Some of the guys at Roto Street Journal came together to do their version of a 2022 dynasty fantasy football rookie mock draft, where they selected the top players in the draft prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. Although the squad did not know where each rookie would be playing in 2022, it was mostly based on the player’s talent and how each drafter viewed the player from his rookie season and beyond.
This is a 12-team, three-round SuperFlex half PPR mock draft. Check out The Wolf’s 2022 Dynasty Rankings to see where he ranks the rookie class pre-and-post draft.
1.01: Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State – Dane
2021 Statistics: 1,472 rush yds, 5.8 ypc, 20 rushing TDs; 36 rec for 302 yds and three scores
Player Preview: Finishing top-10 in Heisman voting in ’20 and ’21, Hall has the skills to be a three-down NFL running back. His elite NFL combine showing further separated him from the other backs in this class.
NFL Player Comp: Jonathan Taylor, Matt Forte
Best Fit: Bill and Falcons
1.02: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas – Ian
2021 Statistics: 66 rec, 1104 receiving yds, 16.3 ypr, 11 TD; 14 rushing attempts for 112 yds, 1 TD
Player Preview: A do-it-all 6’2” 225 lb boar-hunting beast. In all seriousness, Burks was the focal point of a mediocre offense at Arkansas and was ALL-SEC First Team in 2021. Burks ranked first in yards per route run (6.08) while lined up outside and drafters shouldn’t be worried about his 77% of his snaps being lined up in the slot.
NFL Player Comp: AJ Brown
Best Fit: Packers
1.03: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty – The Wolf
2021 Statistics: 207 completions (339 attempts), 61.1%, 2857 passing yds, 27 TDs, 12 INTs; 197 rush att, 878 yards (4.5 YPC), 13 TDs
Player Preview: In a Super-Flex format, Willis is a steal anywhere after the Top-2.
QBs with rushing upside, aka the “Konami-Code,” have become the new crown jewel for fantasy footballers. In a weak 2022 QB class, Willis may be the only signal-caller with genuine weekly Top-10 upside, largely due to his legs: he’s a natural, loose athlete and play-extender with dynamic speed & movement skills inside and especially outside the pocket. He’s also a strong runner and breaks plenty of arm tackles when he’s not making defenders miss with elusiveness.
Willis isn’t just a runner, though; the ball explodes out of his hand with strength, burst & confidence, which was on full display during both the Combine and Senior Bowl. Yes, this means a phenomenal deep ball, but Willis also uses his explosive arm to fit the ball into tight windows and slice up the intermediate range. In short: he has a Tier 1 arm and can sling it on the run, from every platform, and every arm angle, all mixed in with elite athleticism.
Yes, his decision-making, anticipation, placement, and field vision all still need refinement. Indeed, the lower level of competition shouldn’t be discounted. But Willis showed tremendous growth in his fumbling and play under pressure from 2020 to 2021, via NBC’s Thor Nystrom: “In 2021, 17 fumbles turned into just three, while his PFF passing grade under pressure went from 34.1 to a league-leading 68.3.” He’d be best served as a “project” QB with time to learn the NFL ropes within a quality organization, making the Steelers a phenomenal spot. The Seahawks’ weaponry, combined with Willis’ legs, would also create insane fantasy upside for the short and long-term.
NFL Player Comp: Jalen Hurts with a better arm
Best Fit: Steelers or Seahawks
1.04: Drake London, WR, USC – Duck
2021 Statistics: 88 rec. 1,084 rec. yards, 7 TD
Player Preview: Drake London is an excellent athlete. It’s no secret his calling card is winning at the catch point, with soft, strong hands, eerily reminiscent of one Dez Bryant.
While not quite as physical or as freakish as Bryant, London stands at 6’4” and his superior body control allows him to routinely “Moss” defenders.
While not a pristine route runner, London still runs clean routes and displays good agility.
What separates him from his player comp, Mike Evans, is his ability to consistently produce after the catch. Ideally, London needs to be used as a starting outside WR in a vertically based passing offense.
London possesses arguably the highest ceiling in the class, along with Burks and Watson, and he is almost a lock for early to mid-first round draft capital. Having a 100th percentile breakout age (18.1 years of age) and his early draft capital suggests he will be put in an immediate position to succeed and return fantasy value.
NFL Player Comp: Mike Evans
Best Fit: Atlanta, NYJ
1.05: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State – CJ
2021 Statistics: 70 rec, 1,058 yds, 12 TD
Player Preview: Garrett Wilson is prospect porn when you turn on the tape. His elite body control, route running, and ball skills make him my WR1 in the class and everything he does is so damn fluid and smooth. He’s a true master of his profession who makes tough catches and makes the most challenging parts about being an elite receiver look easy.
The former high school basketball stud and five-star recruit (No. 2 WR in 2019) combines his silly hops and body control to make incredible contested catches and has a knack for knowing where he is on the field at all times while in the air. He can also take a jet sweep 50-yards to the crib or even take the top off the defense with his 4.38 speed. Make no mistake about it. Wilson is the most polished and NFL-ready receiver in his class and he has little-to-no holes in his game.
NFL Player Comp: Silky smooth like Calvin Ridley — but a better overall receiver.
Best Fit: Falcons and Saints
1.06: George Pickens, WR, Georgia – Emery
2021 Statistics: 4 GP, 5 Receptions, 107 Yds
Player Preview: Pickens is an interesting case in the first round, as along with Jameson Williams he is coming off an ACL tear. Pickens’ tear came in March during Georgia’s spring game, which led to him only competing in the final regular-season game through the National Championship.
Standing at 6’3 ¼’’, 195 pounds, Pickens has the frame to be an elite possession receiver at the NFL level. 4.47 40 speed to go along with a 33-inch vertical is prime Y placement in every playbook, as health in the preseason is the biggest concern at this point pre-NFL Draft. Pickens’ physicality and YAC ability should be back to his 2019 self soon enough, where he posted a career-best 49 receptions, 727 yards, and 8 scores.
NFL Player Comp: Mike Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster
Best Fit: NE, GB, TEN, NYJ
1.07: Kenny Pickett, Pitt, QB
2021 Statistics: 4319 yards passing, 42 TDs, 7 INTs, 67.2% completion pct; 97 rushes for 241 yards and 5 TDs
Player Preview: Physical tools and arm velocity complemented by improving mental aspects of the position put Pickett in the running as the most pro-ready QB of this class. Work still needs to be done on pocket presence, and to a lesser extent, ball placement and mechanics.
NFL Player Comp: prime Andy Dalton
Best Fit: Panthers
1.08: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan St – Ian
2021 Statistics: 1646 rush yds, 6.2 ypc, 18 rushing TDs; 13 rec for 89 yds and one score
Player Preview: The 2021 Doak Walker Award Winner and Heisman finalist, Walker has elite speed from the outside. Walker impressed at the combine however, his lack of pass-catching at both Wake Forest and Michigan State has been a concern. Walker is the second-best back in this class behind Hall.
NFL Player Comp: JK Dobbins
Best Fit: 1. Texans and Falcons
1.09: Chris Olave, WR, OSU – The Wolf
2021 Statistics: 65 rec (103 tgts), 936 yards, 13 TDs
Player Preview: A skilled ball tracker with 4.39 speed (94th percentile), Olave is a game-changing play waiting to happen; unsurprisingly, he’s the Buckeye’s all-time leader in career TDs (35). Far more than just a big play though, Olave has strong acceleration and butter-smooth breaks through his routes alongside excellent body-control and toe-tapping abilities, making him a steady terror at every level and layer of the field. Perhaps the most fluid WR and top route-runner in this class, Olave knows how to create spacing and doesn’t waste movement.
Yes, Olave leaves something to be desired in his strength, which impacts his ability at the line vs. press coverage, at the catch-point in contested situations, and, perhaps most damningly, after-the-catch. Still, he’s so well-rounded and capable of winning everywhere via his routes and athleticism that Olave should step in and contribute quality WR numbers from Day 1, with the upside for genuine Top-15 WR status as a rookie if he lands in the Green Bay or Kansas City goldmine.
NFL Player Comp: Chris Godwin / Terry McLaurin with more speed
Best Fit: Kansas City or Green Bay (duh)
1.10: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati – Duck
2021 Statistics: 251/387 (64.9%), 3334 yds, 30 TDs, 8 Int; 110 rush, 355 ru yards, 6 TDs
Player Preview: Ridder eats, sleeps, and breathes poise and experience. Most notably, Ridder showed visible development each and every season he played. Ridder checks a lot of the boxes teams typically look for when scouting quarterbacks.
Ridder’s best features are his arm talent, mobility, and experience. Ridder can make any throw on the field and he is an excellent runner with the ball. He’s smart with the ball in his hands and doesn’t take many “stupid” hits.
As with every prospect, he has his areas of concern. Ridder’s accuracy is highly erratic, and his decision-making makes him a high risk for potential turnovers early. Ridder plays the position aggressively, but his arm talent allows him to be one of the quarterbacks that can make sweet, sweet lemonade.
However, Ridder is not a Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Andrew Luck style “savior” according to the draft Network’s Joe Marino. He needs to go to a team with a solid infrastructure in place and sit for a season or two for the best possible results.
NFL Player Comp: Ryan Tannehill
Best Fit: Tennessee Titans (ironically), Indianapolis Colts (should they possibly trade up to get him)
1.11: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama – CJ
2021 Statistics: 79 rec, 1,572 yds, 15 TD
Player Preview: How the hell did I get Jameson Williams at 1.11 and WR6?! Sure, the Alabama star is coming off a torn ACL that occurred during the National Championship, but do ACL tears even matter anymore? What am I missing here?
Williams couldn’t crack Justin Fields’ target totem pole at Ohio State behind Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave and decided to transfer to Alabama once Jaxson Smith-Njigba (2023 WR1) took a gigantic step during Ohio State’s winter workouts. Although Williams made the occasional big play at Ohio State, the consistency wasn’t there and he was also hurt by the COVID-shortened season in 2020.
At Alabama, Williams’ elite speed shined as he averaged 20 yards per reception and made highlight play after highlight play. The offense took a gigantic step back with Williams off the field due to a targeting suspension and then the second half of the National Championship after suffering the torn ACL on a non-contact play. One could even argue he was the team’s most important player on that side of the ball.
Prior to the injury, he was the consensus top receiver on mock drafts. Now 14 weeks out from the injury, ‘Juiceman’ is “ahead of schedule” and he expects to be fully cleared for NFL training camp in August. While Williams did not get to run at the combine, he would’ve likely run in the low 4.3s, which would have solidified him as a top-10 pick. Don’t be silly, it’s not 1993. ACL injuries don’t matter in 2022.
NFL Player Comp: Tyreek Hill or Will Fuller
Best Fit: Chiefs, Packers, Cardinals
1.12: Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss – Emery
2021 Statistics: 262/386 (67.9%), 3,349 Yards, 20 TD/5 INT
Player Preview: Matt Corral was the betting favorite to win the Heisman Trophy for the first handful of weeks, while also leading Ole Miss to a 6-1 start – the only loss coming 42-21 to #1 Alabama. The back half of his season fizzled out, culminating in an ankle injury in the Bowl game vs Baylor that many talking heads in the sports world thought was avoidable.
Corral is an interesting prospect in what many of those aforementioned talking heads believe to be a weak quarterback class. At 6’1’’, 205 pounds, he doesn’t tower over an offensive line. John Elway certainly wouldn’t draft him. Corral makes up for his lack of size with pinpoint accuracy in the short and intermediate game, along with poise in a stable pocket. If protected well, he will make most of his throws.
I don’t think Corral is the best-equipped QB in this draft to take over a system and lead an offense, and I certainly don’t think he’ll be drafted in many redraft leagues. Hope for him to go to an organization with a competent signal-caller in front of him with numbered days left, and give him the reins in two or three years.
NFL Player Comp: Russell Wilson Lite
Best Fit: MIN, TB, IND
2.01: Isaiah Spiller, RB, TAMU – Emery
2021 Statistics: 179 Attempts, 1,011 Yards, 6 TD; 25 Rec, 189 Yards, 1 TD
Player Preview: Spiller came into the 2021 season as a top-rated RB in a sparsely populated class. Even with a 1,000-yard rushing campaign, he probably will fall to late day two of the NFL Draft. Anywhere he goes, however, he will be a bruising back capable of holding his own on the goal line.
Standing at 6’ ⅜’’ and 217 pounds, Spiller is no slouch. One of his best attributes is his pass blocking abilities. These pass-blocking abilities also lead to screen opportunities, and although many college programs around the country don’t feed their backs as some NFL teams do, Spiller showed his adequacy in handling passes all season long. Look for Spiller to be drafted to compliment a zone rushing attack as a between the tackles runner and a goal-line presence, but don’t be surprised if he’s the top rookie back overall this season.
NFL Player Comp: Chris Carson
Best Fit: NYJ, SEA, LV
2.02: Christian Watson, WR, NDSU – CJ
2021 Statistics: 43 rec, 800 yds, 7 TD
Player Preview: Standing at 6-foot-4, 208 lbs with a 4.36 40-yd dash and a 38.5 inch vertical, Christian Watson is one of the best overall athletes in the draft class. The theme of this draft season and beyond will be teams trying to find the “next Deebo Samuel” who can be an elite receiver and also lineup in the backfield to create mismatches. While Watson is not as thick as Samuel, he has 49 career carries, 392 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns on top of his receiving output. He even started a game at running back.
While Watson was able to bully and out-athlete his FCS competition, he is currently limited as a route runner and will primarily lean on his elite YAC ability and vertical speed to win right away in the NFL. In reality, Watson is a boom-or-bust prospect, but I feel comfortable with him making this dice roll with how teams are using receivers in 2022.
NFL Player Comp: Chase Claypool
Best Fit: Colts, Raiders
2.03: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan – Duck
2021 Statistics: 95 rec. 1292 yards, 10 TDs
Player Preview: Moore hit the ground running at Western Michigan, recording 802 receiving yards and 3 rec. TDs as a true freshman and was on his way to taking a step forward his sophomore season before suffering an injury after appearing in only five games.
Moore finally exploded in his redshirt sophomore season with almost 1300 receiving yards and 10 TDs.
Moore was routinely boogying on defenders in the slot, whether he was winning on fades, in-breaking routes, or RPO passes. He is best served in a spread offense where his after-the-catch talents can be put on full display. Moore is a dark horse day one draft candidate but most likely is taken in the second round.
Catching 95 passes his last year in college with a dominant 36.7% target share shows he has a target hog skill set and
NFL Player Comp: More athletic Sterling Shepard
Best Fit: SF, IND
2.04: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State – The Wolf
2021 Statistics: 91 rec (146 tgts), 1,182 yards, 12 TDs
Player Preview: Standing an unimposing 5-foot-11 and slender 180 lbs, Dotson won’t “wow” anyone with his measurables even with a solid 4.43 forty (86th %ile) & 36-inch vertical. Yet, for what he lacks in “sizzle,” Dotson more than makes up for in “steak.” He’s a “football player” in every sense of the word, winning nearly all his routes thanks to impressive lower-body suddenness, and hauling in almost everything thrown his way, even and especially at the catch-point: Dane Brugler said Dotson has “maybe the largest catch radius of any sub 5-foot-11 receiver I have ever scouted.” A true “target vacuum,” Dotson shouldered a 32.5% college target share, ranking in the 95th percentile while increasing his production each season despite subpar QB play his entire career. Dotson plays all over the formation and has that “it” factor with intangibles, captured by his “my-ball” mentality: “I approach that (ball) as a million dollars. It’s a million dollars in the air. If you want it, you go get it.”
NFL Player Comp: Diontae Johnson or Emmanuel Sanders
Best Fit: As with the rest of the WRs… Green Bay or Kansas City…
2.05: Sam Howell, QB, UNC – Ian
2021 Statistics: 3056 yards passing, 24 TDs, 9 INTs, 62.5% completion pct; 183 rushes for 828 yards and 11 TDs
Player Preview: Sam Howell had three years of production at UNC, but regressed this past season due to the loss of Daz Newsome, Dyami Brown, Michael Carter, and Javontae Williams. Howell can make a majority of throws and proved he can be a dual-threat with over 800 yards last season. In a weaker QB class, Howell is worth a pick in the second round.
NFL Player Comp: Baker Mayfield
Best Fit: Titans
2.06: Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State – Dane
2021 Statistics: 240 carries, 1673 yards, 18 TDs, 7.0 ypc; 22 receptions for 150 yards
Player Preview: Strong is a speedy, north-south glider that should be able to contribute in the passing game if called upon, but play strength could cap his potential as a future workhorse or dependable fantasy starter.
NFL Player Comp: Tevin Coleman
Best Fit: Texans, 49ers
2.07: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame – Emery
2021 Statistics: 204 Attempts, 1,002 Yards, 14 TD; 42 Rec, 359 Yards, 3 TD
Player Preview: Williams followed up a sizzling 2020 campaign with another 1,000-yard season, his second consecutive 200+/1,000+/13+ season for the Fighting Irish. Standing at 5’ 9 ¼’’, Williams is on the smaller side but runs hard for his size, with both physicality and open field wizardry. His 4.65 40 time is slow, but makes up for it with good tempo and block recognition. He didn’t have the greatest combine and certainly will fall in the draft for it. On paper, his numbers aren’t eye-popping, but the on-field tape speaks volumes.
Williams is certainly the most polished receiving RB in this class and his silky smooth hands will translate well to the NFL level. Look for a team to take a flier on him late-day 2/early day 3 to compete for touches in the preseason.
NFL Player Comp: Kareem Hunt
Best Fit: LV, TB
2.08: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State – CJ
2021 Statistics: 182 att, 1,006 yds, 15 TD; 43 rec, 456 rec yds, 1 rec TD
Best Fit: Rachaad White is not only built like an early-down back (6-feet, 214 lbs), but he has the hands to match. After playing D-II and JUCO ball for three seasons, he transferred to Arizona State, where he led the Sun Devils in rushing yards and receiving yards in a COVID-shortened 2020 season. He then exploded in 2021, putting up nearly 1,500 yards of total offense and 16 touchdowns.
The shifty back makes defenders miss on the regular and is a human highlight reel. He even silenced some doubters with his 4.48 40-yard dash. Most notably for fantasy purposes, White snagged 51 receptions in only 15 games in Tempe and is one of the top pass-catchers in the class. His skill-set should find him in a running back rotation during his rookie season.
Best Fit: Bills, Broncos, Titans
NFL Player Comp: Kenyan Drake
2.09: Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri – Duck
2021 Statistics: 268 att, 1604 ruYds, 14 TDs; 54 rec., 330 yards, 4 TDs
Player Preview: Badie’s go-to trait is his short-area agility. Badie can explode through a hole and cut on a dime.
At his nearly 5’8” size, he is a slippery, electric runner in the open field and a dynamic receiving threat. He is a comfortable pass catcher with buttery soft hands and can quickly change gears into yards after the catch mode. His 16.7% target share out of the backfield suggests he has immediate fantasy value if given the opportunity.
With his 4.45 speed, all signs are that Badie will be difficult to run down in the open field. With his patient running style, ability to explode through holes, and juke defenders out of their shoes, Badie is a great change of pace running back that’s capable of handling a decent workload when asked of him. Don’t believe me? Look at what happened when the SEC rushing champ was given a full workload.
NFL Player Comp: Giovanni Bernard with good rushing skills
Best Fit: PHI, BUF
2.10: Zamir White, RB, Georgia – The Wolf
2021 Statistics: 160 att, 856 yds, 11 TD
Player Preview: Anytime someone earns the nickname “Zeus” for their athletic prowess, you should pay attention: his 4.40 forty (96th %ile) and 114.2 Speed Score (95th %ile) are no flukes and especially impressive at 214 lbs. His 1.5-second 10-yard split was the second-fastest of the entire class. White’s a weight-room warrior with a carved physique, especially his lower half that absorbs contact without being knocked off-balance, making him a physical-yet-instinctive inside runner. White isn’t overly shifty and doesn’t steadily string moves together, but he is a speedy bulldozer who refuses to go down and can rip through space or arm-tackles as a dynamic one-cut runner.
White comes with injury concerns after tearing both ACLs (2017 & 2018). He also has minimal third-down production and lackluster pass protection. Still, with his insatiable work ethic, impressive athleticism, and raw power, White could emerge as a lead-back for any team within 2-3 years.
NFL Player Comp: Marion Barber or Michael Turner
2.11: Brian Robinson, RB, Alabama – Ian
2021 Statistics: 1343 rush yds, 5.0 ypc, 13 rushing TDs; 35 rec for 296 yds and 2 TD
Player Preview: Robinson, like many other Alabama RBs, waited his turn to be the lead back in Tuscaloosa and succeeded this past season. Robinson is a powerful runner, with a great frame for an every-down back. Robinson has a chance to continue the success of Alabama backs in the NFL if drafted into the right situation.
NFL Player Comp: Ceiling: Doug Martin, Wayne Gallman, or Gus Edwards
Best Fit: Seattle Seahawks
2.12: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State – Dane
2021 Statistics: 90 rec, 1,121 yds, 1 TD
Player Preview: Good receiving skills, but particularly touted for his blocking. He has the size and drive that can translate his blocking skills to the pro level which can open the door to substantial playing time and opportunities in the passing game
NFL Player Comp: Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry
Best Fit: Packers, Bucs
3.01: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama – Dane
2021 Statistics: 82 rec, 1,474 yds, 8 TD
Player Preview: A late bloomer who started off as a two-star recruit and finished his last season with the sixth-most receiving yards in the FBS. Good catch range and the burst to get vertical, but route-running could use a little polishing.
NFL Player Comp: Marvin Jones, Van Jefferson
Best Fit: Browns, Raiders, Cardinals
3.02: James Cook, RB, Georgia – Ian
2021 Statistics: 728 rush yds, 6.4 ypc, 7 rushing TDs; 27 rec for 284 yds and four scores
Player Preview: James Cook won’t be his brother in the NFL but should serve as a third down/receiving back in the NFL. Georgia has produced a number of high level talent at the position in recent years and given the right opportunity like many backs in this class Cook can thrive with the opportunity given. Cook has the ability to burst out of the backfield to hit his top speed but will never be a consistent three-down back due to his lack in size.
NFL Player Comp: Chris Thompson/Tevin Coleman
Best Fit: 49ers
3.03: John Metchie, WR, Alabama – The Wolf
2021 Statistics: 96 rec (133 tgts), 1,142 yards, 8 TDs
Player Preview: On paper, Metchie screams: average. Average size. Average speed. So why is he so damn productive?
Metchie is a workman, through-and-through. He has a fierce work ethic and devotion to his craft as a WR, summarized well by Nick Saban: “This guy is the epitome of what you look for in a wide receiver. He is tough. He plays hurt. He plays physically. He gets open. He makes catches. He makes plays. He never complains.”
Perhaps second to only Olave as a pure route-runner, Metchie knows exactly how to manipulate coverage and set up defenders. He’s simply always open and always puts in the extra hours with his QBs to ensure chemistry, making him the ideal slot-weapon. Besides his cerebral ability and high motor, Metchie also has minimal wasted motion in and out of breaks and uses his hands well to attack at the catch-point.
Metchie is coming off a tough ACL tear in the SEC Championship Game. He also struggled with concentration drops (more career drops than TDs). Still, if he fully recovers from his ACL tear, Metchie can develop into a highly-capable WR2 and would prove a steal in Round 3 of rookie drafts. I’m betting on both happening thanks to his insatiable work ethic and ability to overcome adversity throughout his career so far.
(Noticing a trend with my picks of Dotson, White, and Metchie? I prioritize work ethic & intangibles more than measurables, by a lot).
NFL Player Comp: Keenan Allen ceiling, Jakobi Meyers floor
Best Fit: Patriots, Packers, Chiefs
3.04: Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida – Duck
2021 Statistics: 100 att., 574 yards, 13 TDs; 19 rec. 216 yards, 3 TDs
Player Preview: One of the biggest unknowns in the draft, Pierce could easily be this year’s Elijah Mitchell. *Feels CJay’s scornful eyes burrowing a hole in my skull*
The crown jewel of the draft class in 5+ yard carries according to Graham Barfield’s Yards Created metric, Pierce saw a whopping 38% of his carries go for north of 5 yards.
For whatever reason, the degenerate former coaching staff at Florida did not use Pierce, even though he was clearly the best back on the team. Pierce is also great at making defenders miss, ranking second in the class at missed tackles forced per rush attempt, first in missed tackles forced per reception, and fourth overall in yards created per attempt just behind Breece Hall.
He ranks just behind Rachaad White and the best pass catcher in the class, James Cook, in yards per route run (2.1 Y/RR).
The biggest question marks are his lack of utilization. When he touches the ball things get exciting.
NFL Player Comp: Alvin Kamara-esqe
Best Fit: ATL, LAC
3.05: Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU – CJay
2021 Statistics: 247 att, 1,606 yds, 23 TD; 28 rec, 199 rec yds
Player Preview: Alongside Zach Wilson, Tyler Allgeier burst onto the scene in 2020. Then, he upped his game with Wilson no longer by his side in 2021. Allgeier looks like the prototypical zone rusher with his one-cut rushing ability and capacity to make the early defender miss. He’s also a physical runner who consistently breaks a tackle or two on each run.
Furthermore, the BYU product is a dependable pass-catcher who could play a three-down role and even excels in pass protection. While he lacks an initial burst and perimeter speed, he has the ability to make plays at the second level. Overall, the 5-foot-11, 224 lb RB has three-down NFL upside and could be a mid-to-late round steal in rookie drafts.
NFL Player Comp: James Conner-lite
Best Fit: Dolphins, Jags, Saints
3.06: Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky – Emery
2021 Statistics: 104 Rec, 1,334 Yards, 7 TD
Player Preview: Following two seasons at Nebraska in which he played a versatile role of WR/RB, Robinson transferred to Kentucky and promptly broke school records for receptions and yards in a season. Robinson was named to the SEC all-second team and was also crowned MVP of the Citrus Bowl in #25 Kentucky’s upset of #17 Iowa.
At 5’11’’ and 185 pounds, Robinson is undersized to have a full-time outside the numbers spot in NFL offenses, but he is the prototypical slot receiver in today’s game. He is a top route runner in this class paired with 4.44 speed and crisp routes, but the lack of size will have him fall on draft boards. Robinson has an underrated ratch radius and a propensity to high point balls even with the lack of height due to a 34.5’’ vertical.
Robinson is going to be a steal of the draft, with one of the highest upsides of all these WRs in a stacked class.
NFL Player Comp: Amon Ra St. Brown
Best Fit: NE, SF (in light of Deebo news), GB
3.07: Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati – Dane
2021 Statistics: 215 carries, 1319 yds, 19 TDs; 21 receptions, 220 rec yards, 1 TD
Player Preview: Jerome Ford checks the boxes for speed and change of direction. Question marks about his running lane instincts and pass protection or blocking effectiveness. But, Ford can be difficult to bring down and he’s willing to finish runs through contact.
NFL Player Comp: Kareem Hunt minus 5-10 pounds
3.08: David Bell, WR, Purdue – Ian
2021 Statistics: 93 rec, 1286 receiving yds, 13.8 ypr, 6 TD; 3 rushing attempts for 39 yds
Player Preview: Despite his abysmal combine performance, David Bell is one of the most talented wide receivers in the class. Bell has the route running and strong hands to be a complete receiver at the next level.
NFL Player Comp: Ceiling: Chris Godwin/Keenan Allen Floor: Demarcus Robinson
Best Fit: Colts
3.09: Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson – The Wolf
2021 Statistics: 45 rec (76 tgts), 524 yards, 3 TDs
Player Preview: As a freshman in 2018, Ross outproduced teammates Tee Higgins, Hunter Renfrow, and Amari Rodgers, ranking first in yards per route run & second in PFF receiving grade among 285 WRs. At the time, Ross looked like a first-round lock with the upside to be one of the next greats.
Unfortunately, after amassing 1865 yards and 17 TDs in his first two years, Ross required a spinal surgery that kept him out for all of 2020, and he never looked fully recovered throughout his senior 2021 season. He also needed foot surgery in November 2021.
Yet, this late in a 2022 Fantasy Rookie Draft (& in Round 3+ for an NFL franchise), Ross is well-worth a stab in hopes he can regain that freshman form. Again: HE OUTPRODUCED TEE HIGGINS ON THE SAME TEAM!
Similar to Higgins, Ross is tall, long, and limber with an incredible catch-radius and solid high-pointing abilities. At his best, Ross is a fluid strider that moves far quicker than someone his size should be able to. His catch-radius is the best in this class when Ross is at full strength. His 2021 was a mess, but that was largely a result of poor QB play and an awful overall offense. The promise of Ross regaining the form of his younger film & production is well-worth chasing late, even if it’s more likely he never returns to that level.
NFL Player Comp: Tee Higgins if healthy… but that’s a huge if…
Best Fit: No different than any other WR… whoever lands in KC & GB = goldmine
3.10: Zonovan Knight, RB, NC State – Duck
2021 Statistics: 140 att. 754 yards, 3 TDs; 21 rec. 156 yards, 0 TDs.
Player Preview: I’ll keep this brief. Knight is good enough to merit a few carries on a team that doesn’t have a Jonathan Taylor-style alpha runner.
Knight has good contact balance, with speed to hit home runs. He is an extremely physical runner but really lacks the vision and consistent pass-catching to offer any real upside. He’s the type of guy an NFL team will be happy to have on their squad, but they’ll never be excited about his prospects unless he surprises in the NFL… just like having a peanut butter sandwich for lunch.
NFL Player Comp: Peanut Butter sandwich aka Isaiah Crowell
Best Fit: NYJ, ARI
3.11: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, OSU – CJay
2021 Statistics: 26 rec, 309 yds, 3 TD
Player Preview: The former top-40 overall recruit and TE2 in his class was not targeted heavily during his time at Ohio State. But, how could one blame Jeremy Ruckert when Justin Fields and CJ Stroud had the likes of Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Jaxson Smith-Njigba, and many more to target on the perimeter?
The 6-foot-5, 250 lb tight end with excellent hands should be the common example of a player who is a “better pro than college player.” Ohio State notoriously does not utilize their tight end in the passing game (seriously, name one tight end who put up numbers there) and he was mostly deployed as a blocker or the quarterback’s last option. His tenacious blocking will keep him on the field and he has sure hands and above-average athleticism to make noise in an NFL passing game. My receivers are loaded so I have no issue taking a flier on Ruckert with my final pick.
NFL Player Comp: Dalton Schultz
Best Fit: Bengals, Broncos, Giants
3.12: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincy – Emery
2021 Statistics: 52 Rec, 884 Yards, 8 TD
Player Preview: If it weren’t for his sub-par YAC ability, Alec Pierce may be the most well-rounded WR in this very deep class of receivers. At 6’3 ⅛’’, 211 pounds, Pierce is the big-bodied outside man every NFL offense is looking for. Pair that with a 40’’ vertical and 4.33 speed, you have an NFL-ready guy who projects to the 3rd or 4th round.
Pierce split his time outside and in the slot at Cincinnati, adding more to the depth of his game. With a massive wingspan and elite jumping ability, his red zone abilities should be taken advantage of by most NFL teams as well. The only question comes from his elusiveness with the ball in his hands, but the team that ultimately drafts him may not scheme that up for Pierce very early on in his career.
NFL Player Comp: Rookie Terry McLaurin
Best Fit: NE, The Patriot Way