NFL draft Day 2 winners, losers: 49ers get stronger, Seahawks sink originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Two days of the 2022 NFL Draft are in the books, and Day 2 saw the 49ers, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, and Denver Broncos finally get into the action.
While wide receivers and pass rushers continued to fly off the shelves, the not-so-vaunted 2022 quarterback class waited patiently for their names to be called.
For the most part, the NFL draft is about excitement for the future and you can frame almost any selection in a positive light. But while some teams rack up draft wins year after year, others just can’t seem to get it right.
Here are the winners and losers from Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft:
After trading for AJ Brown and drafting Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis on Thursday, the Birds went right back to work Friday and got one of my favorite players in the draft after a puzzling slide.
Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean spent all of last season eviscerating opposing offenses with his instincts and physicality. The Eagles desperately needed help at the second level, and they got a game-changing linebacker in Dean at ridiculous value in Round 3. I’d stake my life on Dean being very good to great in the NFL.
The Eagles also drafted Nebraska center Cam Jurgens in the second round. Aces for Howie Roseman.
Midway through the action Friday, reports started surfacing that the Carolina Panthers were closing in on a deal to acquire Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns.
But the deal reportedly fell apart due to a disagreement over how much of Mayfield’s contract the Browns would pick up. So instead, the Panthers moved back up into the third round and selected Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral.
Tough scene for Baker.
Entering the draft, the Texans had a simple strategy: Find good football players.
It’s a sound strategy for a team with little talent entering the true first year of a rebuild.
The Texans drafted Derek Stingley Jr. and Kenyon Green in Round 1. Houston followed that up with Baylor safety Jalen Pitre and a pair of Alabama stars in wide receiver John Metchie III and linebacker Christian Harris.
Piter is a versatile safety who can play in the box, cover in the slot or play deep. Metchie, who tore his ACL in December, is on track to be ready this fall and will give second-year quarterback Davis Mills a dynamic target who can stretch the field vertically or operate underneath and rack up yards after the catch. Harris is an instinctive pass-rusher who should win a starting job in Houston.
Chicago has a ton of needs, but the Bears’ first priority should have been shoring up the protection for Justin Fields and getting him a reliable weapon.
Instead, the Bears used both of their second-round picks on defensive backs, selecting cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker.
In the second round, new head coach Matt Eberflus got good value with Gordon. The Washington product can play outside or perhaps fill the slot role, which is vital in Eberflus’ defense.
Brisker is a good prospect, but they could have used the pick on the likes of wide receiver Skyy Moore, who went to the Chiefs at 54.
In the third round, the Bears selected a receiver, reaching for Velus Jones. Jones is a gadget receiver who will likely need manufactured touches in the NFL. He was a projected fourth-round pick.
Not their best effort.
Baltimore’s strategy of drafting college players who were really fun to watch usually pays off.
The Ravens got Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in Round 1. Baltimore came back Friday and selected Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo in the second round. Ojabo, who tore his Achilles during a pre-draft workout, is the perfect fit for the Ravens’ defense. New defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald was the coordinator who unleashed Ojabo last year at Michigan.
Pairing Ojabo with 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh gives the Ravens a terrifying pass-rush duo.
The Ravens then nabbed the second-best nose tackle in the class, drafting Travis Jones, a projected top 40 pick, at No. 76.
The Ravens are good at the whole drafting thing.
The 2022 quarterback draft class never inspired much confidence, but the NFL told you what it really thought of the group Friday.
After Kenny Pickett was the only QB taken in Round 1, the next quarterback didn’t come off the board until the third round when the Falcons scooped up Desmond Ridder at No. 74. The Tennessee Titans then traded up to draft Malik Willis at No. 86, and Corral went at No. 94.
Time will tell if all three quarterbacks landed in the ideal spot and what they have to offer. But it was a tough 48 hours for an unheralded quarterback class.
This is mainly about what the 49ers did last year when they correctly identified the 2022 QB class as a stinker and went all-in to select Trey Lance.
That’s a win for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan.
As far as Friday’s action is concerned, the 49ers added to a strength when they bolstered their pass rush with the addition of USC edge rusher Drake Jackson at No. 61. Jackson has incredible bend and burst. He needs some finetuning, but defensive line coach Kris Kocurek can mold him into a good-to-great NFL pass rusher.
The 49ers then went a little off-book with the puzzling selection of LSU running back Ty Davis-Price at No. 93. While Davis-Price might lighten the disgruntled Deebo Samuel’s workload, the 49ers could have likely got him on Day 3. Positional value was not on the menu with this selection.
RELATED: Lance pick looks even better one year later
As for their final pick of Day 2, the 49ers took SMU wide receiver Danny Gray, who has the potential to develop into a really good No. 3 receiver in the NFL.
All in all, a good day, when you factored in that last year’s blockbuster for Lance was a special referendum on the 2022 options.
Well, Pete Carroll got his wish.
Russell Wilson is out, and now the Seahawks can line up and run the football. Seattle had a chance to take a swing on Ridder or Willis in the second round, but instead, the Seahawks drafted Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker and Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe.
In a vacuum, Mafe and Walker are both good prospects. But while drafting an edge rusher in Round 2 is a sound decision, selecting a running back a few picks later isn’t a good use of a top-50 pick.
The Seahawks also selected offensive tackle Abraham Lucas in Round 3. Lucas and first-round pick Charles Cross give the Seahawks two hopefully long-term answers at offensive tackle.
But the issue is the Seahawks, who seem set on having Drew Lock be their quarterback, don’t know what they are. They seem to think they are contenders when reality paints a different picture.
I’m not sure what’s going on in the PNW.