Apr 17, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  LSU Tigers cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (24) returns a punt during the first half of the annual Purple and White spring game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

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Coming soon: 2022 NFL Draft watchlist

With the 2021 NFL Draft in the books, the next class is right around the corner.

Here are the top prospects to watch one year before the Class of ’22 crosses the draft stage:

Seniors
1. Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama: A fluid athlete who can stick to receivers with ease, Jobe’s potential is near the top of any player in the 2022 class.

2. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia: Monstrous nose tackles with the athleticism and power that Davis generates aren’t common. His disruptiveness sets him apart from others.

3. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: A smooth operator with refined route-running and ideal athleticism for the position, Olave’s decision to return for another year was a surprise.

4. Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky: Long, strong and mean as a junkyard dog. Kinnard gets around quite well as a 345-pound right tackle, and his imposing style will bode well in the NFL.

5. Boye Mafe, DE, Minnesota: One of the freakiest athletes to come out of college in years. If he hones his technique as a senior he’ll be viewed as a possible top prospect.

6. Adam Anderson, OLB, Georgia: Anderson’s natural burst and bend is eye-popping, even on a talented Georgia defense. He’s as flexible as pass rushers come.

7. CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon: A strong runner who demonstrates good burst and pad level that never fails, Verdell’s reliable style buys yardage that most backs simply can’t purchase.

8. Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati: He’s a prototypical defensive end with good length and burst for the position. Another year to clean up his hands could lead to a boom in draft stock.

9. Jaquan Brisker, SS, Penn State: 2020 Senior Bowl invitee who took advantage of his extra eligibility. Brisker is a height, weight and speed monster who hits efficiently and effectively.

10. Lecitus Smith, OG, Virginia Tech: A man mover who will send the bodies flying in the run game, Smith’s nasty streak and natural power makes him a high-floor prospect.

Underclassmen
1. Derek Stingley Jr, CB, LSU: Going back to his true freshman year, Stingley has been billed as a superstar. He has elite length, fluidity and ball skills. It’s hard to find a better-looking athlete at the position.

2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon: A former top recruit with excellent burst and athleticism, Thibodeaux is scheme versatile and will only get better as he improves his pass rush arsenal.

3. Kyle Hamilton, FS, Notre Dame: It shouldn’t be possible for a 6-foot-4, 220-pound man to run the alley like Hamilton does. He’s an absurd athlete and highly intelligent back end defender.

4. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina: Accurate to every level of the field and efficient enough to survive when things go off structure, Howell’s prototype arm and ball placement will make him a hot commodity.

5. George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue: At 6-4, 275, Karlaftis is the defensive end prototype. He has great length, violent hands and the anchor to lock down in the run game.

6. Drake Jackson, DE, USC: Excellent hands and natural power allow Jackson to create winning angles and uproot linemen with the best of them. He can move in space for a big man too.

7. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State: Suddenness, route-running, and hand-eye coordination are the keys to Wilson’s success. It’s no surprise he bullies Big Ten defensive backs.

8. Kenyon Green, OG, Texas A&M: A mountain of an individual, Green has the type of anchor and power that teams crave from interior linemen. He’s a mauling presence with a great floor.

9. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama: It takes a special type of linebacker to start as a true freshman under Saban. Harris has the smarts, tackling and athleticism to be a franchise defender at the next level.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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