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Welcome to The Ringer’s 2021 NFL Draft Guide. This is a one-stop shop for all of your draft needs. It includes Danny Kelly’s Big Board, with in-depth scouting reports on this year’s top players and breakdowns of why they could rise and fall. It has a regularly updated mock draft, which includes projected trades. And the features keep on coming: Badges signify every prospect’s key attributes, and there's a section in which Danny Heifetz assesses each franchise’s biggest needs. On Thursday night, Danny Kelly will grade every pick made in this year's first round.

Is Trevor Lawrence the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck? Could Mac Jones really go to San Francisco at no. 3? And what will happen to Justin Fields? 

Make sure to check out the guide’s full suite of offerings, from our filter-by-position tool to the embedded videos and links. The draft is here. We have everything you need.

Finding a prospect with the right combination of instincts and upside can make all the difference. That’s why State Farm is sponsoring this year’s NFL Draft Guide—and its badges for instinctual playmaking and infinite upside. Talk to a State Farm agent today to get great insurance at surprisingly great rates. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.®

Sours: https://nfldraft.theringer.com/

B/R NFL Scouting Dept. 2021 NFL Draft Big Board 3.0

Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

Top 250 Prospects: Ties in grades were broken through roundtable discussion among the four scouts.     

1.Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (9.5)

2. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (9.2)

3. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida (9.1)

4. Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon (9.0)

5. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (8.9)

6. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State (8.75)

7. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU (8.7)

8. Landon Dickerson, IOL, Alabama (8.7)

9. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota (8.65)

10. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU (8.6)

11. Daviyon Nixon, DL, Iowa (8.51)

12. Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State (8.5)

13. Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC (8.5)

14. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (8.5)

15. Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern (8.4)

16. Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama (8.4)

17. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (8.4)

18. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech (8.3)

19. Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (8.3)

20. Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU (8.3)

21. Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan (8.2)

22. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina (8.2)

23. Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern (8.2)

24. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa (8.11)

25. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma (8.1)

26. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech (8.1)

27. Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami (FL) (8.1)

28. Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame (8.0)

29. Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida (8.0)

30. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama (8.0)

31. Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi (7.92)

32. Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama (7.91)

33. Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina (7.91)

34. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama (7.9)

35. Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU (7.9)

36. Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh (7.9)

37. Quinn Meinerz, IOL, Wisconsin-Whitewater (7.9)

38. Wyatt Davis, IOL, Ohio State (7.9)

39. Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (7.9)

40. Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina (7.9)

41. Jay Tufele, DL, USC (7.83)

42. Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia (7.82)

43. Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas (7.81)

44. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama (7.8)

45. Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State(7.8)

46. Kary Vincent Jr., CB, LSU(7.8)

47. Brady Christensen, OT, BYU(7.8)

48. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State(7.8)

49. Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska(7.8)

50. Elijah Molden, CB, Washington(7.8)

51. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State(7.8)

52. Chazz Surratt, LB, North Carolina(7.8)

53. Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma(7.8)

54. Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina(7.8)

55. Jevon Holland, S, Oregon (7.8)

56. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL) (7.76)

57. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State (7.75)

58. Khyiris Tonga, DL, BYU (7.74)

59. Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky (7.73)

60. Levi Onwuzurike, DL, Washington (7.72)

61. Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson (7.71)

62. Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest (7.71)

63. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida (7.71)

64. Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia (7.7)

65. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson(7.7)

66. Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC(7.7)

67. Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas(7.7)

68. Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington(7.7)

69. Walker Little, OT, Stanford(7.7)

70. Drew Dalman, IOL, Stanford(7.7)

71. Kendrick Green, IOL, Illinois(7.7)

72. Milton Williams, DL, Louisiana Tech (7.63)

73. William Bradley-King, EDGE, Baylor (7.62)

74. Shaka Toney, EDGE, Penn State (7.62)

75. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama (7.62)

76. Osa Odighizuwa, DL, UCLA (7.62)

77. Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State (7.61)

78. Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE, Florida State (7.6)

79. Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF(7.6)

80. Trey Smith, IOL, Tennessee(7.6)

81. Robert Hainsey, IOL, Notre Dame(7.6)

82. Deonte Brown, IOL, Alabama(7.6)

83. Aaron Banks, IOL, Notre Dame(7.6)

84. Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame(7.6)

85. Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana(7.6)

86. Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa (7.56)

87. Seth Williams, WR, Auburn (7.55)

88. Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan (7.53)

89. Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College (7.53)

90. Alim McNeill, DL, NC State (7.52)

91. Monty Rice, LB, Georgia (7.52)

92. Marco Wilson, CB, Florida (7.51)

93. Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn (7.51)

94. Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri (7.51)

95. Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State (7.51)

96. Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa (7.5)

97. Mark Gilbert, CB, Duke(7.5)

98. D'Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan(7.5)

99. Jackson Carman, IOL, Clemson(7.5)

100. Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State(7.5)

101. Richie Grant, S, UCF (7.5)

102. Quincy Roche, EDGE, Miami (FL)(7.5)

103. Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (FL)(7.5)

104. Tommy Togiai, DL, Ohio State(7.5)

105. Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia(7.5)

106. Dayo Odeyingbo, EDGE, Vanderbilt (7.41)

107. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse (7.4)

108. Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota St.(7.4)

109. Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State(7.4)

110. Royce Newman, IOL, Mississippi(7.4)

111. Payton Turner, DL, Houston(7.4)

112. Tyler Shelvin, DL, LSU(7.4)

113. Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville(7.4)

114. Jaelon Darden, WR, North Texas(7.4)

115. Ben Cleveland, IOL, Georgia(7.4)

116. Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon(7.4)

117. Austin Faoliu, DL, Oregon (7.31)

118. Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis (7.3)

119. Hunter Long, TE, Boston College(7.3)

120. Derrick Barnes, LB, Purdue(7.3)

121. Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE, Notre Dame(7.3)

122. Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh(7.3)

123. DJ Daniel, CB, Georgia(7.3)

124. Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson (7.25)

125. Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State (7.25)

126. Josh Palmer, WR, Tennessee (7.21)

127. Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa(7.21)

128. Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke(7.21)

129. Jabril Cox, LB, LSU(7.21)

130. Charles Snowden, EDGE, Virginia(7.21)

131. Janarius Robinson, EDGE, Florida State(7.21)

132. Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State(7.21)

133. Bobby Brown III, DL, Texas A&M(7.21)

134. Kyle Trask, QB, Florida(7.2)

135. Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State(7.2)

136. Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame(7.2)

137. Jalen Mayfield, IOL, Michigan(7.2)

138. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State(7.2)

139. Jonathan Adams, WR, Arkansas State(7.2)

140. Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB(7.2)

141. Keith Taylor, CB, Washington(7.2)

142. Nico Collins, WR, Michigan(7.2)

143. Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia(7.2)

144. Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi St.(7.2)

145. Dazz Newsome, WR, North Carolina(7.2)

146. Tyree Gillespie, S, Missouri(7.2)

147. Brady Breeze, S, Oregon (7.1)

148. Marlon Tuipulotu, DL, USC(7.1)

149. Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M(7.1)

150. Josh Ball, OT, Marshall(7.1)

151. Tarron Jackson, EDGE, Coastal Carolina(7.1)

152. Garret Wallow, LB, TCU(7.1)

153. Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford(7.1)

154. Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech(7.1)

155. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford(7.1)

156. Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State(7.1)

157. Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota St.(7.1)

158. Thomas Graham Jr., CB, Oregon(7.1)

159. Marquiss Spencer, DL, Mississippi State(7.1)

160. Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky (7.0)

161. James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati(7.0)

162. Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo(7.0)

163. Darius Hodge, EDGE, Marshall(7.0)

164. Camryn Bynum, CB, California(7.0)

165. Michal Menet, IOL, Penn State(7.0)

166. Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC(7.0)

167. Davis Mills, QB, Stanford (6.9)

168. Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota(6.9)

169. Trey Hill, IOL, Georgia (6.9)

170. D'Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina(6.9)

171. Jacob Harris, WR, UCF(6.9)

172. Khalil Herbert, RB, Virginia Tech(6.9)

173. Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina(6.9)

174. Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State(6.9)

175. Tay Gowan, CB, UCF(6.9)

176. Ar'Darius Washington, S, TCU(6.9)

177. Patrick Johnson, EDGE, Tulane(6.9)

178. Bryce Thompson, CB, Tennessee(6.9)

179. Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma(6.9)

180. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State (6.85)

181. Drake Jackson, IOL, Kentucky (6.8)

182. Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa(6.8)

183. Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse(6.8)

184. Austin Watkins Jr., WR, UAB(6.8)

185. Justin Hilliard, LB, Ohio State(6.8)

186. Larry Rountree III, RB, Missouri(6.8)

187. Brenden Knox, RB, Marshall(6.8)

188. Chauncey Golston, EDGE, Iowa(6.8)

189. Christian Uphoff, S, Illinois State(6.8)

190. Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State(6.8)

191. Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville(6.8)

192. KJ Britt, LB, Auburn(6.8)

193. Marquez Stevenson, WR, Houston(6.8)

194. Jamien Sherwood, S, Auburn(6.8)

195. Shawn Davis, S, Florida(6.8)

196. Kenny Yeboah, TE, Mississippi(6.8)

197. Ben Mason, FB, Michigan (6.7)

198. Ta'Quon Graham, DL, Texas(6.7)

199. Dax Milne, WR, BYU(6.7)

200. Josh Imatorbhebhe, WR, Illinois(6.7)

201. Donovan Stiner, S, Florida(6.7)

202. Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana(6.7)

203. Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo(6.7)

204. Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh(6.7)

205. Buddy Johnson, LB, Texas A&M(6.7)

206. Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse(6.7)

207. Hamilcar Rashed, EDGE, Oregon State(6.7)

208. Demetric Felton, RB, UCLA(6.7)

209. Trevon Grimes, WR, Florida(6.7)

210. Damar Hamlin, S, Pittsburgh (6.6)

211. John Bates, TE, Boise State(6.6)

212. Mike Strachan, WR, Charleston(6.6)

213. Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri(6.6)

214. Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest(6.6)

215. Darius Stills, DL, West Virginia(6.6)

216. Tony Poljan, TE, Virginia(6.5)

217. Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia (6.5)

218. Sadarius Hutcherson, IOL, South Carolina(6.5)

219. Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville(6.5)

220. Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh(6.5)

221. Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina(6.5)

222. Jamie Newman, QB, Georgia(6.5)

223. Victor Dimukeje, EDGE, Duke(6.5)

224. Kene Nwangwu, RB, Iowa State(6.5)

225. Kylen Granson, TE, SMU(6.5)

226. Mark Webb, CB, Georgia(6.5)

227. Nick Niemann, LB, Iowa(6.5)

228. Malik Herring, DL, Georgia(6.5)

229. Dai'Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls St. (6.4)

230. Wyatt Hubert, EDGE, Kansas State(6.4)

231. Briley Moore, TE, Kansas State(6.4)

232. Chris Evans, RB, Michigan(6.4)

233. Feleipe Franks, QB, Arkansas(6.4)

234. Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame(6.4)

235. Matt Bushman, TE, BYU(6.4)

236. Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas(6.4)

237. Tre McKitty, TE, Georgia(6.4)

238. Tristen Hoge, IOL, BYU(6.4)

239. Jonathon Cooper, DL, Ohio State (6.3)

240. Anthony Hines III, LB, Texas A&M(6.3)

241. Ben Skowronek, WR, Notre Dame(6.3)

242. Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri (6.3)

243. Quinton Bohanna, DL, Kentucky(6.3)

244. Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas(6.3)

245. Tedarrell Slaton, DL, Florida(6.3)

246. Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas (6.2)

247. Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State(6.2)

248. Marlon Williams, WR, UCF(6.2)

249. Brandin Echols, CB, Kentucky(6.1)

250. Quintin Morris, TE, Bowling Green (6.1)

Sours: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2932009-br-nfl-scouting-dept-2021-nfl-draft-big-board-30
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Relive Onward State’s Road Trip To Iowa City

The hype around Penn State wideout Jahan Dotson continues to grow.

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. released his updated top-25 big board Thursday and had the star wideout ranked No. 8 overall. Not only does Kiper think Dotson is the eighth-best player in the 2022 draft, but he believes Dotson is the best wide receiver in the class.

“He can break tackles after the catch,” Kiper wrote. “While Dotson had a few drops in 2019 and 2020, he hasn’t dropped any of his 35 targets this season. He’s on pace for a spectacular season.”

Dotson is the second-highest-ranked Big Ten player on Kiper’s big board, trailing only Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who’s ranked fifth.

After breaking out last season with 52 catches for 882 yards and eight touchdowns, Dotson has continued his excellence through Penn State’s first four games this year to the tune of 27 catches worth 362 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the Big Ten with his 27 catches and four touchdown receptions so far.

We’re obviously a long way away from the 2022 NFL Draft, but if Dotson’s stock remains this high, he could be the first Nittany Lion wideout drafted in the first round since Bryant Johnson in 2003. Additionally, he could even be the first Penn State top-10 pick since Saquon Barkley went No. 2 overall to the Giants in 2018.

Among Kiper’s top-10 positional rankings for the 2022 draft, four other Nittany Lions were recognized. Safety Jaquan Brisker and linebacker Brandon Smith are each ranked No. 2 at their respective positions, while defensive end Arnold Ebiketie is ranked No. 7 and defensive tackle PJ Mustipher is slotted at No. 10.

Dotson and the Nittany Lions will host Indiana at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in a prime-time Stripe Out matchup at Beaver Stadium.

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a junior majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

Sours: https://onwardstate.com/2021/10/01/jahan-dotson-ranked-no-8-overall-on-mel-kipers-2022-nfl-draft-big-board/
How To Make A Great NFL Fantasy Draft Board

2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Features Elite DBs, New QB1

2022 NFL Draft, Kyle Hamilton

2022 NFL Draft prospect and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The latest 2022 NFL Draft Big Board at NFL Mocks features fantastic defensive backs and  new QB1.

We’ve reached the month of October, where more of our readings on 2022 NFL Draft prospects, positions, and the class as a whole are taking more shape. With most prospects getting a few games under their belt for the season, it’s been interesting to see who is making the jump, who isn’t living up to the hype, and whose stock is staying steady. Here, we try to make sense of it all with an update on the 2022 NFL Draft Big Board here at NFL Mocks.

The update features an expanse from a top 75 to a top 100, and once again features an overabundance of talent at defensive back and edge defender. The tackle class has added a couple names to watch, and a couple wide receivers are soaring. Everyone wants to discuss the quarterback class, and there’s a new QB1 on the board as the weather cools and the leaves change color.

Plenty is left to be decided as conference play really gets underway and big matchups abound, but let’s look at the latest top 100 for the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100

1. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

There is no change at the top of the 2022 NFL Draft Big Board, as Kyle Hamilton continues to play excellent football. He can do so much, from operating on the back end with excellent range to blitzing and handling man coverage duties. His recognition skills are top notch and he’s a great tackler in space as well.

2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

The top edge rusher in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kayvon Thibodeaux continues to wreak havoc on the field. The stat sheet might not show it, but he’s putting pressure on and hurrying quarterbacks week in and week out.

3. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

It’s been hard to live up to his ridiculously good freshman campaign, but Derek Stingley is still an excellent prospect with great ball skills, instincts, footwork, and the ability to turn and find the football to make plays.

4. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson

Andrew Booth can challenge for CB1 in the 2022 NFL Draft because of his athletic traits and phenomenal ball skills. He’s a menace at the catch point, has good transitions, and is phenomenal at closing downhill to make tackles near the line of scrimmage.

5. DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

Defensive linemen shouldn’t move the way Leal does at his size, and it’ll be interesting to see, with his versatility, where teams want to play him at the next level.

6. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Balance was the main issue for Evan Neal coming into the season, and he’s done a good job at limiting reps where that shows up. Neal is a powerful player who dominates at the point of attack with fleet feet in pass protection.

7. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

A combination of fluid hips, great ball skills, and the prototypical size and physicality would make Kaiir Elam tops in the class in many other years. Still, he’s a phenomenal talent who should go early in the 2022 NFL Draft.

8. Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

Green has seen reps at right tackle a lot this season, and he’s held up just fine. Still, his best position might be to stick inside, where he can use his great footwork and power in a phone booth to keep the pocket from collapsing.

9. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

The top receiver on the 2022 NFL Draft Big Board once again, Garrett Wilson’s combination of route pacing, explosiveness, and deception as a route runner make him a potential WR1 at the next level.

10. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

Linderbaum is playing like the top center in the country, and it’s easy to see why he’s ranked so highly. His power and movement skills make him a very good fit for zone schemes in the NFL.

Next: Nos. 11-20

Sours: https://nflmocks.com/2021/10/06/2022-nfl-draft-big-board-top-100-features-great-defensive-talent/

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Defense dominates the top of updated 2022 NFL Draft big board

2022 NFL Draft big boards are starting to take shape. Here’s why Matt Miller goes heavy on defense in his top player rankings. 

The start of the college football season has shown us a few things. For starters, top quarterbacks Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell seem to be slipping on draft boards due to average-to-poor performances this season, and there aren’t a lot of first-round-worthy receivers in the nation right now who are eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft.

However, this season has also confirmed our suspicion that it looks like the defense is going to dominate the NFL Draft early this year. Recently, NFL Draft analyst, Matt Miller, gave us an early look at his top-50 big board for the upcoming draft. He currently has nine defensive players inside his top ten.

When you really break down the top prospects next year it’s not hard to understand why.

Will defense dominate the top of the 2022 NFL Draft?

Oregon star pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is considered by many (including Matt Miller) to not only be the best defensive prospect in this draft class, but also to be the overall best player entering the draft this year. While he was injured in just his first game this season, Thibodeaux recorded a sack, a tackle for a loss, and a forced fumble before leaving the contest, and his draft stock won’t be affected by his injury.

This is a great year for teams in need of defensive line help, as Miller has five pass rushers inside his top ten players. Along with Thibodeaux, Miller has DeMarvin Leal, Drake Jackson, George Karlaftis, and Aiden Hutchenson all inside his top ten.

In addition, there are a few legitimate blue-chip first-round prospects in the secondary who are sure to be drafted very early. LSU cornerback Derek Stingly is a remarkable prospect who can be a lockdown corner in the NFL, while Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton looks like a true generational prospect who will be a flat-out difference-maker all over the field.

The lone offensive player ranked inside the top ten on Miller’s 2022 NFL Draft board is Alabama offensive tackle, Evan Neal. The mammoth OT has the size, length, and skill set to be a top-five pick in the draft next year.

As quarterbacks and offensive players start to hurt their draft stock, quality defenders are taking their place in draft rankings. But will the draft be dominated by defense early?

This seems unlikely. Teams know the value of the quarterback position and the offensive line. While this might be a terrific defensive class, it’s highly unlikely that no quarterback goes in the top ten picks. When it’s all done, we could see as much as an even offensive-defensive split in the first ten picks.

It will be interesting to monitor these players throughout the year and see if there are any who could continue to build their draft stock. As of now, this looks like a defense-heavy draft in 2022, but several offensive players are sure to crack the top ten next April regardless.

Sours: https://withthefirstpick.com/2021/09/30/defense-dominates-2022-nfl-draft-big-board/
Our 2021 NFL Draft Top-40 Big Board

NFL Draft prospects 2022: Updated big board of top 50 players overall, position rankings

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With the kickoff of another exciting college football season, it's time to look at the updated list of best prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft class. There is plenty of strength at the top of Sporting News' latest big board, with quarterbacks (who else?) carrying the most buzz, whether from the Power 5 or smaller schools.

Wide receivers and offensive linemen also shine brightly in the spotlight, mixed in with some elite impact defenders. Here's scouting out the players to watch most for earning first- or second-round status next April:

NFL MOCK DRAFT 2022:
Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Cincinnati players dominate Round 1

NFL Draft prospects 2022: Big board of top 50 players  

1. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU (6-1, 195 pounds)

Stingley is one of the most dynamic cornerback prospects ever with his pedigree and playmaking resume. He's got great size and speed and can often win his battles with his length and quickness. There are few holes in his coverage game and he's also the ultimate ballhawk.

2. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (6-7, 350 pounds)

Neal will be a dominant blocking force in the NFL. He's ultra-athletic for such a large frame, agile enough to handle the best pass rushers and powerful enough to move defenders out of the way in the running game.

3. Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma (6-1, 200 pounds)

Rattler is in a great offensive system with Lincoln Riley to emerge as an elite prospect this season. He has natural athleticism and accuracy. He just needs to get better with the mental aspects of the game and get a little stronger overall.

4. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (6-1, 215 pounds)

Willis is a new mashup of Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, a fast riser who's gotten more attention for an amazing skill set. He has top-flight athleticism and the strong arm to make every throw. He's also physically and mentally tough.

5. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (6-1, 220 pounds)

Howell is a smart, seasoned and accurate pocket passer. He doesn't have the dynamic athleticism of Rattler and Willis but it wouldn't be surprising if he became a mashup of Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones.

MORE: Each team's worst-ever NFL Draft regret

6. DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M (6-4, 290 pounds)

Leal has the ideal power and explosiveness to disrupt things up front lining up everywhere. He can thrive as either a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 end.

7. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon (6-5, 258 pounds)

Thibodeaux is off the charts athletically in every aspect, an explosive pass rusher and agile pursuit man who covers a ton of ground. He also brings underrated power with the speed.

8. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (6-4, 220 pounds)

Hamilton is smart and physical. He has the instincts and athleticism to diagnose plays and react quickly to make plays all over the field vs. run and pass. He's one of the most complete, intimidating safety prospects ever.

9. Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington (6-7, 310 pounds)

Kirkland is a big athlete made for smooth pass protection. He uses his hands and feet well together to win most of his battles.

10. Kedon Slovis, QB, USC (6-3, 205 pounds)

Slovis can pick up any offense and read any defense with his natural high level of football intelligence. He also delivers accurate balls with good decision-making. He's got to get a little better with his physical skill set in terms of arm and athleticism, but he will help himself by continuing to develop his mechanics and footwork.

11. Kalir Elam, CB, Florida (6-2, 196 pounds)

Elam's physical strength and length stand out as a bigger corner. He is very efficient in coverage with his athleticism, which at times is explosive.

12. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC (6-4, 250 pounds)

Jackson is another agile and versatile outside defender in this class. He could benefit from bulking up and polishing up his pass-rush repertoire.  

13. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State (6-1, 189 pounds)

Olave has great speed, quickness and burst to stand out in a strong wide receiver class.

14. Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati (6-5, 255 pounds)

Sanders is a physical beast with some classic freakish pass-rush qualities. He will be a terror getting to the QB before rounding out his game.

15. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (6-5, 316 pounds)

Nelson is a very agile blocker who can win with his quickness at the line but also get downfield when needed. He is equally reliable in pass protection and the running game.

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16. John Metchie III, WR, Alabama (6-0, 195 pounds)

Metchie is the latest Crimson Tide speed merchant, combining some of the qualities of Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. He also can be a smooth technician like Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith.

17. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson (6-0, 200 pounds)

Booth has fine size, strength and aggressiveness to boost himself in coverage. He also has great ball skills with a nose for big plays.

18. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 188 pounds)

Wilson is a great complement to Olave with his smarts, quickness, route-running and hands. He is dangerous in making plays after the catch.

19. George Karlafits, EDGE, Purdue (6-4, 275 pounds)

Here's another version of a Greek freak as Karlaftis possesses elite athleticism for his size and is still tapping into his immense pass-rush potential.

20. Carson Strong, QB, Nevada (6-4, 215 pounds)

Strong has some Josh Allen qualities to him with ideal size and a massive arm, only with more underrated athleticism.

21. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (6-3, 200 pounds)

Gardner has great agility given his length and can move around wherever need to handle vertical or horizontal coverage.

22. Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State (6-1, 200 pounds)

Banks is an exceptional athlete, the classic size-speed prospect for his position. He just needs to refine his coverage technique.

23. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (6-4, 215 pounds)

Ridder is an aspiring dynamic NFL dual threat with his combination of strong arm and natural running ability. He also has the welcome intangibles, including leadership skills and toughness.

24. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (6-6, 265 pounds)

He's a technically sound and exceptionally strong prospect built to play 4-3 end and would benefit from improving his agility and expanding his pass-rush moves.

25. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (6-3, 290 pounds)

Linderbaum is a strong, athletic and relentless interior blocker. He has the intelligence and natural run blocking skills to be a decade-long fixture in the NFL.

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26. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama (6-2, 232 pounds)

Harris is the typical Crimson Tide top second-level defender with his speed and quickness that translate to sideline-to-sideline playmaking range.

27. Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M (6-4, 325 pounds)

Green is a well-rounded interior blocker with solid size, strength and technique to thrive in the running game for a long time.

28. Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern (6-1, 192 pounds)

Joseph is a natural big playmaker against the pass who also shows off his strength and physicality in cleaning up against the run.

29. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (6-6, 340 pounds)

Davis is getting more attention for the athleticism he possesses to disrupt plays on top of his massive frame.

30. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State (6-3, 241 pounds)

Smith is very athletic and covers a lot of ground in coverage and run support. He can be the ideal strongside star in the NFL.

31. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington (5-11, 195 pounds)

McDuffie offers great explosiveness and quickness to stay with his coverage assignments. He also plays bigger than his size.

32. Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State (6-6, 268 pounds)

Harrison is long and strong and has the versatility to get after quarterbacks in many ways. He also has good speed to balance out his powerful game.

33. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State (6-5, 310 pounds)

Cross has a powerful upper body, strong hands and a mean and nasty aspect to his blocking. He could still develop his agility and footwork to raise his game.

34. Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M (6-5, 255 pounds)

Wydermyer has the ideal physical frame for the position and backs that up with a good mix of physical receiving and smart run blocking.

35. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M (6-1, 215 pounds)

Spiller is built to be a physical back in the NFL with his ability to grind and pound out all the tough yardage between the tackles.

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36. Zion Johnson, OT/G, Boston College (6-3, 316 pounds)

Johnson's calling card for the Eagles has been strong and powerful run blocking. He is a road grader with the hands and enough agility to play either inside or at right tackle.

37. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (6-3, 225 pounds)

Burks is a huge target with reliable big hands to match. He can dominate smaller, less physical corners and has deceptive speed.

38. Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky (6-5, 345 pounds)

Kinnard is a powerful run blocker who could use some refinement with his technique and how to best use his athleticism in pass protection. That points to him playing inside well in the NFL.

39. George Pickens, WR, Georgia (6-3, 200 pounds)

The biggest concerns with Pickens are tied to putting it all together with his health and intangibles. Otherwise, he's an impressive size-speed prospect who isn't afraid to get physical.

40. Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma (6-4, 292 pounds)

Winfrey offers good length and powerful moves. He needs to refine his technique and improve his effective speed to keep up the playmaking in the NFL.

41. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama (6-1, 210 pounds)

Battle is a cerebral playmaker who looks the part and has fine pedigree from his high-level cleaning up in Nick Saban's defense.

42. Brenton Cox Jr., EDGE, Florida (6-4, 253 pounds)

Cox is a bit of a scheme 'tweener with power and strength as his most favorable assets. He can develop the agility to be trusted in coverage in the NFL.

43. Tykee Smith, S, Georgia (5-10, 198 pounds)

Smith is a solid all-around safety prospect who stands out most because of his intelligence in reading the field and versatility to make plays everywhere.

44. Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama (6-1, 194 pounds)

Jobe isn't the biggest blazer, but he provides nice length and strength to help with his coverage. He is confident in his game, seen in how physical and aggressive he is.

45. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson (6-4, 205 pounds)

Ross has a strong frame, which helps him excel as a physical and technical route-runner. He needs to come back strong from injury to raise his speed and quickness as a big possession target.

46. Cade Otton, TE, Washington (6-5, 250 pounds)

Otton is a superb athlete for the position and backs that up with reliable route-running and hands. He has room to grow as a blocker to match his frame.

47. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma (6-3, 240 pounds)

Bonitto has good versatility and quickness for his size with balanced passing game skills as a rusher and cover man.

48. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (6-0, 200 pounds)

Corral is a dynamic athlete and confident runner who also shows aggressiveness with a big arm. His raw skills give him a lot of intrigue and upside.

49. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State (6-1, 220 pounds)

Hall stands out with his ability to elude tacklers and explode for big plays in the open field. He can go from home-run hitter to more complete back.

50. David Bell, WR, Purdue (6-2, 205 pounds)

Bell has a rare blend of physicality and speed for the position. He excels at both bursting after the catch and stretching the field, using his body well to get open.

NFL Draft prospect rankings: Best players by position  

Quarterbacks  

  1. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
  2. Malik Willis, Liberty
  3. Sam Howell, North Carolina
  4. Kedon Slovis, USC
  5. Carson Strong, Nevada
  6. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
  7. Matt Corral, Ole Miss
  8. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Running backs

  1. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
  2. Breece Hall, Iowa State
  3. Zamir White, Georgia
  4. Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
  5. Eric Gray, Oklahoma
  6. Zonovan Knight, NC State
  7. Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss

Wide receivers 

  1. Chris Olave, Ohio State
  2. John Metchie III, Alabama
  3. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
  4. Treylon Burks, Arkansas
  5. George Pickens, Georgia
  6. Justyn Ross, Clemson
  7. David Bell, Purdue
  8. Jahan Dotson, Penn State
  9. Romeo Doubs, Nevada
  10. Tre Turner, Virginia Tech
  11. Drake London, USC
  12. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

Tight ends

  1. Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M
  2. Cade Otton, Washington
  3. Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
  4. Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama
  5. Austin Stogner, Oklahoma
  6. Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State
  7. Will Malory, Miami
  8. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin

Offensive linemen  

  1. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  2. Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
  3. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami
  4. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
  5. Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
  6. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
  7. Zion Johnson, OT/G, Boston College
  8. Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky
  9. Rasheed Walker, OT Penn State
  10. Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
  11. Thayer Munford, OT, Ohio State
  12. Alec Lindstrom, C, Boston College
  13. Tyrese Robinson, G, Oklahoma
  14. Logan Brown, OT, Wisconsin
  15. Ed Ingram, G, LSU

Edge rushers

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
  2. Drake Jackson, USC
  3. Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati
  4. George Karlaftis, Purdue
  5. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
  6. Zach Harrison, Ohio State
  7. Brenton Cox Jr., Florida
  8. Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
  9. Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
  10. Adam Anderson, Georgia
  11. Tyreke Smith, Ohio State
  12. Ali Gaye, LSU
  13. Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma

Defensive tackles   

  1. DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
  2. Jordan Davis, Georgia
  3. Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
  4. Tyler Davis, Clemson
  5. Chris Hinton, Michigan
  6. Deslin Alexandre, Pittsburgh
  7. Haskell Garrett, Ohio State
  8. D.J. Dale, Alabama
  9. Cory Durden, NC State

Linebackers   

  1. Christian Harris, Alabama
  2. Brandon Smith, Penn State
  3. Henry To'o-To'o, Alabama
  4. Ventrell Miller, Florida
  5. Nolan Smith, Georgia
  6. Mike Jones Jr., LSU
  7. Devin Lloyd, Utah
  8. Nakobe Dean, Georgia
  9. Merlin Robertson, Arizona State

Cornerbacks

  1. Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
  2. Kaiir Elam, Florida  
  3. Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
  4. Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
  5. Sevyn Banks, Ohio State
  6. Trent McDuffie, Washington
  7. Josh Jobe, Alabama
  8. Mykael Wright, Oregon
  9. Derion Kendrick, Georgia
  10. Isaac Taylor-Stuart, USC
  11. Tiawan Mullen, Indiana
  12. Akayleb Evans, Missouri
  13. Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

Safeties

  1. Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
  2. Brandon Joseph, Northwestern
  3. Jordan Battle, Alabama
  4. Tykee Smith, Georgia
  5. Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
  6. Lewis Cine, Georgia
  7. Jalen Catalon, Arkansas
  8. Bubba Bolden, Miami
  9. Smoke Monday, Auburn
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