Commentary | NFL Draft Round 1


Justin Casterline

Verone McKinley III of Oregon runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 6, 2022 in Indianapolis. (Getty Images/TNS)

Tommy Thornton, Contributing Writer

Top college prospects found their new homes during the 2022 NFL Draft’s first round Thursday night in Las Vegas. Defensive ends Travon Walker, Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson, and Kayvon Thibodeaux were among the first picks in the draft.

This is the first time only one quarterback was drafted during the first round since 2013. Out of the 32 first round picks, only seven were offensive positions that had moved the ball down field. The case made was that teams were in desperate need of defensive and offensive line positions as the first five picks were defense. The second, fourth, and 14th picks were the most notable to change their team’s franchise. Aiden Hunchinson is a defensive end that can do it all for the Lions, but the best thing about him is culture. It was a perceptive decision for the Lions to select a player that is a Michigan native. He is bound to make great strides for Detroit. The Jets also had a noticeable pick, selecting Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner to be the future of their defense. Out of all his seasons in Cincinnati, Sauce did not give up a single touchdown. Additionally, being in a division with opposing teams that have great receivers, Gardner is greatly qualified to cover them. Kyle Hamilton, another defensive player, has one of the best traits for a defender to have, vision. Hamilton’s vision is tremendous and the Ravens need a young safety to be a leader and process well defensively. NFL teams are fortuitous to be acquiring such outstanding generational talents.     

Fans had mixed emotions during the night as teams were hoping to pick a player for the face of their franchises. Freshman Oliver Giants is a Giants fan who felt optimistic about his team drafting Thibadeux and Evan Neal. 

“This is an extremely well pick for the Giants. Kayvon is a beast and can dominate easily no matter who he’s up against. I was extremely optimistic after we picked him. Same for Neal, we needed protection for our quarterback and we got it. Thibadeux and Neal should match up well together during practice as well.”

While some fans celebrated, others had differing opinions about who their team drafted. Patriots fan and freshman, Hoban Noyes commented that “Our first round pick was one of the worst picks I’ve witnessed. Cole Strange is a third round talent, and to see him get picked in the first round really awed me in a bad way.” With Hoban and Oliver providing opposing sentiments about the directions their team selections took, it proves the division among fans as the NFL draft rounds kick off.