The 2022 NFL Draft came to a conclusion on Saturday, as four Tar Heel prospects heard their names called in the final two days. Here is a look at where all of the drafted prospects and the undrafted free agents landed and the situations that they will step into.
Joshua Ezeudu- Round 3, Pick 67 to the New York Giants
While it was a bit shocking that Ezeudu was the first Tar Heel prospect off the board, where he went off the board wasn’t based on the experts’ final mock drafts. The Giants clearly were excited by the versatility and upside that he brings to a position group that the team has been searching for answers with since the team’s last Super Bowl run in 2012. The Giants have had major injury issues on the line for years, so this added depth here was a no-brainer for them and means that Ezeudu could play sooner rather than later. This is a really good situation for both sides and will provide a chance for Ezeudu to make an impact in the NFL out of the gate.
Sam Howell- Round 5, Pick 144 to the Washington Commanders
One of the biggest surprises of the draft is just how far Howell dropped. The Commanders took the most productive quarterback in Tar Heel football history with the first pick of the fifth round, ending the fall for a player that entered the 2021 season as a top ten pick in most mock drafts. This isn’t a bad fit for Howell, but it isn’t the best either with the team having just acquired Carson Wentz this offseason. If Wentz was to start to struggle, though, Howell has the skill set and intelligence to thrive at the NFL level once he learns the team’s offense. This was surely not the situation that Howell was hoping to go through on draft day, but this is far from the worst situation that he could have landed in.
Ty Chandler- Round 5, Pick 169 to the Minnesota Vikings
This was the range that many expected Chandler to go and he landed in a good spot for him. His abilities to hit the home run at any time and catch the ball out of the backfield will give him a chance to contribute as a rotational option this season. This is a good fit for him behind a starter in Dalvin Cook that has had trouble staying on the field. He will have to battle Alexander Mattison for that first crack behind Cook, but if he can beat him out, he could have a chance to earn some significant snaps in his first season.
Marcus McKethan- Round 5, Pick 173 to the New York Giants
The Giants doubled down on the Tar Heel offensive linemen by taking McKethan late in the fifth round. As we said above, they are a team that is in need of offensive line depth. McKethan likely won’t be a major factor this season, but as a solid pass protector, he could have a shot to make the two-deep with the lack of depth there. This is yet another guy whose situation may afford him the opportunity to have a role early in his career.
Undrafted Free Agents
Jeremiah Gemmel- San Francisco 49ers
Gemmel has to be disappointed that he did not hear his name called on Saturday, but he ended up in a good situation in San Francisco. Falling out of the draft may have been the best scenario for him, especially since he can make this extremely talented Niner roster.
Kyler McMichael- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
McMichael definitely showed that he deserved an opportunity during the pre-draft process and while he didn’t hear his name called on Saturday, he was one of the first to be snatched up as an undrafted free agent. Making the Buccaneer roster will be a challenge with the depth they have at corner, but if he could make the 53-man it would be an amazing story for a guy who was criticized when he entered the draft.
Tomon Fox- New York Giants
The Giants clearly took an interest in this Tar Heel draft crop as Fox became the third to join the team when he was signed as a UDFA. He will definitely have some work to do to make the 53-man roster, but this is a Giants team that is in need of pass rushers, so don’t rule it out.
Jordan Tucker- Pittsburgh Steelers
Tucker was a player that took a little bit to get signed, but he has his opportunity in Pittsburgh. It will be more than an uphill battle for the four year Tar Heel tackle, but this is a Steelers offensive line that simply needs to be better this year.
Garrett Walston- San Francisco 49ers
Walston gets an opportunity that was a bit unexpected heading into the day. He will have a huge challenge ahead of him, but getting the chance is big for him.