Top 50 Prospects to Know for the 2022 NFL Draft #26-50
With fall camps well underway and the NCAA football season set to begin this week (but let’s face it, NEXT week is the real start), it’s that time of year. Shortly we’ll be enjoying crisp fall days, your favorite beverage, and arguing with the guy in the cubicle across from yours about why there’s no way in hell Cincinnati should be in the College Football Playoff (Spoiler Alert – they just might be).
That also means that a healthy chunk of the stars you see on Saturdays will be migrating to Sundays next year. So with that in mind, Score On Air is providing you with a primer for this season’s biggest stars and brightest prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft.
In this edition I’ll be giving you numbers 26-50. These aren’t in any particular order and remember players will move because of position, team needs, and the position of the planets
so please don’t “@” me telling me your favorite player is a sure-fire Top 10 pick even if he does play back up long snapper at Po-Dunk State.
26. George Pickens – WR – Georgia – Depending on What happens with Georgia’s season, Pickens may vault much higher. Tall and faster-than-you-think, Pickens has strong hands and is physical enough that he can make the contested catch and avoid being bumped off of his route.
Game(s) to Watch – Sept 4 Vs. Clemson @ Charlotte, NC AND Oct 30 Vs. Florida
27. Tyler Linderbaum – IOL – Iowa – Solid size for a center, Linderbaum’s strengths are in his ability to get to the second level and get there quickly with bad intentions. A former wrestler, this is the type of lineman I like, someone who uses their hands and leverage to make the hard stuff look easy.
Game to Watch – Sept 11 @ Iowa State
28. Isaiah Spiller – RB – Texas A&M – A RB that will remind you of Eddie George, Spiller does his best work between the tackles and initiates contact with defenders. He can easily be a three down back as his pass blocking is exceptional and while not a gifted receiver, has shown some ability.
Game to Watch – Oct 9 @ Alabama
29. Kingsley Enagbare – EDGE – South Carolina – Big enough to play either as a 4-3 OR a 3-4 end, Enagbare has also shown his ability to drop into coverage at times opening up the possibility of being a 3-4 linebacker. Sets the edge in the run game but will make his money rushing the passer.
Game to Watch – Nov 23 @ Texas A&M
30. Ikem Ekwonu – OL – North Carolina State –Currently playing guard for the wolfpack, he has experience at tackle giving teams flexibility. Another OL with a wrestling background, Ekwonu is a mauler in the phone booth and at the second level.
Game to Watch – Sept 25 Vs. Clemson
31. Carson Strong – QB – Nevada – If you’re looking for this season’s Zach Wilson or Josh Allen, try to catch some of the late night games the Wolfpack will be playing. Big, strong armed, with enough mobility to be elusive in the pocket, Strong dominated last season throwing 27 TDs to just 4 INTs.
Game(s) to Watch – Sept 4 @ California and Sept 18 @ Kansas State
32. Andrew Booth Jr – CB – Clemson – Fast and sticky in coverage, Booth plays with the kind of physicality that made JayCee Horn a Top 10 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Has the mindset to play corner in the NFL but needs to work on his football IQ.
Game to Watch – Sept 4 Vs Georgia @ Charlotte, NC
33. Christian Harris – LB – Alabama – Another smart, athletic linebacker from Alabama? Yup. Saban and Co. seem to just grow them in Tuscaloosa and there’s another one ready this season. Harris is explosive as a penetrator on blitzes (run or pass) but has some coverage issues he needs to address.
Game to Watch – Oct 9 @ Texas A&M
34. Jalen Wydermeyer – TE – Texas A&M – With the size to excel at TE on Sundays, Wydermeyer is already ahead of the game. Throw in soft hands, and a huge catch radius? Well, now he’s verging on a first-round pick. He needs to show he can block at an NFL level though.
Game to Watch – Oct 9 Vs. Alabama
35. Breece Hall – RB – Iowa State – Big, explosive, and great change-of-direction abilities have 2020’s FBS Rushing leader as only the second running back on this list. He’s not as physical as Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller, but not many are.
Game to Watch – Nov 20 @ Oklahoma
36. Charles Cross – OT – Mississippi State – Strong and athletic, Cross has grown into his body since high school. Shows good leverage and processes what the defense is trying to do very quickly. I love that he has active feet and plays with his head up. Plays Texas A&M and Alabama in consecutive weeks.
Game to Watch – Oct 2 @ Texas A&M
37. Aidan Hutchinson – DE – Michigan - Despite playing only three games last year due to injury, Hutchinson is a player to watch. Excellent size, though maybe a bit light for an NFL DE, still creates pressure from multiple positions on the line as well as being a great run stopper. If I had a complaint, it would be that he doesn’t wrap up and goes for the “blow up” hit too often for my taste.
Game to Watch – Nov 27 Vs. Ohio State
38. Sevyn Banks – CB – Ohio State – Admittedly, I’m not as high on Banks as a lot of writers. Yes, he has great size for a CB (6’1”, 200lbs) and possesses fluidity and speed to be a high NFL draft pick. He seems to shy away from contact though and makes just enough effort to be around the ball at the end. We’ll see how he reacts to being CB1 for the Buckeyes in 2021 though.
Game to Watch – Sept 11 Vs. Oregon
39. Daniel Faalele – OT – Minnesota – Even if Faalele’s measurables (6’9”, 390lbs) are padded a bit (as most college stats are), he’s still likely north of 6’6” and 350lbs, and that’s a big dude any way you slice it. Seems to have good feet under him and absolutely buries guys in the run game. Probably ends up at RT in the NFL.
Game to Watch – Sept 2 Vs. Ohio State
40. Zion Nelson – OT – Miami (FL) - I have Nelson ranked here mostly based on his measurables and the flashes you see from him. Has prototypical size for a LT and is athletic, however he reminds me a lot of Dillon Radunz (drafted #53 by TEN) in that he stops his man, but rarely pancakes him or drives him out of the play.
Game to Watch – Sept 4 Vs. Alabama @ Atlanta, GA
41. Dohnovan West – IOL – Arizona State – Has good size for an NFL guard (likely position), and great awareness. Gets to the second level and makes the necessary adjustments. Has a nasty disposition and finishes the block. Needs to play with better pad level and can be had by the faster pass rushers.
Game to Watch – Nov 6 Vs. Southern Cal
42. Justyn Ross – WR – Clemson – Sat out the 2020 season after finishing the 2019 season second on the team in receiving. Has the physicality to handle corners who are fighting for the ball, excellent route runner and strong hands to boot. Good downfield blocker.
Game to Watch – Sept 4 Vs.
Georgia @ Charlotte, NC
43. Cade Otten – TE – Washington – The third ranked TE according to most evaluators in the 2022 NFL Draft, I like Otten better than Jahleel Billingsly. While not as athletic as Billingsley, Otten does the small things that will end up keeping him in the NFL. An excellent blocker and one who is eager to find his man and punish him when blocking. Has good route running ability but not elite by most measurables.
Game to Watch – Nov 6 Vs. Oregon
44. Romeo Doubs – WR – Nevada – Carson Strong has to throw to someone and it’s Doubs (pronounced “Dubs”). Explosive and elusive as a runner. Finds a way to get open and will become someone’s “security blanket” on Sundays. Doesn’t have top-end speed, but is an excellent blocker downfield.
Game to Watch – Sept 18 @ Kansas State
45. Haskell Garrett – DT – Ohio State – Average size but makes up for it by playing with good leverage and balance (was a HS wrestler). A strong tackler who can suck up blockers, freeing up DEs and LBs on blitzes. Can also close and make the tackle when the QB leaves the pocket.
Game to Watch – Oct 30 Vs. Penn State
46. Mat Corral – QB – Mississippi – A QB that a lot of evaluators are excited about, Corral has a live arm and can drive the ball downfield into the tight windows required at the NFL level. Athletic and elusive when he leaves the pocket while still keeping his eyes downfield. Doesn’t always put his receivers in the best position for YAC. Has less than ideal size, though that’s not the death knell it used to be.
Game to Watch – Oct 2 @ Alabama
47. Jalen Tolbert – WR – Southern Alabama – One of three returning receivers to top 1000 yards receiving in 2020 (Romeo Doubs and Memphis’ Calvin Austin III are the other two). Sets up his routes well and has deceptive speed. A legit vertical threat, he is physical enough to go over the middle and get the job done.
Game to Watch – Nov 20 @ Tennessee
48. Tykee Smith – Safety – West Virginia – A physical read-and-react ball hawk who is dangerous when he gets his hands on the ball. More than ready to come up in run support and punish ball carriers. Can be slow to react when the QB comes back to his side of the field late in progressions.
Game to Watch – Sept 25 @ Oklahoma
49. Jordan Davis – DT – Georgia – Has outstanding size and quickness. Good balance and doesn’t get caught up in the trash at the LOS. Plays too high at the snap and gives up leverage too consistently. Doesn’t always make the tackle even when he should.
Game to Watch – Sept 4 Vs. Clemson @ Charlotte, NC
50. Devyn Lloyd – LB – Utah – A versatile LB who can either snuff out a run or cover TEs, Lloyd is an unfinished product as a pass rusher though there is ability there, it just needs refined. Tough and refuses give up on a play, his attitude and natural ability will have someone falling in love with him at the combine.
Game to Watch – Nov 20 Vs. Oregon