Looking at the 11 biggest questions for the Eagles entering 2022 NFL offseason

Improved play at the quarterback position, adequate run-pass ratio and upgrades on defense are among the 11 burning questions for the #Philadelphia #Eagles entering the 2022 #NFL offseason #NFLDraft2022 #NFLFreeAgency

The Eagles avoided a massive rebuild from an on-the-field standpoint, going 9-8 this season, while also securing the final playoff berth.

The retool hasn’t been accelerated, but Philadelphia has plenty of salary-cap space after Brandon Brooks announced his retirement, three first-round picks, and an apparent plan of action for immediate improvement this offseason.

There are still questions that need to be answered as the official league year approaches, and we’ve highlighted the 11 biggest for 2022.

Seahawks go cornerback, left tackle in new 2022 three-round mock draft

Seahawks go cornerback, left tackle in new 2022 three-round mock draft

The Seattle Seahawks need to rebuild on both sides of the line of scrimmage and restock at a few key positions this offseason.

In a new 2022 three-round mock from our friends at Draft Wire, Seattle went cornerback in round two followed by left tackle in the third. Here’s who they came up with.

Pick No. 41 overall: Mississippi State CB Martin Emerson Jr.

Emerson (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) has the requisite length for a Pete Carroll corner. He totaled one interception, 15 pass breakups and six tackles for a loss during his college career. If the Seahawks lose their starting right cornerback D.J. Reed to another team in free agency, Emerson might be a worthy option to target at this spot.

Pick No. 72 overall: UCLA OT Sean Rhyan

Rhyan (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) only declared for the draft a couple weeks ago. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 this year. Duane Brown is now 36 years old and also is about to become a free agent. Whether they re-sign Brown for another season or not, Seattle has to start looking for a potential successor at left tackle, making Rhyan an interesting prospect to watch.

 

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Colts’ 2021 rookie class ranked fifth-worst in NFL

ESPN ranked the 2021 draft class for the Colts as the fifth-worst group in the NFL.

The Indianapolis Colts knew their rookie class in 2021 was going to be a group of players focused more on development than immediate production.

Given the lack of starting spots available, it was expected that only one or two players would truly hold a significant role. It turned out to be one player in particular who would go on to make an impact in Year 1: defensive end Kwity Paye.

Because of this, the 2021 rookie class for the Colts was ranked as the fifth-worst group in the NFL, according to ESPN.

Why they’re ranked here: The Colts were behind the 8-ball when it came to getting production over expectation from their draft class given that second-round pick Dayo Odeyingbo wasn’t available until Week 8 due to an Achilles injury. The only Colts rookie to play more than 250 offensive or defensive snaps was first-round selection Kwity Paye.

How their top pick fared: Paye missed some time with injury, but he flashed the kind of pass-rushing upside that Indianapolis was looking for when it selected him in the first round. The sack numbers (4.0 sacks) weren’t quite there, but those should come if he continues to win his pass-rushing reps at the same rate he did in 2021. There is room for Paye to improve as a run defender after posting a 55.4 run-defense grade this season.

It’s hard to truly evaluate the rookie class because most of them didn’t see enough playing time. Paye held a starter’s role from the jump and even though he only recorded 4.0 sacks, he did have the third-most pressures among rookie edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Colts also knew that the second-round selection of Dayo Odeyingbo would be one more for the long game. He was coming off of an Achilles tear and was working his way back during the second half of the season.

If those two players alone are the only ones that hit from this class, it would be enough to consider it a win. There’s a long way to go before we can determine that, though.

Tight end Kylen Granson had some flashes here and there but didn’t see much work behind Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox.

The rest of the group composed of quarterback Sam Ehlinger, offensive lineman Will Fries and wide receiver Mike Strachan all used 2021 as a redshirt season in some way.

Fifth-round pick Shawn Davis was cut to begin the season and spent two weeks on the practice squad before being released.

This group has potential to be a collection of players who hold solid roles on either side of the ball, but don’t hold your breath in hopes we get another 2020 or 2018 class full of studs based on their Year 1 output.

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Panthers go back to QB in Draft Wire’s latest 2022 mock

In their newest mock, Draft Wire turns QB Kenny Pickett from a college-level Panther to a pro-level Panther.

After an initial wave of quarterbacks crashed ashore for the Carolina Panthers in some early mock drafts, things got a little funky with suggestions of a particular offensive lineman and cornerback. But it’s back under center, at least here.

In the latest set of projections from Draft Wire, the Panthers use their sixth overall pick on a pretty familiar name in quarterback Kenny Pickett. Editor Luke Easterling believes head coach Matt Rhule can’t afford to pass up on another top passing prospect for the second straight year.

“The Panthers made a huge mistake passing on Justin Fields in the top 10 last year, opting instead to trade this year’s second-round pick for a failed experiment in Sam Darnold,” Easterling wrties. “Pickett is no Fields, but don’t expect the Panthers to pass on this year’s top quarterback prospect this time around.”

A Panther in his own right, the University of Pittsburgh product secured a handful of top honors for his standout 2021 campaign. Pickett was named a First-team All American, the ACC Player of the Year, the recipient of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

To this point, there are many questions as to the quality of quarterbacks in this class. Heck, Pickett isn’t even the consensus No. 1 amongst his passing peers.

There is a consensus, however, that Rhule can’t go much longer without an answer at the game’s most important position.

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Washington gets a quarterback and linebacker in new 3-round mock draft

Draft Wire’s new 3-round mock draft addresses Washington’s two biggest needs.

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The two most significant needs for the Washington Football this offseason are quarterback and inside linebacker. Well, after a new name, of course, but that will change next week.

Early mock drafts have Washington selecting a quarterback with its first-round pick — No. 11 overall. Washington is desperate to upgrade the game’s most important position, and head coach Ron Rivera hasn’t been shy admitting as much.

While many believe Rivera would prefer to add a veteran quarterback, it’s no guarantee one will be made available before the 2022 NFL draft. Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Derek Carr are four franchise quarterbacks who could be available this offseason. However, it seems unlikely Rodgers or Wilson will be made available, and Watson has unresolved legal issues. While not in the same tier as the other three, Carr is a borderline top-10 quarterback who is also doubtful to be moved.

That’s why all early mock drafts have a quarterback landing in Washington.

Draft Wire recently conducted a new three-round mock draft and went with a familiar theme at No. 11, penciling in Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral to Washington.

Taylor Heinicke is a solid backup, but Washington needs a long-term upgrade at the game’s most important position. It’s a bad year to need a franchise quarterback at the top of the draft, but Corral is a versatile playmaker with tons of potential.

Corral is a popular choice early in the mock draft process, which means nothing.

In the second round, Draft Wire has Washington selecting Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. Petit-Frere has everything you want in a left tackle. He possesses elite size, length and athleticism. While Washington doesn’t need a left tackle immediately, Petit-Frere could serve in a swing tackle role early in his career and eventually take over for Charles Leno. 

In the third round, Washington selected Georgia linebacker Quay Walker. Walker isn’t the most popular Georgia linebacker — that’s Nakobe Dean. However, Walker is a legit NFL prospect in his own right. He has size and speed, in addition to the versatility that Rivera loves having on his roster. He’d be a solid addition in the third round.

 

PFF has ranked Washington’s 2021 NFL draft class

Where did PFF rank Washington’s 2021 NFL draft class after one season?

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Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 NFL teams 2021 NFL draft class and where players were taken is part of their formula determining how successful a draft class performed.

For instance, Chase Young was drafted in round one, Antonio Gibson in round three and Kam Curl in round seven of the 2020 Washington draft. Their value would be determined upon what they’ve produced and according to where drafted.

According to PFF, Washington’s 2021 NFL Draft class came in at 22nd behind a good year from tackle Sam Cosmi (round two). But LB Jamin Davis (round one), CB Benjamin St Juste (round three) and WR Dyami Brown (round three) left much to be desired last season.

TE John Bates (round four) came on strong later in the season, while S Darrick Forrest (round five) was mostly injured. LS Cameron Cheesman (round six) snapped consistently, while round seven choices William Bradley-King, Shaka Toney and Dax Milne flashed some potential in their limited action.

The Patriots, Texans and Chiefs graded out as the top three 2021 draft classes, while the Jaguars, Buccaneers and Vikings were ranked the bottom three classes.

Philadelphia was ranked the top team in the NFC East at 9th behind some good play from WR Devonta Smith, guard Landon Dickerson and defensive lineman Milton Williams.

Dallas got great play from Micah Parsons (round one) ranking 12th.

Washington was next at 22nd, and the NY Giants 26th who no doubt would have been higher had WR Kadarius Toney been able to stay on the field longer this season.

We here at Washington Wire recently graded Washington’s class:

Grading each of Washington’s 2021 NFL draft selections

 

2022 NFL Draft: Top three team fits for Jahan Dotson

What are the three NFL teams that would be the best fit for Penn State WR Jahan Dotson?

As we continue through the draft process, we take a look at the current Penn State prospects, many of which could hear their name called early. One player that has been in the first round conversation is wide receiver Jahan Dotson.

Dotson has made substantial leaps over the past two seasons for Penn State. His skills would help several NFL teams and he could hear his name called as early as the first round.

Let’s take a look at the top three fits for Dotson and which teams he would make an immediate impact on.

Draft Wire has two former Tigers in the latest 2022 mock draft

A new week means a new mock draft.

As the Senior Bowl approaches, we get another look at how the NFL draft could shake out.

For LSU, all eyes will be on No. 7. Derek Stingley Jr is viewed as the top cornerback of the class but lately, it seems that he is losing some of that traction. His biggest competition is Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner. In this particular mock it is Gardner that goes to the New York Jets leaving Stingley still on the board for teams to take.

It remains to be seen how all of these head coach hirings will impact decisions made by teams come draft time. For now, we will focus on which LSU Tigers are being selected in the latest mock draft from our colleagues at the Draft Wire.

Editor Luke Easterling has a new mock going three rounds that we will focus on here. A pair of Tigers going in the first 100 picks.

First up is the All-American cornerback.

Browns 2022 NFL draft positioning with estimate after Adofo-Mensah hiring

Estimating what draft positions the Browns picks will be in assuming compensatory picks including a third-rounder to the Browns after the Vikings hired Adofo-Mensah:

The Cleveland Browns next big offseason move could be an extension with CB Denzel Ward but most likely will come with the opening of the league year with free agency and trades. Prior to that, most of the focus will be on the upcoming 2022 NFL draft.

March will bring the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, perhaps for the last time, with the draft late in April. In between those two events (at least officially because many free-agent deals are negotiated during the Combine) is when the league year opens.

Free agency and trades could totally change both the Browns needs as well as what draft picks they will have in April’s draft. While we know where Cleveland will draft in the first round, their entire set of selections does not become official until compensatory picks are assigned. Most of those picks will go to teams who lost more players in 2021 free agency than they brought in.

A couple of picks will go to teams who have minority candidates hired off of their team into general manager or head coaching positions. Last year, four of those picks were handed out. For the 2022 draft, a lot is still up in the air with very few head coaches hired and Las Vegas still deciding on their front-office position.

The Browns are in line to get a third-round compensatory pick after the Minnesota Vikings hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to be their GM. With that in mind, a quick look (and estimate) of where the team’s selections will be in the upcoming 2022 NFL draft:

  • 1st Round – Pick #13
  • 2nd Round – Pick #44
  • 3rd Round – Pick #78
  • 3rd Round – Pick #102 (Compensatory Pick)
  • 4th Round – Pick #114 (Lions Trade)
  • 4th Round – Pick #124
  • 5th Round – Pick #171
  • 6th Round – Pick #218
  • 7th Round – Pick #257

If you use any mock draft simulators, they currently will not have the compensatory picks assigned. That does two things when looking at where Cleveland is picking: 1) Pick #102 won’t be assigned to them and 2) Picks in the fourth round and beyond will be assigned higher positions before the NFL assigns the compensatory picks and drops later picks down.

As an estimate, this gives a great look at where the Browns sit prior to the official announcement of compensatory picks. Four picks of the top 102 players in the upcoming draft should help stock the talent or give them ammunition to make moves.