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NFL Draft Winners and Losers - Round 1 Instant Reactions (2022)

Treylon Burks - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Rookies, Draft Sleepers

The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft is over. There were teams that definitely won the draft and some that whiffed.

Fantasy football dreams are starting to take shape while some have been shattered.  Right now, this is about the five individual players who won the draft and the five who lost.

Check out our ongoing NFL Draft analysis and reaction throughout the coming weeks!

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NFL Draft Round 1 Winners

5. Travon Walker, Edge, going to Jacksonville Jaguars

Although the rumors had Walker going number one ahead of Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, it is still a surprise.  Hutchinson recorded 14 more pressures this past season than Walker had his entire college career.

Walker possesses the “intangibles” including freakish athletic talent due to his 6’5”, 272-pound frame, 35 ½” arm length and 84 ¼” wingspan.

Athleticism wins out as does Walker being chosen as the first player taken.

4. Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, going to New York Jets

It isn’t just that he will be catching passes from Zach Wilson. It is that the wide receiver with arguably the highest ceiling (elite route running and YAC) is teamed with the quarterback with arguably the highest ceiling.

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, New York Giants

Giants’ defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s defenses look to generate pressure through numbers. Martindale’s Baltimore Ravens defenses from 2018-2021 ranked first in blitz rate.

Thibodeaux had to wait five picks, but has landed with coach and team that will allow him to reach his full potential.

2. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cornerback, New York Jets

Robert Saleh is a defensive guru.  Now he has a corner who was good in both man and coverage schemes in college.  Gardner also did not allow a touchdown his entire collegiate career.

1. Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers selected Pickett with the 20th pick of the draft.  Is this the best play for the Steelers? That remains to be seen.  Will this enhance your fantasy football team in any way? Probably not, but that also remains to be seen.

There was talk that Pickett would go sixth to the Carolina Panthers.  When that didn’t materialize, he began falling but landing with the Steelers is the best possible ‘fall’ for Pickett.


NFL Draft Round 1 Losers

1. Drake London, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons

London is a YAC machine and contested-catch expert. Now he will be partnered with Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson with Marcus Mariota throwing the ball.  Mariota has only played in 17 games total in the last three seasons.  Not counting 2020 where he only played one game, his completion percentage has not been above 60%.

London is the number one wide receiver on a team that does not have a quarterback for the future and whose defense is suspect. Target share may be in his favor, but it's a bad situation nonetheless.

2. Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans

The Titans traded their top wideout to the Eagles and then rebounded by drafting Burks.

Now Burks will be catching passes from a Julio Jones-less, A.J. Brown-less Ryan Tannehill.  Last season, Tannehill was third in interceptable passes (41) and third in pressure throws (130).

While Burks has been compared to Brown in his pre-draft profile, his 4.55 40-yard dash time at the Combine is worrisome.  He may be asked to do more than he is physically capable of given the loss of weapons and the sometimes-erratic nature of Tannehill under pressure.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Okay, he wasn’t in the draft, but he lost Davante Adams and gained linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, in a draft deep with wide receivers.

Yes, a deep wide receiver draft means that there may be wide receivers to be had on days two and three, but to pass up on elite wide receiver talent after the loss of Adams makes Rodgers and the Packers offense losers as a whole.

Overall, the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft went chalk for the first three picks then it became anybody’s guess once trades started flying. Receivers dominated Day One of the draft but we should finally see some other skill position players come off the board in Day Two. Keep it locked to RotoBaller for all your NFL Draft news as each key pick is made!

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