2022 NFL Draft: Stallions and Scallions

Here's whose drafts would meet with Mr. Spock's approval because they were oh, so logical — and here's whose drafts would meet with his disapproval because they were anything but:


Pittsburgh Steelers — Under no circumstances could they have allowed themselves to enter the 2022 regular season with proven failure Mitch Trubisky atop their QB depth chart, which would have been a fait accompli in the wake of Dwayne Haskins, Jr.'s tragic death. So they drafted hometown hero Kenny Pickett, who rather surprisingly turned out to be the only signal-caller taken in the first round. Followed that pick up with two very different wide receivers — possession type George Pickens of national champion Georgia in the second round, and in the fourth round, they snagged Calvin Austin III out of Memphis, who has "The Next DeSean Jackson" written all over him. In between, their third-round pick, Texas A&M defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal, may be a long-term development project. But still.

Green Bay Packers — Davante who? If Austin has "The Next DeSean Jackson" written all over him, then North Dakota State's Christian Watson has "The Next Megatron" written all over him: He's 6-foot-4 and ran a 4.36 at the combine. Before selecting Watson, who inexplicably lasted 34 picks, they had two picks in the first round: "Circular" Quay Walker (at least that's what Packer fans Down Under will call him — and there actually is a Green Bay in New Zealand) and Devonte Wyatt, the former a linebacker, the latter a defensive end (and both ex-Georgia Bulldogs). Aaron Rodgers says "thank you" — as does defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

Washington Commanders — Not satisfied with one power running back, Antonio Gibson, they selected the best power back available in the draft in Brian Robinson, Jr., the fourth such running back to come out of Alabama in recent years — and in the third round at that. But an even bigger steal than Robinson was North Carolina's Sam Howell in the fifth round — a wise insurance policy in case Carson Wentz has still another meltdown. But with the bruising running game they figure to have, Wentz won't have to do much.

Kansas City Chiefs — Ranked third in total offense and 27th in total defense a year ago — so what did they do? They used five of their first six picks (two in both the first and second rounds, and one each in the third and fourth) on defense. The sole exception was wide receiver Skyy Moore of Western Michigan (necessary because of the Tyreek Hill trade) and while George Karlaftis, who played on the edge at Purdue, will probably have to be moved inside because of his pedestrian 40 time (4.78) at the combine, he should have little trouble winning the starting defensive end spot vacated by Taco Charlton, who departed for New Orleans via free agency. Probably did enough to keep themselves atop the suddenly loaded AFC West for the seventh consecutive year — and with no Super Bowl Runner-Up Jinx to worry about this time around, they're the common-sense favorites to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LVII.

Carolina Panthers — Matt Corral of Ole Miss in the third round (with the 94th overall pick) could send Sam Darnold to the USFL, where he probably belongs at this point — and their first-rounder, N.C. State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu, could bring back the "Ickey Shuffle." Added a third likely immediate starter in Brandon Smith, out of "Linebacker U," in Round 3. This trio makes them the favorites to complete the exacta, albeit distantly, behind TB12 and the Bucs, in the NFC South.


Los Angeles Rams — Not since 1989 has any NFL team waited longer to make their initial selection in any draft than they did this year, when they tabbed Wisconsin guard Logan Bruss with the 104th overall pick. We know, having watched George Allen from his days at Washington, that sooner or later this faulty quick-fix policy will lead to trouble for them — and with the combination of the salary cap and the seniority-based wage scale, neither of which existed in Allen's day, that policy is even more self-destructive now than it was then.

Miami Dolphins — If Roman Gabriel wasn't worth the treasure trove of draft picks that the Eagles gave up for him in 1973, then Tyreek Hill certainly isn't worth what they gave up for him. And not only did their draft lack quality (their first pick was 102nd overall, just two spots ahead of the Rams), but it also lacked quantity (their four total picks trailed the league).

Las Vegas Raiders — Like the Rams and Dolphins, they made their first pick in the third round (90th overall) — and only one team that has done that (Tampa Bay in 2002) has ever won the Super Bowl that year. Only the selection of Georgia power back Zamir White in the fourth round kept their draft from being a bigger disaster than it actually was.

Chicago Bears — How can a team allow the most sacks in the league the previous season (58), then neither sign a single free-agent offensive lineman, nor draft one until the fifth round (offensive tackle Braxton Jones of FBS Southern Utah)? Also lacked a first-round pick for the third time in the last four years.

Philadelphia Eagles — Now you see them (their draft picks), now you don't: slated to have 10 picks when the draft began, they ended up only making five — trading three picks to move up two spots in the first round so that they could draft Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, and two more — a first-round pick and a third-round pick — to the Titans for disgruntled wide receiver A.J. Brown, who was described by the prestigious Walter Football draft site as "not a burner" who "lacks deep speed."

As for third-round "steal" Nakobe Dean (still another Georgia product), he would be the NFL's smallest starting linebacker since the late Sam Mills — and that's if he even plays at all in 2022, or beyond. And where was the power back, the cornerback, or the safety they need? Maybe they forgot that they let Jordan Howard test the free-agency waters, and that Steve Nelson and Rodney McLeod signed, as free agents, with the Texans and Colts, respectively?

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