The 2021 NFL Draft was suspenseful, exciting and exhilarating and that was just by the 15th pick in the first round. The class of 2022 won't necessarily have quite the same star power in quarterback prospects, but there will still be exceptional talent on display. After charting these prospects, this future draft seems to be heavy with linebackers and other defensive positions. Plus, teams like Alabama and Clemson won't dominate the first round. Oklahoma, Texas A&M along with Ohio State are loaded and ready to challenge for college supremacy.Too come up with a draft order, we used PointsBets' 2022 Super Bowl odds.
A freshman All-American in 2019, Howell has passed for over seven thousand yards and thrown 68 touchdown passes in two seasons at North Carolina. In all likelihood, the Texans will have moved on from former superstar, Deshaun Watson and will reset with pre-season, All-American quarterback, Sam Howell.
Detroit can get out from under starting quarterback Jared Goff's contract by 2023, so taking a younger less expensive option may be appealing. The Lions had 12 entertaining years with former Georgia Bulldog, Matt Stafford and may dip into that same talent pool, by taking Daniels with their first of two, day one picks.
Leal alters offensive game plans and that's not opinion, just facts. In 22 games played, he's recorded 75 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and sacked the passer four and a half times. Cincinnati parted ways with franchise stalwart, Geno Atkins, so drafting Leal is essential to strengthening the defensive interior.
A consensus All-American in 2019, Stingley was born to play cornerback. Having started all 22 games in his two seasons with the Tigers, Stingley has recorded six interceptions and 20 passes defended. He'll be a true lockdown corner for an emerging Jets defense.
Thibodeaux excels during "crunch time" and when the games are the most meaningful. Over the past two Pac-12 Championship Games he's tallied 18 quarterback pressures, 10 tackles, and three and a half sacks. Going back to the 2019 season, he led the country with seven sacks in the fourth quarter. "Sacksonville" might be the team welcoming Thibodeaux with open arms in 2022.
Neal is a versatile offensive lineman who started at left guard and right tackle in 26 career games. He's is a massive individual who was rated the top tackle coming out of high school in 2019, by 247 Sports. There's a good chance he'll be the first offensive lineman taken in the 2022 draft.
Mays is another versatile SEC, offensive lineman who could be a top ten selection in next year's draft. A five-star recruit from Knoxville, Tennessee, Mays transferred from Georgia "back home" to play for the Volunteers. Experienced, talented and well-traveled, Mays may be ready for New York's bright lights and big expectations.
Like Cade Mays, Cox originally began his career at Georgia, only to later transfer to a conference rival. Cox sat out the 2019 season , but made up for lost time with a stellar 2020 campaign ( 42 tackles / 10 tackles for loss / 3.5 sacks). If Cox continues that type of production, he won't wait long to hear his named called on draft night.
According to Pro Football Focus, Rattler finished third in its rating system (92.5) behind Zach Wilson and Mac Jones - two top 15 overall picks in the 2021 draft. Recently, the Washington FT competed with aging, past-their-prime veterans at quarterback. Possibly finding themselves drafting within the top ten, a talent like Rattler would be difficult for Washington to pass up.
A natural pass rusher with a quick first step, Jackson is extremely athletic and would make the ideal 3-4 schematic edge rusher. The Giants' inability to generate timely pressure makes selecting Jackson an obvious consideration.
Entering the 2021 college football season, there will be ball carriers making "business decisions" about facing Harris on the gridiron. A physically imposing player. Harris' impact was evident based off his stats from last season (79 tackles / seven for loss / 4.5 sacks / six quarterback pressures, plus an interception.
Amazingly, for a team that struggled defensively to generate an effective pass rush, or make late, game saving stops, Atlanta ignored edge rusher in the 2021 draft. Hutchinson has the length, size and athleticism to maintain the edge, or bend around it to pressure the passer.
Minnesota's veteran, All-Pro safety, Harrison Smith will be 33 years old and likely, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2021 NFL season. An Associated Press third team All-American, with prototypical size (6-4, 219 lbs), Hamilton is essentially a bigger Smith. And like his musical namesake this "Hamilton is not throwing away his shot" at NFL glory.
Spiller finished 2020 as a first team All-SEC running back, having averaged 103.6 yards per contest. A dual threat as a pass catcher out of the backfield (49 receptions in 23 games), Spiller would fit seamlessly in the Cardinals' explosive offense.
Whether it's Big Ben for one more year (say it ain’t so), or another triggerman at the helm of the Steelers' offense, the need for quality line protection is paramount. Talented though at times inconsistent, should Nelson sync his abilities together, he'll be a first round target for many teams.
Olave is a consistent, sure-handed receiver that can line up in the slot or along the boundary. Tennessee has some solid possession type receivers that run well after the catch, but Olave provides a burst that will place defenders on their heels.
Once again, in the "Alabama Annual" also known as the NFL Draft, a wideout will be selected in the first round. Metchie is another finely-tuned athlete with a knack for running crisp routes and using blazing speed to overwhelm his opponents. Good size, solid catching ability, excellent body lean...yada-yada-yada...just draft him and keep it moving.
Bonitto is an aggressive, outside linebacker with developed pass rushing skills and play making capabilities. Los Angeles will need someone that can create pressure opposite, All-Pro Joey Bosa, but still be able to drop into shallow coverage. According to PFF, Bonitto had the best pass rushing grade in the country (93.5) among the 257 players they observed.
A redshirt senior entering the 2021 season, Mathis a National Champion, chose to return for his final season to improve his draft stock. If he's taken in the first round, then his plan will have worked for himself and the organization that selected him. Dallas needs a versatile run stuffing presence along its defensive line and Mathis definitely looks the part.
A sound technician and student of the game, Elam is a dependable corner with excellent length and savvy. The Eagles will undoubtedly need his physical skills and mental approach to the game to negate wide open, passing attacks from divisional rivals (Cowboys, Giants and Washington).
The Jets have two first round picks in 2022 and could be in position to draft two, lock down corners from SEC teams. Jobe is a relentless competitor, who wins with physicality and tenacity when combating receivers. New York would do well to have his intense presence in coverage.
Fryfogle's name may sound funny to some, but for those defenders that have to cover him, it's not a laughing matter. The Associated Press' third team All-American, Fryfogle is the only Big Ten player to ever post back-to-back games of 200 receiving yards. This Hoosier may be laughing all the way to the bank with an impressive 2021 college campaign.
Wydermyer is an All-SEC player (second team) who owns the Aggies all-time touchdown record (12) for tight ends. A pre-season favorite to win the Mackey Award (best college tight end), Wydermyer could become the Colts and Carson Wentz's favorite target in 2022.
Quarterbacks have a tendency to skew draft boards and make teams overvalue their need for a "franchise" capable triggerman. Should Slovis last until the 24th pick, its possible the team acquiring his talents would be getting value on the dollar with his selection. Slovis needs to add some weight and improve attacking downfield, but he has massive upside as a pro prospect.
Rose plays in relative obscurity in Ames, Iowa for the Cyclones of Iowa State. Based on his career totals after just three seasons (251 tackles / 29 tackles for loss / seven passes defended / six interceptions), chances are high that Rose's stock will bloom bright on draft night. Cleveland's defense could highlight an inside backer like Rose, enough to be a rookie-of-the-year candidate.
Miami could use a true work-horse of a running back and Hall's production suggests he is talented enough to be the primary ball carrier. The first unanimous All-American in school history, Hall led the nation in rushing yards (1572) and was second in rushing scores (21).
Lloyd likes to tackle people, and in his last 19 games played, he registered 21 tackles for loss and eight and a half sacks. Detroit is slowly, but surely shoring up its defense and instilling a physicality that's been missing since Suh's departure. Lloyd is an athletic, human targeting mechanism that zeros in on ball carriers with purposefulness.
If the Ravens select Winfrey, they'll be getting an extremely disruptive player that can anchor a defensive line, or reset the line of scrimmage with his ability to collapse the pocket. Winfrey is a load to handle and must be accounted for whenever he's on the field.
A first-team All-ACC player, Wilson led the conference in tackles per game (10.8). As impressive as his season was, Wilson was snubbed in many post-season awards. He's called himself "the best defensive college football player in America," so maybe Wilson can collect first round cheddar, by making the "cheeseheads" less swiss cheese against the run.
Wilson is a smooth operator as a pass catcher and is adaptable enough to line up at any receiver position on the field. Buffalo could use a younger, more talented receiver with upside and a team friendly rookie contract. As a pass catcher, Wilson helped quarterback, Justin Fields become a 2021 first round selection (Chicago Bears). Maybe as a pro he can help Josh Allen and the Bills win a super bowl.
Booker is not a household name, but chances are many scouts and coaches both collegiately and professionally are aware of this talented defenseman. Tampa Bay's base alignment is a 3-4 scheme and requires defensive ends that can play the five-technique position. Well, Ndamukong will be 35 years old and a free agent, so acquiring a playmaking talent like Booker makes, too much sense.
"Hello, NFL? Yes, I'm six feet three inches tall and weigh 230 pounds. My time in the 40 yard dash? I don't like to brag, but I ran it in four point four seconds. Excuse me, that's my other line. Hello? Oh, hey there Coach Reid. Yes, I've heard of Patrick Mahomes..."