With the college football season just around the corner, NFL Draft talks can already begin. Even though it is preseason, it is never too early to start thinking about the next big things potentially entering the draft. Here are my Top 50 ranked players of the 2022 NFL Draft. (Image above from clutchsports.com)

Junior, 6’5” 250 pounds (pc: theathletic.com)

 

1)Kayvon ThibodeauxEDGE (Oregon Oregon Ducks - Wikipedia) – Thibodeaux is an athletic FREAK. He has an explosive first step and burst off the line of scrimmage. He can bend around opponents and reek havoc on the quarterback. This season, I would like to see him develop a better bull rush to compliment his elite speed rush. If he can do that, he will be a can’t miss prospect.

 

Junior, 6’1” 195 pounds (pc: fansided.com)

 

2) Derek Stingley Jr. – CB (LSU 2007 LSU Tigers football team - Wikipedia) – DSJ burst onto the scene in his freshman year with 6 interceptions. Looking at his stats from last year, some would say DSJ had a down year in 2020, but that is not the case. Teams would throw away from his as much as they could, for very good reason. DSJ is long, twitchy corner with the ball skills of a wide receiver. He can line up all over the field and use his quick feet and fluid hips to make any play. Even though he can be a versatile player, he is best when he is in press man, where he can line up and shadow most anyone.

 

Junior, 6’7” 360 pounds (pc: yahoosports.com)

 

3) Evan Neal – OT (Alabama Alabama Crimson Tide football - Wikipedia) – Neal is a massive dancing bear. He has nimble feet and keeps a perfect base. He counters pass rushers with his hands and always keeps them in front of him. No matter if it is a speed rush around the edge or a bull rush right into him, he has the athletic ability and the strength to handle both. He can be used in space on screens or in line as a great run blocker; especially combo blocks to the second level. I see no holes in his game. This year, with Alex Leatherwood being drafted, Alabama should move him to Left Tackle, where he can be a bookend franchise tackle for a tackle needy team for years to come in the NFL.

 

Junior, 6’1” 220 pounds (pc: newsobserver.com)

 

4) Sam Howell – QB (UNC North Carolina Tar Heels football - Wikipedia) – Howell, in my opinion, is the most NFL ready QB in the class. He stands in the pocket and uses subtle movements to navigate around when the rush gets close. He has enough mobility to escape once he has gone through his progression and nothing is open. He has a strong enough arm to make every throw, but what sets him apart is his accuracy. He makes every level throw, short, medium, and deep and has great touch that can put balls over linebackers but drops before the DBs. He keeps his feet pointed at the target and has a quick tight release. If he continues the way he played last year, I see him as the best QB in the class.

 

Junior, 6’4” 290 pounds (pc: 247sports.com)

 

5) Demarvin Leal – DL (Texas A&M Texas A&M Aggies football - Wikipedia) – To me, the most intriguing prospect in the whole class, Leal is built differently than most human beings. At his size he is a nightmare in the interior of the defense, but with his athletic ability, he can be dominant on the edge. He can play every technique in any scheme and thrive. He eats double teams and causes pressure through the middle of the line and can play at the 7 or 9 technique and use his incredible burst and pass rush arsenal to beat athletic tackles. The thing he needs most work on is his motor. When he is fresh and ready to go he is all over the field, but he gets subbed off a bit. Conditioning this off-season will help him a ton.

 

Junior, 6’1” 205 pounds (pc: cbssports.com)

 

6) Spencer Rattler – QB (Oklahoma Oklahoma Sooners football - Wikipedia) – Rattler started off the year slow, but finished off the year in style. He has a live arm that can make every throw all over the field. He throws from the opposite hash to out routes all the way across the field, where only his receiver can get it. His deep ball is the best in the nation, and he also throws into very tight windows. His mobility is more than adequate and Lincoln Riley will use him on designed QB runs because of this. To become a better QB this year, he needs to not vacate the pocket when it is not necessary. Often times I see him scrambling when the pocket collapses, but he still has room and time. He also needs to throw with more anticipation. If he can do these things, he will be the unanimous top QB in the class

 

Junior, 6’4” 220 pounds (pc: 247sports.com)

 

7) Kyle Hamilton – S (Notre Dame Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Wikipedia) – Hamilton is a long rangy athlete that makes plays all over the field. He is smooth and makes the difficult look easy. He has the speed and coordination to cover receivers in the slot and the size and length to cover tight ends. He is a read and react player and plays a “see ball get ball” brand of football that makes him always making or near the play. He is a good tackler in space, but needs to work on getting his pad level lower to make more sure tackles. Because of his skill set and physical tools he can thrive in both man and zone coverage. His best fit, for me, is at free safety to allow him to cover the whole field and make plays freely.

 

Junior, 6’4” 275 pounds (purduesports.com)

 

8) George Karlaftis – DL (Purdue Purdue Boilermakers football - Wikipedia) – Although his 2020 season was cut short because of COVID and an injury, in the two games that Karlaftis played, he was a huge impact. He does not have game changing athleticism, but what he does have in strength, effort, and near-flawless technique. He is good in both run defense and pass rushing, always creating pressure and penetration, and his motor never stops. Look for Karlaftis to make a splash this season and rise up draft boards.

 

Junior, 6’4” 255 pounds (pc: 247sports.com)

 

9) Drake Jackson – EDGE (USC USC Trojans football - Wikipedia) – The two words I would use to describe Jackson are athletic and versatile. Having played both OLB and Edge at USC, Jackson is a do it all prospect. He can rush both standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He uses his long arms to control lineman and move them where he needs to. He has a plethora of pass rush moves which includes a lethal spin move. His versatility is a hot commodity at the next level, but he could benefit with a little more mass and strength to help make him even more dangerous.

 

Junior, 6’5” 316 pounds (pc: 247sports.com)

 

10) Zion Nelson – OT (Miami Miami Hurricanes - Wikipedia) – An incredible athlete, Nelson can do things that most men his size cannot. He has nimble feet and hips that sink on contact that allow him to neutralize any defender he comes against. He is very good in space on screens and outside sweeps and zone runs. He is an asset in the run game as well when he combos or reach blocks. That being said, he has some issues with his balance, sometimes getting his head too far in front of his body and falling. He also can be beat by a good bull rush. Other than these couple of things, Nelson can develop into an elite left tackle.

11) Charles Cross RSo – OT (Mississippi State Mississippi State Bulldogs - Wikipedia)  6’5” 310 pounds: Cross is an explosive athlete with violent hands and nimble feet.  He jumps out of his stance when pass blocking and is ferocious in run blocking, especially when combo blocking to the second level.  This year, I look for Charles to add some more technicality to his hand placement and to add a few more pounds to strengthen himself against NFL pass rushers and be on track to becoming a bookend tackle for a franchise. 

12) Kingsley Enagbare – SR – EDGE (South Carolina South Carolina Gamecocks - Wikipedia) 6’4” 260 pounds:  Enagbare is an extremely atheltic and versatile prospect primed for a huge season for the Gamecocks.  He shows freakish athletic ability and a relentless motor that never stops.  His speed off the edge is apparent as soon as you turn on the tape.  He defeats double teams with both speed and strength and does a good job evading cut blocks, as well.  His versatility is used in South Carolina’s defense where he plays 3-4 OLB to drop into coverage and cover the flats and an EDGE when they switch to the 4-3.  I would like to see him use his length more in regards to block shedding and he can better time his burst off the ball to make more plays.  He did not declare for the draft last year, and I am looking forward to seeing his improvement in his senior season.  

13) Chris Olave SR – WR (Ohio State Ohio State Buckeyes - Wikipedia) 6’1” 188 pounds: Olave is a savvy route runner with good speed and ELITE quickness.  He is a seasoned route runner that varies his tempo to create separation and blow by defenders.  He gets in and out of his breaks and can stop on a dime.  What sets Olave apart is that he is a YAC master.  When the ball is in his hands, he turns into a running back by getting north and south and is quite slippery making it hard to bring down.  Look for Olave to have a huge season this year and rise up draft boards. 

14) Jaxson Kirkland – SR – OT (Washington Washington Huskies logo.svg) 6’7” 310 pounds:  When looking over the tape, there is not many flaws in Kirkland’s game.  He is extremely athletic with great length.  He keeps a wide base when engaged and has great hip flexibility that anchors him down.  His long arms keep defenders at a distance and keeps all the leverage with him.  He is not only good in pass pro but also in run blocking as well.  His down blocks swallow defenders and his anchor blocks are unbeatable.  The few flaws I noticed were he can play too high and his hands need some more power. 

15) Kaiir Elam – JR – CB (Florida Florida Gators - Wikipedia) 6’2” 193 pounds:  The potential corner class for the 2022 draft is loaded.  After clear top choice, Stingley Jr., Elam is the next best in a very deep corner draft.  Elam has all the physical tools you look for in an NFL defensive back.  He is twitched up and very smooth, he has the feet and hips to mirror any receiver, and he is physical.  Elam also is very long and uses that length to his advantage in coverage and tackling.  Some refinement in his technique, especially in the press, and working on his ball


skills will make him a very good 1A option.   

16) Jalen Wydermyer JR – TE  (Texas A&M Texas A&M Aggies football - Wikipedia) 6’5” 255 pounds: It seems like former basketball players just work as tight ends, and that is definitely the case with Wydermyer.  He is a big physical matchup nightmare!  He is not an elite athlete, but he makes up for it with physicality and smooth route running.  In the red zone, just throw it up and he will box out defenders and rebound it.  He also can do work in the trenches.  Because of his size and athletic ability, he is a great blocker in space and also shows good blocking technique with his hand in the dirt.  The tight end is becoming a do-it-all position in the NFL, and Wydermyer is the perfect example of this.  

17) Trent McDuffie – JR – CB (Washington Washington Huskies logo.svg) 5’11” 195 pounds:  If there is one person that jumps off the tape when you watch him, it is Trent McDuffie.  He is a top tier athlete with explosion, fluidity, speed, jumping, and insticts.  McDuffie is all over the field, blitzing off the edge, playing slot corner, or outside, and making plays every single game.  He has a nose for the football and gets pass breakups, strips, and INTs (although I would like to see more).  He is also great in the return game, and special teams coverage.  He is identical to the Honey Badger coming out of LSU back in the day.  Because of his size, he can have difficulty getting off of blocks.  He also does not wrap up much, but rather throws his body into oppositions legs, which could get him in trouble.  I look to see him be more productive this coming year to confirm himself as a top prospect.  

18) Kenyon Green JR – G/OT (Texas A&M Texas A&M Aggies football - Wikipedia) 6’4” 325 pounds:  Green is a freak of nature.  A man of his size should not be able to move the way he does, and because of this, he has position flexibility. He pulls with violence and purpose, he can seal defenders in both anchor and reach blocks, and his hand placement is near flawless.  He can be both an elite tackle or guard, and that speaks volumes in today’s NFL.  

19) Andrew Booth Jr.JR – CB (Clemson Clemson Tigers - Wikipedia) 6’0” 195 pounds:  Booth is a silky smooth corner that makes playing corner look easy.  Along with great athleticism, he adds a physicality to the position.  Most notably in press coverage, Booth Jr has both the athleticism and strength to take a receiver out of a play entirely.  Add in ball skills that of an offensive player, and you have a clear first rounder in the draft.  That being said, this year will be vital for him because he needs to play more instinctual and get a better feel for position.  If he can see things unfold faster, he has all the tools to make any play he needs to. 

20) Ahmad Gardner JR – CB (Cincinnati File:Cincinnati Bearcats logo.svg - Wikipedia) 6’2” 188 pounds:  Although Gardner does not have great long speed, his short area quicks, rapid feet, and fluid hips, more than make up for not being the fastest on the field.  Not only tall, Gardner has extremely long arms that are used well in coverage and tackling.  I look for him to make more plays in the air this upcoming season. 

21) John Metchie III JR – WR (Alabama Alabama Crimson Tide football - Wikipedia) 6’0” 195 pounds:  In the long line of great Alabama receivers, Metchie III is the next one up.   With elite speed and quickness he can run the whole route tree.  He can also take the top off the defense.  With his skill set, he can play at both X and slot receiver, and is great in the screen game.  If he can improve his route awareness he can improve his draft ranking.  However, look for him to thrive this season being the number one option.  

22) Zach Harrison JR – EDGE (Ohio State Ohio State Buckeyes - Wikipedia6’6” 265 pounds:  This is going to be a huge prove it year for Harrison.  He is a freaky athlete but is very raw at the position.  Last year was his first year starting and you can see on film he relies solely on his physical tools rather than good technique.  He flashes good pass rush moves and good hands, but it is not consistent.  If he can develop his fundamentals, Harrison will sore up the rankings. 

23) George Pickens JR – WR (Georgia Georgia Bulldogs football - Wikipedia) 6’3” 200 pounds:  Pickens is a huge target with long arms and a huge catch radius.  He has great feet and hips that allow him to make sharp cuts out of his breaks.  His leaping ability is unmatched and is a true threat in the red zone.  His reported character and off field issues could be off-putting, but as an athlete, he is very interesting.  Even with a torn ACL this spring, Pickens could still be a top prospect this offseason.  

24) Justyn Ross RJr – WR (Clemson Clemson Tigers - Wikipedia) 6’4” 205 pounds:  Another big body, possession type receiver.  Ross is coming back after missing all of 2020 with a spinal issue.  If he plays like he did the year prior, a crisp route runner with good body control and a massive catch radius, he can be another impactful receiver in the draft.  

25) Ainias Smith JR – RB/WR (Texas A&M Texas A&M Aggies football - Wikipedia) 5’10” 190 pounds:  A true gadget player, Smith plays all over the field for A&M.  He is an insanely twitchy player that make people look silly in the open field.  He is both great at running back between the tackles and catching out of the backfield, in the slot, and as an outside receiver.  He is a solid route runner and has ridiculously quick feet which is hard for defenders to keep up with, even in press coverage.  And watch out in the open field because he can make people miss in a phone booth.  I expect a huge year from Smith.  

26) Desmond Ridder RSr – QB (Cincinnati File:Cincinnati Bearcats logo.svg - Wikipedia) 6’4” 215 pounds:  This a make or break year for Ridder.  He has a live arm and a lightning fast release.  He has the ability to make every throw on the field and is a true threat in the run game.  He is a long strider that eats yards and makes him deceptively fast.  The thing he needs to work on most is his decision making.  He has a gunslinger mentality, thinking he can fit throws in windows that are already closed.  If he can clean this up, he will be a great quarterback prospect this year.  

27) Christian Harris JR – LB (Alabama Alabama Crimson Tide football - Wikipedia) 6’2” 235 pounds:  Harris is a true  sideline to sideline linebacker.  He is excellent in man and zone coverage and matches up very well with tight ends.  His issue is in the run game.  He needs to add size to combat against second level blocks from linemen, and he needs to be less hesitant.  I see him looking into the backfield more often than reading his keys.  I am looking for him to take a big step up this year in run support. 

28) Garrett Wilson JR – WR (Ohio State Ohio State Buckeyes - Wikipedia) 6’0” 195 pounds:  Wilson is another great Ohio State receiver.  Like his teammate Chris Olave, he is great after the catch and has very good speed and quickness.  He is also a good blocker on the perimeter.  He can also be utilized as a returner.  However, what sets Wilson apart is his elite body control.  He contours his body and adjusts to the ball no matter where it is.   

29) Sevyn Banks SR – CB (Ohio State Ohio State Buckeyes - Wikipedia) 6’1” 200 pounds:  Banks is a very solid corner.  He is quicker than fast but also explosive.  Because of this, he is much better in off coverage and zone.  He has good ball skills, as well.  Things that he needs to improve on are his instincts and tackling.  He is a liability when it comes to tackling.  He, at times, reacts late to screens or a receiver making a break, leaving him a step behind.  These things need to be fixed for him to take the next step in his development. 

 

30) Breece HallJR – RB (Iowa State Iowa State Cyclones football - Wikipedia) 6’1” 200 pounds:  Hall has all the tools to be the best back in the class.  He has great size and is slippery with good elusiveness.  He has great feet and vision and his feet and eyes are linked; if he sees a crease he can get these instantly.  He had 279 carries and averaged 5.6 yards per carry, which is good for experience, but bad for wear and tear on his body.  I would like to see him work on his contact balance, and get more involved as a pass catcher.  

31) Brandon JosephRSo – S (Northwestern Northwestern Wildcats logo.svg6’1” 195 pounds:  Joseph is an excellent coverage safety.  He has the wherewithal and play recognition skills to put himself in the right spots.  He  has exceptional hands and ball tracking skills.  He has good speed and great change of direction to be able to play all over the field, which he does at NW.  He does show that he can be over aggressive in both coverage and in tackling.  He takes unnecessary risks that leads to big plays or yardage gains.  He can also clean up his tackling by closing down the ball carrier with more control.    Joseph is going to have a very good year this season.   

32) Treylon BurksJR – WR (Arkansas Arkansas Razorbacks - Wikipedia) 6’3” 225 pounds:  Burks is a big physical receiver.  Although not the greatest route runner, he makes quick bursts and sharp cuts to create separation.  He is a long stidder who can pull away from defenses in a hurry.  He is not a YAC specialist when on routes, yet when given the ball on jet sweeps or bubble screens he does a good job of gaining positive yardage.  It is not often you see big possession receivers getting the ball in multiple ways, and that is a testament to his versatility.  For him to improve this coming season, he needs to cut down the drops and become more focused during the process of the catch. 

33) Carson StrongRJr – QB (NevadaNevada Wolf Pack wordmark.svg ) 6’4” 215 pounds: A more traditional pocket passer, Strong is, what some consider, a dying breed of QB in today’s NFL.  Even though this is true, that does not mean Strong cannot have a long career in the pros.  He shows that he has a cannon for an arm and a quick and efficient release.  He can manipulate the pocket with subtle shifts all while keeping his eyes downfield and going through his progression.  A small added bonus is that he takes snaps under center which is less of a learning curve when he is in the league.  Although not a mobile QB, Strong has the capability to throw on the run when he needs to.  He needs to clean up his mechanics when under pressure and knowing where the pressure is coming from pre-snap.  I see Strong making a Joe Burrow and Zach Wilson type of leap this year if he can tighten up these important aspects of his game. 

34) Matt Corral – RJr – QB (Ole Miss Ole Miss Rebels - Wikipedia) 6’1” 205 pounds:  Corral has a skill set that translates well to the modern NFL.  He has a live arm that can spin the ball into tight windows.  He can drive the football down field with power or use touch to float the ball over defenders.  He is also very athletic and has the threat to beat defenses with his legs.  He also uses this athleticism in the pocket to evade free rushers.  In the 2020 season, the highs were high and the lows were low.  He threw 14 interceptions with 11 of them coming in just two games.  There are quite a few  “what is he thinking” moments on film when he would try to force the ball into a blanketed receiver or just completely missed the underneath defender.  This is a make or break year for Corral.  If he can clean up the turnovers he has the chance to be a top QB in the class.  

35) Tyler LinderbaumRJr – C (Iowa Iowa Hawkeyes - Wikipedia) 6’3” 290 pounds:  At Iowa, a school known for churning out pro ready linemen, Linderbaum is the next one to make a seamless jump to the NFL.  At the heart of the line, Linderbaum is the glue that holds this unit together.  Not only does he show knowledge of where and when to shift the protection, he has the athletic ability to back it up.  He jumps out of his stance while simultaneously snapping the ball.  He is great at reach blocks and creating a wall on seal blocks.  He can, however, get too ahead of himself in space and comboing to the second level by accelerating too long and getting swam past by smaller linebackers.  If he can add some mass and go to the second level more under control, look for Linderbaum to be a highly regarded center in this class.  

36) Perrion WinfreySR – DT (Oklahoma Oklahoma Sooners football - Wikipedia) 6’4” 295 pounds:  Winfrey, at the heart of the Oklahoma D-line, shows great length and initial burst at the snap of the ball.  He is very athletic for being nearly 300 pounds showing that he can turn his shoulders and knife through double teams.  He is very heavy-handed, but needs some refinement with his hand placement and hand fighting.  

37) Isaiah SpillerJR – RB (Texas A&M Texas A&M Aggies football - Wikipedia) 6’1” 225 pounds:  Spiller is a big back that welcomes contact.  He has good vision and can squeeze through small gaps that most people see too late.  He is a one cut downhill runner looking to punish defenders rather than juke them.  Because of his physicality, he is a great pass blocker.  He may not have the best form, but he is very strong and can hold up blitzing linebackers or chip defensive ends.  He has shown the ability to catch out of the backfield, but there is a small sample size and I would like to see this part of his game used more this season.  The one big flaw I see with Spiller is that he does not have the speed to be a big play running back.  He can get you the necessary yards on a given down, but do not expect him to be a home run hitter.  



38) JT Daniels – JR – QB (USC USC Trojans football - Wikipedia) 6’3” 210 pounds:  Daniels’ college career has been a bumpy ride.  He started his career at USC but, after a torn ACL and meniscus, he transferred to Georgia.  He finally got his opportunity during the middle of last season and took the reigns of a very good Georgia offense.  Daniels is a pro-style QB with a lightning quick release and very good feet.  Although not mobile, he manipulates the pocket well to avoid the oncoming rush.  He gets the ball out on time and throws with anticipation.  He is quite accurate when the pocket is clean or in a moving pocket.  Daniels lacks deep ball arm strength, often floating balls and making his receivers have to slow down and wait for the ball.  He also needs to make better throws while under pressure.  If he can clean up these issues, I can see Daniels being in the first round conversation.  

39) Bubba BoldenRJr – S (Miami Miami Hurricanes - Wikipedia) 6’3” 205 pounds:  Bolden has the size, length, and athleticism that checks every box of an NFL Safety.  He never hesitates, making instinctual reads both in coverage and in the run game.  When he runs the alley, he flies downhill, changing directions at the blink of an eye and using his long arms to smother ball carriers.  He also shows great positional versatility because he can play the free, in the slot as a nickel corner, in the box, or blitz off the edge.  He needs to improve his ball skills while in coverage and his history of injuries could be off-putting, but he is a great athlete with plenty of experience.   

40) Rasheed WalkerRJr – OT (Penn State Penn State Nittany Lions - Wikipedia) 6’6” 320 pounds:  Walker possesses rare size, atheltic ability, length and strength.  He is a fantastic run blocker, often pulling, sealing, and combo blocking and making important blocks with the runner coming right behind him.   He has an extremely strong punch that he uses on draw plays to knock over rushers using their momentum against them.  The real problem I see with him is his consistency in pass blocking.  As stated before, he has rare athletic ability.  He explodes out of his stance and his kick steps allow him to gain distance in a hurry.  His hand placement needs a ton of work and he is often way too aggressive.  On most occasions, his hands are on the outside with no attempt to regain inside control.  Also, because he is so athletic, he will mirror pass rushers, but leave himself wide open for fakes inside and counter moves, especially a good spin move.  He also has balance issues often times leaning too far in front or too the side.  If he can clean up his technique, Walker has the tools to be a great tackle, but from what I see on film, a transition to guard against bigger less athletic d-linemen would make him a top guard in the class.  

41) Malik WillisRJr – QB (Liberty Liberty Flames and Lady Flames - Wikipedia) 6’1” 225 pounds:  Willis is a very intriguing prospect, to say the least.  He is dynamic as a runner and a true playmaking QB.  He has the ability to make something out of nothing with his arm or his legs on any given play.  He has elite change of direction that he uses both in the pocket and in the open field as a runner, and he shows toughness on every snap.  There are some issues, though.  First of all, he has a very strong arm but is very inaccurate due to a side arm release and sloppy feet mechanics.  Even when he is standing cleanly in the pocket, you never know where the ball when end up.  He is also very reliant on play action and his threat to run.  Like Lamar Jackson, a team needs to commit fully to a run-heavy play action brand of football because he cannot beat you solely with his arm.  Willis also needs to make better decisions with the football.  This upcoming season is going to be a make or break year for his development.  

42) Romeo DoubsSR – WR (NevadaNevada Wolf Pack wordmark.svg) 6’2” 200 pounds:  In a class with many jump ball, possession type receivers, Doubs is another addition to that list.  He his by no means a burner, but he runs crisp routes and creates separation against press coverage and running the route tree with explosiveness, rapid foot fire and dynamic hips.  He is a very physical receiver with long arms that he uses well to fight off defenders during routes and to high point the football.  However, he is a body catcher when it is just not necessary because his catching technique needs work.  He can also work on dropping his hips more consistently when changing directions.  He can be a dynamic playmaker if he can catch the ball more.  

43) Jordan Battle – JR – S (Alabama Alabama Crimson Tide football - Wikipedia6’1” 210 pounds:  Battle is a great strong safety whose game fits very well at the pro level.  He plays with aggression and reads plays almost as they happen with the feet and hips to get him there quickly.  He flys downhill and is a great blitzer from depth.  I see him weave through all the trash all while keeping his eyes on his target, which is an underrated skill as a safety.  He needs to work on form tackling and being more consistent with his tackling technique instead of going for the highlight hits.  

44) Nik Bonitto – RJr – EDGE (Oklahoma Oklahoma Sooners football - Wikipedia6’3” 240 pounds:  Bonitto had a very good 2020 season.  He is quick on his feet and a pass rush specialist.  He is a good athlete with bend, explosion, and strength.  The problem with Bonitto is that he is a bit of a tweener, too small to be a true EDGE player, but not athletic enough to be a good linebacker.  Oklahoma plays in a 3-3 stack most downs to put Bonitto in the best position to be successful, but he needs to work hard to carve out a good role in the NFL.  

45) T’Vondre Sweat – JR – DT (Texas Logo) 6’4” 335 pounds:  Sweat is a massive man that is the definition of a dancing bear.  He consistently draws double teams, clearing lanes for linebackers to run through.  He is a very good athlete with flashes of explosion and quickness.  There are times on film where can will extend his long arm and hold off blockers while tackling the runner or QB with his other hand.  I would like to see him do this more and have better punch and hand use.  He also needs to be more aware and block throwing lanes when the ball is thrown.  

46) Aidan Hutchinson – SR – EDGE (Michigan Michigan Wolverines - Wikipedia) 6’6” 265 pounds:  Hutchinson is a physical end with very strong hands that can throw men much larger than him around like rag dolls.  He is violent at the point of attack and is incredible in run support.  He penetrates almost as quick as the ball is snapped and can make plays from the backside.  Where he needs to develop his game is in pass rushing.  He does not have any really effective moves other than a bull rush, but his motor keeps him going so he can rely on effort to beat his man instead of a planned attack.  I look for a big improvement in this part of his game in 2021.  

47) Kedon Slovis – JR – QB (USC USC Trojans football - Wikipedia) 6’3” 205 pounds:  Slovis has the best mechanics of any quarterback in the class.  You can tell he takes pride in being fundamentally sound.  He does not have a strong arm which is fine.  He makes up for it with excellent touch and ball placement.  He is best in the quick game where he gets the ball out in time and accurately.  That being said, I see him more as a game manager.  He rarely pushes the ball down field.  Instead, he often is checking down to his outlet.  He is a one read QB, and when he does go through his progression, if his first read is not there, he struggles mightily which can result in questionable reads and throws.  Slovis has a very good foundation that could make a QB needy team reach up, thinking he can be molded into what they need.  But, in my opinion, he has a good amount to improve if he wants to be successful in the pros.  

48) Myjai Sanders – SR – EDGE (Cincinnati File:Cincinnati Bearcats logo.svg - Wikipedia) 6’5” 260 pounds:  Just like the other edge rushers in the class, Sanders has great length and athletic traits to be a good rusher at the next level.  He has a variety of moves, including a lethal swim move, but he seems to have no real rhyme or reason when using them.  He is explosive but he can be easily defeated by a strong lineman.  He needs to build strength in his lower body and add a good push pull move into his arsenal.  Being at a lesser known school for the NFL, Sanders has flown under the radar.  However, with consistent play and development technically, along with his attractive physical traits, he can be a enticing prospect.   

 

 

 

 

49) Ikem Ekwonu – JR – OG (NC State NC State Wolfpack - Wikipedia) 6’4” 320 pounds:  Ekwonu is a mauling guard with elite strength.  He is aggressive with a nasty mean streak.  He explodes out of his stance to pull and reach the second level.  His run block technique is near flawless.  While his run blocking is top notch, pass blocking leaves a good amount to be desired.  He can be abused by an athletic DT with quickness and his hands, although insanely strong, tend to be on the outside leading to some holding calls.  If his pass blocking can be half as good as his run blocking, he will be a great guard for years to come.   

 

50) Jahleel Billingsley – JR – TE (Alabama Alabama Crimson Tide football - Wikipedia6’4” 230 pounds:  Billingsley is the next in line for the next great “move” TE to come out of Bama.  Like O.J. Howard and Irv Smith Jr before him, Billingsley is a little undersized to be considered a true TE, but has the athletic ability to cause mismatches all over the field.  His catching technique is near perfect with great focus and soft hands.  Although not the biggest, Billingsley has show the ability and willingness to do the dirty work in the trenches and be a lead blocker on fax back blocks.  One thing I would like to see him improve is the sharpness of his routes.  Because he is tall with great leaping ability, he tends to round off the top of his routes and still be able to get away with his defender making up ground.  This will not be tolerated in the NFL, and he could clean this up this upcoming season.  

 

This draft class is loaded, from top to bottom.  The quarterback class is a very intriguing one that is very fluid and could change week to week.  There are no clear cut number 1s like Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck.  Also, the depth of some positions is estounding, especially edge, offensive line, and corner.  There are so many people that could have made this list that just barely missed out.  BUT!  This is only the preseason ranking and so much can change when the time comes for draft talk to really begin!  Here’s to another exciting season of football! 

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