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USATSI

Even before the Jacksonville Jaguars were officially put on the clock with the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, we were already in the midst of the craziest offseason in league history. Naturally, the madness from free agency carried over into the opening round of the draft where there were a number of jaw-dropping moments. 

Not only did we get the typical drama of a draft, but we also had blockbuster trades thrown our way along with trends that we haven't seen in decades. Below, we've compiled our top-five most surprising moves that went down in Las Vegas in the first round of the draft. 

1. Veteran WRs (not named Deebo Samuel) traded

Entering the draft, the NFL was waiting for the Deebo Samuel shoe to drop at some point. If there was going to be a blockbuster trade involving a receiver, many pointed to it centering around the 49ers receiver as there had been rumors of discontent and a possible trade request for weeks. While we did see a couple of receivers change teams, Samuel is still in the Bay Area. 

Instead, Marquise Brown was the first domino to fall as the Ravens elected to trade him -- and a third-round pick -- to the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 23 overall selection. It appears that this deal had been in the works for a while as Brown -- who reunites with his college quarterback in Kyler Murray -- was in attendance for the Cardinals draft party. While this trade may have been previously agreed upon, it seems like it came as a surprise to Lamar Jackson

Baltimore ended up trading that pick to the Bills for more assets and eventually ended up with center Tyler Linderbaum, who they selected at No. 25 overall. 

As we were still gaining all the information about the Hollywood Brown trade, a mammoth blockbuster deal came down that saw the Titans trade star receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 18 overall pick and a third-rounder. Brown had been in the market for a new contract and that seemed to be the catalyst for this trade unfolding, despite Mike Vrabel recently saying that Tennessee wasn't going to trade Brown "as long as I'm the head coach."

On top of this trade, Brown also agreed to a four-year, $100 million extension with the Eagles. 

Bonus: Despite all the receiver movement, the Packers and Chiefs -- the two teams most pegged to come away with a receiver in the first round following the Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill trades -- didn't address that position on Day One. Green Bay has now gone 20 (!) straight years without drafting a wide receiver in the first round.  

2. Lions trade up 20 spots for Jameson Williams

Throughout the pre-draft process, the talking point on Alabama receiver Jameson Williams was that -- when healthy -- he is the top player at his position in this class. Despite some positive updates leading into the draft, the ACL injury he suffered in the National Championship game did seem to put a dent in his stock as he did fall a bit in the first round and three wideouts came off the board before him. 

While his "slide" only lasted until the No. 12 overall pick, it was a surprising team that ultimately plucked him off the board. The Detroit Lions, who were fresh off taking Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 pick, decided to leap up 20 spots from the No. 32 overall selection to take Williams. What was even more interesting about this seismic trade-up was that it was with their NFC North rival the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit sent picks No. 32, No. 34, and No. 66 in exchange for No. 12 and No. 46. That seems to be a solid price for Detroit and somewhat of a head-scratching move by Minnesota to help them land a talent like Williams.

3. One QB drafted in the first round

In recent years, the NFL Draft has centered around the quarterback position. However, this year was entirely different as just one signal-caller (Kenny Pickett, Steelers) was taken in the opening round, which marks just the second time in the past 20 years that this has occurred (2013). This was also the longest collective wait a quarterback class has had in the draft in 25 years. Back in the 1997 NFL Draft, Jim Druckenmiller was taken No. 26 overall by the San Francisco 49ers. 

Bonus: This was also the first time ever that no running backs or tight ends were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

4. Rare defensive run to begin draft

You'd have to go back to the 1991 NFL Draft to find a similar start to the first round to the one we just witnessed. Five defensive players -- Travon Walker, Aidan Hutchinson, Derek Stingley Jr., Ahmad Gardner, and Kayvon Thibodeaux -- were taken to begin this year's draft. That's the first time in 31 years where that many defensive players kicked off the start of the draft. Back in '91, six defensive players were taken in a row at the top. 

5. Patriots reach for Cole Strange

There's always going to be a team that reaches for a player in the draft, but the Patriots may have extended a little too far for UT-Chattanooga's Cole Strange. After trading down from No. 21, New England selected the interior lineman 29th overall in the first round to the surprise of many throughout the NFL. While Strange was expected to hear his name called at some point this weekend, the consensus on his draft position was somewhere late in the second round or early in the third. For instance, in a recent two-round mock draft, CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson had Strange coming off the board in the second round at No. 51 overall. 

It wasn't even just the draft community that was surprised by the pick. The Los Angeles Rams brass -- who famously have little draft capital -- was surprised by the Strange pick as they had hoped he'd be available to them when they were on the clock with the No. 104 pick in the third round. 

While Bill Belichick likely won't care too much about what the outside world thinks of the pick, it was a strange selection in more ways than one.