With the 2021 regular season of college football all but finished and the arrival of conference championship week, it’s time for an updated big board of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. Now that there’s more film and information available on more promising pro players, the list has grown from a fine 50 to a special 100.
There is some change near No. 1 and another reshuffling of the quarterbacks. Many rapid risers are making splashes across positions, too, and the best programs have done well to showcase their great talent.
This is how Sporting News sees the board stacked for bowl season and all-star games as more NFL teams start turning their attention to who’s available to improve their rosters in 2022:
2022 MOCK DRAFT:
Michigan, Georgia offer gems as defense dominates Round 1
NFL Draft prospects 2022: Big board of top 100 players
1. Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon (6-5, 258 pounds)
Thibodeaux is off the charts athletically in every aspect, an explosive pass rusher and agile pursuit man who covers a ton of ground. He also brings underrated power with the speed.
2. Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (6-6, 265 pounds)
He’s a technically sound and exceptionally strong prospect built to play 4-3 end and would benefit from improving his agility and expanding his pass-rush moves.
3. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (6-4, 220 pounds)
Hamilton is smart and physical. He has the instincts and athleticism to diagnose plays and react quickly to make plays all over the field vs. run and pass. He’s one of the most complete, intimidating safety prospects ever.
4. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU (6-1, 195 pounds)
Stingley is one of the most dynamic cornerback prospects ever with his pedigree and playmaking resume. He’s got great size and speed and can often win his battles with his length and quickness. There are few holes in his coverage game and he’s also the ultimate ballhawk.
5. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (6-7, 350 pounds)
Neal will be a dominant blocking force in the NFL. He’s ultra-athletic for such a large frame, agile enough to handle the best pass rushers and powerful enough to move defenders out of the way in the running game.
6. DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M (6-4, 290 pounds)
Leal has the ideal power and explosiveness to disrupt things up front lining up everywhere. He can thrive as either a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 end.
7. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (6-3, 235 pounds)
Lloyd is a strong rangy athlete who stands out making plays, covering plenty of ground vs. the run but has special skills to defend the passing, from his knowledge of coverage to his blitzing pop.
8. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (6-3, 290 pounds)
Linderbaum is a strong, athletic and relentless interior blocker. He has the intelligence and natural run blocking skills to be a decade-long fixture in the NFL.
9. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue (6-4, 275 pounds)
Here’s another version of a Greek freak as Karlaftis possesses elite athleticism for his size and is still tapping into his immense pass-rush potential.
10. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State (6-1, 189 pounds)
Olave has great speed, quickness and burst to stand out in a strong wide receiver class.
11. Ikem Ekwonu, G, NC State (6-4, 320 pounds)
Ekwonu has shot up boards showing his strong and powerful run blocking with the required nasty streak to push around and strike fear into his defensive line assignments.
12. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida (6-2, 196 pounds)
Elam’s physical strength and length stand out as a bigger corner. He is very efficient in coverage with his athleticism, which at times is explosive.
13. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan (6-5, 250 pounds)
Ojabo has flashed devastating pass-rush skills with his unique combination of speed and power, boosted by his relentless energy.
14. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 188 pounds)
Wilson is a great complement to Olave with his smarts, quickness, route-running and hands. He is dangerous in making plays after the catch.
15. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State (6-5, 310 pounds)
Cross has a powerful upper body, strong hands and a mean and nasty aspect to his blocking. He could still develop his agility and footwork to raise his game.
16. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (6-0, 200 pounds)
Corral is a dynamic athlete and confident runner who also shows aggressiveness with a big arm. His raw skills give him a lot of intrigue and upside.
17. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson (6-0, 200 pounds)
Booth has fine size, strength and aggressiveness to boost himself in coverage. He also has great ball skills with a nose for big plays.
18. Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M (6-4, 325 pounds)
Green is a well-rounded interior blocker with solid size, strength and technique to thrive in the running game for a long time.
19. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (6-6, 340 pounds)
Davis is getting more attention for the athleticism he possesses to disrupt plays on top of his massive frame.
20. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (6-0, 190 pounds)
McCreary has risen up boards because of his size, physicality, fluidity and ability to play well in any downfield coverage scheme.
21. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (6-3, 220 pounds)
Pickett delivered with his leadership to get Pitt playing for the ACC championship. He’s the top traditional pocket-passing prospect in the class with his deep ball-accuracy, smarts and maturity.
22. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (6-1, 215 pounds)
Willis is a new mashup of Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, a fast riser who’s gotten more attention for an amazing skill set. He has top-flight athleticism and the strong arm to make every throw. He’s also physically and mentally tough.
23. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (6-3, 200 pounds)
Gardner has great agility given his length and can move around wherever need to handle vertical or horizontal coverage.
24. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia (6-0, 225 pounds)
Dean has gotten first-round consideration by honing his pass rush skills inside on top of his rangy athleticism that allow him fly sideline-to-sideline to make plays. That helps him more than compensate for his lack of prototypical size.
25. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington (5-11, 195 pounds)
McDuffie offers great explosiveness and quickness to stay with his coverage assignments. He also plays bigger than his size.
26. Drake London, WR, USC (6-5, 210 pounds)
London matches his nice catch radius with great hands and quickness, which makes him a big-play and red zone threat in the Mike Evans vein.
27. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (6-1, 220 pounds)
Howell is a smart, seasoned and accurate pocket passer. He doesn’t have the dynamic athleticism of Rattler and Willis but it wouldn’t be surprising if he became a mashup of Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones.
28. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (6-4, 215 pounds)
Ridder is an aspiring dynamic NFL dual threat with his combination of strong arm and natural running ability. He also has the welcome intangibles, including leadership skills and toughness.
29. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa (6-7, 321 pounds)
Penning has a high floor because of his strong, powerful frame that overpowered the competition but is also growing the athletic traits to start in the NFL.
30. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (6-3, 225 pounds)
Burks is a huge target with reliable big hands to match. He can dominate smaller, less physical corners and has deceptive speed.
31. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State (6-1, 200 pounds)
Brisker is adept at making plays all over the field with his great speed and range plus smarts to read quarterbacks well in coverage.
32. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC (6-4, 250 pounds)
Jackson is another agile and versatile outside defender in this class. He could benefit from bulking up and polishing up his pass-rush repertoire.
33. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State (6-4, 260 pounds)
McBride has emerged as the top prospect at his position with his sturdy frame, toughness, good hands and ability to stretch the seam and his use his body well when running routes.
34. Carson Strong, QB, Nevada (6-4, 215 pounds)
Strong has some Josh Allen qualities to him with ideal size and a massive arm, only with more underrated athleticism.
35. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State (6-5, 315 pounds)
Petit-Frere has proved to be a well-rounded blocker for the Buckeyes having played on both sides with a nice blend of strength, agility and footwork.
36. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State (6-3, 241 pounds)
Smith is very athletic and covers a lot of ground in coverage and run support. He can be the ideal strongside star in the NFL.
37. Travon Walker, DT/DE, Georgia (6-5, 275 pounds)
Walker is an explosive, versatile playmaker who can line up at multiple spots up front and can with with both athleticism and power.
38. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama (6-1, 210 pounds)
Battle is a cerebral playmaker who looks the part and has fine pedigree from his high-level cleaning up in Nick Saban’s defense.
39. Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati (6-5, 255 pounds)
Sanders is a physical beast with some classic freakish pass-rush qualities. He will be a terror getting to the QB before rounding out his game.
40. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama (6-2, 232 pounds)
Harris is the typical Crimson Tide top second-level defender with his speed and quickness that translate to sideline-to-sideline playmaking range.
41. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma (6-3, 240 pounds)
Bonitto has good versatility and quickness for his size with balanced passing game skills as a rusher and cover man.
42. Jahan Dotson, WR Penn State (5-11, 184 pounds)
Dotson is a speedy vertical threat with the quickness to also make big plays after making strong catches in open field.
43. Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State (6-6, 268 pounds)
Harrison is long and strong and has the versatility to get after quarterbacks in many ways. He also has good speed to balance out his powerful game.
44. John Metchie III, WR, Alabama (6-0, 195 pounds)
Metchie is the latest Crimson Tide speed merchant, combining some of the on-field qualities of Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle. He also can be a smooth technician like Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith.
45. Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas (5-10, 200 pounds)
Catalon can be an extra linebacker-like force and also get back and get around in coverage to aggressively make plays on the ball.
46. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State (5-10, 210 pounds)
Walker’s amazing breakout season with the Spartans has shown he is the most complete back in this class with his speed, balance and elite block-reading skills.
47. Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M (6-5, 255 pounds)
Wydermyer has the ideal physical frame for the position and backs that up with a good mix of physical receiving and smart run blocking.
48. Brandon Joseph, S, Northwestern (6-1, 192 pounds)
Joseph is a natural big playmaker against the pass who also shows off his strength and physicality in cleaning up against the run.
49. Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky (6-5, 345 pounds)
Kinnard is a powerful run blocker who could use some refinement with his technique and how to best use his athleticism in pass protection. That points to him playing inside well in the NFL.
50. George Pickens, WR, Georgia (6-3, 200 pounds)
The biggest concerns with Pickens are tied to putting it all together with his health and intangibles. Otherwise, he’s an impressive size-speed prospect who isn’t afraid to get physical.
51. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State (6-1, 220 pounds)
Hall stands out with his ability to elude tacklers and explode for big plays in the open field. He can go from home-run hitter to more complete back.
52. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama (6-2, 189 pounds)
Williams also profiles a bit like many of the recent top Crimson Tide picks showing technical skills but standing out and rising boards for his flat-out big-play ability.
53. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M (6-1, 215 pounds)
Spiller is built to be a physical back in the NFL with his ability to grind and pound out all the tough yardage between the tackles.
54. David Bell, WR, Purdue (6-2, 205 pounds)
Bell has a rare blend of physicality and speed for the position. He excels at both bursting after the catch and stretching the field, using his body well to get open.
55. Cade Otton, TE, Washington (6-5, 250 pounds)
Otton is a superb athlete for the position and backs that up with reliable route-running and hands. He has room to grow as a blocker to match his frame.
56. Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut (6-4, 333 pounds)
Jones matches his massive frame with brute force against blockers, capable of playing 3-4 nose or being effective in a 4-3.
57. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota (6-9, 380 pounds)
Faaelele has been an Australian sensation with his incredible size and rapid development in the athletic part of his game.
58. Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma (6-4, 292 pounds)
Winfrey offers good length and powerful moves. He needs to refine his technique and improve his effective speed to keep up the playmaking in the NFL.
59. Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia (6-0, 190 pounds)
Kendrick has good size and rangy coverage skills made to excel in a zone defense.
60. Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina (6-4, 265 pounds)
Enagbare is an intimidating force with great explosiveness and the versatility to get to the quarterback in many ways.
61. Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama (6-3, 190 pounds)
Tolbert is an enticing size-speed prospect that can be a fine outside start with good work on his hands and routes.
62. Zion Johnson, OT/G, Boston College (6-3, 316 pounds)
Johnson’s calling card for the Eagles has been strong and powerful run blocking. He is a road grader with the hands and enough agility to play either inside or at right tackle.
63. Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (6-5, 316 pounds)
Nelson is a very agile blocker who can win with his quickness at the line but also get downfield when needed. He is equally reliable in pass protection and the running game.
64. Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson (6-2, 300 pounds)
Davis is a pretty solid early-down run defense with some explosive untapped upside as an inside pass rusher.
65. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State (6-3, 256 pounds)
Ebiketie offers good natural strength and explosiveness and with some polish can be a very effective all-around player.
66. Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington (6-7, 310 pounds)
Kirkland is a big athlete made for smooth pass protection. He uses his hands and feet well together to win most of his battles.
67. Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama (6-2, 228 pounds)
To’oTo’o is a solid all-around playmaker who doesn’t dominate in one area but is versatile to help most defenses in a variety of situations.
68. Brenton Cox Jr., LB, Florida (6-4, 253 pounds)
Cox is a bit of a scheme ‘tweener with power and strength as his most favorable assets. He can develop the agility to be trusted in coverage in the NFL.
69. Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA (6-1, 220 pounds)
Charbonnet runs with good power and strength and also can break free for chunk gains a la Nick Chubb.
70. Thayer Munford, OT/G Ohio State (6-6, 321 pounds)
Munford isn’t a top-flight athlete up front but his well-rounded game including good run blocking technique makes him an ideal candidate to thrive more at guard.
71. Zach Carter, DT, Florida (6-4, 285 pounds)
Carter is another long and strong interior force who has flashed big-time backfield-disrupting traits.
72. Sean Rhyan, OT/G, UCLA (6-5, 320 pounds)
Rhyan is a strong run blocker whose stature and power translate to starting inside in the NFL.
73. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky (5-11, 185 pounds)
Robinson is a big play waiting to happen with his speed and quickness in the open field.
74. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan (6-7, 305 pounds)
The Austrian import has great developmental upside because he solidly blends his strength and athleticism.
75. Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame (5-9, 199 pounds)
Williams is a dynamic, compact running back who can has some upside to impactful in the passing game.
76. Storm Duck, CB, North Carolina (6-5, 205 pounds)
Duck is a rare big and strong outside cover man who uses his body well to break up passes and make tackles.
77. Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada (6-2, 200 pounds)
Doubs is a solid deep threat who can be just as dangerous making big plays off intermediate routes.
78. Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana (6-6, 297 pounds)
Mitchell has great upside in pass protection with his athleticism and smooth footwork.
79. Martin Emerson Jr., CB, Mississippi State (6-2, 200 pounds)
He’s a good size-strength-speed corner built to handle bigger wideouts on the outside.
80. Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson (6-4, 205 pounds)
Ross has a strong frame, which helps him excel as a physical and technical route-runner. He needs to come back strong from injury to raise his speed and quickness as a big possession target.
81. Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State (6-5, 262 pounds)
Johnson has some freakish qualities that can equate to more than just a flashing pass rusher.
82. Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington (6-0, 200 pounds)
Gordon is a nice-sized cover man who gets physical and aggressive to make plays on the ball.
83. Marcus Jones, CB, Houston (5-8, 185 pounds)
Jones is an unique explosive ballhawk in the Tyrann Mathieu style of secondary play.
84. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan (6-0, 192 pounds)
Hill offers an interesting mix of speed, quickness, smarts and instincts to give him sleeper starting potential in the NFL.
85. Logan Hall, EDGE, Houston (6-6, 275 pounds)
Hall matches his size with quickness and explosiveness and backs that up with a variety of pass-rush moves, outside or inside.
86. Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame (6-5, 260 pounds)
Foskey has made great use of his length and strength, exploding as a pass rusher but also wreaking havoc against the run.
87. Mykael Wright, CB, Oregon (5-11, 178 pounds)
Wright is a well-rounded cornerback who does a little bit of everything well because of athleticism and technique.
88. Tykee Smith, S, Georgia (5-10, 198 pounds)
Smith is a solid all-around safety prospect who stands out most because of his intelligence in reading the field and versatility to make plays everywhere.
89. Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama (6-1, 194 pounds)
Jobe isn’t the biggest blazer, but he provides nice length and strength to help with his coverage. He is confident in his game, seen in how physical and aggressive he is.
90. JoJo Domann, LB, Nebraska (6-1, 230 pounds)
Domann is a very versatile player with coverage skills to handle backs and tight ends well.
91. Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State (6-5, 252 pounds)
Ruckert is a reliable receiver who has plenty of room to grow into a more reliable blocker.
92. Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon (5-11, 194 pounds)
McKinley is a dynamic playmaker with natural instincts in coverage, rising up boards with nose for the ball.
93. Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford (6-6, 228 pounds)
McKee emerged on the radar with his strong natural arm combined with good accuracy and has the ability to excel in a variety of passing systems.
94. Lewis Cine, S, Georgia (6-1, 200 pounds)
Cine is a hard-hitting safety who can blow up runners and receivers and is underrated for his pass coverage work.
95. John Michael Schmitz, C/G, Minnesota (6-4, 320 pounds)
Schmitz also was a force on the Gophers’ line and the second-best pure center in the class after Linderbaum.
96. Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State (6-5, 270 pounds)
Thomas is a versatile pass rusher who would work well producing situationally before rounding out his game.
97. Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State (6-7, 300 pounds)
Diesch offers good strength as a nimble pass protector on the rise.
98. Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming (6-3, 242 pounds)
Muma can do pretty much everything asked from the position with rare coverage and pass-rush skills.
99. Khaill Shakir, WR, Boise State (6-0, 190 pounds)
Shakir is a smooth route runner with good hands who can be prolific working short-to-intermediate.
100. Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Michigan (6-1, 220 pounds)
Zappe has had a prolific first season bumping up to FBS with great accuracy, smarts and toughness in a “Air Raid” style high-volume passing game.
NFL Draft prospect rankings: Best players by position
- Matt Corral, Ole Miss
- Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
- Malik Willis, Liberty
- Sam Howell, North Carolina
- Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
- Carson Strong, Nevada
- Tanner McKee, Stanford
- Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
- Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
- Breece Hall, Iowa State
- Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
- Zach Charbonnet, UCLA
- Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
- Chris Olave, Ohio State
- Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
- Drake London, USC
- Treylon Burks, Arkansas
- Jahan Dotson, Penn State
- John Metchie III, Alabama
- George Pickens, Georgia
- Jameson Williams, Alabama
- David Bell, Purdue
- Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
- Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky
- Romeo Doubs, Nevada
- Justyn Ross, Clemson
- Khalil Shakir, Boise State
- Trey McBride, Colorado State
- Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M
- Cade Otton, Washington
- Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State
- Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
- Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
- Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
- Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
- Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
- Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
- Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
- Darian Kinnard, OT/G, Kentucky
- Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
- Zion Johnson, OT/G, Boston College
- Zion Nelson, OT, Miami
- Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington
- Thayer Munford, OT, Ohio State
- Sean Rhyan, OT/G, UCLA
- Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
- Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
- John Michael Schmitz, C/G, Minnesota
- Kellen Diesch, OT, Arizona State
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
- Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
- George Karlaftis, Purdue
- David Ojabo, Michigan
- Drake Jackson, USC
- Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati
- Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
- Zach Harrison, Ohio State
- Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
- Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
- Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State
- Logan Hall, Houston
- Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
- Cameron Thomas, San Diego State
- DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M
- Jordan Davis, Georgia
- Travon Walker, Georgia
- Travis Jones, Connecticut
- Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
- Tyler Davis, Clemson
- Zach Carter, Florida
- Devin Lloyd, Utah
- Nakobe Dean, Georgia
- Brandon Smith, Penn State
- Christian Harris, Alabama
- Henry To’o-To’o, Alabama
- Brenton Cox Jr., Florida
- JoJo Domann, Nebraska
- Chad Muma, Wyoming
- Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
- Kaiir Elam, Florida
- Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson
- Roger McCreary, Auburn
- Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
- Trent McDuffie, Washington
- Derion Kendrick, Georgia
- Storm Duck, North Carolina
- Martin Emerson Jr., Mississippi State
- Kyler Gordon, Washington
- Marcus Jones, Houston
- Mykael Wright, Oregon
- Josh Jobe, Alabama
- Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
- Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
- Jordan Battle, Alabama
- Jalen Catalon, Arkansas
- Brandon Joseph, Northwestern
- Daxton Hill, Michigan
- Tykee Smith, Georgia
- Verone McKinley III, Oregon
- Lewis Cine, Georgia