2022 NFL Draft Top Prospects First Look: Top 25
25 OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M (Jr.)
Green started as a true freshman and got better and better over his first two years. The 6-4, 325-pound left guard has the NFL drive and power for a strong A&M O line, and he’s got the starting experience to be ready for a massive junior season. No, he’s not as bulky as some might like, but he moves people.
24 WR George Pickens, Georgia (Jr.)
The knee – that’s the only reason he’s this low.
Pickens might not be a blazer, but he’s a 6-3, 200-pound No. 1 next-level receiver who knows how to go get the ball and handle himself as the main man. He averaged close to 15 yards per catch over the last two years for a team that didn’t throw a whole lot of deep passes, making 85 grabs for 1,240 yards and 14 scores. However, he tore his ACL this offseason.
23 OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State (Soph.)
All that’s missing is the raw bulk. He’s a long, too-lean, 6-5, 305-pound tackle who’s young enough to keep growing into his frame. The athleticism, feet and length are all there to be an NFL left tackle, but he has to be able to bring more thump.
22 WR Chris Olave, Ohio State
He’s not going to push anyone around, and he’s around a 4.5ish runner and not a true blazer, but he’s always open and he’s always making things happen. Good luck finding a slipperier receiver in college football.
The 6-1, 189-pounder could’ve hit the NFL early, but he came back after making 110 catches for 1,766 yards and 22 touchdowns in his three years, he’ll put up huge numbers, and he’ll be in the mix for the Biletnikoff.
21 C/OG Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa (Jr.)
The size isn’t there. He’s only 6-3 and 289 pounds – he’ll drop because of it – but he’s a technician who’ll be some NFL team’s starting center for a long, long time – as long as it’s with the right type of offense. He makes up for his lack of bulk with strength, power, and the smarts to be the quarterback up front.
20 QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (Soph.)
The first program-grown Oklahoma starting quarterback in the Lincoln Riley era – the other top guys were all transfers – he was supposed to fit the offense perfectly, and he showed late last year that it’s coming. He might not be all that big, but it’s not like that mattered to the NFL when it came to Baker and Kyler and Jalen.
He doesn’t move like Murray or Hurts, and he isn’t the intangible playmaker that Mayfield was and is, but he’s got the arm, the passing ability, and the moxie to take his game to a whole other level and be the next OU NFL starter.
19 CB Kaiir Elam, Florida (Jr.)
A ball-hawking corner who came up with 39 tackles with two interceptions and 11 broken up passes, he’s a 4.4 cover-corner with 6-2, 195-pound size, great length, and the makeup to be a CB1 as long as he’s not asked to get too physical.
18 CB Sevyn Banks, Ohio State
To get the bad part out of the way, he’s a tweener at the next level. He’s not going to bring the otherworldly speed, but he’s a 6-1, 200-pound physical defender who might project to safety. And then there’s the prediction – he needs to do more.
The 34 tackles with one pick and nine broken up passes in two years aren’t enough to wow anyone, but he’ll bang around receivers and he’s more than great as a No. 1 college corner.
17 LB/EDGE Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma (Jr.)
A rising college football star, the 6-3, 234-pounder has good NFL hybrid size, a great burst, and he’s growing into the gig with nine sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in his ten games last season. Under the radar, this year watch out as he blows up into all-star honors as a double-digit sack man.
16 LB Brenton Cox, Florida (Jr.)
A true inside presence, he’s a 6-4, 252-pound thumper who started out at Georgia, sat out in 2019, and now is finding his way with the Gators. He could use a big tackling season to be up this high, but he’s got the bulk, the pass rushing ability, and the honor roll smarts to be a quarterback of someone’s D.