2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Early top 50 prospect rankings

PFN’s 2022 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board | 26-50

Who rounds out our list of top 50 players in the 2022 NFL Draft?

26. Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa

His size will scare some people away, but Tyler Linderbaum is a phenomenal interior offensive line prospect. He’s only 6-foot-3, 289 pounds, but his frame allows him to get lower than the man across from him consistently. Beyond his frame, Linderbaum is an impressive athlete with plenty of power stored inside his upper body. He’s a physical, imposing finisher, and he could be a competent starter at center on Day 1 in the NFL.

27. Sevyn Banks, CB, Ohio State

By now, Ohio State’s secondary is a bonafide defensive back factory, and Sevyn Banks might be the next draft prospect off the conveyer belt. Banks has a sturdy frame at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. Furthermore, Banks is a pure athlete, and he has some positional versatility on the back end. Having notched 6 deflections in 2020, Banks can use the 2021 campaign to break out and move up the board.

28. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

After missing the 2020 season with a congenital neck issue, there will be questions surrounding Justyn Ross‘ projection. If he can stay healthy and pick up where he left off, he’s no doubt a potential first-round prospect. Ross has plenty of size at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, but he possesses uncanny finesse and elusiveness for that frame. Combine that with his contested-catch ability, and he can be a complete threat.

29. Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

Naturally, the next Ohio State edge defender in the pipeline will attract a great deal of natural buzz. Zach Harrison has some work to do before claiming the mantle from Chase Young, Nick Bosa, and others. Nevertheless, with his looming 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame, Harrison has the size and the hand strength. He flashes the requisite burst and ankle flexion to win by multitasking.

30. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

He’s only a redshirt sophomore, but Charles Cross has the talent to deserve a spot on this list, especially in what appears to be a weaker tackle class. At 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, Cross has a long, rangy frame. He shows tremendous matching athleticism on tape, and for a younger player, he’s farther along than expected with his hand usage. With another year of linear growth, he could go much earlier than anticipated.

31. Perrion Winfrey, DL, Oklahoma

After joining the Oklahoma Sooners as the top JUCO prospect in the nation, Perrion Winfrey has steadily grown into a consistent threat on the defensive line. The 6-foot-3, 297-pound lineman had 5.5 tackles for loss and 3 deflections in 2020, and he could be primed for an even bigger leap in 2021. He’s long, explosive, and heavy-handed, and his amalgamation of traits could fuel his rise so long as he converts.

32. Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

There was some Day 2 buzz surrounding Bubba Bolden last season. So naturally, he’s one of the first names that comes to mind in this safety class. At 6-foot-3, he has eye-catching size, and he uses his frame to be a force in the box. The question that remains is whether he can become a more consistent coverage player. With his recognition ability and short-area burst, Bolden could piece together his game in 2021.

33. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

Jordan Battle has a top-tier name, strictly speaking from an aesthetic standpoint. Thus, it’s even more exciting to know that he can actually play. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Battle has an impressive frame, but he plays with significant twitch, explosiveness, and energy, whether in the box or in coverage. He could be a budding star on the back end of Alabama’s unit. He wouldn’t be the first.

34. Drake London, WR, USC

Often, 6-foot-5 receivers are going to be one-dimensional. That isn’t the case, however, with Drake London. As expected, he doesn’t have top-end speed, but London still has plenty of appealing traits beyond his frame. His frame does give him an advantage in contested situations, but London has solid elusiveness and toughness after the catch. London is an elite competitor, and at his size, he won’t lose many one-on-one fights.

35. Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama

Through much of the draft process in 2020, Josh Jobe was viewed as a Round 2 or Round 3 pick. As we form our initial 2022 NFL Draft Big Board, he has a similar starting point. Jobe’s length, combined with his ultra-competitive nature on the boundary, amounts to incredibly high upside. What he needed most in 2020 was polish, and that’s something he can continue to build upon in 2021.

36. Aidan Hutchinson, DL, Michigan

Aidan Hutchinson entered 2020 as an intriguing candidate to leave school early. That, of course, was contingent on him building on a 2019 season where he logged 3.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. A fracture in his leg prevented him from doing that. Nevertheless, Hutchinson has since had surgery, and he could make up for it in 2021. He projects to have lots of positional flexibility on the line, and his motor never stops.

37. Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State

On the suggestion of fellow draft analysts A.J. Schulte and Nick Farabaugh, Ikem Ekwonu was a late watch. And upon watching him, he was a late but necessary addition to the 2022 NFL Draft Big Board. Ekwonu stands at around 6-foot-4, 320 pounds. He has impressive length and lateral athleticism for that frame, but his most prevalent trait is his mauler mentality, which frequently stands out at the end of reps.

38. Kedon Slovis, QB, USC

This ranking is predominantly contingent on whether or not Kedon Slovis can return to his 2019 form. In 2019, he was tremendously accurate, and he also showcased the capacity to extend plays in the pocket. He’ll need to rebound from an injury to his throwing shoulder if he wants to maintain this ranking. Nevertheless, in an uncertain QB class, his season of stellar production affords him some respect.

39. Obinna Eze, OT, TCU

Having played his collegiate career at Memphis to this point, Obinna Eze is a relatively raw tackle prospect with high upside. He’s long and athletic, plays with stellar knee bend, and flashes terrific hand placement. If he can make the most of his transfer to TCU and hold his own against Big 12 edge defenders, he could be a massive riser in the 2022 NFL Draft.

40. David Bell, WR, Purdue

In 18 career games thus far, David Bell has amassed 1,660 yards and 15 touchdowns on 139 catches. Per game, he’s averaging around 8 catches and 92 yards, and that’s not by accident. Bell doesn’t have elite speed or burst. Still, he has good size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and he maximizes that size with astounding body control, instincts, contortion ability, and toughness in contested situations.

41. Edefuan Ulofoshio, LB, Washington

Edefuan Ulofoshio enjoyed impressive production in just a four-game window in 2020, logging 47 tackles, a sack, 4 pass deflections, and a forced fumble. At 6-foot-0, 230 pounds, Ulofoshio isn’t a terrifying spectacle on defense. He is, however, a strong athlete and a high character player heading into his third season as a starter. Given the uncertainty in this LB class, he’s someone to watch.

42. John Metchie III, WR, Alabama

Playing in a receiving corps that included Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, John Metchie III still managed to put up 55 catches for 916 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2020. Metchie hasn’t yet proven that he has an elite trait like Smith and Waddle. Still, Metchie will come into 2021 with many eyes watching him. If he can expand beyond his speed and tenacious attitude, the Alabama offense could boost him up.

43. Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss

There will be some off-field questions for Sam Williams to answer. Still, as a pure player, he has enticing upside. EDGE prospects often get caught in a tug-of-war between athleticism and power, but Williams possesses both. Williams is bulky at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, but he’s also explosive and dynamic. He’s one of the more underrated edge rushers in the nation.

44. Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

More in the traditional quarterback mold, Carson Strong brings an abundance of intrigue back to college football as a redshirt sophomore. He completed over 70 percent of his passes in 2020 while throwing for almost 3,000 yards, 27 touchdowns, and just 4 interceptions. For a pocket passer, he’s reasonably mobile, but his quick, fluid arm motion and strength as a passer are what drives his potential.

45. Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State

Abraham Lucas could have declared for the 2021 NFL Draft as a redshirt junior. Instead, he stayed behind to round out his collegiate career. As a result, Lucas is one of the higher-rated tackles on our 2022 NFL Draft Big Board. He has a titanic frame at 6-foot-7, 319 pounds, but he’s a smooth athlete for his size. With his experience and physical traits, there’s not much stopping him from turning in a stellar 2022 campaign.

46. Jarrett Patterson, OL, Notre Dame

Entering his third year as Notre Dame’s starter at the center position, Jarrett Patterson no doubt already has NFL eyes on him. Notre Dame has an immense track record with offensive linemen, and Patterson should strengthen that reputation. He has good size at around 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, and he’s athletic. Additionally, Patterson showcases excellent get-off and flexibility against power.

47. Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE South Carolina

He’s somewhat of a sleeper, but Kingsley Enagbare’s success to this point warrants more attention. In just eight games last year, the Gamecocks’ edge rusher put up 6 sacks and 7 tackles for loss, as well as 2 forced fumbles. Enagbare has a long 6-foot-4, 270-pound frame, but he has a ton of finesse for his size. That athletic makeup gives him plenty of potential rushing off the boundary.

48. Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia

For now, Jordan Davis isn’t a fully developed three-down threat. Nevertheless, he’s already a strong run defender, and he flashes the necessary upside as a pass rusher. Even at 6-foot-6, 330 pounds, Davis can build up good speed with a runway. If he can trim 15 pounds, he could unlock more spryness and abrupt explosiveness on passing downs. He already has the physicality and power to add to it.

49. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami

This may seem low for Zion Nelson, who’s commonly mocked in the first round at this point. He no doubt possesses first-round potential, and being in the top-50 alone is an exclusive honor. Nelson’s long 6-foot-5, 314-pound frame and natural leverage earn him that standing. Still, he’ll have to play to his athletic potential more often in 2021 if he wants to move up this list.

50. Cade Otton, TE, Washington

Cade Otton is just solid. He’s not always going to wow you, but there’s a lot to like about his well-rounded skill set. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound tight end is a good athlete, a natural receiver, and a steady blocker. In addition to his baseline traits, Otton does display the ability to extend and layout for inaccurate passes. As a safety blanket with some upside, Otton has excellent appeal.

Honorable mention for the initial 2022 NFL Draft Big Board

There are dozens of talented players in the 2022 NFL Draft cycle, but unfortunately, there are only 50 spots on our initial big board. Therefore, we felt it necessary to recognize some players who just missed the cut. Even beyond this group, countless unheralded prospects could break out in the coming months. No one can truly be forgotten.

It’s worth noting that most redshirt sophomores were left off this list due to the heightened uncertainty surrounding their declaration status. Additionally, George Pickens was left off on account of his status after suffering a season-ending injury.

Our honorable mentions, in no particular order, are as follows:

  • Nick Broeker, OT, Ole Miss
  • Brenton Cox, EDGE, Florida
  • Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
  • Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
  • Haskell Garrett, DT, Ohio State
  • Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
  • Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, DB, TCU
  • CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon
  • Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
  • Cade Mays, OG, Tennessee
  • Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati
  • Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DT, Notre Dame
  • Ben Brown, OG, Ole Miss
  • Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma
  • Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
  • Zion Johnson, OG, Boston College