2022 NFL Draft Risers: Post NFL Scouting Combine

by Jon Witt
2023 NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Scouting Combine is a great place for college athletes to show out and put their pure athletism on display.  They are tested in a vast array of drills, testing their speed, agility, and overall football skills. Some performed better than others in Indianapolis last week, turning some heads and becoming 2022 NFL Draft Risers.

2022 NFL Draft Risers

Desmond Ridder - QB Cincinnati

As a whole, the quarterback position group was a bit lackluster at the combine, but Ridder stood out among the group. He showed he was more athletic than some thought and had the best overall athletic scores of a QB at the combine.

Yes, Malik Willis did not perform in athletic drills, but Ridder took advantage of that. He ran a 4.52 40 yard dash while adding a 36" vertical jump.  His big arm strength was also on display during the passing drills, throwing bombs down the field.  Overall, Ridder may have just done enough to sneak into the bottom half of the first round or at worst go early in the second. The intrigue is there following this display.

Breece Hall - RB Iowa State

Breece showed up wanting to prove he was the top running back in the class and he did just that. One of the knocks on Hall was his lack of top-end break-away speed.

Could a running back of his size (5'11", 217) produce NFL-type speed? Well, that question was put to rest at the combine, as he ran a 4.39 40, much better than any scout thought he would.

Hall is coming off two very good statistical years at Iowa State, never going under 1,400 yards, 20 TDs, and 23 receptions in either season. After this combine, there is very little reason to believe that Hall will be the first running back taken in the draft.

 

Christian Watson - WR North Dakota State

Many WRs had good combines, but most of them are already big names who really were just jockeying for draft positioning at the combine.

That is why I thought as a whole, Watson helped himself out the most at the combine. Coming from ND State, Watson had a lot to prove at the combine and he did not disappoint.

Watson did a good job of carrying the momentum he had from the Senior Bowl (many thought he was the best WR there) and put his full athletic abilities on display.

The 6'4, 208-pound specimen ran a 4.36 40, had a 38.5" vertical and a 133" broad jump. All three of those were near the top of the class. With a good pro day, Watson could very well find himself in the third round. His game film and combine stats have scouts talking.

Jelani Woods - TE Virginia

Overall, the TE position was very impressive during the combine. I would be hard-pressed not to mention the outstanding performance by Tre McBride and Greg Dulich (was above average in every test), but Jelani Woods was by far the most impressive tight end during the week.

I am not sure how it is possible that a 6'7" 259-pound person can run as fast as Woods did, but man he is impressive.  His 4.61 40 yard dash is the fastest a tight end has ever run at the combine.

Woods also should he has some sticky hands, catching everything thrown his way at the combine. His explosiveness was jumping off the charts all week long and has caught the attention of a lot of people.

He fits the mold of the modern-day athletic tight end that combines speed, mobility, size, and the ability to catch the ball.


Be sure to check out some other NFL Draft Profiles on the site!: Matt Corral, Kenny Pickett, Garrett Wilson

And don't forget about our 2022 NFL Draft Big Board!

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