Profiling the hottest prospects in this year’s NFL Draft

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The 2022 NFL draft takes place at the home of the Las Vegas Raiders, at the Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. The first round kicks off April 28th with rounds 2 and 3 on April 29th and rounds 4 through 7 set for April 30th.

As always, this year promises to be even more exciting as teams try and build a winning team to take them all the way to the SuperBowl, or in the case of the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that wins more than 3 games.

The Jaguars start this year’s draft with first pick, thanks to an awful season that included 14 defeats. The Detroit Lions get pick number 2 and the Houston Texans are at 3. The New York Jets (thanks to a trade with Seattle) get picks 4 and 10, while the New York Giants (trade with Chicago) hold picks 5 and 7. You can check out the full list here.

If you’re teams in need of a quarterback, then this probably isn’t going to be the draft for you. But while there’s no Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence out there, there’s still plenty of quality around in other positions.

  1. Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan

Hutchinson was not short of awards last year: Big Ten Defensive Player of Year, consensus All-American and Hendricks Award, as well as setting Michigan’s single-season sack record with 14.

He’s the highest-graded edge defender in college football, excelling against the run and pass. Combined with his speed and power, Hutchinson is the complete edge defender and one of the safest picks in this year’s draft.

  1. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon

Thibodeaux may lack refinement, but he’s built for this position with an ideal frame and lightening first step that will see him sacking NFL quarter backs in no time. His performances were recognized with a spot on the Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference first team, the PFF Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, PFF All-Pac-12 first team and a Tim Hendricks Award finalist. With an ideal frame and length, combined with his explosive first-step quickness and closing burst, double-digit sacks should become the norm relatively early in his NFL career.

  1. Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame 

Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 220 pounds, Hamilton is a modern defender who can do anything you ask of him.  While it’s true to say safeties aren’t normally picked in the top 10, it’s also true to say Hamilton isn’t your typical safety. 

With outstanding range and ball production plus eight career interceptions to his name, the latest betting on the NFL draft has Hamilton down as the number 3 pick.

  1. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama 

The man mountain Evan Neal, stands at 6ft 7inches and weighs 350 pounds, making him a physically imposing ball player. He also has speed and power to back up that physique making this three-year starter at Alabama an obvious pick at number 4. He has experience at left guard (13 starts), right tackle (12 starts) and left tackle (15 starts), only allowing a total of 24 pressures over the last two years.

  1. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, Louisiana State University

A starter since his freshman year, Stingley has only allowed a 41% completion percentage for his career so far. A natural athlete he boasts great length, speed, and power. 2019 saw Stingley have a stellar season with six interceptions, but injuries in back-to-back seasons have restricted him to only 10 games during that time. He may be a gamble on recent form but if he can get back to the form he showed in his freshman year, he’s a top ten pick. 

  1. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

In 2021 Linderbaum started 15 games playing on 908 snaps and gave up just a single sack, 2 QB hits, and 4 QB hurries. He was named the 2021 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and also won the Rimington Trophy as college football’s top centre. In his three years at Iowa, he has played 33 games and only given up 2 sacks.

At 6’3 and 290 pounds, he’s mobile, has excellent natural athleticism and great foot work. His wrestling background gives him a great feel for the position. He was named the 2021 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and won the Rimington Trophy as college football’s top center.

With the 2022 NFL draft drawing ever closer, excitement continues to grow as fans hope their team can find the missing piece they so desperately need. Expect late twists, lots of trades and plenty of surprises. We can’t wait.

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