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2022 NFL Draft Grades

NFL Draft Grades: AFC South

Alec Pierce, NFL Draft Grades

Grading the NFL Draft is a futile exercise in and of itself. Often we look back way down the line and see these grades were way off in trying to assess if a team did well or not. I fully recognize this, but it is still an interesting way to look and analyze a team’s draft. Keep in mind that each team is different and has different fits that could affect the value.

With all of that being said, grades are fun. If I trust my own evaluations, grades allow me to see if a player successfully got value for the players they were taking and if it was worthwhile. I do look at a team’s draft a bit differently with less being about if they took a player a round too early or late, but more within the position tier if they got a steal or reached. For each player, look at my personal position ranking vs. where they were taken within their position. That will be a big factor in my overall letter “Grade” for the team and per pick.

 

Houston Texans

Round 1, Pick 3: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU (My Grade: CB2, Drafted: CB1)

Round 1, Pick 15: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M (My Grade: G2, Drafted: G1)

Round 2, Pick 37: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor (My Grade: S5, Drafted: S4)

Round 2, Pick 44: John Metchie, WR, Alabama (My Grade: WR12, Drafted: WR9)

Round 3, Pick 75: Christian Harris, LB, Alabama (My Grade: LB5, Drafted: LB6)

Round 4, Pick 107: Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida (My Grade: RB9, Drafted: RB7)

Round 5, Pick 150: Thomas Booker, DL, Stanford (My Grade: DL15, Drafted: DL13)

Round 5, Pick 170: Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State (My Grade: TE20, Drafted: TE12)

Round 6, Pick 205: Austin Deculus, OT, LSU (My Grade: OT28, Drafted: OT18)

 

Grade: B+

 

The Deshaun Watson trade allowed the Texans to add more picks and try to build more depth. There are a few excellent selections and some that left me scratching my head a bit. Taking Stingley and Green over Sauce Gardner and Zion Johnson is fine and likely more fitting for what the Texans plan on doing. But, if passing on Gardner/Johnson Pitre and Harris both could be rock solid additions to the defense and find themselves starting and making plays in the run game especially. I also like the 3rd day picks of Pierce, a potential starting RB, and Booker, an athletic versatile lineman.

The Metchie pick was questionable at the time with players like George Pickens on the board. Metchie had the ACL injury, but more importantly, he is more of a slot quick piece that won’t dominate on a team that needs more playmakers. Quitoriano and Deculus are fine shots, but neither seem like they have much upside. Overall, a fine draft, but there may be a regretful pick or two in there.

 

Indianapolis Colts

Round 2, Pick 53: Alec Pierce WR/Cincinnati (My Grade: WR11, Drafted: WR12)

Round 3, Pick 73: Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia (My Grade: TE2, Drafted TE2)

Round 3, Pick 77: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan (My Grade: OT7, Drafted: OT9)

Round 3, Pick 96: Nick Cross, S, Maryland (My Grade: S7, Drafted: S8)

Round 5, Pick 159: Eric Johnson, DL, Missouri State (My Grade: DL14, Drafted: DL14)

Round 6, Pick 192: Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State (My Grade: TE22, Drafted: TE14)

Round 6, Pick 216: Curtis Brooks, DL, Cincinnati (My Grade: DL30, Drafted: DL21)

Round 7, Pick 239, Rodney Thomas, S, Yale (My Grade: N/A, Drafted: S15)

 

Grade: A-

The Colts went bonkers on the athleticism in this draft and it showed up in a solid grade. With every pick they made having over a 9.13 RAS Score, the Colts had a strategy despite not having a 1st round pick Almost all of their picks were values or right around where the player was projected as well. Pierce and Woods give big, long, fast pass catchers who can block for JT and the run game as well. While Raimann could complete the big need at OT despite being pretty raw in technique.

Cross and Johnson were solid picks as reserves with upside and then just swinging for the fences on in the 6th and 7th for big athleticism. Thomas was one of the two players in the draft I hadn’t watched, but as a late pick flier, it is fine. Overall, a solid Colts draft, but the rawness might be a bit problematic early.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Round 1, Pick 1: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia (My Grade: EDGE3, Drafted: EDGE1)

Round 1, Pick 27: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (My Grade: LB1, Drafted: LB1)

Round 3, Pick 65: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky (My Grade: C4, Drafted: C3)

Round 3, Pick 70: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming (My Grade: LB6, Drafted: LB5)

Round 5, Pick 154: Snoop Conner, RB, Mississippi (My Grade: RB21, Drafted: RB13)

Round 6, Pick 197: Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist (My Grade: CB39, Drafted: CB26)

Round 7, Pick 222: Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas (My Grade: CB41, Drafted: CB31)

 

Grade: C

I may disagree with other experts on this grade, but I wasn’t thrilled with the Jaguars approach having the #1 pick. Walker is a risk despite the athletic upside and how he played late this season. Trading back into the first to take an offball LB in Lloyd doesn’t feel great despite Lloyd being decent value. Fortner was early for an unexciting interior lineman. 

I did like taking Muma where they did, and he may turn into a tackle machine, but after drafting Lloyd it seems an odd way to build the team. Day 3 was fairly weak, though Junior has some good upside to see if they can develop in. It wasn’t an awful draft by any means, but picking first should make for a slam dunk draft and this wasn’t it.

 

Tennessee Titans

 

Round 1, Pick 18: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (My Grade: WR2, Drafted: WR6)

Round 2, Pick 35: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (My Grade: CB8, Drafted: CB5)

Round 3, Pick 69: Nicholas Petit-Frere OT, Ohio State (My Grade: OT10, Drafted: OT7)

Round 3, Pick 86: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (My Grade: QB2, Drafted: QB3)

Round 4, Pick 131: Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan (My Grade: RB13, Drafted: RB11)

Round 4, Pick 143: Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland (My Grade: TE6, Drafted: TE10)

Round 5, Pick 163: Kyle Phillips, WR, UCLA (My Grade: WR21, Drafted: WR23)

Round 6, Pick 204: Theo Jackson, CB, Tennessee (My Grade: CB72, Drafted: CB27)

Round 6, Pick 219: Chance Campbell, LB, Mississippi (My Grade: LB24, Drafted: LB19)

Grade: A-

 

This draft looks solid top to bottom and the Titans drafted some of my favorite weapons. Burks and Okonkwo give athletic upside as good values. Taking Willis will define the draft potential, but in the 3rd round, he is worth the developmental upside. Phillps is also a great value as a reserve WR with upside.

Though my grades were slightly lower on McCreary and Petit-Frere, they are great fits and good players who could have gone earlier. Haskins gives a poor man’s Derrick Henry reserve too. Jackson and Campbell weren’t draftable to me, but late round athletic upside isn’t bad. It isn’t a perfect draft, but should pay dividends in important areas.  

 

See more from Shane P. Hallam here

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