The 2021 NFL Draft wrapped up a few days ago in Cleveland with Clemson All-World QB Trevor Lawrence going off as the number one pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although it is a full year before the next NFL Draft in 2022, it is always fun to throw out some early predictions.
Four straight number one overall draft picks have been used on quarterbacks (lineups.com). Will that trend continue in 2022? Here are four players that may be the first player taken off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Spencer Rattler- QB Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Sooners and head coach Lincoln Riley have a long history of getting their quarterbacks drafted number one overall. Former Heisman Trophy winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray are good examples of Riley’s ‘quarterback whisperer’ abilities. Rattler struggled in some spots as a freshman last year for the Sooners, but as a whole he had a terrific season by throwing 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Many draft experts have already shown concern over Rattler’s size. However, Rattler is 6-1, which is the same height as Mayfield. Also, keep in mind that Rattler is also faster than Mayfield and can hurt opposing defenses with his running ability.
Derek Stingley, Jr. – CB LSU
Stingley may very well be the best defensive player in the 2022 NFL Draft class. The former consensus All-American has a tremendous ability to shutdown whichever receiver he is covering. In fact, the 6-1 195 pounder is already drawing comparisons to former NFL great Darrelle Revis.
Stingley started as a true freshman for the LSU Tigers and his six interceptions ranked first in the SEC. Stingley played a major role in helping LSU win the national title for the 2019 season. The 19-year old has phenomenal NFL bloodlines as both his father and grandfather played professional football.
JT Daniels- QB Georgia
It was amazing to see how much smoother things went for the Bulldogs once Daniels got healthy and was named the starting QB. In only four games, Daniels threw for over 1,200 yards and ten touchdowns! The 21-year old has NFL-level size at 6-3 and 210 pounds.
The only two things that could hinder Daniels’ draft stock are his injury history and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart’s bad habit of conservative play-calling. Hopefully Daniels can stay healthy for the entire 2021 college season and Smart will “smarten” up and let Daniels throw the football more often.
Sam Howell- QB North Carolina
Howell is listed as the betting favorite to be selected number one in 2022 and with good reason. The 6-1, 225 pounder has been immensely efficient during his two years of starting for the Tar Heels. In fact, Howell has thrown a whopping 68 touchdowns and only 14 picks over his last two seasons in Chapel Hill.
No player from North Carolina has ever been a number one draft choice in the NFL. However, Howell has the arm strength and football IQ to change that trend. It will be interesting to see ‘how well’ Howell performs as a Heisman candidate this season.