Raiders trade Bryan Edwards for late-round pick

Raiders WR Bryan Edwards traded to Atlanta
Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders have traded wide receiver Bryan Edwards and a seventh-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2023 fifth-round pick. In 2021, Edwards caught 34 passes for 571 yards and three touchdowns per Pro Football Reference.

Edwards is entering his third year in the league after being drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. His big plays have been few and far between, but he is a reliable and hard-working player with a lot of potential. Last season, Raiders coaches even went so far as to say Edwards reminded them of Hall of Fame player, Terrell Owens. While he didn’t live up to those high standards, he did make some game-changing plays for the Raiders.

The 23-year-old receiver’s biggest impact as a Raider came during a must-win game in Week 15. The Silver and Black were visiting the Browns in Cleveland. Las Vegas sat at 6-7 with their playoff hopes on the line. Both teams had been dealing with COVID-19 breakouts, and the Raiders needed everyone to stand out. Edwards took it to heart the most as he made the play of the game in the first quarter, catching a touchdown pass over the head of the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback, Denzel Ward.

For the Raiders, they are now one step closer to finalizing their wide receivers room after a big shakeup this off-season.

Edwards will now join his former teammate, quarterback Marcus Mariota, in Atlanta. A receiving corps including Edwards, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London is sure to turn some heads in 2022.

These Raiders’ concerns still have to be addressed before Week 1

The Las Vegas Raiders have come a long way this off-season. They have found their new head coach, new general manager, next elite wide receiver, and made many more franchise-changing moves. Now, it’s been one week since the 2022 NFL Draft, and training camp is just around the corner. Las Vegas has made some big moves since February, but the Raiders concerns are becoming increasingly more clear ahead of off-season programs.

Front office stability

More than an improved defense or red-zone offense, the 2022 Raiders need stability. They pushed through the most unpredictable NFL season ever in 2021, dealing with challenges in every sense of the word. And while the playoff loss was disappointing, it also served as a reminder that stability and personnel improvement were finally on their way.

The hiring of Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler, and Champ Kelly was a massive step in the right direction. They brought on primarily their own staff and now have executed extensive change in the scouting department as well. All seemed to be looking brighter in Sin City, until this week when it was announced that the Raiders have parted ways with both their vice president of human resources and their team president. It is unclear what lead to the departure of both parties, but new information suggests it may be due to a hostile work environment.

In a newly released statement former president, Dan Vantrelle, suggests he was met with hostility when he brought up concerns regarding the female staff. Vantrelle made clear he stands by his actions and intends to get legal representation regarding his termination.

The Raiders have been involved in many lawsuits over the last year, which makes the latest even more disappointing.

The secondary

The Raiders added a lot of talent in free agency and the draft this year, but one group they hardly addressed was the secondary. Outside of trading for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, Las Vegas only signed three other players to their secondary, and none of them are known to be game-changing players. For the most part, Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler have hung on the pieces that were already there for them.

While some of the pieces they have in place are solid, like Nate Hobbs, most of the pieces could use an upgrade. Starting cornerback Trayvon Mullen and safety Jonathan Abram are both coming off season-ending injuries and surgeries, making their play in 2022 relatively unpredictable.

Despite these injuries and questions, the new front office tandem decided against drafting a rookie cornerback or safety, in hopes that defensive coordinator Patrick Graham can upgrade the players he has on the payroll already, or they can find a steal in the remaining free agents.

That free agent steal may come in the form of Giants’ cornerback James Bradberry, who is rumored to be released from New York in the coming weeks. The former Pro-Bowler is coming off a season with four interceptions, more than any one player had for the Raiders in 2021. If Mullen is out for the beginning of the season, Bradberry gives the Silver and Black a fighting chance and will be a wildly dependable piece of the puzzle upon Mullen’s return.

The offensive line

Unlike the secondary, the Raiders did choose to address the offensive line during the draft. With their first pick, they took Memphis offensive guard, Dylan Parham. Parham’s skill set is unique because he brings the ability to play both center and guard. Prior to the draft, the widespread assumption was that Andre James would remain at center this season, thanks to a somewhat convincing campaign in 2021. Now, it’s less clear than ever what the starting five will look like in September.

Second-year veteran Alex Leatherwood brings his own set of questions, as he was incredibly undependable his rookie season. After playing at both right tackle and right guard, he came away without much success in either. Head coach Josh McDaniels told the media he is unsure where Leatherwood will play next season, but sees him as a “contributor”.

The questions at center come with equal questions at both guard and tackle. The only solidified position on the front line seems to be left tackle, Kolton Miller. Thankfully, with a new offensive line coach comes new hope for an improved line.

The Raiders live in the hardest division in football, inside the hardest conference in football. Their successes and downfalls next season will come at the hands of the problems still unsolved. If they can choose to make smart decisions and do the right thing, these Raiders’ concerns should be mitigated by September.

2022 Live NFL Draft Tracker Rounds 4-7

Photo by: Ben Queen

Rounds one, two, and three of the 2022 NFL Draft have concluded and the later rounds are starting to heat up. There is still a handful of strong players on the board. Follow along here on our live draft tracker to find out where they find their new home.

Round 4

106. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Washington tight end Cade Otton

107. Houston Texans select Florida running back, Dameon Pierce

108. Cleveland Browns select Oklahoma defensive tackle, Perrion Winfrey

109. Seattle Seahawks select Cincinnatti cornerback, Coby Bryant

110. Baltimore Ravens select Minnesota offensive tackle, Daniel Faalele

111. New York Jets select Louisiana offensive tackle, Max Mitchell

112. New York Giants select San Diego State tight end, Daniel Bellinger

113. Washington Commanders select University of Louisiana safety, Percy Butler

114. New York Giants select Iowa safety, Dane Belton

115. Denver Broncos select Pittsburgh cornerback, Damarri Mathis

116. Denver Broncos select Iowa defensive tackle, Eyioma Uwazurike

117. New York Jets select Texas A&M defensive end, Michael Clemons

118. Minnesota Vikings select Missouri cornerback, Akayleb Evans

119. Baltimore Ravens select Alabama cornerback, Jalyn Armour-Davis

120. Carolina Panthers select Penn State linebacker, Brandon Smith

121. New England Patriots select Arizona State cornerback, Jack Jones

122. Las Vegas Raiders select Georgia running back, Zamir White

123. Los Angeles Chargers select Texas A&M running back, Isaiah Spiller

124. Cleveland Browns select Louisiana kicker, Cade York

125. Miami Dolphins select Texas Tech wide receiver, Erik Ezukanma

126. Las Vegas Raiders select Louisiana defensive tackle, Neil Farrell

127. New England Patriots select South Dakota running back, Pierre Strong

128. Baltimore Ravens select Iowa State tight end, Charlie Kolar

129. Dallas Cowboys select Wisconsin tight end, Jake Ferguson

130. Baltimore Ravens select Penn State kicker, Jordan Stout

131. Tennessee Titans select Michigan running back, Hassan Haskins

132. Green Bay Packers select Nevada wide receiver, Romeo Doubs

133. Tampa Bay Buccanneers select Georgia punter, Jake Camarda

134. San Francisco 49ers select UTSA offensive tackle, Spencer Burford

135. Kansas City Chiefs select Fayetteville cornerback Joshua Williams

136. Cincinnati Bengals select North Dakota offensive lineman, Cordell Volson

137. New England Patriots select Western Kentucky quarterback, Bailey Zappe

138. Pittsburgh Steelers select Memphis wide receiver, Calvin Austin III

139. Baltimore Ravens select Coastal Caroline tight end, Isaiah Likely

140. Green Bay Packers select Wake Forest tackle, Zach Tom

141. Baltimore Ravens select Houston cornerback, Damarion Williams

142. Los Angeles Rams select South Carolina cornerback, Decobie Durant

143. Tennesee Titans select Maryland tight end, Chig Okonkwo

Round 5

144. Washington Commanders select North Carolina quarterback, Sam Howell

145. Kansas City Chiefs select Kentucky offensive tackle, Darian Kinnard

146. New York Giants select Indiana linebacker, Micah McFadden

147. New York Giants select Arizona defensive tackle, DJ Davidson

148. Buffalo Bills select Boise State wide receiver, Khalil Shakir

149. Washington Commanders select Nevada tight end, Cole Turner

150. Houston Texans select Stanford defensive tackle, Thomas Booker

151. Atlanta Falcons select BYU running back, Tyler Allegeier

152. Denver Broncos select Oklahoma safety, Delarrin Turner-Yell

153. Seattle Seahawks select UTSA cornerback, Tariq Woolen

154. Jacksonville Jaguars select Ole miss running back, Snoop Conner

155. Dallas Cowboys select North Dakota offensive tackle, Matt Waletzko

156. Cleveland Browns select Cincinnatti running back, Jerome Ford

157. Tampa Bay Buccanneers select Sam Houston state cornerback, Zyon McCollum

158. Seattle Seahawks select Ohio State EDGE, Tyreke Smith

159. Indianapolis Colts select Missouri State defensive tackle, Eric Johnson

160. Los Angeles Chargers select UCLA defensive tackle, Otito Ogbonnia

161. New Orleans Saints select Appalachian State linebacker, D’Marco Jackson

162. Denver Broncos select Samford wide receiver, Montrell Washington

163. Tennessee Titans select UCLA wide receiver, Kyle Phillips

164. Los Angeles Rams select Notre Dame running back, Kyren Williams

165. Minnesota Vikings select Minnesota defensive end, Esezi Otomewo

166. Cincinnati Bengals select Toledo safety, Tycen Anderson

167. Dallas Cowboys select Fresno State cornerback, DaAron Bland

168. Chicago Bears select Southern Utah offensive tackle, Braxton Jones

169. Minnesota Vikings select North Carolina running back, Ty Chandler

170. Houston Texans select Oregon State tight end, Teagan Quitoriano

171. Denver Broncos select Washington center, Luke Wattenberg

172. San Francisco 49ers select Toledo cornerback, Samuel Womack

173. New York Giants select North Carolina guard, Marcus McKethan

174. Chicago Bears select Miami (OH) EDGE, Dominique Robinson

175. Las Vegas Raiders select Tennessee defensive end, Matt Butler

176. Dallas Cowboys select Louisiana linebacker, Damone Clark

177. Detroit Lions select Virginia Tech tight end, James Mitchell

178. Dallas Cowboys select Arkansas defensive tackle, John Ridgeway

179. Green Bay Packers select South Carolina EDGE, Kingsley Enagbare

Round 6

180. Buffalo Bills select San Diego state punter, Matt Araiza

181. Philadelphia Eagles select Kansas EDGE, Kyron Johnson

182. New York Giants select Cincinnatti linebacker, Darrian Beavers

183. New England Patriots select South Carolina running back, Kevin Harris

184. Minnesota Vikings select Illinois tackle, Vederian Lowe

185. Buffalo Bills select Villanova defensive back, Christian Benford

186. Chicago Bears select San Diego offensive lineman, Zachary Thomas

187. San Francisco 49ers select Fordham offensive tackle, Nick Zakelji

188. Detroit Lions select Oklahoma State linebacker, Malcolm Rodriguez

189. Carolina Panthers select Virginia Tech linebacker, Amaré Barno

190. Atlanta Falcons select Georgia guard, Justin Shaffer

191. Minnesota Vikings select Michigan State wide receiver, Jalen Nailor

192. Indianapolis Colts select Youngstown State tight end, Andrew Ogletree

193. Dallas Cowboys select Oklahoma State linebacker, Devin Harper

194. New Orleans Saints select Air Force defensive tackle, Jordan Jackson

195. Los Angeles Chargers select Georgia offensive guard, Jamaree Salyer

196. Baltimore Ravens select Missouri running back, Tyler Badie

197. Jacksonville Jaguars select Ouachita Baptist cornerback Gregory Junior

198. Philadelphia Eagles select SMU tight end, Grant Calcaterra

199. Carolina Panthers select Tennessee offensive tackle, Cade Mays

200. New England Patriots select defensive tackle Sam Roberts

201. Arizona Cardinals select USC running back, Keontay Ingram

202. Cleveland Browns select Oklahoma wide receiver, Michael Woods II

203. Chicago Bears select Baylor tackle, Trestan Ebner

204. Tennessee Titans select Tennessee safety, Theo Jackson

205. Houston Texans select Louisiana offensive tackle, Austin Deculus

206. Denver Broncos select Wisconsin defensive end, Matt Henningsen

207. Chicago Bears select Illinois offensive lineman, Doug Kramer

208. Pittsburgh Steelers select Michigan State fullback, Connor Heyward

209. Buffalo Bills select Virginia Tech offensive tackle, Luke Tenuta

210. New England Patriots select Louisiana offensive lineman, Chasen Hines

211. Los Angeles Rams select UCLA safety, Quentin Lake

212. Los Angeles Rams select Georgia cornerback, Derion Kendrick

213. Atlanta Falcons select Georgia tight end, John FitzPatrick

214. Los Angeles Chargers select Wake Forest cornerback, Ja’Sir Taylor

215. Arizona Cardinals select Virginia Tech offensive tackle, Lecitus Smith

216. Indianapolis Colts select Cincinnatti defensive tackle, Curtis Brooks

217. Detriot Lions select Jackson State EDGE, James Houston

218. Tampa Bay Buccanneers select Minnesota tight end, Ko Kieft

219. Tennessee Titans select Ole miss linebacker, Chance Campbell

220. San Francisco 49ers select Central Florida defensive tackle, Kalia Davis

221. San Francisco 49ers select Penn State cornerback, Tariq Castro-Fields

Round 7

222. Jacksonville Jaguars select Arkansas cornerback, Mantaric Brown

223. Cleveland Browns select defensive end, Isaiah Thomas

224. Miami Dolphins select Cal linebacker, Cameron Goode

225. Pittsburgh Steelers select Ole Miss linebacker, Mark Robinson

226. Chicago Bears select Southern guard, Ja’Tyre Carter

227. Minnesota Vikings select South Carolina tight end, Nick Muse

228. Green Bay Packers select Georgia Tech safety, Tariq Carpenter

229. Seattle Seahawks select Rutgers wide receiver, Bo Melton

230. Washington Commanders select Tulsa offensive lineman, Chris Paul

231. Buffalo Bills select Clemson linebacker, Baylon Spector

232. Denver Broncos select Wisconsin cornerback, Faion Hicks

233. Seattle Seahawks select Lenoir-Rhyne wide receiver, Dareke Young

234. Green Bay Packers select Miami defensive tackle, Jonathan Ford

235. Los Angeles Rams select Montana State linebacker, Daniel Hardy

236. Los Angeles Chargers select Ole Miss defensive back, Deane Leonard

237. Detroit Lions select Arizona State cornerback, Chase Lucas

238. Las Vegas Raiders select Ohio State offensive tackle, Thayer Munford

239. Indianapolis Colts select Yale defensive back, Rodney Thomas II

240. Washington Commanders select Oklahoma State cornerback, Christian Holmes

241. Pittsburgh Steelers select South Dakota State quarterback, Chris Oladokun

242. Carolina Panthers select Baylor cornerback, Kalon Barnes

243. Kansas City Chiefs select Washington State cornerback, Jaylen Watson

244. Arizona Cardinals select Valdosta State cornerback, Christian Matthew

245. New England Patriots select Michigan offensive tackle, Andrew Stueber

246. Cleveland Browns select Texas Tech offensive lineman, Dawson Deaton

247. Miami Dolphins select Kansas State quarterback, Skylar Thompson

248. Tampa Bay Buccanneers select Louisiana defensive end, Andre Anthony

249. Green Bay Packers select Penn State offensive tackle, Rasheed Walker

250. Las Vegas Raiders select UCLA running back, Brittain Brown

251. Kansas City Chiefs select Rutgers running back, Isaih Pacheco

252. Cincinnati Bengals select Coastal Carolina linebacker Jeffrey Gunter

253. Los Angeles Rams Kansas City safety, Russ Yeast

254. Chicago Bears select Cal safety, Elijah Hicks

255. Chicago Bears select North Carolina State punter, Trenton Gill

256. Arizona Cardinals select Penn State EDGE, Jesse Luketa

257. Arizona Cardinals select Oklahoma offensive lineman, Marquis Hayes

258. Green Bay Packers select Nebraska wide receiver, Samori Toure

259. Kansas City Chiefs select Marshall safety, Nazeeh Johnson

260. Los Angeles Chargers select Purdue fullback, Zander Horvath

261. Los Angeles Rams select Michigan State offensive tackle, AJ Acuri

262. San Francisco 49ers select Iowa State quarterback, Brock Purdy

2022 NFL Draft Tracker, Live Analysis and Grades: Round 1

by Raina Rutschka and Scott Carasik

The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Its arrival comes highly anticipated as the NFL community gathers to find out which prospects will be selected in the first round. Check back often for a live pick-by-pick analysis.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars select EDGE Travon Walker

The first overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and former five-star recruit has developed into a consistent EDGE rusher, consistently stopping the run. Walker is projected to be an impressive rookie making an impact as soon as Week 1.

How he fits: Jacksonville was in desperate need of a reliable edge rusher after not seeing much improvement from their front line last season. Walker’s size and force is a great addition for the Jaguars.

Grade: A

2. Detroit Lions select EDGE Aidan Hutchinson

The Lions took Aidan Hutchinson. He is comparable to a Bosa brother. He’s got a high floor similar to that of Patrick Kerney in Atlanta and Seattle. The Lions are getting a great player here with Hutchinson. This is a bit of a no-brainer. Hutchinson might be the best player in the entire draft.

How he fits: Aidan Hutchinson getting drafted by his hometown team just makes sense. Hutchinson is a great fit for the Jaguars and will instantly slot right into the starting defensive end role with the Lions. They will have a team captain type in him as well.

Grade: A+

3. Houston Texans select CB Derek Stingley Jr.

Collegiate Images

Often compared to two-time All Pro Stephon Gilmore, Stingley Jr. is sure to bring both speed and power to the Texans. After playing in just 10 games in the last three seasons, Stingley Jr. is ready to leave his mark on the field once again.

How he fits: The Texans have so many needs that nearly any pick was a good one. Stingley Jr. will bring serious explosiveness and a lot of potential to his new team.

Grade: B

4. NY Jets select CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner

Sauce Gardner is the best cornerback in the entire draft. The former Bearcat will be an instant starter for whoever selects him and be the best cornerback on that team. He’s a great fit for either zone or man teams and is one of the more physically-adept corners in the draft.

How he fits: Gardner would be an instant No. 1 corner in the Jets defense. He will instantly slot in at left corner to start for the next decade. Gardner fits not just value, but scheme here. In Robert Saleh’s defense, he’s going to be an instant star.

Grade: A

5. NY Giants select EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux

Before the 2021 season. Thibodeaux was widely regarded as the best player this draft. The powerful 21-year-old EDGE rusher from Oregon is best known for his explosive plays and NFL ready skill-set, with room to grow his pass rush abilities.

How he fits: The Giants have a lot of needs and it was never clear what direction they would go with their first pick. Thibodeaux seems like a BPA pick by the new front office regime in New York. Thankfully, his elite skill set will be a great fit in New York.

Grade: A+

6. Carolina Panthers select OT Ikem Ekwonu

Rob Kinnan / USA Today Sports

Ikem Ekwonu is the best left tackle in the draft. He will be a 10-time Pro Bowl starter for the team that drafts him. He’s got the footwork, technique and overall nastiness to be a huge star in the league. He’s going to be that franchise left tackle that whoever draft’s him loves.

How he fits: Carolina just settled their left tackle position for the next 10 years. Ekwonu is also from North Carolina, so he’s going to be an instant star there. The Panthers made the right decision to solidify their line for the next few years.

Grade: A+

7. NY Giants select OT Evan Neal

Evan Neal was highly sought after for his patience and timing, bringing a lot of experience playing against elite talents in college.

How he fits: Offensive tackle was arguably the Giants biggest need this offseason and Neal is the best fit by a long shot. His impressive size and versatility is an instant upgrade in New York.

Grade: A+

8. Atlanta Falcons select WR Drake London

Drake London is a go-up-and-get-it kind of wide receiver. He’s a 6’4”, 220-pound monster who can get snag the ball out of the air. Teams will have trouble guarding him, especially in the red zone. However, injury history and lack of top end speed hurt his value. He should have gone later.

How he fits: London will be the top receiver for the Falcons for a long time. He’s a great wide receiver with a big body and should help Marcus Mariota get the passing yards he’ll need to get with Calvin Ridley out and the Falcons depth chart missing a true No. 1.

Grade: C

9. Seattle Seahawks select T Charles Cross

Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cross brings strong technique to the pro-level, demonstrating impressive control and maximizing his size.

How he fits: The Seahawks have been known for their inability to protect their quarterback, so taking an offensive lineman with their first pick should have been a no brainer. Cross is a great fit for Seattle as they try and rebuild their offense.

Grade: A-

10. NY Jets select WR Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is arguably the third best wide receiver in the draft. He’s going to be a good fit for any offense because he can do a bit of everything. Similar to Calvin Ridley, he’s a smaller-in-frame kind of guy, but he’ll run all of the routes and has great yards-after-catch ability.

How he fits: The Jets go out and get their long-term No. 1 to fit with their quarterback they drafted just a season ago. Garrett Wilson fits in very well with the Jets and can do everything Mike LaFleur will ask him to do. The value is just a few picks off.

Grade: B

11. New Orleans select WR Chris Olave

Olave is a strong route runner that has drawn the eyes of NFL scouts for years. His 40-yard dash time paints the wrong picture, as he is consistently one of the fastest players on the field.

How he fits: After trading up five picks, the Saints instantly have one of the most dangerous wide receiver duos in the league. Olave’s route running combined with Michael Thomas’ ability to stretch the field makes this a great pick for Dennis Allen and his new staff.

Grade: A

12. Detroit selects WR Jameson Williams

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

Jameson Williams is the best wide receiver in the draft when he’s healthy. He’s one of the fastest players in football and is very similar to Tyreek Hill in how he wins. He can run all of the routes and burst through to the next level with no issues.

How he fits: Williams will be the No. 1 in Detroit with Amon-Ra St. Brown as the No. 2. The combination of these two guys will give Jared Goff a pair of receivers who win after the catch. He doesn’t have to be available right away either with the Lions in no position to win quickly.

Grade: A

13. Philadelphia Eagles select DT Jordan Davis

Davis possesses unbelievable athleticism, dominating the combine and proving his pro-ready abilities. His power and unbelievable size allow him the space to develop into an elite talent.

How he fits: Davis is a powerhouse by all accounts. His speed is undeniable, running a 4.78 40-yard dash at 341 pounds. His talent fits in nearly anywhere.

Grade: A

14. Ravens Select SS Kyle Hamilton

Kyle Hamilton is the best safety in the draft. He’s going to be one of the best safeties in the NFL. He is very similar to multi-time All-Pro Kam Chancellor in that he can play deep, play in the box or even blitz and be effective at it.

How he fits: The Ravens just brough in Marcus Williams to be their true free safety, so Hamilton will play more of a strong safety in the box type role. The Ravens will have a great set of defensive backs and took arguably the best player in the entire class.

Grade: A+

15. Houston Texans select OT Kenyon Green

Sam Craft / Associated Press

At 6’4” and 323 pounds, Green has the skill level to be a dominant starter his rookie season.

How he fits: The quarterback situation in Houston is in limbo so they might as well fit out the offensive line. Green is a great choice thanks to his undeniable potential stellar run blocking.

Grade: A

16. Commanders select WR Jahan Dotson

At 6’4” and 323 pounds, Green has the skill level to be a dominant starter his rookie season.

Jahan Dotson is a pure speed guy. He can cut defenses with the ball in his hands, and he can beat them deep. He’s a bit smaller than the average wide receiver, but he doesn’t have to be a No. 1 in the NFL. Dotson projects best as a No. 2 wide receiver taking advantage of softer zones.

How he fits: Dotson will be the No. 2 in Washington behind Terry McLaurin. He’s more of a high second-round value than a mid-first round value. Washington wanted their guy though. The Commanders are giving new quarterback Carson Wentz some talent.

Grade: B

17. Chargers select DT Zion Johnson

The 6’3”, 312-pound offensive lineman was one of the stars of the Senior Bowl thanks to his sheer power. In the right scheme, Johnson has the talent to develop into a reliable starter.

How he fits: The Chargers offensive line is coming along nicely thanks their draft last year. Johnson is just the latest piece of an important puzzle to protect their franchise quarterback Justin Herbert.


Grade: B+

18. Titans Select WR Treylon Burks

Butch Dill / USA Today Sports

Treylon Burks is a big, talented wide receiver who wins in the same kinds of ways that A.J. Brown does. The problem here is that A.J. Brown is now traded for this particular pick. Burks will be able to win against singles in the NFL often.

How he fits: Brown is the No. 1 receiver on the Titans, now. They will have to find a speedy option to pair with him because his top-end speed isn’t all that. However, he’s still a great pick for what they need with Brown not there anymore.

Grade: C

19. Saints select OT Trevor Penning

After starting all 12 games in 2021, Penning is highly regarded as a first-year starter thanks to his unbelievable competitive drive and athleticism.

How he fits: After losing Terron Armstead in free agency, the Saints had a big hole to fill on the offensive line. Drafting Penning was the likely move.

Grade: B

20. Steelers select QB Kenny Pickett

Kenny Pickett isn’t even the best quarterback in the draft, and his small hands will be a hindrance to him at the next level. But teams will love him because he’s tall and can sling it deep. He has a lot of issues with his footwork, but he has a chance to be a star if the Steelers let him develop.

How he fits: Pickett will be the franchise quarterback for the Steelers for the next 10-15 years. He’s a guy who they can build around and be their long-term starter. Their speedy receivers will love this fit, as the former Pittsburgh product will let them run deep as much as they want.

Grade: D

21. Chiefs select CB Trent McDuffie

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Despite being below average in size, McDuffie is a consistent cornerback with the personal awareness to develop into a top tier talent.

How he fits: The Chiefs defense was their weakness in 2021 and after the loss of Tyrann Mathieu, they needed to pad their secondary and they chose to do so with a cornerback that nicely fits the culture in KC.

Grade: B-

22. Packers select LB Quay Walker

Quay Walker is a bit of a surprise pick but he’s definitely the most athletic linebacker in the draft this year. He’s someone who can play well next to De’Vondre Campbell in the middle of the Eagles defense. He can rush the passer from the interior and also play well in coverage.

How he fits: The Packers got a linebacker who doesn’t need to wear the green dot and be the captain of the defense in Walker. Walker has the talent to play second fiddle and still be an extremely effective linebacker within the defense.

Grade: B

23. Bills select CB Kaiir Elam

The Bills traded up into the first round to get, Elam, who had a rocky 2021. Despite his turbulent season, he showed improvement and a strong ability to take to coaching.

How he fits: With Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Ed Oliver, etc., etc., the Bills young defense is quickly turning into one of the best in the league. Elam is a nice rotational piece to a solid secondary.

Grade: C

24. Cowboys select OT Tyler Smith

University of Tulsa Athletic Department

Tyler Smith is a beastly left tackle prospect from Tulsa. He’s got great footwork and can slot right in as a left tackle or a right tackle. Teams will have trouble getting by him at the next level because of his great anchor and solid frame overall.

How he fits: The Cowboys likely start out with Tyler Smith at right tackle. But over time, expect him to eventually replace Tyron Smith at the left tackle position. Tyler Smith has a long future ahead of him pushing people around in the NFC east.

Grade: B

25. Ravens select IOL Tyler Linderbaum

Linderbaum possesses the size and power needed to succeed in the NFL, bringing impressive footwork and control to the front line.

How he fits: The Ravens needed to address the center position after losing Bradley Bozeman in free agency. Linderbaum is highly regarded as the best center in the league, although he wasn’t the best player available for Baltimore.

Grade: C+

26. NY Jets select EDGE Jermaine Johnson

Jermaine Johnson is John Abraham part two. He’s a great fit for any 3-4 or 4-3 defense and has a ton of speed, agility and intelligence in his pass rush. He’s a high character guy who will lead the defense and get guys around him playing better than expected.

How he fits: The Jets would instantly have a premier pass rusher to pair with Carl Lawson in their defense. Johnson is a monster who fits in perfectly with the defense that uses 4-3 and 3-4 concepts. They have their new pass rushing ace.

Grade: A+

27. Jaguars select LB Devin Lloyd

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The former first-team Associated Press All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the year is headed to Jacksonville after the Jaguars traded back in to the first round. Lloyd can play multiple positions but excels in pass rush situations.

How he fits: The Jaguars needed a linebacker to compliment Josh Allen and Foye Oluokun and Lloyd is a reliable option who has potential to develop into a great starter.

Grade: B

28. Packers select DL Devonte Wyatt

Devonte Wyatt is the best interior pass rusher in the draft. He has quick hands and creates havoc in the backfield and can destroy the interior of an offensive line. He was the best pass rusher on the national championship Georgia team and played all three downs.

How he fits: Wyatt will start right away next to Kenny Clark keeping blockers off of De’Vondre Campbell and earlier pick Quay Walker. He can create pressure on third downs and will help them dominate the line of scrimmage on defense.

Grade: A+

29. Patriots select IOL Cole Strange

Strange has a high football IQ with the ability to read plays early. His switfness and agility makes him a strong choice on the offensive line.

How he fits: If any team can develop Strange into an elite player, its the Patriots. Now that they have found their next franchise quarterback in Mac Jones, surrounding him with a top tier offensive line has to be the priority. With the right coaching, Strange could develop into a reliable guard.

Grade: C

30. Chiefs select EDGE George Karlaftis

Quinn Harris / Getty Images

George Karlaftis is a talented pass rusher who fits in the 3-4 and the 4-3 looks that the NFL runs. With the Chiefs, he’ll be keeping his hand in the dirt where he can launch off and build quick speed off the line. He will be best as a complementary rusher in the NFL.

How he fits: With Frank Clark as the primary pass rusher, Karlaftis will be the secondary rusher in Kansas City. He’s a great value here as he’s a late first round talent. The Chiefs will be able to start him right away and have Mike Danna and Joshua Kaindoh rotate in behind him.

Grade: A

31. Bengals select S Daxton Hill

Hill is a versatile player that brings a profound combination of speed and situational awareness. He is able to read defenses quickly and locate the ball with ease.

How he fits: The Bengals did a great job in free agency filling many of their biggest roster holes giving them the chance to draft relatively freely. Hill’s talent allows him to play from many spots on the field. If utilized properly, he can be a massive addition to an already great roster.

Grade: B+

32. Vikings select FS Lewis Cine

Lewis Cine is a talented all-around safety and should be an instant starter in the NFL. He’s a heady safety who could end up being a multi-time Pro Bowl player if he’s used in the deep safety role that he was used in while at college. He was a high second round value, so the value is good here.

How he fits: With Harrison Smith at strong safety in Minnesota, the Vikings get the perfect pairing for him. Cine will be able to patrol the deep third for the Vikings and could be a playmaker like Anthony Harris was when he was with them.

Grade: A

What Should the Raiders do with the 86th Pick in the NFL Draft?

The Raiders made a big splash in free agency when they traded away their first and second-round picks for Davante Adams. While it was everything they could have dreamed of, it only answered one of the Raiders’ most pressing questions. The Silver and Black still have major holes at the offensive line and in the secondary.

Now, with just a few days left before the NFL draft, one question remains: What will the Raiders choose to do with the 86th overall pick?

Prospects to watch

There are infinite directions the Raiders could go in with their first pick in the 2022 draft. Offensive line, cornerback, and safety are thought to be the most likely places they will look, but if history repeats itself, the Raiders may look to add talent in their secondary. If Las Vegas does choose to go in this direction, they have a few strong options to look at.

Cornerback Tariq Woolen may be one direction the Raiders go. Woolen played two seasons at cornerback at The University of Texas at San Antonio. While that doesn’t seem like much, Woolen left his mark with his speed and potential to develop into a reliable player. He ran a 4.26 40-yard dash, putting him firmly in the running for one of the fastest 40-yard dash times this season. Woolen possesses extreme potential, and with the right defensive coordinator has the ability to skyrocket his on-field production.

If the Raiders choose to go the cornerback route, they may look to someone more experienced in the position. That player could come in the form of Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant. Despite being destined for greatness by name alone, Bryant also has the potential to become a threat in the backfield.

He possesses wide receiver-like qualities when it comes to following and catching passes. Those qualities are something the Raiders defense is screaming for as they come off a season with just six interceptions.

What are the Raider’s other options?

One option stands out as one of the most likely for Las Vegas, and that is a trade of the 86th pick. Whether they choose to trade up into the first or second round or choose to trade their third-round pick for a player, the possibility shouldn’t be ruled out. In fact, general manager Dave Ziegler said the same thing last week during his pre-draft press conference.

“These opportunities always exist…If there’s a deal to be made that’s going to benefit the Raiders, whether it’s moving up in the draft, whether it’s moving back in the draft, those are always things that we’re going to be open to and entertain.” Ziegler told the media.

At this point, the Raiders hold just five picks in the 2022 NFL draft after trading away their first two picks. Dave Ziegler has a strong history of drafting quality players in the later rounds, so Raider Nation can rest assured the new front office regime has a plan no one is expecting.