Colts acquire No. 96 (Nick Cross) from Broncos for Nos. 179 (5th), 2023 3rd-rounder
Surrendering future draft capital in a superior class for a quarterback makes sense. Doing so for a safety? Not so much. I don't know how the Colts looked at Nick Cross and thought they had to give up their 2023 third-round pick for him, but that's what happened. I don't get it. I don't completely hate this trade for them, but the Broncos are the easy winners of this deal.
Panthers acquire No. 94 (Matt Corral) from Patriots for Nos. 137 (4th), 2023 3rd-rounder
I mocked Matt Corral to the Panthers in the fourth round while noting that I believed the Panthers would trade future picks for him, perhaps as early as the second round. The Panthers waited until the third frame, yet they still got their man. This showed excellent patience on their part, so they must be graded highly for this. I also liked this deal for the Patriots because they obtained a third-round pick in what will be a much better draft class.
Titans acquire No. 86 (Malik Willis) from Raiders for Nos. 90 (Dylan Parham), 169 (5th)
The Raiders did well to pick up a fifth-round pick and still obtain a solid offensive lineman, but this is all about the Titans. Tennessee surrendered just a fifth to potentially land its quarterback of the future. That's a hell of a deal. The Titans did great here, as they easily could have just made this move to begin the second round. I can't believe Malik Willis fell this part, but credit Tennessee for being patient and still getting its man.
Texans acquire No. 75 (Christian Harris) from Broncos for Nos. 80 (Greg Dulcich), 162 (5th)
Can someone shoot an e-mail to the Texans' front office and tell them that they no longer need to move ahead of the Ravens for Alabama players because Ozzie Newsome is no longer making the decisions? It's ridiculous. At any rate, this trade is much better for the Texans because they obtained a player who easily could have gone in the second round. All it took was a fifth-round pick instead of two fourths, so this gets my seal of approval. I'm a fan of this trade for the Broncos as well because they still obtained the player they coveted while acquiring a fifth-round pick. I'd say this is an even trade.
Bengals acquire No. 60 (Cam Taylor-Britt) from Bills for Nos. 63 (James Cook), 209 (6th)
This was all about moving ahead of the 49ers for the final second-round cornerback in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Bengals were wise to do this, as all they had to surrender as a pick in the middle of the sixth round. I'm not sure why the Bills are cornering the market on sixth-round picks, but once again, they did well to move down because no one in this range was drafting James Cook.
Buccaneers acquire No. 57 (Luke Goedeke) from Bills for Nos. 60 (James Cook at 63), 180 (6th)
The Buccaneers lost two guards this offseason and replaced only one of them. They had to obtain a second player at the position, and they did just that by surrendering only a sixth-round pick in a trade. This probably was necessary for Tampa, as the team leapt the Vikings and Falcons, both of whom could've drafted Luke Goedeke. Meanwhile, the Bills did well to move down and draft the player they wanted all along in James Cook, who will be a nice weapon out of the backfield for them.
Patriots acquire No. 50 (Tyquan Thornton) from Chiefs for Nos. 54 (Skyy Moore), 158 (5th)
I'll have whatever Bill Belichick is smoking. What the hell is he doing? There was absolutely no reason to trade up for Tyquan Thornton, who was a third-day prospect. If anything, Belichick should have traded down to acquire Thornton. Yet, he moved up in a deal with the Chiefs, only to watch Kansas City snag the better receiving talent. The Patriots gave up a fifth-round pick for nothing, though Belichick probably would have just drafted a 2036 UDFA with that pick. Kansas City won this deal by a mile, though it obtained "just" a fifth-round choice.
Texans acquire No. 44 (John Metchie) from Browns for Nos. 68 (Martin Emerson), 108 (4th), 124 (4th)
The Texans are the gift that keeps on giving. I don't understand anything they're doing, and that includes this trade. John Metchie, with his torn ACL, was not projected to go in the second round. There were also plenty of talented receivers available, so Houston didn't have to move all the way up from 68 to 44 to obtain one. With so many needs, the Texans couldn't afford to surrender two fourth-round choices.
Cleveland obviously won this trade. Obtaining two fourths to help build talent around Deshaun Watson will be key. If only every team could take advantage of dealing with the Texans!
Vikings acquire No. 42 (Andrew Booth) from Colts for Nos. 53 (Alec Pierce), 77 (Bernhard Raimann), 192 (6th)
Is it just me, or does Andrew Booth for Alec Pierce and Bernhard Raimann sound perfectly even? I like this trade for both teams. The Vikings desperately needed to find cornerback help to clean up the mess they made as far as allowing multiple talented receivers into their division, and Andrew Booth will be key in defending them. The Colts, meanwhile, grabbed two players they easily could've obtained at No. 42.
Falcons acquire No. 38 (Arnold Ebiketie) from Giants for Nos. 43 (Wan'Dale Robinson), 114 (4th)
I like Arnold Ebiketie as a prospect, but I don't know why the Falcons made this move. There were so many talented edge rushers on the board that they didn't have to move up five spots and sacrifice an early fourth-round pick in the process. The Falcons have so many needs, so giving up valuable resources is nice wise. Conversely, the Giants, another team with tons of needs, did well to pick up a nice asset in this trade.
Jets acquire No. 36 (Breece Hall) from Giants for Nos. 38 (Wan'Dale Robinson at 43), 146 (5th)
The Jets were targeting Breece Hall all along because they needed to give Zach Wilson a better weapon in the backfield. They needed to jump the Texans, who easily could have taken Hall, and all it took was a fifth-round pick. I like the move for them. The Giants, meanwhile, have tons of needs, so picking up a fifth-rounder was a nice move. I like this trade for both teams, though I'll give the win to the Jets.
Packers acquire No. 34 (Christian Watson) from Vikings for Nos. 53 (traded), 59 (Ed Ingram)
I know Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is new to being an NFL general manager, but he has to learn not to give talented players to his divisional rivals. He did so in the first round with Jameson Williams to the Lions, and he repeated that action in this trade. From a value perspective, this deal was much better for Minnesota than the Lions trade was, but the Vikings should not have allowed Aaron Rodgers to have a talented receiver at his disposal. The Vikings don't even have the personnel to deal with Christian Watson!
As for the Packers, they did well to move up for a much-needed weapon. Rodgers must be much happier right now.
Jaguars acquire No. 27 (Devin Lloyd) from Buccaneers for Nos. 33 (2nd), 106 (4th), 180 (6th)
The Jaguars definitely won this trade. Devin Lloyd was a steal at No. 27, and there were some teams in the 28-32 range that could have drafted him. The Patriots, especially, were linked to Lloyd, so Jacksonville did well to move up for him. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, are all in right now. They don't need to acquire more picks. They need to take the best player possible, and yet they missed out on the likes of DeVonte Wyatt, Daxton Hill and Lewis Cine - three players who would have been solid selections for them.
Jets acquire No. 26 (Jermaine Johnson) from Titans for Nos. 35 (2nd), 69 (3rd), 163 (5th)
If you told me, ahead of time, that the Jets left the 2022 NFL Draft with Jermaine Johnson, I would've assumed they drafted him at No. 10. They landed a steal at No. 26, so it made sense for them to trade third- and fifth-round picks to made it happen. Tennessee fans can't be happy that their team didn't stay put and just draft Johnson, but it's apparent that the Titans have entered rebuilding mode and wanted more draft capital. I don't blame them for moving down, but they didn't really have a choice.
Bills acquire No. 23 (Kaiir Elam) from Ravens for Nos. 25 (Tyler Linderbaum), 130 (4th)
I don't understand why the Bills made this trade. The Cowboys were locked in on a receiver or offensive lineman. They were not going to take Kaiir Elam, so why did Buffalo feel the need to leap them? They flushed a fourth-round pick down the drain for nothing. I liked the Elam pick, but Buffalo could've made it at No. 25. With that in mind, the Ravens easily won this trade, as they picked up a fourth-rounder for free and still got the player they were targeting at No. 23.
Chiefs acquire No. 21 (Trent McDuffie) from Patriots for Nos. 29 (Cole Strange), 94 (3rd), 121 (4th)
The Chiefs entered the 2022 NFL Draft with 12 picks. There was no way they were going to make all of them, so they had to trade up. With all the top receivers off the board, they decided to target a cornerback instead. Trent McDuffie could've been selected by several of the teams in the 22-28 range, so Kansas City did well to get their man. As for the Patriots, they made a horrible selection in Cole Strange, but I graded that as a Millen already in the NFL Draft Grades page. This trade, by itself, was a solid one; New England obviously coveted either Zion Johnson and/or Kenyon Green, so trading down made a lot of sense once they were off the board.
Eagles acquire WR A.J. Brown from Titans for Nos. 18 (Treylon Burks), 101 (3rd)
Most draft trades often don't decide divisions because they involve inexperienced players. This deal may have decided two divisions. With the Cowboys losing tons of talent this offseason, the Eagles likely leapt ahead of them in the wake of this trade. A.J. Brown is an incredible, young receiver. Granted, he's going to be expensive - $100 million over four years with $57 million guaranteed - but in this market, he's certainly worth it. Brown and Devonta Smith will be a terrific duo for Jalen Hurts, as the Eagles will be able to open up their offense and not rely on the run so much.
Conversely, the Titans just conceded the AFC South to the Colts. I like Treylon Burks as much as the next guy, but he's inexperienced and doesn't possess Brown's upside. Ryan Tannehill will sorely miss Brown, as we saw last year when the superstar wideout was out of the lineup. Tannehill's contract has officially closed the Titans' championship window, as it forced this trade to happen.
Cardinals acquire WR Marquise Brown, No. 100 (3rd) from Ravens for Nos. 23 (Tyler Linderbaum at No. 25)
My initial reaction to this was that the Cardinals won this trade. They obtained a superstar receiver for their first- and third-round picks, which seemed great when all the top wideouts were snatched off the board. However, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that the Ravens may have won in this swap. Lamar Jackson is upset about this trade, but Baltimore turned its expensive receiver into a younger and much cheaper starting center, as well as a third-round pick. When you put it that way, I'd say Baltimore won the deal, as Tyler Linderbaum will be able to keep Jackson upright.
Update: NFL.com said the Ravens received the pick, but Arizona did. I've adjusted accordingly.
Eagles acquire No. 13 (Jordan Davis) from Texans for Nos. 15 (Kenyon Green), 124 (4th), 162 (5th), 166 (5th)
This trade made sense for both teams, but I'd say the Eagles won they swap. They had to move ahead of the Ravens for Jordan Davis, and it cost them three mid-round picks. Considering the Eagles had 10 picks entering this weekend, they could afford to part with them, and none of those were premium selections. The Texans did well to pick up more resources to move down, though I disliked their eventual pick.
Lions acquire Nos. 12 (Jameson Williams), 46 (2nd) from Vikings for Nos. 32 (Lewis Cine), 34 (2nd), 66 (3rd)
I can't believe the Vikings made this trade. When the Lions moved up from 32 to 12, I thought they gave up a future first-round pick for a receiver. I was ready to laugh at them, but then the details were revealed. For moving up 20 places, all the Lions did was trade down 12 spots in the second round and give up a third-round choice. That's insane value. Not only were the Vikings robbed in this trade; they gifted a superstar receiver to a divisional rival - one that they were incapable of covering at the moment!
Saints acquire No. 11 (Chris Olave) from Redskins for Nos. 16 (Jahan Dotson), 98 (3rd), 120 (4th)
The Saints won this trade. They surrendered third- and fourth-round picks to get their desired prospect, but there's definitely more than a five separation between the talent of Chris Olave and Jahan Dotson. The Redskins lost so much value going from Olave to Dotson. I know picking up two mid-round choices is good for them, considering that they had just two picks in the top 100 entering the weekend, but it seems as though they forced this trade.