After an exciting start to the 2022 NFL Draft, teams are gearing up for another night of improving their rosters with highly-talented young athletes. We still haven’t seen a run on quarterbacks, which likely starts at some point in round two.
There are also a healthy number of talented linebackers, edge rushers, and pass catchers that should hear their names called early and often on day two. Here are my top-ten available prospects to start the day.
|Big Board Ranking||Prospect||Position||School|
|21||Arnold Ebiketie||EDGE||Penn State|
Comments: While pass rushers usually go higher than expected on draft night, players like Jermaine Johnson and George Karlaftis slide in the first round. Ebiketie is one of the most explosive edge rushers in this class, with the burst and lateral movement to give his opponents fits.
He’s got terrific arm length, though I’m not sure there is much room for him to continue to add strength to his frame. That will likely limit his potential suitors to those who stand their edge rushers up or widen them out to give them a bit more space.
With continued development, Ebiketie can produce double-digit sacks on an annual basis, and I honestly felt some might value him above Johnson or Karlaftis. I don’t expect him to last long on day two, with teams like Minnesota, Seattle, and Baltimore being potential suitors.
Comments: There are some injury concerns, particularly with Booth’s knee, that may have been the reason he fell out of the first round. Some teams may have also passed due to his aggressive approach, which sometimes gets him into trouble.
However, there aren’t many athletes like Booth in this class. He’s a twitchy defender with quick feet and smooth hips that can mirror with ease in man coverage. I would like to see his eyes get a bit better, as he doesn’t always anticipate routes like an NFFL corner needs to in off coverage.
A more disciplined approach against the run is also warranted, though his aggressive nature doesn’t subside against the run like some corners. The Giants, Bears, Colts, and Falcons could all be possible landing spots early on day two.
Comments: Many thought Dean could slide due to less-than-exceptional physical traits. He had an incredible year for the Bulldogs, but a fair amount of credit goes to the dominance of the players in front of him.
That makes it hard to judge his projection to the NFL because not every team has star defensive tackles that allow their linebackers to roam free. Still, I love the leadership he brings to a roster, as someone who pushes himself to perform at a high level in every aspect of the game.
I like his fit in Houston as the kind of player Lovie Smith covets on the field and in the locker room. Cleveland or Detroit would be good fits as well.
Comment: We will see a run on quarterbacks at some point, and it likely starts with Willis. While I don’t believe any quarterback offered adequate value with a first-round selection, Pickett made sense as the one to get the call because he’s the most NFL-ready of the bunch.
Still, Willis has the upside of a franchise passer with dual-threat ability that is as valuable as ever in the NFL. Offensive coordinators will have to take a patient approach as he continues to develop in an NFL offense.
However, Willis is a determined worker that should see the field at some point as a rookie, provided there is an opportunity. If I’m a team that wants to get their hands on Willis, I’m targeting Seattle’s two picks as the ones to get above.
|31||Matt Corral||QB||Ole Miss|
Comments: If Willis isn’t the first passer off the board on day two, Corral will be. He’s got an NFL arm with the ability to make impressive throws from the pocket or on the move.
He took better care of the ball last season, and teams will want to see that trend continue with the speed of the game dialing up a notch. Still, for a team that can be patient as he learns to read the full field and handle an NFL playbook, he has upside that will be worth the wait.
Seattle looks like an intriguing fit, and Washington could be a dark horse, as Corral has some of the confident qualities that Ron Rivera covets in a quarterback.
|34||Sam Howell||QB||North Carolina|
Comments: Howell has outstanding physical qualities and a sound mind for the game. Still, there are a lot of consistency and timing issues with his game that teams will need to clean up before he is ready to challenge for a starting role.
He’s got similar dual-threat ability to Willis, and the upside is there for him to not only win a starting job but keep it long-term. The teams I’ve identified for Willis and Corral could take Howell as well, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Saints grabbed him in the middle of the second round.
Comments: I thought Jones could jump into the end of the first round to a team like Tennessee, and considering they moved back into the second round, that is still an option. He’s a powerful run stuffer with terrific length and surprising burst for a 325-pounder.
While most big men are less-capable of rushing the passer, he could be a serviceable player in that area. I’m not saying he’s got ten-sack potential, but disrupting passing lanes, pushing the pocket, and creating mismatches against opponents that struggle with power are all in his wheelhouse.
However, he will shine against the run as a natural two-gap player that attacks his opponents with good instincts for locating the ball and disengaging accordingly. If he gets past the Titans, the Giants may be waiting with open arms.
Comments: I predicted the Packers to take Pickens late in the first round, but he’s still on the board to start day two. However, Pickens will be an outstanding deep threat to whoever is fortunate to get their hands on him.
He tracks the ball with ease and shows outstanding body control adjusting at the catch-point. He’s also exceptionally agile for a tall, lengthy player, and I believe he can grow into a number-one target in the NFL.
There are some character flaws that come with his confident, competitive personality, and his knee injury last spring could have been the culprit to him being available on day two. Still, the Bears seem primed to add a pass catcher, and he’d be an excellent replacement for Allen Robinson.
Comments: Muma is a tackling machine with three-down potential as he continues to develop the matching instincts in the passing game that he displays against the run. Still, he’s an impressive athlete at the position with above-average size, and the combination makes him scheme-versatile.
There are a lot of quality linebackers that should come off the board after only two went on day one. Look for the Jets, Seahawks, and Eagles to keep a close eye on him.
|41||DeMarvin Leal||DL||Texas A&M|
Comments: Leal is a versatile defender who could fit in various interior alignments across multiple schemes. He’s got tremendous agility for a player near 290 pounds and strong hands that help him finish blockers once he’s compromised their balance.I’d like to see him do a better job sinking to anchor, and overall, heightened instincts and discipline would make for a more consistent player against the run. Still, the package is there to be a very good starter as a 3-4 end or an under tackle. Keep an eye on Baltimore, Detroit, and Arizona with Leal.