10 Biggest Winners and Losers of the 2022 NFL Draft

| May 2, 2022 8:22 am PDT
2022 NFL draft logo, roger goodell to left, brian gutekunst to right

The 2022 NFL Draft has officially ended, and there’s a lot to unravel here. On top of countless young superstars entering the league, tons of movement via trade between the teams was made.

Some teams moved up or down in 2022, or they opted for some future picks. These moves can all make them better teams or amplify their weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how all these moves play out in the long run and for this season.

With that being said, let’s get right into our top 10 NFL Draft winners and losers for 2022.

Winner: New York Jets

  • #4: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  • #10: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
  • #26: Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
  • #36: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
  • #101: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
  • #111: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
  • #117: Micheal Clemons, EDGE, Texas A&M

The Jets nailed their first four picks. They loaded up on early-round picks and didn’t have many late ones, but it could have paid off big time. Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Jermaine Johnson II were their first-round picks.

That’s an incredible haul and gives them three great players to help them rebuild. All three of these players could very well be the best players in their respective positions.

Gardner could be a shutdown cornerback in the league sooner rather than later, Wilson gives Zach Wilson a great target to pair with Elijah Moore, and Johnson was expected to go way before 26th overall.

Breece Hall was also the first running back taken in the draft. Pairing Hall and Michael Carter will make the Jets’ backfield pretty dangerous.

Offensively, the Jets pieces are young and talented. If Wilson continues to develop in the right direction, New York could have themselves a great offense before we know it.

The Jets’ defensive line and secondary are now looking very underrated. Johnson and Gardner give them two great pieces in addition to solid position groups already.

It’s been rough for the Jets for quite some time now, but they have serious potential right now. They have young pieces everywhere and a decent amount of future cap spaces.

The Jets could use some solid veterans, but don’t be surprised if a winning season in 2022-23 is in store for them.

Loser: Green Bay Packers (1st Round)

  • #22: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
  • #28: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

The Green Bay Packers should take a page out of the Los Angeles Rams book for the first round. Their first-round picks have been questionable for a while now, potentially holding them back from winning a Super Bowl.

This year they did it again. They took LB Quay Walker and DT Devonte Wyatt with their two first-round picks. They had their original pick in the first round, and the Las Vegas Raiders also picked due to the Davante Adams blockbuster trade.

That trade opened a glaring need for a WR or two, which the Packers didn’t take in the first round. Green Bay also needed offensive line upgrades but didn’t draft there either.

Walker and Wyatt could be solid pieces for their defense, but they should have gone about it differently.

Brian Gutekunst had the ammunition to trade up and grab an even better WR prospect or take 2 WRs in their first four picks.

I also think that LB Devin Lloyd should have been picked before Quay Walker. OT Tyler Smith and C Tyler Linderbaum were both on the board at #22 as well.

I have the Packers as first-round NFL Draft losers only because they traded up and grabbed WR Christian Watson at #34 and OT Sean Rhyan at #92.

Overall, the Packers could have done several things differently with four picks in the first two rounds. Marquise Brown, A.J Brown, and Deebo Samuel could have been acquired as well.

Their first-round picks have been questionable for years now, so maybe trading them like the Rams did can get them to the promised land.

Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

  • #13: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
  • #51: Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
  • #83: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
  • #181: Kyron Johnson, LB, Kansas
  • #198: Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU

The Eagles draft selections were solid, but their moves outside of their draft picks made them winners. Their biggest move was trading for Titans’ wide receiver A.J Brown while also stockpiling first-rounders in the future.

They have been making moves left and right. They had three first-round picks in this draft a few weeks ago but traded all of them. It turned into the #13 overall pick (Jordan Davis), A.J Brown, a 2023 first-rounder, and a 2024 second-rounder.

This Eagles team now has additional early-round picks for the next two years in addition to talented players right now. A.J Brown and DeVonta Smith will be a great 1-2 punch for Jalen Hurts. Hurts struggled at times last year, but he has real potential as an NFL quarterback.

Jordan Davis was one of the biggest risers this offseason and looked like a dominant nose tackle at the next level. Cam Jurgens is another solid pick in the second round out of Nebraska.

The addition of Davis and Jurgens can make the Eagles possibly the best team in the trenches in the entire NFL. Their offensive and defensive lines were already strong, but these two rookies can take them over the top.

Nakobe Dean was also projected to go way earlier in the draft, but some injury concerns hurt his outlook. That could mean that the Eagles also got a first-rounder at a huge discount in the third round.

The Eagles could have won this draft, the next draft, and still be a dark horse Super Bowl threat right now too. Now that they loaded up, it’s worth wondering if they’ll try to upgrade under center, too. Could Baker Mayfield be on their radar?

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Loser: New Orleans Saints

  • #11: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
  • #19: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
  • #49: Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee
  • #161: D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State
  • #194: Jordan Jackson, DT, Air Force
  • #196: Forfeited

Next up on our 2022 NFL Draft winners and losers list is the New Orleans Saints.

One of the teams that the Eagles made their many first-round picks swaps with is the Saints. I don’t think it worked out the same way for New Orleans, though, making them one of the NFL Draft losers in my eyes.

The Saints did make a nice grab with Chris Olave, trading away their 1st, 3rd, and 4th rounders to move up. After that, they grabbed Trevor Penning from the additional pick they got in the Eagles trade.

This is the pick that I am most critical of. Essentially, New Orleans traded away a 2023 first-rounder and 2024 second-rounder to have an additional first-round pick. They took it on Penning, who will be a major work in progress.

Penning is a physical powerhouse, but he will get way too many penalties at the next level. He’s will not overpower everyone at the next level, which means his technique will be tested.

His technique right now is terrible. That will lead to holding penalties and possibly unnecessary roughness as well. Their move to trade a future first and a second-rounder for Penning seems questionable, to say the least.

The Saints also broke COVID-19 protocol multiple times in 2021, which forced them to forfeit their 6th rounder in this draft as well.

They took a high-risk, mid-to-low reward player in Penning and gave up important draft picks in the process.

Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

  • #21: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
  • #30: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
  • #54: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
  • #62: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
  • #103: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
  • #135: Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
  • #145: Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
  • #243: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State
  • #251: Isaih Pacheco, RB, Rutgers
  • #259: Nazeeh Johnson, S, Marshall

Kansas City had ten picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and they nailed on many of them. They traded up in the first to grab Trent McDuffie, who will help with the Chiefs’ defensive struggles in the passing game.

Karlaftis is a very underrated pass rusher as well, so he and McDuffie are great pieces for 2022 and beyond.

Offensively, Skyy Moore looks to be one of the steals of the draft. He’s an incredible wide receiver who can help fill their offense with the Tyreek Hill-shaped void. Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman can help open the rest of the field so Travis Kelce and Juju Smith-Schuster can work underneath.

Many people thought that the Chiefs were about to hit their downfall, but they seemed to put themselves right back near the top of the league with their 2022 NFL Draft performance.

The defense was the biggest issue for the Chiefs last season. Drafting McDuffie and Karlaftis and signing S Justin Reid in the offseason can have them back to being a very talented defense.

We already know what the offense can do, and losing Hill won’t be the problem a lot might think it will.

The AFC West looks like the best 2022 division in the NFL, but that means the Chiefs can be an even better bet price-wise.

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Loser: Los Angeles Rams

  • #104: Logan Bruss, OG, Wisconsin
  • #142: Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
  • #164: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
  • #211: Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
  • #212: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
  • #235: Daniel Hardy, LB, Montana State
  • #253: Russ Yeast, S, Kansas State
  • #261: A. J. Arcuri, OT, Michigan State

Like I said earlier, the Rams love to trade away their draft picks. They aren’t upset about how that turned out last year, though, defeating the Bengals in the Super Bowl. With that said, they won’t be the winner’s section for the draft for this year.

Their first draft pick didn’t even happen until the late 3rd round. They had eight picks in the draft total, but they didn’t get the haul that other teams did.

They gave up their 2022 and 2023 first-rounders to the Lions for Matthew Stafford, their 2022 second and third-rounders for Von Miller, and their 4th-round pick was sent to Houston along with Brandin Cooks for a 2020 second-rounder, and more.

It all worked out in the end, but their impacts from these drafts will come later down the road. This is what it takes to win a Super Bowl in the NFL. Your team must be all in and sacrifice something if they want to win.

The Rams could have given up their future years of being competitive in exchange for the 2021-22 Super Bowl. They won’t feel the effects of the trades they made until a couple of years from now.

After all, it’s the circle of life in the NFL. We can probably call them losers for the next ten years, and they won’t care. Winning a Super Bowl is all that matters, and they got the job done.

Winner: Baltimore Ravens

  • #14: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  • #25: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  • #45: David Ojabo, OLB, Michigan
  • #76: Travis Jones, NT, UCONN
  • #110: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
  • #119: Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
  • #128: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
  • #130: Jordan Stout, P, Penn State
  • #139: Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
  • #141: Damarion Williams, CB, Houston
  • #196: Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri

This might come as a surprise to some, but the Baltimore Ravens had a very successful draft. You might be thinking of the Marquise Brown trade, which turned into Tyler Linderbauma and Jordan Stout.

That leaves the WRs for the Ravens very thin, but WRs are not important in the Ravens scheme. They are an extremely run-heavy team, and that trade shows that they are fully bought into their identity.

Brown’s trade was a surprise, but it was reported that he requested the trade and has been unhappy in Baltimore. It’s better than the Ravens traded him now instead of having him not play at all.

The first three draft picks for the Ravens were incredible. Kyle Hamilton was a player that many thought could be a top 3 pick this year. He fell all the way to Baltimore at 14, and they gladly took him.

Linderbaum and Ojabo are two other players who could be incredibly valuable given their draft slot. The Ravens drafted well after that, giving them a great team to work with within 2022 and beyond.

They are incredibly deep on both sides of the trenches and in the secondary. Baltimore could be a very dangerous team in 2022.

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Loser: Big Name Rookie Quarterbacks

  • #20 (Steelers): Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
  • #74 (Falcons): Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
  • #86 (Titans): Malik Willis, Liberty
  • #94 (Panthers) Matt Corral, Ole Miss
  • #144 (Commanders): Sam Howell, North Carolina

Five quarterbacks were coming into the draft that were popular in rumors throughout the league. Several NFL teams could have used a quarterback to build around.

Sadly, only one of those quarterbacks went in the first round, while the others fell further and further down the draft board. Kenny Pickett was the first to go and went to the same city he played college football in, Pittsburgh.

The Panthers, Falcons, and Commanders all took other players instead of quarterback in the first round and more.

The quarterbacks in this draft were nowhere near where we thought they were. It seemed that no NFL teams were eager to trade up for them or take them in the early rounds, so what does that say about them?

It says that they have lots of work to do. These quarterbacks didn’t impress these NFL teams and could be seen as more career backups than talented starters.

Teams are always hungry to grab the next big thing at quarterback, but nobody took the bait in 2022. Sam Howell was the last of the top 5 to go and was actually the 6th quarterback taken in the draft.

The Patriots drafted Bailey Zappe 7 picks before him, so that’s even more of a slap in the face. These quarterbacks still have the potential to be serviceable starters, but it’s going to take multiple years to get there.

This draft could be considered one of the worst QB classes in some time.

Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

  • #31: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
  • #60: Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska
  • #95: Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
  • #136: Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State
  • #166: Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo
  • #252: Jeffrey Gunter, EDGE, Coastal Carolina

After coming up short in Super Bowl 56, the Cincinnati Bengals went to work in the offseason. They have done very well in free agency and continued that into the draft. They can get back into the Super Bowl this season and potentially win it this time.

The offensive line was the biggest area of need for them, but they addressed that in the offseason. They signed Alex Cappa, La’el Collins, Ted Karras, and more to revamp their offensive line.

They also took Volson in the 4th round, so their offensive line will look totally different in 2022.

With Joe Burrow’s protection squad assigned and ready for 2022, the Bengals could get other young and talented players in other areas. Daxton Hill, Cam Taylor-Britt, and Tycen Anderson are great pieces for their secondary, which was already solid.

Having a great secondary is crucial in a pass-heavy NFL these days. The rookies will add to an already talented secondary, giving them even more reason to be on lockdown in 2022.

They face tough aerial attacks in the regular season like the Chiefs, Cowboys, Browns, Buccaneers, Bills, and more this year. That doesn’t even mention the teams who make the playoffs.

The AFC has tons of strong passing attacks, so it’s best to prepare for all of them. The Bengals did exactly that in the draft, making them one of the most complete rosters in the NFL.

Loser: Deebo Samuel

One of the biggest stories to hit the NFL before the draft started was Deebo Samuel’s trade request. He’s coming off an incredible season and wants to find a new team with a big contract extension.

Samuel is under contract for $3,986,000 in 2022 and is set to hit the open market after this season. The 49ers and Samuel are not close in contract negotiations, which is the main reason behind the trade talks.

The odd thing is that Samuel looks perfect for the 49ers’ unique offensive scheme. He can also run out of the backfield and make big plays in the passing game. Samuel played a major role in their offense and success last season, so leaving San Francisco seems odd.

With that being said, the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone. Samuel watched other top-tier wide receivers be traded during the draft while he stayed put in San Francisco.

That puts him in a very difficult position because trades constantly happen during the draft. For him not to be dealt in the prime time for trades means that other teams may not be interested.

It could hint that no other team wants to pay him the extension he desires so that he could find himself in a 49er’s uniform in 2022-23.

The reason teams may be hesitant about committing to Samuel could be his lack of a resume. His playstyle shifted from a pure wide receiver to an offensive playmaker from any position.

He would fit best in an offensive to maximize his big-play potential. There aren’t many teams who run a similar offense to San Francisco, so it’s looking like his request won’t be granted for 2022.

Who Won the 2022 NFL Draft?

These are the 2022 NFL Draft winners and losers, but who won the NFL draft this year overall? In our NFL draft recap, a few teams did certain things well.

Example

For example, I think the Eagles made several great moves this year. However, I don’t think they had the best 2022 draft.

I will officially go with the New York Jets as the 2022 NFL Draft winner, with the Kansas City Chiefs as a close second. Both teams had an incredible haul of rookies who are set to make an impact immediately in 2022.

If you can’t wait for the NFL season to be here, check out our top 2022 NFL Win Totals bets to help pass the time.

Anthony Haage
Anthony Haage

Anthony is a sports writer for GamblingSites.com covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. He also covers other various topics such as entertainment, general sports betting tips, and more.

His favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks. He also will be a temporary fan of any team if it means winning him bets.

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