2022 NFL Draft: An early look at the top-25 prospects this year

Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive back Kyle Hamilton (14). Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive back Kyle Hamilton (14). Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL Draft
Notre Dame Fighting Irish safety Kyle Hamilton (14). Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022 NFL Draft is sure to include some game-changing, future NFL stars. Here’s an early look at my top-25 prospects for April’s draft. 

As we close out the 2021-2022 bowl season, we get our last look at some of the top players in college football that will make their way into the NFL this coming April. While many of them have opted to skip bowl games and begin preparing for the next level, a host of these talented prospects are still jockeying for position at the top of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Take a look below as I provide a breakdown of my top-25 available prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft. This list will undoubtedly change frequently throughout the process, but this is a good starting point for a busy upcoming 2022 NFL Draft season.

2022 NFL Draft prospect rankings:

1. Kyle Hamilton – Safety – Notre Dame

While everyone’s favorite 2022 draftee is Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, I prefer to go with the big, rangy Notre Dame safety, Kyle Hamilton. The way the NFL has evolved with the emergence of passing attacks such as the Chiefs and Buccaneers, a player with the size, strength, and playmaking ability of Hamilton is just way too valuable to overlook at the top.

2. Aidan Hutchinson – EDGE – Michigan

As the star player for the top 10-ranked Michigan Wolverines, Aidan Hutchinson has been a darling of the draft community this season. There may be no player that has had a more sizable impact in 2021. Based on size and production alone, he’s a candidate for the best player available and could even go before the more ballyhooed Thibodeaux.

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux – EDGE – Oregon

The prototype for the EDGE rusher position, Kayvon Thibodeaux clocks in at number three and could wind up as the number one pick in next April’s 2022 NFL Draft. He’s fast, explosive, and versatile with the potential to monumentally upgrade a pass-rushing unit from Day 1 in the NFL. I previously linked Thibodeaux with three of his best fits at the next level.

4. Derek Stingley Jr. – CB – LSU

A universal top-three player heading into the 2021 college season, Stingley Jr. is another prototypical boundary cornerback. He has the speed to run with all receivers and the strength to jar them from their routes. He’s Patrick Peterson-lite and will be an immediate starter and upgrade at the next level.

5. Evan Neal – OT – Alabama

The first of many Alabama superstars expected to be available in April, Neal is a monster left tackle prospect at 6-foot-7, 360 pounds. His dominance outside has paved the way for a dominant rushing attack and passing game at Alabama again this season. While Neal’s size screams RT, he has the length and athleticism to start on the blindside from day one.