2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board | 26-50
After five quarterbacks were selected in the first round of last year’s draft, only one signal-caller is featured in the top-32 slots of our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board.
26) Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
There isn’t a prospect on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board who flies around the field like Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd. He is everywhere, all the time, and his impactful and instinctual play is aptly reflected in his season stats. Through Week 10 of the college football season, Lloyd has 6 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 81 tackles (including 18 for loss, good for second in the nation). He’s an absolute force who combines intensity with intelligence.
27) Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
As the Georgia Bulldogs establish themselves as one of the greatest college football defenses of all time, Nakobe Dean continues to be a riser on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board. The Georgia linebacker has proven to be incredibly disruptive in all three phases of defense, and he’s secured 2 interceptions this season. He’s likely to be in contention for the LB1 crown throughout the rest of the process.
28) Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
As edge prospects like David Ojabo and Jermaine Johnson II have exploded onto the scene and elevated their stock this season, it feels like USC pass rusher Drake Jackson has stagnated somewhat in this 2022 NFL Draft class. The 6’4″, 250-pound prospect is likely to garner attention as a 3-4 OLB at the next level due to the incredible athletic prowess and ability in coverage that he has demonstrated during his USC career.
29) Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
A commanding interior defensive lineman at the JUCO level, Perrion Winfrey has seamlessly transitioned to the FBS at Oklahoma. He was impressive last season and has enhanced his reputation with several standout performances in 2021. While Leal and Davis set the standard in the 2022 DT class, Winfrey is powerful, explosive, and long. Moreover, he owns impressive size and is on an upward curve as one of the best at the position.
30) Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
Matt Corral remains the top quarterback prospect on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that being the top quarterback shouldn’t automatically earn you a place in the upper echelons of the overall player rankings. There are just too many good players at other positions to allow “positional value” to take precedence. Corral’s arm talent, alluring mobility, and competitive toughness should ensure that he is the top quarterback in the class.
31) Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
Having elevated himself as high as 22nd in the last update of our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board, Nicholas Petit-Frere takes a small stumble backward in this update. The Ohio State OT is athletic, strong, and has handled the switch from right to left tackle with relative ease.
Yet, in recent weeks, he has shown some glaring issues in pass protection that have negatively impacted the performance of his quarterback. While his run blocking reps have been as fluid as ever, those pass protection issues have caused us to reassess his standing at this point.
32) David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
Would you have believed us before the season if we had told you that a pass rusher from Scotland would be among the top 10 in sacks in the nation? No, we wouldn’t have believed it either. But here we are with David Ojabo emerging as one of the most menacing edge prospects in the country.
Ojabo has impressed with ridiculous athletic ability, incredible power, and execution of pass rush moves that belie his relative inexperience. It’s not guaranteed that he declares this year. However, his ascension up our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board suggests that he could parlay a declaration into a first-round selection in April.
33) Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
The depth on display in this 2022 NFL Draft edge class is further demonstrated with another new entry in our Top 50 Big Board. Jermaine Johnson II has been in sensational form since transferring to FSU from Georgia. Through nine games, he has exceeded his sack (7.5) and tackle for loss (10.5) production from his previous two seasons combined.
Johnson transferred to FSU with the intention of gaining more exposure, and it’s worked. He’s displayed exceptional athletic ability, bend, and an armory of pass-rush moves. Additionally, he can set the edge in the run game.
34) David Bell, WR, Purdue
“HOLY HELL, DAVID BELL!” I was at the wheel of the PFN Draft Twitter account during David Bell‘s sensational solo performance as Purdue shocked Michigan State in Week 10. His string of highlight catches really leaves no other reaction. All in-depth analysis goes out of the window in the search for superlatives to describe his play at the moment.
Is there anything he can’t do? Bell possesses long speed, explosion, exceptional pass-catching technique, and body control that would make the most talented acrobat weep with joy. He’s also on pace to destroy all his previous production markers during his three-year college career.
35) Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Following Week 10 of the college football season, Jahan Dotson has more receiving yards and touchdowns than in any other season of his career. The Penn State pass catcher is blossoming into one of the most complete receivers in the nation. His 242-yard, 3-touchdown outing against Maryland showcased the full range of his ability.
Statistical production, as we know, isn’t everything. But Dotson is an electric threat who can create separation with sensational route running. Furthermore, he’s displayed exquisite ball skills to bail out below-average quarterback play. As a result, Dotson is one of the big risers from our latest 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board update.
36) Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
If quarterback prospects were graded solely on physical tools, Malik Willis would be far and away the top QB on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board. There are few prospects that have his natural arm strength and talent. Additionally, his ability to create and extend plays with his legs is unrivaled among his quarterback contemporaries.
And yet, Willis still struggles with some of the finer aspects of the position. Multiple 3-interception games this season have shown that his ability to read coverages hasn’t developed. His pocket awareness and composure are still a work in progress. As he struggles with these issues, Willis’ ranking continues to drop. And his potential for emerging as the QB1 of the class wanes.
37) Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
Northern Iowa has established a reputation for producing high-level offensive tackle prospects, and Trevor Penning might be the best of them all. Boasting insane size at 6’7″ and 340 pounds, Penning has phenomenal length, athleticism, and a vicious demeanor.
He projects to be the top FCS prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, PFN’s Chief NFL Draft Analyst, Tony Pauline, recently shared the following titbit about the towering Penning:
“It’s no longer that some scouts have graded him as the top senior tackle. Some scouts have graded him as the top tackle overall, even ahead of Evan Neal.”
38) Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech
Although he’s snagged just 2 touchdowns in 2021, Erik Ezukanma has started to garner significant attention in the 2022 NFL Draft class. The 6’3″ pass catcher can get the job done in contested-catch situations, as you’d expect from a player with his size and length.
That isn’t all that the Texas Tech wide receiver brings to the table. His deceptive athletic ability lends itself to positional versatility, and he also poses a run-after-the-catch threat. In a competitive class, Ezukanma projects as a first-round talent per Ian’s grading scale. As a result, he climbs a little in our latest 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board update.
39) DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
A converted safety who popped in his first season as a linebacker in 2020, we had high expectations for DeMarvion Overshown coming into the 2021 season. His athletic profile is enticing. The Texas linebacker possesses exceptional closing speed and range. Moreover, his uncommon size and length at the position make him a dangerous playmaker in coverage.
However, we’ve yet to see Overshown take a decisive step in the right direction regarding the rest of his game this season. There have been some signs of improvement, especially against Oklahoma. Still, he’s very much a work in progress against the run. As a result, he takes a small drop down our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board.
40) Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
2021 was always going to be a difficult season for Sam Howell and North Carolina. The Tar Heels lost a ton of offensive weaponry, including two running backs who contributed beyond the box score as blockers. As a result, the expectation for Howell to solidify himself as a first-round prospect — and even QB1 — may have been unrealistic.
The Tar Heels quarterback has been more impressive as a runner than a passer this season. His tough approach to taking off has seen him tally a career-high 699 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. Meanwhile, his completion percentage and yards per attempt have regressed compared to last season. Nonetheless, Howell’s deep-ball accuracy and competitive toughness may prove alluring for several QB-needy NFL teams.
41) Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Although he has lost his preseason LB1 crown on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board, Christian Harris is still an alluring prospect at the position. He routinely demonstrates that he is one of the best coverage linebackers in the nation. Harris was a former CB/S in high school, and that experience shows.
Harris also possesses an intriguing athletic profile that he has shown off as a pass rusher this season. The Alabama linebacker has logged a half-sack in each of the last three games, with arguably his best performance of the season coming in the Week 10 win over LSU.
42) Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
In a deep 2022 NFL Draft wide receiver class, it’s easy to overlook playmakers that compete outside the Power Five. But it would be foolish to miss Nevada’s Romeo Doubs. The senior owns impressive athleticism, route-running savvy, and has put some of the best ball-tracking reps on tape of any pass catcher in the class.
His production hasn’t met the same pace as last season, but Doubs still has a touchdown in five of eight games. Additionally, when he manages double-digit receptions, he’s a genuine difference-maker, as demonstrated by his 203 yards night against Fresno State.
43) Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
While he has slipped behind some other contenders, Jordan Battle should still be considered one of the top safeties in the class. His performances have been up and down throughout the season. But when he is on form, there are few better at the position.
The Alabama safety has the size and physicality to get the job done in the box. Meanwhile, his athletic profile allows him to be proficient in coverage. A leader on the field, Battle has the mental fortitude to be responsible for pre-snap communication.
44) Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern
After leading the nation in interceptions last season, Brandon Joseph‘s redshirt sophomore campaign at Northwestern came with lofty expectations. Although he hasn’t matched his statistical production as a defensive playmaker so far, he did snag interceptions against Ohio and Minnesota.
Joseph has elevated his game this season in terms of physicality. He matched his career-high tackle numbers (10) against Nebraska before setting a new high (12) against Michigan. He also secured his first sack against the Wolverines. An intelligent and athletic safety with almost unparalleled ball skills, Joseph is rooted on our 2022 NFL Top 50 Draft Big Board.
45) Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
It was always going to be difficult for Myjai Sanders to replicate the sensational statistics of last season. Regardless, the Cincinnati pass rusher has still tallied 5 tackles for loss despite teams actively attempting to run plays to the opposite side of the line.
Sanders has the bend, burst, and bull rush to punish offensive tackles. As a result, he should still be considered one of the best defensive ends in the 2022 NFL Draft class despite his apparent dropoff in production.
46) Carson Strong, QB, Nevada
Carson Strong will be an interesting study in how the NFL reacts to historical injury issues. The Nevada quarterback suffered a significant season-ending injury in high school that required surgery. While that hasn’t impacted his college career in terms of missed time, we’ve seen that knee injuries can make or break a prospect’s stock at the next level.
On the field, Strong is a legitimate candidate to be one of the top passers in a murky class. He’s a consistent presence in choppy waters. Strong possesses an exceptional arm, and despite concerns over his mobility, can evade pressure and maneuver in and around the pocket better than he’s given him credit for.
47) Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College
A promising Boston College team has floundered without starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec for large swathes of the season. Yet, it hasn’t been for lack of effort from an offensive line that features multiple 2022 NFL Draft prospects. The best of them is guard Zion Johnson, who leaps up from an honorable mention to a top-50 spot in our latest update.
Johnson’s play at left guard has helped the Eagles’ offense find some success on the ground. He routinely wins at the point of attack with strength, hand usage, and an excellent understanding of leverage. Additionally, he owns a strong anchor that he displayed kicking back out to left tackle against Virginia Tech in Week 10.
48) Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
We’re not in the business of calling anyone a liar. But, if you tell me that Kenneth Walker III was on your radar as a genuine Heisman contender and 2022 NFL Draft prospect, I’d be prone to think you were stretching the truth. Walker’s transfer to Michigan State has transformed both his career and the fortunes of the Spartans.
Leading the nation in rushing yards following Week 10 of the college season is impressive. Yet, it’s how he’s achieved that production that has earned Walker a spot on our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board. He’s physical, has contact balance, cuts with explosion, and displays elusiveness in the open field. However, a lack of receiving reps and questionable blocking ability may limit his stock in the eyes of the NFL.
49) Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
After a slow start to the season, Breece Hall is heating up at just the right time. The Iowa State running back now sits third among draft-eligible running backs for total yardage in 2021. Hall’s 14 touchdowns are tied for sixth in the nation, and he is currently on a touchdown streak that dates back to December 2019.
Hall’s game-changing explosion and vision will ensure he challenges for the RB1 spot of the 2022 NFL Draft class. However, there is a feeling among myself and Ian that his contact balance is behind that of Texas A&M’s Spiller and Michigan State’s Walker at this moment in time.
50) Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely enters our 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board for the first time. Likely is the first tight end we’ve featured in the Top 50 since Jalen Wydermyer reached 36th back in September. Likely’s game-changing athleticism as a receiver makes him a highly alluring NFL Draft prospect.
His statistical production has been outstanding this season. He leads all draft-eligible tight ends following Week 10 with 8 touchdowns. Likely also sits third in total yardage and second in yards per catch. Moreover, he demonstrates impressive blocking ability, making him a high-level, all-around prospect at the position.
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M
Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU
Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M
Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
More Honorable Mentions
Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Travon Walker, DT, Georgia
Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn
Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
Colby Wooden, EDGE, Auburn
Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
Tyreke Smith, EDGE, Ohio State
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
Isaiah Thomas, EDGE, Oklahoma
Matthew Butler, DT, Tennessee
Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas