Defense 1st, then offense, with receivers a focal point at NFL Draft

NFL Draft Seahawks Football
Posted at 1:26 PM, Apr 29, 2022

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In an NFL draft focused early on stoppers, it was the goers — wide receivers — who stole the spotlight Thursday night.

Not simply prospects, either.

Yes, the first five selections came on the defensive side of the ball, including edge rushers Travon Walker of national champion Georgia to Jacksonville and Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan to Detroit at Nos. 1 and 2.

The Athletic reported that for the first time since 1997, two defensive backs were selected within the top five as the Texans took Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3 and Jets snagged Sauce Gardner at No. 4.

It was also the first time in 31 years that no player on offense went in the opening five picks.

So, naturally, the next five choices were on offense.

And those kept coming: right through No. 12.

And the theme throughout the first 20 picks was to get guys who could catch the ball — including Philadelphia acquiring standout A.J. Brown from the Titans, and Arizona getting veteran Marquise Brown from the Ravens.

Brown is reuniting with college teammate quarterback Kyler Murray, who both attended the University of Oklahoma.

A quarterback didn't go until the 20th pick when the Steelers, who are looking for Ben Roethlisberger’s successor, when they drafted Pitt’s Kenny Pickett.