Bills’ Kaiir Elam, Ravens’ Kyle Hamilton among five 2022 NFL Draft first-round rookies set up for instant success

Some first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, including Bills CB Kaiir Elam, should benefit from their rookie landing spots.

The first round of last week’s NFL Draft led to some exciting twists and turns. Those ups and downs created some interesting matches between teams and prospects, some of which were more appealing than others (just ask 12th overall pick Jameson Williams).

2022 NFL Draft first-round picks set up to succeed

Everyone wants to be a high draft pick until they are thrown into the wrong situation. While cashing in on huge deals at the start of a career is intriguing, those top prospects can sometimes be set up to fail with floundering franchises.

Their peers, who are forced to watch the draft for longer than they’d like, can sometimes be put in a position for an early breakout because they land with a winning squad.

Here are five first-round picks who are set up for immediate success.

Treylon Burks, WR, Tennessee Titans (18th overall)

The Titans said, “Out with the old, in with the new,” during last Thursday’s first round.

Tennessee traded former Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 18th and 101st overall picks, then used that first selection on Brown’s immediate replacement: Treylon Burks.

While the Titans just acquired Robert Woods to be a reliable weapon for QB Ryan Tannehill, Burks fits the mold of Brown’s skill set and should be fed accordingly.

Burks is joining an established offense with veteran leaders all around. With running back Derrick Henry serving as the catalyst for the offense’s success, Burks won’t need to be the focus early on in games.

Burks can take advantage of a veteran QB who sets him up for yards-after-catch opportunities as a possession receiver. Burks should be able to eat right away without the pressure of being the playmaking savior for the offense.

Kaiir Elam, CB, Buffalo Bills (23rd overall)

Few prospects are set up for immediate success like Kaiir Elam. The cornerback, whose NFL Combine interview with the Bills went viral after his selection, will be surrounded by talent in the Buffalo secondary.

Elam will tandem with Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White and be backed by Pro Bowl-caliber safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. The safety net for Elam, a self-described self-critic, should be wide.

Along with being surrounded by talent in the defensive backfield, Elam should benefit from the Bills’ front seven. Von Miller’s arrival should create regular mistakes by opposing QBs, and Elam should be able to take advantage with interceptions.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott, a former DBs coach, already favors the secondary. And with Elam joining a top-tier unit, his success as a rookie should come quickly.

Kyle Hamilton, S, Baltimore Ravens (14th overall)

Kyle Hamilton is a do-it-all defender who is built like a linebacker but can run like a cornerback. He is really a perfect fit for the Ravens, who already have rising talent Marcus Williams in the backfield.

Hamilton will pair with Williams in an impressive defense featuring cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters.

Like Buffalo, Baltimore has some bullies up front who can create mistakes in the passing game. Hamilton can be used in a plethora of different ways, and his versatility will help him set the tone on an already talented defense.

Jordan Davis, DT, Philadelphia Eagles (13th overall)

Jordan Davis joins the NFL as a ready-made run defender. While his upside is special, his floor is also extremely high, making him a Day 1 impact player. Davis can rotate with fellow stud defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave, creating a mighty trio in the trenches for the Eagles.

While Davis’ stats might not be worth salivating over, he has Vita Vea-esque potential at nose tackle, and that could lead to several of his teammates picking up pretty numbers in his first year. Davis will demand constant double-teams, which will allow Hargrave, Cox, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and Milton Williams to receive 1-on-1 matchups. That outlook is good for the Eagles’ defense.

While Davis won’t be expected to dominate as a pass rusher, he has a large, blank canvas to that side of his game. Philadelphia could develop that area while he dominates as a run defender.

George Karlaftis, EDGE, Kansas City Chiefs (30th overall)

George Karlaftis fell much further down the first-round pecking order than most expected. However, he lucked out with his initial NFL landing spot.

Karlaftis is an effort player who can regularly win as a strong-side pass rusher. Teaming with Pro Bowl EDGE rusher Frank Clark, Karlaftis should see 1-on-1 matchups.

Karlaftis is a perfect fit for Steve Spagnuolo’s attacking defense. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman should also benefit from the Chiefs’ investment in the secondary this offseason. The team spent a first-round pick on cornerback Trent McDuffie and a second-round pick on safety Bryan Cook. Kansas City also signed talented free safety Justin Reid in free agency.

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.

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