NFL Draft 2022: Day 2 Winners and Losers

There were 73 total draft selections made in the NFL on Friday and plenty of trade movement in between. With teams attempting to build the foundation for their future, I looked at the biggest winners and losers of Day 2. This article will highlight a few teams that fall under each category. Keep in mind that this article solely focuses on Day 2 moves and doesn’t factor in winners and losers from the first round.

Winners

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons came into this draft with a significant need at the quarterback position, and despite having several premium selections, they held off and waited for the value. Desmond Ridder has decent starting potential at quarterback, and landing him with the 74th pick was a steal for a player some were speculating could sneak into the first round. Ridder’s accuracy is lacking, but his leadership traits, poise in the pocket, processing speed, and arm strength are enticing traits for his long-term trajectory.

Arnold Ebiketie is a high-floor pass-rush prospect with a well-refined toolbox of moves to get to the quarterback. He will help fill the Falcons’ massive need in the pass rush as they had the fewest sacks in the NFL last year by a decent margin. Troy Andersen is an elite athlete with excellent long-term potential at linebacker. DeAngelo Malone is another high-upside defensive prospect to boost the team’s pass-rush. In all, the Falcons landed several promising talents with good value selections.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens were one of the big winners in the first round, and it continued into Day 2. David Ojabo would have been a top-20 pick if not for the Achilles injury, and reuniting him with defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald ensures the best chance for him to continue to unlock his impressive potential. Travis Jones was my 34th-ranked prospect, so landing him at #76 made it one of the best value picks of the draft. Jones is an elite athlete with an explosive first step for the pass-rush and the size and power of a space-eating nose tackle.

Detroit Lions

Like the Ravens, the Lions were big Day 1 winners and continued to win on Day 2. Josh Paschal is one of my favorite defensive prospects in this class with his inside-out versatility, high-end athleticism, and run-stopping prowess. He’s a great piece as the Lions keep building through the trenches. Kerby Joseph was also an enticing high-upside pick after his breakout year in 2021, including some of the country’s best ball production. Detroit continues to add high-level talent at high-value positions.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts didn’t have a first-round pick, but their excellent Day 2 helps make up for that. Alec Pierce is an excellent contested-catch receiver who adds more big-play explosiveness to the Indianapolis offense. Jelani Woods is the highest-upside tight end with his all-time significant athletic testing. Bernhard Raimann was a top-25 prospect for me, and he fills an essential need at offensive tackle. Nick Cross fits the Gus Bradley defense to a tee and was a solid value at #96. All four of those picks earned an A- grade or better for me.

Kansas City Chiefs

After crushing their first-round picks by drafting two of my top-12 prospects at #21 and #30, the Chiefs continued to dominate Day 2 of the draft. Skyy Moore was my WR6 overall and is an excellent fit for the Kansas City offense. Landing him at #54 earned an A+ grade. Bryan Cook gives the Chiefs more solid versatility and depth in the secondary. Leo Chenal was my LB3 in the draft as an elite athlete with a 10 out of 10 RAS. He’s not a complete player, but his downhill playmaking can be a significant weapon when put to good use in the defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers

There were mixed reviews of the Steelers’ selection of Kenny Pickett in the first round, but whether you disagree with the pick, it’s hard to deny that they made up with a solid value on Day 2. In this class, George Pickens was my WR5, but he fell down the board due to off-field concerns and past injuries. He’s one of the few receivers in this class with actual alpha receiver upside. DeMarvin Leal was also a great value at #84 as a former five-star recruit who needs to find his best fit on the defensive line and will be able to do so surrounded by elite talent in Pittsburgh.

Losers

Arizona Cardinals

After trading their first-round pick for Marquise Brown and picking up his fifth-year option, the Cardinals had to make the most of their Day 2 choices. Trey McBride is the best tight-end prospect in this draft with consistent hands and polished route-running, but the Cardinals already extended Zach Ertz. Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders are solid high-upside prospects on the defensive line. However, the Cardinals still haven’t addressed arguably their two most significant needs on the offensive line and at cornerback.

Chicago Bears

With the way this draft board fell, the Bears had the opportunity to add high-level talent to support Justin Fields’s development. Instead, they drafted two secondary players. I like both of them, but their top directive as a franchise has to be to support Fields as much as possible. Chicago has failed to do that with a poor offensive line and a limited receiving corps so far. Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker are high-upside talents to boost the team’s pass defense, but Velus Jones Jr. is a one-trick pony and will turn 25 years old before the season begins.

Green Bay Packers

After spending two first-round picks on defensive players, the Packers were feeling the heat with the receivers coming off the board early and often in the first round. They sent their two second-round picks to the Vikings to move to #34 and take Christian Watson. It’s easy to fall in love with Watson’s elite athletic attributes and physical frame – he ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at 6’4”, 208 lbs. However, his lack of play strength, polished route-running, and contested-catch ability will limit his floor, and Green Bay is in win-now mode. Letting the board fall to them and selecting George Pickens, Alec Pierce, or Skyy Moore would have been the better use of resources. Sean Rhyan is a solid offensive line prospect they picked up at #92, but I didn’t like the value in the trade-up for Watson.

New York Giants

The Giants had a slam-dunk draft on Day 1, with Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal considered the top overall prospect at various points in the pre-draft process. However, their use of resources on Day 2 was puzzling. Wan’Dale Robinson was a massive reach as a diminutive gadget player who would struggle to significantly impact the offense. Josh Ezeudu has solid traits for development, but there were players who can be Day 1 contributors at a higher level still available. Cordale Flott was a weird choice, as well, given his 6’1”, 175-lb frame will make things very difficult for him early on against NFL receivers.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders have made three draft choices so far, and the best grade they have received has been a D+. Phidarian Mathis was a significant reach at #47, given his lack of explosiveness and pass-rushing upside. It was an especially bizarre choice given the team’s lack of need along the defensive line, where the bulk of their talent is centered. With the extra selection added in their trade back with the Saints, the Commanders drafted a running back in Brian Robinson, who lacks elite traits and whose skill set they likely could have found on Day 3.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. With my educational background in the sports business and a strong knowledge of the inner workings of professional and collegiate sports, I hope to tell enthralling stories about the world of sports as it unfolds around me.

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