With the College Football season off to a great start, we now have had time to watch all the impact players around the nation. A good many of these players will end up playing on Sundays for your favorite NFL team. Here is your chance to familiarize yourself with the future stars of the NFL. I present to you my 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board!

Photo Credit: espn.com, si.com, Getty Images, gatorswire.com, dawgnation.com,247sports.com

 

 

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE, Oregon (6-4, 250lbs) – Thibodeaux is possibly the most explosive defensive player to enter the draft since Myles Garret in 2016. Thibodeaux is an excellent pass rusher coming off the edge, but he will need to work on being a better run defender to help translate his game to the NFL.
  2. Evan Neal Offensive Tackle, Alabama (6-7, 360lbs) – Evan Neal has been one of the nations top offensive tackles since high school. He started as a true freshman at right tackle and hasn’t looked back since. This season he was switched over to left tackle to help improve the Crimson Tide’s young offensive line. As a right tackle Neal was a mauler. He opened a lot of holes and was a good pass protector. He did struggle with fast edge rushers, but still held his own in the trenches. Neal could always move inside to play guard in the NFL if he struggles at tackle. For a man his size, Neal displays good quickness and athleticism.
  3. Derek Stingley Jr. DB, LSU (6-1, 190lbs) – Stingley is great at shutting down receivers and making big plays. He displays good instincts, ball skills, and cover ability. He is the top cornerback of the draft class.
  4. Jordan Davis DT, Georgia (6-6, 340lbs) – Davis is very athletic for a man his size but posses the power to break down an offensive line. He is the key to Georgia’s run defense that tops the nation in rushing yards allowed. Davis can also generate pressure up the middle during passing downs. He makes life hard on the Quarterback by collapsing the pocket.

 

  1. Demarvin Leal DT (6-4, 290lbs) – Leal is another massive human being that moves faster than he’s measurements would suggest. SEC offensive linemen have had fits trying to block him. Leal is best when rushing the passer up the middle and forcing quarterbacks to bail out the pocket. As a run defender he is great a penetrating the offensive line and making plays in the backfield.
  2. Matt Corral QB, Ole Miss (6-1, 205lbs) – Corral has improved since last year where he never looked completely comfortable in Lane Kiffin’s offense. This year he looks to be in more control and confident about the throws and decisions he makes. So far this season Corral has completed 70 percent of his passes, thrown for more the 1,200 passing yards, and 10 touchdown passes. He is on track to top last year’s stats in each category. This shows how much improvement he has made. What makes Corral so special is his dual-treat ability. He can hurt the defense by passing the ball or he can take off and gain his own yards.
  3. Kyle Hamilton S, Notre Dame (6-4, 216lbs) – Hamilton is an athletic freak at the safety position. He can run, cover, and tackle from sideline to sideline. In pass coverage he can man against any skill position players, and in zone coverage he is able to read the quarterback to find his way to the ball. A quality to Hamilton’s game that does not get talked about much is his ability to come down in the box to help defend the run.
  4. Kenyon Green G/T, Texas A&M (6-4, 325lbs) – Green has the size and skills to be a phenomenal guard in the NFL. This year he was moved to right tackle to help fill some holes on the Aggies offensive line. This will only help Green show off his versatility if he performs well at right tackle. Some other qualities to Green’s game are his hand placement during blocks, pulling in open space, and ability to finish blocks.
  5. Adam Anderson EDGE, Georgia (6-4, 226lbs) – Adam Anderson has one of the most explosive first steps off the ball then any other edge rusher in this draft class. Anderson is pretty much been under the radar since arriving in Georgia only playing in a rotational role. He did make his limited playing time count coming up with huge sacks and putting pressure on the Quarterback consistently. If he can prove to be a three-down starter and defend the run, he could rise even higher on the board.
  6. Kaiir Elm DB, Florida (6-1, 187lbs) – Elam has good height with a great wingspan to match. He utilizes his wingspan well in pass coverage to deflect passes and create turnovers. He has quick feet and plays with aggression when making tackles.
  7. Drake Jackson EDGE, USC (6-4, 250lbs) – Jackson has good pass rushing skills coming off the edge as a 4-3 defensive end. Another quality trait about Jackson is how versatile he is. The Trojans have lined him up as an edge defender and OLB this season. Even though this reduced his pass rushing opportunities, Jackson was still effective on defense playing in space and dropping into pass coverage. Drake’s strength is playing with his hand in the dirt, but if he continues to improve playing in space, he can rise up many draft boards.
  8. Chris Olave WR, Ohio State (6-0, 182lbs) – Olave is one of the smoothest route runners in this deep wide receivers’ draft class. He displays great in game speed that allows him to easily break in and out his routes. Even though he is not the ideal height of a number one wide receiver, Olave has the athleticism to win in jump ball situations.
  9. Aidan Hutchinson EDGE, Michigan (6-6, 261lbs) – Hutchinson has the size and frame to play in the NFL as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 five-technique defensive end. He is stout at the line of scrimmage defending the run. As a pass rusher he needs to add more moves to his arsenal to improve that area to his game. He has motor that does not stop until the play ends which helps him make hustle plays for his team.
  10. George Karlaftis EDGE, Purdue (6-4, 275lbs) – Effort, Motor, and Technique are three words that perfectly describes George Karlaftis’ play on the field. He is good at penetrating the offensive line and causing havoc in the backfield. As on now he defends the run better then rushing the passer. As pass rusher he will need to utilize other moves to get to the quarterback. Once he does that, Karlaftis will coveted by the time the draft gets here.
  11. Jermaine Johnson EDGE, Florida State (6-4, 255lbs) – Georgia Bulldogs transfer Jermaine Johnson has made a big impact on the Seminoles defense this season. Before transferring Johnson was a part of a Georgia defense that featured Azeez Ojulari, Adam Anderson and Nolan Smith. Ojulari played the feature role while the Johnson, Anderson, Smith played rotational roles. This season at Florida State, Johnson has been given a chance to show more of his talents with more playing time. He has been a nuisance to block for offensive linemen in both the run and pass game.
  12. Chase Hines OG, LSU (6-3, 323lbs) – Hines has good size for an interior lineman at the NFL level. At the point of attack, he mauls defensive linemen off the ball and creates huge running lanes. If he can improve his pass blocking skills, he could be the first interior offensive linemen taken in the draft.
  13. Malik Willis QB, Liberty (6-1, 215) – Willis has been on the rise since the end of last season and his hype train continues to roll. This season he has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,327 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has scored six rushing touchdowns. Willis has a strong arm that can make any throw on the field. He throws a good deep ball with excellent touch and placement. As a runner he is hard to bring down in open space. Teams will have questions about Willis’ height due to the success rate of quarterbacks under 6 feet. With the evolution of players such as Kyler Murry, Russell Wilson, and recently retired Drew Brees; Willis may have a chance to find success in the NFL.
  14. Tarie Casto-Fields DB, Penn State (6-0, 197lbs) – Casto-Fields is on the most athletic defensive backs in the upcoming draft. He is physical at the point of attack and not afraid to come down and make a tackle. After only appearing in three games during the 2020 season, Casto-Fields will need to prove he can stay healthy for the whole season.
  15. Jalen Wydrer TE, Texas A&M (6-5, 260lbs) – Wydermyer has good size, good speed, and great athleticism at the tight end position. Another quality about Wydermyer’s game is his willingness to run block. He is not afraid to take on defensive ends or outside linebackers to help create running lanes for running backs. As a receiver he consistently gets open in man and zone coverage. If he can improve his route running, he’ll prove to be a three-down starting tight end in the NFL.
  16. R.J. Roderick S, South Carolina (5-11, 203) – Roderick plays well in coverage but just hasn’t gotten a lot of interceptions. He will come down in the box and make a
  17. Isaiah Spiller RB, Texas A&M (6-1, 225lbs) – Spiller is the top running back in this class due to his combination of size and speed coming out the backfield. He also has good hands to be a receiving threat out of the backfield. He will need to improve his pass blocking skill to prepare himself for blitzing NFL linebackers and defensive backs.
  18. Sam Howell QB, North Carolina (6-1, 220lbs) – Howell has had some ups and downs this season, but that was expected due to the talent that left to go to the NFL. This season Sam has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,697 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s tough, has a good arm, and can make plays on the ground. He will need to improve his accuracy as the season continues to show teams there is no problem there.
  19. Justyn Ross WR, Clemson (6-4, 205lbs) – Ross was one of the most dominant wide receivers in the country his first two years with the Tigers. In 2020 he was sidelined with a career threatening congenital neck issue that required surgery. This season Ross returned to the field a little rusty but has found his footing in recent games. If he continues to improve and show his durability, Ross will find himself back in first round consideration.
  20. Spencer Rattler QB, Oklahoma (6-1, 205lbs) – Rattler has been a disappointment this season struggling to throw the ball down field and turning the ball over in bunches. He was benched against Texas in favor of young Caleb Williams who led a comeback for the ages. Rattler this season has completed 74 percent of his passes, thrown ten touchdowns, and five interceptions. He has a good arm with great athleticism, but he will need to cut down on turning the ball over. If he decides to enter the draft, Rattler will have a lot of questions to answer about why he struggled this season. Teams will have to do their homework before the invest an early round pick on him.
  21. Bubba Bolden S, Miami (6-3, 205lbs) – Bolden is the perfect safety for the NFL. He has the size, arm length, and athleticism to make plays in pass coverage. Bolden makes his name know when he hits someone. He comes downhill with bad intentions to disrupt the run game.
  22. Brandon Smith LB, Penn State (6-3, 240lbs) – Smith has great size for a linebacker and moves like a defensive back. He can control the middle of a defense and shed blocks to make tackles. In pass coverage he is solid and able to play man or zone coverage.
  23. Alec Lindstrom C, Boston College (6-3, 302lbs) – Lindstorm worked his way into the starting lineup last season and performed well against some good competition. A quality that sticks out about him is his height and length. Lindstorm has an incredible wingspan that allows him to easily bench press defensive linemen. He’s good at the point of attack as a run blocker which helps create holes for running backs.
  24. Trevor Penning OT, Northwestern (6-7, 329lbs) – Penning has good speed and athleticism combined with his massive size. His first punch during pass protection will knock the breath out of any defensive linemen. As a run blocker he is good at creating lanes for running backs and blocking in space.
  25. Zion Nelson G/T, Miami (6-5, 312lbs) – Nelson struggled against Alabama at the start of the season but has found his footing since then. He is athletic for his size and moves very well off the line of scrimmage. As a run blocker he mauls players off the ball. He does need to improve his pass protection skills. He seems to have trouble with speed rushers coming around the edge.
  26. Brenton Cox DE/OLB, Florida (6-4, 247lbs) – Cox has a high motor that is relentless and won’t stop until he finds the ball carrier. He could really improve a team a pass rush which is one of his best traits.
  27. Trent McDuffie DB, Washington (5-11, 195lbs) – McDuffie has good speed and coverage skills to compete at the next level. His height may come into question for some teams, but on tape he plays bigger than his actual size.
  28. D’Vonte Price RB, Florida International (6-2, 225lbs) – Price has great size for a future NFL running back. He’s the type of work horse back that can withstand carrying the ball 20 plus times a game. So far this season Price has 76 carries for 411 yards and six touchdowns. He averages around 5.4 yards a carry. He also has shown he is solid at catching the ball recording four receptions for 39 yards.
  29. Christian Harris LB (6-2, 235lbs) – Harris is good in man and zone coverage. He runs sideline to sideline. He fits what the NFL is looking for in linebackers. He will need to add on a few more pounds to withstand the offensive linemen at the second level.
  30. DeMarvion Overshown LB, Texas (6-2, 215lbs) – Overshown is another fast linebacker who can make plays in both the run and pass game. He can cover tight ends, running backs, and possibly a slot receiver. As run defender he fills his gaps with intensity to shut down the run.
  31. Perrion Winfrey DT, Oklahoma (6-3, 298lbs) – Winfrey is another defensive lineman with huge upside. He has a quick first step and good with his hands at the point of attack. Oklahoma lines Winfrey up as a 0 or 4i in their defensive scheme, but he will have more success lined up as a three-technique defensive tackle.
  32. Treylon Burks WR, Arkansas (6-3, 225lbs) – Burks has started off the season well and made a huge impact on the Razorbacks offense. He is good at utilizing his size to make contested catches over smaller defensive backs. After the catch, Burks makes it hard to get him on the ground. If he shows NFL teams that his speed has improved look for him be selected late in the first round.
  33. Smoke Monday S, Auburn (6-1, 204lbs) – Monday is one of those types of safeties that can help defend the run and the pass to help a defense. His biggest strength is his ability to force turnovers via interceptions or forced fumbles.
  34. Darian Kinnard OT, Kentucky (6-5, 342lbs) – Kinnard plays with a nasty attitude and it shows when he is run blocking. He has some improvement to do in pass protection, but he can hold his ground against greater competition. This season, Kinnard looks quicker and more explosive at the point of attack. This could be due to the weight he lost during the offseason.
  35. Dawson Deaton C, Texas Tech (6-5, 300lbs) – Deaton has a lot of experience starting for the Red Raiders the last few seasons. On the field he has the length, size, and athleticism to compete at center in the NFL. Any team that drafts him will gain somewhat of a veteran with many starts under his belt.
  36. Kenneth Walker lll RB, Michigan State (5-10, 210lbs) – Walker has been a monster for the Spartans this season. He is running with solid quickness for a runner at his size. Walker has a physical run style which he displays each game. So far this season he is averaging 6.8 yards a carry. Walker has not had many chances to show off his receiving skills but he solid catching the ball.
  37. Jefferey Gunter DE/OLB, Costal Carolina (6-4, 260lbs) – Gunter is a good athlete on the edge. He can defend both the run and pass. As a pass rusher he demonstrates good technique to continually pressure the quarterback.
  38. Alontae Taylor DB, Tennessee (6-0, 192lbs) – Taylor is a former wide receiver turned defensive back with a combination of size and speed to cover NFL type wide receivers. Along with those qualities, Taylor also displays the physicality to play press coverage.
  39. Christopher Smith S, Georgia (5-10, 185lbs) – Smith is a quick and athletic safety whose instincts help him in pass coverage. He can play man coverage and hold his own against most receivers.
  40. Nick Ford C, Utah (6-3, 303lbs) – Ford is very versatile after having played all five positions along the offensive line while attending Utah. He started the most at right guard but seems to project as a center in NFL due how undersized he is. If he can add more weight by the time the draft process begins, he has chance to rise up some draft boards.
  41. Zakoby McClain LB, Auburn (6-0, 220lbs) – McClain does nothing but find the ball and tackle the ball carrier. He is good as a run defender being able to shed blocks and make life hard of the running back. McClain will need to improve his skill in pass coverage to have success in the NFL.
  42. Jahan Dotson WR, Penn State (5-10, 175lbs) – Dotson is a speedster that is tough and not afraid to go over the middle to make a catch. His size may not be appealing to most but on the field, he plays bigger than he is. A good comp for Dotson would be Houston Texans wide receiver Bredon Cooks. Not the tallest or fastest guy of the field, but he can hurt you if given the chance to.
  43. Zachary Carter DT, Florida (6-3, 285lbs) – Carter may not have the ideal weight but don’t let his size fool you. He has a quick first step that translates into tackles for loss. He generates pressure in the pocket and help the guys on the outside thrive in man coverage.
  44. Jake Ferguson TE, Wisconsin (6-5, 244lbs) – Ferguson is a very reliable target for any quarterback. The best quality about Ferguson is his ability to block and create running lanes. If he had better quarterback play, he could be higher on the board.
  45. Phidarian Mathis DT, Alabama (6-4, 320lbs) – Mathis has flashed this season disrupting the run and generating pressure on passing downs. He needs to continue to put together solid performances to help raise his stock.
  46. James Skalski LB, Clemson (6-0, 246lbs) – Skalski is a tough run defender that has good instincts. He has improved in pass coverage being able to help more on the outside.

 

This draft class is loaded with defensive playmakers from the front 7 to the back 4.  The quarterbacks in this class are talented but have questions about how consistent they can be week to week.  None of them are clear cut number 1 pick such as Trevor Lawrence was last year.  The depth of some positions will make this draft intriguing as we go round by round. With this being a mid-season board, players still have a chance to rise and make their names known.

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