Well that was fun!
Day One of the 2022 NFL Draft is in the books and there is A LOT to digest, starting with the Seahawks’ selection of Mississippi State Offensive Tackle Charles Cross at #9.
Note: For what it’s worth, the vast majority of the respondents in the poll that Mookie embedded in this article think the Seahawks made the right pick.
And, SHOCKER! Only one QB came off the board on Thursday night. Who would thunk that NFL teams could resist the urge to reach at the game’s most important position?
Certainly not me.
For those that may have missed it, here’s my pre-draft prediction:
While it is not what I would do, there is a certain poetry to my prediction: In a Draft Day stunner, the Seahawks send #9 + #40 to the New York Giants for #5 + #81 and then . . . draft Russell Wilson’s replacement (aka Malik Willis from Liberty).
And, yes, I am quite happy that I was wrong.
Erroneous prognostications aside, here are 12 thoughts after Day One of the draft.
NFL teams have up to 10 minutes to make their selection in the first round, meaning that the first round could take up to 320 minutes (plus a little “extra” for the Commissioner’s boo-sesh / introduction).
This year, the first round ended barely 200 minutes after the first pick was announced - in part because the Detroit Lions seemingly called in their pick a quarter of a second after Roger Goodell announced that Travon Walker was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars at #1.
There were a whopping NINE trades during Day One of the 2022 NFL Draft. I’ve heard conflicting reports with one saying that it’s the most Round 1 trades in NFL history and another saying that it’s only the most since 2013. I’m too lazy (and too exhausted) to Google it (at 1am) but, either way, there were A LOT of trades on Thursday night.
And it wasn’t just draft picks that got traded.
At 6:47pm, my son, who is much more plugged into Twitter than I am, sent me a text with the following tweet in it:
Trade! The Ravens have traded WR Marquise Brown to the Cardinals!— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 29, 2022
Ten minutes later, at 6:57pm, my son sent me a text that said, “A.J. BROWN TRADED TO THE EAGLES.”
Two standout receivers with the same last name traded 10 minutes apart. And, as was the case in the 2019 NFL Draft, it was Hollywood Brown that went first.
Sticking with the higher-profile trade of a receiver named Brown ...
Less than 10 minutes after news broke that the Tennessee Titans were trading A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles, this hit the Twittersphere:
Source: New #Eagles WR AJ Brown gets a 4 Yr ext for $100M— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2022
Does anyone really believe that it took less than 10 minutes to negotiate that deal?
Bonus question: Who thinks DK Metcalf’s next contract is going to average less than the $25M APY that A.J. Brown is getting?
There was a meme I saw before the draft suggesting that the best strategy in this year’s draft was to load up on Georgia defenders. The league, as a whole, took notice - as evidenced by five of them becoming first round picks on Thursday night (a new NFL record).
The Jaguars kicked it off at #1 (EDGE Travon Walker). The Eagles took the second Bulldog at #13 (DT Jordan Davis). Safety Lewis Cine was the final Georgia player taken, going to the Minnesota Vikings with the final pick in Round 1 (#32 overall).
In between Davis and Cine, the Green Bay Packers took a PAIR of Georgia defenders. First, they made LB Quay Walker a surprise selection at #22 and then followed that up by taking DT Devonte Wyatt at #28.
Note: While it would be easy to assume that Aaron Rodgers is not amused by the Pack bypassing receivers in Round 1 (again!), apparently he’s okay with it.
Y’all know how much I despise the Los Angeles Rams - and, if you don’t, just look at my initials (FTR). You may also know that, as a native Michigander -slash- Michiganian, the Lions are, for better or worse (mostly worse), my second-favorite team. Armed with those 2 pieces of information, imagine the conflict that this commercial causes me:
And then chuckle (at my expense) when I tell you that ESPN seemingly played it during EVERY commercial break on Thursday night.
If a team trades up TWENTY spots in the first round, it’s gotta be for a quarterback, right? Yeah, maybe not. After acquiring the 12th overall pick from the Vikings, the Lions selected a wide receiver who is coming off an ACL injury and may not be in uniform when the season starts.
Of course, sans injury, Jameson Williams almost certainly would have been the first wideout off the board - and might have been selected in the Top 5.
The question I have though is this: Did the Lions just commit to Jared Goff as their long-term QB?
Kenny Pickett was the first (and only) quarterback selected on Thursday night with the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting the University of Pittsburgh star at #20 overall. This means that Pickett will get to continue playing his home games at Heinz Field. Interestingly, Pickett will get to keep practicing at the same training facility as well (the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex). No word yet on whether he’ll get to keep his old locker at either or both locations.
The knock on the newest Seahawk, Charles Cross, as being a “pass-pro only” LT is misplaced. PFF gave him a pass-block grade of 84.9 last season (on 719 pass-block snaps) but his run-block grade (on 200 snaps) was actually higher at 87.2.
Admittedly, I’m not (yet) super-psyched about the pick but, after watching 5 defenders and 2 of the top 3 tackles come off the board in the first 7 picks, it was sort of an obvious choice if the Seahawks couldn’t move down. From the footage I saw, it looks like John Schneider gave it his all but either didn’t find any takers for #9 or didn’t like what the potential takers were offering in return.
Heading into the draft, LT was a need and now it (probably) isn’t. I’m not going to complain about that.
Note: A tip of the cap to Samuel R. Gold (a) for pointing out that Cross is a good run-blocker in his excellent “Sam’s Film Room” series, and (b) for actually predicting this pick!
As surprising as it may seem, the New York Jets had a heck of a first round. First, they got a player (at #4) that a lot of the 12s hoped the Seahawks would get: Sauce Gardner. Then they took Garrett Wilson, a player that many consider the best wide receiver in the class. Not bad, right?
The Jets weren’t done though. After watching EDGE Jermaine Johnson II slide out of the top 20 (somewhat inexplicably), the Jets POUNCED, sending picks #35 (R2), #69 (R3) and #163 (R5) to the Titans for picks #26 (R1) and #101 (R3).
When the dust settled, the Jets had filled 3 holes on their roster with impact players and taken 3 of the top 11 players on Mel Kiper’s Big Board.
Note: For what it’s worth, Charles Cross was #12 on Kiper’s board.
Cole Strange is someone that I (and others) thought might end up being selected by the Seahawks ... in Round 3. The New England Patriots taking him at #29 was considered a reach of jaw-dropping proportions. Bleacher Report gave the selection an F. Fox Sports was kinder, giving it a B-. It’s important to note though that B- was the lowest grade Fox Sports awarded on Day One.
On the surface of it, I tend to agree with the grades. However, before selecting Strange, the Patriots added an R3 (#94) and an R4 (#121) by moving back 8 spots, from #21 to #29. If Bill Belichick didn’t think Strange would be on the board when the Patriots went on the clock in Round 2 (#54) then who am I to argue?
You know who can argue though? Les Snead and Sean McVay, who were talking to the media when the pick came in:
Rams reaction to Patriots selection of Cole Strange at #29.— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) April 29, 2022
This is hysterical. pic.twitter.com/ADzqt4lizQ
There are A LOT of very good players still on the board as we head into Day Two. Here are a half dozen that I hope the Seahawks consider selecting in Round 2, and a couple that I think might be on the table in Round 3:
- Georgia Linebacker Nakobe Dean
- Connecticut Defensive Tackle Travis Jones
- Michigan EDGE David Ojabo
- Washington Cornerback Kyler Gordon
- Washington State Right Tackle Abraham Lucas
- Iowa State Running Back Breece Hall
- Georgia Running Back James Cook
- Nebraska Center Cam Jurgens
- Houston Cornerback / Kick Returner Marcus Jones
If Day Two is anything like Day One, it could be insane.
Reminder: Round 2 starts at 4pm Pacific.