2022 NFL Draft Stock – National Championship

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2022 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
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2022 NFL Draft Stock Up

Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
McDuffie went under the radar in 2021, but he played well, blanketing receivers and showing the ability to contribute on special teams. In speaking with some team sources, they believe he could go in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and won’t last long if he slips to Round 2. McDuffie has the size, speed and athleticism to be an excellent pick in the back half of the first round.

Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
Thomas ended his collegiate career with a tremendous season. After totaling a combined 9.5 sacks over his sophomore and junior years, Thomas jumped to 11.5 sacks as a senior alongside 71 tackles and a forced fumble. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder has enough size for the NFL ,and he could become a hot prospect if he has a big week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

George Pickens, WR, Georgia
After suffering a torn ACL in the spring, Pickens didn’t play until late in the 2021 season, making five receptions for 107 yards over his four games. Team sources are high on his skill set of size, speed and athleticism. In 2020, Pickens had 36 receptions for 513 yards and six touchdowns. He played well as a freshman for Georgia, catching 49 passes for 727 yards and eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder has the upside to be better as he gains experience. Despite his limited action in 2021, team sources think Pickens could easily be a second-day pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU
TCU produced a number of good defensive back prospects under the former coaching staff, and Hodges-Tomlinson will keep the tradition that was established by Jason Verrett and Trevon Moehrig. In 2021, Hodges-Tomlinson totaled 41 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defended. Team sources are impressed and really like his cover skills. They call Hodges-Tomlinson (5-9, 177) fast, athletic and instinctive. He is, however, undersized and is not a great tackler, so those things could make him more of a second-day prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Abram Smith, RB, Baylor
Smith ran well for Baylor in 2021, averaging 6.2 yards per carry for 1,601 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 75 yards. The 5-foot-10, 221-pounder has a thick build and is a tough runner. Team sources say they are projecting Smith as a backup and special teams contributor. His good 2021 season for the Bears landed him an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

Velus Jones, WR, Tennessee Jones (6-0, 200) was an effective contributor for Tennessee in 2021, totaling 62 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. It was a big jump over his 2020 production (22-280-3). The solid 2021 season of play landed Jones a Senior Bowl invitation.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Williams got off to a good start in the National Championship game with four catches for 65 yards before leaving with an injury. Midway through the first half, he ran a go route down the middle of the and got wide open in zone coverage. The pass was thrown late and short, and after adjusting to make the catch, Williams stumbled and his left leg collapsed. It was a 40-yard reception, but he had to be helped off the field. Williams was done for the night, and teammate John Metchie was sent into the locker room to console Williams. If it is a serious injury, it could have a serious impact on Williams rookie NFL season. It could possibly even send him to the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

John Metchie, WR, Alabama
Metchie had a solid 2021 season, but a late-season ACL tear is going to be a big blow to his draft stock. Multiple team sources said Metchie was not getting first-round grades before the injury, and the injury means Metchie won’t be able to use pre-draft workouts to change anyone’s mind. Coming off significant surgery, Metchie may not be ready for the start of training camp either, so he could start the 2022 season on the PUP list. With this ACL tear, Metchie might be destined to be a third- or fourth-round pick.

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