Five players who improved their draft stock most in 2022
Devon Witherspoon – CB, Illinois
Witherspoon will have made himself plenty of money with his performances in 2022. The fourth-year senior has been starting for the Fighting Illini since 2020, but everything seemed to click this season as he became one of the nation’s true lockdown cornerbacks.
He showed some hugely impressive ball skills, leading all Power Five defensive backs with 17 forced incompletions. That equates to Witherspoon forcing an incompletion on a ridiculous 26.9% of his targets. He was also tasked with playing a tonne of man coverage and never looked out of place. Illinois were easily the FBS leaders in man coverage rate, playing it on over 75% of snaps. Despite the high volume, Witherspoon allowed just 2.4 yards per target.
Teams will no doubt have also been hugely impressed by his effort and tenacity as a run defender. Witherspoon might not be the biggest cornerback at 6’0″ and 180 lbs, but he plays with his hair on fire and has some truly punishing hits on tape. Add in a good athletic profile and there is a lot to like.