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NFL Draft grades 2022: Complete results & analysis for every pick in Rounds 1-3

Did your team ace or botch its pick or picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft? Sporting News has you covered in tracking all the selecting and handing out grades beginning in real time beginning Thursday night, also going through the second and third rounds on Friday night.

There might not be the same level of marquee names at the top, especially at quarterback in contrast to past drafts. But there will be plenty of intrigue for what happens in Las Vegas, given unprecedented unpredictability. The depth of talent in particular at edge rusher, wide receiver and cornerback will make many teams happy.

Although it seems early to grade picks right after they go down, Sporting News’ immediate analysis and evaluation is based on three key early criteria: how good the prospect is, whether he satisfies his NFL team’s schematic needs and what kind of value he has in relation to his selection.

From No. 1 through No. 105, this is your hub for in-depth live reaction for Round 1 and continuing into Rounds 2 and 3, grading every team and player fit:

Live picks tracker | 7-round mock draft | Top 200 big board

NFL Draft grades 2022: Live picks, analysis for Rounds 1-3

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Travon Walker, DT/DE, Georgia

The Jaguars go for a disruptive pass rusher, but it’s the more versatile Walker for their three-man front vs. Aidan Hutchinson. Trent Baalke and Jacksonville wanted Walker because he can be a force inside or out with some run-stopping pop, too. Although Waker has great athletic upside and a high ceiling, they did pass on some safer selections at other positions, including Hutchinson as a pure edge player.

2. Detroit Lions: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Hutchinson doesn’t have to move far from Ann Arbor, going back home to the Detroit metro area. The Lions can be thrilled about the ferocious Wolverine slipping to be a cornerstone pass rusher for their 4-3 under Aaron Glenn, for which he’s an ideal fit. He is tough and relentless and straight-up productive. Hutchinson can remain dominant in the NFL and also is an asset against the run. He is the best player in this draft class.

3. Houston Texans: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

The Texans address a key need for a big playmaker on the back end of coach Lovie Smith’s defense, but it’s surprising they passed on the better values at offensive tackle and took Stingley ahead of better all-around corner prospect Sauce Gardner. Stingley has some durability concerns and had some time off, and the Texans are banking on him being a Jalen Ramsey-type player. It’s a true boom-or-bust selection for Nick Caserio.

4. New York Jets: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Gardner is the best corner in the draft and the Jets didn’t want to take a chance on him still being there at No. 10, given the crosstown Giants had heavy interest behind them. He can be a Richard Sherman-type alpha in coach Robert Saleh’s defense, forming a new dynamic duo with former Seahawk D.J. Reed. It’s mildly surprising that the Jets didn’t land Kayvon Thibodeaux for the edge here, but Joe Douglas can tap into a strong class at that position later, believing Gardner stands out in a great group at his position.

5. New York Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

The Giants had been tied to taking the best offensive tackle available for a while, either Evan Neal or Ickey Ekwonu, but they also had a critical need for someone to wreak absolute havoc on the edge. Joe Schoen could have waited and tapped into the position depth later, but Thibodeaux’s immense ceiling for a franchise that values freakish sack artists was difficult not to take after the Jets passed.

6. Carolina Panthers: Ickey Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State

The Panthers chose to pass on a quarterback and that decision was made easier by having their pick between Ekwonu and Evan Neal. Scott Fitterer circles back to address Carolina’s biggest need by looking right down the road to Raleigh for a strong, powerful but also very athletic force to form bookends with Taylor Moton. The Panthers’ QB course of action this year might be instead adding veteran competition for Sam Darnold.

7. New York Giants (from Bears): Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

The Giants should be pinching themselves in Schoen’s first draft after being able to get Thibodeaux and Neal. They now have their rock of a (likely) right tackle working opposite rising first-round star Andrew Thomas. His combination of size, athleticism and quickness is exceptional and Neal will be a massive boost to the protection of Daniel Jones and the running of Saquon Barkley. The Giants have tapped into their old-school strengths nicely with two tremendous picks that are perfect need fits, too.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Drake London, WR, USC

The Falcons did address a desperate need for a wide receiver with Calvin Ridley suspended, Russell Gage gone and Julio Jones long gone. But they whiffed by not taking either Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave or Jameson Williams instead. Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith go for London’s massive frame and intriguing speed, but he also comes with plenty of volatility. Perhaps they got addicted to the catch radius of 2021 first-round tight end Kyle Pitts and preferred London as the complementary pass-catcher. It’s a big-time head-scratcher.

9. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos): Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The Seahawks have liked Cross for a while as their replacement for left tackle Duane Brown so it came down to whether they were interested enough in a quarterback early to replace Russell Wilson. Although Ekownu and Neal separated from him as big-time blockers, Cross is a mighty force in his own right with the right combination of run push and pass protection for what Seattle wants offensively under John Schneider.

10. New York Jets (from Seahawks): Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The Jets get their needed third big playmaker for Zach Wilson. Garrett Wilson is the ideal complement to Corey Davis and Elijah Moore with his big-play burst to go along with technical route-running and great hands. Look for Moore to slide into the slot while Davis acts like more of a big possession body and Wilson becomes the primary field-stretcher for his second-year QB. The Falcons jumping on London made this a no-brainer.

11. New Orleans Saints (from Commanders): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

The Saints made an aggressive move up from No. 16 to land another Buckeyes wide receiver to complement Michael Thomas. New Orleans fills a big need but it’s a bit surprising Mickey Loomis didn’t go for a quarterback. This means there’s a commitment to making it work with Jameis Winston by giving him a dynamic big-play threat to match his big arm and play off Thomas’ strong intermediate possession skills.

12. Detroit Lions (from Vikings): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The Lions made an intradivision trade to make sure they got in on the run for the three best wide receivers in the draft from consecutive picks. Given the position was so deep, they get knocked a little for giving up a considerable haul of picks to the rival Vikings and also not thinking about the first crack at quarterback. But when breaking down the player, the Lions could afford to be patient with Williams, a flat-out big playmaker, while he recovers from his knee injury. He’s a terrific skill complement for Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. Now they need a QB upgrade behind a top line to get the ball to Williams downfield.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (from Browns via Texans): Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

The Eagles didn’t give up too much in later draft capital to move up a little and ensure the Ravens didn’t snipe them for Davis. Philadelphia was in the market for defensive line reinforcements with Howie Roseman and needed a powerful run stopper to complement Fletcher Cox, who’s also 31. Davis had a late boost up the board as he got more attention for his sometimes explosive interior pass rush.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

The Ravens have been searching for that special playmaking safety since the glory days of Hall of Famer Ed Reed after Earl Thomas didn’t pan out for long. They get that answer here in a top-five overall talent in this draft. Hamilton is a thumper against the run and a ballhawk in pass coverage. He just has a nose for impact plays. He’s an immediate strong candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year working next to solid free-agent addition Marcus Williams.

15. Houston Texans (from Dolphins via Eagles): Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M

The Texans passed on offensive tackle earlier so it’s a bit odd they went for an interior blocker here, especially when players such as Tyler Linderbaum and Zion Johnson were on the board. They also could have doubled up on defense by going after many of the impactful edge rushers still available. Green will be a powerful force for the running game, but there were more pressing needs to address for an overall talent-poor team.

16. Washington Commanders: (from Colts via Saints, Eagles): Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

The Commanders took a circuitous route to getting their deep threat complement to Terry McLaurin, knowing Carson Wentz operates best when having that type of player outside. It might seem a little forced after choosing to stay put and take either Olave or Williams, but Dotson’s speed and quickness was definitely a missing offensive element for Scott Turner.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Zion Johnson, G, Boston College

The Chargers’ offseason has been about trying to make a Super Bowl run with Justin Herbert. After they got their left tackle rock in Rashawn Slater in last year’s first round, they get the ideal player to upgrade the right side, either inside or outside. Johnson does a little bit of everything well with his all-around skill set, featuring his natural agility and power.

18. Tennessee Titans (from Eagles via Saints): Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

The Titans gave up their already established top-flight young wide receiver A.J. Brown for this pick only to acquire a lesser, similar-style talent with some big question marks attached to his level of speed and quickness. They don’t have the same big-play potential off play-action tied to Derrick Henry’s power running anymore for Ryan Tannehill. Burks and former Ram Robert Woods make this more of an intermediate passing attack. Tennessee didn’t want to break the bank to keep Brown, but it also took a big hit given its status as an AFC playoff team with more uncertainty at a critical offensive position.

19. New Orleans Saints (from Eagles): Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

The Saints had been targeting Penning as their smaller-school replacement for left tackle Terron Armstead, who left for the Dolphins in free agency. Penning has a mean and nasty streak along with his athletic upside in a sturdy frame, making him the ideal bookend for Ryan Ramczyk in front of Winston. With the Olave pick earlier, the Saints are committed to better downfield pocket passing.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

The Steelers got Mitchell Trubisky as a contingency bridge, but as a transitional playoff team, they were fully expected to tap into a potential rookie franchise passer with this pick. It’s interesting they stuck with the local line and took Pickett despite the higher-upside Malik Willis still being on the board. Pickett has the ideal deep-ball accuracy for Matt Canada’s offense as a little more of a traditional pocket passer, also bringing favorable athleticism and moxie to make the pro jump in his college city.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (from Patriots): Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

The Chiefs surprised a little by trading up for a corner vs. going for a wide receiver or pass rusher, but they liked McDuffie as their replacement for Chavarius Ward to make this move. McDuffie is a very smart and fluid corner who can do everything needed of him in coverage and beyond in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.

22. Green Bay Packers (from Raiders): Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

This is another questionable first-rounder for the Packers, who were a bit handcuffed by the major wide receiver run in the top 18 picks. They did need some inside linebacker pop next to De’Vondre Campbell, but they reached big-time for Walker when more dynamic college teammate Nakobe Dean and better overall prospect Devin Lloyd were still available. They also could have “won” by pivoting to the strength at edge rusher, led by Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson. Walker can turn out to be a pretty good player, but he could have been had deep into Day 2. Brian Gutekunst nearly matches the Jordan Love pick with this one.

23. Buffalo Bills (from Ravens via Cardinals): Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

The Bills needed a corner and had their eye on McDuffie, who went to the AFC playoff rival Chiefs. It’s also surprising they traded up for Elam instead of Andrew Booth Jr. But the bottom line is, they needed a nice-sized replacement for Levi Wallace opposite Tre’Davious White more than anything else on a loaded roster. Elam was worthy of a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, so this isn’t really too much of a reach.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa

The Cowboys took a late-rising player vs. a faller in Jermaine Johnson to help them on the edge pass rusher. Dallas was desperate for offensive line help after moving on from Connor Williams and La’el Collins. Smith helped his stock by convincing teams he could be a durable rock and also hold up outside at right tackle, the best bet for where he’ll play opposite Tyron Smith. Jerry Jones’ move makes sense given the Cowboys are trying to be in win big now mode around Dak Prescott.

25. Baltimore Ravens (from Bills): Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

No one should be surprised that the Ravens ended up with two first-rounders under Eric Costa and nailed them both. Linderbaum fills a big need to anchor the middle of the offensive line with his overall blocking and leadership and it didn’t hurt that his mentor was former Ravens all-everything guard Marshal Yanda, a fellow former Hawkeye. The Ravens didn’t really need Hollywood Brown, and the net of Hamilton and Linderbaum makes them a much stronger team on both sides.

26. New York Jets (from Titans): Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

The Jets were smart to jump back into the first round to complete an exceptional early haul for Joe Douglas. Robert Saleh gets his much-needed freakish pass rusher with some Nick Bosa upside to complement the upgraded playmaking in coverage with Sauce Gardner. The Jets’ talent is quickly shooting upward with ideal picks that fit their rebuilding game plan under both leaders.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Buccaneers): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

The Jaguars gave up some of their league-high draft picks to catch this falling star in the first round, but it falls in line with their mission to upgrade their defensive front seven for new coordinator Mike Caldwell. While Walker works up front, Lloyd’s length, strength and three-down coverage skills will be a nice complement to active tackling addition Foyesade Oluokun. There’s no doubt Jacksonville traded with Tampa Bay to try to re-create a Tampa Bay-style defense with Lloyd and Oluokun playing the roles of Devin White and Lavonte Davis.

28. Green Bay Packers: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

That’s more like it for the Packers in making a defensive-minded pick and grabbing Quay Walker’s college teammate. Wyatt slipped a little with the Cardinals not picking, but Green Bay had a need to upgrade around Kenny Clark in its three-man front. Wyatt is a versatile and explosive disruptor who can give them a needed extra pass-rush element.

29. New England Patriots (from Chiefs via 49ers, Dolphins): Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga

The Patriots loved Strange enough to jump on him in the first round but they could have likely gotten him in the third round. He is their ideal type of interior blocking prospect with his versatility tied to balanced strength and agility and fills a considerable need with Ted Karras and Shaq Mason no longer on the roster.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

The Chiefs, like the Packers, avoid reaching on a wide receiver and get the best player available in Karlaftis, a different kind of “Greek freak.”. He has some special natural qualities in getting after the quarterback and gives the team some flexibility. It can now keep Chris Jones inside and get at least good situational production opposite fading Frank Clark. The Chiefs rebounded well on pass defense with Karlaftis complementing new corner Trent McDuffie.

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Daxton Hill, S, Michigan

This is a curious case of the player himself being a solid pick as Hill brings the right blend of smarts, instincts, smarts and quickness to the position. But safety is also a strength for Cincinnati with franchise player Jessie Bates and solid Vonn Bell. The team also has a fine slot corner in Mike Hilton. The Bengals didn’t have any glaring needs and the offensive line values didn’t line up, it’s just interesting that one of the best players available was more of a luxury. This might mean they won’t be signing Bates long-term.

32. Minnesota Vikings (from Rams via Lions): Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

It’s fitting that the first round began and ended with national champion Georgia defensive players (five in all). The Vikings get an intimidating cleanup man next to venerable Harrison Smith who also showed he had the athleticism to make a lot more plays in coverage in the NFL. For the team moving down 20 spots, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did well with his first pick as GM with a fine talent that fits a need and matches the value.

Round 2

33. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Jaguars): Logan Hall, DT/DE, Houston

The Buccaneers address a need with their first pick trying to get some versatile run-stopping and pass-rush pop for their defense to complement Vita Vea and help replace Ndamukong Suh.

34. Green Bay Packers (from Vikings via Lions): Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

Watson rose up draft boards after his incredible athletic display at the Combine. He has ideal size (6-4, 208 pounds) and he taps well into his speed. He will continue to get better operating as Aaron Rodgers’ new young outside No. 1. He is a vertical threat but can be more than that and will round out into a complete receiver.

35. Tennessee Titans (from Jets): Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn

The Titans didn’t have a pressing need at defensive back but took one of the best players available. McCreary has the size, physicality and fluidity to play in anywhere in downfield coverage.

36. New York Jets (from Giants): Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

The Jets make the first running back for someone who fits their zone scheme, but they get a little docked for not trading up for Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker instead. Hall stands out with his ability to elude tacklers and explode for big plays in the open field. He will start out as a home-run hitter to complement second-year player Michael Carter but can turn into a complete feature back.

37. Houston Texans: Jalen Pitre, S/CB, Baylor

After losing safety Justin Reid in free agency and taking Derek Stingley Jr. for outside corner, the Texans land a hybrid cover man and run support player for Lovie Smith. He can work the slot well and is comfortable with his instincts in man and zone.

38. Atlanta Falcons (from Giants via Jets, Panthers): Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

The Falcons had a putrid pass rush last year (only 18 sacks) and wanted to jump on a high-upside sack artist  of choice for their 3-4. Ebiketie offers good natural strength and explosiveness and can round out into a complete outside linebacker after initially producing situationally.

39. Chicago Bears: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

The Bears were awful in cornerback coverage away from rising young star Jaylen Johnson last season and needed to make this a priority with their first pick. Gordon is a nice-sized cover man who gets physical and aggressive to make plays on the ball.

40. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos): Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

The Seahawks needed to revamp their pass rush with a high-energy player for Pete Carroll. Mafe got some late first-round consideration for showing off his athleticism and explosiveness in getting after the QB during the draft evaluation season.

41. Seattle Seahawks: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State

There’s nothing wrong with Walker being the second running back taken after Breece Hall, but it’s a shaky pick for Seattle after one-time questionable first-rounder Rashaad Penny’s late breakout and Chris Carson still being a factor when healthy. That said, both players have major durability issues and between this pick and first-round tackle Charles Cross, the Seahawks are trying to restore their power run-heavy approach minus Russell Wilson.

42. Minnesota Vikings (from Colts via Commanders): Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

The Vikings brought back fading Patrick Peterson because of hurting depth but they still need to address corner to get the ideal complement to well-rounded Cameron Dantzler. Booth’s size, strength and aggressiveness that add up to big plays on the ball make him an ideal protege for Peterson.

43. New York Giants (from Falcons): Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky

Robinson is a big playmaker out of the slot, both with quickness after the catch and some speed to get downfield. The Giants needed more dangerous weapons for Daniel Jones, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the roles of Sterling Shepard and 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney after this pick.

44. Houston Texans (from Browns): John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

Metchie uses his technical skills, including quickness and route-running, to flat-out make big plays. The Texans moved up to get his outside No. 1 qualities to pair with Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks to boost  the strong-armed Davis Mills in Year 2.

45. Baltimore Ravens: David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

The Ravens love Odafe Oweh, their late first-rounder from 2021. Ojabo is his best friend and also was inspired by his explosive, relentless play in getting after the quarterback, a reason why he rose up boards fast through the Combine before suffering an Achilles’ injury at his pro day. Baltimore can stash Ojabo for the future as an impactful situational pass rusher at first.

46. Detroit Lions (from Vikings): Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky

The Lions make a questionable pick of a Day 3 prospect but at least he makes sense to support No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson in upgrading the edge. Paschal is a reliable rock of a pass rusher with some sturdiness against the run who could work to be more explosive.

47. Washington Commanders (from Colts): Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama

Mathis is a beefy nose option but also has some inside pass-rush burst. He just will be limited to being a rotational player in their strong front four behind Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne, also Crimson Tide products.

48. Chicago Bears (from Chargers): Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State

This is an indication the Bears will feature more three-safety looks in their secondary given Eddie Jackson and DeAndre Houston-Carson are pretty productive, although Jackson is declining a bit. They went best defensive player available here, as Brisker is adept at making plays all over the field with his great speed and range plus smarts to read quarterbacks well in coverage.

49. New Orleans Saints: Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee

The Saints join the Lions in taking a Day 3 talent, but he does feel a need to help in slot coverage with their strengths lying on the perimeter and safety for Dennis Allen. Taylor offers good size and fluidity for zone coverage.

50. New England Patriots (from Chiefs via Dolphins): Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor

With better big-play wideouts such as Skyy Moore and George Pickens on the board, the Patriots made a shaky trade up for a deep Day 3 talent. Thornton with an ideal frame (6-2, 181 pounds) is an extremely fast receiver (see his 4.28 in the 40) and will provide Mac Jones with a needed perimeter vertical threat, but it feels more like a classic Raiders pick than a Bill Belichick one this early.

51. Philadelphia Eagles: Cam Jurgens, C/G, Nebraska

The Eagles do address a need with retiring Brandon Brooks and aging Jason Kelce with a potential future interior starter, but Jurgens is backup material first. He is a compact well-rounded blocker, but with his athleticism needing to be developed more, he just was a more comfortable Day 3 pick.

52. Pittsburgh Steelers: George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Pickens is an intriguing physical size-speed prospect to pair with first-round QB Kenny Pickett, giving them extra playmaking pop beyond Diontee Johnson and Chase Claypool, tapping into Pickett’s deep-ball accuracy.  The Steelers are confident he will be more durable and put his intangibles together in the NFL. 

53. Indianapolis Colts (from Vikings, via Packers, Raiders): Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati

Pierce is another dynamic size-speed prospect because he can both stretch the field with his frame and also use his body to win on possession routes. He’s the ideal complement to another nice-sized target, Michael Pittman Jr. and can be an immediate impact receiver for Matt Ryan.

54. Kansas City Chiefs (from Patriots): Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan

The Chiefs can get excited about a potential Tyreek Hill replacement with great big-play upside coming out of the slot. Skyy can really fly in a similar frame to Hill (5-10, 195 pounds) and has blazing playing speed. Patrick Mahomes has someone new to track his accurate deep balls off his strong arm. Moore can also burn after the catch.

55. Arizona Cardinals: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

McBride is the top tight end prospect in this class with his strong frame, hands and toughness to go along with his ability to stretch the seam as a route-runner. It’s just a bit curious for the Cardinals given they re-signed both Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams. McBride will need to wait until 2023 to have impact in their 12 personnel.

56. Dallas Cowboys: Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

The Cowboys needed to improve their speed and burst in getting to the QB minus Randy Gregory and this is an ideal pick with solid value. Williams is also strong, athletic and smart, using a variety of power and finesse pass-rush moves to get to the quarterback. 

57. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Bills): Luke Goedeke, OT/G, Central Michigan

The Buccaneers trade up to fill a need inside after losing Ali Marpet to retirement and Alex Cappa in free agency. Goedeke, a converted tight end, is limited to guard as a powerful run blocker with a mean streak. It was a bit early to jump on more of a Day 3 talent.

58. Atlanta Falcons (from Titans): Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State

The Falcons had a need to an active tackler and playmaker after losing Foyesade Oluokun in free agency. Andersen can do just about everything effectively. He brings good smarts and work ethic to plug and play.

59. Minnesota Vikings (from Packers): Ed Ingram, G, LSU

Ingram is a solid inside pass protector who still has room to grow as a run blocker, but he has the athletic profile the Vikings like. Although he was a Day 3 prospect on some boards, the situation gives him a good chance to start at guard for them as a rookie.

60. Cincinnati Bengals (from Bills via Buccaneers): Cam Taylor-Britt, CB, Nebraska

The Bengals needed to give themselves more secondary depth with shaky Eli Apple complementing Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton. Taylor-Britt is an experienced and aggressive cover man who needs some polish to go from flashy ballhawk to well-rounded in coverage.

61. San Francisco 49ers: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

The 49ers needed some pass-rush versatility behind Nick Bosa and this is a good first pick from this class that aligns with the value. Jackson is a good fit in their scheme with his agility.

62. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati

The Chiefs needed good rotational safety depth behind Justin Reid and Juan Thornhill with Daniel Sorenson not returning. Cook is smart and physical and profiles as a potential starter, hitting hard and cleaning up all over the field.

63. Buffalo Bills (from Bengals): James Cook, RB, Georgia

The Bills needed more reliable speed and quickness in a complementary role to late-season breakout Devin Singletary. Cook can’t be a workhorse like older brother Dalvin but he can provide some big-play juice playing off Josh Allen’s downfield passing game. He should take over as their primary receiver from the backfield.

64. Denver Broncos (from Rams): Nik Bonitto, LB, Oklahoma

Bonitto has good versatility and quickness. He’s just as comfortable going after the quarterback as he is dropping back in help in coverage. With Randy Gregory expected to play up front in the 3-4, Bonitto is the ideal outside linebacker complement to Bradley Chubb.

Round 3

65. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky

Fortner profiles as a strong all-around blocker with natural leadership and smarts. He has a good chance to start right away and snap to Trevor Lawrence, replacing retired Brandon Linder.

66. Minnesota Vikings (from Lions): Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma

Asamoah was attractive because of his flashy speed and quickness that allow him to make plays, but he still could round out his game to be more than a rotational player at first. He should work behind Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks at first.

67. New York Giants: Joshua Ezeudu, G, North Carolina

Ezeudu profiles as a limited interior backup and may struggle with more powerful defensive linemen in the NFL. After the great pick of Evan Neal to start at right tackle in the first round, this is a pure depth-related selection for a Day 3 prospect.

68. Cleveland Browns (from Texans): Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State

The Browns needed a big, strong corner option to complement their other cover men given the size and strength challenges related to the AFC North wide receiver competition.

69. Tennessee Titans (from Jets): Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State

Petit-Frere is a great value pick here as he could potentially start right away at right tackle and be groomed to take over for Taylor Lewan at left tackle, given he’s adept at both positions because of his strength-agility balance. At worst, he will be a valuable swing backup as a rookie.

70. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Panthers): Chad Muma, LB, Montana

The Jaguars catch a talented second-round faller but it’s a bit of a curious pick behind free-agent prize Foyesade Oluokun and first-round rookie Devin Lloyd. Muma is built to play inside so he’ll back them both up with coverage and pass-rush skills built for third-down work.

71. Chicago Bears: Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee

The Bears did recognize their need for more speedy playmaking at wideout to complement Darnell Mooney and give Justin Fields a field-stretcher, but this is a bit of a head-scratcher for a mid Day 3 prospect. Jones burst well after the catch but needs work to be trusted in an expanded capacity.

72. Seattle Seahawks: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State

Lucas is a natural pass protector who can handle either tackle or guard well but could use some work on his run blocking. He still has a shot to start at right tackle opposite first-round rookie Charles Cross.

73. Indianapolis Colts (from Commanders): Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia

The Colts saw Jack Doyle retire and needed a complement to Mo Alie-Cox in 12 personnel sets under Frank Reich. Woods stands out for his size and physicality and has a lot of room to grow as a receiver and in-line blocker.

74. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

The Falcons ended up preferring Ridder over Malik Willis and couldn’t pass up on taking the second QB off the board given his arm, athleticism, leadership and intangibles profile is ideal to groom alongside Marcus Mariota. Watch out for him competing and winning the job and becoming an absolute steal in the Dak Prescott-Russell Wilson vein.

75. Houston Texans (from Broncos): Christian Harris, LB, Alabama

The Texans had a massive void in the middle of Lovie Smith’s 4-3 defense and needed to tap into a sideline-to-sideline playmaker with great range, speed and quickness along with reliable coverage ability for their zone scheming.

76. Baltimore Ravens: Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut

The Ravens continue a strong draft by working on a replacement for Calais Campbell, going into his Age 36 season. Jones also brings a massive frame with strength to overpower blockers from the 3-4. He can also help out at nose when needed.

77. Indianapolis Colts (from Vikings): Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

The Colts can replace Eric Fisher with an intriguing product from the same program. They can tap into the Austrian import’s immense physical and athletic upside.

78. Cleveland Browns: Alex Wright, EDGE, UAB

The Browns got enamored with Wright’s immense raw explosive skills as a pass rusher, but he’s limited to a situational player until he can round out his game. His value was that of a mid Day 3 pick.

79. Los Angeles Chargers: JT Woods, S, Baylor

The Chargers make a reach in a deep safety class for depth behind Derwin James and Nasir Adderley. He’s got speed and versatility but needs to work on all aspects of his game to be consistent in coverage and run support.

80. Denver Broncos (from Texans via Saints): Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA

Dulcich is a nice addition to give Russell Wilson another dynamic hybrid target after parting with Noah Fant in the Wilson trade with the Seahawks. He offers that same kind of speed and quickness for the position.

81. New York Giants (from Dolphins): Cordale Flott, CB, LSU

The Giants didn’t address cornerback early and had to add some depth to the position but this late selection means they will probably keep James Bradberry. Flott is more of a developmental size-speed prospect in coverage.

82. Atlanta Falcons (from Colts): DeAngelo Malone, EDGE, Western Kentucky

Malone will be an immediate asset vs. the run in Dean Pees’ 3-4 alignment to complement second-round rookie Arnold Ebiketie and is still tapping into his explosive pass-rush upside.

83. Philadelphia Eagles: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Despite some rumblings of medical concerns, the Eagles had to stop Dean’s fall given how good of a fit he was for their defense. The active playmaking leader of the Bulldogs’ national championship unit can make plays anywhere they want with his speed, quickness and coverage skills. His impact just might come inside in 2023 as he is eased in rotationally behind T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White and newcomer pass rusher Haason Reddick.

84. Pittsburgh Steelers: DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M

The Steeelers also catch a falling star who has some good inside pass-rushing pop to complement the rest of their strong options in their front seven, first as a situational rookie.

85. New England Patriots: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

Jones offers that ideal Bill Belichick versatility to play outside or inside as they try to replace the production of J.C. Jackson in coverage. Jones can be an explosive ballhawk in the unique Tyrann Mathieu vein.

86: Tennessee Titans (from Raiders): Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

The Titans, like the Falcons with Ridder, end Willis’ ridiculous slide from first-round consideration given his strong arm and massive athletic upside. Ryan Tannehill proved in the playoffs he has a limited ceiling and Willis has a chance to displace him by 2023, when Tennessee isn’t as attached to Tannehill’s contract.

87. Arizona Cardinals: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State

The Cardinals saw Chandler Jones leave and also up front they also have been disappointed in Zach Allen. This pick is a great value that also fills a key need to replenish the pass rush. Thomas is a versatile sack artist who will work well producing situationally before rounding out his game vs. the run.

88. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

The Cowboys get back some wide receiver depth after trading Amari Cooper and not bringing back Cedrick Wilson behind CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Tolbert is another intriguing big-play threat with his size-speed combination and could start in time in 11 personnel outside.

89. Buffalo Bills: Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor

The Bills get some speedy depth to help their second-level pass coverage. Bernard can also help on special teams but he’s not a reliable asset against the run.

90. Las Vegas Raiders (from Titans): Dylan Parham, G, Memphis

The Raiders needed some powerful interior run blocking and Parham can deliver just that. He also offers rare agility for the position. He can start right away at either guard or center.

91. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State

The Buccaneers brought back Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard and also have Ke’Shawn Vaughn still in the mix, but they land the versatile White for complementary swing depth for either power or receiving situations.

92. Green Bay Packers: Sean Rhyan, OT, UCLA

The Packers needed to address their interior blocking in front of Aaron Rodgera and their running game. Rhyan has a strong, powerful frame to be an immediate run-blocking asset. Don’t be surprised should he straight right away at right guard.

93. San Francisco 49ers: Ty Davis-Price, RB, LSU

Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers have an addiction to backs of various sizes with the athleticism and quickness to perform well in their zone-blocking scheme. After finding Elijah Mitchell and also taking the big Trey Sermon in last year’s draft, this was a bit of a superfluous pick on a deep Day 3 talent.

94. Carolina Panthers (from Patriots via Chiefs): Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

The Panthers weren’t in position to catch a falling Ridder or Willis with their limited draft capital but Corral fell into their range to trade up here. The arm and athletic upside was worth it to give them a rookie option to compete to push Sam Darnold.

95. Cincinnati Bengals: Zach Carter, DT, Florida

The Bengals needed to replenish depth behind D.J. Reader and B.J. Hill and tapping into Carter’s strength and length makes sense. Carter flashes some big-time disruptive moves to wreak havoc in the backfield.

96. Indianapolis Colts (from Broncos via Rams): Nick Cross, S, Maryland

Cross has good speed and instincts built for the Colts’ defense. He is a strong upfield player in run support and also produces getting after the QB as a blitzer. He should have a shot to replace Khari Willis as a starter next to newcomer Rodney McLeod.

97. Detroit Lions: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois

The Lions needed some safety and nickel depth, but Joseph doesn’t offer much vs. the run with his strength lying in making plays in coverage.

98. Washington Commanders (from Saints): Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama

The Commanders didn’t have a glaring need in the backfield with Antonio Gibson being backup by receiving J.D. McKissic and swingman Jarret Patterson, but choose to get a little stronger in the pure power rushing attack with the bruising Robinson to relief Gibson and help take more pressure off Carson Wentz.

99. Cleveland Browns: David Bell, WR, Purdue

The Browns were smart to jump on wide receiver value to further boost Deshaun Watson’s targets away from Ameri Cooper. Bell has intriguing physicality, speed and quickness, making him an appealing after-the-catch and field-stretching burst option.

100. Arizona Cardinals (from Ravens): Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

Sanders has some freakish physical tools with which to get after the quarterback and can be an asset situationally helping fellow third-round rookie Cameron Thomas rev up their pass rush.

101. New York Jets (from Eagles through Saints): Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State

Although Ruckert blocked mostly in college, he looked better and more reliable while receiving. He’s a pretty good value here, but the average grade comes from the fact he was really a superfluous depth pick given the team signed both C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency.

102. Miami Dolphins (from 49ers): Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia

Tindall’s calling card was flat-out speed, combined with great range and finishing ability whenever getting a chance to produce in the Bulldogs’ loaded national championship defense. He fills a big need for the Dolphins and is a great value.

103. Kansas City Chiefs: Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

The Chiefs were smart to get some help in the middle between Nick Bolton and Willie Gay. Chenal matches his big frame with strength and power, making him a force against the run. He’s also effective flying upfield as a blitzer.

104. Los Angeles Rams: Logan Bruss, G, Wisconsin

While ideal interior blocking target Cole Strange was long gone to the Patriots in the first round, the Rams stick to their plan and land a much-needed guard to complement another Badger, David Edwards. Bruss is strong and technically sound, a solid first pick of the draft for Sean McVay and Les Snead. 

105. San Francisco 49ers: Danny Gray, WR, SMU

The 49ers dug a little deep for another offensive skill player, enamored this time by agility and versatility to make some plays after the catch. Gray is still a developmental project as he works to get stronger and show more reliable hands.