As the NFL Draft 2022 draws to a close – Round 1 begins April 29 (CET) – I wanted to tackle the ranking list first.
When evaluating these quarterbacks, it becomes clear that there is no clearly declared top person and that colleges can decide the All-Star Games and Combine rankings. It’s not necessarily unique in itself, but what makes it different from previous tours is that I don’t consider any of these quarterbacks to be worthy of being No. But if I personally don’t see a quarterback in the top 10, one of the 32 teams may have a different opinion. The journey till April is yet to come.
Now let’s move on to my list of top 10 candidates.
A small note about my ranking list:
- I have too many predictions on my top 10 list. Many of these candidates have played only a few games so I could not write a detailed scouting report.
1. Kayvan Thibodaux, DE, Oregon
After missing a few games with an ankle injury at the start of the season, Thibodaux has had a stellar run since his return. In the win against UCLA, he made one strip sack, another sack, and a total of nine tackles. He had a sack and a total of 10 tackles against Cal last week. 1 among 2019 high school recruits, Thibodaux is an elite pass-talent who’s quick to hit double-digit sacks annually to the next level.
2. Kyle Hamilton, S., Notre Dame
Hamilton has not played against USC on October 23 since injuring his right knee. Notre Dame needs Hamilton, one of the most versatile defenders out there. He made two interceptions against Florida State and another in defeating Purdue. Hamilton is sized to advance to the line of scrimmage and help with running game, and has the speed and range to cover pass catchers from the slot. This is exactly what NFL teams want their first round safari to be.
3. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
Like Hamilton, Stingley has not played for some time due to a foot injury. It’s the best corner of the year, even if it hasn’t been consistently good since 2019. This ranking is mainly about its potential. He didn’t play as well last season, but that’s mainly because the overall LSU defense was terrible. He has shown that he can turn off SEC receivers.
4. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Neil is an elite left-wing tackle with a huge frame and great physical qualities. He started as a right tackle last season and was Alabama’s opening left guard in 2019. This season he has switched to the left to replace first-round pick Alex Leatherwood. It’s a complete package that can move your feet as both a run blocker and a pass protector.
5. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
Hutchinson has made seven sacks and a forceful rumble, showing powerful moves and the quarterback’s relentless pursuit. He looks great. Hutchinson played only 144 defensive snaps last season before injuring his leg and undergoing surgery against Indiana; The Michigan defense crashed after his injury. In 2019 he was an outstanding sophomore who made 4.5 sacks and created a stir in the backfield.
6. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Cross took the next step. He has allowed only one sack and four pressures this season in Mike Leach’s near-heavy offense. He stops Edge Rusher. Cross has long arms and strong legs, and her coaches rave about her work ethic and attention to detail. He showed his potential last season, his first as a starter, but he was also challenged on Leach’s offense and had some poor pass-blocking performances.
7. Drake London, WR, USC
London had a phenomenal season before breaking his right ankle against Arizona on 30 October. This injury will keep him out for the rest of the season. He had 88 catches for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 11 catches and 136 yards per game. London, who played on the USC basketball team in 2019–20, overtakes the Pac-12 defenders and can beat almost any corner.
8. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Lloyd has done an incredibly impressive job for Utah and fills out statistics sheets every week. He has a total of 81 tackles, six sacks, 17 tackles for damage, three interceptions and a force majeure. He overtakes the linemen on a snap, but Utah also frequently uses him in coverage, where he proves his reach as an off-ball linebacker.
9. Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia
Dean is the leader of one of the best defenses in recent college football history. Georgia allows only 3.8 yards per game (second behind Wisconsin) and only allows two rushing scores for the entire season. Dean runs from edge to edge to destroy plays and is a definite tackler as soon as he locates the ball carrier.
10. David Ojabo, DE, Michigan
Ojabo is one of the most influential newcomers to college football this season. The young athlete, who spent his youth in Nigeria and Scotland, has fumbled eight sacks and four forcibly. He has shown advanced pass rush moves. Ojabo still has some subtleties to work with, but there’s a lot to like. He is still young; He can become an elite edge rusher.
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