NFL DRAFT // WALT’S TOP 25 PROSPECTS

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1st BIG BOARD PHOTO by Walt Stringer

Above Photo (from left to right): Sam Howell QB/North Carolina, Kayvon Thibodeaux DE/Oregon, Breece Hall RB/Iowa State, Chris Olave WR/Ohio State, Kyle Hamilton S/Notre Dame, Malik Willis QB/Liberty, and Charles Cross OT/Mississippi State.

 

With the 2022 NFL Draft all set for April 28-30 (which will be Thursday-Saturday) in Las Vegas, it is time for the not-so fruitful organizations to find the next group of young talent that can help turn around their long-term fortunes. Now, while this draft class currently does not possess the ‘star power’ (in my opinion) at the top or throughout the first round as its preceding 2021 class (especially at the QB position!), there are still plenty of prospects who could boom at the next level. From QBs Malik Willis & Matt Corral, who could develop into dynamic game changers at the next level, to players such as WR Chris Olave, DE George Karlaftis, OT Vederian Lowe, NT Jordan Davis, OG Kenyon Green, & EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, who could possibly step right in and contribute on a good team immediately. This current potential class can help in a variety of possibilities, so let’s take an early look at my thoughts on the Top 25 Prospects I have so far as well as their PROS/CONS!

 

PROSPECTS 1-25

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux EDGE/Oregon

PROS: EXPLOSIVE/ALERT/FINISHER, great combination of size & agility.

CONS: 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB? Pass rush counter moves.

 

2. Kyle Hamilton S/Notre Dame

PROS: Elite athleticism and range for his size and position! Instincts.

CONS: Health (hasn’t played since his Oct. knee injury), frame/run support!

 

3. Evan Neal OT/Alabama

PROS: Massive size (6’7”, 351 lbs)! Powerful “road-grader”, durable.

CONS: Agility in space? Better at RT over LT at the next level?

 

4. Aidan Hutchinson EDGE/Michigan

PROS: Outstanding initial quickness, high motor, finisher! (Bloodline: father- Chris Hutchinson).

CONS: Average athlete, arm length, only a 4-3 DE?

 

5. Kenyon Green OT-G/Texas A&M

PROS: VERSATILITY! Has played tackle-to-tackle, footwork/skillset.

CONS: Conditioning, non-technician, upright style.

 

6. DeMarvin Leal DL/Texas A&M

PROS: Swiss army knife! Can play 2/3/4 TECH, 2-GAP potential.

CONS: “TWEENER”- Not great at any spot, 3-4 scheme liability?

 

7. Jahan Dotson WR/Penn State

PROS: Speed/agility/ball skills, dynamic! Consistent, productive, playmaker.

CONS: Lack of size, blocking, durability, physicality.

 

8. Kaiir Elam CB/Florida

PROS: Very fluid hips, elite size/speed ratio, long arms, solid ball skills.

CONS: Transition struggles, long speed, quickness in space.

 

9. Derek Stingley Jr. CB/LSU

PROS: Prototype with elite traits! Physical at the line, terrific instincts.

CONS: Scary inconsistent tape! Trailed off since freshman year, mental lapses.

 

10. Tyler Linderbaum C/Iowa

PROS: Mauler with prime intelligence for the position! ALL-PRO POTENTIAL!

CONS: Does lack of size and anchor make him strictly “scheme-specific”?

 

11. George Karlaftis EDGE/Purdue

PROS: Enough size/power/hand skill to play in any front. High motor!

CONS: Hip bend, agility, pass rush arsenal?

 

12. Garrett Wilson WR/Ohio State

PROS: Slim, fluid, & fast with outstanding skills at tracking the deep ball.

CONS: Slight frame, gets squeezed off routes, not good with physicality.

 

13. Charles Cross OT/Mississippi State 

PROS: Lean athletic frame with more than enough quickness, power, & attitude.

CONS: Late bloomer! Lack of trunk and anchor! Small serving size.

 

14. Kingsley Enagbare EDGE/South Carolina

PROS: Prototypical size & speed you want off the edge! Nose for the backfield.

CONS: High floor/low ceiling, inconsistent in the run game.

 

15. Ikem Ekwonu OG/NC State

PROS: Size & athleticism to play anywhere along the line well, explosive athlete.

CONS: Top heavy blocker at the moment, footwork & handwork “needs work”.

 

16. Nakobe Dean LB/Georgia

PROS: Speed & instincts with solid sideline-to-sideline range, run stopper.

CONS: Lack of size and bulk, not much of a pass rush threat.

 

17. Devin Lloyd LB/Utah

PROS: Unique skillset, talented enough to play all three spots, excels in coverage.

CONS: Narrow frame. Deficient in short-area explosions, pass rush instincts?

 

18. Jordan Davis NT/Georgia

PROS: 3-4 Nose or 4-3 1-Tech! Demands level double team, defensive anchor.

CONS: Mobility in space, conditioning, one-trick pony? 

 

19. Chris Olave WR/Ohio State

PROS: Smooth route runner/soft hands. Quick/sudden! Next great NFL slot receiver?

CONS: Small frame! Deep speed? Blocking? Explosive play ability in the NFL?

 

20. Darian Kinnard OT-G/Kentucky

PROS: Adequate footwork & enough athleticism to play inside/out, ruling size.

CONS: Loose hand placement! Leans on brute strength too often, speed rushers?

 

21. Dax Hill CB-S/Michigan

PROS: Multi-talented versatile athlete! Safety range/CB skillset, sure tackler!

CONS: CB or safety at the next level? Play diagnosing & reacting, block shedding.

 

22. Malik Willis QB/Liberty

PROS: New age skillset! Top-tier arm strength, supreme mobility, strong build.

CONS: Experience/competition/accuracy, progression speed!

 

23. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner CB/Cincinnati

PROS: Very long arms/alert/high-pointer! Terror within the first five yards!

CONS: Very slim, long speed? Change of direction? What type of talent has he faced?

 

24. Trent McDuffie CB/Washington

PROS: Good size/competitive/confident! Smooth in coverage, patient.

CONS: Lack of elite physical skills, deep ball coverage?

 

25. Sam Howell QB/North Carolina

PROS: Deep ball accuracy, touch, steady at progressions, downfield attacker!

CONS: Lack of size, decision-making under pressure? Rough 2021 Season! Can he elevate the players around him? NFL starter or spot-duty backup?

 

Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.

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