The 2022 NFL Draft isn’t particularly strong at the top, but it offers quality depth. Here are my final top-150 player rankings this year.
After countless hours of research and late-night film studies two or three times per week since January, I’ve finally finalized my 2022 NFL Draft big board. Like many, I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t a particularly strong class, by any means.
Still, there is some quality talent to be found and several strong positional groups this year. I find myself higher on a few particular players than most on the consensus board, while there are a few overhyped prospects that I’m just not a big fan of.
It took a very long time to get to this point, but I feel pretty confident with my assessment of the prospects this year. Here’s my final 2022 NFL Draft big board:
2022 NFL Draft top-150 big board:
1. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
I fall in line with the consensus here. Aidan Hutchinson is one of the “can’t miss” players in this year’s draft. His college production at Michigan was spectacular and he’s a very good athlete. Couple this with his relentless motor and arsenal of pass-rush moves and you have the top prospect in the class.
2. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
I’m a really big fan of Sauce Gardner, and I think he’s a rare cornerback prospect. The Cincinnati product is long and rangy, but is also remarkably sticky in coverage and succeeds on an island. He has a chance to become a top-five cornerback at the NFL level.
3. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State
Ikem Ekwonu is my number one offensive tackle this year by a narrow margin. He’s only 6’4” but with a remarkable wingspan and outstanding strength at the point of attack. He will be a mauling run blocker and his natural athleticism should help him become a more consistent pass protector in time.
4. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Evan Neal has a prototype build for an offensive tackle, and it’s easy to see how his elite length and size will help him at the next level. Neal comes from a terrific football program and has Pro Bowl upside in the NFL.
5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
Kayvon Thibodeaux could very well end up being the best overall player in the draft class. He is explosive off the edge with great bend and an excellent inside counter. He could become a nightmare for opposing offensive tackles in the NFL.
6. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Charles Cross is the best pass-protector in this draft class, but he doesn’t impose his will in the run game. Still, he’s easily one of the best overall players this year. Even at a young age, Cross has excellent tape in the SEC, and he’s an extremely good athlete at the position.
7. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Strictly based on his 2019 tape, Derek Stingley Jr. might be the number one overall pick in the class. He’s got elite athletic traits and ball skills and he was one of the best recruits we have ever seen at the position. Injuries got the best of him each of the past two seasons, but the upside is elite.
8. Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
I’m higher on Jordan Davis than most, but I also think he’s a generational defensive tackle prospect. You simply do not find guys with his combination of size, athletic traits, and movement skills. Davis played sparingly in college, but I think he will be better as a professional.
9. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
I’m much higher on Trevor Penning than his average ranking on the consensus board, but what’s not to love? While Penning is a bit of a project, he’s got prototype size and athletic traits for the offensive tackle position. He also graded out as the best offensive tackle in college football in 2021 (albeit at the FCS level), according to Pro Football Focus.
10. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Jameson Williams is my number one wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. This is mainly because his elite deep speed is so rare. Williams can be more than just a deep threat, however, and the sky is the limit for his potential at the NFL level. Williams is rehabbing a torn ACL, but he should be ready early in the 2021 season.
11. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Kyle Hamilton’s 4.59 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine was a bit unexpected, and I dinged him just a bit for it on my big board. However, the tape is still elite, and Hamilton was once considered in contention to be the top pick in the draft. His length, short-area bust, and instincts should help him have a long, successful NFL career.
12. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue
There is a range of opinions on George Karlaftis, but I am higher on him than most. The Purdue product is a bit stiff in the hips and doesn’t have elite quickness as a pass rusher, but he is a high-energy player who converts speed to power very well. He was also very successful at an extremely young age.
13. Tyler Linderbaum, OC, Iowa
Tyler Linderbaum could very well develop into the NFL’s best center. However, his lack of size and length is a concern that can’t be ignored. He may be an outlier, but I trust the tape here. I think he could prove to be one of the best players from this draft when it’s all said and done.
14. Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Jermaine Johnson’s college career didn’t really kick off until he transferred from Georgia to Florida State. It was a good thing he did. Johnson was very productive in 2021 (17.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks). He reminds me a lot of Washington’s Montez Sweat.
15. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
I’m a little bit lower than the consensus on WR Garrett Wilson, but I get why so many analysts like him. Wilson is a dynamic wide receiver who can make plays with the ball in his hands and he has a chance to develop into a WR1 in the NFL.
16. Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M
I like Kenyon Green more than most, but it’s because I think he can wear a number of hats for a team. Green can play every positon across the offensive line (with the exception of center). I think he could be a very solid right tackle in the NFL, but potentially a Pro Bowl guard if he sticks inside. He’s also one of the youngest players in the class.
17. Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
Zion Johnson was my favorite Senior Bowl standout this year. He’s got an excellent, muscular build to go with outstanding movement skills and sound technique. Johnson should be a ten-year starter at either guard or center in the NFL.
18. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Daxton Hill is the exact type of safety the NFL is looking for: a player who can cover receivers from the slot and move around the secondary. Hill is a little light, but he’s going to be a versatile weapon in the backend of an NFL defense.
19. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Chris Olave is the most polished route-runner in this year’s class, and he’s a nightmare before the catch. After the ball is in his hands, he’s not going to do a ton to make defenders miss, but he has excellent speed in the open field. He should have a very high floor at the next level.
20. Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
I am much lower than the consensus on Travon Walker. While I don’t deny Walker’s uncanny upside, his combination of average tape and poor production has me concerned. The tools are great, but I’m not convinced he’s the elite prospect most are making him out to be.
21. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Andrew Booth doesn’t wow you with anyone trait in particular, but he’s just a very well-rounded cornerback who is physical against the run and can stick with a team’s top receiver. He reminds me of another former Clemson cornerback, A.J. Terrell.
22. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
Breece Hall hasn’t been talked about enough this year. Though I’m hardly a fan of spending high on running backs, I think he’s in the same tier as Jonathan Taylor coming out of Wisconsin in 2020. His combination of size and speed should give an NFL team a real weapon from the backfield.
23. Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
Devonte Wyatt had a domestic violence incident back in 2020, and I don’t love that he will be a 24-year-old rookie. However, there’s no denying his game tape on the nation’s best defense. Wyatt could prove to be one of the best penetrating 3-techniques at the next level.
24. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
I’m lower on Trent McDuffie than most, but it’s because I genuinely don’t think he has the size and length to be a true CB1 at the next level. Still, I think he has great technique and he’s certainly not lacking in the physicality department. He’s cut from the same mold as Cardinals CB, Byron Murphy.
25. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
Arnold Ebiketie is a bit on the older side for a rookie and his thin frame could cause him to get washed out against the run at times. However, he’s got an elite calling card, and that is his ability to rush the passer — something that should translate well.
26. Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Pound for pound, Jahan Dotson is one of the most impressive players in this class. It’s just hard to get behind a 5’10”, 178-pound receiver in the top-20. Still, I think that Dotson plays much bigger than his size and some team is going to be getting a very good football player.
27. Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
Lewis Cine doesn’t have elite ball production (just two career interceptions); however, he does have phenomenal speed at the safety position and he packs a punch — especially coming downhill. He could be a rock-solid strong safety at the next level who will excel against the run.
28. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
One of my biggest draft crushes this year is Oklahoma edge defender, Nik Bonitto. Bonitto is smooth, bendy, and explosive. In his somewhat hybrid role, it’s not hard to see shades of Micah Parsons. He’s undersized as a true edge at 6’3”, 248 pounds, but his pass-rush ability is off the charts.
29. Drake London, WR, USC
I’m not nearly as high on Drake London as most. This is mainly because I just don’t see a very good athlete when I watch him on tape. It was also concerning that he chose not to run at his pro day. Still, London is a natural, possession receiver who could be a QBs best friend in the NFL.
30. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
I have to admit that I was disappointed with Treylon Burks at the NFL Combine. While I’ve factored his lackluster testing numbers into my evaluation, I still believe that he plays like a much better athlete on the field. However, he has a long way to go as a route-runner and when it comes to beating press coverage. The upside is there though.
31. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
Bernhard Raimann has excellent tape at Central Michigan. His footwork is fantastic despite being relatively new to the position. However, I just have a hard time getting behind a 25-year-old rookie with short arms (32 7/8”) at the OT position. He could turn out to be a great football player, but I wouldn’t gamble on him until the late-first or early-second round.
32. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Kaiir Elam is a very interesting cornerback prospect thanks to his 6’1 1/2” frame and 4.39 speed. He also faced some tough opponents during his college career. Unfortunately, his overall grade has gone down each season, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, Elam shows flashes and the upside is all there.
33. Chad Muma, ILB, Wyoming
I’m going against the grain a bit with Chad Muma narrowly topping Devin Lloyd as my number one off-ball linebacker. He just seems like the second coming of Logan Wilson with his size, instincts, and athleticism.
34. Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah
Devin Lloyd has one of the best highlight reels you will find in this class, and he could develop into one of the better coverage linebackers in the NFL. However, he’s on the older side and he doesn’t always give his best effort when the play doesn’t come his way. Still, his size, length, and traits should give him a very high floor with a reasonably high ceiling in the NFL.
35. Travis Jones, DL, UConn
Travis Jones is one of my favorite prospects this year. The big UConn defensive tackle carries his 325 pounds remarkably well, and he tested as a phenomenal athlete for his size. Jones can collapse a pocket with ease and swallow up the run. He’s got three-down potential in the NFL thanks to his rare traits.
36. Logan Hall, DL, Houston
Logan Hall is tall and lean (6’6 1/8”, 283 pounds) but teams shouldn’t let his tweener frame prevent them from drafting him high in the second round. Hall is a freaky athlete with good production as a senior in 2021. He could be a base defensive end who kicks inside on third downs.
37. George Pickens, WR, Georgia
In terms of talent, Pickens isn’t far behind any of the wide receivers in this class, but maturity and character issues could be a concern for some teams. Pickens also wasn’t overly productive in college. However, he’s tall, long, and smooth, with some A.J. Green-like qualities to his game.
38. Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia
Nakobe Dean could turn out to be the best linebacker from this class, but he doesn’t come without questions. Dean is undersized (5’11 1/4”, 227 pounds) and didn’t do any testing at the NFL Combine or his Pro Day (which is a tad concerning). I still think Dean is a plus athlete with great instincts, but I moved him down a bit on my big board.
39. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Kenneth Walker was an excellent player at Michigan State, and it’s easy to fall in love with his tape. He can make defenders miss in space and take it the distance with 4.38 speed, but he’s only 5’9”, 211 pounds and he needs to work on his pass protection to stay on the field for all three downs.
40. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
I’m in the minority having Matt Corral as my QB1 this year, but it’s because I believe he has the best combination of traits, film, and upside, and he doesn’t scare me quite as bad as Malik Willis. You have to project Corral out of a gimmicky, RPO offense, but if he can make the transition, I think he could be pretty good.
41. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Malik Willis undoubtedly has the best tools in the class with his cannon of an arm and elusive wheels outside of the pocket. However, he also has the most to work on. He’s a complete project player who needs at least a year to sit, but the reward could prove to outweigh the risk.
42. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Jaquan Brisker is one of the most well-rounded safeties in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has a great combination of size and traits to go with instincts, physicality, and ball skills. He should be a high-end starter at strong safety in the NFL.
43. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
David Ojabo, unfortunately, suffered a torn Achilles at his Michigan Pro Day, but he likely would have been a top-15 selection this year. The freakishly quick and bendy pass-rusher now becomes one of the biggest high-upside players early on day two for a team willing to be patient with his recovery.
44. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
This time last year, Sam Howell was projected to be a top-5 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Sadly, his 2021 season didn’t go as planned and he seemed to have taken a step back this year. Still, he has a live NFL arm that teams could work with and I like his overall skill set. He may be the last of the top-5 quarterbacks left on the board, but he could prove to be a steal if he can continue to develop and improve.
45. Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Kyler Gordon is a versatile cornerback who could play outside the hashes or as the nickel defender at the next level. He comes from a Washington school that routinely produces NFL cornerbacks. Gordon projects as a solid CB2 at the next level.
46. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Desmond Ridder arguably has the best blend of everything you would want at the quarterback position among his peers in the 2022 NFL Draft; however, he doesn’t have one particular trait that wows you. Regardless, his coaches rave about his leadership and it’s hard to argue with his 43-6 record in college. Ridder has only an average arm by NFL standards, but his floor is at least a starting quarterback.
47. Leo Chenal, ILB, Wisconsin
Leo Chenal is the best off-ball run defender in this class by a mile. While we didn’t get to see him much in coverage at Wisconsin (specifically in man coverage), Chenal is a physical downhill thumper who possesses very good speed and change of direction skills.
48. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
I have Kenny Pickett as the fifth quarterback this year, which is well below the consensus, but the top-5 passers are all very close on my board. Essentially, it comes down to traits. While I think Pickett has a high floor and is pro-ready, his arm is only average and I don’t think he has a ton of upside in the NFL.
49. Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
Jalen Pitre is a Swiss Army knife the secondary with his ability to line up at numerous spots and makes plays on the football. The Baylor product, however, is a bit undersized at 5’11”, 198 pounds, and might be best suited for a hybrid safety/nickel role.
50. Darian Kinnard, OG, Kentucky
Darian Kinnard has graded out as one of the best offensive tackles in college football over the past three years. However, with his slow feet and unspectacular athletic traits, he may be destined to move to guard in the NFL. Still, he could be a very solid player who could stick around the league for a long time.