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Detroit Lions 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

Lions general manager Brad Holmes went into the draft expecting to take potential contributors at every pick. The pick of Rodriguez helps fill the loss of Jalen Reeves-Maybin this offseason. How will second overall pick Aidan Hutchinson be used on third downs? Is it strictly off the edge or does he stay on the field with some of the others who flashed in 2021 (i.e. Charles Harris)?

Aidan Hutchinson DE Detroit Lions
Where will former Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson line up on third downs for the Detroit Lions?

Williams could make-or-break this draft. If he can develop into a No. 1 WR, then the Lions can use their 2023 draft picks to further enhance an improving roster. The next two picks, Kerby Joseph and James Mitchell, both come with some risk. Mitchell was injured early in the 2021 campaign and Joseph ranks as a one-year wonder. The former does offer significant upside as a gunner on special teams.

Detroit Lions 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap      
Detroit
Lions
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (2)
Aidan HutchinsonDE/Michigan4/1st RoundHutchinson's energetic footwork, combined with his 6-foot-6-inch frame, adds a stout addition to the Lions front seven. He could possibly give the team repetitions at the three-technique DT occasionally on third downs.
1 (12)
Acquired from Minnesota
Jameson WilliamsAll-Purpose/Alabama33/2nd RoundWilliams -if available this summer-could work himself into the rotation as another speed threat for the Lions on the perimeter. It is questionable if he'll be ready to return kickoffs, where he excelled for the Crimson Tide in 2021.
3 (97)Kerby JosephS/Illinois264/4th RoundJoseph's one year of high production shifted the narrative in 2021. His special teams prowess as a gunner should not be underestimated in his full evaluation.
5 (177)James MitchellTE/Virginia Tech188/4th RoundIf healthy, Mitchell will add another athletic target to a tight ends room that is filled with size.
6 (188)
Acquired from Jacksonville via Seattle via Philadelphia
Malcolm RodriguezLB/Oklahoma State112/3rd RoundThe former all-state high school QB probably surprised teams in the postseason with his footwork, speed and explosiveness. On the field, his eye control and aggression (13 career forced fumbles) resulted in multiple years of high production.
6 (217)
James Houston IVLB/Jackson State, Florida188/4th RoundThe SWAC Defensive Player of the Year has an exceedingly long profile (34" arms) for a player standing only in the 6-foot-1 range. If he can flash enough on special teams, could he possibly land a role in the team's third down rush packages?
7 (237) Chase LucasCB/Arizona State188/4th RoundLucas' consistency was justified by him being named a team captain in 2021. Want proof? Lucas primarily played corner in school, but also received time at the nickel slot, where he demonstrated savvy and route awareness.
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRound‘Nasty’ Take:
346Kalil PimpletonAll-Purpose (WR-Ret)Central Michigan, Virginia Tech5.175th RoundThere is a lot to like about this undrafted free agent signing. Most of it has to do with his skill at returning punts as well as running away from defenders in the slot. His feel for the position could land him in a surprise role if his size (5’8 175) doesn’t present issues.
374Demetrius TaylorDE-DTAppalachian State5.115th RoundA former high school OLB who’s morphed into a DT, Taylor finished his career with 45 tackles for loss and three blocked kicks.
376Greg BellRBSan Diego State, Nebraska5.1055th RoundBell has a vast understanding of where to find holes as a runner along with serious cutback capability. His lack of size presented the biggest issue in terms of staying available.
389Obinna EzeOTTCU, Memphis5.085th RoundEze’s length and overall size combine to give him plenty of options as a Cornelius Lucas-type at the next level. His movement skills are fine, but the anchor remains a question.
277Josh JohnsonWRTulsa, Iowa State5.4114th RoundJohnson did everything in his senior year to hear his name called, and that included going over the 1,000-yard mark. His unorthodox route-running style contains an incredible amount of body control. He makes contested catches.
458Corey SuttonWRAppalachian State4.845th RoundSutton overcame a knee injury to return to form. He has strength, size and a firm understanding of the position. Winning at the line of scrimmage will be key for him in an NFL training camp. Four career fumbles are a concern.
322Derrick DeeseTE/H-BackSan Jose State5.214th RoundIt was a bit of a surprise that Deese didn’t workout slightly better in the postseason after showing plenty of route running expertise as a flexed option in school. The blocking capability at just 236 pounds could hurt his charge.
C.J. BoswellCBMiami (Ohio)N/AN/AAt 5’10 185, Boswell’s quickness and change of direction make up for ordinary recovery speed.
332Kader KohouCB-STexas A&M Commerce5.185th RoundKohou is a muscular, disciplined corner with underrated feet to plant-and-drive forward. He is a pickup who has a chance to swing back-and-forth inside and outside.
Kevin JarvisOG-OTMichigan StateN/AN/AJarvis, while often leaning on quick-sets, plays with relatively heavy hands at either guard or offensive tackle. He's adequate on the perimeter sliding to wall defensive ends. Absorbs the punch as an offensive tackle and occasionally gives ground as a run blocker. 39-game starter in school.
Nolan Given TESE Louisiana, San Diego StateN/AN/AAt nearly 250 pounds, Given runs well, produced in his one season at SE Louisiana (56 receptions) and could surprise in training camp.
Zein ObeidOTFerris StateN/AN/AThe strength, size and foot quickness were all apparent in the team’s diverse running attack. It featured a number of opportunities for Obeid on the move or creating forward movement.

The team’s undrafted free agents offered up a number of different meals. One of the more impressive potential finds includes Appalachian State’s Demetrius Taylor. They also found a Central Michigan standout in Kalil Pimpleton, a dual-purpose standout in school.

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 NFL Draft /UDFA recap

Where would the Bengals go in this year’s draft after winning the AFC championship? Traditionally, the draft has yielded fine results for the franchise. In this century, the Bengals’ front office/scouts have drafted a number players who either made the Pro Bowl for them or other teams. In 2001 alone, they drafted T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Justin Smith and Chad Johnson. In 2003, they drafted Carson Palmer.

In 2006, the team drafted two eventual Pro Bowlers in Johnathan Joseph (1st Round, 24th overall) and Andrew Whitworth (2nd Round, 55th overall). Their fourth round pick, Domata Peko, played until he was 36 years old and all three players played at least until that age, with Whitworth recently retiring as a Super Bowl champion at the age of 40.

Cincinnati Bengals       
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (31)
Daxton Hill
S-Nickel/Michigan
11/1st Round
Hill, basically a starting nickel at Michigan on base downs, could get an opportunity to fulfill a variety of sub-package roles early in Cincinnati. Could they even experiment with him as a corner?
2 (60)
Acquired from Tampa Bay via the Bills
Cam Taylor-Britt
CB/Nebraska
53/2nd Round
Taylor-Britt is yet another fast, instinctive corner with safety experience. DC Lou Anarumo is cooking up different coverage/pressure concepts in his living room as we speak.
3 (95)
Zachary Carter
DE-DT/Florida
145/3rd Round
Carter's ability to slide up-and-down the defensive line for the Gators provided a blueprint for the Bengals. They could use him as a sub-package three-technique on third downs.
4 (136)
Cordell Volson
OT/North Dakota State
417/5th Round
Volson has the size, experience on the edges to become a factor as another swing offensive lineman for the Bengals, who have made it a priority to increase its interior offensive line depth in this year's draft.
5 (166)
Acquired from Arizona via Philadelphia through Houston via Chicago
Tycen Anderson
S-Nickel/Toledo
163/3rd Round
Anderson is yet another defensive back whose overall psyche never seemed to change when challenged inside. He played safety, corner and nickel for the Rockets and handled all of the roles adequately. He is the third Bengals defensive back with 4.3 speed (4.36).
7 (252)
Jeffrey GunterDE-OLB/Coastal Carolina178/4th RoundAt the beginning of the year, many expected Gunter to be a second-or-third-round draft pick, but he ends up potentially being a steal in the seventh round. He took a step back as a senior, but did show inside rush potential in the postseason.
2022 UDFA signings
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take
147Devin CochranOTGeorgia Tech, Vanderbilt5.7443rd RoundBlessed with an 86-inch wingspan, could Cochran forge his way onto the Bengals roster this summer? If so, he’ll have to beat talented backup OTs D’Ante Smith (one start) or Isaiah Prince (four starts).
387Shermari JonesRBCoastal Carolina5.095th RoundAt 215 pounds, there is a measure of upside running some of the two-back outside search or stretch concepts many teams employ. With the measure of acceleration he possesses in a 20-to-30-yard stretch, it is not out of the question that he could return kicks.
460Jaivon HeilighWRCoastal Carolina4.835th RoundHis route discipline and body control are aided by 32” arms. The first-team All-Sun Belt WR finished his career with 22 TDs.
462Clarence HicksLBUTSA4.825th RoundHicks often rushed off the edge and defeated tackles as a pass rusher one snap before walking out over the slot on the next play. Hicks was one of the most productive defenders in C-USA football.
474Jack SorensonWRMiami (Ohio)4.785th RoundThe strength is not where it needs to be, hence the continued durability issues. When he’s been healthy, Sorenson was one of the most dangerous receivers in the MAC. He finished with over 1,400 yards receiving this past season.
499Carson WellsOLBColorado4.686th RoundWells has all of the physical tools to perhaps work himself into a role as a stand-up Rush OLB. In 2021, he began to speed up the process as a rusher. Wells finished with 39 career tackles for losses.
532Ben BrownOC-OGOle Miss4.5676th RoundSnaps were a problem at center in 2020 before going down to injury. He has the size and overall quickness to perhaps find an interior role.
590Kendric PryorWRWisconsin4.286th RoundPryor didn’t get a lot of opportunities in a run-based offense, but finished his career with 99 receptions. He also averaged over 10 yards per carry on 40 rushes.
612Tariqious TisdaleDE-DTOle Miss4.1757th RoundTisdale runs in the 4.5-range at 290 pounds and began to flash in 2020. He never took the next step in 2021, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.
677Stewart ReeseOG-OTFlorida, Mississippi State3.877th RoundReese, a multi-year starter at two different schools, is a people mover who needs to maintain his weight.
685Brendan Radley-HilesSWashington, Oklahoma3.7217th RoundRadley-Hiles exhibits a short memory and often came back from mistakes as a nickel back at two different stops. Is the size going to translate?
Delonte HoodCBPeru St, Toledo, Glenville StateN/AN/AHood posted eight interceptions at Glenville State in 2019. He ran in the 4.4-range during the postseason and registered eight passes defensed this past season.
Jordan WilsonTEFSU, UCLAN/AN/AAfter flashing early in his career, Wilson resurfaced at FSU. He has size, but can he win as a route runner?
Justin RiggTEKentuckyN/AN/AOne of the best blocking TEs in the draft, Rigg finished with 50 receptions in his career. He could potentially surprise and make the team. He finished with four TDs in 2021.
Cal AdomitisLSPittsburghN/AN/AHe is satisfactory in coverage and generally capable of getting players on the ground if needed. It’s all about the details for Adomitis, who is often seen replicating his short-snapping motion before putting his hands on the ball prior to field goals. He handled even fronts with late twists well dating back to 2019.
Desmond NoelOGFAUN/AN/AHas started at the LG spot. 31 reps at 225 pounds on his Pro Day. He will play through pain. Just 290 pounds. Gets caught leaning at the point of attack in the run game (Marshall '20).

It wasn’t until the next decade began that the team got back on a roll, with three of its first five selections in 2010 becoming eventual Pro Bowlers. That group included tight end Jermaine Gresham and defensive end Carlos Dunlap. But they made up for the two-year drought by also drafting Geno Atkins in the fourth round (120th overall). Atkins became an eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro.

And in 2011?

That draft yielded seven-time Pro Bowler A.J. Green and three-time Pro Bowler Any Dalton. Both players recently signed one-year deals at the ages of 33 and 34, respectively.

In 2012, Bengals first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick never made a Pro Bowl, but played through the age of 32. In fact, no players from this draft class ever made a Pro Bowl, but at least five players made it to the age of 30 years old in the NFL.

There have no doubt been misses along the way as well. The next four drafts (2013-2016) yielded just one Pro Bowler, Tyler Eifert (2013), and many of the team’s draft picks flamed out relatively quickly. However, in that same span, the team drafted a number of solid NFL starters that have found success either in Cincinnati or otherwise. Those names include, but are not limited to: Giovani Bernard (2nd Round, 37th overall, 2013), Rex Burkhead (6th Round, 190th overall, 2013), C.J. Uzomah (5th Round, 157th overall, 2015), William Jackson III (1st Round, 24th overall, 2016) and Tyler Boyd (2nd Round, 55th overall, 2016). A seventh-round pick from the 2016 draft class, Clayton Fejedelem, has carved out a respectable career.

In 2017, the team found a building block in Pro Bowl running back Joe Mixon (2nd Round, 48th overall). Carl Lawson secured a payday with the New York Jets last offseason and Pro Bowl kicker Jake Elliott (5th Round, 153rd overall) has won a Super Bowl with the Eagles.

The jury is still out on the most recent drafts, but the selections of Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Evan McPherson all significantly contributed to the team’s Super Bowl appearance this past season.

Thus, the likelihood of this year’s draft class producing at least two quality starters remains possible. The Bengals added plenty of speed in the secondary, drafting three defensive backs who ran in the sub-4.4-range. Can Daxton Hill beat out incumbent nickel back Mike Hilton for the starting job? If not, then what about Jessie Bates III back deep along with either Hill or fifth-round choice Tycen Anderson. Depth was added along the offensive line the entire offseason and didn’t stop in the draft. NDSU’s Cordell Volson could realistically remain outside, but may very well provide depth on the interior. Zachary Carter put up nine sacks in 2021, but he’s been productive over a two-year period. This team understood that other than on the offensive line, there weren’t many needs on that side of the ball.

Arizona Cardinals 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Cardinals felt that former Ravens WR Marquise Brown was worth the 23rd overall pick in the first round. He reunites with former college quarterback Kyler Murray. What should be noted is the move may have created more value within the draft. They picked up a second third-round pick as part of the trade, Cincinnati’s Myjai Sanders, and he could challenge for a starting job in a two-year period. In 2021 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Cameron Thomas, the team secured a player quite capable of playing inside on third downs, if necessary.

Cameron Thomas DE Arizona Cardinals
Cameron Thomas won the MWC Defensive Player of the Year award in 2021.

Arizona may have also improved the depth of its interior offensive line late in the process. Two guards, Lecitus Smith and Marquis Hayes, were both still on the board in the seventh stanza. Can they provide competition for the team’s backup positions and add depth?

Arizona
Cardinals

     
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (55)
Trey McBride
TE/Colorado State
46/2nd Round
The John Mackey Award winner brings an advanced understanding of the position to the Cardinals. He can threaten defenses vertically or horizontally. Can he become a factor in the Red Zone?
3 (87)
Cameron Thomas
DE/San Diego State
100/3rd Round
Thomas, the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year, could bring a multi-faceted aspect to DC Vance Joseph's third down packages. Don't be surprised if he finds a way to create mismatches with Thomas.
3 (100)Myjai Sanders
OLB/Cincinnati
81/2nd Round
Did Sanders take the next step in school? Perhaps. But even if he didn't there is the possibility that the best is yet to come. The offsides penalties have to become a thing of the past.
6 (201)
Keaontay Ingram
RB/USC, Texas
328/5th Round
Ingram not so quietly averaged nearly six yards per carry (5.8 YPC) in 2021. This included a 138-yard effort against Notre Dame in late October.
6 (215)
Lecitus Smith
OG/Virginia Tech
148/3rd Round
The 6-foot-3, 320-pounder moves well enough and simply has to watch stay square in pass protection. There is an ability to create forward movement with leverage as a run blocker.
7 (244)
Christian Matthew
CB/Valdosta State, Samford, Georgia Southern N/A
Matthew certainly moved around quite a bit in school, but he found a rhythm for the Division II national runner-ups. The 6-toot-2 corner broke up three or more passes in three different contests. He contains OT-type length for the cornerback spot.
7 (256)
Jesse Luketa
LB/Penn State
282/4th Round
Luketa's move to pass rusher full-time ended with a strong performance in the postseason. His quick speed combines with upper body power to frustrate tackles and overcomes average natural bend.
7 (257)
Marquis HayesOG/Oklahoma
212/4th RoundHayes was accurate as a puller on the move from the left guard spot in the plethora of gap-schemed runs the team used during his time in school. Size gives him a chance to earn at the least a practice squad spot.
2022 UDFA signings
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRound‘Nasty’ Take
276Darrell Baker, Jr.CB-S-NickelGeorgia Southern5.424th RoundNot many players are available after the draft with the combination of speed and size that Baker has in his tool kit. Gaining a feel outside at CB will be necessary, but he has also played safety effectively.
490Chandler WootenLBAuburn4.725th RoundWooten’s final year in school flashed improved instincts and feel for the exchange LB spot. He possesses solid blitz capability with length.
156Ronnie RiversRBFresno State5.723rd RoundRivers was banged on for a lack of height and undesirable measurements. He excels as an option route runner and flashes unique vision as a runner.
552Manny JonesDE-DTColorado State4.4916th RoundJones was largely ignored during the postseason after finishing his career with 33 tackles for losses. Why? It may have been due to playing out of position inside for the better portion of a two-year period. He brings some redeemable qualities in terms of one-gap potential.
451Javonta PaytonAll-Purpose (Gunner-WR)Tennessee, Mississippi State4.855th RoundWe felt that Payton’s all-purpose potential as a gunner made sense for some team late. He finished with 20 special teams tackles despite not playing them much as a senior at Tennessee. He flashed big play potential during that final year with 4.4 speed out wide (6 TDs).
369Chris PierceWR/H-backVanderbilt5.115th RoundPierce largely operated outside the numbers in school and had some contests (i.e. Florida in 2020, Colorado State ’21) where he looked like a draft pick. The team’s inconsistent passing game did him no favors.
705Jontre KirklinAll-Purpose (WR-Ret)LSU3.567th RoundHe’s played quarterback, WR and stood out on special teams in school. The explosive athlete could find his way if he impresses on special teams in camp.
428Kekaula KanihoNickelBoise State4.955th RoundThe nickel back’s instincts, change of direction and ball skills have never been the issue. The weight (181 pounds) contributed to him not getting picked late in the draft.
Cole BentleyOCLouisville N/AN/AVersatile. He has started at OC, RG, RT and LG while in school. He can stay frontal in pass protection but gave ground as a run blocker.
LaRon StokesDTOklahomaN/AN/AStokes largely went quiet the last two seasons from a statistical standpoint, but offers potential as a DE in three-man fronts at 280 pounds.
Stephon Robinson WRNorthwestern, KansasN/AN/ACould Robinson ever match his 2019 production at Kansas? During a dominant two-game stretch in that season, he posted six touchdowns.
Will Miles DECentral MethodistN/AN/AMiles’ size certainly translates to the next level and could land him an opportunity on the practice squad. The two-sport athlete has upside as a pass rusher with 36-inch arms.
Changa HodgeWRVirginia Tech, VillanovaN/AN/AHodge’s 2019 season still reverberates with teams. At Villanova, he went for 13 TDs during that season. Two season-ending injuries hurt his overall standing.

Overall, the fabric of the team’s roster only added pieces that complement what was already in place. The strategy seemed to be finding multi-year starters on the collegiate level to aid a roster full of burgeoning talent.

Hence the undrafted free agent signings of Darrell Baker, Jr., Ronnie Rivers and Kekaula Kaniho. Many of these may or may not make the team’s roster, but could add depth to its practice squad.

For a team that has endured depth issues in the second halves of seasons, it may prove to be a wise strategy.

Baltimore Ravens 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta came away with potential impact players at nearly every position. At safety, the team got an instant starter in Hamilton and potentially another impact defender in Ojabo, who may be a year away from contributing. Linderbaum should be ready to compete for the center position and, if so, then Patrick Mekari and Trystan Colon-Castillo should battle for a backup spot.

Baltimore Ravens       
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (14)Kyle Hamilton
S/Notre Dame
15/1st Round
Hamilton multi-purpose skill-set can be used in a number of different facets and that will only expand the fabric of the team's defensive capabilities. He should assume the role left behind by former safety DeShon Elliott.
1 (25)
Acquired this pick from the Philadelphia Eagles for its 22nd overall pick
Tyler Linderbaum
OC/Iowa
38/2nd Round
Linderbaum has shown more than enough in a pro-style collegiate scheme. As long as his size doesn't prove to be a detriment, then he has a chance to turn into an instant starter.
2 (45)
David Ojabo
DE-OLB/Michigan
64/2nd Round
If not for an Achilles injury on Michigan's Pro Day, he may have gone higher. New DC Mike Macdonald contained a unique feel of what Ojabo brings to the table.
3 (76)

Travis Jones
OT/UConn
44/2nd Round
Jones contains the skill to work over the center as a zero-or-one-technique NG, but he can play over an OG at the three-technique on occasion.
4 (110)
Daniel Faalele
OT/Minnesota
50/2nd Round
Faelele's light-footed nature makes him hard to get around if the DE doesn't time the snap count. His weight will only become a factor if he doesn't keep himself under the 400-pound mark.
4 (119)
Jalyn Armour-Davis
CB/
Alabama
136/3rd Round
Armour-Davis took some of the shine from more-heralded teammate Josh Jobe in 2021. The time he took away from the field to develop were offset by durability hiccups. He could serve the nickel role for the Ravens on the outside.
4 (128)
Charlie Kolar
TE/Iowa State
115/3rd Round
Kolar has the savvy, ball skills and Red Zone productivity to match the size. To play for Baltimore the blocking has to be in place. This is the worst part of his game at this point.
4 (130)
Jordan Stout
P/Penn State
435/5th Round
Perhaps the best directional punter in this year's class, Stout's ability to execute fakes (see Michigan), kick the longer field goals and kickoff made him one of the most versatile specialists in this year's class.
4 (139)Isaiah Likely
TE/Coastal Carolina
92/3rd Round
Likely's field speed, run after the catch skill and size complement satisfactory blocking skills when on the move.
4 (141)Damarion "Pepe" Williams
CB-Nickel/Houston
194/4th Round
Williams was one of the more aggressive players from the secondary in this year's draft despite standing 5'10, 183 pounds. He can play corner, nickel or safety if needed. His change of direction is outstanding at any of the positions.
6 (196) Tyler Badie
RB/Missouri
177/4th Round
Badie registered rush totals of 34, 27 and 41 over a three-game stretch in 2021. His workhorse capability won't be needed in Baltimore, where he will have to fight for a roster spot in a deep room.
UDFA 2022 signings
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRound‘Nasty ’Take
121Zakoby McClainLBAuburn5.8433rd RoundCan McClain fill a role that was never replaced on the Ravens defense by former LB Kenny Young?
192Makai PolkWRMississippi State, California5.654th RoundPolk was a solid route runner who finished with over 100 receptions (105) in Mississippi State’s Air Raid attack. He simply needs to prove that he can separate from bump-and-run coverage.
266Charles WileyOLBUTSA5.4484th RoundWiley could buy the team time in a Tyus Bowser-type special teams role while learning how to use his 4.5 speed defensively as a pass rusher. He has a chance to earn a role on the kickoff and punt teams.
285Raleigh WebbAll-Purpose (Gunner-WR)The Citadel5.364th RoundOne of the draft’s best pure athletes, it will all come down to how much Webb impresses at gunner and on the kickoff team during camp. After playing in a run-oriented scheme, he has to learn a lot about the receiver spot. The size and speed are in place.
297Jeremiah MoonOLBFlorida5.314th RoundIt’s not often that 6’5”, 250 pounders get into undrafted free agent status, particularly after broad jumping over 11-feet. That type of explosion is rare, but Moon only flashed at Florida and never developed into a game changer.
379Ricky PersonRBNC State5.15th RoundA consistent, non-flashy runner would be the description for Person. He can protect well enough and catches the ball well out of the backfield. He’ll have competition in camp to even make the practice squad.
411Josh RossLBMichigan5.015th RoundKnock the size, knock the foot speed and whatever else. Macdonald understands that Ross is a natural playmaker with the necessary instincts to compete for a roster spot.
455Anthony BrownQBOregon, Boston College4.845th RoundQuite possibly another undervalued free agent find at QB in the mold of Tyler Huntley, Brown won 25 games in his college career at two different stops.
544Slade BoldenWR/All-purposeAlabama4.536th RoundIt will be tough to earn the slot receiver role for the Ravens in a stacked receiver room. He has been a consistent contributor on special teams at Alabama for a three-year period.
563Aron JohnsonOTSouth Dakota State4.446th RoundJohnson was a key piece in South Dakota State’s 2020-21 spring national championship run and 2021 national semifinal appearance. His experience and technique were high points.
640Emeka EmezieWRNC State4.1017th RoundAt 6-foot-3, Emezie didn’t do much to excite during postseason workouts. NC State’s all-time leading receiver won with technique and length in school. The body control will have to win when covered up.
Rayshad Nichols DLStephen F. AustinN/AN/AThe Louisiana native did more than just start a number of games for the Lumberjacks. The All-LSC selection finished with 10 sacks and 15.5 TFLs in 2021.
Shamar BridgesWRFort Valley StateN/AN/AAt 6-foot-4, with 34” arms, Bridges runs in the 4.5 range. Basketball-type quickness off the line of scrimmage but then drifts coming back to the football (PBU allowed, HBCU Legacy ’22). When working in the slot, displays the ability to change speeds and has another gear. long stride gets up on DBs and put them into panic mode when running box fades at No. 2 slot.
Denzel WilliamsCBVillanova, Sacred HeartN/AN/AWilliams has 4.4 speed that allows him to play a little bigger than his 5’10, 180-pound frame. His quickness and playmaking skill may have been overshadowed by teammate Christian Benford, but he flashed after transferring from Sacred Heart.
Trevon ClarkWRCal N/AN/AIn 12 games, Clark averaged nearly 20 yards per catch in 2021. There have been drops through contact (Nevada), but he had his moments this past season.
David VereenCBNewberryN/AN/AVereen finished his final year on campus with 12 pass breakups. At 5’9, 190, can he make a favorable camp impression at a nickel spot?
Chris Moore S Georgia State, Virginia N/AN/AMoore produced at a relatively sustained level at two different schools, but never produced a breakout season.

Travis Jones DT Baltimore Ravens
Travis Jones surprisingly lasted until the third round, where the Baltimore Ravens selected him with the 76th overall pick.

In the secondary, does Houston’s Demarrion “PePe” Williams attempt to fill the role left by often-injured Tavon Young? The Ravens defensive line may have secured its biggest coup by securing UConn DT Travis Jones. The selection of Jalyn Armour-Davis continues a theme of drafting Alabama cornerbacks with the hope of them finding success within the defensive structure. Can he replace the production vacated by Anthony Averett?

Green Bay Packers 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Packers went into the draft with the apparent emphasis on upgrading a defensive front seven that finished right outside of the Top Ten in rush defense. The physical similarities between current DT Kenny Clark and new draft pick Devonte Wyatt are striking. Second-round pick Christian Watson has a chance to blossom with his ability to track the football down the field. He needs to replace the deep strike potential of former Packer Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Chiefs).

The Packers definitely upgraded the depth at linebacker and on the offensive line. It would have been hard to imagine getting Rasheed Walker in the seventh round just two seasons ago. Rhyan in the third round feels like a huge find as well, but where does he start off at, guard or tackle? Either way, the team has increased competition at all of the interior line spots.

Former Wake Forest LT Zach Tom (pictured), aligned at center for the Demon Deacons in 2019. Where will he play for the Packers?

The team did not get the immediate return on investment with Amari Rodgers returning kickoffs a year ago. This means that Watson, fourth-round pick Romeo Doubs or even UDFA Tyler Goodson could all get looks to provide competition.

Green Bay Packers
     
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (22)Quay Walker
LB/Georgia49/2nd RoundWalker's combination of size and speed make the team's depth at linebacker now a strength defensively.
1 (28)
Devonte Wyatt
DT/Georgia22/2nd RoundDevonte Wyatt could become a legitimate complement to Pro Bowler Kenny Clark. If not, then a rotation player who spells him in a rotation at times.
2 (34)
Christian Watson
All-Purpose/North Dakota State23/2nd RoundChristian Watson's combination of body control and field speed make for a threat in a number of ways on the field. How will the team decide to employ him?
3 (92)
Sean Rhyan
OL/UCLA36/2nd RoundRhyan's run blocking prowess was supplemented with a technically-sound, yet quick-footed nature as a pass protector. If he moves to OG, he'll be battling two second-year starters for playing time.
4 (132)
Romeo DoubsAll-Purpose (WR-Ret)/Nevada149/3rd RoundDoubs' skill as a punt returner was often overshadowed by his deep receiving skills. He has tracked a number of deep passes 50-to-60 yards down the field effectively. In addition, he proved to be more than just a deep threat the last two seasons.
4 (140)
Zach Tom
C-OG/Wake Forest60/2nd RoundTom's experience at left tackle only enhances his value. His film working at the center position in 2019 was impressive as well. He ranks as one of the better swing lineman in this year's class.
5 (179)Kingsley Enagbare
DE/South Carolina 122/3rd RoundEnagbare's rare length (83 5/8" wingspan) could endear him on the edge as a depth piece for the team's outside linebacker position. Enagbare has stood up in school and he even played some LB on third downs.
7 (228)Tariq Carpenter
S-LB/Georgia Tech293/4th RoundCarpenter made the move to LB in the postseason and acquitted himself well. During his time in school, he was an active defender who made 41 career starts mostly at the safety position.
7 (234)Jonathan Ford
DT/Miami (Fla.)599/6th RoundFord has the flex capability to align up-and-down the defensive front. Ford posted three quarterback sacks back in 2019.
7 (249)Rasheed WalkerOT/Penn State107/3rd RoundTwo years ago, Walker had an opportunity to possibly be a higher pick. With that said, he could find a home as a third tackle for the Packers. . At the least, he increases their options during training camp.
7 (258)Samori Toure
WR/Nebraska, Montana 134/3rd RoundToure has the tools to be an effective WR in the cold of Green Bay after playing in Montana first (lows in the mid-twenties) and then Nebraska (mid-forties). Toure is smooth, but has to get stronger.
Packers 2022 UDFA signings
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take
415Tyler GoodsonRBIowa55th RoundGoodson’s foot speed, hard-charging style and underrated receiving ability (the team often aligned him at the X-WR) could make him hard to get rid of in training camp. Can the 4.4 speedster returns kicks?
678Caleb JonesOTIndiana 3.847th RoundIt will all come down to how Jones handles the speed aspect of the NFL game. At 6’8, 370 pounds, with nearly 37-inch arms, it is impossible to get around him if he measures up the opponent.
686Akial ByersDTMissouri3.727th RoundPostseason workouts did him no favors, but Byers’ work in school indicated a player well worth the price of admission. Byers fights through angle blocks well and has a feel for the action working inside at 310 pounds.
674Cole SchneiderOC-OGUCF3.9087th RoundSchneider competed with leverage, power and underrated athleticism despite being length-deficient in school. There are some similarities to former Packers OL Lane Taylor.
220Chauncey ManacDE-OLBLouisiana-Lafayette, Georgia5.574th RoundAnother former Georgia Bulldog in the 2022 draft class, Manac turned it on as a senior, finishing with 10 QB sacks and career-highs in tackles for losses.
175Ellis BrooksLBPenn State5.684th RoundBrooks size, foot speed and overall athleticism may not get high marks, but he was the heartbeat of Penn State’s defense.
372Tre SterlingSOklahoma State5.115th RoundSterling’s movement skills impress despite less than stellar workout numbers to match across the board. His change of direction drills match the smoothness you see from him. He missed a lot of time as a senior and that may have hurt his standing with NFL teams.
547Keke ChismWRMissouri, Angelo State4.526th RoundChism is a body control, jump ball specialist who doesn’t run extremely well until he builds to speed. His acrobatic TD catch in the 2021 Armed Forces Bowl is kind of what he brings to the table.
508B.J. Baylor RBOregon State4.656th RoundA one-year wonder at Oregon State, there is no shame in that label after leading the Pac-12 in rushing. He can make the slide cuts and crease defenses. Baylor has to improve in pass protection.
Hauati PututauDEUtahN/AN/APututau’s strength gets high marks, as does his size at over 6-foot-3, 310 pounds.
Danny Davis WRWisconsinN/AN/AFor a 6-foot receiver, he has range. Has made some incredible extension grabs on slant routes with range as a pass catcher (3rd and 7, 4th QTR/3:00, Penn State '21). Beat the man coverage of a longer CB on the play (Castro-Fields).
Raleigh TexadaCBBaylorN/AN/ACan he match up outside consistently? Struggles to disengage off of stalk blockers on the perimeter (2nd QTR/4:59, Texas Tech '21). Positive feet and patience to squeeze routes from the outside-in when playing man coverage (Kansas State '21). Bail technique is clean, smooth and capable.
Anthony TurnerWRGrand ViewN/AN/AThe 6-foot-3-inch wideout has some suddenness and feel for the WR spot. Despite playing against a lower level of competition, the NAIA All-American’s twitch on video stood out. His size translates to the next level.

Chicago Bears 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Bears may have hit with their 2021 fifth-round choice, Larry Borom, and it could be over its second-round choice Teven Jenkins from that same year. Few may have thought that would have been the case a season ago after the draft. As it stands, this enables them to work Braxton Jones into the mix as a capable third or fourth component with Julien Davenport, a 2022 free agent signing. Davenport has been an off-and-on 32-game starter in his five-year NFL career.

Chicago Bears

     
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (39)
Kyler Gordon
CB-Nickel/Washington68/2nd RoundGordon's aggression at either nickel or outside at CB has been evident since he started earning playing time back in 2019. He only adds value as one of the better gunners or ends in the draft on the punt team. His best football may be ahead of him.
2 (48)
Jaquan Brisker
S/Penn State28/2nd RoundBrisker did a lot of his work deep back in 2019, but gradually moved into a multi-purpose role the last two seasons. He has stretches of dominance in each of the last two seasons.
3 (71)
Velus Jones, Jr.
All-Purpose/Tennessee74/3rd RoundJones, Jr. benefitted from an offense that created one-on-one matchups in the slot. There are some drops that concern from a consistency standpoint, but the field speed is represented best by his 10-yard bursts.
5 (168)
Braxton Jones
OT/Southern Utah111/3rd RoundJones may need some refinement but he may be a step further along than given credit for. Will he consistently stay square versus opponents?
5 (174)Dominique RobinsonLB/Miami (Ohio)196/4th RoundRobinson, a former college starting WR, got better with his pad level through his final campaign and the work began to show in the postseason. He brings his lower body with his punch to create a lockout as a force defender.
6 (186)Zachary ThomasOT/San Diego State135/3rd RoundComfortable in reverse, Thomas has started at RG and both tackle spots. His mobility stands out and makes him a fit in the team's offensive scheme.
6 (203)Trestan EbnerAll-Purpose/Baylor193/3rd RoundEbner's kickoff return capability gives him an opportunity to make the squad after the loss of kickoff returner Jakeem Grant this offseason.
6 (207)Doug KramerOC/Illinois235/4th RoundKramer's mobility gives him an opportunity. If he can handle the power quotient the NFL has to offer inside, then he'll be able to compete with Lucas Patrick and Sam Mustipher.
7 (226)Ja'Tyre CarterOT-OG/Southern 299/4th RoundCarter enters a mix of guards and interior linemen led by Cody Whitehair but there will be competition. A college left tackle, how will he translate down inside in a training camp after playing there this postseason.
7 (254)Elijah HicksS/California179/4th RoundHicks, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, couldn't perform in the postseason. The former CB flashed range getting out of the deep middle post in 2021.
7 (255)
Trenton Gill
P/NC State469/5th RoundGill's leg strength did not fare well against Wake Forest in a colder November matchup. And that was North Carolina chilly, not Windy City chilly. He'll need to avoid the performances to challenge Ryan Winslow, who has all of 22 career punts.
Bears 2022 UDFA signings
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty Take
233Jack SanbornLBWisconsin5.534th RoundSanborn is not just an instinctive player. He has a feel for the game that matches decent movement. Not a banger, but consistent mover down-to-down.
354Jake TongesTE/H-BackCalifornia5.155th RoundIf the team is looking for a potential secondary receiving option opposite Cole Kmet and others, then Tonges’ receiving skills could fit the bill. He’s also a factor as a special teams cover guy.
393Kadofi WrightLB-NickelBuffalo5.065th RoundWright was one of the better cover linebackers in college football. He consistently made plays on the ball during his time in school. Positive weight gains have given him s
442Master TeagueRBOhio State 4.885th RoundIf you’re looking for a physical specimen, then Teague is the man. But can he find and create a run if nothing is there. He should be able to cover kicks but finished his career with one tackle.
494Amari CarterSMiami (Fla.)4.75th RoundCarter’s short-area explosiveness, special teams capability and overall size give him an opportunity to at least earn a practice squad spot if his eyes are right on defense, which they haven’t always been .
568Savon ScarverAll-PurposeUtah State4.46th RoundOne of college football’s all-time leading kickoff returners in terms of TDs, Scarver simply needs to prove he can get it done at receiver too. It will be a tall order but the kick return instincts may be enough.
726Allie Green IV CBMissouri, Tulsa3.47Free AgentGreen IV’s breakout collegiate game came against Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace in 2020. His speed caused a big draft day slide.
Jaylon JonesCBOle MissN/AN/ASuffered a season-ending injury in 2018. Even with high pad level, he transitions positively vs quick outs on the perimeter (3rd and 12, 2nd QTR/14:11, Arkansas '19). The Allen, Texas native finished with four passes defended in 2021.

Cyrus HolderDBDuquesne, Saint FrancisN/AN/AYet another Bears potential keeper for a WR unit that needs speed, Holder was among the NEC’s top deep threats. He finished his career with 22 TDs and runs in the 4.4-range at 6’3, 200 pounds.
Kevin ShaaWRLibertyN/AN/AShaa was Malik Willis’ deep threat over the course of a two-year period and largely produced a number of flash plays during that time period.

For a team that finished third in passing defense, it was a bit of a surprise that they went defensive backs with their first two selections. As a result, they picked up increased bodies to cover on the back end. The Bears continue to add athleticism in the back end. This time it started with Washington’s Kyler Gordon and continued it with Penn State’s Jaquan Brisker. Brisker will be expected to contend for more than a sub-package role early in his career. Despite trading Khalil Mack to Los Angeles for two draft picks, the team has a budding pass rusher in Trevis Gipson to go along with Robert Quinn, who finished with a team record 18.5 quarterback sacks in 2021.

Jaquan Brisker S Chicago Bears
Former Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears.

Elsewhere, Gill is an important draft pick simply because he has to fill the void left by starting punter Pat O’Donnell, who signed with the Packers. Essentially, new general manager Ryan Poles doubled down on the league’s sixth-ranked defense. He also added special teams firepower with the selection of Tennessee all-purpose specialist Velus Jones, Jr.

Why was that addition important?

The team lost its top returner, Jakeem Grant, this offseason in free agency.

Minnesota Vikings 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Vikings took one of the top safeties in the draft in Cine, who can learn from one of the NFL’s best in Harrison Smith. Booth, Jr. has had problems playing at full strength and it ranks as a concern. If available, he upgrades the team’s depth in the back end. Ingram has loads of potential but did he ever take the next step in school?

Several late-round picks not only provide depth possibilities but also competition. Were those choices part of the new regime’s core possibilities for their vision moving forward? If so, then the roster’s fringe players from the former management may be in the position of just staying on the team.

Minnesota Vikings      
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (32)
Acquired from Detroit via LA Rams
Lewis CineS/Georgia71/2nd RoundCine brings all of the required 'nasty' that the Vikings need to reignite their defensive backfield. He'll have a lot to live up to playing beside 11-year veteran safety Harrison Smith.
2 (42)
Acquired from Indianapolis via Washington
Andrew Booth, Jr.CB/Clemson14/1st RoundThe Tigers finished with the ACC's top defense and Booth, Jr. was a big reason why. How he recovers from surgeries in back-to-back years remains to be seen. On the field, he plays with a purpose.
2 (59)
Acquired from
Green Bay
Ed IngramOG/LSU256/4th RoundIngram brings depth to an interior OL group that has added pieces this offseason. He'll get an opportunity to start opposite Ezra Cleveland.
3 (66)
Acquired from
Detroit
Brian Asomoah IILB/Oklahoma 96/3rd RoundAsamoah II will always own the moniker of being drafted ahead of Nakobe Dean and that may be just fine with him. He plays the game at a clip that seeks to provide answers as opposed to questions.
4 (118)
Acquired from Cleveland
Akayleb EvansCB/Missouri, Tulsa165/3rd RoundEvans made some plays on the ball in school but rarely came down with interceptions (one). That in itself surprises when he played in the pass-happy AAC before transferring to Missouri.
5 (165)
Acquired from Las Vegas
Esezi OtomewoDE/Minnesota215/4th RoundOtomewo's length is fine and the new system would seem to accompany his playing style. For a fifth-round choice, he provides more than enough capability to rotate potentially with either an improving Armon Watts or Harrison Phillips.
5 (169)
Acquired from Tennessee via Las Vegas
Ty ChandlerAll-Purpose/UNC, Tennessee228/4th RoundChandler will be entrenched in a battle with Kene Nwangwu for playing time. If he can provide potential as a kickoff or punt cover guy, that will offset taking playing time from one of the NFL's burgeoning young kickoff returners.
6 (184)
Acquired from NY Jets
Vederian LoweOT/Illinois166/4th RoundLowe should battle for Oli Udoh for a roster spot, but there are also other viable candidates to battle for a roster spot on the perimeter. His length and consistent improvement help his cause.
6 (191)
Acquired from Baltimore via KC Chiefs
Jalen NailorWR/Michigan State204/4th RoundNailor's 2021 season was unended by a wrist injury that stopped more performances like he had against Rutgers. In that game, Nailor looked like an early-round candidate.
7 (227)
Acquired from Las Vegas via Carolina
Nick MuseTE/South Carolina, William & Mary 309/4th RoundMuse is big, athletic and blocks reasonably well at 260 pounds. His movement skills are underrated, as are his ball skills. He has been solid on special teams, but there are a number of road blocks to getting on the 53-man roster.
2022 UDFA Signings: Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRound‘Nasty’ Take:
480Mike BrownS-LBMiami (Ohio)4.775th RoundBrown has experience playing down low, off the hash marks and covering down over the slot. The blitz capability is fine, but he has to improve transitioning to open-and-run.
478Thomas HenniganWR/All-purposeAppalachian State4.7755th RoundHennigan is not a speed burner, but he does carry his pads well. His savvy is one thing, but the footwork after the catch impresses too. Can he avoid getting crowded at the line of scrimmage?
90Bryant KobackRB-RetToledo, Kentucky6.0563rd RoundKoback was one of the best running backs in this year’s draft, but he had durability and creativity concerns. He also runs in the 4.4-range and explosiveness (40 1/2” VJ).
505Zach McCloudOLBMiami (Fla.)4.6526th RoundMcCloud moved into a pass rushing role this past season and it could fit the Vikings new defensive scheme as a Rush OLB in Ed Donatell’s multiple schemes.
537Tyarise ‘Big Cat’ StevensonDT-NGTulsa4.5356th RoundThe Big Cat’s light-footed nature wasn’t needed much as a zero-technique nose guard at Tulsa. His job was to keep blockers off of LBs Zaven Collins (Cardinals) and Justin Grant.
334Luiji VilainDE-OLBWake Forest, Michigan5.185th RoundVilain didn’t do much at Michigan, but he put up nine sacks and some impressive rushes against NC State’s Ickey Ekwonu on occasion. His size gives him an opportunity.
468Ryan Wright PTulane4.8055th RoundWright was one of the five punters who deserved to hear his name called in this year’s draft. Need proof? Check out his performance against Oklahoma in 2021.
Josh SokolCSacred HeartN/AN/AThe 305-pounder was a huge part of RB Julius Chestnut and Malik Grant’s productivity over the last two seasons. The All-NEC lineman blocked in a run-based spread offense that asked him to run and pass block with equal efficiency.

The NFC North has gone through a transformation period the last couple of seasons. Could this may be the season that the Vikings could break through and return to the playoffs? Of the team’s undrafted free agent signings, perhaps Tulane’s Ryan Wright can provide a true challenge to Jordan Berry.

Atlanta Falcons 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

Can the Falcons now force teams to put their corners inside if they align both Kyle Pitts and Drake London at the slot positions? If nothing else, it could give away a number of pre-snap tendencies for the defense. Arthur Smith is drawing up formations as we speak.

But the Falcons needed much more than just an infusion of weapons on offense. They were pretty solid defensively, but the pass rush still lacked a bona fide star.

       
Atlanta
Falcons
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (8)
Drake London
WR/USC
8/1st Round
London's combination of route-running and athleticism are often clouded by speed concerns. The size and quickness could more than make up for the concerns.
2 (38)
Acquired from Carolina through the Jets via the Giants
Arnold Ebiketie
DE-OLB/Penn State, Temple
27/2nd Round
Ebiketie brings a unique blend of speed-to-power off the edge. While only an adequate bender, his hand usage and upper body strength were evident from the opening contest against Wisconsin through the season.
2 (58) Acquired from Tennessee
Troy Andersen
LB/Montana State
109/3rd Round
Andersen -an academic standout- has aligned at QB, LB and RB. He's even run by CBs as an X-WR (Texas Tech '19). The former Bobcat has to grow when it comes to anticipation at the LB spot reading the action.
3 (74)
Desmond Ridder
QB/Cincinnati
55/2nd Round
Ridder lost just seven of his 51 career outings. The foot speed is in place, but his strong arm shows much more capability if he can rein in the misses.
3 (82) Acquired from Indianapolis
DeAngelo Malone
OLB/Western Kentucky
98/3rd Round
Malone won two C-USA Defensive Player of the Year awards in school (2019, 2021) and finished with 34 sacks and nine forced fumbles. He also aligned at a number of spots in school.
5 (151)
Tyler Allgeier
RB/BYU
52/2nd Round
Allgeier got dinged for running a 4.6 40-yard dash, but his athleticism shone when the games were being played (1,606 yards, 5.8 YPC, 23 TDs). In fact, as a linebacker for the Cougars in 2019, he tallied 26 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. He has even shined in kickoff coverage (see USF '19).
6 (190)Justin ShafferOG/Georgia
300/4th RoundShaffer's consistent energy often outweighed any potential flaws in his game. If he can play under control, then he could challenge at least a backup spot in the team's rotation.
6 (213)John FitzPatrick
TE/Georgia
N/A
A very good in-line blocker, FitzPatrick began the season on the move for the 'Dawgs and continued to show incremental improvements with limited opportunities in the passing game. His size (6'7 262) makes him an imposing figure in two or three TE sets.
2022 UDFA Signings
DN Big Board Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take:
287Tyler VrabelOTBoston College5.364th RoundVrabel started multiple years on the edge at left tackle, but fought through a tough knee injury for most of his final campaign. His quickness and hand-eye coordination impress, along with the size.
424Derrick TangeloDTPenn State, Duke4.9575th RoundWhile at Duke, the numbers didn’t truly reflect the impact that Tangelo could have on a game. Just like he did in the 2022 East-West Shrine Bowl, he can walk back OGs into the lap of quarterbacks with his speed-to-power exhibitions. Can he use that to develop an arsenal of pass rush moves around it?
366Stanley Berryhill IIIAll-PurposeArizona5.125th RoundBerryhill’s work at gunner, punt returner and wide receiver combined to make him one of our all-purpose players in the draft. Continuing to excel at gunner (at 185 pounds) could be a challenge.
333Brad HawkinsS-LBMichigan 5.185th RoundNot many players were as dependable as the former high school WR in college. Hawkins made a habit of showing up, setting a Michigan team record for game appearances. Despite that, he finished with zero career interceptions.
541Kuony DengOLBCalifornia4.536th RoundAfter starting his career on a fast pace, injuries took away the majority of the last two seasons for Deng. Can the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder turn into a pass rusher?
Kana’i MaugaLB USCN/AN/AMauga (6’1 245), finished with 91 tackles in 2021 on a defense that largely underperformed. He has enough size and range to potentially find a role in the league
Bryce RodgersDTUC DavisN/AN/ARodgers, a Palo Alto native, posted career-highs in tackles, sacks and tackles for losses.
Tre WebbDB Montana State, San Jose StateN/AN/ACommunicates in the pre-snap. Out of quarters coverage, he is satisfactory breaking from the inside-out to match. Long strider. Ran down Nevada's Toa Taua early in the 2020 MWC Championship game. Fits as the eighth man in the box (4th QTR, Boise State '19).
Tyshaun James WRCentral Connecticut StateN/AN/AJames could rank as a sleeper to make the team at 6’2, 214 pounds. His size is similar to current Falcons WR Cordarrelle Patterson. The game is a bit different but he does more than just passes on the field. He rushed for five TDs in 2019.
Jared BernhardtQBFerris State, MarylandN/AN/AThe former Maryland lacrosse star had one heck of a year at QB. He led Ferris State to a national crown and largely did it with his legs against Valdosta State in the national title game, rushing for three TDs. He set records on his way to being a Tewaaraton Award finalist at Maryland, when he scored 51 goals in 2019.

Defensively, it has been a never-ending story regarding the Falcons need for a pass rusher. In fact, they haven’t had a double-digit sack artist since Vic Beasley’s 15.5 sacks in 2016. That, coincidently, was the Falcons’ last Super Bowl appearance. Can Ebiketie, Carter or Ogundeji stop the trend? Maybe DeAngelo Malone, the team’s third-round pick, turns into the pass rusher they’ve been seeking for years to turn the corner.

No matter who it is, the team has definitely begun to address the issue at its core.

Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Panthers picked up a potential franchise left tackle in Ickey Ekwonu, who gets to stay in the state of North Carolina. Offensively, the Panthers have a formidable set of receivers to start the year with in former Cleveland Browns receiver Rashard Higgins, who should combine with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrance Marshall, Jr. to round off the team’s depth. They also have 2021 sixth-round pick Shi Smith, who put up an 86-yard receiving performance in December.

Carolina Panthers       
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (6)
Ikem "Ickey" EkwonuNC State
1/1st Round
Ekwonu gives the Panthers the flexibility to leave Taylor Moton on the right side of the offensive line. He may be the best run blocker in the draft despite playing on the perimeter.
3 (94)
Matt CorralQB/Ole Miss
40/2nd Round
If Corral learns to protect himself better, then his quick release and instincts in the second or third phase of the play could prove to shine.
4 (120)
Brandon SmithLB/Penn State
96/3rd Round
Smith's explosiveness doesn't always exude itself due to snapping the pictures a step late. He has a chance to become a better pro than collegian.
6 (189)
Amare BarnoDE-OLB/Virginia Tech
143/3rd Round
Barno just needs to add more weight for the NFL grind. The Hokies used him in a variety of roles this past season as a chess piece. He was much better in 2020 than he was in 2021.
6 (199)
Cade MaysOL/Tennessee, Georgia
143/3rd Round
Mays' balance needs slight improvement, but he showed increased mobility this past season at the RT spot. The former Vol works to envelop defenders on the edge. He has started at four of the five OL spots in school.
7 (242)
Kalon BarnesCB/Baylor
271/4th Round
Barnes has to improve stopping his charge on the intermediate concepts as a corner. He brings major upside as a gunner. If he can learn to control the 4.2 speed, there are possibilities for him as a long-term No. 3 or No. 4 at the least. He has plenty of familiarity with the staff and a leg up on the competition in terms of knowing the team’s defensive system.
Undrafted Free Agent signings
DN Big Board Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take:
217Charleston RamboWRMiami (Fla.), Oklahoma 5.584th RoundRambo went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2021 and it was largely due to his play speed and run after the catch capability. A lack of bulk hurt his charge.
262Arron MosbyOLBFresno State5.464th RoundMosby may not have met the requirements for some teams when projecting its rushers, but he’s been a four-year contributor and actually had experience playing defensive back. Continues to get better.
345Davis CheekQBElon5.175th RoundCheek was one of our favorite quarterbacks in this year’s draft due to his play speed and ball placement. A quirky release didn’t do him any favors and there were durability question marks.
349Khalan TolsonLBIllinois5.165th RoundTolson is a heat-seeking missile who improved his diagnostic skills. The fiery Fighting Illini defender never really took the next step in school, but he always flashed the capability.
364Josh BabiczTENorth Dakota State5.135th RoundBabicz’s size screams NFL starter, but the overall savvy as a receiving entity may have been a step behind. From a talent perspective, he has room for growth after playing in a pro-style system in school.
377Marquan McCallDT-NGKentucky5.1055th RoundOne of the Wildcats’ true team leaders, McCall dominated in stretches against top-notch centers. He ranks as a two-down defender and could possibly find a role for a team that needs inside beef.
542Isaiah Graham-MobleyLBBoston College, Temple 4.536th RoundGraham-Mobley was another connection from the Panthers’ Temple days. He has had injury issues in the past but, when available, he played well in 2021.
668Talolo Limu-JonesWR/H-BackEastern Washington3.947th RoundWe projected a possible move back to the tight end or H-back position for Limu-Jones. He was a part in Eric Barriere’s incredible success at the FCS level, as both a middle of the field entity and beyond.
714John LovettRBPenn State, Baylor3.49Free AgentLovett has all of the physical tools but never found a rhythm at Penn State. When playing with Rhule’s staff at Baylor, Lovett averaged nearly 6.4 yards per carry in 2019.
Drew HartlaubSPenn StateN/AN/AThe team certainly loves speed. After most thought they got the fastest player in the draft in the seventh round in Barnes, he was actually second. Hartlaub ran a 4.22 in the 40-yard dash on his Pro Day at Penn State. During his career, he posted 16 tackles on special teams.
Andrew Parchment WRFSU, Kansas, Northern Illinois N/AN/AParchment really began to hit his stride at Kansas back in 2019. Long strider. Body dexterity to nearly make twisting grabs (Coastal Carolina '20, underthrown fade). Comes off the ball in a compact manner. Drives off the ball with high knees and rolls speed outs (1st QTR, 3rd and 7, Baylor '19). FSU’s second-leading receiver had the occasional concentration lapse in school.
Ra’Shaun HenryWRVirginia, St. Francis (Pa.) N/AN/AHenry, another postseason workout warrior (4.4 40-yd, 10’10” BJ, 6.7 3-cone), was one of the Cavaliers’ best down the field targets over the last two seasons after transferring from St. Francis (Pa.).
Derek WrightWR Utah StateN/AN/AWright was a significant contributor down the field for the Aggies in 2021 as part of a new offensive system. Games like the Colorado State contest showed off his ability to track the ball through coverage. Postseason workouts displayed his feel for the vertical passing game.

77 Cade Mays and 69 Jamaree Salyer at Georgia
Cade Mays (No. 77 pictured, write-up below) and Jamaree Salyer (No. 69 pictured) were teammates at Georgia in 2019. Mays was taken in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft after starting at Tennessee as an offensive tackle.

Defensively, the NFL’s second-ranked defense under creative defensive coordinator Phil Snow had to garner a couple of reinforcements. The team needed to make up for the loss of Haason Reddick (Eagles) in free agency. Could the addition of sixth-round pick Amare Barno help fill at least some of the void? Much like Reddick, Barno was used in a number of roles in college due to his versatility.

In terms of the undrafted free agents, the Panthers did a viable job of getting a number of players who could be top-notch pickups or at least practice squad candidates. The team has intimate knowledge of several players they’ve worked with in the past at either Baylor or Temple. Some of those names include Graham-Mobley, Lovett and even their seventh-round selection Kalon Barnes.

Dallas Cowboys 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

How ’bout those Cowboys?

The selection of Tolbert fits the profile of the receiver they lost in free agency, Cedrick Wilson (Dolphins). Reinforcements were needed after trades during the offseason. He also provides insurance and perhaps a new timetable for the return of the re-signed Michael Gallup. Smith’s run blocking potential has to excite the running backs on the team’s roster, regardless of where he plays.

Jalen Tolbert WR Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys third-round pick Jalen Tolbert often played bigger than his size even would indicate on the outside lanes in school. It is a big reason he was named the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
       
Dallas Cowboys
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (24)Tyler SmithOT/Tulsa54/2nd RoundSmith's quick nature stood out in a number of games, but none more so than the 2020 Armed Forces Bowl. In that contest, he had a disdain for Mississippi State's DL.
2 (56)Sam WilliamsOLB-DE/Ole Miss123/3rd RoundWilliams' combination of size and speed is rare. 33.5 tackles for loss in three seasons is nothing to sniff at either. He was on fire during the 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and carried it over into the Senior Bowl.
3 (88)Jalen TolbertWR/South Alabama76/2nd RoundTolbert's high-wire acts on the perimeter probably drew comparisons to the types of receivers that the Cowboys employ. Most are in the 6-foot-1-to-6-foot-3-range and weigh around 200 pounds.
4 (129)Jake FergusonTE/H-back Wisconsin182/4th RoundFerguson's savvy as a route runner help him overcome a relative lack of elite burst getting off of the line of scrimmage in a three-point stance. One of the more cerebral tight ends in this year's draft class.
5 (155)Matt WaletzkoOT/North Dakota57/2nd RoundWaletzko's ease of movement stood out in the film viewed. He has room to grow as a run blocker. If the power translates to the next level, then his near 86-inch wingspan could be put to good use.
5 (167) CompensatoryDaRon BlandCB/Fresno State, Sacramento State229/4th RoundBland displayed many of the tools in the Mountain West that he had already shown as an All-Big Sky corner. He works well around traffic and plays longer than even his size would indicate.
5 (176) CompensatoryDamone ClarkLB/LSU207/4th RoundPrior to the spinal fusion surgery, Clark carried a third-round grade. With him being potentially unavailable in Year 1, this serves as a solid pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
5 (178) CompensatoryJohn RidgewayDT/Arkansas, Illinois State70/2nd RoundRidgeway, a longtime MMA competitor, uses his hands as well as any defensive lineman in this year's draft. He has capability sliding up-and-down the interior of the defensive front on first or second down.
6 (193): From Browns in the Amari Cooper tradeDevin HarperLB/Oklahoma State258/4th RoundHarper's explosiveness on the field was justified by his postseason workouts. As he attempts to improve his eye control, he will look to earn a roster spot on special teams.
UDFA signings
Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty ‘Take’
155Markquese BellS-LBFlorida A&M, Maryland5.7253rd RoundBell found his rhythm as a Rattler with force timing hits in the middle of the field and he often handled motion adjustments. His 4.44 speed works at 212 pounds.
174Aaron HansfordLBTexas A&M5.684th RoundA little older at 24 years old, the former WR came on strong as a force in his senior season. His injury history may have caused a slide.
199Isaac Taylor-StuartCBUSC5.6354th RoundTaylor-Stuart’s smooth nature complements the 24-foot long jumper’s profile. Finding the ball with his back turned to the QB needs to be the focus moving forward. He can play off-man or bump-and-run.
204Juanyeh ThomasS-LBGeorgia Tech5.6254th RoundDating back to 2018, Thomas was a factor returning kicks. He even outpaced the Georgia Bulldogs on a 100-yard kickoff return back in 2018. He’s since relinquished that role, but his hard-charging style could be welcomed on special teams.
233Alec LindstromOCBoston College5.5334th RoundLindstrom uses his hands well in pass protection and showed awareness dealing with line games. Does his size translate to the next level? Contains snap-and-pull capability.
284Dontario DrummondWROle Miss5.3684th RoundA smooth route runner with less than stellar speed, Drummond is underrated as a run after the catch threat. He found a way to win nearly every week in the SEC, posting 13 Red Zone TD receptions the last two seasons.
391Markaviest 'Big Kat' BryantDE-OLBUCF, Auburn5.0855th RoundBryant stood out on UCF’s defense this past season with 14 TFLs. It wasn’t the first time he had been productive at the collegiate level. Still needs work on establishing secondary pass rush counters despite snaps dating back to 2018.
397Ty FryfogleWRIndiana5.0595th RoundThe 2020 Big Ten Receiver of the Year made a habit of the highlight film grab in school. Becoming more efficient in short areas has to be the focus as he enters a training camp this summer.
410Peyton HendershotTE/H-BackIndiana 5.025th RoundThe former basketball standout at the prep level played with an even increased vigor in 2021. He may be faster with the ball in his hands than when running routes.
413Jonathan GaribayPKTexas Tech5.015th RoundEven on some of Garibay’s big misses (see Baylor ’21), the range and distance was in place. The All-Big 12 placekicker has an effortless strain on longer field goals, but kicked off just 24 times in school.
506James EmpeyOCBYU4.676th RoundEmpey was relatively durable until injuries stopped his charge somewhat as a senior. The CoSIDA Academic All-District performer possesses adequate snap-and-step quickness. He also exhibited the ability to hit moving targets in space when pulling.
564La’Kendrick Van ZandtSTCU4.476th RoundHe’s missed time at both the prep level and collegiately due to injury. The 2020 Honorable mention All-Big 12 performer has a 79” wingspan and blitz capability due to his short-area burst.
Dennis HoustonWRWestern Illinois, Houston BaptistN/AN/AThe first-team All-MVFC receiver finished with 90 receptions in 2021. This came after the Fullerton College transfer stood out in the spring of 2021. The 6-foot-1 speedster gets to his top speed quickly as a runner or receiver.
Storey JacksonLBLiberty, Prairie View A&M N/AN/AJackson turned the script on his 2021 season with an interception in the short zone against UAB. This came a week after struggling against Syracuse on occasion.
Amon SimonTexas A&M CommerceN/AN/ASimon (6’5, 303), a first-team All-LSC selection, relies on his length and wingspan to win on the perimeter.
Aaron ShampklinRBHarvardN/AN/AThe speedster put up another big season for the Crimson, but it wasn’t the first time for the California native.

The Cowboys have created a formidable quartet of interior line defenders and Ridgeway adds to the mix. Bland could become the surprise of this draft class at cornerback and, if nothing else, provide depth on special teams. This will also be the case for Harper, who should compete with backup Luke Gifford. The team had just seven receptions remaining from its backup tight ends after the release of Blake Jarwin.