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NFL

Who are the top 5 QBs, RBs, WRs, and DEs in the 2022 NFL Draft?

The 2022 NFL draft is looking like it might see several defensive players go first, and it’s not a huge year for quarterbacks, but they aren’t to be overlooked.

Jennifer Bubel
Update:

Football is back! Well, almost. The 2022 NFL Draft starts this Thursday, April 28. This year, the Jets and the Giants are leading the draft, with two picks each in the top ten. I wouldn’t be shocked if no team picks a quarterback, receiver, or running back in the first ten, but that’s not necessarily because of the players themselves, but also due to the teams’ needs.

That being said, the quarterbacks this year are admittedly not the most exciting. There isn’t a “gotta have him” QB, but alas, let’s take a look at the top five anyway.

The full list of rounds and picks in the NFL Draft here.

Top five quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class

1. Malik Willis, Liberty

Willis is known for his strong arm, but he’s also a talented rusher. He has the ability to stay in the game with his rushing but he also has shown he can make big plays to change the game when it matters.

2. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

When everyone talks about Pickett, they talk about his small hands, which indeed could be problematic if conditions aren’t great. He improved significantly in his last year at Pittsburgh, going from 10 big-time throws in 2020 to 29 in 2021.

3. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Ridder made a name for himself in his final year at Cincinnati. He did really well in the combine as well, with a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, which is in the 95th percentile among QB prospects in the draft.

4. Matt Corral, Ole Miss

Corral’s best attribute is his accuracy. He’s good at protecting the ball, but he does have a history of injuries and his arm isn’t as strong as Willis, for example.

5. Sam Howell, North Carolina

Howell has a good arm and is decent in the pocket. He can run the ball and break tackles. As far as accuracy though, he needs work.

At the wide receiver position, things do get a bit more exciting. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if one doesn’t go in the top ten, I wouldn’t be surprised if one did either. There is some talent at the WR position. Let’s take a look.

Top five wider receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft class

1. Chris Olave, Ohio State

Olave’s speed is what makes him stand out. He helped his quarterbacks deliver downfield with his quickness and showed off that skill even more at the combine, running a 4.26.

2. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

Olave’s teammate, Wilson, is also a top WR prospect. He is good at running routes and though perhaps not as quick as Olave, he’s still got impressive speed.

3. Jameson Williams, Alabama

Williams actually used to play with Olave and Wilson as well, but apart from them, he became the No. 1 receiver at Alabama. He knows how to make big plays and has the technical abilities necessary as well.

4. Drake London, USC

London is another receiver who can make the big plays. He’s got speed and agility and could be a threat in the red zone.

5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Dotson is a great route-runner who gets creative getting to the ball, making big plays and showing off his athleticism. His quickness and determination put him in the top five.

There are no Najee Harris-level players at the running back position this year, so I don’t foresee one going in the top, with so many good ones available in free agency. However, there is one player who had a breakout season, plus plenty of options in the second round.

Top five running backs in the 2022 NFL Draft class

1. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

Walker made himself known in his last year at Michigan State when he led college football with 89 broken tackles. He’s got a large build and good control.

2. Breece Hall, Iowa State

Hall is instinctive and has size, power, and cleverness on his side. He finished his college career at Iowa State with five touchdown runs of 75 yards or more.

3. James Cook, Georgia

Cook’s not super strong or aggressive, but he’s quick. He was Georgia’s leading receiver with 112 yards, one touchdown, and four receptions in their bowl game against Michigan, which they won 34-11.

4. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

Spiller isn’t the fastest, so there’s concern about his ability to escape, but given the right protection and men around him, he could thrive. He could be a late second round pick.

5. Brian Robinson, Alabama

Robinson is the short-yardage bruiser in the 2022 draft class. In his final year at Alabama, he had a breakout season with 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Now we’re to the really fun part. The 2022 NFL draft class is full of talented pass rushers from day one and into the second round. The top two on the list will likely be competing for the No. 1 overall pick and it’s likely the next three will go in the first round as well.

Top five edge defenders in the 2022 NFL Draft class

1. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Competing for the No. 1 overall pick, Hutchinson set a school record at Michigan with 14 sacks in a single season. That’s triple what he recorded in his first three years combined. He continued to impress at the combine, putting him at the top of the draft prospects.

2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

Thibodeaux is a skilled and powerful edge defender who plays fast and aggressively. He’s explosive and can win with technique and effort alone, with various ways to get home.

3. Travon Walker, Georgia

Walker is a big guy at 6′5″ and 275 pounds and he more than impressed at the combine, taking him to the top of the draft boards. He’s got size, strength, and explosiveness. In fact, he’s recently shot up to the No. 1 favorite.

4. George Karlaftis, Purdue

Karlaftis is versatile and durable. He played 49 snaps or more in all but one game last season. He’s an explosive pass rusher but less versatile than his competition up there.

5. Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State

Johnson is one of the better edge-setters in this draft class with 23 run stops and 14 sacks last season for Florida State. It was a breakout year for the player, who transferred from Georgia State.


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