There has been a lot of focus this year on the number of teams that have two first round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including the Lions, Texans, Giants, Jets, Eagles, Saints, Packers, and Chiefs. In order to get to this point, it means that the Los Angeles Rams are not alone in having to wait until day two to make their first selection.
Including the Denver Broncos, the team that helped take Russell Wilson out of the NFC West for presumably the rest of his career.
The Bears don’t pick until 39; the Colts first pick is at 42; the Browns don’t pick until 44; the 49ers have to wait until 61; the Raiders until 86; the Dolphins must hold out until 102; and finally the Rams will be on the board for the first time at 104.
As for the Broncos, Denver traded picks 9, 40, and 145 to the Seahawks for Wilson, as well as first and second round picks in 2023, plus three veteran players. Seattle also sent a fourth back to the Broncos to complete the deal. Obviously, the Broncos would have done whatever it takes to acquire Wilson from the Seahawks given that they did pay such a hefty price, but it is worth wondering how much it helped Denver that they also owned L.A.’s picks in the second and third round this year.
When the Rams traded for Von Miller last year, Les Snead second L.A.’s two day picks to the Broncos in exchange for a half-season of pass rushing help. It seemed hard to make that deal worth it, but ultimately the Rams did win the Super Bowl and will receive a fifth round compensatory back after Miller signed a $120 million contract with the Bills. As a cherry on top, Snead gave Denver GM George Paton a little more peace of mind to go through a Wilson deal by giving the Broncos two day picks to work with.
The Broncos first pick is 64, followed by picks 75 and 96 to close out day two. If it weren’t for Snead’s aggressiveness, Denver would only have one pick on day two of the 2022 NFL Draft: 75th. It’s only thanks to Snead that the Broncos have a second round pick left, as well as an additional third. Wilson may have also felt more comfortable waiving his no-trade clause knowing that the Denver Broncos wouldn’t have to go full-Mike Ditka on Seattle in order to complete the trade and get him some more help to compete in the AFC West.
Maybe that Miller trade will have a lasting impact beyond the Super Bowl after all.