'4230------
7.24EDGE25201William Bradley-King6'32529.18Kamalei Correa
7.246EDGE24194Shaka Toney6'22429.47Trent Cole
7.258WR48347Dax Milne6'11934.59Chad Hansen
UDFARB13180Jaret Patterson5'91954.46Devin Singletary


NFL Draft: Davis is a solid prospect with a high ceiling, but I felt there were multiple prospects on the board  with similar upsides and less-acute risk profiles. I really liked Washington’s pick of the underrated Cosmi at 2.51. Wasn’t as big a fan of the rest of the haul. St-Juste’s future may be at safety. I was a vocal critic of Dyami Brown’s all process. I understand WFT's thinking, here, bringing in a field-stretcher opposite Terry McLaurin. But deep routes were the only routes Brown ran at UNC, and he drops too many balls and engages in too much hand-fighting downfield for a one-tricky pony. 

UDFA: Patterson doesn’t look like much, and he’s a slightly below-average athlete lacking in sprinter speed. But he's an ankle-breaker with spinning-top balance that contributes as a receiver. Patterson feels like a really nice complimentary option to Antonio Gibson. He’ll give the defense a completely different look, a Mini Cooper swapped in for a Hummer.

Still need: Quarterback, free safety, tight end


        2023 NFL Draft notes


  • Lions own Rams’ R1 (Matthew Stafford trade)
  • Dolphins own 49ers’ R1 (Trey Lance trade)
  • Jaguars own Eagles’ R6 (Josiah Scott trade)
  • Bucs own Jets’ R7 (Steve McLendon trade)
  • Rams own Lions’ R7 (Michael Brockers trade)
  • Panthers conditionally own Bills’ R7 (Andre Smith trade)
Thor Nystrom

Thor Nystrom is NBC Sports Edge’s lead CFB writer. The 2018 FSWA College Sports Writer of the Year, Nystrom’s writing has also been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to him on Twitter @thorku!