Early 2022 NFL Draft Big Board (Offense)

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The Falcons will have to nail the 2022 NFL Draft, just like they had to nail the 2021 Draft. We’ve seen the Falcons take an interesting approach in the draft under this new regime, targeting high-character and older players who fit the scheme they want to run.

However, this isn’t a ranking for the Falcons; this is my ranking for the entire NFL. About halfway through the college football season, I figured I’d take a stab at ranking some of these players that I have my eye on early in the process. I’ll probably do one of these after the season, then before the draft after the combine, Senior Bowl, and my film study ends. I’ll do the defense early next week, so be on the lookout for that.

 

Quarterbacks

QB1 Matt Corral, Ole Miss

QB2 Carson Strong, Nevada

QB3 Malik Willis, Liberty

QB4 Sam Howell, North Carolina

QB5 Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

QB6 JT Daniels, Georgia

QB7 Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma

QB8 Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

QB9 Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

QB10 Jayden Daniels, Arizona State

 

Outside of the top three, I’m not a big fan of this quarterback class. Corral and Strong have unique arms, and Corral has some solid athleticism that reminds me of Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Malik Willis has a strong arm and is an electric athlete. I see the upside in the rest of these guys, but they need some work.

Sam Howell reminds me of a toned-down Baker Mayfield, and Desmond Ridder is loaded with potential. If JT Daniels can stay healthy, he has high upside as a pocket passer — same for Kenny Pickett. Spencer Rattler throws a tight spiral, but he could benefit from another year in college. I like the upside of Grayson McCall and Jayden Daniels as project quarterbacks.

The Falcons need a future quarterback at some point, but I’m not sure how many of these guys will end up being top-ten picks.

 

Running Backs

RB1 Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

RB2 Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

RB3 Kyren Williams, Notre Dame

RB4 Breece Hall, Iowa State

RB5 Eric Gray, Oklahoma

RB6 Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

 

Isaiah Spiller is so dynamic, and I think he’ll be the easy wire-to-wire RB1. The following five guys are tough, physical runners that can become feature backs in an NFL offense. You can cut RB2-RB6 any way at this point, and I wouldn’t have many disagreements. The Falcons could scoop one of these guys with one of their second-round picks, but they have more pressing roster needs to fill.

 

Wide Receivers

WR1 Treylon Burks, Arkansas

WR2 Chris Olave, Ohio State

WR3 Jameson Williams, Alabama

WR4 Jahan Dotson, Penn State

WR5 John Metchie, Alabama

WR6 Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

WR7 George Pickens, Georgia

WR8 Drake London, USC

 

Like with the running backs, Treylon Burks is the only guy I have firmly in the top spot. The rest are all splitting hairs at this point, and I don’t think there’s much separation. I do believe Jameson Williams will fly up draft boards before long, along with Jahan Dotson. George Pickens is the wild card; he could easily sneak into the top three if he comes back from injury and plays well for Georgia.

 

Tight Ends

TE1 Jahleel Billingsly, Alabama

TE2 Charlie Kolar, Iowa State

TE3 Jalen Wydermeyer, Texas A&M

TE4 Josh Whyle, Cincinnati

TE5 Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State

TE6 Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina

 

There’s no Kyle Pitts in this class, and nobody has separated themselves from the pack yet. Jahleel Billingsly has been the most dynamic thus far, but Jalen Wydermeyer probably has the most potential.

 

Offensive Tackles

OT1 Evan Neal, Alabama

OT2 Trevor Pinning, Northern Iowa

OT3 Jaxson Kirkland, Washington

OT4 Charles Cross, Mississippi State

OT5 Thayer Munford, Ohio State

 

Big Evan Neal has a chance to be the first pick in the draft. He is a ferocious blocker in the run game and can clean up the best of them in pass sets. Watch out for Trevor Pinning; I think he could sneak his way into the top ten as well. His former teammate and a guy I liked in the 2021 Draft, Spencer Brown, is already starting for the Bills.

 

Interior Offensive Linemen

IOL1 Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

IOl2 Darrian Kennard, Kentucky

IOL3 Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

IOL4 Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

IOL5 Zion Johnson, Boston College

IOL6 Alec Lindstrom, Boston College

 

This is a talented group, and with Kaleb McGary and Jalen Mayfield looking shaky to start the season, the Falcons could target someone here — especially with Green and Kennard having tackle flexibility. Both will likely be better guards in the NFL. Tyler Linderbaum is a plug-and-play starter at center, and he looks to be the “safest” player in the draft. I’m a big fan of Ikem Ekwonu as a plug-and-play starter as well. Chris Lindstrom’s little brother, Alec, could rise up draft boards, along with his teammate Zion Johnson.

 

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