2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense

2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

Published April 20, 2022.
By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

In the recent weeks, there have been a lot of questions about which players to avoid in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Every draft has some players who are selected highly only to becoming massive disappointments in the NFL. Here, we break down some potential busts for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Amaré Barno, DE, Virginia Tech
This was a tough choice because none of the first-round edge rushers look they have dangerous bust potential. Barno has received some early-round projections, and his ultra fast 40 at the combine drove more hype about him going in the first round. Barno, however, still needs to get stronger for the NFL because his run defense is a liability. Additionally, his pass rushing in 2021 was not as impressive compared to 2020. A team could reach on Barno in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and it would not surprise me if he gets overdrafted and ends up being a disappointment.

Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Winfrey has some ratings and projections in the top 50, and there is no doubt that he has a good skill set. But he is a terrible run defender who gets destroyed in the ground game. Winfrey lacks instincts and needs a lot of work to become a capable run defender. On top of those issues, team sources have huge character concerns with Winfrey and wonder if he will be able to avoid suspensions given some of his off-the-field habits. Winfrey definitely possesses serious bust potential.

Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
In the shortened eight-game 2020 season, Smith played really well for Penn State, but he did not carry that over into 2021. While Smith possesses a tremendous skill set that includes size, speed and athleticism, he underachieved in 2021, missing more tackles and notching fewer splash plays. Smith could get overdrafted because he is big and fast, but he looks like a better athlete than football player with significant bust potential for the NFL.

Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Elam seems the riskiest selection of the corners who could go in the first or second round. While he ran well at the combine, Elam does not play that fast and has issues carrying verticals from speed receivers. He also grabs too much and could be called for a lot of penalties in the NFL. On top of those issues, Elam is soft as a tackler.

Florida has had a lot of recent corners disappoint in the NFL, including Vernon Hargreaves, Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson and C.J. Henderson. Some sources believe some of Elam’s issues are similar to those players, and that bad habits have been passed along from one Gator to another on how they practice and play, including prime issues of being finesse players and soft tacklers – i.e. Elam saw C.J. Henderson as a young player and mirrored Henderson when Elam got on the field. Hence, I think Elam could have the most bust potential of the 2022 corners who could be first- or second-round picks.

Verone McKinley III, S, Oregon
Some in the media are projecting McKinley to the early rounds of the draft in large because McKinley was a ball hawk for Oregon last year. However, he is very undersized for safety in the NFL. Not only is he short at 5-foot-10, he is very under weight at 196 pounds. That is going to be problematic for tackling running backs and tight ends at the second level along with positioning against big receivers. I think given his limitations, McKinley is more of a backup and mid-rounder.

2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
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