2022 NFL Draft First-Round Liveblog
FTN's Adam Pfeifer, Tyler Loechner and Daniel Kelley provide running commentary and reactions to all the action of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft Thursday night.
Apr 28, 2022, 11:30 PM EDT
It feels like it's taken forever, but at long last, the 2022 NFL Draft is all set to commence at 8 p.m. Thursday. Maybe the most up-in-the-air draft is the culmination of one of the most transaction-heavy football offseasons in recent memory, and the end result is that almost anything can (and likely will) happen Thursday night. The FTN Fantasy team is here to react to all of it. All evening Thursday, FTN's Adam Pfeifer, Tyler Loechner and Daniel Kelley will provide running commentary on the most newsworthy picks and transactions, and there might even be a guest or two stop by as well.
Bookmark this page and check back all evening as more thoughts and reactions get added as we all watch the next generation of fantasy players enter the league starting Thursday.
2022 NFL Draft First-Round Liveblog
Keep an eye here all night long as we add our immediate responses and takeaways.
There were plenty of receivers who went in the first, but there are still some big names out there, like George Pickens, Skyy Moore, Christian Watson. And there are a lot of teams early Saturday who are WR-desperate. We're going to see another WR run early Friday, and it's going to be exciting.
And then of course the offseason of trades saw two more stars on the move. I don't even know what to say about that anymore, man. Viva chaos.
All right, my initial closing thoughts:
- Lots of exciting WR landing spots. Rookie WR ranks will be in flux for a while. But I don’t think ANY of these guys are top-40 in redraft at the moment. All probably land between 40-60, in that range. Basically interchangeable.
- My favorite landing spots: Jameson to the Lions, Wilson to the Jets, Dotson to the Commanders, Burks to the post-AJB Titans
- AJ Brown to the Eagles is the biggest story of the night.
- Lots of good WRs for the second round!
- The Jets clearly had the best Round 1, and Zach Wilson is definitely a winner of the night.
Kelley (11:22 p.m.): I think the odds are pretty heavily against it, but it'd be a nice little Lamar Jackson-esque way to end the first round, and you can build a nice argument for it.
Loechner (11:22 p.m.): I don’t hate it.
Kelley (11:21 p.m.): Any chance the Vikings go QB? I mean, ultimately, I don't think so, but if you can get Willis and develop him and have the fifth year available, you'll find SOMEONE desperate to take Cousins' contract in '23.
Loechner (11:18 p.m.): Chiefs go defense. George Karlaftis.
Kelley (11:18 p.m.): This all smacks of the draft cognoscenti buying into hype that was never really there. There's no way all these WR-needy teams are just passing on guys who are as good as advertised.
Loechner (11:17 p.m.): They seem like the last hope at this point. Thought Packers/Patriots/Chiefs would all do it, to be honest.
Kelley (11:17 p.m.): I thought we'd see at least someone from that group, maybe not all of them. Don't think the Chiefs go WR at 30?
Loechner (11:16 p.m.): So Pickens, Watson, Skyy Moore looking unlikely to go in Round 1. I thought we’d see all 3 in the back end.
Kelley (11:09 p.m.): I'm not even saying the Packers are wrong, given how things fell, but the fact that they are apparently coming out of the first with no receivers is just about the funniest possible thing that could have happened.
Loechner (11:08 p.m.): Packers taking Devonte Wyatt, DT.
Kelley (11:07 p.m.): I feel like they go defense, honestly.
Loechner (11:06 p.m.): Do the Patriots trade out of the first round like they always do? Or take PIckens or Christian Watson for Mac Jones?
Kelley (10:59 p.m.): And never mind, Jags traded for the pick.
Kelley (10:57 p.m.): You joke about the Bucs taking Willis, but (a) I could sorta see it? and (b) I could sorta dig it. Let him sit for a year for Brady's last hurrah, then inherit one of the best groups of weapons in the league.
Loechner (10:57 p.m.): What if the Bucs take Malik Willis?
Kelley (10:55 p.m.): So many mocks had Johnson to them at 10. Getting him at 26 is crazy.
Loechner (10:55 p.m.): Johnson to the Jets.
Loechner (10:54 p.m.): Yeah that would be great for the Jets.
Pfeifer (10:54 p.m.): Garrett Wilson, Sauce Gardner and Jermaine Johnson would be a home run
Pfeifer (10:52 p.m.): Malik Willis could go to Tennessee. Or the Jets can trade up. They need a tackle or an edge.
Kelley (10:52 p.m.): Tyler Linderbaum to Baltimore. I can very much dig a center for the Ravens. That line had become an issue.
Loechner (10:44 p.m.): Cowboys go OT Tyler Smith. I think that locks in Michael Gallup as an INCREDIBLE fantasy value. Health a concern but very easily baked into his current ADP and then some.
Kelley (10:44 p.m.): I think the Bucs lost enough stuff elsewhere, and they added Gage and Perriman. I wouldn't be shocked if they take a flyer or two on late receivers, but I don't see one in R1.
Loechner (10:44 p.m.): You don’t think the Bucs are a real possibility? I do. Losing Brown, Gronk still uncertain, Godwin late-season injury…
Kelley (10:43 p.m.): Ravens are the only one I see there as a realistic possibility barring a trade.
Loechner (10:43 p.m.): Teams that could draft a WR before GB is up again:
- Dallas (probably not, but maybe after losing Amari)
- Baltimore (definitely could after trading Hollywood)
- Titans (not after just taking Burks)
- Bucs (definitely a possibility going all-in for Brady’s last hurrah)
Loechner (10:42 p.m.): Singletary looked way better down the stretch last year too
Kelley (10:37 p.m.): Yeah, that was a possibility, but the Bills are just such an otherwise-smart organization that I couldn't see it.
Loechner (10:37 p.m.): Bills go CB. Thought there was an outside chance they'd go Breece Hall
Kelley (10:32 p.m.): Well that's boring.
Loechner (10:31 p.m.): WR40-45-ish. A WR4 for your fantasy team that could become a WR3.
Kelley (10:30 p.m.): Okay, let's play this out. Say the Packers don't go WR with their other first. Where do we rank Allen Lazard in 2022?
Kelley (10:29 p.m.): I. Love. It.
Loechner (10:29 p.m.): HAHAHA Packers drafted a LB and not a WR.
Loechner (10:28 p.m.): Ha, KC gets another shot at WR though…
Kelley (10:26 p.m.): Okay I was extremely wrong.
Kelley (10:25 p.m.): I'm calling Pickens to the Chiefs here.
Loechner (10:25 p.m.): Yeah, it’s definitely a mess when we talk about the other weapons in Arizona. But as a Bateman stan, that’s all I’m focused on for now
Kelley (10:24 p.m.): I ... think I like it for Kyler, sure. And for the Cardinals. But for fantasy, it's a mess. DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, A.J. Green, Zach Ertz? It'll be gross trying to parse that out.
Loechner (10:23 p.m.): We haven’t talked about this yet, but I legit love Marquise Brown to Arizona. I mean, I love that it opens up Rashod Bateman obviously. And Kyler had the highest deep ball completion rate BY FAR (49.3%) among QBs with at least 30 deep attempts last year.
Loechner (10:22 p.m.): Yeah, I suppose I see the argument for Pickett starting right away too. Smells like a “QB battle” in training camp to me. Pittsburgh has such good weapons, I hope he pans out fast.
Kelley (10:21 p.m.): I just don't know why you'd draft Pickett over these other guys if it's not to use him right away. It's almost literally the only virtue he has over some of them (unless it's "keep him in Pittsburgh," but if it's that someone needs to be fired).
Loechner (10:20 p.m.): Makes me sad about Diontae and Chase Claypool in dynasty that we may be in for some messy QB years.
Kelley (10:19 p.m.): Man, I bet he does. For better or worse.
Loechner (10:19 p.m.): Pickett to the Steelers is interesting. Feels like he doesn’t start right away though.
Kelley (10:15 p.m.): I guess. Even if it is, I feel like he's destined to sit in '22, which means we get a year of Trubisky, and I struggle so much to be excited by that.
Loechner (10:14 p.m.): Willis I hope!
Kelley (10:13 p.m.): So ... Steelers going QB here?
Kelley (10:11 p.m.): Woods CAN be a WR1, and man I love him, but he's also 30 and tore his ACL in November. There's a path for Burks to go as far as his (admittedly meager) passing offense will take him.
Loechner (10:09 p.m.): I think all these rookie WRs will be close. Burks now in a good spot but Henry will be FED and Woods can be a WR1.
Kelley (10:06 p.m.): There's Burks to Tennessee, and yeah, I think he's my rookie WR1. I guess the Packers could land someone that could change that (George Pickens?), but this feels like my top pick.
Kelley (10:05 p.m.): And assuming they do, he becomes my rookie WR1 for redraft. Just the best mix of opportunity and situation.
Kelley (10:04 p.m.): So the Titans HAVE to take Treylon Burks, right?
Loechner (10:03 p.m.): Brown is the alpha. Eagles giving up a lot to get him and will now have to pay him. It's definitely a downgrade for Smith and Goedert. Brown will instantly command the lion’s share. And it's not being offset anywhere.
Loechner (10:01 p.m.): Hurts to the moon. Brown sideways. DeVonta down. Goedert down.
Kelley (9:59 p.m.): What do you make of this for Brown/DeVonta/Goedert/Hurts?
Loechner (9:59 p.m.): This just seems so bad for the Titans. Guess we don't know the full haul yet but … Brown is a difference maker.
Kelley (9:58 p.m.): So ... Robert Woods is like a top-15 receiver again when he's healthy? And Derrick Henry is gonna get 500 carries.
Kelley (9:57 p.m.): And now A.J. Brown to the Eagles?? Y'all, I am tired.
Kelley (9:51 p.m.): Apparently Jahan Dotson to Washington, which … I mean, after the run on receivers, that's fine, but that's the price you pay for moving down five slots. Dotson is, to me, pretty clearly a tier below the other receivers who have gone so far, but he's not so obviously below the others that it's a disaster pick. Just doesn't excite me.
Kelley (9:51 p.m.): Loechner gonna have to update his Shower Narrative piece to incorporate Kyler Murray/Hollywood Brown.
Kelley (9:50 p.m.): Ravens are about to draft a tight end and run a 22 base offense with 23 as it's No. 2 formation. Just no receivers ever.
Kelley (9:48 p.m.): Wait, they traded Marquise Brown for that other first-rounder?? NOW I AM INTRIGUED. And man, Rashod Bateman to the moon.
Kelley (9:46 p.m.): The Ravens are going to be a popular pick for bounceback team of the year in 2022, between nabbing Kyle Hamilton and trading back into the first for someone else, and then all the players getting healthy. It's a stout division, so who knows, but the Ravens are insanely interesting right now.
Kelley (9:40 p.m.): Four receivers in the span of five picks, and … I don't see anything there that is going to go wild in fantasy in 2022. I love Jameson Williams, but it's still true that he's unlikely to be a big impact from Week 1. Olave is going to be a better real-life option than a fantasy one off the bat. London is the B option at best in what is likely to be a bad offense. Wilson could ping, but he could also be the victim of Zach Wilson continuing to struggle. I'm definitely wrong about someone here, because not everyone is going to disappoint, but I'm struggling to find landing-spot excitement right now.
Loechner (9:40 p.m.): I think I rank the WRs so far Williams, then London, then Wilson, then Olave. Might be too high on Williams, so I'll revisit.
Kelley (9:33 p.m.): Oh, I don't think it's a perfect analog to the Falcons situation. Everyone in Detroit other than the TE is like half a step better than everyone in Atlanta. Similar in type, not degree.
Loechner (9:31 p.m.): Oh my goes so much is happening after a boring start. QBs falling isn't a surprise. They just aren't high prospects this year. I love Williams and Goff absolutely supported elite fantasy WRs with the Rams, so I'm not writing that off. Amon-Ra was sick last year too. I really like this a lot.
Kelley (9:29 p.m.): Jameson Williams. So the Falcons desperately need a quarterback when there isn't one, so they just set themselves up to take a quarterback NEXT year and surround him with weapons. And then the Lions desperately need a quarterback when there isn't one, so they ... Yeah, I feel like there's a new strategy going on these days, and I dig it.
Kelley (9:24 p.m.): Lions trade up to 12. Now THAT'S interesting. Gotta be for a QB, right?
Loechner (9:23 p.m.): Olave to the Saints is also fun. Doesn't need to be the WR1. Jameis was super low volume last year though.
Kelley (9:23 p.m.): Olave to New Orleans? If Michael Thomas is back to form, I freaking love that. People kept pairing Olave with Green Bay, but I really want him to be a strong #2 rather than a lean-on-him #1, and that's exactly what he'll get to be in New Orleans.
Kelley (9:21 p.m.): Getting a third and a fourth to move down 5 picks in a "shrug" draft feels like a nice move for Washington.
Loechner (9:21 p.m.): QBs aren't good enough to sell the farm for this year.
Kelley (9:19 p.m.): On the one hand, yes, they overpaid. On the other hand, if you get your QB, then basically no price is too high. On the other other hand ... "your QB" might not exist in this draft.
Loechner (9:18 p.m.): They made that big trade with the Eagles a few weeks ago. Who knows what they are doing. They got fleeced in that trade.
Kelley (9:18 p.m.): Okayyyy, so are the Saints moving up for a QB? Or are they being Saintsy-weird?
Loechner (9:17 p.m.): I’d go London over Wilson now too but I do really like this. Jets should be fun if Z. Wilson takes a step.
Pfeifer (9:16 p.m.): I'm not.
Kelley (9:15 p.m.): I will say, if I'm drafting right this minute, I'm going Wilson over London.
Kelley (9:14 p.m.): I still think if I were running the Jets here I'd have gone OL, except that the obvious OL names just went in a flurry, so I guess going receiver makes enough sense. Probably closes the door on a Deebo move.
Loechner (9:13 p.m.): Wilson to the Jets! Paired with Elijah Moore. I like it a lot. Zach Wilson is a secret favorite of mine. I love this.
Loechner (9:12 p.m.): I think generally letdowny might be the theme of this class, at least in 2022.
Kelley (9:10 p.m.): It just feels so generally letdowny that the first receiver off the board, a top-10 pick, the rookie WR1 in redraft, is "eh, 40-45 I guess?"
Loechner (9:09 p.m.): If I had to spitball an overall position rank off the top of my head, 40-45 range probably.
Pfeifer (9:08 p.m.): Drake London missed eight games last year and still tied for the lead with 17 contested catches. He could step into a 20-plus percent target share as a rookie, especially on a Falcons team that should be chasing points quite often in 2022.
Loechner (9:07 p.m.): Hard to say before the other rookies go, but his target share could easily be over 20%. He might be the rookie WR1 in redraft based on volume. It's really a good landing spot from a volume perspective. Even with bad QB play.
Kelley (9:04 p.m.): For '22, where are you taking London right now? I don't think I can have him top 30. Top 40 might even be a stretch. Not with the disaster of a team around him and Pitts still set to dominate targets. But maybe I'm a pessimist.
Kelley (9:03 p.m.): I'd have gone Williams, but man, whoever is the QB in '23 has WEAPONS.
Loechner (9:03 p.m.): Jeff had London mocked there. Nailed it. London/Pitts is a great combo. Ridley too in 2023. QB on the other hand…
Kelley (9:01 p.m.): I like London, but that feels like being scared off an injury that isn't going to matter when you're good enough for it to matter.
Loechner (9:01 p.m.): Drake London to the Falcons. Right position wrong player
Kelley (9:01 p.m.): Oh snap, not Williams
Loechner (8:59 p.m.): Williams is my call here.
Kelley (8:58 p.m.): Josh Rosen was on the Cardinals in 2019 when they drafted Kyler, on the Dolphins in 2020 when they drafted Tua, and on the 49ers in 2021 when they drafted Lance. So I'm rooting for a QB here, just for the funny.
Kelley (8:57 p.m.): I rostered Tyrod Taylor before you were born and I'll roster him long after you're dead.
Loechner (8:57 p.m.): You'll roster Taylor in the staff league 100%. It's a you move.
Kelley (8:56 p.m.): I hope Evan Neal provides good protection for Tyrod Taylor in Week 11 onward and then [random QB to be named] in 2023.
Loechner (8:56 p.m.): Giants take Neal. There's the OT help. This was expected. I still think they are doomed with Jones, but looks like they'll give it one more go.
Kelley (8:55 p.m.): Right. Doesn't really affect the ceiling, but strengthens the floor.
Loechner (8:55 p.m.): I don't think it's like some huge mover for him, but it helps
Loechner (8:49 p.m.): *whispers* Even more reason to like CMC as 1.01.
Kelley (8:49 p.m.): I know you and I are both driving the "Christian McCaffrey is the 2022 1.01" bus already, but does Ekwonu do anything for his fantasy stock for you?
Kelley (8:48 p.m.): Panthers in such a bad spot. They don't pick again until Saturday, they desperately need a quarterback, and ... there's just no one for them to do it with there. I bet they tried to trade down with every dang team to make it make sense.
Loechner (8:48 p.m.): Panthers go Ekwonu. Willis and Pickett there for the Giants…
Kelley (8:46 p.m.): Oh, interesting. Would definitely shake everything up. I guess my answer is that they definitely-maybe SHOULD, but they also definitely WON'T. But also it'd be fun to be wrong about that.
Loechner (8:46 p.m.): Is this a hot take? It's how I actually feel: The Giants should take a QB at #7.
Loechner (8:45 p.m.): They have to. Yeah Thibodeaux was mocked to them at 7 by Jeff Ratcliffe.
Kelley (8:44 p.m.): Giants definitely going OL at 7, right? Thibodeaux's a very solid pick there, but at some point you have to pretend to protect the QB.
Loechner (8:44 p.m.): Okay so Giants going DE. I really thought they'd go OL. Daniel Jones NEEDS help.
Kelley (8:39 p.m.): I don't know what the Giants do here, but man do I hope the Panthers take Pickett at 6. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't, but I'm here for Maximum Chaos.
Kelley (8:37 p.m.): Let me feel like an original thinker, Loechner.
Loechner (8:36 p.m.): Yeah that was the popular mock pick.
Kelley (8:35 p.m.): Perfect pick there. Feels like they might even have gone Stingley if Sauce was gone. I hope they go OL at 10 (if they keep the pick) and just load up on receiver options later.
Loechner (8:34 p.m.): Sauce time? Sauce time!
Kelley (8:31 p.m.): It's just scary to pick someone third overall who hasn't been good in three years. Obvious extenuating circumstances, but just that sentence is fairly intimidating.
Loechner (8:31 p.m.): I dunno, I don't think it backfires any bigger than any other player they could have taken there.
Kelley (8:29 p.m.): It could for sure backfire in a big way, but if it hits it hits real big, and that's worth the risk with no obvious other play there.
Loechner (8:29 p.m.): Yeah that's not a bad pick honestly.
Kelley (8:27 p.m.): Oooooo, that was earlier than I saw Stingley going, but I love the gumption. Texans are never gonna dig out of this hole without aiming high.
Loechner (8:25 p.m.): The WR run will start in like, an hour at usual NFL pace, but it should last all night!
Kelley (8:23 p.m.): I need someone to do something (a) interesting and/or (b) stupid soon.
Loechner (8:21 p.m.): It's Hutchinson. Good for them. I actually like the Lions as a sleeper team. QB tho…
Kelley (8:17 p.m.): True story.
Loechner (8:16 p.m.): Not a great year to have the first pick. Classic Jags luck.
Kelley (8:16 p.m.): I guess that's the higher-ceiling choice, but man it's lower-floor too. Scares me.
Leochner (8:16 p.m.): It's Walker.
Kelley (8:13 p.m.): It felt like we ended up on Walker. Note that you didn't ask what I'd do.
Loechner (8:12 p.m.): Hutchinson at 1 or no??
Kelley (8:11 p.m.): Now that's just mean.
Loechner (8:11 p.m.): So much Derek Carr to start the draft sorta feels like a troll of the fact he now has Adams and the Packers won't draft a WR.
Kelley (8:10 p.m.): I mean, I'm not defending anything about Goodell. But … I mean, we get it.
Loechner (8:09 p.m.): Not even close lol. I mean yeah it's definitely a bit, but it's maybe the best bit of all time.
Kelley (8:08 p.m.): Anyone else feel like the commissioner-booing thing is a bit that has run its course?
Will there be a Round 1 running back? (7:47 p.m.)
Kelley: Does Breece Hall (or any running back) go off the board tonight? I would say no. No one has the right combination of need, late pick and ... I'm gonna say foolhardiness, but that might be a bit harsh. You know what I mean, though.
Loechner: I don't think so. Early Day 2 for Hall!
Who's going to be the first receiver taken? (7:38 p.m.)
Loechner: Which WR do we think comes off the board first? I'm thinking Jameson Williams.
Pfeifer: I think either him at 4 or Drake London at 8 to Atlanta.
Kelley: I very much hope it's Williams. I think he would have been the clear-cut first receiver if not for the injury, so to not take him first now smacks of cutting off your nose to spite your face -- "no, we don't care about how good he'll be in 2024, because Week 1 of 2022 is in question." I know it's not that simple, but he's so clearly the top option here for me that it'll bother me if it isn't first off the board at the position.
Adam Pfeifer (7:30 p.m.)
Simply put, I'm looking forward to the madness. This has the makings of one of the most unpredictable drafts in years, and it all starts with the first overall selection. There doesn't seem to be a consensus for many selections, let alone the first pick. I think we see a handful of shocking selections, as well as trades.
Tyler Loechner (7:30 p.m.)
I’m most excited to see how many WRs go in Round 1. I think we’ll see more this year because of how crazy WR contracts have gotten. There’s real financial incentive for teams to get one in Round 1 so those cheap rookie deals can last an extra year. And there are a ton of borderline Round 1/Round 2 type WRs, so the end of the first round may be a rush on fantasy-relevant names.
Daniel Kelley (7:30 p.m.)
The reason this year's draft is seen as so much less predictable than normal is in part because so much of it feels like there are lower ceilings than we've had in recent years. Sure, that's in part because of the lack of obvious star quarterbacks, but there's also likely no Ja'Marr Chase, no Kyle Pitts, no Najee Harris sitting there looking like an immediate fantasy superstar. But in a way, that raises the stakes on everything that happens tonight. A team that couldn't trade up for Trey Lance last year could still hold out for Justin Fields or Mac Jones. This year? You might only get one crack at the player you want. I think that means we have fewer trades than some years, but the trades we do get are likely to be doozies.