Expert Analysis


11 min read

How Each AFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs

How Each AFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs

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.

Find How Each NFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs Here

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.

Draft Class:

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

Buffalo Bills

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.

Draft Class:

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

Miami Dolphins

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.

Draft Class:

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.

Draft Class:

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

Tennessee Titans

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.

Draft Class:

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

Houston Texans

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.

Draft Class:

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

Indianapolis Colts

 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.

Draft Class:

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

Jacksonville Jaguars

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.

Draft Class:

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

Pittsburgh Steelers

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.

Draft Class:

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

Cincinnati Bengals

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.

Draft Class:

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

Cleveland Browns

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.

Draft Class:

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

Baltimore Ravens

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.

Draft Class:

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 119: Alabama CB Jalyn Armour-Davis

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.

Draft Class:

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.

Draft Class:

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

Denver Broncos

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.

Draft Class:

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.

Draft Class:

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

Find How Each NFC Team Filled Their Biggest Needs Here