Yes it is I…the one who loves to stir the damn pot. And there’s nothing like draft season and throwing my takes out there to get that job done. Looking at everyone’s big board (including ours here on TFTB), I am convinced that no one knows who the best in terms of their peers when judging this year’s draft talent. Everyone is all over the damn place with mocks and big boards. It’s actually somewhat impressive because it adds plenty of intrigue in the likes we’ve never seen before.
I can’t stress this enough and that is I have been all over the place with ranks over the past month or so. In my defense, the combine is on the horizon which will add much needed clarity for all of us when evaluating the current draft class. There is already confirmed prospects who will not participate due to injury in Matt Corral and Derek Stingley Jr. Corral, as we know, broke his leg playing in the Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor stirring up controversy in why players play in meaningless exhibition games. I commended him for playing because it was his choice. I don’t believe it will cost him though as he’s benefitting from a perceived weaker QB class. Stingley Jr. on the other hand is recovering from foot surgery. As you can see in my ranks here below, I cannot ding them because I know of their talent. Anyways…HERE WE GO! (also this is all subject to change but I shouldn’t have to tell you that)
In the ranks 1-10, I started off HOT. I got Thibodeaux at 1 because I believe he has the most upside in this class. He will not go one as his ceiling is sky high, but his floor is not as high as a Hutchinson or a Kyle Hamilton. The two tackles in Neal and Ekwonu follow suit as Trevor Lawrence will need someone to protect his backside. Jacksonville will be happy to have them. The combine and pro-days will determine who will go one out of the 2. I rank Linderbaum wayyyy higher than anyone else though. I believe he is the Quinton Nelson of his position. Nelson obviously was the better prospect, but Linderbaum has potential to be an all-pro at his position from day 1. You know my love for Sauce Gardner so he had to make my top 10. Dean gets the slight edge though simply for a stupid thing called competition level. In my first mock, you saw 2 ILBs go in the top 10 so of course Devin Lloyd made the ranks. The man from DBU in Stingley can also be a stud in this league but this foot injury is such a question mark. It’s a risk but the reward is so high if he’s fully healed.
In 11-20, we start to get really interesting. Cross is a guy who also could go top 10 as this is a great class for lineman on both sides of the ball. He’s another guy who can go top 10. As high as top 5. Then we get to the QBs! I got Corral over Pickett here but back-to-back in terms of the ranks. It’s honestly so close for me but I went with Corral over Pickett only because he played against better competition. When I evaluate QB’s I push all my chips into that pile. I know, it’s stupid to every Pitt fan out there because Pickett has 50 collegiate starts. He finally broke out this year and that’s awesome. This admittedly was his best year though where Corral had 2 years of top tier SEC production. Green is one of the most intriguing prospects and a fast riser on most boards because of his versatility. He’s someone I’m excited to see test against the other lineman. Davis is a monster of a man and is my number 1 DT. He’s a human 18-wheeler and honestly, I’m selling him short when it comes to his measurables. Ojabo admittedly is the most intriguing Edge prospect in this draft. He’s one of those guys who again has sky high potential, but he does not have a lot of tape with only starting one year at Michigan. Burks is my WR1 at the moment. I have him higher than most people have Drake. I believe Burks is DK Metcalf light but possibly more agile. Karlaftis is a guy who is already falling so he needs a big combine to stay in the first round. Williams and Booth round out my top 20 as Williams is another one who was unfortunately injured. Again, I probably have him higher than most because he will not be able to test. You saw what he did though down at Alabama. If healthy, he could the first WR off the board. I’m sure many will say “him over Wilson, you’re crazy!” Booth is a solid corner but he reminds me more of a Marlon Humphrey type as opposed to a ball hawk.
Next we have the 21-30 ranks. We start with DeMarvin Leal who again is all over the place in the ranks. 1 year of solid production but 8.5 sacks in the SEC is nothing to sneeze at. We have my QB3 in Malik Willis who is a phenomenal athlete. There are plenty of questions regarding his accuracy, but the combine and pro day will help him showcase his stuff. Wilson is a very solid receiver and reminds me so much of Elijah Moore. He can do it all, I just don’t see him as explosive as a Burks or a healthy Williams. Penning got a mean reputation at the Senior Bowl trying to start fights with everyone. He’s a mean guy and I’m curious to see what team nabs him. London comes in a bit lower in my ranks mainly because of his explosiveness. He can win any 50-50 ball, but I’ve got concerns about his separation skills. Walker is admittedly one of my favorite edge prospects because of the damage he did in the championship game. It didn’t show up on the box score, but I like how he can set the edge in the run defense. Zion Johnson is another guy getting rave reviews from the Senior Bowl rising up boards. He’s taken snaps at center, but played guard at BC. If he can make that transition to center, his value becomes that much better for his future team. McCreary was a 3 year starter at Auburn but his 40 will determine his ranking. He’s a fringe 1st-early second rounder as of today. Dotson is such a fun WR prospect. He’s undersized, but so damn fast and agile. He’s a great compliment and I keep having visions of him in an offense of Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Dawson Knox. Green Bay is another intriguing landing spot. FSU product Jermaine Johnson rounds out my top 30 here as he’s the only Nole worth mentioning in the first couple rounds. The Georgia transfer entered the SEC and brought it every game. He had a staggering 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. His SEC numbers were less impressive.
31-40 is up next and we start with another QB in Ridder. QB4 here if you’re keeping score in the ranks. Ridder is a guy who played solid at Cincy as a 4 year starter but was not overly impressive. He will need to sit wherever her goes. McDuffie comes in here next as a guy who was great in coverage, but didn’t record an INT last season. In a pass-happy Pac-12, that concerns me. We have our first RB here at 33 as I think he’s the most impactful out of this group. There’s been a lot of chatter about the QB class and its weaknesses, the RB class has not even been discussed this year in draft circles. Elam comes in next as the nephew of former Baltimore Raven Matt Elam. That NFL pedigree is something everyone should take into account when watching his film. I love Trey McBride so much and he’s such an intriguing guy. One of my favorite smaller school guys in this class, he comes in with one of the more fun stat lines this year. As a TE, he’s a very solid blocker and as a pass catcher, he went for 90/1146/1. That 1 TD is not a typo I promise lol. QB5 in Sam Howell comes in next here and as another guy where I don’t know what to think. Gunslinger mentality, but this year he took a step back as a passer. He took a step up as a rusher though and I think this is because he lost his entire offense last year to the 2021 draft. Petit-Frere comes in next as I haven’t had a tackle in awhile. Did I mention this class is very deep in the trenches? Brisker is the 2nd safety on the board and is getting 1st round looks. He seems like the ideal fit to potentially replace Tyrann Mathieu in KC. We get to the WR6 in my ranks here in Chris Olave. I have such a wild relationship evaluating him. I think he’s going to be a great WR2 in the perfect situation, but his route running is some of the smoothest in this class. He can also stretch the field better than Wilson did, but he was still the WR2 at OSU. Christian Harris rounds out my top 40 here as he’s a guy I want the Steelers to target in round 2. A solid sideline-to-sideline guy and if he ran in the 4.4’s, he’d be a top 20 pick.
Finally we have 41-50 and we’ll start with KDubIII from MSU. Some thought he was a Heisman trophy caliber back and probably should have gotten the invite over Hutchinson. A transfer from Wake Forest and their air raid offense, at Sparty he finally got to be the focal point and he shined. Mathis is one of my favorite DT prospects as another behemoth on the DL. Daxton Hill is the last S prospect in this ranking as he’s a guy who I think has a chance to leap Brisker as a prospect pending on how he tests. We get to one of my favorite WR prospects in John Metchie III. The WR injuries killed Bama in the championship game but there’s so much to like about him. He has some of the best all-around game in this class from receiving and blocking. It was this play where I actually fell in love with him as a prospect. Dude is tough as hell and I’m excited to see where he lands. Myjai Sanders comes in next here as one of the more explosive guys off the edge. Easily a day 2 pick, but a solid combine could vault him into the first. George Pickens is another lovely WR here but an ACL dropped his value. He is undoubtedly the most undervalued guys in this class. He was the top WR before his ACL injury so I’m curious to see how his situation unfolds. Logan Hall is a guy to keep an eye on as well as his versatility along the DL reminds me of Cam Heyward. Darian Kinnard is one of the more intriguing prospects as he projects to be a guard at the NFL level. I think he’s a bit oversized in a run-heavy offense so I expect him to be targeted more so by pass-happy teams. Darrian Beavers is a guy who I started to enjoy at the Senior Bowl as I took him for granted in that Cincy defense. I think he best fits as an ILB but he has the size to play on the edge as well. Finally to round out my top 50 is Devonte Wyatt. He played all 4 years at Georgia and I project him to be a DE in a 3-4 scheme or DT (3 technique) in a 4-3 scheme.