Denver Broncos NFL draft picks 2022: Analysis for every selection

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The 2022 NFL draft was held April 28-30 and every Denver Broncos' draft pick is analyzed here.

The draft was held in Las Vegas in the area adjacent to Caesars Forum two years after it was initially scheduled. The 2020 NFL draft was turned into a virtual event because of COVID-19.

Here's a pick-by-pick look at how each player Denver selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated depth charts

Round 2, No. 64 overall: Nik Bonitto, OLB, Oklahoma

My take: The Broncos waited until the last pick of the second round to make their first selection in this draft. They have been on the hunt for more depth on the edge of their defense and get that in Bonitto. He's explosive (4.54 in the 40 at the combine) with 32 tackles for loss in his career with the Sooners. He needs more strength to set a consistently reliable edge in the run game but should contribute quickly as a nickel rusher.

Round 3, No. 83 overall: Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA

My take: Dulcich is a former walk-on for the Bruins who developed into one of the best at his position in the passing game this past season. He provides downfield impact and run-after-the-catch potential, given he averaged more than 17 yards per reception this past season to lead the Bruins. Dulcich had four 100-yard receiving games over the past two seasons combined. He's far more advanced as a receiver than a blocker at the moment, but he should contribute in the passing game right away.

Round 4, No. 115 overall: Damarri Mathis, CB, Pittsburgh

My take: Broncos general manager George Paton said Friday night he "definitely" wanted to come away from Saturday's work in the draft with a cornerback. He took Mathis with his first pick of the day. Mathis has the length coaches like in a cornerback -- a 77-inch armspan -- to go with 4.39 speed in the 40. Mathis initially projects as an outside cornerback in the Broncos defense.

Round 4, No. 116 overall: Eyioma Uwazurike, DT, Iowa State

My take: The Broncos got a massive presence in the middle of the defensive line. Uwazurike (6-foot-6, 316 pounds) was athletic enough to have 12.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks for the Cyclones this past season, with 12 sacks in the last two seasons combined. The Broncos re-signed DeShawn Williams to a one-year deal in free agency and Mike Purcell returns as well, but Uwazurike will have a chance to immediately push for playing time, especially on passing downs.

Round 5, No. 152 overall: Delarrin Turner-Yell, S, Oklahoma

My take: Almost any time Paton talked publicly about this year's draft, the words "special teams" were mentioned. Turner-Yell has the kind of speed (4.47 in the 40 at the scouting combine) as well as reliability as a tackler to make an immediate impact there. He is far more advanced in zone coverage than he is in man-to-man coverage at this point, but his willingness to attack the line of scrimmage and tackle with purpose when he gets there are traits the Broncos want.

Round 5, No. 162 overall: Montrell Washington, WR, Samford

My take: Washington is the first of the Broncos' picks in this draft who was not at the scouting combine, but special teams potential is a big reason he's now coming to Denver. Washington had two punt return touchdowns last season and averaged just over 17 yards per punt return. He caught 60 passes as well, but he will get his first, and longest, look as a rookie as a potential impact player in the return game.

Round 5, No. 171 overall: Luke Wattenberg, C, Washington

My take: At 6-foot-4, 299 pounds, Wattenberg has the movement skills that suits the Broncos' offensive scheme and has some positional versatility given he played guard and center for the Huskies. A big-framed player -- his armspan measured more than 81 inches, one of the widest at the combine this year -- who did struggle against some of the power-first interior defensive linemen he faced over his six years. But the best part of his game is evident when he's on the move and that's something that caught the Broncos' eye.

Round 6, No. 206 overall: Matt Henningsen, DT, Wisconsin

My take: Henningsen began his career at Wisconsin as a walk-on, but impressed quickly. He started the season opener as a freshman and went on to play in 41 games during his career. At 6-foot-3 3/8-inches and 289 pounds he has a big reach. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but had a quality week in the Shrine Bowl practices. He also showed top-tier work at his pro day in position drills, though he did not run the 40 due to a hamstring injury. He will have to battle to get into the rotation in the defensive line to make the cut to 53 after training camp.

Round 7, No. No. 232 overall: Faion Hicks, CB, Wisconsin

My take: The Broncos closed out their 2022 draft by selecting Hicks, another cornerback with potential to play on special teams. At 5-foot-10, 189 pounds, Hicks ran a 4.49 40 at his pro day. He did not have the ball production of some of the other cornerbacks on the board -- he had one interception in his 44 games for the Badgers -- but he is well-schooled and still has room to grow on the developmental curve. Hicks started games in all four of his seasons.