2022 NFL Draft Grades (Using the CFM/FFM Computer Models)
As always, our draft grades are WAY different than the mainstream…not just in grades/ranks given, but in the approach…
We’re looking at a scale where a 60-70% (on a 0-100% scale) is roughly the average grade overall. Which means many teams will get ‘failing’ grades…because, in reality, many teams will fail…or they didn’t have a ton of picks to accumulate bodies with.
Our grading model is based on several factors…
-- We consider all the undrafted free agents into this assessment…they should matter in every draft grade situation…but they never are in the mainstream (who grades the draft 10 seconds after it ends, and before the UDFAs even lock in).
-- What pick number or round the players were drafted in, or if undrafted, doesn’t matter to us…only how much talent was accumulated. So called ‘bargains’ don’t matter. Just ‘what did you get?’
-- We consider the economic value of the position of the player. Safeties and running backs are not as valuable as Quarterbacks…and then cornerbacks and offensive line. We look at payroll allocations in the NFL to assign some economic value to the picks.
-- We use OUR computer scouting model grades on the players…not the echo chamber mainstream prospect rankings.
-- We have a 0-100% scale, but a team could go over 100%. A 100% score is based on what we see as a great draft…but an achievable draft, not some ‘perfect every pick’ daydream. It’s based on how many elite players, how many starter projection players, and how many rosterable players (and they all come with different values into the grading) the team accumulates in this draft (and UDFA period)…according to us.
*And final note for super-fans who might stumble across this piece... I don't care about your team, on way or the other, or any NFL team for that matter. If you don't like the grade you see...sorry. I get that the draft is filled with magical unicorns for fans and all the players your team picked could all be great and your team is so smart -- but this is strictly a clinical analysis based on our data and scouting, no emotion playing into it. I can't be swayed by emotion in any football things...I need to operate in some kind of reality for betting and fantasy purposes. Five years from now, when we all look back...I'm sure there will be team grades we're way too high or low on. But for now, this is our take.
My favorite NFL team is = the one I have a bet on at any given moment.
With all that said, here’s what the computer says…
1) 93.10% = New York Jets
Any team that got Ahmad Gardner was going to have a decent draft on that pick alone…the best player grade/value we had in 2022. Jermaine Johnson was a nice pull. Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson are NFL starters. Michael Clemons was a steal in the 4th-round, and if he hits – then this draft combined with last year’s very good draft will be franchise altering for the positive.
Back-to-back highly ranked drafts…the Jets should be rising in stature in 2022-2023, if Zach Wilson brings it all together.
2) 92.68% = Green Bay Packers
Three value OLs who are projected NFL starters…the best O-Line centric draft in 2022, arguably. Walker and Wyatt offer two defenders to start right away. Christian Watson could be the top homerun hitter WR from 2022. Samori Toure was savvy in the 7th. Tyler Goodson as a UDFA is a real steal, but they really don’t have room for him.
3) 86.23% = Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons grabbed three defenders (Ebiketie, Andersen, and Malone) that can play right away and boost the defense’s speed and pass rush. Drake London was arguably the best WR in the draft and Tyler Allgeier arguably the best technical, power runner in the draft. Tyshaun Davis, Kuony Deng, and Nate Landman were solid UDFA grabs. The Falcons desperately needed ‘players’…they needed quantity as much as quality -- and they had a nice haul in 2022.
4) 82.18% = Indianapolis Colts
Four great picks to start their draft, even without a 1st-round pick…Pierce-Woods-Rainmann-Cross were all 1st-round potentials. They also may have had the best/savviest UDFA period with Dallis Flowers, Eric Johnson, and Sterling Weatherford. This has a shot to be the best draft of 2022…and the turning point to get past Tennessee over the next year or two.
5) 81.07% = Baltimore Ravens
I don’t love the names they got, BUT the computer analysis recognizes the volume of useful players they got. This grade is quantity over quality…and that’s not the worst thing.
6) 79.90% = New England Patriots
The opposite of the Ravens draft…quality over quantity and chasing what they wanted, not sitting back and catching ‘falling knives’/discounted players the analysts love (but the NFL obviously did not as much). It will be interesting to look back in a few years and see which concept won out…the NE or BAL Draft of 2022.
7) 74.57% = Dallas Cowboys
If Tyler Smith becomes what Will McClay (one of the only personnel people in the NFL that I respect…THEE top one I respect) thinks…and that is the Tyron Smith replacement, then this draft is gonna be sweet for Dallas. Sam Williams is a 1st-round talent with off-field flags that held him to 2nd-round value. Damone Clark might have been a top 100 if not for neck concerns. A really smart draft for Dallas with some decent UDFA looks.
8) 74.10% = Jacksonville Jaguars
Walker-Lloyd-Muma makes for a pretty nice draft…but we grade Walker as a solid pick, not an elite. If he goes elite (and he could), then this is a top 1-2-3 draft in the making…in a draft that lacks a lot of ‘wow’ prospects.
9) 73.97% = New York Giants
Evan Neal was one of the best ‘gets’ from this draft, and NYG got him…so that was a big plus/scoring for their grade in our system. We weren’t so high on Thibodeaux and Wan’Dale, but they’re useful/have some hope for sure. It just feels like NYG was the one team that stayed in place to make their picks and didn’t hit the home run you would have hoped for up-and-down the board – but they did fine. Neal will be rock solid.
10) 73.86% = Detroit Lions
I liked this draft more than the computer did. Hutchinson-Jameson off the bat was terrific and then a bunch of interesting hopefuls in Paschal-Joseph-Mitchell-Rodriguez and I really liked the James Houston pull in the 6th. They also had one of the best UDFA periods with Derrick Deese, Corey Sutton, and Tre Williams. This looks more like a top 5, not just a top 10 draft, to me.
11) 71.53% = Minnesota Vikings
Great maneuvering by Minnesota’s new GM to fade back and get two instant starters on defense at value picks – Lewis Cine and Andrew Booth. The rest of the draft they added solid/filler players to gowith. A solid draft all around, and if Booth doesn’t have injury issues follow him to the pros, then this could be an easy top 5-10 draft in hindsight.
12) 70.79% = Houston Texans
I think Derek Stingley is overrated and a reach, but he’s at minimum NFL-worthy. I thought Jalen Pitre was a top 20 overall prospect, and a steal in the 2nd-round. John Metchie is solid, as is Christian Harris and Dameon Pierce. A lot of good NFL bodies were added, but no mega star…and if Pitre is great, it’s at a low value position (SAF).
13) 70.61% = Kansas City Chiefs
KC got several solid players from this draft. McDuffie and Karlaftis, to me, are more OK/good then anything great. Skyy Moore is OK, not a game changer. Leo Chenal is solid. Josh Williams has hope. This has the potential to be a top 10 draft in the long run with good quantity but not yielding any studs…but I see where this might wind up a bottom 10 draft as well – if my concerns on Karlaftis are right, then this draft is in trouble.
14) 70.39% = Seattle Seahawks
Another draft that has a lot of solid bodies but not a real ‘wow’ on any super stud players. I’m not a big Charles Cross fan. Boye Mafe is good. Kenneth Walker is fine, but RBs are low value things to get in a draft. Abe Lucas is promising. If Cross-Lucas really pan out, then this is a nice/top 10 draft for Seattle…but I’d bet (slightly) against it.
15) 67.81% = Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This draft has a chance to be a top 5 one when we look back on it. If Zyon McCollum hits the way we have him graded, then that’s an ace grab right there. Luke Goedeke was a smart OL pick. Logan Hall is a ‘tweener’ that I don’t have the highest grades on, but if he comes through then my grades on TB’s draft is too low.
Many obvious Super Bowl contenders are graded way down on this board, so at least TB was around the average…with upside.
16) 62.61% = Philadelphia Eagles
You can’t assume Jordan Davis to be great, but if he is…then this draft has top 10 potential. It could be Davis is just solid/nice and then the hoopla from this draft is gonna dissipate quickly. Cam Jurgens is nice. I think Nakobe Dean was one of the most overrated players in the draft, so no real credit for getting him. Kyron Johnson had a wonderful Pro Day but could wind up a Davion Taylor disappointment (Pro Day great, NFL ‘OK’).
*Notice we’re through the first 16 teams and the team grades are starting to show in the mid-60s. That’s how you grade things…that should be the scale, approx. Average grade for all 32 teams total in 2022 = around 65%.
17) 62.16% = Tennessee Titans
The success or failure of this draft is probably locked into how Malik Willis turns out. It could be a top 5 draft if Willis pops, but a bottom 10 if he fizzles away. I LOVE the Kyle Phillips pick, but worry he’ll not see the targets he should the first 1-2-3 years.
18) 59.18% = Los Angeles Chargers
With a great draft, we could’ve seen LAC as a strong Super Bowl fave (in my mind)…but they fell a bit short. They’re still fine overall, after killing it in free agency/pre-Draft.
Zion Johnson is a terrific get, and then they add a useful J.T. Woods and then a bunch of ‘meh’ or role players at best. It’s not a totally terrible draft but they could’ve done so much better. If Salyer hits and they make something interesting out of RB-FB-TE Zander Horvath – then they deserve a way better draft grade, and the potential is there for it.
19) 57.56% = Buffalo Bills
Buffalo filled a need with CB Kaiir Elam, but he’s not amazing…just solid/good. Outside of that not a lot of obvious impact players. Punter Matt Araiza may have been their best pick of the draft.
20) 57.52 = Carolina Panthers
Getting elite OL Ikem Ekwonu set the foundation for a nice draft…which seeing Carolina graded down this low can only mean one thing – the rest of their draft sucked. And yep…it kinda did. Brandon Smith is good and everything else is low grade talent and/or no real quick impact help to a team that needs help now. To be fair, they didn’t have a ton of picks in this draft…the brilliant Sam Darnold trade and all…
21) 55.00% = New Orleans Saints
I love the Trevor Penning pick…that’s a high impact pick…then nothing else they did mattered all that much. Chris Olave is every decent WR in the NFL…he’s not an obvious star, and not worth where he was picked. Penning was a good get and then not much to show for it otherwise. Alontae Taylor has some hope but other than that it’s very generic/OK pickups.
22) 52.03% = Chicago Bears
Finally, the Bears had a draft where they weren’t #30-32 in our draft grade/rankings. The Bears have been putrid the past couple of years with Nagy/Pace. The new regime did better in their debut…but it was a low bar.
Kyler Gordon was a terrific 2nd-round pick. Brisker is solid. Zach Thomas is a promising OL they got in the 6th-round. It wasn’t an amazing draft, but it was better than their last few.
23) 51.45% = Cleveland Browns
If not for PK Cade York getting grabbed, then this draft bordered on a complete disaster. Perrion Winfrey has some hope. M.J. Emerson is OK. Alex Wright is more bust than help. David Bell looks like a mild fraud. I did not like this draft at all, besides York as a great kicking prospect.
24) 49.84 = Washington Commanders
I didn’t get this draft AT ALL. I like Jahan Dotson well enough, but was this the key need for Washington? They got sucked in by potential Alabama labeled busts Phidarian Mathis and Brian Robinson. This draft furthers the malaise/decline of this franchise – a team not good enough for a serious playoff effort, but not bad enough to blow them up and rebuild…they give just a sliver of hope but never come through (The Ron Rivera story, as an NFL coach).
25) 49.19 = Pittsburgh Steelers
If Pickett hits his ceiling…then this could be as good a draft as any in 2022, when we look back. Actually, it would be the best of ’22…if you get a franchise QB. But if he falls flat…then this should be where we have it – a bottom 10, more so a bottom five draft. If Pickett is just OK…a back-end NFL starter – then this draft sets the Steelers back even more than last year’s wasted draft. They’d be like Washington – too good to totally blow up, too bad to make the playoffs…no man’s land.
26) 46.35% = Denver Broncos
What I said about LAC’s draft/situation nearly applies here too…with a killer draft, Denver really would have taken another step to get the AFC West crown. Instead, they got a couple of decent utility players and NFL starter potentials – but no obvious game changers here. To be fair, they didn’t make their first pick until #64…so, the opportunities were limited. Getting Russell Wilson was way more important.
27) 31.86% = Cincinnati Bengals
A good draft here could’ve allowed Cincy to pull away from the pack…but they missed the mark, badly. Dax Hill is overrated…unless he converts to CB and ends up good/great there, but they seem to be pushing him as a safety. Why NFL teams draft safeties in the 1st-round, from an economic standpoint, I have no idea. Cam Taylor-Britt is OK and then there’s a lot of dart throws – just what Cincy didn’t need to stay ahead of the rugged AFC.
28) 31.69% = Los Angeles Rams
The Super Bowl champs didn’t pick until #104…once again showing that the draft does not matter for Southern and West Coast teams, especially ones that play in a dome. The Rams can whiff on all these guys in the draft, and they’ll have no lack of free agents and vets wanting to come play for them otherwise. They don’t need to build through the draft right now.
Drafting Kyren Williams #164 should get Les Snead fired. Drafting Daniel Hardy #235 should get someone on the scouting team a gold star.
29) 31.43% = Arizona Cardinals
Arizona needed to make headway in the draft to keep up in the tough NFC West…and they did not do so here. Trey McBride is solid but not an immediate need. Needing more O-Line once again…they (once again) didn’t do anything to address it in the draft…aside from a pick #257 OL flier. I don’t get it.
30) 30.87% = San Francisco 49ers
If you thought NFC West 2021 season playoff team’s LAR and ARI had confounding drafts…then the 49ers did the old ‘hold my beer’ to show them how a terrible draft is done. Drake Jackson has some hope but then a collection of no name, underwhelming, fringe rosterable guys…that I see. With several ‘huh’ picks/players taken.
If Trey Lance ends up flopping…then the 49ers will have gone on a terrible string of drafts the past three years…after their excellent 2019 draft (Bosa, Deebo, Greenlaw).
31) 25.72% = Las Vegas Raiders
LV didn’t pick until #90, due in part to the Davante deal. OL Dylan Parham drafted works, a good pick -- but then a collection of players that are backups or future quick cuts after that. RB Brittain Brown at #250 may have been the single worst pick in the draft.
32) 24.65% = Miami Dolphins
Such a nice offseason pre-Draft, and then a disaster in the draft. To be fair, they didn’t first pick until #102 (due to the Tyreek deal, which was a smart deal). Channing Tindall might develop into a decent linebacker or just be a nice special teamer…and that’s their top draft pick in 2022…
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