You may recall that in Part One of our countdown to the NFL Draft, we looked at how the first round of the draft has changed given all the trades that have occurred.
Well this week, the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles agreed a trade which saw the shape of the draft changed again with the Saints now owning two first rounders this year, while the Eagles have dropped from three first rounders to two, but they have an extra first round pick next year.
And last week, we took a look at some of the top defensive prospects in the draft, including potential first picks Ahmad Gardner, Aidan Hutchison, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Kyle Hamilton.
This week we are taking a look at the other side of the ball game, offense and in particular focusing on some of the prime offensive talent that will be amongst those players selected in the First Round this year.
This year’s draft does promise to be slightly different to previous years with no standout quarterbacks expected to be taken in the first few picks. In fact, it is players on both lines, defense and offense, that are figured to be moved off the board early in the draft.
If anything, I think the talent on defense is slightly deeper in this class than offense, and I think that is likely to be reflected in the first 32 picks made on the opening day, however, I do feel that there may well be an abundance of offensive linemen taken on that first day of the draft.
And if we look at the top prospects below, we can see why.
Top NFL Draft 2022 Offense Prospects
There’s a deep pool of offensive lineman talent in this draft and I would not be surprised to see three or even four go in the first ten picks of the draft, with more likely to follow to teams further down the draft pecking order too.
Evan Neal (Alabama) – Offensive Line
At 6ft 7 and 350lbs, Neal is a perfect fit as a left tackle in the modern NFL. In three years at Alabama, he gave up a total of four sacks from 2585 snaps. His power, pace and athletic ability have marked him out not just as a top o-line prospect but as one of the top players in the nation. He is an almost certainty to go in the top four picks of the draft.
Ikem Ekwonu (North Carolina State) – Offensive Line
One of the most feared lineman in the ACC and one of the best run blockers in the college game last year, Ekwonu has also made improvements in pass protection and given his natural strength and power, allied to excellent pace, he is a strong and powerful lineman that will certainly appeal to teams needing help with the running game.
Garrett Wilson (Ohio State) – Wide Receiver
With A.J.Brown, Jaylen Waddle and JaMarr Chase showcasing how much impact a quality rookie wide receiver can have on a team over the last few years, Garrett Wilson could well be the next name in that category with his speed and catching ability making him a fantastic deep threat option and a probable No 1 WR on the team he joins.
Charles Cross (Mississippi State) – Offensive Line
At 6ft 5” and 310lbs, Cross made significant improvements to his game from 2020, when he gave up 6 sacks and 5 QB hits to 2021, when he surrendered just 2 sacks and 0 QB hits. In Mississippi State’s pass-heavy offense he developed into arguably the best pass protector in college football and though he has to work on blocking in the running game, he is a fabulous talent.
Drake London (USC) – Wide Receiver
A quality possession receiver with excellent hands and still packing a deep threat, Drake London had an outstanding final season at the USC, catching for 1084 yards in just eight games. He may be best utilised as a slot receiver in the NFL, where he could go on to become one of the best in that position since the likes of Wes Welker.
Other talents on offense to watch out for in the draft that could be selected in the first round include Offensive Linemen, Kenyon Green, Tyler Linderbaum, Trevor Penning, Darian Kinnard and Bernhard Raimann. Quarterbacks Matt Corrall, Sam Howell, Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis and Desmond Ridder, Wide Receivers Jameson Williams, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson, George Pickens and John Metchie III, Tight End Trey McBride and Running Back Breece Hall.
FEATURED IMAGE – CLEVELAND, OHIO – APRIL 29: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces Gregory Rousseau being selected 30th by the Buffalo Bills during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)