2022 NFL Draft First Round Recap

2022 NFL Draft First Round Recap

Jadon Cottrell, Staff Writer

Thursday night marked the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and the results were even more wild than anybody anticipated.

Among the headlines from the first night of the draft, the sheer number of trades that were made must be the biggest story. Many teams swapped draft picks throughout the night, but even more interesting were the trades that involved already established NFL players. The main example being the Philadelphia Eagles acquiring wide receiver AJ Brown from the Tennessee Titans. AJ Brown was due for a huge contract extension and reports are saying that the Eagles are already in an agreement with Brown on just that. Now, Philadelphia has really improved the offense around quarterback Jalen Hurts, who they hope can prove to be their guy for the foreseeable future

Ironically enough, the other two teams that many see as the big winners from Thursday night are also local teams. Both the New York Giants and the New York Jets were able to draft some great prospects. The Giants selected edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive tackle Evan Neal with the fifth and seventh picks. Both players were projected to go a bit higher in the months leading up to the draft, but they fell into the Giants’ lap.

As for the Jets, they entered the night with the fourth and tenth picks. They used those to select cornerback Ahmad Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson. But later in the first round, the Jets decided to join the countless other teams who traded up during the course of the night when they traded up to the 26th pick and selected edge rusher Jermaine Johnson. While their first two picks were good value selections, taking Johnson at 26 was viewed by many as a steal. For reference, Daniel Jeremiah, a draft analyst for NFL Network, had Johnson ranked as the ninth best player in the entire draft.

Even though this was not viewed as a strong draft for quarterback prospects, it was somewhat surprising to see only one taken off the board when the Pittsburgh Steelers picked Kenny Pickett from the University of Pittsburgh. Pickett, who graduated from Ocean Township High School here in New Jersey, will now get to play in front of the same fans who rooted for him while he played in college. With him being the only quarterback off the board, it will make for an interesting day two of the draft, as we wait and see where some of the other top prospects will be selected.

After an unpredictable first night, it will be compelling to see how the next six rounds play out. Over the next two days we can be sure to see some more trades, surprise picks, and quarterbacks taken. Obviously, everything right now is just on paper, and we will not know how these players actually perform until they get a chance to play in the NFL. Hopefully, your favorite team can find its next face of the franchise in this year’s draft!