2022 NFL Draft: Podloski’s Top 100 Big Board

NFL Draft

The 2022 NFL Draft is one of the most significant parts of the NFL offseason and signals that the new season is almost upon us. This big board takes into account the positional value, upside, and talent when deciding where each player ranks. The philosophy of the author for the Big Board and where players rank is also based on: What can the prospect do now and what will they be able to do with the right coaching? For the tiebreakers between some players, the decision goes to the player with more upside. With that said, let’s dive into the big board.  

Make sure to check out all of our NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Also, check out all of our NFL Team Mock Drafts.

1. Kyle Hamilton, FS, Notre Dame,

Hamilton is this year’s top prospect despite playing a position many would not normally put at the top of a big board. It is his range, ability to be versatile, and be a playmaker which allows him to make plays most other safeties cannot. He can drop into coverage, be a good box defender, and lock up in man coverage and draws comparisons to Derwin James for his game. 

Grade: Top Five 

2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon

Thibodeaux rushes the passer with smooth and concise movement which allows him to win a multitude of ways. His power in his hands shows up play to play in the run game and allows him to take on blockers and blow up plays. However, his best trait is his balance and bend which allows him to win outside while also setting up moves to come back inside.

Grade: Top Ten 

3. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Neal’s athletic ability and balance stand out on tape. For a 6’7” and 360 lbs unit, the movement skills mixed with his body control are rare. As a pass blocker, he is a mountain to get around, yet on twists and stunts, he has the general awareness to prevent them from happening. He should be a starter on day one for most NFL teams. 

Grade: Top Ten 

4. Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

The quickness and speed Ekwonu has makes him a really intriguing prospect. His trait and style of play give him some shades of Trent Williams. His floor as a run blocker is arguably elite, where he can be the lead blocker and pull effectively. The scary thing is, he is still getting better and has a very high ceiling with the tools and athletic ability he brings. 

Grade: Top Ten 

5. Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Walker has 35-inch arms and flashes elite athleticism play to play with his burst, speed, and power all while being 275 lbs. However, he is an unfinished prospect lacking multiple pass-rushing moves and sometimes relying on athleticism alone. Yet even as a raw prospect, he was productive in Georgia’s defense. In short, he will remind teams of Rashan Gary, who was also a somewhat raw player but then was able to put it together and become a dominant force on the Green Bay Packers defense. 

Grade: Top Ten 

6. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue

Karlaftis is over-critiqued, largely due to his production and for playing on a Purdue defense that lacked other pieces on the defensive line. In short, many offenses planned ways to take him out of games, sometimes even triple-teaming him because he was the only threat on the defense. His power and burst make him a threat to win every pass-rushing situation.  

Grade: Top Ten 

7. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

Wilson is arguably the most pro-ready receiver but also has the most upside in his game. His dominant route running and suddenness will give many cornerbacks problems. With a great understanding of the defensive scheme, nuanced route running, and run after the catch ability, he had shades of Stefon Diggs in his game. Overall, he should be able to come in and be a top receiver for most teams in his rookie year. 

Grade: Top Ten 

8. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU

Stingley is intriguing as his development as a prospect did not occur linearly. His best year came in 2019 and since then he’s had nagging injuries. Yet with that said, his freakish athleticism and match and mirror ability in man coverage give him the potential to be an island corner or a corner who does not need assistance from any other player on the secondary. 

Grade: Top Ten

9. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

Linderbaum is arguably the best center prospect since Nick Mangold and bolsters an incredible floor as a prospect. Fans should expect Linderbaum to make an immediate impact wherever he plays as his quickness and movement skills are unmatched. Pair the movement skills with power and his wrestling background, and you could have a top center for many years to come. 

Grade: Top Ten 

10. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Gardner is a 6’3″ corner who excels in press coverage. His ability to lock up receivers and use his length is what will make him a great corner in the NFL. As well, his ball skills, length, and ability to match and mirror will give him the advantage to win at the catch point in the NFL.

Grade: Top Ten 

11. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

Hutchinson has one of the highest floors of any prospect in this class. He has the ability to be an impact pass rusher from day one. He’s an athletic freak with length, which gives him multiple ways to win. As a run defender he plays upright and can be taken out by double teams, however, he can still be coached up to become more effective.

Grade: Top Ten 

12. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

Williams is a top 15 prospect even with the torn ACL. Put simply, Williams is already a complete downfield receiver who excels in a number of things. He has elite speed, where that fifth gear just kicks on and gives him the advantage. Then his ability to track the ball downfield while making adjustments is starter caliber in the NFL. Both the speed and pro-ready deep receiving ability shows why Williams will be a dynamic player for any offense.   

Grade: First Round 

13. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

The modern NFL is trending towards a passing game, where offensive tackles have to pass block for 30 to 50 snaps a game. Cross excels in pass blocking reps, as he’s a smooth athlete with great movement skills and hand placement which gives him the advantage against most pass rushers. Cross needs to work on run blocking, but with a high floor as a pass blocker, he should be a day one starter for most NFL teams. 

Grade: First Round 

14. Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

Green is extremely versatile, to the point he can play four out of five positions on the offensive line in the NFL. He’s really well-rounded in the passing game with his balance and hand placement. Whereas in the run game he can win in tight spaces and be a lead blocker on pulls and tosses. Overall, Green is a safe player with positional versatility.  

Grade: First Round 

15. Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson

Booth looked excellent against average NCAA competition this past year. He shows willingness and tenacity when filling in the run and making tackles. His best attribute is the ball skills at the catch, where he’s able to make a play on the ball or drive contact on receivers to contest the pass.  His ability to recognize plays and his overall athleticism will allow him to make dynamic plays and lock up good receivers in the league. 

Grade: First Round 

16. Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State

The rise of Johnson to the middle of the first round started at the Senior Bowl when he showed the ability to win with a number of pass-rushing tools. His hand usage along with his speed-to-power gives him the advantage in one-on-ones. Johnson shows effort on every play and has the frame and developmental traits to become a top edge rusher on any NFL team.  

Grade: First Round 

17. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

Davis is a behemoth and will be a significant force in any defensive line. While the NFL is going to a more pass happy game, there is a role for Davis who will be able to draw and beat double teams. He can be a force in the run game who changes the makeup of any defensive line due to his size and power. 

 Grade: First Round 

18. Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia

Wyatt would be the best defensive tackle if not for playing next to the behemoth in Davis. Wyatt is a completely different playstyle than Davis, using quickness and burst to blows up plays. In addition, his change of direction and ability to win one on one will make him a coveted player this draft.

Grade: First Round 

19. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

Elam is a shade above 6’1” and 191 lbs while being a lengthy corner. He also has great hip fluidity and movement skills allowing him to make plays other cornerbacks cannot. As a strong press cornerback,  Elam has the ability to contest almost every pass thrown his way and win most situations. Whereas in zone coverage, his play recognition will allow him to make plays on the ball and generate pass breakups.  

Grade: First Round 

20. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

In the passing game, Lloyd is great in zone coverage and play recognition, whereas his man-to-man coverage ability may lack early in his career. Yet for Lloyd, it will be his in-the-box play that turns heads and makes him valuable. His ability to get to the passer and blow up runs will make him an asset on any defense. 

Grade: First Round 

21. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles at his pro day and likely will not play this season. The concern is the injury may hinder his explosiveness, burst, and change of direction. Still, as a pass rusher, he has tremendous upside with his traits and he should still be a late first-round pick.

Grade: First Round 

22. George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Pickens is an alpha-level receiver, capable of being an “X” or contested-catch player on the outside. What goes under-recognized is his wiggle, and subtle ability to generate separation, both of which allow him to beat man coverage. Pickens had torn his ACL last spring and played 63 snaps this season. If he had been fully healthy he would arguably have a higher ranking. 

Grade: First Round 

23. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

For a prospect to go from tight end to offensive tackle in 2020 and then be considered a first-round prospect tells you the kind of upside Rainmann has. His movement skills and development within the last year show that with NFL coaching, he could be a very capable NFL starter. Overall, Rainmann could anchor a line for a long time if he receives the right coaching. 

Grade: First Round 

24. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Olave is a smooth and savvy route runner who should hit the ground running in the NFL. The concern for him is play strength and if he can work through contact at the next level, but as a minimum Olave should provide offenses a separator who offers some speed. As a player comparison, Olave has shades of Calvin Ridley in his game, with the ability to be a reliable chain mover and exploit holes in NFL defenses.

Grade: First Round 

25. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Willis brings a high floor to any offense with his ability to scramble and create plays when structure breaks down. His canon for an arm, paired with elusiveness allows him to threaten defenses with home-run plays. While the play to play consistently can get better, the flashes and electrifying runs will generate some highlight-reel plays in the NFL.

Grade: Second Round 

The Remaining Top 100

26. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
27. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
28. Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
29. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
30. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
31. Zion Johnson, iOL, Boston College
32. Skyy Moore, WR, Eastern Michigan
33. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
34. Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
35. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
36. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
37. Demarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M
38. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
39. Drake London, WR, USC
40. Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
41. Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
42. Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
43. Travis Jones, NT, UConn
44. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
45. Sean Rhyan, OT, UCLA
46. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
47. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
48. Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego St.
49. Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
50. Christian Watson, WR, NDSU
51. Alec Lindstrom, iOL, Boston College
52. Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
53. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
54. Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
55. Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
56. Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
57. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St.
58. David Bell, WR, Purdue
59. Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
60. Brian Asamoah, LB,  Oklahoma
61. Logan Hall, EDGE, Houston
62. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
63. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
64. John Metchie, WR, Alabama
65. Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
66. Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
67. Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
68. Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
69. Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington St.
70. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
71. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
72. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
73. Dylan Parham, IOL, Memphis
74. Jamaree Salyer, IOL, Georgia
75. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
76. Ed Ingram, iOL, LSU
77. Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
78. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
79. Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
80. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
81. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
82. Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
83. Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee
84. Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
85. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
86. Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
87. Darian Kinnard, iOL, Kentucky
88. Mykael Wright, CB, Oregon
89. Cade Otton, TE, Washington
90. Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
91. Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
92. Thayer Munford, iOL, Ohio State
93. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
94. Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee
95. Joshua Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky
96. Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
97. Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
98. Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky
99. D’Vonte Price, RB, Florida International
100. Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis

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