2022 NFL Draft Stock – Post-Senior Bowl

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

Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Winfrey was one of the standouts of Senior Bowl practices, showing serious speed to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Despite the steady rain during the Wednesday practice, Winfrey was excellent. In the team-scrimmage session, Winfrey dominated, totaling three tackles for a loss and a sack. He was firing his gap off the snap and using his speed to burst into the pocket. The National Team interior offensive line had no answer for him, allowing him to make play after play in the backfield. Eventually after Winfrey blew up so many plays, a double team was sent his direction to push him down the pocket and out of the play. Double teams are rare at all-star practices, but that was what Winfrey’s dominance merited. He really helped himself with the Wednesday practice, which displayed his ability to make splash plays behind the line of scrimmage. Multiple team sources had mid-round grades on Winfrey entering the Senior Bowl, but after his excellent week in Mobile, Winfrey looks like a second-day pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Jermaine Johnson, DE, Florida State
Team sources were impressed with Johnson at the Senior Bowl, as he really competed well all week. Johnson showed the strength to fight off blocks and a relentless motor alongside a nasty competitive streak. Thanks to his balanced play as a contributor in the pass rush and in stuffing the run, Johnson really helped himself with team evaluators. Some sources said they had thought he would go in the second round, but after the Senior Bowl, they think Johnson could be a late first-rounder in 2022 NFL Draft.

Drake London, WR, USC
WalterFootball.com reported at the Senior Bowl that the Jets, who have two top-10 picks, were high on London. Sources from other NFL teams that also have top-10 selection are high on London as well, with some thinking London could be a Mike Evans-caliber receiver as a pro. London’s tape has invigorated this rise in draft stock, and how far he rises could get even higher once the coaching staffs get involved in the draft process. London has a lot of admirers across various NFL teams, so he could easily end up as a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Team sources at the Senior Bowl mentioned to WalterFootball.com that Gardner was one of the players who has the potential to be a surprise top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Gardner has excellent tape from the 2021 season that displays his superb size, speed and athleticism. Team evaluators feel Gardner is in the mix with Derek Stingley and Trent McDuffie to be the first corner taken in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
Similar to London and Gardner, team sources feel Smith could be a riser for the 2022 NFL Draft. Here’s what one area scout texted me about Smith, “If Tyler Smith blows up his combine and workouts, he could go top 10. He’s more gifted than the other offensive tackles in this class besides the N.C. State kid. Smith is 6-foot-5, 325 pounds with 34-plus-inch arms. As violent as he plays and the fact he can play guard also, I could see someone pushing him up because he’s only 20 and smart also. He’ll hover bottom 1/early 2 until workouts and then we’ll see how he handles process.”

Boye Mafe, DE, Minnesota
Mafe is an undersized edge rusher, but he helped himself with a good week at the Senior Bowl. In the pass-rushing one-on-ones, Mafe had his way with the offensive tackles, using speed, athleticism, and some functional strength to get wins. While some in the media were projecting him to the first round, team sources say they like Mafe as a second- or third-round pick after his impressive performance in Mobile.

Travis Jones, DT, Connecticut
Jones went under the radar at Connecticut, but he is a big nose tackle who flashed some pass-rush ability over the past two years, putting up 3.5 sacks each season. Jones also was a solid run defender, recording 126 tackles over three seasons. He then had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, where he bulled his way into the backfield with serious, power, size, leverage and quickness.

Cade Otton, TE, Washington
Other tight end prospects like Colorado State’s Trey McBride and Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely have received more hype, but in speaking to team sources, there are a number who really like Otton. Otton has gone under the radar, but he could end up going higher than expected on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 NFL Draft Stock Down

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
While Howell did not have a terrible week of practice at the Senior Bowl, he didn’t do well enough to light a fire under his draft stock. Despite the decent week of practice, Howell looks more likely to be a second-round pick rather than a first-rounder. He will need to have an excellent combine and pro day, plus nail his pre-draft interviews to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Ridder had some struggles at the Senior Bowl practice, taking some bad sacks, showing inconsistent accuracy, and looking like he had some issues reading the field. While Ridder has a quality skill set with arm strength and mobility, he needs a lot of work and development for the NFL. Ridder could end up being a mid-round pick who is a projected backup.

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