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2022 NFL Draft: Ranking the top 10 offensive prospects by position

Who are the top 10 offensive prospects at each position?

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is officially in the books. With only Pro Days and private workouts to go, the draft is on the horizon. We still have about a month to go, but until then the evaluation process for this year’s draft class continues.

Here are my top 10 prospects by position for the offensive players in the 2022 draft class. The list will continue to fluctuate between now and draft day as to which player is slotted where, but the top 10 at each position shouldn’t change all that much over the next month.

Quarterback

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images
  1. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh (6’3”, 217)
  2. Malik Willis, Liberty (6’0”, 219)
  3. Matt Corral, Ole Miss (6’1”, 212)
  4. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (6’3”, 211)
  5. Sam Howell, North Carolina (6’0”, 218)
  6. Carson Strong, Nevada (6’3”, 226)
  7. Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky (6’0”, 215)
  8. Jack Coan, Notre Dame (6’3”, 218)
  9. EJ Perry, Brown (6’1”, 215)
  10. Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan (6’0”, 208)

Nothing to see here. The Dallas Cowboys aren’t going to be in the market for a quarterback this year, probably not even a developmental one. That’s good news because the 2022 QB draft class is lacking top-end talent. There are a few intriguing prospects, but with Dak Prescott fully entrenched as the Cowboys long-term signal caller there’s no need to even think about another QB this year.


Running Back

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor v Ole Miss Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
  1. Breece Hall, Iowa State (5’11”, 217)
  2. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State (5’9”, 211)
  3. Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M (6’0”, 217)
  4. Dameon Pierce, Florida (5’9”, 218)
  5. James Cook, Georgia (5’10”, 199)
  6. Kyren Williams, Notre Dame (5’9”, 194)
  7. Tyler Allgeier, BYU (5’10”, 224)
  8. Jerome Ford, Cincinnati (5’10”, 210)
  9. Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama (6’1”, 225)
  10. Abram Smith, Baylor (5’11”, 213)

If the Cowboys use a draft pick on a running back this year, it likely won’t be until the later rounds. Because of that, it’s unlikely to be one of the top 10 mentioned above. However, a player like Abram Smith, a LB to RB convert, could be someone who’s on their radar. He’s a local prospect and would be an excellent special teams player early on.


Wide Receiver

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor v Georgia Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
  1. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State (5’11”, 183)
  2. Drake London, USC (6’3”, 219)
  3. Jamison Williams, Alabama (6’0”, 179)
  4. Chris Olave, Ohio State (6’0”, 187)
  5. Treylon Burks, Arkansas (6’2”, 225)
  6. Jahan Dotson, Penn State (5’10”, 178)
  7. Skyy Moore, Western Michigan (5’9”, 195)
  8. Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama (6’1”, 194)
  9. George Pickens, Georgia (6’3”, 195)
  10. John Metchie (5’11”, 187)

Whether it’s in the first-round or at some point later in the draft, the Cowboys will likely spend one of their picks on a receiver. Whether it’s one of the top 10 prospects or not remains to be seen, because this is a deep WR draft class this year. The real question is, do they prefer playing CeeDee Lamb predominantly out of the slot or on the outside? The answer that question will help determine what kind of WR they may be targeting.


Tight End

ASU v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images
  1. Trey McBride, Colorado State (6’3”, 246)
  2. Greg Dulcich, UCLA (6’4”, 243)
  3. Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State (6’5”, 252)
  4. Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina (6’4”, 245)
  5. Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M (6’3”, 255)
  6. Cade Otton, Washington (6’5”, 247)
  7. Charlie Kolar, Iowa State (6’6”, 252)
  8. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin (6’4”, 250)
  9. Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State (6’4”, 253)
  10. Grant Calcaterra, SMU (6’3”, 241)

There are rumors the Cowboys are contemplating using the franchise tag on Dalton Schultz, but if they don’t, finding his replacement in the 2022 NFL Draft is probable. There are a number of good candidates in the top 10, but someone flying a little bit under the radar who they could be interested in is Cade Otton. He didn’t participate in the Combine due to injury, but he is a player pretty similar to what they had in Schultz.


Offensive Tackle

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images
  1. Evan Neal, Alabama (6’7”, 334)
  2. Ikem Ekwonu, NC State (6’4”, 310)
  3. Charles Cross, Mississippi State (6’4”, 307)
  4. Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa (6’7”, 325)
  5. Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan (6’6”, 303)
  6. Tyler Smith, Tulsa (6’4”, 324)
  7. Daniel Faalele, Minnesota (6’8”, 384)
  8. Max Mitchell, Louisiana Tech (6’6”, 307)
  9. Abram Lucas, Washington State (6’6”, 315)
  10. Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State (6’5”, 316)

Will this be the year the Cowboys draft Tyron Smith’s replacement? It’s entirely possible and it could happen as early as the first round. Trevor Penning makes a lot of sense there, but one of my favorites is Tyler Smith. He’s a little raw and may require a little patience on the Cowboys part, but he could kick inside to left guard early on and then slide over and take over for Smith when he’s ready.


Offensive Guard

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Boston College at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  1. Zion Johnson, Boston College (6’2”, 312)
  2. Kenyon Green, Texas A&M (6’3”, 323)
  3. Ed Ingram, LSU (6’3”, 307)
  4. Darian Kinnard (6’5”, 322)
  5. Jamaree Slayer, Georgia (6’3”, 321)
  6. Sean Rhyan, UCLA (6’4”, 324)
  7. Marquis Hayes, Oklahoma (6’4”, 318)
  8. Lecitus Smith, Virginia Tech (6’3”, 314)
  9. Justin Shaffer, Georgia (6’3”, 314)
  10. Luke Goedeke, Central Michigan (6’5”, 312)

Draft Zion Johnson at No. 24 and prosper. He’s a plug-and-play player at left guard and would be in immediate upgrade over Connor Williams from Day 1. And as luck would have it, he performed above expectations at center at the Senior Bowl, which would only add to his value. If Johnson isn’t the pick though, there are other options who should be available later who are capable of starting right away.


Center

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Nebraska at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  1. Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa (6’2”, 296)
  2. Luke Fortner, Kentucky (6’4”, 307)
  3. Dylan Parham, Memphis (6’2”, 311)
  4. Cam Jurgens, Nebraska (6’2”, 303)
  5. Dohnovan West, Arizona State (6’3”, 296)
  6. Cole Strange, Chattanooga (6’4”, 307)
  7. Alec Lindstrom, Boston College (6’3”, 296)
  8. James Empey, BYU (6’4”, 290)
  9. Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech (6’5”, 306)
  10. Nick Ford, Utah (6’5”, 315)

What do the Cowboys think of Tyler Biadasz as their starting center? We’re going to find out come draft day because Tyler Linderbaum could absolutely be in play for them at No. 24. Even if he’s not the choice though, anyone else in the top 5 are capable of stepping in and challenging for the starting job. Regardless, some healthy competition could actually bring out the best in Biadasz.