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2022 NFL Draft Do-Over: Sauce Gardner Goes No. 1, Jets Land New Franchise QB

Sauce Gardner celebrate

The 2022 NFL Draft provided some teams with quality players, who helped them reach new levels this past season. However, some teams probably wish they could go back in time and make different picks. Well, it's those team's lucky day.

Led by T.J. McCreight, The 33rd Team Scouting Department has taken a break from evaluating 2023 NFL Draft prospects to re-do the 2022 draft. A former player personnel executive for the Philadelphia Eagles and former director of college scouting for the Indianapolis Colts, McCreight has nearly 25 years of NFL scouting experience.

He is joined in the department by three scouts:

  • Kevin Cohn, a former scouting assistant for the Jacksonville Jaguars and assistant director of player personnel for the University of Connecticut.
  • Justin Casey, who worked for the Arizona Cardinals in football administration and then as the senior player personnel executive for the Montreal Alouettes.
  • Evan Pritt, a former scouting assistant for the Eagles and former player personnel assistant for the University of Maryland.

The 33rd Team's 2022 NFL Draft Do-Over

  1. Jacksonville: Sauce Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Original Pick: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

Comment: Ahmad Gardner is too good to pass up with the information we have now. This is a position of need for the Jaguars, as well. He could very well be the top corner in the league for years to come.

  2. Detroit: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

Original Pick: Hutchinson

Comment: Aidan Hutchinson is the player the Lions wanted all along, and they still pick him without hesitation. Hutchinson led all rookies with 9.5 sacks and appears to be a great culture fit in Detroit with coach Dan Campbell.

>> READ: One Thing Lions Must Do to Improve

  3. Houston: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

Original Pick: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Comment: The Texans pivot this pick to a pass rusher in Kayvon Thibodeaux who showed he could be a top-level player at his position for years to come. Last season, Thibodeaux registered four sacks and was third in quarterback pressures among rookies, despite missing three games.

  4. N.Y. Jets: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, N.C. State

Original Pick: Gardner

Comment: Unfortunately for the Jets, offensive tackle has turned into a position of need, so they pick the best one in the draft in Ikem Ekwonu. Ekwonu started every game and allowed just 25 pressures in a solid rookie season for the Panthers.

  5. N.Y. Giants: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

Original Pick: Thibodeaux

Comment: With Thibodeaux gone, the Giants take the player with the most pass-rush potential left on the board, Travon Walker. Walker didn't have the most productive rookie season, but he showed upside. It would be intriguing to see how defensive coordinator Wink Martindale would use him.

  6. Carolina: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Original Pick: Ekwonu

Comment: The Panthers need a quarterback, so they pull the trigger on Kenny Pickett. Pickett showed he can win games in the NFL and will be a starting quarterback for years to come.

  7. N.Y. Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Original Pick: Neal

Comment: Evan Neal had some rookie struggles, but he showed he can develop into a long-time starter for the Giants at right tackle. The Giants brass drafts with the future in mind and don't focus just on the next season. They are happy making this pick twice.

8. Atlanta: Drake London, WR, USC

Original Pick: London

Comment: Drake London was productive even with Atlanta's subpar quarterback play. They stick with him here despite more productive receivers from last season being on the board. With a better option throwing him the ball, London might have been right up there with the other rookie stars from last year in terms of production.

9. Seattle: Charles Cross, OT, Miss. State

Original Pick: Cross

Comment: The Seahawks would be more than happy to draft Charles Cross again. He had a solid rookie season and showed he can be a top-level starter. He has all of the tools you look for in a high-quality offensive tackle.

  10. N.Y. Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Original Pick: Wilson

Comment: Despite inconsistent quarterback play in New York,  Garrett Wilson registered more than 1,100 yards during his rookie season. He flashed star potential and a ton of upside. The Jets are happy with this pick and would do it again.

  11. New Orleans: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Original Pick: Olave

Comment: The Saints feel like they made the right pick last year and make it again in this draft. Chris Olave didn't win OROY, but he was a serious contender for the award. He was very productive despite the quarterback carousel in New Orleans.

  12. Detroit: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Original Pick: Williams

Comment: The Lions knew what they were getting into when they traded up for Jameson Williams last year. We don't see them changing this decision. Williams flashed in limited playing time when he got back on the field at the end of the year.

  13. Philadelphia: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA

Original Pick: Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Comment: The Eagles can't pass up on Tariq Woolen after he showed he has all of the tools to be a Pro Bowl corner. Woolen was a surprise to many but proved the Seahawks got a steal in the fifth round. The Eagles' secondary would be set up for the future with this pick.

  14. Baltimore: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor

Original Pick: Kyle Hamilton, DS, Notre Dame

Comment: Jalen Pitre turned out to be the playmaker the Ravens hoped they were getting when they drafted Hamilton. Pitre had a productive rookie year, accumulating 147 total tackles and five interceptions. The Ravens love playmaking defensive backs, and Pitre fits the mold.

>> READ: Three Things Ravens Must Do to Improve

  15. Houston: Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa

Original Pick: Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

Comment: The Texans stick with addressing their offensive line but take best talent left on the board, Tyler Smith. Smith showed valuable versatility throughout the year for Dallas. Houston could benefit from a plug-and-play guy like Smith.

  16. Washington: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn St.

Original Pick: Dotson

Comment: Jahan Dotson caught seven touchdowns in 12 games and provided a big play ability the Commanders sorely needed. Washington runs the card in to make the pick once again.

  17. L.A. Chargers: Zion Johnson, OT, Boston College

Original Pick: Johnson

Comment: The Chargers want to build up front and be strong from the inside out. Zion Johnson is versatile and can play a variety of positions at a high level. He is a perfect fit for this offense.

  18. Tennessee: Christian Watson, WR, NDSU

Original Pick: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Comment: It took some time for Christian Watson to get acclimated to the NFL game, but when he did, he put his explosive speed on full display. He has huge upside going forward.

  19. New Orleans: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Original Pick: Penning

Comment: The Saints have high hopes for Trevor Penning moving forward and are sticking with this pick. Penning gives them a super tough, physical player that helps in both the pass and run game. He does need to stay under control when blocking, though.

   20. Pittsburgh: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

Original Pick: Pickett

Comment: Derek Stingley Jr. missed some time this season, which is reflective of his drop to 20th overall. He still has the talent worthy of a first-round pick, and he must be given some time to develop into a top-level player.

  21. Kansas City: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Original Pick: McDuffie

Comment: The Chiefs are thrilled to get the guy they wanted all along once again in Trent McDuffie. Kansas City is diligent in its process and looks long term with its team building. We think they trust in this pick again.

  22. Green Bay: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

Original Pick: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia

Comment: Burks flashed some talent despite missing six games. The Packers take him here with Watson off the board. This player would give them a down-the-field threat that can compete for the ball in the air with the strength and toughness to fight for extra yards.

  23. Buffalo: Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State

Original Pick: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

Comment: The Bills need a running back, so they go with the talented Kenneth Walker, who is more healthy than Breece Hall as of today. Walker would bring a different dynamic to this offense and take some of the pressure off of Josh Allen.

  24. Dallas: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington St.

Original Pick: Smith

Comment: Unfortunately Smith outperformed his draft slot, but so did Abraham Lucas. Lucas would slot in at right tackle for the Cowboys and allow Tyron Smith to move back to his natural left tackle spot.

>> READ: Three Things Cowboys Must Do to Improve

  25. Baltimore: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

Original Pick: Linderbaum

Comment: The Ravens are happy with Tyler Linderbaum after picking him last season and are happy to move forward with him for years to come. He runs the show on the offensive line and takes the pressure off the rest of the offensive line.

  26. N,Y. Jets: Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa St.

Original Pick: Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State

Comment: The Jets need a quarterback, and they are looking for a passer that can do the things Brock Purdy proved he could do this past season. Purdy has the makeup to fit in New York with his leadership and intelligence. The entire league missed on this player last year. The Jets wouldn't make the same mistake twice.

  27. Jacksonville: Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida St.

Original Pick: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

Comment: With the decision to take Gardner instead of Walker at the top of the draft, the Jaguars were left with a hole opposite pass rusher Josh Allen. They fill it by taking Johnson here instead of Lloyd.

  28. Green Bay: Jordan Davis, DT, Georiga

Original Pick: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

Comment: The Packers are thrilled Davis fell to this pick. He has some work to do moving forward, but they like his upside and some of the things he brings to the table right away.

  29. New England: Cole Strange, C, Chattanooga

Original Pick: Strange

Comment: This was a total Patriots pick, and they stick with it. They want to get tougher, bigger and stronger from the inside out. Cole Strange helps them in both the run and pass game and gives them leadership as well.

>> READ: Three Things Patriots Must Do to Improve

  30. Kansas City: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

Original Pick: Karlaftis

Comment: Kansas City was happy with this pick then, and since they won the Super Bowl, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't pick George Karlaftis again.

  31. Cincinnati: Jack Jones, CB, Arizona St.

Original Pick: Daxton Hill, DS, Michigan

Comment: The Bengals are built to contend and have shown in the past they can handle players with some off-the-field issues. Jack Jones would provide the Bengals with a young, ascending cover corner on an already talented defense.

  32. Minnesota: Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn St.

Original Pick: Lewis Cine, DS, Georgia

Comment: The Vikings liked what they saw from Jaquan Brisker in the back end when playing against the Chicago Bears this past season and are happy to take the productive defensive back for themselves. Brisker has a chance to be an All-Pro moving forward.

>> READ: Vikings Defense Needs Overhaul