Defense and wide receiver dominate early part of 2022 NFL Draft board

Southern California Trojans wide receiver Drake London (15). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Southern California Trojans wide receiver Drake London (15). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

A prominent football analyst recently released his updated 2022 NFL Draft big board. Here’s why he is high on defense and receiver at the top. 

With the 2021 college football season soon to be coming to a close, all of the focus will quickly shift to the 2022 NFL Draft. Fans around the NFL are anxious to see what their team will do early, and how they select could make or break the future of their franchise.

Recently, prominent NFL Draft analyst, Todd McShay, recently comprised a list of his top-32 prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft. McShay’s updated big board was dominated by defensive talent at the top with some surprise appearances with wide receivers mixed in early.

Of his top five players set to enter the draft next April, four of them are on the defensive side of the ball, including EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, CB Derek Stingley, S Kyle Hamilton, and EDGE Aidan Hutchinson. The only player at the top of his list on the offensive side of the ball is Alabama OT, Evan Neal.

It’s also worth noting that McShay has three wide reivers slated from the 7th-10th overall positions on his current big board. These include Garrett Wilson, Drake London, and Jahan Dotson. In addition, Alabama WR Jameson Williams and Ohio State’s Chris Olave are both in his top 15.

McShay’s highest-rated quarterback next year is Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett at 14 overall. The only other quarterbacks McShay has listed inside his top-32 players is Liberty’s Malik Willis (18th) and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral (26th)

How many wide receivers will go in the 2022 NFL Draft?

Every year it seems like wide receivers are a hot commodity in the first round. This past April five wide receivers were selected in the first round — three in the first ten picks alone.

The 2022 wide receiver class doesn’t have an elite prospect like Ja’Marr Chase, in my opinion, but it does have some very good talent. Between Wilson, London, and Dotson it will be really interesting to see which receiver ends up being taken first in the draft.

Some of the teams in the first round that could be eyeing a receiver early next April include the Falcons, Browns, Raiders, Saints, and Patriots. It’s also worth noting that the Eagles and Jets hold multiple first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and they can be very flexible with how they spend their draft capital.

Next. NFL Draft: 3 breakout candidates ahead of the 2021 College Football season. dark

It’s interesting to see where Todd McShay has some of his top prospects slated for next April. As of now, it certainly looks like we could see a surplus of wide receivers and defensive players off the board early in the first round.