2022 NFL DRAFT TOP PROSPECT RANKINGS

NFL DRAFT TOP 25 PROSPECTS

A few notes on this Big Board:​

  • 2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles are being added all the time, so keep checking back for updates below for the top 25 NFL Draft prospects, as well as the prospects ranked from 26-50, 51-100.

  • Updated: 24th March 2022.

1

KAYVON THIBODEAUX

DE - OREGON

POS RANK

DE1

HEIGHT

6'5'

WEIGHT

258

ROUND GRADE

Top 5

KAYVON THIBODEAUX 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Destined to be a top five pick, Thibodeaux has an elite ceiling as a potentially dominant pass rusher. Nine sacks as a freshman in 2019 hinted at what was to come and only three in 2020 should not be worrisome due to the turbulent nature of that COVID impacted season. That number rose to seven in 2021, but the Oregon prospect suffered an ankle injury that limited his overall production somewhat.

    Thibodeaux possesses great length and explosion off the snap and displays the bend necessary that allows him to beat his blocker and close on the quarterback quickly. His initial explosion enables him to overwhelm offensive tackles in a hurry and sets them up for devastating inside moves. He translates his speed to power effortlessly and can use his power to bull rush opponents into submission.

    His speed off the line of scrimmage is unmatched in the class, but when he is mirrored by a lineman, his exceptional length and bend allows him to get around the edge and finish plays thanks to his hustle and motor. This effort is visible when he is double teamed or has to fight through traffic and he is able to display slithery lateral movement to flow across the line of scrimmage and attack gaps.

    Thibodeaux perhaps does not have as much pop in his hands as some others in this class, but his hands are incredibly fast and this often means that offensive lineman are beaten well before they are set.

    He has a solid armoury of pass rush moves. His swim moves is particularly effective and he has the bend to comfortably get under tackles in order to dip and rip through them.

    He still has potential to add muscle to his frame which will serve him well in order to hold up in the run game. He already has the ability to be an effective run defender though, as his natural length enables him to seal the edge, whilst his effective hands and agility allow him to disengage blockers in a hurry. He stays disciplined versus the run and has great instincts which ensure that he remains a constant disruptor on every play.

    When playing the run, he keeps his head up and maintains his balance well. Using his length, he is able to disengage blocks quickly and take down ball carriers with aplomb, displaying a tackling range that is unmatched in the class even when redirected through multiple bodies or chipped by tight ends.

    Thibodeuax is just a pure disruptor with a very high ceiling who creates havoc and pressure at a higher rate than anyone else in this class without an elite running mate working on the opposite side. The sky is the limit.

2

KYLE HAMILTON

S - NOTRE DAME

POS RANK

S1

HEIGHT

6'4'

WEIGHT

219

ROUND GRADE

Top 5

KYLE HAMILTON 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

3

AIDAN HUTCHINSON

DE - MICHIGAN

POS RANK

DE2

HEIGHT

6'6'

WEIGHT

269

ROUND GRADE

Top 5

AIDAN HUTCHINSON 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Hutchinson has everything you need in a prospect: outstanding intangibles, consistent production, an excellent athletic profile and a formidable desire to be great, both on and off the field of play.

    Hutchinson looks the part of a prototypical 4-3 defensive end and will make an instant impact for whoever drafts him, likely to become a leader in an NFL clubhouse—ideal for any of the rebuilding teams who are drafting early in the 2022 NFL Draft.

    He has unrelenting power, effort and length, but he is not lacking from a technical standpoint either, displaying refined hand technique and an ability to diagnose and dismantle blockers at will. He is experienced rushing from a wide-9 alignment and is effective in this position due to the angles that he takes and his sheer explosiveness. His game is much more than that though, and he is equally comfortable playing from both two and three-point stances, and can be just as devastating playing either five or three-tech.

    He has serious power in his hands and is able to stun opponents early. This makes him effective setting the edge but also when stacking blocks, not allowing linemen to reach the next level. His length and power allow him to compress multiple blockers and narrow holes for ball carriers, where he is then able to disengage and take down any who do get loose.

    He sometimes does whiff in the run game, but this is not a concern and I believe it is more due to over exuberance than ill discipline. When surrounded by NFL colleagues across the line at the next level, Hutchinson will not have to be the do-it-all guy who has to impress on every single play, and this tendency in his game will settle down.

    His speed and power combo is devastating and displays an impressive inside and out rushing ability. He doesn’t quite have the bend of Thibodeaux, but his superior production in 2021 highlights the fact that he is equally impressive as a prospect. 14 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss in his final year prove this and his three passes defended in 2021, alongside six in 2019 after injury curtailed his 2020 season show that he consistently remains effective in multiple facets of the game.

    The top two on this list could be flipped in the eyes of many, and both should have long and successful careers in the NFL. Hutchinson has garnered an incredible amount of coverage as the likely higher pick when compared with Kayvon Thiboadeaux, but I’m always a sucker for upside, so Hutch lands at second on my board amongst the pass rushers.

4

IKEM EKWONU

OT - NC STATE

POS RANK

OT1

HEIGHT

6'4

WEIGHT

325

ROUND GRADE

Top 5

IKEM EKWONU 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

5

AHMAD GARDNER

CB - CINCINNATI

POS RANK

CB2

HEIGHT

6'2

WEIGHT

188

ROUND GRADE

Top 10

AHMAD 'SAUCE' GARDNER 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Sauce Gardner never gave up a touchdown during his time in college. Let that sit for a minute. He doesn’t plan on giving one up in the NFL, either. Whilst this is a ridiculous statement on paper, it highlights the mentality and down right confidence that the former Bearcat has in spades — a mindset that will be needed at the next level as he looks to slide into a starting role in year one.

    He has every trait needed to fit into any scheme, and play at a high level right away; thriving in zone coverage and possessing the length, fluid hips and speed to match up in man, too.

    His ball skills are excellent and this is where his length serves him well as he is able to compete at the catch point and create turnovers by displaying an awareness with his pre snaps reads and route recognition.

    For a taller, wiry corner Gardner is extremely fluid in transition and he has the explosiveness to drive on the ball, combining his body control and top-tier sense of positioning to stand him in good stead to be able to attack ball carriers and/or break up passes in his area. He can sometimes be inconsistent when making a tackle, but generally takes the right angle and has good timing.

    At the next level, Gardner could do with developing his hands to operate in a more efficient manner. He has the length and strength to be able to jam effectively at the line of scrimmage, but does not display it as much as he may need to in order to disrupt the timing of the man he is guarding. In college, he could get away with this, having the knowledge and confidence that he is the superior athlete, but giving up an easy cushion and having to recover against NFL receivers could lead to him needing to resort to unnecessary holds and penalties.

    This isn’t a major concern though as he is a capable, disciplined defender in regards to the other aspects of his play and should have no trouble adapting thanks to his alpha-dog, competitive nature. Some have concerns about his experience versus top end competition, but after allowing only 14 yards on four targets in the CFP semi final, he proved that he can handle a step up. With NFL coaching, Gardner could blossom into a true CB1.

6

JERMAINE JOHNSON II

DE - FLORIDA STATE

POS RANK

DE3

HEIGHT

6'5

WEIGHT

265

ROUND GRADE

Top 10

JERMAINE JOHNSON II 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

An exceptional Senior Bowl week has helped to skyrocket Johnson’s stock. He consistently beat offensive linemen during one-on-one drills thanks to his power and speed. Johnson mightily impressed on the field in 2021 too, to the tune of 11.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, 70 overall tackles, two forced fumbles and two passes defended.

    He is a high motor player, who plays with an extremely physical style that enables him to overwhelm opponents at the point of attack. This power allows Johnson to be a threat on the inside as well as off the edge and he can be a genuine nightmare to deal with on stunts inside, an exciting trait that should appeal to NFL teams in a league where interior pressure is a rare commodity.

    Johnson has a thick build and certainly looks the part of an NFL defensive end. He will enter the league with an existing set of pass rush moves, displaying an effective rip move, a clean and defined spin move, as well as a powerful bull rush that highlights his overwhelming play style as mentioned above.

    He has great length which enables him to set the edge effectively against the run and means that offensive linemen do not gain easy access to his chest. This lets him comfortably drive opponents off their spot before he unleashes his dynamic speed and power moves to win battles. He is a polished prospect because of his ability to play the run and will therefore appeal to teams who run both odd and even fronts. Johnson also displays a versatility that could see him play in wide alignments, as a 5-tech or shaded inside.

    His ideal measurables and ability to win with both speed and power make him a top-10 pick as a more complete prospect than many of his positional peers. The former Seminole is by all accounts a vocal and influential leader on defense and will become a foundational piece for a lucky franchise in 2022.

7

CHARLES CROSS

OT - MISSISSIPPI STATE

POS RANK

OT3

HEIGHT

6'5

WEIGHT

305

ROUND GRADE

Top 10

CHARLES CROSS 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

8

ANDREW BOOTH JR

CB - CLEMSON

POS RANK

CB1

HEIGHT

6'0

WEIGHT

200

ROUND GRADE

Top 10

ANDREW BOOTH JR 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Booth seems to have been overlooked in many quarters, but he is certainly a top five cornerback in this class. His natural instincts, raw tools, timing and body control are all exceptional. He is physical, of a great size, and doesn’t shy away from contact in the run game.

    Booth plays with a controlled abandon that is rare from such a prospect still learning the game. The risks that he takes are due to a high level of intelligence in terms of dissecting the play and being quick to react on the snap of the ball. You often see him cheating down hill against the run and dropping ball carriers at the line of scrimmage. He attacks with real explosion and desire, but does occasionally mistime his take downs.

    He’s ideal in any scheme, but I can see him specifically in one that leans towards cover-3 tendencies where he’ll be able to take away a third of the field and press receivers at the line of scrimmage. He back pedals effortlessly and can match up chest-to-chest with receivers, mirroring them extremely well in transition which leaves him positioned well to impact any play.

    Booth isn’t often fooled on double-moves, but has the recovery ability to make up for it when he is. His feet are fast and he moves with a suddenness that allows him to match shifty receivers in and out of their breaks. He never gives an inch.

    Overall, he is a dynamic mover who plays with a competitive edge. He has experience on special teams and can play any coverage technique asked of him. He may be over reliant right now on his physical tools, but he can be sculpted into something special.

9

TRAVON WALKER

DE - GEORGIA

POS RANK

DE4

HEIGHT

6'5

WEIGHT

275

ROUND GRADE

Top 20

TRAVON WALKER 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

As my colleague James Pike described on the Franchise 33 NFL Show last week, Walker is a “ball of clay” that will appeal to multiple teams in the 2022 NFL Draft. Walker could seek to drop a few pounds and work on his pure athleticism in order to work mainly off the edge, or perhaps add a bit of weight and concentrate on his interior presence. This isn’t to say that he is a ‘tweener’ as he already is an effective base end who offers genuine penetration wherever he lines up.

    Walker is explosive off the snap and can win immediately with his length, firing his heavy hands directly at offensive linemen in order to stun them into submission. The burst and and athletic traits that he possesses allow him to shoot gaps effectively and win from the edge with ease.

    He will appeal to multiple teams due to his versatility along the line, but also due to the fact that he is an excellent run defender who is able to set the edge as well as make plays along the line of scrimmage, utilising his lateral fluidity and quickness to track and take down ball carriers.

    Questions abound regarding his lack of relative production when compared to his peers, but with a bit of seasoning in the NFL this is a player who could blossom into a three-down cornerstone on someone’s defensive line.

10

EVAN NEAL

OT - ALABAMA

POS RANK

OT3

HEIGHT

6'7'

WEIGHT

360

ROUND GRADE

Top 20

EVAN NEAL 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

11

DEVONTE WYATT

iDL - GEORGIA

POS RANK

iDL1

HEIGHT

6'3

WEIGHT

315

ROUND GRADE

Top 20

DEVONTE WYATT 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

12

TREYLON BURKS

WR - ARKANSAS

POS RANK

WR1

HEIGHT

6'3

WEIGHT

225

ROUND GRADE

Top 20

TREYLON BURKS 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Burks did not test quite as well at the NFL Combine as expected, but I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be a top ten selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. He is an excellent athlete with great size and speed. His movement looks effortless when he has the ball in his hands and can blow by defenders with his acceleration.

    Burks has a ridiculous catch radius and much better hands than I anticipated. He catches anything in his vicinity with his incredible length and leaping ability. He doesn't have an advanced route tree, but doesn't need one, as he is a good separator using his surprising shiftiness and strength. He fights for the ball with his hands well too.

13

DEREK STINGLEY JR

CB - LSU

POS RANK

CB3

HEIGHT

6'1

WEIGHT

195

ROUND GRADE

Top 20

DEREK STINGLEY JR 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Stingley has seemingly been on course to crack the top ten, if not the top five of the 2022 NFL Draft since the day he stepped foot onto the field at LSU as a true freshman. Speed, length and freakish athletic ability, he was the de facto number one corner up until an uneven 2020 season and a 2021 curtailed by a worrying Lisfranc injury.

    The Lisfranc injury has meant that scouts do not have too much recent film to go off relating to Stingley, but it is a concerning injury for a cornerback due to the nature of the position where fleet-footedness and quick-twitch explosion are key. Hopefully he can shake it off and move on into the NFL without it lingering, because if so, some lucky team could find themselves a true lockdown corner if developed in the right way.

    Like Gardner he is a taller corner, but he moves his feet and hips in a way that is more natural than anyone in this class, including his Cincinnati peer. His change of direction, agility and speed are exceptional and exactly what is needed to play man coverage in the NFL. He has the potential to be the type of player who can be left on an island against the game’s best.

    Injury aside, there are also slight concerns about Stingley’s drive. This isn’t an attempt at any psycho analysis, or snippet from an NFL ‘insider’, just a humble impression from his tape in 2020 and 2021. He appears to take his foot off the gas and sometimes it feels as though his effort is lacking. This is evident when attempting to make a tackle. He missed almost 18% of his tackles in college and that is much higher than any team would be willing to accept.

    His lack of ball production also took a downswing over the past two seasons, and he does occasionally show a lack of awareness in zone coverage.

    All-in-all, this is a prospect who has the world at his feet thanks to his elite physical tools. If he can prove to teams that he is locked in as he enters the NFL, then despite the concerns, he could still warrant a look inside the top ten picks based on his on ceiling alone.

14

DEVIN LLOYD

LB - UTAH

POS RANK

LB1

HEIGHT

6'3

WEIGHT

232

ROUND GRADE

Top 20

DEVIN LLOYD 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

15

ABRAHAM LUCAS

OT - WASHINGTON STATE

POS RANK

OT4

HEIGHT

6'7

WEIGHT

324

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

ABRAHAM LUCAS 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

16

GARRETT WILSON

WR - OHIO STATE

POS RANK

WR2

HEIGHT

6'0

WEIGHT

188

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

GARRETT WILSON 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Garrett Wilson is so explosive with the ball in his hands and should be a YAC machine at the next level. His ability to change direction at speed, accelerate through an open lane or stop on a dime is incredible and creative offensive co-ordinators will find ways to get the ball into Wilson's hands as much as possible.

    He is a good route runner, helped by his incredible agility and is a wideout who should hopefully continue to improve at the next level. He has solid hands and catches most balls thrown in his direction. He could do with adding a bit of size at the next level, as I feel that he has quite a skinny frame right now.

    I also don't see a Wilson ever filling the role of a boundary receiver in the NFL as he is sometimes bottled up by bigger more physical corners, but he should excel as a weapon in the slot who can make explosive plays from time to time.

17

GEORGE KARLAFTIS

DE - PURDUE

POS RANK

DE5

HEIGHT

6'4

WEIGHT

275

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

GEORGE KARLAFTIS 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Strength, size and sheer power through his lower half and hips are Karlaftis’ calling cards. This is not a pass rusher who possesses extreme bend or fluidity, but he is extremely precise with his stunts, has a strong repertoire of moves, and packs a mighty punch with his hands.

    Karlaftis has a tape littered with instances where he wins with superior play strength to that of his opponent, and when combined with a relentless force of will and motor, he is an enticing prospect with a high floor who will contribute on all three downs at the next level.

    The “Greek Freak” may not have the statistical resume of some of his peers, but there is a lot to love. His hand timing and placement is exceptional and he wins early in the snap, leaving offensive linemen powerless in their attempts to counter Karlaftis’ swim move as he hunts the QB.

    He does not have the oily hips or explosiveness of the likes of Thibodeaux, but he is able to convert power to speed effortlessly and uses his refined skillset in a way that some other prospects in this class simply cannot. High floor, high character, high effort — high pick.

18

TYLER LINDERBAUM

iOL - IOWA

POS RANK

iOL1

HEIGHT

6'3

WEIGHT

289

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

TYLER LINDERBAUM 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

19

JORDAN DAVIS

iDL - GEORGIA

POS RANK

iDL2

HEIGHT

6'5

WEIGHT

330

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

JORDAN DAVIS 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

20

NAKOBE DEAN

LB - GEORGIA

POS RANK

LB2

HEIGHT

6'0

WEIGHT

225

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

NAKOBE DEAN 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

21

DAVID OJABO

DE - MICHIGAN

POS RANK

DE6

HEIGHT

6'5

WEIGHT

250

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

DAVID OJABO 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Ojabo had a breakout season in 2021, finishing with 11 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 35 total tackles, five forced fumbles and three passes defended whilst playing opposite Aidan Hutchinson on Michigan’s defensive line. Impressive statistics in what was his only real season of production. This does raise the question of whether or not he is a one season wonder, or merely scratching the surface of what he could become.

    The Michigan man is extremely quick off the edge and displays a distinct bend when attempting to traverse the pocket, and is able to easily unfurl his body as he straightens back up to attack the quarterback. His get-off is undoubtedly explosive and he maintains his hand/feet coordination throughout the snap, hinting further at his untapped potential which could be unlocked at the next level with some further refinement to his pass-rushing moves. He does have a nose for the ball, too, with an uncanny knack of stripping the ball free as evidenced by his five forced fumbles in 2021.

    Ojabo also has excellent lateral movement which he exhibits when wrapping up tackles behind the line of scrimmage; his speed in pursuit allowing him to easily chase down ball carriers.

    Whilst Ojabo possesses obvious natural play strength at the collegiate level, he can be overly reliant on this which will not initially be enough to overpower NFL offensive linemen, or make him consistently effective in the run game. He could certainly stand to get stronger and develop his frame to become a true three-down edge defender in the NFL and he was indeed often taken off the field at Michigan when in obvious rushing downs, adding fuel to the argument that he may have been better suited to staying in school for an additional year in order to solidify—and most likely raise—his stock.

22

MALIK WILLIS

QB - LIBERTY

POS RANK

QB1

HEIGHT

6'1

WEIGHT

215

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

MALIK WILLIS 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

23

CHRIS OLAVE

WR - OHIO STATE

POS RANK

WR3

HEIGHT

6'0

WEIGHT

187

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

CHRIS OLAVE 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

I love watching Chris Olave run routes. He is so smooth and can beat defenders in a variety of different ways. Olave is a much better athlete then I have ever given him credit for as he has the burst to create separation at the top of his routes and the speed to pull away from trailing

defenders and find the end zone.

    He may not be as explosive as a Jameson Williams or as dynamic as his former team mate Garrett Wilson, but he will most likely be the most pro ready out of any of these receivers from this year's class. He doesn't have the best hands in this group, but has been known to make a spectacular catch from time to time and is surprisingly good after the catch. Olave should be a lock to go in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

24

BOYE MAFE

DE - MINNESOTA

POS RANK

DE7

HEIGHT

6'4

WEIGHT

265

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

BOYE MAFE 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE

Boye Mafe is an exciting athlete who has exceptional physical gifts (making an appearance on Bruce Feldman’s 2021 college football Freaks List) and appears to have prototypical length. This enables him to both influence the pocket, as well as gives him the requisite natural ability to get his hands up and into throwing lanes. Furthermore, he is a high motor player who is relentless in pursuit whenever plays bounce to the outside and break free and will chase ball carriers downfield without question.

    His effortless movement skills in space, combined with his size and weight hint that he’d be just at home as a defensive end/LEO or SAM linebacker in a 4-3, as well as a traditional 3-4 OLB.

    In the run game, there are times where Mafe can get glued onto blocks but this is not a major cause for concern as his length, quick-twitch athleticism and short-area burst mean that he can avoid this issue more often than not.

    There are some technical refinements needed for Mafe, but he is just so smooth and makes everything look easy. He quite possibly has the highest upside of everyone in this class. Sometimes prospects of this type who play with such effortless ease lack power or avoid true combat; Mafe relishes the battle. He is able to translate his speed to power with an impressive bull rush or can violently rip away the hands of his opponents, demonstrating his ability to win in a number of different ways.

    As mentioned, Mafe is a high ceiling prospect who will jump into round one when he dominates the NFL combine. He’s shown season-by-season growth at Minnesota both developmentally and statistically and is just scratching the surface of what he could become.

25

TREVOR PENNING

OT - NORTHERN IOWA

POS RANK

OT5

HEIGHT

6'7

WEIGHT

321

ROUND GRADE

Day 1

TREVOR PENNING 2022 NFL DRAFT PLAYER PROFILE