Five takeaways from the first round of the 2022 NFL draft

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The first round of the 2022 NFL draft took place in Las Vegas on Thursday evening.

There was no shortage of excitement, as the first round was full of trades, wide receivers, and pass rushers.

The SEC once again dominated the night with 12 players selected. Georgia had the most players of any program selected on Thursday with five, including the No. 1 overall pick in Travon Walker.

It was a great night for wide receivers, not so much for quarterbacks. Six pass catchers were selected in the first round, not to mention two blockbuster trades that involved AJ Brown and Marquise Brown. Only one quarterback was selected in Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.

Let’s take a look at some most interesting outcomes following the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Georgia had more players selected than three Power Five conferences

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You read that right. The Georgia Bulldogs had five players selected in the first round, including the No. 1 overall pick in Travon Walker. Their five picks were more than the entire ACC (4), Pac-12 (4) and Big 12 (0).

Wide receivers highlighted the night

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Six wide receivers were drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft, and four of those came within the top 15 picks. Outside of the slew of wide receivers drafted, there were also two blockbuster trades that surfaced on Thursday night. The Baltimore Ravens traded wide receiver Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals, while the Tennessee Titans traded AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The two New York teams were the Day 1 winners of the draft

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The New York Giants and New York Jets each had impressive first round draft hauls on Thursday. You’d expect that from teams that have several high draft picks at their disposal, but it seems each of these teams absolutely nailed their selections with a combination of need plus best player available at their respective spots. Here’s who they each selected:

New York Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux (EDGE at No. 5 overall), Evan Neal (OT at No. 7 overall)

New York Jets: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (CB at No. 4 overall), Garrett Wilson (WR at No. 10 overall), Jermaine Johnson (EDGE at No. 26 overall)

Big 12 was the only Power Five conference with zero first round selections

AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

Ouch. For the second year in a row, the Big 12 had zero players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Here are the conferences that had at least one selection on Thursday evening in the 2022 NFL draft: SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, AAC, Independent, Missouri Valley, Southern Conference.

Lack of quarterbacks in round one

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20 overall. This was a surprise to some as it left Liberty’s Malik Willis on the board heading into Friday. It was anticipated that the Steelers would select a quarterback with that pick, but many believed it would be Willis. It sounds like organizations viewed Pickett as the more NFL ready quarterback in this draft.

Quarterbacks still on the board who could be selected in the second round include Willis, Mississippi’s Matt Corral, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, and UNC’s Sam Howell.

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