The 2022 NFL Draft features tons of exciting offensive talent at premium positions like RB and WR, and great developmental talent at other premium positions like QB and TE. The most fascinating part of this class is that it’s frequently thought not to be top-heavy, but the prospects at the top have been faster and more athletic than any class ever. Without further ado, my top 5 draft prospects at every skill position!
Top 5 Players at Every Skill Position
Top 5 QBs
1. Matt Corral QB – Ole Miss
I love Matt Corral’s athleticism and arm. I think in the right system with a good offense around him, Corral could be a top 15-20 QB. His style of play is tough, but that concerns me; will he be able to stay healthy at the next level? I don’t believe Corral ends up being a top 10 pick, or maybe even a first-round pick, but with time and development, there’s a lot of potential here.
I don’t anticipate any of the QBs being fantasy relevant in year one, but Corral could be a nice stash in any rookie dynasty draft. I think Seattle makes sense as a good fit if they keep their receivers, and the same could be said of Carolina if CMC is healthy.
2. Malik Willis QB – Liberty
I’m really tempted to make Willis my QB1, but I want him to cut down on the turnovers. Malik Willis is an electric player when he’s on the move, and he makes more big plays by far when compared to others in the class (highest big-time throw percentage of all QBs in this draft class according to PFF). His 86 broken tackles as a runner is second in ALL of college football, behind only Kenneth Walker of MSU.
His running ability alone gives any team some security if he can’t take a leap throwing the ball, but that isn’t giving him enough credit…he can also throw the hell out of the ball. Malik Willis probably has the best arm in this class, and his ability to create something out of nothing is one that no other QB in this class possesses.
His upside alone makes him an intriguing dynasty draft option, but he may not start immediately in Week 1 and could be a late bloomer. If he finds a team that has a plan with him like the Ravens did Lamar Jackson, he likely becomes the top dynasty QB option in this class, and Seattle/Pittsburgh are both fits I like quite a bit.
3. Kenny Pickett QB – Pittsburgh
Kenny Pickett likely has the highest floor of all the QBs in this class. He’s a good decision maker with a good (not great) arm, and he’s battle-tested in cold weather. He also likely played the best of all QBs in this draft this past season, but the problem here is his projection to the league. I’d be lying if I said the small hands don’t at least bother me, but I don’t anticipate that the hand size leads to “inevitable turnover problems.”
Pickett needs a safety blanket wherever he goes, like he had in Jordan Addison at Pitt, if he wants to succeed in the NFL. In my opinion, Pickett isn’t someone to be aggressive in targeting in any dynasty rookie draft, but he could end up being a B-grade Kirk Cousins at the next level with a good OL and surrounding weapons on a team like the Steelers.
4. Sam Howell QB – UNC
This is where the QBs take a steep drop-off in my opinion. The top 3 QBs, Corral/Willis/Pickett, are first round talents on my board, but Howell is more of a second-round talent. Howell is a nice stash and develop for any team, and he showed off his ability to effectively run the football this past season at UNC. It concerns me that his throwing took a step back in 2021, and that’s why I believe he could use some seasoning in the NFL. Sam Howell isn’t a guy to target in a dynasty draft but could become more fantasy relevant down the road.
5. Desmond Ridder QB – Cincinnati
Desmond Ridder is the second-best athlete in this QB class behind Willis. He has great size and can run the football. I’d like to see him work on balancing his base in his throwing motion more, but the arm mechanics are textbook. I believe based on the film study I’ve conducted that if he fixes the base problems, he’d clean up the inaccuracy problems he encountered throughout the season. Ridder, like Howell, is a nice stash and develop but he is not considered fantasy relevant in his first year in the league.
Top 5 RBs
1. Kenneth Walker RB – MSU
Kenneth Walker is a really fun study, and I think he’s being slept on in this draft process. My #1 RB, Kenneth Walker led all of college football in missed tackles and elusive rating, two key projectors of NFL success. I think Kenneth Walker could use a lot of work as a blocker, but the running ability should keep him on the field as a 3-down back.
While Breece Hall is a better athlete, the rushing tape is better for Walker in my opinion. Kenneth Walker is a top dynasty rookie option, and if he has a good NFL offensive line, it would be a huge help for him. Any playoff contenders looking for a strong RB would be a good fit, and Kenneth Walker would figure to be that desired missing piece.
There are no obvious fits with any of the RBs (because it’s a big question if one goes in round 1), but if any of these guys are drafted to be the stand-alone RB1, you could assume their stock will rise quite a bit.
2. Breece Hall RB – Iowa State
Breece Hall is another RB I really like in this class. Hall knocked it out of the ballpark at the combine with his freaky athletic testing, and some projection systems have his evaluation at /Najee Harris levels. One of these projection systems, NFL Next Gen Stats, has his draft score a perfect 99/99, the same that Najee Harris, Jonathan Taylor, Saquon Barkley and only 2 others have ever had. That’s really encouraging.
I think both Walker and Hall deserve to be top options in any dynasty rookie draft and are in a class of their own when compared to other RB prospects. Like I said with Kenneth Walker, there’s no obvious fit here but the quality of his NFL offensive line and the team’s role for the player will play a big part in projecting their NFL success in a dynasty draft.
3. Tyler Allgeier RB – BYU
I really like Tyler Allgeier as a sleeper in this class. Allgeier was a huge part of Zach Wilson’s BYU offense a year ago and remained a big part of their offense without Wilson this past year. He’s elusive and quick, doesn’t go down on first contact (second of all RBs in college football in yards after contact per PFF), and I like his ability to break tackles (9th in college football per PFF).
I think his game will translate nicely to the next level. It won’t take a high pick in a dynasty rookie draft to grab Allgeier and the upside is high. I like him as a later pick sleeper in any dynasty rookie draft, and any wide-zone running system is a perfect fit for him in my opinion.
4. Isaiah Spiller RB – Texas A&M
Even though he’s a big guy, Spiller is quite elusive. He’s not as elusive as the guys ahead of him in this ranking, but his size likely plays a part in why that is the case. I like Spiller as a sleeper in a dynasty rookie draft depending on the role that his draft team has for him, but I don’t believe he deserves to be a high pick in those drafts. If Spiller is sitting there and others ahead of him in my rankings are all gone, Spiller is a good option to consider.
5. Dameon Pierce RB – Florida
Pierce is a fascinating eval. He really didn’t run much at Florida, which is strange. Pierce tested well and packs a punch when he’s running downhill, and somehow managed to record 13 TDs on only 100 attempts! I like Pierce as a sleeper option, like Allgeier and Spiller, but I anticipate he may be a goal-line back at the next level, similar to the role LeGarrette Blount had years ago with the Eagles and Patriots.
If that’s the case, it may impact his fantasy value at the next level. Pierce needs a system where running the ball with force is a priority, and any team that places that running style emphasis is a good fit for him.
Top 5 WRs
1. Drake London WR – USC
The difference between the #1 and #4 WR in my WR rankings is minimal, to be honest. Whoever drafts one of these top WRs is likely picking them because they like their play style, as they all have their own unique styles of play. For all the concerns about Drake London’s ability to separate, London has plenty of speed to get by…like 92nd percentile speed.
In 7 fewer games than Jameson Williams, London: had more Missed Tackles than Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave…COMBINED, had 19 Contested Catches, (#1 in all of CFB, 15 more than Jameson, 11 more than Garrett), and finished with the highest WR PFF grade of all the top WR prospects. I also wouldn’t look past his 135.5 yards per game, and his 1084 receiving yards in only 8 games! London would flourish in a system like the Jets, where height is needed at the WR position (Don’t forget he’s 6’3”) and should be a very high pick in any dynasty rookie draft.
2. Garrett Wilson WR – Ohio State
Garrett Wilson’s floor is the highest of all the different draft receivers, but his ceiling is likely lower than the other top WRs in this draft. Wilson has elite body control and can make pretty much every catch on the football field, but I wish his average depth of target and YAC were higher.
As an athlete, Garrett lags behind some of the testing monsters in this class like Treylon Burks, Jameson Williams, and Christian Watson, but his athletic ability will allow him to get by just fine. His releases are the best in this class, but I think he needs to clean up some of his route-running inefficiencies to continue his high level of success in the NFL. With that in mind, Wilson STILL remains a top route-runner in this class, and the only other thing holding him back from being the top WR in this class is his lack of freaky twitch and/or elite size.
Even as my WR2, he projects as a fantastic WR at the next level who I’d compare to Calvin Ridley (but even faster). For this reason, he’d be an ideal fit to replace Calvin Ridley in Atlanta. Garrett Wilson profiles to be a top dynasty rookie draft pick, and I believe he is worthy of a top 5 dynasty rookie draft selection.
3. Treylon Burks WR – Arkansas
If Treylon Burks ends up being the best WR in this class, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. His top speed is the best in this class, and his size allows him to bully some defenders and blaze past others. Burks is not a great accelerator (negatively impacting his releases), which will hamstring his ability to run some routes, but the right offensive play-caller will still be able to reap the benefits of his talent through the use of motions, similar to how the 49ers utilize Deebo Samuel’s talent.
Though his 40-yard dash disappointed some, don’t let that convince you he isn’t fast. His top game speed of 22.6 mph would’ve placed third in the NFL last season. Treylon Burks’ projection largely comes down to what team drafts him, but if he can find his way onto a team with a creative play-caller, he could easily end up being the BEST skill player in this class.
4. Jameson Williams WR – Alabama
If Jameson Williams didn’t tear his ACL, he could’ve very well been in play as a top 5 or 10 pick. Now that scenario is considered unlikely. His game-changing speed adds a different element to any offense that wants to take the top off a defense, and his shiftiness has led to phenomenal YAC results.
Full transparency, I would’ve likely had Jameson Williams as my top 1 or 2 WR in this class injury-free, but the injury adds an unpredictable element to his stock and projection that I need to factor into his evaluation. If he went to a team like the Chiefs or Packers, he could become a star from year one because of his speed alone.
I really like Jameson and depending on his return timetable, reaching for him in a dynasty rookie draft isn’t the worst idea. Just like I said it wouldn’t surprise me if Treylon Burks ended up being the top WR in the class, the same could be said about Jameson, and honestly even Wilson.
5. Christian Watson WR – NDSU
There’s a lot of projection behind this high-ranking of Christian Watson. His combination of size and speed hasn’t been seen since Calvin Johnson if you look at his Relative Athletic Score. His tape shows big-play ability and track level speed at 6’4”, but he doesn’t show a ton of play strength that I’d expect based on his athletic testing.
I really think Watson could become a star on the right team, but because of how raw he is, his floor is lower than that of some honorable mentions like Chris Olave, Skyy Moore, and maybe even Jahan Dotson. However, I put him ahead of them simply because of what Watson COULD become, an elite playmaker in the NFL. Just like Jameson, if he could find a way to end up in a spot like the Chiefs or Packers, his stock would jump quite a bit with elite QB play.
Top 5 TEs
1. Trey McBride TE – CSU
McBride is the best TE in this class in my opinion. McBride was the entire offense at Colorado State, and his eight deep catches placed him third of all tight ends in college football per PFF. He isn’t a great blocker (though he can get by in that regard) and he doesn’t have elite speed, which will hurt his stock quite a bit.
What does help him though is his ability to catch everything that comes away and his big body that allows him to play physically. This tight end class isn’t great at the top, which can be displayed by my expectation that McBride, as my top TE, goes in the third round. McBride would be a great fit where he can be a safety blanket for a young QB, like the Giants or the Jaguars. McBride and Likely are the only relevant dynasty rookie draft options, and even those two don’t factor to be top options in a dynasty rookie draft.
2. Isaiah Likely TE – Coastal Carolina
Isaiah Likely is a favorite of mine. He falls just behind McBride in my evaluation as the second best TE in the class, and his receiving ability intrigues me. I expect Likely to be drafted a little after McBride, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up being the first TE to go.
He could also use some work with his blocking, but he projects to be a solid NFL target immediately once he enters the league. I like his fit in any dynamic passing offense considering he’s faster than other TEs in the class, but he lacks in size which will limit the teams that will have interest in him. Likely is 1 of 2 relevant dynasty rookie fantasy TE options besides McBride, but I don’t recommend selecting him high.
3. Cade Otton TE – Washington
The TE draft class takes a steep drop-off after Isaiah Likely, and Otton is the first to experience this drop-off. He lacks elite athleticism and doesn’t have a lot of deep receptions in college, but he projects to be a decent blocker in the NFL. I don’t expect him to be a feasible selection in any fantasy draft.
4. Jeremy Ruckert TE – Ohio State
Ruckert wasn’t used nearly enough at Ohio State. When used, he was a good receiver and a good blocker, but that lack of usage is worrisome for me. I think he’s the type of player to be better in the NFL than he is in college though, and his size is intriguing.
I think Ruckert will be drafted lower than some other TEs on this list, but he could prove to be a solid receiving and blocking option several years into his career. He, like other TE prospects in this vicinity, isn’t relevant in any fantasy draft at this point.
5. Greg Dulcich TE – UCLA
I’m lower on Dulcich than some other draft analysts. I don’t see Dulcich as an NFL-level target and his blocking leaves room for improvement. Even with that in mind, he’s a better receiver of the football than others in this class which brought him to #5 in my TE rankings in this class. He is not fantasy relevant in any dynasty rookie draft.