2022 NFL Draft Picks:
2:64 – Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma (B+)
3:80 – Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA (B-)
4:115 – Damarri Mathis, DB, Pittsburgh (A+)
4:116 – Eyioma Uwazurike, DL, Iowa State (A)
5:152 – Delarrin Turner-Yell, S, Oklahoma (B-)
5:162 – Montrell Washington,WR, Samford (C-)
5:171 – Luke Wattenberg, C, Washington (B+)
6:206 – Matt Henningsen, DL, Wisconsin (B-)
7:232 – Faion Hicks, CB, Wisconsin (B+)
Favorite Pick: Damarri Mathis
Damarri Mathis is one of “my guys” from the 2022 NFL Draft class. Many scouts pigeonhole him into the slot defender position because that’s where he spent most of his collegiate career. However, my evaluation led to the belief that he is much, much more than that. Mathis isn’t the biggest cornerback, but he tested out as well as any.
He is athletic enough to stick with pass catchers from the slot, but also strong enough to come into the box and stick a running back. Furthermore, Mathis displayed range that rivals anyone in this class. This makes me think that he can even play safety if he’s asked to. The Broncos have a strong secondary, but a jack-of-all-trades type of player is the perfect cherry on top.
I look for Mathis to make a name for himself at training camp and to claim a starting role on this defense sooner rather than later.
Least Favorite Pick: Montrell Washington
Full disclosure, I did not have a draft grade on Montrell Washington. Picking Washington for this section is mostly due to the rest of the picks being solid. That being said, I looked over other big boards following the selection, and did not find him within the top-300 anywhere. That makes pick 162 rather rich if you ask me.
Wide receiver is also arguably the strongest positional group on the roster and I believe another member for the trenches would have been a better use of the pick. I hope Washington makes a career for himself and that we can all laugh at this section in 12 months time.
Late Round Sleeper: Luke Wattenberg
The Denver Broncos must make an effort to surround Russell Wilson with a strong offensive line in order to maximize the potential of the team going forward. Adding Billy Turner to the mix at right tackle helped bolster that spot, but to the surprise of many, Denver only used one of their nine selections on the offensive line. The good news?
They hit a home run with that selection. Luke Wattenberg is a big center, and flashes versatility to play at either guard position as well. I expect him to come in and compete for one of those spots immediately. Lloyd Cushenberry, Dalton Risner, Graham Glasgow, and Quinn Meinerz better be on notice because the former Washington Husky is going to be hungry to prove himself.