Image Credit (Darren Yamashita /USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
The 2022 NFL Draft has officially concluded, So for the next few days, I will be grading each round of the draft. Now it is time to grade the sixth round of the draft. Now as always when I grade a selection as a HACKENBURG Grade that is obviously an F grade. So let's get into it starting with the Buffalo Bills.
180. Buffalo Bills (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Jacksonville Jaguars) - P Matt Araiza Grade C
Normally I would be against drafting special team players, but with this one, I am going to make an exception here. First, it is in the later rounds instead of the mid-rounds. Second is Araiza has experience playing punter and kicker. That is a very valuable trait for any special team player. Plus he could be utilized as trade bait, remember the whole Kaare Vedvik saga where the Ravens signed him as an undrafted free agent and then traded him to Minnesota for a 5th-round pick.
181. Philadelphia Eagles (from Detroit Lions) - LB Kyron Johnson (Kansas) Grade C-
Not going to be over-complaining about this selection as the Eagles needed a linebacker, but there were better options here. Plus there was no need for the Eagles to trade up for Johnson as he was likely going to be there at 188.
182. New York Giants - LB Darrian Beavers (Cincinnati) Grade B+
The Giants made another good selection at linebacker by taking Beavers. He has an impact on the run and as a pass rusher. I think he shines the most with his coverage ability. He is not the best with his hip fluidity and footwork but if he can adapt he should be a solid player.
183. New England Patriots (from South Carolina) - RB Kevin Harris (South Carolina) Grade HACKENBURG Ok, I am convinced that the Patriots are trying to troll us with every pick they make in this class. Their running back core was tight when they selected Pierre Strong earlier, why are they once again selecting another running back in this draft class? They had a lot more needs to address and yet they decide to go after a position they already had a ton of depth in. I did not see Harris getting drafted at all.
184. Minnesota Vikings (from New York Jets) - OT Vederian Lowe (Illinois) Grade B+
The Vikings getting some insurance by drafting offensive line depth to protect a QB that they will give continuous fully guaranteed contracts. I like it as I had Vederian Lowe going at this spot. He is going to battle for a roster spot, but he has the potential to be a good offensive lineman with time.
185. Buffalo Bills (from Carolina Panthers) - CB Christian Benford (Villanova) Grade D
Ehh not a fan of this selection. Benford is not the best in coverage but can be physical making tackles. There is a lot of work when developing Benford. Worse for worse he will be a depth piece that the Bills were lacking last year once Tre'Davious White went down with an injury. It is the 6th round so I am not completely going to complain.
186. Chicago Bears - OT Zachary Thomas (San Diego State) Grade B
I like this selection a lot more than their earlier selection with Braxton Jones. He has position versatility as he can play guard and tackle. Thomas has a strong posture, strong hand placement, is smooth when he pulls, and smooth footwork when in the LOS.
187. San Francisco 49ers (From Denver Broncos) - OT Nick Zakelj (Fordham) Grade C-
I had my eye on Nick Zakelj for the last few weeks of the NFL Draft. There is a lot to like with him including his pass blocking and his mirror ability. But there is a lot of work when developing his run blocking skills. This selection is also a round too early as I saw him as a 7th-round prospect. It is not a bad pick as he will be depth on the o-line for now..
188. Detroit Lions (via Philadelphia Eagles, via Jacksonville Jaguars, From Seattle Seahawks) - LB Malcolm Rodriguez (Oklahoma State) Grade C+
Detroit has a lot of needs that they needed to address in the draft, and linebacker is a big need. He is fast, has strong awareness, and is a solid Blitzer as well. Rodriguez must do a better job in coverage as he often gets burned by Tight Ends.
189. Carolina Panthers (from Washington Commanders - LB Amare Barno (Virginia Tech) Grade C
Huh, this is an interesting pick as they already drafted a linebacker in this draft. Barno is not a terrible player, but he was not the best in coverage during his time at Virginia Tech. If I was the Panthers I would experiment with Barno by having him play as a DE/EDGE Rusher as he had more of an impact in giving any QB pressure.
190. Atlanta Falcons - OG Justin Shaffer (Georgia) Grade A
The Falcons in their rebuild should always start at the offensive line. This pick is an excellent choice as Mariota could use some protection. Shaffer is going to need time to develop, but he showed flashes. He needs to be more consistent as a pass blocker and improve his technique. But this is a great pick in the 6th round as I saw Shaffer as an early 5th round prospect.
191. Minnesota Vikings (vis Kansas City Chiefs, from Baltimore Ravens) - WR Jalen Nailor (Michigan State) Grade C
Meh, not much to say except that the Vikings needed receiver depth. It took them long enough and this is a fine selection for the 6th round. Nailor would have been drafted higher if he stayed healthy.
192. Indianapolis Colts (from Minnesota Vikings) - TE Andrew Ogletree (Youngstown State) Grade D
Interesting selection as the Colts earlier selected Jelani Woods in the 3rd round. I have a feeling this selection was more to help boost their special teams and get competition for the TE crew. An issue I had with Ogletree is that he lacks agility. There were other needs for the Colts to select here.
193. Dallas Cowboys (Cleveland Browns) - LB Devin Harper (Oklahoma State) Grade C+
The Cowboys don’t completely need a linebacker as they already drafted one, but Harper is more of an outside linebacker. The Cowboys don’t have much depth at outside linebacker and Devin can be a solid backup for the Cowboys.
194. New Orleans Saints (via Philadelphia Eagles, from Indianapolis Colts) - DT Jordan Jackson (Air Force) Grade B
Not bad. The Saints needed defensive line depth and Jackson is a solid prospect, especially when stopping the run. He does need to improve with his impact as a pass rusher, but he should be a solid option on the DL.
195. Los Angeles Chargers - OG Jamaree Salyer (Georgia) Grade A+
Protecting Justin Herbert is always a great idea, especially when the prospect should have been taken in the 3rd round of the draft. He has position versatility as well and I could see him being plugged in at tackle, so it would not surprise me to see him playing games.
Pick Violation: The next selection would have been the property of the New Orleans Saints, but they had lost it due to repeated violations of the league's COVID-19 guidelines
196. Baltimore Ravens (from Miami Dolphins) - RB Tyler Badie (Missouri) Grade A
I don’t blame the Ravens for getting depth at running back. They had to deal with past their prime declining running backs like Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell as a result of the insane amount of injuries that they had to deal with. Plus he will now be the healthy running back on this team now that Ty'Son Williams is gone.
197. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Philadelphia Eagles) - CB Gregory Junior (Ouachita Baptist) Grade B
There were rumors of the Jaguars being interested in Junior due to his performance in senior bowl practices and at the Senior Bowl. He shows flashes of potential throughout his time in Ouachita Baptist as he has solid awareness, good coverage, and has smooth footwork. My question is whether he can adapt and perform well against NFL talent.
198. Philadelphia Eagles (via Jacksonville Jaguars, from Pittsburgh Steelers) - TE Grant Calcaterra (SMU) Grade HACKENBURG
Wow. Super shocked that Grant Calcaterra got drafted, especially as he contemplated retirement due to his constant concussion issues. I don’t think he will be playing in the NFL long-term due to his injuries. I hope he can stay healthy, but he wasn’t in my opinion worth being drafted.
199. Carolina Panthers (From Las Vegas Raiders) - OG Cade Mays (Tennessee) Grade A
The winner of being selected 199th overall in a pick I have labeled the Brady Bunch (After Tom Brady was selected 199th Overall in 200) is Cade Mays. I like it because the Panthers needed interior offensive line depth to give Sam Darnold or Matt Corall more protection.
200. New England Patriots - DE/EDGE Sam Roberts (Northwest Missouri State) Grade HACKENBURG
Roses are red, Violets are blue, and the New England Patriots reach on another prospect too. I legit did not see Sam Roberts being drafted at all. I legit have not heard of this guy when this pick was announced. From the footage I saw of him, I legit am confused as to why the Patriots drafted him. Maybe it was his performance in the Hula Bowl, but I just don’t see him as a guy lasting long on the roster.
201. Arizona Cardinals - RB Keaontay Ingram (USC) Grade A+
I completely forgot that Ingram was still available to select in the 6th round as I saw him as a late 4th/early 5th round selection in this draft. The Cardinals needed depth behind James Connor. While Connor was excellent for Arizona last season, he has durability issues. This is a great selection by the Arizona Cardinals.
202. Cleveland Browns (from Dallas Cowboys) - WR Michael Woods (Oklahoma) Grade D-
Ehh not a fan of this selection. Woods did not impress me in the film that I saw of him. At least this gives Watson another target to throw the football to.
203. Chicago Bears (from Buffalo Bills) - RB Trestan Ebner (Baylor) Grade B+
The Bears need to find a replacement for RB Tarik Cohen. On a side note it is terrible he suffered that ruptured achilles injury and my thoughts and prayers go out to him. Ebner has experience as a pass-catching back, running with the ball, and on special teams. Ebner should be a solid player on the Bears.
204. Tennessee Titans - S Theo Jackson (Tennessee) Grade C+
Looks like Theo Jackson won’t have to leave Tennessee after all as the Titans have selected him. Not a bad choice getting depth at secondary and Jackson was alright, but I can see the Titans experiment with him at linebacker.
205. Houston Texans (from Green Bay Packers) - OT Austin Deculus (LSU) Grade B
It took the Texans long enough to realize they needed a backup tackle. They made the rare wise move not to select a Tackle 3rd overall as they already had two in Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard. But the Texans needed a backup and Deculus can be that player.
206. Denver Broncos (via Philadelphia Eagles,via New York Jets, from Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - DT Matt Henningson (Wisconsin) Grade C
Not a terrible move as the Broncos could use some depth after they traded Shelby Harris and could use a replacement for him. I like this pick better than the Eyloma Uwazurike pick in the 4th round as Henningson showed flashes as a pass rusher and run stopper.
207. Chicago Bears (via Houston Texans, via New York Jets, from San Francisco 49ers) - C Doug Kramer (Illinois) Grade C+
The Bears needed depth at center, so I don’t hate the pick. But, this was a round too early for the Bears to take a center. But Kramer is a solid run and pass blocker. I could see Kramer moving to guard as well due to having position versatility.
208. Pittsburgh Steelers - FB Connor Heyward (Michigan State) Grade HACKENBURG
Ok, what reason was this pick made excluding that he is the brother of Steelers DE/EDGE Cameron Heyward? You do realize you overpaid for Derek Watt years ago to play fullback right? The Steelers had more needs than fullback, but it was probably a request by Cameron for the team to draft him.
209. Buffalo Bills (From Cincinnati Bengals) OT Luke Tenuta (Virginia Tech) Grade D
A round too early for Luke Tenuta. He is a run blocker, but he needs to work better as a pass blocker as he is incredibly inconsistent. If I was the Bills I would absolutely move Tenuta to guard as that would be a better fit.
210. New England Patriots (From Los Angeles Rams) - OG Chasen Hines (LSU) Grade C+ What is this draft, a choice from New England that I actually like in this draft class? It's a Minneapolis Miracle. Hines showed a lot of potential throughout his time at LSU. The Patriots needed depth on the interior offensive line and Hines has a lot of upside. This is great value as I saw him as a 4th/5th round prospect.
211. Los Angeles Rams - S Quentin Lake (UCLA) Grade B
With Eric Weddle gone the Rams need to find a replacement. Lake can be that guy as he is a solid tackler, smooth in coverage, and is solid in awareness. The Rams bolstering the secondary is also a good idea.
212. Los Angeles Rams - CB Derion Kendrick (Clemson) Grade A
At one point Derion Kendrick was considered a potential 1st round selection by some. Now I saw him more as a 4th round prospect. The Rams don’t need a cornerback, but Kendrick at this spot was too good to pass up. Hopefully, Kendrick matures and is more consistent as he has a lot of potential.
213. Atlanta Falcons - TE John FitzPatrick (Georgia) Grade C
The Falcons have a ton of needs, but I don’t think Tight End is one of them as they have Kyle Pitts. Yes, they need a backup, but Anthony Firkser is a solid backup. I guess the Falcons want some depth at the Tight End Position.
214. Los Angeles Chargers - CB Ja’Sir Taylor (Wake Forest) Grade C+
Meh, not a bad selection as cornerback was a need last year. They signed JC Jackson, still have Asante Samuel jr, and brought in Bryce Callahan. They need a depth piece just in case one of them gets hurt and Taylor has potential but is a little raw and will need time to develop.
215. Arizona Cardinals - OG Lecitus Smith (Virginia Tech) Grade B
Protecting QB Kyler Murray is a must. It is best to keep him happy as he almost was angry to the point where he wanted to leave the Cardinals. Smith should be a solid rotational guard to help protect Murray and open holes for James Connor.
216. Indianapolis Colts - DT Curtis Brooks (Cincinnati) Grade C
This was not a need for the Indianapolis Colts as they already selected Eric Johnson. Now like Eric Johnson, Brooks is more of a pass rusher than a run stopper. I feel Johnson is more of a polished prospect than Brooks, but not an awful selection by them.
217. Detroit Lions - LB James Houston (Jackson State) Grade B
Again like I said earlier, the Lions linebacker was one of the many needs surrounding this team. I like this selection more than the Malcolm Rodriguez selection. Mainly because Houston is smoother in coverage. Overall not bad in the 6th round
218. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - TE Ko Kieft (Minnesota) Grade D+
Ehh Tampa needed a tight end as who knows if Gronk even plays this year. They already took Cade Otton in the 4th round so there was no need to take another. Plus Kieft is more of a blocking Tight end so I guess it helps protect Brady.
219. Tennessee Titans - LB Chance Campbell (Ole Miss) Grade C
The Titans needed linebacker depth on their team. Campbell is a solid player at this spot, but to be honest I was not a fan of Campbell and had him going undrafted. I guess the Titans saw him as more of a fit on their defensive scheme.
220. San Francisco 49ers - Kalila Davis DT (UCF) Grade B+
Davis would have gone earlier if he did not suffer a Torn ACL last season. But he is a solid pick in the late 6th round as the 49ers needed depth on the defensive line and Davis is a solid run stopper. Solid choice here.
221. San Francisco 49ers - CB Tariq Castro-Fields (Penn State) Grade B+
Talk about a fall. There were some that projected Castro-Fields going in the 2nd round and even compared him to Marlon Humphrey. Now I was not one of these scouts. I saw him as a late 4th/early 5th-round prospect. I was not a fan of him as he lacked awareness, is poor in coverage and has injury concerns. But at this spot, it was too good for the 49ers to pass on here.