(Image credit Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
With the 2021 Regular Season coming to an end there are 18 teams that have unfortunately been eliminated from the playoffs. Thus resulting in the first 18 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft finally being revealed. So I will go through the draft picks starting from #18 to #1 and discuss the team's season in brief.
18. New Orleans Saints
Like I said in my eliminated article, It was a hard-fought season for the Saints but they had a ton of unlucky moments that they had undergone from this season. The fact that they had to deal with the cap crunch they had and almost make the playoffs has heavily impressed me. But I wonder what is next for the Saints. The Saints do not have a franchise QB currently on their roster. Maybe they have an opportunity to find that QB with the 18th overall pick. It will be interesting to see what they do now.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers once again fell short of expectations and missed the playoffs. They had a playoff spot in their hands and they once again blew it. I have no idea where the Chargers go from here. I am not confident in their coach but the players are good and especially on offense.
16. Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis Colts)
The Indianapolis Colts should be playing in the playoffs right now but are not after that disgraceful performance that they had against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Man, the Colts have a lot of questions to ask. Is Carson Wentz the guy for QB? Is Frank Reich the head coach after all? How should the Colts handle Free Agency this season? At least the Indianapolis Colts have a first-round pick to rebuild their team. Oh yeah as a result of the Carson Wentz trade the 1st round pick is Philadelphia Eagles Property.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins)
Such a disappointing season for the Miami Dolphins. Especially as many were expecting them to make the playoffs this season, potentially winning the AFC East division. But they came off to an extremely slow start but were on a winning streak that was not enough to make the playoffs. The defense impressed this season and the offense had flashes. But Tua was inconsistent this season. At least you can rebuild with a top 15 pick that is unfortunately now the property of the Philadelphia Eagles as a result of the Jaylen Waddle trade-up. At least the Dolphins have the San Francisco 49ers 1st round pick. That sucks and all but at least you have a strong coach in Brian Flores as he carried this team to a winning streak winning more games than he should have. Wait, you're telling me they fired him on Black Monday. Are you serious?
14. Baltimore Ravens
What a disastrous ending to the Baltimore Ravens. This team went from a Number 2 seed in the playoffs to out of the playoffs as a whole. The Ravens turned into the 2020 San Francisco 49ers where the injuries were just too much to overcome. I am going to give them a pass this year but next year is important as if they don’t make the playoffs next season then there could be some big changes that happen with the Ravens.
13. Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns were a mess this season. The Covid-19 outbreak did not help them out at all and it pretty much ended their season. It also did not help with the whole Odell Beckham Jr. fiasco. But I am very concerned with Baker Mayfield as he has heavily regressed this season. It might be due to his injuries but even when he was healthy Baker struggled. The Browns need to make the playoffs this year but have to figure out what they will be doing with Baker Mayfield whether to keep him or trade him for any QB that could be available like Deshaun Watson (If he has legal issues clear), QB Aaron Rodgers, or QB Russell Wilson.
12. Minnesota Vikings
This year was a must to make the playoffs for the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, it did not and it resulted in Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman losing their jobs. This season was a complete disappointment for the Vikings. There is really one thing that the Vikings should do next in the offseason. That is to go further than just blowing up the coaching and manager staff by blowing it all up to start the rebuilding process. I don’t see the Vikings winning this core and last season proved that. Especially as a majority of the players are on the decline especially on defense. They should get value for what they have and start the rebuilding process.
11. Washington Football Team
Oh dear, where to begin with the Washington Football team. I thought this team finally found something but yet again I was disappointed. The Defense heavily regressed, the Offense is a mess without a consistent quarterback and they continue to show that the “culture is still good’’ just Bruce Allen’s level of good. There is plenty of work left to do with Washington and who knows how they will go through this offseason.
10. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks)
This was a team that many thought would make the playoffs and heavily disappointed us. There were many things that hurt the Seahawks this season. The obvious one is injuries especially on offense and the second one is that Pete Carroll has had the game pass him by. I am not shocked Seattle did not fire Pete Carroll but I doubt he will be coaching in the NFL for the long term. The terrible drafting and signings in free agency finally caught up with the Seattle Seahawks as well. Have I forgotten to mention that the Seahawks 1st round pick is New York Jets property as a result of the Jamal Adams trade? So the Seahawks are in a situation when they are rebuilding on their defense.
9. Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos have a ton of talent on offense and defense. To add to it the team got better in the second half of the season especially once they traded Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. Imagine if the Denver Broncos had a competent coaching staff and a quarterback that can be healthy plus consistent. The Broncos made the right move firing head coach Vic Fangio. The next step is what should the Broncos do at Quarterback as Teddy Bridgewater can’t stay healthy and the Broncos gave up on Drew Lock and he stinks. There are many options for them to choose from during the offseason if it is Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, or in the NFL Draft.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Well, the season went a lot better than I thought. I thought the Falcons would be tanking the entire season to help them rebuild. But the Falcons won a lot more games than I thought. The offense heavily improved with the emergence of RB/WR/ST Cordarrelle Patterson. TE Kyle Pitts looks like a fantastic player. Matt Ryan looked like he had plenty in the tank without a true #1 receiver. I wonder 2 things about WR Calvin Ridley. First I hope everything is all well with him and he is getting better with what is going on with him off the field? Second, what will the Atlanta Falcons do with WR Calvin Ridley? Those are important questions to ask during the offseason during their rebuild.
7. New York Giants (via Chicago Bears)
This Bears season was a complete disaster that resulted in both Head Coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace losing their jobs. Hopefully whoever takes over can help QB Justin Fields develop well. At least the Bears got a Top 10 pick and used it to build around Justin Fields. Oh wait, they don’t have it as their first-round pick is now New York Giants' property just to acquire the rights to draft QB Justin Fields. Well, that stinks.
6. Carolina Panthers
If there was a reason to wonder if Matt Rhule can be a good coach for the Carolina Panthers this would absolutely be it. Especially with the management of the Panthers QB crew and the abysmal playcalling. Sam Darnold can't stay healthy and when he was Sam was not any good at all. Cam Newton’s arm strength is gone and PJ Walker is well not a starting QB. The Panthers over-relied on RB Christian McCaffrey this season. It showed as when he was off the field the Panthers offense was completely terrible. The Panthers have a lot of work to go and who knows if Matt Rhule is truly the guy.
5. New York Giants
So the Giants actually made the right move and decided to fire Joe Judge as the head coach of the New York Giants. Why in the world was this not done during Black Monday. They made the right choice as it was clear that the culture of the locker room that was set by Joe Judge was not good. If the Giants decided to keep Judge as the head coach they might as well have written of the 2022 season. He was that much in over his head while he was the head coach of this team. Daniel Jones heavily regressed this season and I doubt he will be the QB of this team next season. In fact, the Giants may blow it up again as the last rebuild is not working. At least the Giants have two first-round picks to help out.
4. New York Jets
Immediately from the start of the season, the Jets were screwed. Especially when a ton of their starting players were out with long-term injuries. Especially with DE/EDGE Carl Lawson who was out with a Torn Achilles. The Jets do have a ton of great rookies that did well this season. Alijah Vera-Tucker was excellent on the o-line, WR Elijah Moore when healthy was good, RB Michael Carter was also a great player, Zach Wilson and Brandon Echols were up and down but were solid this season. There were flashes from players especially with the emergence of WR Braxton Berrios (Please Sign him Joe Douglas). I still have concerns about Head Coach Robert Saleh but hopefully, he will be better next season.
3. Houston Texans
Was anyone surprised the Houston Texans were this bad? I was not. The offense was inconsistent, the defense was a mess and the coaching was abysmal. Heck, there were even rumors that head coach David Culley was going to be a one-and-done head coach at the end of the season. There is a lot of work to fix the Texans. Do I still have to ask Why is Jack Easterby still a part of the Houston Texans organization again?
2. Detroit Lions
Well, this was an unsurprising season for the Lions as this was a Tank year to get a higher draft pick to help with their rebuild after trading Matthew Stafford to the Rams and blowing up the whole Matt Patrica saga. I still don't understand why they fired Jim Caldwell and replaced him with Matt Patricia to this day. I will say this though the Detroit Lions may have a good coach in Dan Campbell. Look at how he as of now changed the culture of the locker room as the players fought more for Dan Campbell than they did with Matt Patricia.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Congratulations to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They won the true prize this season winning the 2021 Tank Tournament for the 1st overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. They are back-to-back winners. They have an opportunity to help rebuild their team by taking either DE/EDGE Aiden Hutchinson or DE/EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux. There is a lot of work that the Jaguars need to have done to Build around Trevor Lawrence and this entire team. Especially when hiring a new head coach and they already started their interview process by interviewing… Bill O’Brien. Really Jacksonville? Did you see how he self-destructed the Houston Texans with his incompetent coaching and managerial moves?