PTST Staff: 2022 NFL Draft Rankingsby Charlie Parent April 27, 2022 0 comments
The 2022 NFL Draft is finally here and the Prime Time Sports Talk staff has released their official rankings for each position. These rankings are our top five at each spot on the field, and the true difference makers in this draft. Some may not go early, so keep in mind the names in the latter half, as all of these players have the potential to become stars one day. In addition to their rankings, each writer provided who he believes is the most overrated and underrated player in the draft class.
Also, be sure to check out all of our 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports.
The Most Overrated Prospect
Charlie - The Entire Offensive Tackle Class
Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu are very, very good football players, but after them this class is dreadful. Charles Cross gets a firm second-round grade from me, although there is plenty of potential with him. Outside of Cross, we have players like Luke Goedeke and Abraham Lucas, who are very underrated, though still third-round grades. Then, there’s Trevor Penning. I actually gave Penning an early second-round grade after the Senior Bowl. However, after serious reevaluation, he comes in as the seventh-best offensive tackle with a fourth-round grade. Overall, none of the guys outside of the top two can start right away, unlike what everyone is claiming.
Mike - Malik Willis
Willis might be the best quarterback in this draft class, but anyone calling him a generational talent or a top-10 prospect is out of their mind. He has plenty of physical upside, which makes him appealing to NFL teams. However, Willis shouldn’t see the field as a rookie. The level of competition he played at Liberty is a massive concern. Furthermore, Willis was awful against Ole Miss last season. He would have been a third-round pick if he was in last year’s draft class.
Mason - Charles Cross
All the chatter around the league is pointing towards Cross being a top-10 pick. He could even be selected before the likes of Neal and Ekwonu, from what the media is saying. This would be absurd. While Cross isn't a bad player, he got a second-round grade for me. The pass blocking, footwork, and length are very good. However, Cross doesn’t offer much else. His efforts against the run game are weak, and the only thing he does well is seal defenders off when finishing the play. The potential is there, but Cross is not that Week 1 elite starter everyone is making him out to be.
Brady - Christian Watson
Watson has blazing speed, clocking a 4.36 40-yard dash, which shows up on film. He also has great size to be a complete receiver at 6’4” and 208 pounds. Watson has significant upside, but he should scare most evaluators. On one hand, his tools are insanely good, but on the other hand, there are notable concerns that could hinder his transition and development in the NFL. The most critical concern is the lower level of competition and average production, where Watson would simply have to outrun defenders to score. As an older prospect, Watson has too many red flags to be taken so early.
Chris - Drake London
London shot up draft boards after an excellent junior season with the USC Trojans. He hauled in 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns. A big-bodied jump-ball receiver, question marks remain if he can create separation at the NFL level. He also lacks an elite burst in the short and intermediate areas, leading him to need to use his big body to shield off opposing defenders. Touted as the best wide receiver in the draft class by some, he is better suited to be an early day two pick.
The Most Underrated Prospect
Charlie - George Karlaftis
In no way should Karlaftis be getting thrown out of the first round. Personally, I have him in my top 10 on the big board. He has unreal strength, a constant impact, and great hands. Those arguing that his production isn’t high enough, or arms not long enough, clearly did not watch the film. There were athleticism concerns a few months ago, but after his tests, those can be brushed away. Every team in the top 15 should have Karlatfis as one of the top guys on their board.
Mike - Alec Pierce
Most have Pierce as a Day 2 selection. However, I have a late first-round grade on him. He has some weaknesses, like every wide receiver in this draft class. However, Pierce gives off massive Jordy Nelson-like vibes. He has confident hands and is a dangerous weapon downfield. Pierce can also play a role in the red zone and the middle of the field. Every year there is a second or third-round wide receiver who turns into a star. This year, that wide receiver is Pierce.
Mason - Troy Andersen
Andersen first turned some heads with a 4.42 40-yard dash at the Montana State Pro Day. Pair this with elite explosive testing and we are looking at a guy with absurd closing speed and pursuit. He doesn’t have all the experience in the world at the linebacker spot, though he’ll still be able to plug in at the WILL position right away, before transitioning over to MIKE later on in his career. However, that’s not all. Based on past experience, Andersen could be able to get in on some offensive packages because he’s succeeded as both a quarterback and running back earlier in his career.
Brady - George Pickens
Pickens has flashed highlight-level plays consistently throughout his career at Georgia. He’s a well-rounded receiver with length and has wiggle in his route running. Thus, making him someone who can be an alpha-level receiver in the NFL. The spatial awareness near the sideline, body control, catch radius, and sure-hands give Pickens a significant ceiling to develop in the NFL. Had it not been for the ACL injury, Pickens may have been talked about as an early to a mid-first-round player.
Chris - Leo Chenal
Quickly developing into one of the best defenders in the nation last season, Chenal shined in Jim Leonhard's defense at Wisconsin. The 21-year-old linebacker racked up a team-high eight sacks and 115 tackles, with 17.5 of their being for a loss across 11 games. Possessing the ability to be an early-down inside linebacker at the pro level, Chenal has the power and tackling ability to come down and meet opposing players in the hole. Furthermore, he can also quickly diagnose opposing schemes and make plays from sideline to sideline.
Follow the experts on Twitter:
Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
Mike Fanelli on Twitter @Mike_NFL2
Mason Thompson on Twitter @Thompson22Mason
Brady Podloski on Twitter @BpodNFL
Chris Gallagher on Twitter @ChrisGally06
Main Image Credit: via NFL.com