The NFL Draft is an uneasy creature, there are always late surprises that develop into long-term starters and first-round busts that don’t last long. Evaluation is an imperfect science, after all.
But sometimes, the evaluation isn’t necessarily the fault. Instead, focusing a particular front desk’s laser on a particular prospect is at odds with the larger recruiting community. This often happens near the top of the draft as players like Blake BurtlesAnd Baker Mayfieldand Mitchell Trubesky and Sam Darnold Everything went far ahead of their consensus ranking. It happens in other locations as well, with teams differing when drafting players like Clean FerrellDante Fowler, Justin Gilbert and Eric Flowers.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that teams are wrong for thinking the way you do. Josh AllenAnd Keeler Murray and Patrick Mahomes were drafted ahead of consensus. Outside the quarterback, the players love Ryan KellyAnd Byron JonesAnd Colton Miller And Garrett Bowles proved that the attempts to reach were also justified.
But it seems, for the most part, that players who were crafted long before this consensus tend to underperform. The two teams that have been outside the consensus the most in the past several years are the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks Two franchises with excellent recent history in the field but not in the draft room, having produced several mediocre classrooms.
We don’t know what the teams will be doing in the draft, but those who have their ears to the ground have an idea of what might be going on at various points. Using this information, dozens of photo drafts have been produced, and we can compare that data collected by Benjamin Robinson in grind sarcasmto see which players were mocked with a higher or lower score than The degree of their consensus. Let’s see if we can find some thefts or a possible access warning in the 2022 NFL Draft:
Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (No. 4 unanimously, No. 10 derisively)
It’s very rare to see a player identified as a thief who might be inducted into the top ten, but that’s exactly what happens to the safety of Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton. The NFL’s disappointing 40-yard dash times were incorporated and his pro day seemed to have scared the forecasters out of making Hamilton with the top-five pick, instead having him drop to 10th on average. Hamilton is a safety who trades in his ability to reach every point on the field quickly, and his impressive range catapulted him to the boards ahead of the off-season draw. The slow 40-yard dash did not deter the evaluators but might deter the teams.
Cool String, OL, Chattanooga (No. 68 unanimously, No. 115 ironically)
Considered one of the most athletic men in the class, Strange faces many obstacles on the way to his promotion to the NFL. The first is that he is expected to play a position by most analysts, but he has only played that position in one game in his six years of college football. Not only that, his age (23.7 years on draft day), level of competition and relative lack of strength might scare some NFL teams. His exercise and athletic life nonetheless impressed the evaluators.
Damon Clark, LB, LSU (No. 97 unanimously, No. 192 derisively)
It’s no surprise to see this split given the news that Clarke will be too Undergoing spinal surgery It will likely block him from playing in 2022. Some boards haven’t incorporated this information yet, but the ones that often put Clarke a bit ahead of where he goes in phantom drafts. Although he is talented in the second round and has stalking skills, teams can worry about him missing out on the first year of his rookie contract and have long-term concerns about durability. But other teams may use that to pounce on him early.
Tyler Allgear, RB, BYU (No. 118 unanimously, No. 225 derisively)
Ranking 225 in dummy drafts tells us that it often did not appear in phantom drafts, even large ones. However, analysts such as Allgeier, again fourth in a row Dane Brugler Council. Allgeier is a bigger back that has been well tested outside of the 40-yard dash. He plays exactly the way a linebacker should play with his athletic kit, with strength and patience, and residents like that. But they are not convinced that the NFL will fall in love. Given how many NFL teams are now trying to design running plays to produce large pieces rather than short yard space, this may be an accurate judgment.
Alex Wright, Edge, UAB (No. 125 unanimously, No. 206 with irony)
Sometimes, when the combination of traits is scarce in a class, it can push the player to the top of the draft boards. For Alex Wright, this is his flexibility, size, length, and strength. Many of the runners in this class have size and power, but it may be Wright’s ability to turn and stoop around tackles that earns him positive marks from draft analysts. He cut himself in the NFL, so we don’t have a full set of drills, but the analysts loved what they saw. But they may also see an injured player who has to develop before he can contribute meaningfully — and drop him in dummy drafts.
JT Woods, S, Baylor (No. 140 unanimously, No. 219 derisively)
Woods is one of the fastest players in the draft regardless of position, and adds height and height to the athletic profile as well as massive tests in each category. He played every role in Baylor’s defense and could go from safety to corner depending on the team. If he doesn’t, he’s acting as a free safety so his light frame doesn’t become a liability in the running game. However, he’s better against running than in coverage despite his excellent ball production (eight deflections, six picks last year), and that uncertainty could push him lower in the draft.
Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia (No. 9 unanimously, No. 2 derisively)
Reports are still pouring in that Walker will likely be in the top five in the draft despite being the rare rusher in the first three rounds to get under 10 career college sacks. So far, fans have heard enough about Discussions about Walker, whose impressive sporting performance translates well into an edge-accelerated setting. The NFL definitely seems to love it, as do the outside evaluators. But they don’t like him as much as they think the NFL does and they put him in the top ten.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (No. 29 unanimously, No. 9 derisively)
Players are always pushed onto these boards and some succeed in big ways, but even by those standards, Willis seems to be getting more attention than he deserves. A brilliant athlete with some significant developments ahead of him, Willis may have been pushed higher because of how successful the “high-ceiling” quarterbacks have been before him – and because he’s a relatively weak quarterback. Analysts were generally pessimistic about the value it would ultimately provide, but expected it to rise somewhat. All in all, every midfielder has been pushed this year, and the consensus on it would be less than cynic, but Willis is the clearest example.
Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa (No. 49 unanimously, No. 30 ironically)
With one of the longest wing spans in the draft, Smith is the kind of quality player who can sometimes cause pundits to squabble, especially given his high penalty kicks and poor technique. Add the fact that he hasn’t played against many high-profile impulses, and it’s understandable why he resented some analysts. But he moves well and has a great physique. That can sometimes be enough for the NFL to buy the roof and hit it early.
Cam Taylor Brett, NCB, Nebraska (No. 101 unanimously, No. 67 ironically)
Bruegler has already explained why he thinks Taylor Brett is that You will go higher than his analysts rank. Taylor Brett is a great bodied player with a stocky tire, has tested very well in nearly all of his workouts and has a solid history of production on the ball. But there is some question as to what position he will eventually play in the NFL, and if he is to play exclusively in the hole, then he is expected to drop. Otherwise, he can be relegated to a safe place, often a less premium position.
Justin Ross, WR, Clemson (No. 113 unanimously, No. 82 derisively)
After a really great new season, Ross failed to capitalize on the hype and develop into a superstar. The spinal surgery that missed the 2020 season was another red flag for some draft analysts who didn’t see a return to shape in 2021. But the NFL showed a willingness to ignore the last year of production and use peak performance from a few years earlier — think Jadvion ClooneyAnd Little Walker And Lacon Treadwell Among other things. So, it’s no surprise to see someone like Ross made fun of him before he even ranked in the draft boards.
(Top image by Kyle Hamilton: Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)