Now that the draft has come and gone, rosters for the 2022 NFL season look to be much more official. After free agency, many teams were less aggressive than others, for a number of reasons, but that left significant holes on many of their rosters.
The draft was the perfect time to fill many of those needs with some cheap, infused youth to improve the rosters. We took a look at the draft classes of each AFC team and how they filled their needs.
New England Patriots
The Patriots went into the 2022 draft looking to fill needs along the IOL, LB, and WR, among others. They traded back multiple times throughout the weekend and walked away with several of their needs filled, specifically, with OG Cole Strange and a WR who can stretch the field in Tyquan Thornton. They drafted for depth at many positions and added a very versatile defender and special teamer in Marcus Jones.
Pick 29: UT-Chattanooga OG Cole Strange
Pick 50: Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton
Pick 85: Houston CB Marcus Jones
Pick 121: Arizona State CB Jack Jones
Pick 127: South Dakota State RB Pierre Strong
Pick 137: Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe
Pick 183: South Carolina RB Kevin Harris
Pick 200: Northwest Missouri State DT Sam Roberts
Pick 210: LSU IOL Chasen Hines
Pick 245: Michigan OT Andrew Stueber
The Bills’ roster was more than ready to compete for a Super Bowl last year and they return a talented roster again. However, they were not without their needs, many of which they were able to add in the draft. With their first pick, they were able to move up and select CB Kaiir Elam who filled their need at outside corner. In addition, they needed to address the RB position and were able to snag the best pass catching back in the draft in James Cook. Focusing on depth at many other positions, they selected Punter Matt Araiza, which will greatly improve their special teams.
Pick 23: Florida CB Kaiir Elam
Pick 63: Georgia RB James Cook
Pick 89: Baylor LB Terrel Bernard
Pick 148: Boise State WR Khalil Shakir
Pick 180: San Diego State P Matt Araiza
Pick 185: Villanova CB Christian Benford
Pick 209: Virginia Tech OT Luke Tenuta
Pick 231: Clemson LB Baylon Spector
The Dolphins traded many of their picks when they acquired Tyreek Hill, but they were still able to make a few later selections that will help improve their roster. These selections will provide needed depth at each position, while also bringing more speed to the roster, Channing Tindall in particular, which clearly something Chris Grier and new HC, Mike McDaniel were interested in doing.
Pick 102: Georgia LB Channing Tindall
Pick 125: Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma
Pick 224: California EDGE Cameron Goode
Pick 247: Kansas St QB Skyler Thompson
New York Jets
For the second year in a row, Joe Douglas and company have walked away from the draft impressing many, hoping to change their fortune in the coming years. With holes all over the roster, particularly at the premium positions of CB, EDGE, and WR, the Jets made aggressive moves and addressed all three of those key needs in the first round when they selected Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Jermaine Johnson. Focusing on depth elsewhere in the draft, they were also able to add the most talented RB in the draft in Breece Hall on day two as they are committed to adding an arsenal of weapons for their young QB.
Pick 4: Cincinnati CB Sauce Gardner
Pick 10: Ohio State WR Garrett Wilson
Pick: 26 Florida State Edge Jermaine Johnson II
Pick 36: Iowa State RB Breece Hall
Pick 101: Ohio State TE Jeremy Ruckert
Pick 111: Louisiana OT Max Mitchell
Pick 117: Texas A&M DE Micheal Clemons
The Titans had one of the more interesting weekends, as they traded their top WR AJ Brown to the Eagles during the first round. As a result, they decided to pick Treylon Burks, who is a very similar player as a prospect, although he is much cheaper over the next few seasons. The Titans were also able to add to their young DB room which now features Roger McCreary, Caleb Farley, and Elijah Molden, all were day 1 and 2 selections over the past two drafts. They added useful depth and also may have drafted their QB of the future in Malik Willis.
Pick 18: Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
Pick 35: Auburn CB Roger McCreary
Pick 69: Ohio State OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
Pick 86: Liberty QB Malik Willis
Pick 131: Michigan RB Hassan Haskins
Pick 143: Maryland TE Chigoziem Okonkwo
Pick 163: UCLA WR Kyle Philips
Pick 204: Tennessee CB Theo Jackson
Pick 219: Mississippi LB Chance Campbell
After the Deshaun Watson trade, Houston was left with many picks, which they took full advantage of. On a young and rebuilding roster, it finally seems like Nick Caserio and company has the roster going in a direction. They were able to add many young pieces and players who can all compete for starting roles right away. They had holes in many places, but significantly improving the struggling DB room from last year with Derek Stingley and Jalen Pitre may have been their best move. This is one of the more under-appreciated classes thus far and should provide great returns for Houston.
Pick 3: LSU DB Derek Stingley Jr.
Pick 15: Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green
Pick 37: Baylor S Jalen Pitre
Pick 44: Alabama WR John Metchie III
Pick 75: Alabama LB Christian Harris
Pick 107: Florida RB Dameon Pierce
Pick 150: Stanford DT Thomas Booker
Pick 170: Oregon State TE Teagan Quitoriano
Pick 205: LSU OT Austin Deculus
The Colts have had a roller coaster of an offseason in terms of their draft picks. The Eagles owned their first round pick this season due to the Carson Wentz trade from last year. However, the Colts were able to get back some day two draft capital when they shipped Wentz to Washington. Then, they used one of their other day two picks to acquire QB Matt Ryan. With their picks, the Colts were able to add useful weapons for their new QB, who both were combine freaks. They were also able to add Bernhard Raimann and Nick Cross, both of whom can develop into starters given some time.
Pick 53: Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce
Pick 73: Virginia TE Jelani Woods
Pick 77: Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann
Pick 96: Maryland S Nick Cross
Pick 159: Missouri State DT Eric Johnson
Pick 192: Youngstown State TE Andrew Ogletree
Pick 216: Cincinnati DT Curtis Brooks
Pick 239: Yale DB Rodney Thomas
The Jaguars had the first overall selection in the draft and although they have a young QB in place, decided to spend their first two picks on the defense. That said, they drafted two highly touted prospects, who will be able to be difference makers right away. They drastically improved their roster in FA and were able to fill many more needs with young layers during the draft.
Pick 1: Georgia Edge Travon Walker
Pick 27: Utah LB Devin Lloyd
Pick 65: Kentucky C Luke Fortner
Pick 70: Wyoming LB Chad Muma
Pick 154: Ole Miss RB Snoop Conner
Pick 197: Ouachita Baptist CB Gregory Junior
Pick 222: Arkansas CB Montaric Brown
The Steelers went into the draft with glaring holes at the QB and WR positions but were able to fill them seamlessly thanks to the way the board fell. They took the consensus top QB in the class and the only one picked in the first two rounds in Kenny Pickett. Then, they followed that up with selections of George Pickens and Calvin Austin, as they focused on getting playmakers on the offense.
Pick 20: Pitt QB Kenny Pickett
Pick 52: Georgia WR George Pickens
Pick 84: Texas A&M DL DeMarvin Leal
Pick 138: Memphis WR Calvin Austin III
Pick 208: Michigan State TE Connor Heyward
Pick 225: Mississippi LB Mark Robinson
Pick 241: South Dakota State QB Chris Oladokun
After losing in the Super Bowl, the exciting Bengals roster looked to fill holes that haunted them throughout that game. They focused mostly on the OL in FA, which allowed them to select multiple DBs in the first two rounds in Dax Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt. They also added some depth to the trenches with Zachary Carter and Cordell Volson.
Pick 31: Michigan DB Daxton Hill
Pick 60: Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt
Pick 95: Florida DT Zachary Carter
Pick 136: North Dakota State OL Cordell Volson
Pick 166: Toledo S Tycen Anderson
Pick 252: Coastal Carolina Edge Jeffrey Gunter
The Browns gave up high picks in order to trade for their new franchise QB Deshaun Watson but were still able to add some useful pieces to their roster. They filled in needs on the outside at both CB and WR with Martin Emerson and David Bell. They also got stronger upfront with the selections of Alex Wright and Perrion Winfrey.
Pick 68: Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson
Pick 78: UAB DE Alex Wright
Pick 99: Purdue WR David Bell
Pick 108: Oklahoma DT Perrion Winfrey
Pick 124: LSU K Cade York
Pick 156: Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford
Pick 202: Oklahoma WR Mike Woods
Pick 223: Oklahoma Edge Isaiah Thomas
Pick 246: Texas Tech C Dawson Deaton
Over the past several years, the Ravens have put together a very well-built roster, with little holes, specifically at premium positions. As a result, they had the luxury of continually taking the best player available on their board, as lower valued position players slipped. With holes in the secondary and IOL, after trading Marquise Brown, the Ravens were able to make two great value picks of Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum. Then, on day two, they snagged two first round talents on the defensive line in David Ojabo and Travis Jones, as both players fell for various reasons.
Pick 14: Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton
Pick 25: Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum
Pick 45: Michigan Edge David Ojabo
Pick 76: UConn DT Travis Jones
Pick 110: Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele
Pick 128: Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar
Pick 130: Penn State P Jordan Stout
Pick 139: Coastal Carolina TE Isaiah Likely
Pick 141: Houston CB Damarion Williams
Pick 196: Missouri RB Tyler Badie
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs acquired significant draft capital in their trade of Tyreek Hill, as they look to build their roster younger and cheaper around their expensive veterans. Poised for another run, the Chiefs were able to snag falling players at tremendous value for the second straight year. On the defensive side of the ball, picks of Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, Bryan Cook, and Leo Chenal should all compete for spots this year. On offense, they added needed OL depth in Darian Kinnard and another talented wideout in Skyy Moore.
Pick 21: Washington CB Trent McDuffie
Pick 30: Purdue Edge George Karlaftis
Pick 54: Western Michigan WR Skyy Moore
Pick 62: Cincinnati S Bryan Cook
Pick 103: Wisconsin LB Leo Chenal
Pick 135: Fayetteville State CB Joshua Williams
Pick 145: Kentucky OT Darian Kinnard
Pick 243: Washington State CB Jaylen Watson
Pick 251: Rutgers RB Isiah Pacheco
Pick 259: Marshall CB Nazeeh Johnson
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders, who shipped off significant draft capital to Green Bay when they acquired all-pro WR Davante Adams, were still able to add some important pieces in their new regime’s first draft. They focused on getting stronger in the trenches on both sides of the ball with the selections of Dylan Parham, Matthew Butler, and Neil Farrell Jr.
Pick 90: Memphis OG Dylan Parham
Pick 122: Georgia RB Zamir White
Pick 126: LSU DT Neil Farrell Jr.
Pick 175: Tennessee DT Matthew Butler
Pick 238: Ohio State OT Thayer Munford Jr.
Pick 250: UCLA RB Brittain Brown
Similar to their AFC West counterparts, the Broncos also sacrificed draft capital when they traded for QB Russell Wilson. After that trade, the Broncos were still able to find value in the picks they did have, particularly adding key depth pieces at EDGE and TE in Nick Bonitto and Greg Dulcich.
Pick 64: Oklahoma Edge Nik Bonitto
Pick 80: UCLA TE Greg Dulcich
Pick 115: Pitt CB Damarri Mathis
Pick 116: Iowa State DT Eyioma Uwazurike
Pick 152: Oklahoma S Delarrin Turner-Yell
Pick 162: Samford WR Montrell Washington
Pick 171: Washington C Luke Wattenberg
Pick 206: Wisconsin DT Matt Henningsen
Pick 232: Wisconsin CB Faion Hicks
Los Angeles Chargers
In what clearly was an active trade pick for players offseason around the league, this was particularly true in the highly competitive AFC West. However, the Chargers still had their first-round pick and selected Zion Johnson as they were able to continue supporting Justin Herbert by building the OL up. They also added depth at several other positions by selecting S JT Woods, RB Isaiah Spiller, and DT Otito Ogbonnia who should find himself a key role immediately as an early down run defender.
Pick 17: Boston College OL Zion Johnson
Pick 79: Baylor S JT Woods
Pick 123: Texas A&M RB Isaiah Spiller
Pick 160: UCLA DT Otito Ogbonnia
Pick 195: Georgia G Jamaree Salyer
Pick 214: Wake Forest CB Ja'Sir Taylor
Pick 236: Mississippi CB Deane Leonard
Pick 260: Purdue FB Zander Horvath