As we approach mid-season, I would like to look at the 2022 draft and give a progress report on our picks and their value to the team. To be fair, it’s too early to really know enough to completely grade these guys. But it will still be interesting to look at their progress so far.
The 2022 Draft – Progress So Far
- LT Tyler Smith has been everything we hoped for and more. He’s still raw but he looks like the future at LT- the second most difficult position to find talent in football. Grade: A
- DE Sam Williams– started the year with only a few plays but now going into game 8, he is nearing 20 snaps and has been making the most of his PT. If he continues his current trajectory, he will be a beast for years to come. Grade: A-
- WR Jalen Tolbert– we needed immediate help at WR this year and we would have to say Tolbert has been a disappointment so far. A healthy scratch for multiple games, he has caught one pass so far. Way too early to declare him a bust but he’s certainly been underwhelming so far. Grade: D
- TE Jake Ferguson- has been an immediate help at TE. He’s had 8 receptions for 71 yards and a TD. He’s blocked well and already looks like Schultz is expendable at the end of the season. Grade: A-
- OL Matt Waletzko- a bad shoulder has robbed him of much playing time. His shoulder has landed him on IR so we haven’t had enough data to grade IMO. Grade: Incomplete
- CB Daron Bland- a pleasant surprise in TC, Bland appears to be the guy in slot coverage now with Jourdan Lewis’ injury. Lots of upside but also still unproven. The team appears to have more confidence in him that last yrs 2nd rounder Kelvin Joseph.Grade: B
- LB Damone Clark- his pre-draft injury has kept him from playing but we know he’s really fast and might be on the field soon. Not much to judge him on yet. Grade: Incomplete
- DL John Ridgeway- was somewhat disappointing in TC and PS games. Has played a little this year with a couple of assisted tackles but not much PT overall. Grade: C-
- LB Devin Harper- 6th round pick has not played much at all. Can’t tell if he has any future here yet and we need help at LB. Grade: Incomplete
- UFA TE Payton Hendershot- a true diamond in the rough that was undrafted. He not only made the team, he’s playing a lot. Has 7 receptions for 70 yds and a TD. Not quite as good a blocker as Ferguson but still an amazing find. Paired with Ferguson, he’s a real impact player already. Grade: A-
What progress report grades would you give these guys so far?
Late edit- Oops- Ridgeway isn’t here anymore. My bad
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