2022 NFL Draft Rumors: How many Georgia defenders will be drafted?

Pro Football Network's Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline opens up his mailbag to discuss news and rumors on the 2022 NFL Draft.

Week 11 of the college football season is on the horizon. More midweek MACtion returns and our eyes continue to fixate on the impending 2022 NFL Draft. Now, we go back to the mailbag to talk about the latest news and rumors surrounding college football.

2022 NFL Draft Rumors and News: The Tony Pauline Mailbag (11/8/21)

Which position is more top-loaded for the 2022 NFL Draft: Cornerback or Safety?

Cornerback, and it’s not even close. I have a dozen draft-eligible corners graded as potential top 100 picks. Safeties? The number would be two.

And is there more value in the later rounds for either position (CB or S)?

It depends on your definition of “value.” Per my draft board, there are a ton of corners with fifth- and sixth-round grades. The safety spot has a lot of seventh-rounders.

The Tony Pauline Mailbag (11/8/21): How many Georgia defenders will be drafted?

How many Georgia defenders are going to be drafted?

Of course, the number depends on how many UGA underclassmen enter the draft. I doubt cornerback Tykee Smith enters after his season-ending injury. I am told safety Lewis Cine will enter the draft. Then there’s the Adam Anderson situation.

Related | 2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Updated big board, player rankings, and more

Presently, there are 11 defensive prospects from Georgia with draftable grades on my board.

Has anyone separated themselves atop the class of interior defensive linemen?

It was never a strong class to begin with, but Jordan Davis is probably the only one knocking on the door of Round 1.

What do you think of Hendon Hooker as a draft prospect?

He’s definitely improved as a passer and is doing a much better job protecting the football. He has nice measurables and big hands, which is appealing to teams. Hooker will need to go to a postseason All-Star game (Shrine? Senior?) and show he can make NFL-type passes. At the very least, I believe he’s a late-round/practice-type prospect.

Have you watched any of Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie? What are your thoughts on him?

I watched him a lot at Temple. He’s a solid college defender with very average next-level speed. Good at making plays up the field, non-existent making plays in reverse. Maybe he’s a situational pass rusher at the next level.

The Tony Pauline Mailbag (11/8/21): Is Malik Willis’ draft stock plummeting?

After his 3-interception game, will Malik Willis plummet down draft boards?

No — no player should make a huge rise or plummet on draft boards off a single game or performance. I think the bigger issue is people were overrating Malik Willis and getting too happy about his play this season.

As we mentioned time and time again on Between the Hashes, he was solid this season and by no means exceptional.

Cincinnati escaped against Tulsa. Which game is their toughest test remaining now with USF, SMU, ECU, and the potential AAC Championship Game on the horizon?

Hands down SMU, who is a good team on both sides of the ball but sliding after consecutive losses.

What are the first things you look at when scouting offensive linemen? And what’s the biggest difference when scouting offensive tackles vs. interior linemen?

Do they bend their knee and block with leverage. There are too many arm wrestlers in college football who beat opponents/defenders simply because they are strong. If you do that in the NFL, then you’re toast. To make it simple, offensive linemen must block with their legs, not their arms.

Tackles versus interior OL is a matter of height, body type, and, most importantly, in my opinion, agility. Tough to put a stiff, immobile guy on the outside.

Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @TonyPauline.

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