2022 NFL Draft: Five biggest steals include Kyle Hamilton falling to the Ravens at No. 14

It’s a guarantee that star players will come out of the 2022 NFL Draft and perform where they were ultimately taken. Throughout history, we’ve seen players that had no business evolving into impact performers relative to their draft position. Of course, the most extreme example of this is Tom Brady becoming the greatest quarterback of all time after being selected No. 199 in 2000. While nobody saw the likes of Brady coming, other instances occur during the draft when you almost instantly know that a team took a player at tremendous value.

Below, we’ll be highlighting those types of additions as we cover five of the biggest steals from the 2022 NFL Draft

Jermaine Johnson (No. 26) to jets

Johnson was one of the more notable players who saw his stock fall on Day One. The FSU product was CBS Sports’ third-ranked edge rusher, trailing only Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux, who both went inside the top five. In various final mock drafts, Johnson was also pegged to come off the board inside the top 10 but fell to No. 26 overall where the New York Jets would ultimately trade up to take him. The Jets brass did acknowledge that the ACC Defensive Player of the Year was in the discussion to be taken with one of their top-10 picks.

After having that high of a grade on Johnson and seeing him fall, GM Joe Douglas made the move to trade back into the first to get him. Safe to say that they were pretty stoked about it.

Baltimore had Hamilton fall into its lap at No. 14 overall in the first round on Thursday night. Out of all of the players in this class, the Notre Dame safety was the No. 1 overall prospect on CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso’s final big board. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he possesses great size and length at the position and should be able to come in and immediately make an impact in this Ravens secondary that added fellow safety marcus-williams this offseason and already has corners, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.

Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean routinely found himself as a first-rounder in mock drafts leading into Thursday night. However, the opening round came and went and he was still sitting on the board. Not only that, but Dean lasted all the way to the third round when Philadelphia decided to take him with the No. 83 overall pick. Injury concerns, along with his size, were the driving forces behind Dean’s free-fall as NFL Media noted he was recovering from a “severe pec injury” and recently decided against undergoing surgery to repair it. That said, GM Howie Roseman said following the pick that Dean is expected to be on the field for the start of OTAs and be a full participant. He also said that the team doesn’t anticipate that he’ll miss any time. Health aside, Dean was one of the best players for a national championship-winning defense and the Eagles got him for pennies on the dollar.

The Liberty product was in the conversation of being QB1 in this draft class throughout the pre-draft process and some mocks even had him going to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8 overall. Similar to Dean, however, Willis fell into Day Two where he was eventually taken by the Tennessee Titans at No. 86 overall in the third round. This is incredible value for a Titans team that could look to move off of Ryan Tannehill following the 2022 season if he continues to trend in a downward direction. If that happens, they’ll have a highly talented option at quarterback waiting in the wings with a year of experience in the system.

Entering the season, Sam Howell was in the conversation as the top quarterback in this class and a potential first-round pick. However, after a down season for UNC, his stock of him fell to the point of being a Day Three selection by the Washington Commanders, who took him at No. 144 overall. While Howell’s game does need some polishing, he still possesses some immense talent and has a strong arm. For a team like Washington — the latest to try to fix Carson Wentz — getting a developmental quarterback in Howell is a no-brainer at this stage of the draft.

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