Jason Willis’s 2022 NFL Draft Big Board

With the 2022 NFL Draft right around the corner, the anticipation is mounting. As always, the topic of discussion is quarterbacks. However, this year, most have determined this class to be worse than in years past. Regardless, the class is still flush with talent and may have the most depth of any class in recent years.

This big board has slightly over 100 players and includes every player that I have watched during the draft cycle. Not a projection of where I believe they will be drafted, but rather where I had them graded based on my own personal evaluation. This big board also does not take into account injuries, off-field issues, or positional value.

The Top Ten

  1. Charles Cross, OT (Mississippi State)
  2. Jordan Davis, DT (Georgia)
  3. Sauce Gardner, CB (Cincinnati)
  4. Derek Stingley Jr., CB (LSU)
  5. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE (Oregon)
  6. Ikem Ekwonu, OT (N.C. State)
  7. Kyle Hamilton, S (Notre Dame)
  8. Evan Neal, OT (Alabama)
  9. Jameson Williams, WR (Alabama)
  10. Devonte Wyatt, DT (Georgia)

It is imperative that we start discussing Charles Cross more than we are. An elite pass protector, I believe the issues made about his run blocking ability are overblown. Regardless, I would rather have the pass protection anyway. He is not the only offensive tackle here either as both Ekwonu and Neal are here as well. Absurdly talented in their own right, both will be fantastic pros. The pair of corners at four and five ended up with nearly identical grades, both projecting as future Pro Bowl selections.

As mentioned, injuries and positional value are not included in these rankings. As such, Williams gets the nod as WR1. Once healthy, his game-breaking speed is exactly what the NFL covets. On the positional value side, should teams be taking defensive tackles in the top ten? Probably not, however, Davis is an athletic freak who is one of the class’s best players pound for pound.

The Rest Of The First Round Grades

11. Kenneth Walker, RB (Michigan State)

12. Garrett Wilson, WR (Ohio State)

13. Chris Olave, WR (Ohio State)

14. Jelani Woods, TE (Virginia)

15. Zion Johnson, G (Boston College)

16. Treylon Burks, WR (Arkansas)

17. George Karlaftis, EDGE (Purdue)

18. Tyler Linderbaum, IOL (Iowa)

19. Nakobe Dean, LB (Georgia)

20. Devin Lloyd, LB (Utah)

21. Trent McDuffie, CB (Washington)

22. Lewis Cine, S (Georgia)

23. Roger McCreary, CB (Auburn)

24. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE (Michigan)

25. Kenyon Green, G (Texas A&M)

26. Drake London, WR (USC)

27. Malik Willis, QB (Liberty)

28. Travon Walker, EDGE (Georgia)

No, I don’t believe Aidan Hutchinson is an elite-caliber player. While he is a huge name who has a chance to go number one overall, I personally don’t see it. Much of this has to do with his athletic testing. With some of the smallest arms among any pass rushers, he will immediately be at a disadvantage at the next level while he adapts to the NFL game. The opposite is true for Travon Walker. An absolute athletic freak, his tape at Georgia left much to be desired. If his potential hits, however, the sky is the limit.

The four wide receivers listed also have massive potential as offensive weapons at the next level. Of the four receivers listed, Wilson especially profiles as one of the better route runners in the league who should have no problems getting open. Other weapons listed here include both Kenneth Walker and Jelani Woods. While I would never take a running back in the first round, I believe Walker can be a valuable member of any offense, thus the ranking. Woods, underused at Virginia, tested out of his mind as an athlete. At 6’7″, his ceiling is through the roof.

Second Round Grades

29. Jahan Dotson, WR (Penn State)

30. Jaquan Brisker, S (Penn State)

31. Rachaad White, RB (Arizona State)

32. Jermaine Johnson, EDGE (Florida State)

33. Daxton Hill, S (Michigan)

34. Isaiah Spiller, RB (Texas A&M)

35. Phidarian Mathis, DT (Alabama)

36. Travis Jones, DT (UConn)

37. David Ojabo, EDGE (Michigan)

38. George Pickens, WR (Georgia)

39. John Metchie, WR (Alabama)

40. Desmond Ridder, QB (Cincinnati)

41. Logan Hall, DT (Houston)

42. Christian Watson, WR (North Dakota State)

43. Quay Walker, LB (Georgia)

44. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT (Ohio State)

45. Cole Turner, TE (Nevada)

46. Kenny Pickett, QB (Pitt)

47. Carson Strong, QB (Nevada)

48. Alec Pierce, WR (Cincinnati)

49. Kaiir Elam, CB (Florida)

50. Channing Tindall, LB (Georgia)

51. Andrew Booth, CB (Clemson)

Let’s start with the quarterbacks. Clearly, I have Liberty’s Malik Willis as the only first-round grade in this class. This is due to the incredible physical skill set that gives him unlimited potential. Next, I have Desmond Ridder. The best way for me to describe how I feel about him is that I like everything about his game before the ball leaves his hand. If his general accuracy and ball placement can improve to match his mental acumen, he can become a quality starting quarterback in the NFL.

With both Pickett and Strong, I have my concerns. For Strong, the worries are mostly physical as he is a statue in the pocket. In today’s game which prioritizes making plays off-script, how is he going to last even with his incredible arm? Regardless, I would like to give him a chance. Pickett has many things going for him at this point. While he was super productive last season at Pitt, his age, mental processing, and hand size leave a reason for concern. However, his personality and natural talent give him a chance to be a starter eventually.

Third Round Grades

52. Charlie Kolar, TE (Iowa State)

53. Matt Corral, QB (Ole Miss)

54. Coby Bryant, CB (Cincinnati)

55. Christian Harris, LB (Alabama)

56. Skyy Moore, WR (Western Michigan)

57. Leo Chenal, LB (Wisconsin)

58. Myjai Sanders, EDGE (Cincinnati)

59. Isaiah Likely, TE (Coastal Carolina)

60. Chad Muma, LB (Wyoming)

61. Trey McBride, TE (Colorado State)

62. Dameon Pierce, RB (Florida)

63. Jeremy Ruckert, TE (Ohio State)

64. Jalen Pitre, S (Baylor)

65. Daniel Faalele, OT (Minnesota)

66. Bernhard Raimann, OT (Central Michigan)

67. Jamaree Sayler, G (Georgia)

68. Thomas Booker, DT (Stanford)

69. Perrion Winfrey, DT (Oklahoma)

70. Cameron Thomas, EDGE (San Diego State)

Some fun players in this group! Minnesota offensive tackle Daniel Faalele is a mountain of a man who has the frame to one day develop into a starting offensive tackle at the next level. Both Booker and Winfrey are going to be good options on the inside of the defensive line for a long time as well. Perhaps most notably, Matt Corral is likely to come off the board here. While he is a long way away from being an NFL starter, he does have some natural gifts that make him intriguing as a prospect.

Early Day Three Grades

71. Jalen Wydermeyer, TE (Texas A&M)

72. Breece Hall, RB (Iowa State)

73. Calvin Austin, WR (Memphis)

74. David Bell, WR (Purdue)

75. Greg Dulcich, TE (UCLA)

76. Bryan Cook, S (Cincinnati)

77. Brian Robinson, RB (Alabama)

78. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE (Penn State)

79. Sam Howell, QB (North Carolina)

80. Darian Kinnard, G (Kentucky)

81. Cade Otto, TE (Washington)

82. Tyler Smith, OL (Tulsa)

83. Kyler Gordon, CB (Washington)

84. Abraham Lucas, OT (Washington State)

85. Marcus Jones, CB (Houston)

86. Zamir White, RB (Georgia)

87. Sean Rhyan, G (UCLA)

88. Rasheed Walker, OT (Penn State)

89. Justyn Ross, WR (Clemson)

90. Dohnovan West, G (Arizona State)

91. Smoke Monday, S (Auburn)

92. DeMarvin Leal, DT (Texas A&M)

Despite the day three grades, I really like a lot of players in this section. Although I worry about the workload with Breece Hall, he can absolutely be a starting running back in an NFL offense, for how long is the real question. Calvin Austin as well could have a role in the NFL right away. On the defensive side, count Marcus Jones as a player I believe will have an impact quickly on whatever defense he chooses to go to.

However, there are many players here I am lower on than consensus. For instance, Ebiketie doesn’t do it for me. Poor as a run defender, I believe he is a rotational edge rusher initially. The same can be said for Kyler Gordon who is going to need a lot of work to unlock his full potential at the next level.

The Rest Of Day Three

93. Tariq Woolen, CB (UTSA)

94. Brandon Smith, LB (Penn State)

95. Trevor Penning, OT (Northern Iowa)

96. Lecitus Smith, OT (Virginia Tech)

97. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR (Kentucky)

98. James Cook, RB (Georgia)

99. Jalen Tolbert, WR (South Alabama)

100. Zachary Carter, DT (Florida)

101. Brian Asamoah, LB (Oklahoma)

102. Velus Jones Jr., WR (Tennessee)

103. Darrian Beavers, LB (Cincinnati)

104. Derion Kendrick, CB (Georgia)

105. Tre Turner, WR (Virginia Tech)

106. Romeo Doubs, WR (Nevada)

107. Verone McKinley III, S (Oregon)

108. Bailey Zappe, QB (Western Kentucky)

As expected, I see most of these guys on the roster fringe initially. Of course, the most likely to be selected higher than this is Trevor Penning. In fact, I would go as far as to say he will be taken higher. However, he spent much of the Senior Bowl displaying the same traits that haunted him in college. With a knack for penalties and over-aggressiveness, I do not see how he becomes a valuable player in the NFL.

Undrafted Free Agents

109. Leon O’Neal, S (Texas A&M)

110. Spencer Buford, G (UTSA)

111. Bubba Bolden, S (Miami)

112. Thayer Munford, G (Ohio State)

113. Jerome Ford, RB (Cincinnati)

114. Tyler Allgeier, RB (BYU)

115. Alec Lindstrom, G (Boston College)

116. Kyren Williams, RB (Notre Dame)

117. D’Vonte Price, RB (FIU)

*Top Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

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