Defense wins championships, right? That’s what a lot of the NFL’s teams are banking on heading into 2022 and beyond as the NFL Draft was headlined by defensive stars on Thursday night as the opening round took place. As expected, the top two picks were both defensive ends, with Georgia’s Travon Walker heading to Jacksonville and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson going to Detroit at one and two. The next three picks were also defensive in nature, and it wasn’t until the eighth selection that the first offensive ‘skill’ player was drafted.
That proved to be Drake London, formerly of USC, who headed to the Atlanta Falcons. Always of interest to those watching is when the first quarterback is selected, and that didn’t occur into the second half of the opening round as the Pittsburgh Steelers took local hero Kenny Pickett with the 20th pick. Pickett is said to have been the most game-ready QB available in this draft, and he will likely have the chance to compete for the starter’s spot right away as the Steelers have an opening at the position. Other big news to come out of this edition of the Draft centered around trades. The big one came when the Tennessee Titans sent wide receiver AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. They, the Eagles, in turn, signed him to a $100 million deal, giving him the check he had been looking for. Another Brown, Marquise, was also on the move as the Arizona Cardinals acquired him in exchange for a first-round pick with the Baltimore Ravens.