The 2022 NFL Draft got off to a historic start Thursday night and then things only got crazier from there. Our crack research team here at CBS Sports dug up a few interesting nuggets about the first round of the draft and we’re going to share them with you here.
One of most notable aspects of the first round was the fact that we saw zero offensive players get selected in the top five, marking just the second time in draft history that’s happened. Also, that seems like a perfect place to start for our list of records that were broken and milestones that were hit during Thursday night’s first round (check out our tracker of every pick along with grades and analysis here).
Let’s get to the list:
- Defensive players dominate the top of the draft. The first five picks in the draft were all defensive players, which marks just the second time that’s ever happened. The only other instance came in 1991 when the top six players were all from the defensive side of the ball. The top five picks this year were Travon Walker (Jaguars), Aidan Hutchinson (Lions), Derek Stingley (Texans), Sauce Gardner (Jets) and Kayvon Thibodeaux (Giants).
- NFL teams get trade happy in first round. The nine trades that went down on Thursday night were the most we’ve seen in a first round since 2004. The 2004 draft started off with a trade when the Chargers sent Eli Manning to the Giants after selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick, and then thing only got crazier from there. The first trade to go down during the 2022 draft didn’t happen until the Commanders traded the No. 11 overall pick to the Saints. For a look at all nine trades that went down, including the Eagles‘ surprising deal for A.J. Brown, be sure to click here.
- Ugly year for quarterbacks. This draft marks just the second time in the past 20 years that we only saw one quarterback taken in the first round (The other time it happened in that span came in 2013). Kenny Pickett was selected at 20th overall, which is the latest in the draft that the first QB has been taken since 1997 when the 49ers selected Jim Druckenmiller at 26th overall.
- Georgia’s defense takes over first round. UGA had 5 defensive players drafted in the first round with Travon Walker (first overall), Jordan Davis (13th), Quay Walker (22nd), Devonte Wyatt (28th) and Lewis Cine (32nd) all getting selected. The five defensive players is the most by a single school in NFL Draft history.
- Packers infatuated with UGA defenders. Of the five Georgia players who got drafted, two of them — Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt — went to the Packers, marking the first time in the common draft era that two defensive players from the same school got drafted in the first round by the same team (The common draft era started in 1967). Also, the two defensive picks means that the Packers have now gone 20 straight drafts without taking a wide receiver.
- Cornerbacks steal the show. With Derek Stingley (Texans) and Sauce Gardner (Jets) both going in the top five, this draft marks the first time in 25 years that two corners have gone off the board in the first five picks. The last time it happened came in 1997 when Shawn Springs (third) and Bryant Westbrook (fifth) were both selected.
- Record run at wide receiver. There were a total of six receivers taken in the first round and the twist here is that all six were taken in the top 20, marking the first time that’s ever happened in the common draft era. The six receivers was also tied for the second most ever taken in the first round of one draft.
- Not a great draft for skill players. Although plenty of receivers were taken, not a single running back or tight end got drafted, marking the first time in draft history that those positions got shut out of the first round in the same year.
- Small school party. Two non-FBS players were taken in the first round — Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa) and Cole Strange (Chattanooga) — which is a rare occurrence. The last time it happened came in 2008 when Joe Flacco (Delaware) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Tennessee State) were both selected. Strange going to the Patriots was one of the biggest surprises of the first round. We actually made a list of the five biggest surprises from Thursday and you can check that out by clicking here.
Hopefully you can use these nine facts to impress your friends this weekend.