May 4, 2022
BY Lance Cartelli

2022 NFL Draft: Winners and Losers

The 2022 NFL Draft was chock-full of trades and big-time moves, but who emerged as the clear-cut winners and losers? 

We've picked our nine biggest winners and losers from football's biggest offseason event. 

WINNER: Eagles’ NFC East Hopes

Everyone said the Eagles are in rebuild mode, but they didn’t operate like they are. Philadelphia landed the massive Jordan Davis and then acquired AJ Brown for a bargain. 

The Eagles are talented, and with the Cowboys getting worse, Philly has a real shot at the NFC East crown. 

LOSER: Arizona Cardinals 

The Cardinals paid nearly the same price for Hollywood Brown as the Eagles did for AJ Brown. That’s crazy. And it shows how poorly the Cardinals' front office operates. They also lost DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the season due to a PED suspension. 

Kyler Murray is a winner because Arizona added Hollywood and Trey McBride, but imagine this team with Brown. 

LOSER: Lamar Jackson

Jackson hasn’t been shy on Twitter about he feels. He lost his top receiver and the Ravens didn’t add any major weapons in the passing game to replace Hollywood. 

But there is one big winner on the Ravens… 

WINNER: Rashod Bateman 

Bateman entered the league last year with a ton of hype but a pre-season injury sidelined him and derailed his rookie year, but now it’s wheels up for the sophomore receiver. 

Even if the Ravens go back to a run-heavy offense, Bateman’s targets will skyrocket. 

LOSER: Pittsburgh Steelers Fans 

I can’t feel too bad for Steelers fans. They have six Super bowls after all. But going from the corpse of Big Ben to Kenny Pickett is rough. That is some bland QBing for the past half-decade and into the future. 

It also seems the Steelers could’ve waited a round to draft Pickett. 

WINNER: The Steelers’ Brotherhood

After drafting Connor Heyward in the 6th round, the Steelers now have four pairs of brothers on their roster. That’s simply incredible. It makes me want to see an entire team filled with siblings. 

I’m sure the Gronks, Antonio Cromartie, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Philip Rivers' kids could fill a 53-man roster. 

LOSER: Justin Fields 

The Bears added one receiver in the draft, a 25-year-old with little upside. While the Jets and Jaguars are loading up for their disappointing rookie QB, the Bears are getting worse. Much worse. They’re not putting Fields in a position to succeed and that could really impact his future. 

WINNER: Zach Wilson

If Fields is a loser then Zach Wilson is a big winner. 

The Jets spent big money this offseason to upgrade the OL and at tight end and now they give Wilson two big-time weapons in Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. Wilson needs to show big improvement this season because the pressure is on now with this arsenal, which leads me to my next loser… 

LOSER: Deebo Samuel’s Leverage 

Deebo Samuel clearly wants out of San Francisco, but the 49ers called his bluff and now he has lost nearly all of his leverage. 

Samuel can either hold out — which would delay him becoming a free agent by a year — play out his contract or sign a new deal. Either way, he’s stuck in SF for another season. 

I think the 49ers played it right, especially since the offers weren’t amazing. They can franchise Samuel next season and trade him if he hasn’t already signed a long-term deal with the squad.  

Photo: Getty Images