It’s a labor of love each and every year making this list. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. These are made based on my evaluations of players. This would be my vertical draft board if I were the General Manager of an NFL team.
Here are my top 50 prospects of the 2022 NFL Draft:
- Aidan Hutchinson, Edge 1, Michigan
Hutchinson is the most polished edge rusher in this class. He is good against the run and has good power moves in the pass game. His speed rushing can use some work and he doesn’t have elite bend but his effort makes up for it. He will be a high floor player in the NFL that you can count on for eight to twelve sacks as a floor each year.
2. Ikem Ekwonu, OT1, North Carolina State
Ekwonu is a mauler tackle who has a mean streak. He is the best run blocking tackle in this class by a mile. He does occasionally struggle in the pass game but he has the physical traits needed to improve there. He should be a day-1 right tackle who can develop into a left tackle for whoever takes him and if all else fails he will be an elite guard at the NFL level.
3. Evan Neal, OT2, Alabama
Neal is a big tackle who is a physical and aggressive pass protector. He is the best pass protector in this class currently but I have him with a lower ceiling than Ekwonu. He can come in and be a day one starter at left or right tackle.
4. Ahmad Gardner, CB1, Cincinnati
Sauce Gardner is a long and rangy cornerback who moves well and takes away one side of the field. His positioning is always good and he has exceptional ball skills. He should be the first cornerback taken in this year’s class.
5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge 2, Oregon
The tools are all there for Thibodeaux but the knock on him is that he didn’t consistently put it together during his time at Oregon. He is a powerful edge rusher who has good speed and is solid against the run. He doesn’t have elite bend but makes up for it with elite power.
6. Jameson Williams, WR1, Alabama
I don’t care about the torn ACL. Guys tear their ACL’s all the time nowadays and come back as good as ever. Williams is the best wide receiver in this draft. He is an elite route runner and can get down field in a hurry. He is a touchdown waiting to happen on any given play and his YAC ability is incredible.
7. CB Derek Stingley, CB2, LSU
Derek Stingley has had consistency issues in college but I have to believe that the 2019 version of him that would have been a top ten pick is still in there somewhere. His pro day numbers were very good and he could very well be this year’s Micah Parsons if he drops.
8. Garrett Wilson, WR2, Ohio State
Garrett Wilson is a versatile receiver who is a good route runner and very good after the catch. What he may lack in speed he makes up for in route running. He knows how to get open and has good ball skills. He will make a team very happy in the top ten.
9. Jermaine Johnson, Edge 4, Florida State
Johnson is a quick and powerful edge rusher who had the best season of his college career last year at Florida State after transferring from Georgia. He is big, strong, and knows how to be a menace against quarterbacks. He cleans plays up well and knows how to be physical at the line of scrimmage.
10. Travon Walker, Edge 3, Georgia
Walker is a versatile edge rusher who can play inside at defensive tackle on certain passing situations. He is powerful and athletic. He is the number one edge rusher on some teams boards and I can see why, I just don’t think his floor is as high as Thibodeaux’s or Hutchinson’s.
11. Kyle Hamilton, S1, Notre Dame
His combine numbers were weak but he plays with quickness on the field. He can play box to box at the safety position and while he’s better at playing the pass, he is good against the run. Hamilton would be ranked higher if his position had more value.
12. Devin Lloyd, ILB1, Utah
Lloyd is a tall and rangy linebacker who is great against the pass. He could match up against tight ends very well. Against the run, he is elite at making a play on the ball and can cause problems for running backs in the backfield. He is a prototypical middle linebacker.
13. Trent McDuffie, CB3, Washington
McDuffie does everything right when you watch his tape. He positions himself well and he has the ability to shut receivers down. The biggest knock on him will be that he’s slightly undersized and that could cost him some draft position.
14. Chris Olave, WR3, Ohio State
Olave is a touchdown waiting to happen. He has the ability to be a great deep threat in the NFL who can also run short and intermediate routes effectively. He has good hands and his speed is incredible.
15. Drake London, WR4, USC
Drake London is a tough prospect for me to evaluate. On one hand I see Mike Evans, on another hand I see a guy who was used in a unique fashion at USC that I’m not sure a team will be able to replicate for him at the NFL level. He doesn’t have elite speed but he is a great route runner and he attacks the ball well. If he goes to the right team he has the potential to be a really talented player in the NFL.
16. Jordan Davis, DT1, Georgia
Jordan Davis is a rare blend of size and speed that draws double teams in the run game and eats up interior offensive linemen. He doesn’t rush the passer which is why I have him towards the middle of the first round.
17. Charles Cross, OT3, Mississippi State
Cross is a solid tackle prospect who doesn’t do anything at an elite level. He’s not particularly powerful or athletic but his tape his good. He is a good pass protector and he’s good in the run game as well. He will make a team very happy if he’s not overdrafted.
18. Boye Mafe, Edge 5, Minnesota
Mafe is a prospect who I’m really excited about. He has all the traits to be a consistent eight to twelve sack player in the NFL and if he goes to a scheme that allows him to just get after it then he will be incredibly successful at the NFL level. He has a really good blend of physicality and speed that can cause issues for opposing defenses.
19. Daxton Hill, S2/Nickel 1, Michigan
Daxton Hill is another prospect that I’m higher on than most. I see him as a guy who can play both safety and nickel cornerback in the NFL which makes him a highly sought after player in my eyes. In a league where wide receivers and tight ends are getting better and the defensive side of the ball hasn’t caught up with them yet, a player like Hill can go a long way into mitigating opposing players.
20. Treylon Burks, WR5, Arkansas
Burks is a big and physical wide receiver who can play every receiver position and even take some snaps at running back. He has incredible ability with the ball in his hands and could be a YAC monster in the NFL. He’s a bit raw but I love his upside in becoming a very good feature receiver in the NFL.
21. Nakobe Dean, ILB2, Georgia
Nakobe Dean can flat out play. He is an incredible blitzer who gets to the line of scrimmage and causes issues. He is good in the pass game, as well. His issue is that he is severely undersized for the linebacker position and that will cost him valuable draft spots.
22. Kyler Gordon, CB4, Washington
Gordon has good positioning and does well to take away the receiver he is covering. He is a smart player who takes good chances and he has an incredibly high floor.
23. Zion Johnson, IOL1, Boston College
There’s not a lot of flash with Johnson but he’s going to come in, block his man, and help your offense move the chains. He’s another prospect with an incredibly high floor.
24. George Karlaftis, Edge 6, Purdue
I am a lot lower on Karlaftis than other people. While he is a very physical player, he doesn’t have good bend and he’s not lengthy at all. He’s going to have to go to a team that knows how to use him or he has massive bust potential.
25. Trevor Penning, OT4, Northern Iowa
Penning is a smart, steady tackle who doesn’t get beat often. He is not wildly athletic but he has a high floor and should be a reliable starter early on in his career.
26. Lewis Cine, S3, Georgia
Cine is going to be a box safety in the NFL but I think he can grow into one of the better ones in the league. He plays very physically and is great against the run. He needs to go to a team that will use him in the box and not expect him to cover down the field too often.
27. Devonte Wyatt, DT2, Georgia
Wyatt is a big, massive human being who takes up a lot of space on the defensive line. He is great against the run and there is some development potential as a pass rusher.
28. Jahan Dotson, WR6, Penn State
Dotson is an incredible route runner who has really great elusive ability with the ball in his hands. He has the ability to stop on a dime and he is going to cause problems in the open field at the next level.
29. David Ojabo, Edge 7, Michigan
David Ojabo would be much higher on this list if he didn’t rupture his Achilles tendon during his pro day workout. Ojabo is still very raw but is a great speed rusher who I believe has the ability to add more power moves to his arsenal. He is going to make a team in the second round very happy.
30. Tyler Linderbaum, C1, Iowa
Linderbaum is an athletic center who lacks strength. In the right scheme, he can do some damage. It’s just tough to imagine him going up against some of the larger interior defensive linemen in the league and winning consistently.
31. Kaiir Elam, CB5, Florida
Elam would fit best in a team who played a lot of zone coverage. He’s a long corner who has good ball skills and will thrive in the right system.
32. Andrew Booth, CB6, Clemson
Andrew Booth is a solid corner who has a high floor. He may drop due to injury concerns as he recently had sports hernia surgery.
33. George Pickens, WR7, Georgia
If Pickens played a full season in 2021 I have a feeling that he may end up going higher than he will end up going. He can go up and get the ball but he struggles against press coverage in some scenarios.
34. Logan Hall, Edge 8, Houston
Hall is a hybrid edge who can bump inside or rush outside. He does a great job at getting interior pressure and in the right scheme could become dangerous.
35. Arnold Ebeketie, Edge 9, Penn State
Ebeketie is a pure pass rusher who will likely start in a situational role in the NFL while he builds up his run defense skills. The tools are there and with good coaching they can develop.
36. Christian Harris, ILB3, Alabama
Harris is going to be a very good modern day linebacker in the NFL. He is great at defending the pass and has the ability to match up with tight ends and running backs. He isn’t as dominant against the run but a lot of that stems from processing issues. He has the potential to be a very good player in the NFL.
37. Quay Walker, ILB4, Georgia
Walker is a run-stopping linebacker who is massive in size and great at filling gaps quickly. He leaves a bit to be desired in the passing game but on early downs he is going to be a problem in the NFL.
38. Breece Hall, RB1, Iowa State
Breece Hall is far and away the best running back in this draft class. He is a patient runner with good burst and he can contribute in the passing game both as a receiver and a pass protector. He could be a first round pick for some teams.
39. Malik Willis, QB1, Liberty
People get caught up in the traits but the tape is really, really bad. Yes, Malik Willis has a great arm and great speed but we’ve never really seen him put it together. For a mobile quarterback, he struggles to throw on the run. I am not a fan of drafting Malik Willis but odds are some team will like the upside.
40. Christian Watson, WR8, North Dakota State
Christian Watson is a long and fast receiver who shows great ability on deep routes that will translate well into the NFL. He is still a work in progress when it comes to running short/intermediate routes but he has the tools to improve those things to get better at the next level.
41. Jalen Pitre, S4, Baylor
Pitre is a versatile defensive back who can play in the slot and deep. He lacks elite athleticism but he is a very good football player. He could really make a difference on day 1 for the right team.
42. Kenyon Green, IOL2, Texas A&M
Kenyon Green went from being thought of as a top ten pick to a consensus late first or early second round pick. Green has the ability to play tackle but most teams will view him as a guard. He is a safe prospect at guard and could be a day one starter.
43. Demarvin Leal, DT3, Texas A&M
Likely a 3-4 DE as a pro, Leal lined up at defensive tackle and at edge for Texas A&M. He is a bit of a tough player to evaluate due to his lack of true position. He needs to go to a team that will utilize him properly.
44. Kenny Pickett, QB2, Pittsburgh
Kenny Pickett has tiny hands and should not be a first round pick (not because of the hands). He lacks elite arm strength and doesn’t have franchise carrying potential. He can likely manage a game and create plays with his legs but the upside is just too limited.
45. Skyy Moore, WR9, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore is an elusive receiver who is dangerous in space. He is going to be a perennial deep threat in an offense at minimum and could grow into a larger role in the right scheme.
46. Trey McBride, TE1, Colorado State
This tight end class isn’t great but Trey McBride is a high floor tight end with the potential to make an impact his rookie year. He is a good blocker who can be a possession tight end at the next level.
47. Nik Bonitto, Edge 10, Oklahoma
Nik Bonitto is this year’s Azeez Ojulari. He is an elite bender who is a one trick pony as a speed rusher but he’s highly productive and he makes plays. He gets consistent pressure on quarterbacks and if he can figure out how to round out his game he could be a really good player.
48. Roger McCreary, CB7, Auburn
McCreary is a press corner who does a good job of positioning himself against receivers on short routes. He is a bit undersized and that could cost him draft position.
49. Carson Strong, QB3, Nevada
Each year I get to place one player on this list who has an elite trait but doesn’t have anything else. This year it’s Carson Strong. Strong has one of the best pure arms I’ve ever seen. The issue is that he can’t move at all. He is 20x less mobile than Tom Brady and that’s not an exaggeration. But on the off chance that his arm is good enough to get him into an elite playing position then I want it on the record saying I noticed it.
50. Bernard Raimann, OT5, Central Michigan
Raimann is relatively new to the sport. He started as a tight end for Central Michigan before moving to tackle. He has some medical red flags that could cost him some draft spots.
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