With the Senior Bowl this coming weekend and the end of the NFL season quickly approaching, most of our dynasty focus will turn to the draft. For those who are just now starting to focus in on this next class, the goal here is to provide a quick introduction to the top prospects. We have nearly three months until the draft kicks off on April 28th. Use this article as a starting point to begin building out your own rankings over the next few months.
If you are truly into dynasty, it is likely because you love the draft. Do your own research (DYOR) as much as you can because this is what it is all about and you should be having fun with this. Take into account the opinions of any scouts, player evaluators, or analytic guys you trust. Pay attention to draft capital because NFL scouts are better at their jobs than most give them credit for. Watch some game highlights if you have enough time to really get a feel for who these players are and to test your own scouting eye.
We are also going to have to start comparing these prospects to current NFL players to more accurately assess their dynasty trade value. Thus, you will see me lean into the player comparisons as a means to provide fantasy context.
Before diving in, a quick note on my bona fides and lack thereof when it comes to the draft so you can take my opinions for whatever they are worth. I do not grind film or do in-depth scouting. I do not build player models based on stats and measurable. There are others who add value on both of those fronts whose opinions are worth seeking out. My hope is to provide you value by giving you some context-based upon watching these players live each week during the season and grinding college football daily fantasy (full homemade projections for 20+ teams each week) over the course of the season.
Superflex Mock Rankings
1.01 Garrett Wilson, Ohio State WR
Even while putting less stock than some in the specific metric of breakout age, the idea of targeting players who made an impact from a young age is a strong one. For Wilson, the numbers as a true freshman were not eye-opening but it was obvious from day one that he was a future star. He enrolled early at Ohio State and even when he should have still been in high school, was making plays against college vets throughout the spring. He is not a dominant physical specimen like Ja'Marr Chase was last year but Wilson is very good at just about everything and could be a volume receiver even as a rookie. A fantasy comparison to Diontae Johnson is realistic and there is upside for more (Antonio Brown?).
Garrett. Wilson. ðŸ° pic.twitter.com/7ZqJACTbIh— steve (@CommandersNFL_) February 4, 2022
Where Wilson is special is his combination of quickness to get open, body control to go get the ball in the air, and ability to make people miss after the catch. Expect mid-first round draft capital. The confidence and poise he plays with should make the transition to the NFL smooth.
1.02 Treylon Burks, Arkansas WR
Burks is a combination of Deebo Samuel and DK Metcalf, which is a good frame of reference for how impressive an athlete Burks is. Burks has the deep speed and leaping ability that makes Metcalf so dangerous on deep balls but also the physicality and YAC ability of Samuel. Burks has the most fantasy upside of any player in this class but may need to land in an offense that will be creative in scheming ways to get the ball in his hands as Kyle Shanahan has with Samuel.
Man. Treylon Burks is a very unique prospect.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) February 2, 2022
Don't see many 230+ wide receivers with that type of production in the SEC.
26 touchdowns in his last 21 games. pic.twitter.com/2mreWjsbc8
1.03 Drake London, USC WR
Due to the fact both went to USC and are excellent in contested catch situations, expect a lot of Michael Pittman Jr comparisons. The better comp is Keenan Allen. London moved to outside wide receiver last season but was a killer in the slot the year prior. London is a huge former basketball star who can play above the rim in contested catch situations but also has rare quickness for his size to make a man miss.
Drake London on 50/50 balls pic.twitter.com/cwwgJJjk4t— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) February 3, 2022
1.04 Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M RB
Spiller is the early favorite to be the first running back drafted. However, as Daniel Jeremiah mentioned, it is close between him and others and different teams likely will have different preferences. Spiller’s running style reminds a little bit of Adrian Peterson but he does not have any of the freakish physical traits that Peterson did. The big question is upside and whether Spiller is special or maybe more in the mold of pre-injury Kerryon Johnson.
1.05 Breece Hall, Iowa State RB
Here is another player where there is going to be an inevitable comparison to his predecessor. When David Montgomery left Iowa State, Hall was almost immediately tabbed as the heir apparent even though he had just stepped on campus as an early enrollee. It took until midway through his freshman season but once Hall won the job outright, he cemented himself as the man for the Cyclones. He had back-to-back monster seasons as a true sophomore and junior. He was extremely durable despite a huge workload. For fantasy purposes, he has starting traits like Montgomery or Josh Jacobs
1.06 Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh QB
The one quarterback in this class who is a near lock to be starting for someone next season. Expect Pickett to be a hot commodity as the most mature, well-rounded, and pro-ready passer in the class. It is easy to imagine a team like the Steelers going all-in to trade up to draft Pickett and make him their starter for the next decade. Pickett is a decent athlete but not likely to put up much in the way of rushing production at the next level, which caps his fantasy upside.
1.07 Malik Willis, Liberty QB
The NFL is a copycat league and there are going to be a whole lot of teams dreaming of landing the next Josh Allen. If anyone in the 2022 class has even an outside shot at that type of upside, it is Willis. He is a big, athletic guy with a huge arm. He has many of the same flaws that Allen had entering the NFL in terms of accuracy, touch, and overall polish. The vast majority of players do not rapidly improve in all of those areas as Allen did. However, even if there is a 10% chance for somebody like Willis to develop into a star, you have to take that upside seriously. That will be true both for dynasty drafters and NFL franchises who are going to need to roll the dice at some point given that the elite young quarterbacks who have entered the NFL over the past five years are not going anywhere anytime soon.
1.08 Kyren Williams, Notre Dame RB
Williams plays bigger than he is and is one of the best pass-blocking backs to come out of college in recent years. He is a former wide receiver who is an excellent pass catcher who makes the first man miss often. His best-case scenario is a team using him in the way the Chargers use Austin Ekeler. His floor is change-of-pace back in the mold of Tony Pollard. In full PPR leagues especially, Williams will be a player worth taking a chance on.
1.08 Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB
Corral is a great athlete and tough competitor with a big arm. He had some decision-making issues which led to a lot of interceptions early in his career but seemed to put most of that behind him last season. There are going to be two major questions for his NFL projection. First, how much of his success was the product of a very quarterback-friendly Ole Miss offense under Lane Kiffin? Second, how will Corral hold up physically in the NFL? He is much smaller than the typical starting NFL quarterback. Some scoffed at NFL scouts for knocking Teddy Bridgewater coming out of school for having skinny legs but that criticism actually ended up being somewhat prophetic as Bridgewater suffered a catastrophic non-contact knee injury and has had trouble making it through an entire season in one piece. In terms of NFL comparisons, how about Johnny Manziel without the off-field baggage.
1.09 Kenneth Walker, Michigan State RB
Walker transferred from Wake Forest to Michigan State and went on to have arguably the best season any Spartan has ever had. He won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back and put up massive numbers while handling a heavy workload. More than most prospects, the workout numbers will be interesting. Walker is clearly a good athlete but may not be athletic enough to truly stand out at the next level. Damien Harris is a decent baseline comp.
1.11 George Pickens, Georgia WR
Pickens was a five-star recruit who was fantastic as a freshman, especially late in the season. Most, myself included, had him as the top prospect in his class headed into his second season. Injuries have slowed his progress since then. Pickens is a higher-risk pick due to the injuries and some minor off-field stuff (and general immaturity) but he has as much upside as any player in the class. Think Tee Higgins if he can put it all together.
1.12 Tyler Allgeier, BYU RB
One of the players who grew on me as the season progressed was Allgeier. He has a knack for breaking arm tackles and getting loose for long gains. His combination of physicality and long speed makes him an intriguing player to watch. It is hard to gauge his draft capital as he has not shown up very highly in any of the early rankings of top draft evaluators but he looks like a strong Day 2 NFL Draft option in the mold of AJ Dillon.
Tyler Allgeier led the FBS with 1,847 rushing yards after contact since 2020 ðŸ”·pic.twitter.com/m4BGYQWSa1— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 29, 2022
2.01 Chris Olave, Ohio State WR
Will Fuller V with functioning hamstrings. Olave has good deep speed and is fantastic at tracking the ball in the air and making adjustments on the fly. The one minor concern with Olave is his build. Like Fuller, he is not very well put together. While that did not lead to any real injury issues in college, he may have a little tougher time staying on the field. He will not be a player the BMI Bros will be into and the questions in that regard are fair.
2.02 Jameson Williams, Alabama WR
He went from Ohio State’s WR4 to arguably the best wide receiver in the SEC after transferring before the 2021 season. The context is important for evaluating his early-career production in that the Buckeyes wide receiver room under Brian Hartline has been as stacked as Alabama’s was at their peak a few years ago. Take the marketshare numbers for all of the Ohio State prospects with a major grain of salt. Williams has always been an elite speed guy (legit 4.4) and deep threat but was also able to show off his intermediate game in his single season with the Crimson Tide. An ACL injury last month is going to complicate things for Williams and should probably at least serve as a tie-breaker for both NFL teams and dynasty drafters when comparing him to other wide receivers in the same general tier. If he can get healthy, he is just a notch below DeVonta Smith as a prospect and plays a similar game.
The next in a long line of Alabama wide receivers, Jameson Williams, is looking to bring his explosive play to the NFL. Check out his scouting report by our very own @JWillisScouting âœ’ï¸ #NFL #NFLDraft #Scoutinghttps://t.co/5qmJepgUzl pic.twitter.com/AaiUDD9cDg— The Prospect Rollout (@ProspectRollout) February 1, 2022
2.03 Sam Howell, North Carolina QB
Based upon stature, playing style, and size there are going to be a lot of comparisons to Baker Mayfield. Howell is a better athlete but may face some of the same issues Mayfield has as a pro going up against taller and more athletic defensive linemen and pass rushers. With the number of teams desperate for help at the quarterback position, Howell may move up draft boards as we get closer to the draft.
2.04 Jahan Dotson, Penn State WR
Like K.J. Hamler before him, Dotson is a speedy playmaker out of Penn State. While he may not have quite the same top-end speed as Hamler, Dotson is slightly bigger and is much better in contested catch situations than Hamler, making him a better prospect overall. Dotson has made some acrobatic contested catches over the past couple years that are rare to see from a 5’11 wide receiver. In terms of draft capital, Dotson looks to be on that first-to-second round fringe similar to Elijah Moore last season.
2.05 Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati QB
As a four-year starter at a quality program, Ridder is about as experienced a player as you will ever see enter the NFL Draft. He is a great athlete with solid arm strength who has a chance to move up draft boards with a strong pre-draft process. His draft stock seems to be in the second- or third-round range.
2.06 Alec Pierce, Cincinnati WR
Cincinnati’s top wide receiver the past couple of seasons is an impressive size-speed athlete. Bruce Feldman reported that Pierce can run in the mid-4.4s and has a 40-inch vertical, impressive for any player much less a 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver. If Pierce does put up testing numbers similar to Chase Claypool, he should cement himself as a second-round pick.
I think Cincinnati receiver Alec Pierce was maybe the “sleeper” during Senior Bowl week. I thought he was good at all levels. Showed more twitch/quickness than I was expecting. Knew he was a 50/50 ball getter. Liked watching his intermediate route running. pic.twitter.com/w2psWL6oK2— Big CROCKYâš¡ï¸ (@eric_crocker) February 4, 2022
2.07 Rachaad White, Arizona State RB
White took a winding road to becoming a pro prospect, spending time in Division II and JUCO before eventually landing at Arizona State. He was hyper-efficient in a backup role as a junior (10.0 YPC) before stepping into a feature role last season. He made a huge leap as a receiver and looks like a player who could have real PPR value. As a late-bloomer, his rise somewhat mirrors that of Antonio Gibson two years ago. But is he in the same class athletically as Gibson?
2.08 David Bell, Purdue WR
Bell is a good all-around athlete who put up huge numbers that were somewhat inflated due to the scheme. He may end up being more highly regarded by the analytics community because he will check all of the boxes in terms of production. The slight hesitation here is that whoever the Boilermakers have put in a prominent role in recent years has produced. One of those players was Milton Wright, who at times looked the better prospect down the stretch of the 2021 season. Expect draft capital somewhere between where Terrace Marshall Jr and Josh Palmer were selected last season.
2.09 Wan'Dale Robinson, Kentucky WR
Robinson is very much in the mold of Rondale Moore as an undersized speedster with plenty of versatility. Robinson actually spent quite a bit of time playing running back at Nebraska before transferring to Kentucky for his final season. He will need to be in an offense that will use his unique skillset creatively to reach his full potential. If he lands in the right spot, Robinson could be a matchup nightmare.
2.10 Trey McBride, Colorado State TE
The consensus top tight end prospect in this draft class, McBride is a good athlete who was the go-to pass catcher for Colorado State. He put up massive numbers (90 catches for 1,121 yards) despite dealing with some shaky quarterback play. In the one game of his watched live, he had poor body language and was visibly frustrated with his quarterback. Probably nothing in the grand scheme of things but something that stood out.
2.11 James Cook, Georgia RB
Dalvin’s younger brother has been a part of Georgia’s deep running back rotation for four seasons. He made big plays on a regular basis in a part-time role and probably profiles best as a change-of-pace back as part of a committee like Chase Edmonds has been used in Arizona.
2.12 John Metchie, Alabama WR
Metchie was expected to take over for DeVonta Smith as the top receiver for the Crimson Tide but was upstaged by Jameson Williams last season. Metchie is a physical, well-rounded wide recever with multiple years of production under his belt but lacks any truly elite traits. He profiles as a versatile NFL starter in the mold of JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Other Names to Know
Christian Watson, North Dakota State WR
Dameon Pierce, Florida RB
Extremely physical back who was part of a crowded backfield for the Gators.
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama WR
Long, athletic and productive.
Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina TE
He is a former wide receiver who grew into a hybrid tight end in the mold of Gerald Everett. Getting some second-round buzz.
Zonovan Knight, North Carolina State RB
Was stuck in a committee but always seemed to flash even in the part-time role.
Justyn Ross, Clemson WR
Has had multiple major injuries and looks like a high-risk, high-reward player because prior to the injuries he was a big-time player.
Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M TE
Good size, athleticism, and production with a chance at landing in the second round.
Hassan Haskins, Michigan RB
Productive Big 10 back who lacks elite traits but is a good player.
Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State TE
As with almost every position, the top of the tight end board is pick-your-flavor, and Ruckert is yet another player in the mix to be the first selected at the position.
Jerome Ford, Cincinnati RB
Physical workhorse with above-average speed.
Skyy Moore, Western Michigan WR
Undersized MAC pass catcher in the mold of Diontae Johnson or D’Wayne Eskridge.
Khalil Shakir, Boise State WR
Underrated pass-catcher who is very good after the catch.
Carson Strong, Nevada QB
Day 2 quarterback prospect with a big arm and decent athleticism, though he has been slowed at times by a lingering knee injury.