2022 NFL Draft: Revisiting Matthew Stafford, Jamal Adams and other trades involving first-round picks

More than two months remain until the 2022 NFL Draft and six first-round picks have already been traded. revisits each of those deals and explore how they have played out thus far.

No. 7 overall: Bears via Giants

Giants receive Nos. 20 (Kadarius Toney) and 164 overall in 2021; No. 7 overall and 4th round pick in 2022
Bears receive No. 11 overall in 2021 (Justin Fields)

Toney played in nine games for an anemic New York offense. He showed flashes of his potential and fans are hoping new head coach Brian Daboll is able to unlock it full-time. The Giants have a second pick inside the top 10 as a result of the trade and should be in a position to take an offensive or defensive lineman. 

If Fields is able to achieve success and become the franchise quarterback that Chicago had hoped for when opting to trade up, then the Bears will emerge as the victors in this trade, especially if Daniel Jones continues to be a disappointment in the Big Apple. There is no substitute for elite quarterback play. 

No. 10 overall: Jets via Seahawks

Jets receive safety Bradley McDougald, Nos. 23 and 86 overall in 2021; No. 10 overall in 2022
Seahawks receive safety Jamal Adams, 4th round pick in 2022  

McDougald spent one season with the Jets. He most recently spent the 2021 season with Tennessee and Jacksonville. New York used the No. 23 overall selection to move up and take USC interior offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker at No. 14 overall. As part of that deal, general manager Joe Douglas sent Nos. 66 and 86 overall to Minnesota in exchange for No. 143 overall and the pick that resulted in Vera-Tucker.

If Seattle had the opportunity to go back in time, most believe, and wisely so, that the franchise would not make that trade a second time. The Seahawks doubled down by giving Adams a four-year contract extension worth a maximum of $70 million. He failed to record a sack in 2021 after registering 9.5 the previous year. He did post his first two interceptions since 2019. 

No. 15 overall: Eagles via Dolphins

Dolphins receive Nos. 6 (Jaylen Waddle) and 156 overall in 2021
Eagles receive Nos. 12 and 123 overall (Zech McPhearson) in 2021; No. 15 overall in 2022

Waddle broke Anquan Boldin’s record for receptions by a rookie. His 104 catches were eighth most in the league. He also finished in the top 25 for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The other pick was involved in a separate trade.

Philadelphia used the No. 12 overall selection as a starting point to move up two spots for the right to select Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. In the process, they leapfrogged the rival Giants, who slid back to take Toney. Smith had a remarkable rookie campaign in which he posted 64 receptions for 916 yards and five touchdowns. McPhearson appeared in all but one game, recording 16 tackles and one pass deflection. 

The trade was and remains a home run for the Eagles. They picked up a top-15 selection in the 2022 NFL Draft while moving back six spots and still getting a premier pass catcher.

No. 16 overall: Eagles via Colts

Colts receive quarterback Carson Wentz
Eagles receive No. 84 overall in 2021 and No. 16 overall in 2022

It was a roller-coaster ride of a season for Indianapolis. After starting with three consecutive losses, the Colts won nine of their next 12 games before losing the final two, including one to the owner of the No. 1 overall selection. Wentz shouldered a lot of the blame for how the season played out. He was responsible for some back-breaking turnovers and the Colts’ aspirations are too high to be reliant on his play. There has already been a lot of smoke that the franchise may move on from him this offseason. Ownership’s public comments have done nothing to extinguish the fire creating said smoke. 

Philadelphia traded last year’s third-round choice from Indianapolis to Dallas. The Wentz trade nets the third of three first-round picks for the Eagles. The trade terms originally stated that Indianapolis would send a second-round pick to Philadelphia in exchange for Wentz, but it would become a first-round pick if the quarterback played in at least 75% of the team’s offensive snaps. 

No. 29 overall: Dolphins via 49ers

49ers receive No. 3 overall (Trey Lance) in 2021 
Dolphins receive No. 12 overall in 2021; No. 29 overall in 2022, 3rd round pick in 2022; 1st round pick in 2023

Lance played in just six games this season. He was essentially an insurance policy for Jimmy Garoppolo but the keys to the kingdom should be Lance’s moving forward. There is a complex discussion to be had about whether San Francisco should have used its first-round pick on a non-quarterback considering it advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three years with Garoppolo. 

Shortly after completing the trade, Miami moved up six spots in a separate trade outlined above. 

No. 32 overall: Lions via Rams

Lions receive quarterback Jared Goff, No. 101 overall (Ifeatu Melifonwu) in 2021; No. 32 overall in 2022; 1st round pick in 2023
Rams receive quarterback Matthew Stafford

Goff missed three games and played replacement-level football when on the field. Detroit can do more to surround him with skill talent but its elevator may never reach the penthouse with the former No. 1 overall selection under center. With that being said, the Lions could do worse and many franchises did in 2021. As general manager Brad Holmes rebuilds that franchise, it will not be fully complete without a quarterback that inspires confidence for the future.

Melifonwu appeared in seven games amassing 15 tackles, two fumble recoveries and three pass deflections. 

Although there were moments during the season in which it looked as though Los Angeles’ aggressiveness would not pay off, the Rams were able to complete their mission by winning the Super Bowl. Stafford played at a level worthy of MVP consideration at times. If the team had fallen short, general manager Les Snead’s willingness to compromise long-term goals for short-term reward would have been subject to criticism. Because it paid off with a Super Bowl victory, Snead’s decision-making was validated and it may entice more teams to follow a similar strategy in the future.

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