2022 NFL Draft Big Board

by Tyler Marling
2022 NFL Draft Big Board

The NFL Combine is behind us now and NFL Free Agency is off to a hot start! Some of these signings (and trades!) are having a potentially huge impact on the upcoming NFL Draft. But that's what makes the 2022 NFL Draft Big Board so interesting. While teams' needs are rapidly changing, the best player available becomes more and more likely to get drafted over best fit!

The goal of an NFL Draft Big Board is not to guess the order in which players will be drafted. The goal is to rank them based on talent without taking positional value into consideration.

Click here to view our latest NFL Mock Draft.

2022 NFL Draft Big Board

RankPlayerPositionSchool
1Kyle HamiltonSNotre Dame Fighting Irish
2Evan NealOTAlabama Crimson Tide
3Aidan HutchinsonEDGEMichigan Wolverines
4Kayvon ThibodeauxEDGEOregon Ducks
5Ahmad GardnerCBCincinnati Bearcats
6Icky EkwonuOGNorth Carolina State Wolfpack
7Garrett WilsonWROhio State Buckeyes
8Tyler LinderbaumOLIowa Hawkeyes
9Charles CrossOTMississippi State Bulldogs
10Jordan DavisDTGeorgia Bulldogs
11Derek Stingley Jr.CBLSU Tigers
12Devin LloydLBUtah Utes
13George KaraliftisEDGEPurdue Boilermakers
14Drake LondonWRUSC Trojans
15Chris OlaveWROhio State Buckeyes
16Kenyon GreenOGTexas A&M Aggies
17Nakobe DeanLBGeorgia Bulldogs
18Malik WillisQBLiberty Flames
19Jermaine JohnsonEDGEFlorida State Seminoles
20David OjaboEDGEMichigan Wolverines
21Kaiir ElamCBFlorida Gators
22Jameson WilliamsWRAlabama Crimson Tide
23DeMarvin LealDTTexas A&M Aggies
24Kenny PickettQBPittsburgh Panthers
25Kingsley EnagbareEDGESouth Carolina Gamecocks
26Trent McDuffieCBWashington Huskies
27Treylon BurksWRArkansas Razorbacks
28Andrew Booth Jr.CBClemson Tigers
29Roger McCrearyCBAuburn Tigers
30Travon WalkerEDGEGeorgia Bulldogs
31Trevor PenningOTNorthern Iowa Panthers
32Jahan DotsonWRPenn State Nittany Lions
33Drake JacksonEDGEUSC Trojans
34Daxton HillSMichigan Wolverines
35Nicholas Petit-FrereOTOhio State Buckeyes
36Jaquan BriskerSPenn State Nittany Lions
37Matt CorralQBOle Miss Rebels
38Desmond RidderQBCincinnati Bearcats
39Sam HowellQBNorth Carolina Tarheels
40Lewis CineSGeorgia Bulldogs
41Zion JohnsonOT/OGBoston College Eagles
42Bernhard RaimannOTCentral Michigan Chippewas
43Brandon SmithLBPenn State Nittany Lions
44Kenneth Walker IIIRBMichigan State Spartans
45Nik BonittoEDGEOklahoma Sooners
46Trey McBrideTEColorado State Rams
47Devonte WyattDTGeorgia Bulldogs
48Breece HallRBIowa State Cyclones
49Christian HarrisLBAlabama Crimson Tide
50Arnold EbiketieEDGEPenn State Nittany Lions

Post-NFL Combine Update

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  • Malik Willis is now firmly entrenched as QB1 for me and has vaulted all the way up to 18th in our latest Big Board. Willis has put together multiple strong showings in key events during the NFL Draft process. He displayed a cannon at the combine after a strong Senior Bowl impression. He's a bit raw and hasn't faced great competition, but his toolset makes him the clear QB1.
  • Ahmad Gardner is now CB1 and I don't see that changing either. Gardner is big, long, and athletic with loose hips. He showed great mobility and agility in drills at the combine. Gardner has a chance to be a lockdown corner in the NFL.
  • Jordan Davis has jumped into the top 10 after the big man showed some absolute freakish athletic ability. Not only is this mammoth of a human a great space-eater against the run but he showed some legitimate world-class athleticism.
  • Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson also showed really well and he has jumped into the top-20 on my big board. He is going to be one of the first five to seven edge rushers off of the board in what is a very deep class for edge talent.

Post Senior Bowl Update

  • Malik Willis has now entered the conversation for QB1 after a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl. Willis wasn't in my initial top 50, but he enters the fray at 32 in the second iteration. The NFL Draft Combine will allow him to continue to climb as tries to track down Matt Corral and Kenny Pickett for QB1.
  • Speaking of QB1, Kenny Pickett has overtaken Matt Corral for this slot after a solid Senior Bowl showing also, especially in the interview phase. I know, the interview portion of the draft process is hard for some to get on board with, but it is an important piece. When guys are as close as they are, it is often the tiebreaker.
  • Evan Neal, who I already had highly rated, has jumped up to the number two prospect. I think he could also be the first pick and have him slotted there in our latest NFL Mock Draft.
  • The luster around Kayvon Thibodeaux is wearing off a bit as the draft process rolls on. His physical talent is out of this world but questions about his motor have started to come up. He falls from the top spot down to fifth.
  • There has been some movement at wide receiver also. Garrett Wilson still tops the charts for me as WR1, but Drake London is nipping at his heels and has jumped to WR2. Jameson Williams has dropped some due to his ACL injury but is still WR4.
  • Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner is CB2 and I wouldn't be surprised if he vaulted in front of Derrick Stingley Jr. for CB1 after the draft combine. Gardner was a stud all season and had a fantastic showing in the college football playoffs. He has the size, athleticism, and hips to be a lockdown corner in the NFL.
  • Lastly, we now have a TE in the top 50 as Colorado State TE Trey McBride has been added. Don't be surprised to see him climb higher throughout the draft process. I do want to note, also, that Ohio State TE Jeremy Ruckert is knocking on the door after a strong Senior Bowl week as well.

A Thin Crop of Quarterbacks

Fans of the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans will be disappointed with this year's class of quarterbacks. Only three quarterbacks are slotted in the top 32 on our big board. The top signal-caller on our big board, checking in at 20, is Pittsburgh' Kenny Pickett. Pickett had a fantastic season this year, however, he isn't a can't miss prospect at quarterback.

Next up at the quarterback position, Matt Corral.  Corral is not the same type of can't miss prospect like that of Rebel greats of the past like Eli Manning.

Unless someone like Sam Howell, Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder or Carson Strong fly up draft boards during this year's draft combine, quarterback-needy teams will need to look elsewhere to fill out their rosters.

Getting Defensive

Defense dominates the 2022 NFL Draft Big Board. Coming in at number one overall on our 2022 NFL Draft big board is Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton is someone I'm really high on at 6'4'' and 220 pounds. There is an outside chance that he could be moved down to an outside linebacker at the NFL level. However, he is fluid enough to play safety. His size and agility are what make him so coveted and talented.

Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux entered the preseason as the presumed number one draft pick in 2022. While he wasn't quite as dominant as NFL brass might have hoped for, he still has shown enough to be at the top of draft boards.

Aidan Hutchinson has been an absolute freight train this season coming off of the edge for the Michigan Wolverines. Coming into the season he was looked at as a top-15 prospect. Now? He's a sure-fire top-five pick and may fight for the top spot. In the biggest game of the season, against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Hutchinson recorded three sacks and an absurd 15 QB pressures.

Derek Stingley Jr. comes in at number three despite a disappointing injury-riddled season. However, what he has put on tape in his previous two seasons in Baton Rouge far outweigh one misnomer of a season.

Strong Showing from the Wide Receiver Group

Perhaps the strongest position group in the 2022 NFL Draft class is at wide receiver. There are five or six talented first-rounders from this group - Garrett Wilson, Drake London, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks and Jahan Dotson.

Wide receiver needy teams are in luck with this crop of studs. For instance, a team like the Cleveland Browns needs a receiving threat. The Odell Beckham Jr. marriage didn't last and Jarvis Landry is a shell of his former self.

A team in win-now mode, like the Browns, could definitely use a shot in the arm at this position and they will absolutely have a chance at drafting a potential elite guy at wide receiver.


Click here to view our latest NFL Mock Draft

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