NFL Draft

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Every NFL offseason, three major things take place: trades, free agency, and the draft. The NFL draft took place from April 28 to April 30. This year, the draft was stacked with talent from many positions, such as offensive line, defensive back, and wide receiver. Last year, five quarterbacks were drafted in the top 15 overall picks, and this year, the first quarterback picked was drafted 20th overall. Many players dropped to later rounds than they were supposed to, and some even went undrafted.

 

The first overall pick was anticipated to be a defensive end, Aidan Hutchinson. For most of the time leading up to the draft days before the draft, defensive end Travon Walker was expected to be the first pick. Walker ended up being picked first to the Jaguars, and Hutchinson went second to the Lions. The Lions also made a trade with the Vikings to move up in the draft and selected wide receiver Jameson Williams. The first surprise of the draft was when Dereek Stingley Jr. was picked third overall by the Texans. Many experts suggested that the first defensive back taken would be Ahmad Gardner, who didn’t allow a single touchdown in his three-year college career. The Giants had the fifth and seventh draft picks, which set them up for an inevitably great draft. The fifth pick was their original pick, but they acquired the seventh from the Bears in earlier trade. With both of the picks, the Giants got defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive lineman Evan Neal. Star wide receiver Calvin Ridley who plays for the Falcons, was suspended for the 2022 season for gambling problems, and the team ended up with the eighth pick. They drafted wide receiver Drake London to replace Ridley and pair with star tight end Kyle Pitts.

 

In every draft, there are definitive winners and losers. This year, the Jets were widely considered to be the winner of the draft, selecting defensive back Ahmad Garder and wide receiver Garrett Wilson in the top 10 picks and defensive end Jermaine Johnson III very late in the first round. The Philadelphia Eagles’ best move wasn’t picking a player in the draft but trading for one. Star receiver A.J Brown was shipped from the Titans to the Eagles for the 18th overall pick and a third-round pick. They also drafted defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round. The Patriots were the main losers of the draft, picking offensive lineman Cole Strange in the first round. They also drafted wide receiver Tyquan Thornton in the two rounds. Both of these picks were very puzzling to fans, as the two players were projected second-round picks.

 

Most of the time, a lot of players with a lot of potential slip down to later rounds of the draft due to injuries or lack of positional need. This year’s two prime examples are when quarterback Malik Willis and linebacker Nakobe Dean fell to the third round. Willis was expected by many people to be a top pick in the first round but ended up being a third-round pick due to most teams in the league either not needing a quarterback or having bigger positional needs to fill. He was drafted 86th overall to the Titans. Nakobe Dean had an amazing college career and was considered to be the best player on the defensive side of Georgia, regardless of his teammate being selected first overall. He suffered a pectoral strain during training and was picked 83rd to the Eagles.

 

The NFL Draft is always a great tradition to welcome new players into the NFL. It is always exciting to see how the top picks will turn out, but there are always some players that have to wait longer than expected to get their names called.