The 2022 NFL draft resumes with 73 more players set to come off the board over the course of the second and third rounds.
An eventful first round featured plenty of surprises, including a wave of trades involving both picks and established players. The wheeling and dealing in Las Vegas will doubtless continue on Day 2 given the depth of talent that exists in this draft, not to mention an almost entirely untapped pool of quarterbacks after Pitt’s Kenny Pickett was the lone one selected in Round 1.
Make sure to follow the instant analysis here starting at 7 p.m. ET Friday:
FIRST-ROUND WINNERS, LOSERS:Jets, Giants flourish as Steelers stumble
10 MOST INTRIGUING DRAFT MOVES:Steelers on an island with Kenny Pickett pick
Who’s left on the board?
USA TODAY Sports’ Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz lists his best remaining players going into Round 2. It may surprise you to learn there’s only one quarterback among his top 10. Don’t be surprised to see another early run on defensive players Friday night.
Going through mock draft withdrawal? Here’s forecast of Round 2 to tide you over until the Bucs go on the clock. Of note, the first three selections of the second round all changed hands Thursday night.
A versatile lineman who could play base end for the Bucs yet give them a valuable interior rush presence on passing downs. The 6-6, 283-pounder had six sacks and 13 tackles for losses in 2021. Even if veteran free agent Ndamukong Suh returns to Tampa, he’s now 35.
34. Green Bay Packers (from Detroit Lions via Minnesota Vikings) – WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
The Pack leap up to this point by trading both of their second-rounders (Nos. 53 and 59) to the division rival Vikes. The Packers are renowned for striking gold with Round 2 wideouts, and Watson joins the ranks of recently departed Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Greg Jennings in that club. Watson won’t replace Adams – who would? – but a 6-5, 208-pound target with 4.36 speed would be a dangerous option for QB Aaron Rodgers.
The All-SEC corner flushes out a secondary that welcomed CBs Caleb Farley and Elijah Molden in last year’s draft. You’ll also recall that the Titans couldn’t slow down Bengals QB Joe Burrow in the playoffs even with the benefit of nine sacks. The 5-111, 190-pound McCreary have five INTs over the past two seasons but isn’t necessarily a remarkable athlete for the position.
Gang Green continues what could be a watershed draft by coming up two spots courtesy of a deal with the crosstown Giants. They add another piece to help second-year QB Zach Wilson, teaming Hall with 2021 fourth-round Michael Carter, who rushed for 639 yards as a rookie. Hall (6-1, 220) could become the lead option given his 4.39 speed could bust many games open. He had 3,526 yards from scrimmage and 46 TDs during his last two seasons with the Cyclones.
A versatile DB comfortable covering in the slot or roaming the box, he could more than offset the loss of Justin Reid in free agency for a defense that ranked 31st overall in 2021.
38. Atlanta Falcons (from Carolina Panthers via Jets and Giants) – OLB/DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
After transferring from Temple last season, he burst onto the scene in Happy Valley by posting 9½ sacks and 18 TFLs. He’s not the stoutest guy (6-2, 250), but his specialty – hunting quarterbacks – immediately improves a team that finished last (by far) in 2021 with 18 total sacks.
They make their inaugural pick of this draft by taking a solid corner, one who can play outside or in the slot and augments the league’s third-ranked pass defense. Gordon, the latest in a long line of excellent UW DBs, probably moves into a starting role on the outside while recent veteran signing Tavon Young stays in the slot.
He had seven sacks in 2021, and his quick first step was partially quantified by the 6-4, 261-pounder’s 4.53 40 clocking at the combine. He should be a good fit on the edge for a Seattle defense converting to a 3-4 front. Carlos Dunlap, the Seahawks’ top pass rusher in 2021, is a free agent.
Pretty obvious Seattle wants to get back to pounding the ball on the ground, even if they do it by committee instead of with a Marshawn Lynch-type. Walker (5-9, 211) joins a trio that includes Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny but could quickly establish himself as the lead dog given his 4.38 speed. In his lone seasons with the Spartans, the Wake Forest transfer rushed for 1,636 yards and 18 TDs.
The Vikes, who took Georgia S Lewis Cine at the end of Round 1, continue refitting their secondary with a talented corner who gets to learn the ropes from veteran Patrick Peterson.
His 104 catches for 1,334 yards in 2021 were single-season Wildcats records. Just 5-8 and 178 pounds, he does have 4.4 speed but will have to crack a receiving rotation that (presently) includes Sterling Shepard, 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney and big-money acquisition Kenny Golladay.
Houston deals up for Metchie, who, like former Tide teammate Jameson Williams, is on the comeback from a torn ACL. Metchie, who had 96 grabs for 1,142 yards and eight scores last season, will likely operate out of the slot once he’s ready to play and handle the underneath routes while Brandin Cooks works deep.
Despite the Achilles tear he suffered at his pro day, his upside is too much to pass up. Ojabo follows Mike Macdonald, the Wolverines defensive coordinator in 2021, back to Baltimore, where he’ll play for Jim Harbaugh’s brother, John. And a redshirt year would likely benefit Ojabo anyway given he made one tackle as a sophomore in 2020. A native of Nigeria who grew up in Scotland, Ojabo (6-4, 250 pounds) exploded for 11 sacks last season and will eventually bring needed juice to Baltimore’s pass rush.
A three-time team captain who can move up and down a line that needs more bodies despite Thursday’s acquisition of Aidan Hutchinson. Detroit’s 30 sacks were the third-fewest in the NFL in 2021. A cancer survivor, Paschal should be another culture changer for a Detroit organization that appears pointed in the right direction.
A team captain for the Tide who can two-gap and shut down run lanes. The 6-4, 310-pounder also showed he could get to quarterbacks in 2021, erupting for nine sacks. He joins former ‘Bama stars Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne on the Commanders D-line.
He feels like a Chicago player, a DB who can bring the wood. But Brisker can do more than that, another safety who’s able to play deep, at the line of scrimmage or in the slot. He should start Day 1 at strong safety. This selection was obtained courtesy of the Khalil Mack trade earlier this year.
49. New Orleans Saints –
50. Kansas City Chiefs (from Miami Dolphins) –
51. Philadelphia Eagles –
52. Pittsburgh Steelers –
53. Colts (from Las Vegas Raiders via Packers and Vikings) –
54. New England Patriots –
55. Arizona Cardinals –
56. Dallas Cowboys –
57. Buffalo Bills –
58. Falcons (from Titans) –
59. Vikings (from Packers) –
60. Buccaneers –
61. San Francisco 49ers –
62. Chiefs –
63. Cincinnati Bengals –
64. Broncos (from Los Angeles Rams) –
65. Jaguars –
66. Vikings (from Lions) –
67. Giants –
68. Browns (from Texans) –
69. Titans (from Jets) –
70. Jaguars (from Panthers) –
71. Bears –
72. Seahawks –
73. Colts (from Commanders) –
74. Falcons –
75. Broncos –
76. Ravens –
77. Colts (from Vikings) –
78. Browns –
79. Chargers –
80. Texans (from Saints) –
81. Giants (from Dolphins) –
82. Falcons (from Colts) –
83. Eagles –
84. Steelers –
85. Patriots –
86. Raiders –
87. Cardinals –
88. Cowboys –
89. Bills –
90. Titans –
91. Buccaneers –
92. Packers –
93. 49ers –
94. Patriots (from Chiefs) –
95. Bengals –
96. Broncos (from Rams) –
x-97. Lions –
x-98. Commanders (from Saints) –
x-99. Browns –
x-100. Cardinals (from Ravens) –
x-101. Jets (from Saints via Eagles and Titans) –
x-102. Dolphins (from 49ers) –
x-103. Chiefs –
x-104. Rams –
x-105. 49ers –
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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