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2022 NFL rookie updates: Offseason notes, impressions on all 32 first-round draft picks


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https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34093354/2022-nfl-rookie-updates-offseason-notes-impressions-all-32-first-round-draft-picks

I copy and pasted 1-5 and the Jets additional 1st rounders. 

With veteran participation often kept to a minimum during offseason practices in the NFL, it's only natural for attention to turn to the new faces and the rookies in particular.

Eight teams didn't have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft. For the 24 that did (obviously some with multiple picks), it was a chance to get a closer look at those players who personnel people believe can have a big impact. And, in many cases, sooner rather than later.

We asked our NFL Nation reporters to keep a close eye on the first-round picks and how each fared this offseason, in organized team activities and minicamp practices.

Did the Jaguars get it right by picking linebacker Travon Walker No. 1? Will cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. shut down half the field for the Texans? Can Drake London be the No. 1 wide receiver for the Falcons? Is Kenny Pickett the heir apparent at quarterback in Pittsburgh? Which of the pass-rushers and wide receivers look the part? These answers are in the order of how Round 1 played out:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Travon Walker, LB

How he has fared so far: It's hard not to be impressed with Walker physically (6-foot-5, 272 pounds), but he's still learning what to do as an outside linebacker, which is where the Jaguars are playing him with the first-team defense. He has gotten a lot of one-on-one work with outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey and also is working with Josh Allen.

"You think about the size -- his height, his weight, his speed -- it's like a unicorn," defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said. "He is unique." -- Michael DiRocco

2. Detroit Lions

Aidan Hutchinson, DE

How he has fared so far: Throughout rookie and mandatory minicamp, there was nothing but high praise for Hutchinson from the Lions' coaching staff. Hutchinson was working with the starters and excelled in drills as he continues to prepare for his rookie season. Coach Dan Campbell has been impressed with his strength but sees areas for improvement in technique and learning the system.

"He doesn't say anything -- he listens. He's like a sponge in there. He absorbs the information, he watches how things are done and the way coaches want them done," Campbell said. -- Eric Woodyard

3. Houston Texans

Derek Stingley Jr., CB

How he has fared so far: During OTAs, Texans coach Lovie Smith said because Stingley is coming off a major injury, the team is focused on him getting "better each day." Smith said in May that the No. 3 pick is "getting a limited amount of reps" this spring. Defensive back Steven Nelson said he thinks Stingley is "going to do some great things here whenever he gets rolling." -- Sarah Barshop

4. New York Jets

Ahmad Gardner, CB

How he has fared so far: Gardner got quality work with the starters due to injuries, but he's not officially a starter -- yet. He will be by Week 1. Aside from his 6-3 frame, long arms and speed, the thing that impresses the coaches is his willingness to learn. Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said Gardner has "such a good football brain and a thirst for the game." -- Rich Cimini

5. New York Giants

Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE

How he has fared so far: He spent most of the spring in a red jersey working with a trainer on the side at practice because of an undisclosed injury. Thibodeaux got twisted up on a rep late in practice during the second week of OTAs. It kept him out the rest of the spring. But in the limited time he was on the field it was obvious the Giants are going to use him often and everywhere. That first step is special. Thibodeaux was working with the first-team defense on the first day of OTAs. --

10. New York Jets (via SEA)

Garrett Wilson, WR

How he has fared so far: Wilson has a ways to go in terms of mastering the route tree, but there's no doubt about his physical traits. The one that jumps out is his body control, the ability to adjust to off-target throws. He projects as an immediate contributor in the wide receiver rotation. -- Rich Cimini

26. New York Jets (via TEN)

Jermaine Johnson II, DE

How he has fared so far: It was a quiet OTAs and minicamp for Johnson, mainly because it was a noncontact passing camp that makes it difficult to evaluate linemen. Working mainly with the second and third teams, he lined up in the wide-9 position. The coaches believe that's the ideal spot for his size/speed skill set. -- Rich Cimini

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Multiple interesting players to watch including Travon Walker, Derek Stingley, and Thibs. (1) Travon was drafted for his freakish size. He is going to be a beast or not worth the #1, no two ways around it. (2) Stingley coming off that injury will be interesting to see what happens. Sauce just feels a lot safer than Stingley, and he might end up being the better player too. (3) The takes on Thibs have been so all over the place that you don't know what he'll be. He's certainly got the swag though.  

Something to watch play out: Giants could have got Ickey at 5 and still snagged Thibs at 7. Instead Ickey went at 6, and Giants grabbed Neal at 7. 

Interested if anyone has legit insights on why JJ dropped? Watching Flight 2022, it appears even the pundits had no idea why he was dropping. 

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1 hour ago, 65 Toss Power Trap said:

Multiple interesting players to watch including Travon Walker, Derek Stingley, and Thibs. (1) Travon was drafted for his freakish size. He is going to be a beast or not worth the #1, no two ways around it. (2) Stingley coming off that injury will be interesting to see what happens. Sauce just feels a lot safer than Stingley, and he might end up being the better player too. (3) The takes on Thibs have been so all over the place that you don't know what he'll be. He's certainly got the swag though.  

Something to watch play out: Giants could have got Ickey at 5 and still snagged Thibs at 7. Instead Ickey went at 6, and Giants grabbed Neal at 7. 

Interested if anyone has legit insights on why JJ dropped? Watching Flight 2022, it appears even the pundits had no idea why he was dropping. 

Scheme i think on JJ.   Other teams seemed to have him around where the Jets got him, but in this pin your ears back DLine he’s a potential monster.

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8 hours ago, 65 Toss Power Trap said:

Multiple interesting players to watch including Travon Walker, Derek Stingley, and Thibs. (1) Travon was drafted for his freakish size. He is going to be a beast or not worth the #1, no two ways around it. (2) Stingley coming off that injury will be interesting to see what happens. Sauce just feels a lot safer than Stingley, and he might end up being the better player too. (3) The takes on Thibs have been so all over the place that you don't know what he'll be. He's certainly got the swag though.  

Something to watch play out: Giants could have got Ickey at 5 and still snagged Thibs at 7. Instead Ickey went at 6, and Giants grabbed Neal at 7. 

Interested if anyone has legit insights on why JJ dropped? Watching Flight 2022, it appears even the pundits had no idea why he was dropping. 

JJ basically dropped because he’s an older prospect and his analytics aren’t great.

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The biggest things from that breakdown is the dumbness of JAX playing
Walker at LB and Stingley not being healthy after sitting out all year.
Walker was a DE in college who had minimal production, scouts were projecting
him in the pros based on his traits/athletic ability.  Now you force
him to change positions???  HOU wanted a CB and chose Stingley who hasn't 
excelled in 2 years and who didn't play last year.  Makes sense
 

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1 hour ago, KRL said:

The biggest things from that breakdown is the dumbness of JAX playing
Walker at LB and Stingley not being healthy after sitting out all year.
Walker was a DE in college who had minimal production, scouts were projecting
him in the pros based on his traits/athletic ability.  Now you force
him to change positions???  HOU wanted a CB and chose Stingley who hasn't 
excelled in 2 years and who didn't play last year.  Makes sense
 

The Football Elohim were watching over the Jets during the draft. Both GMs picked to tank in 2022 for sure. 

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5 hours ago, KRL said:

The biggest things from that breakdown is the dumbness of JAX playing
Walker at LB and Stingley not being healthy after sitting out all year.
Walker was a DE in college who had minimal production, scouts were projecting
him in the pros based on his traits/athletic ability.  Now you force
him to change positions???
 HOU wanted a CB and chose Stingley who hasn't 
excelled in 2 years and who didn't play last year.  Makes sense
 

While I agree, to play devil's advocate I would say that you could argue that Jax is looking at Walker like a clean slate because he is a raw and freakish athlete. He can play DE, DT or even LB. Maybe they feel like exactly which position he played in college really doesn't matter that much. 

Sidenote: Despite his size, he played all over at Georgia. Including reps at LB or at the very least dropping back and playing in space.

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6 hours ago, KRL said:

The biggest things from that breakdown is the dumbness of JAX playing
Walker at LB and Stingley not being healthy after sitting out all year.
Walker was a DE in college who had minimal production, scouts were projecting
him in the pros based on his traits/athletic ability.  Now you force
him to change positions???  HOU wanted a CB and chose Stingley who hasn't 
excelled in 2 years and who didn't play last year.  Makes sense
 

That's what the 49ers did with Aldine Smith, and he excelled right out of the gate.

Stand him up and let him explode at the QB.  I think that's easier to learn the defense end.

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