The 2022 NFL Combine in Indianapolis is now upon us. It’s an opportunity for prospects to show what they have to offer during the pre-draft process leading up to the NFL Draft itself.
When is the NFL Combine?
It runs from March 1 through March 7. The annual event is broadcast on both ESPN and NFL Network with most of the focus being on position drills. Here’s a breakdown of coverage on NFL Network.
- Thursday, March 3: 4 PM ET
- Friday, March 4: 4 PM ET
- Saturday, March 5: 4 PM ET
- Sunday, March 6: 11 AM ET
What is the NFL Combine?
It’s an annual pre-draft event that has gone from being somewhat of a niche grouping to a week-long showcase broadcast nationally on multiple networks.
Former Dallas Cowboys president and general manager Tex Schramm proposed the annual event as a way for teams to evaluate talent. Since its inception as the national invitational camp (NIC) in 1982, this thing has taken on a whole new meaning.
Among the most important aspects of the NFL Combine are the positional workouts scheduled for a four-day span during the annual event. Teams also have an opportunity to meet and interview prospects leading up to the annual NFL Draft.
Related: Ranking the top 2022 NFL Draft QBs
2022 NFL Combine workout schedule
- Thursday, March 3rd: Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends
- Friday, March 4th: Running backs, offensive line and special teams
- Satuday, March 5th: Defensive line, linebackers
- Sunday, March 6th: Defensive backs
Heading into the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, there is no clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver like we’ve seen in past classes with Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson emerging as immediate stars. Yet that doesn’t mean it isn’t a deeply talented bunch.
With the ever-growing popularity of college teams operating a pass-heavy offense, wide receivers are starting to grow on trees. Yet there are a few traits that simply cannot be taught, NFL evaluators will find plenty of these cases in the upcoming prospect pool
Down below, we preview the top five wide receiver prospects in the 2022 NFL draft class. And as a bonus, you’ll also find two tight end prospects to watch during the NFL combine at the very bottom.
Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
- Garrett Wilson college stats (2021): 70 receptions, 1,058 receiving yards, 12 TD catches, 1 rush TD
At 5-foot-11, Garrett Wilson won’t blow anyone away with his size, but he can blow past them with his speed. He won’t break any NFL Draft Combine 40-yard dash records, with Wilson expected to clock somewhere in the 4.4s, but his ability to separate is second to none among this prospect group.
His smooth, yet sudden route-running ability should translate well to the next level. Wilson should be a YAC monster wherever he lands, yet his quickness also makes him a downfield receiving threat.
Ahead of the NFL combine, Wilson currently projects as a first-round pick, but it would be a shock to see him go in the first 12 selections or so. Of course his 40-time will impact his draft stock, but scouts will also be watching closely to see if he has any issues with drops, although he does also have the ability to make eye-popping catches as well. Either way, Wilson will be fun to watch at the NFL combine.
Jameson Williams, Alabama
- Jameson Williams college stats (2021): 79 receptions, 1,572 receiving yards, 15 TD catches
Here’s the latest first-round receiving prospect to come out of Alabama. If an NFL team wants a big-play receiver with next-level ability, Jameson Williams is their pick. Not only is he a burner, Williams also has fantastic speed and he pairs those traits with great hands in a 6-foot-2 frame.
The biggest downside for Williams and NFL evaluators is that he won’t be running at the NFL combine due to the ACL tear he suffered in the National Championship Game. This means we won’t get a chance to see just how fast Williams could time, some have suggested he runs a sub-4.35 40-yard dash.
Unfortunately, since the injury happened in January, Williams could miss much of the 2021 NFL season. Even with the injury, Williams is still expected to be a late first-round pick. If teams want to add a player who can take the top off their defense, even if he can’t make an immediate impact, Jameson Williams is the pick.
Drake London, USC
- Drake London college stats (2021): 88 receptions, 1,084 receiving yards, 7 TD catches
As mentioned, there isn’t a wide receiver who is head and shoulders above the rest of the crop, but Southern Cal’s Drake London at least towers over the rest of his competitors at 6-foot-5. You want a receiver with freakish size? London’s calling.
While he’s not at the top here, many analysts have London as their top pass-catching prospect in this draft class due to his strong hands and ability to haul in 50-50 balls. While he doesn’t come close to having Randy Moss speed, London would likely still time in the low 4.4s-high 4.5s during his 40-yard sprint.
Yet, like Jameson Williams, London suffered a season-ending injury, this one to his ankle, which will likely prevent the big-bodied receiver from showing his athletic skills at the combine. London is likely a late-first-round pick in April’s selection process.
Related: Top NFL free agents of 2022
Treylon Burks, Arkansas
- Treylon Burks college stats (2021): 66 receptions, 1,104 receiving yards, 11 TD catches, 1 rush TD
Showing just how deep this draft class is at the receiver position, Treylon Burks is yet another prospect who packages size (6-foot-3) with electric speed. Interestingly, he’s also taken some snaps out of the backfield ala Deebo Samuel and he has the physicality to match.
Burks has impressive strength, he might even measure in with the largest hands of all wide receiver prospects at the combine. He could still become a better route-runner, but he has the ability to change directions quickly, which gives him a chance to improve.
Every NFL team can add Burks to their lineup as he can play all three receiver positions on the gridiron. Somehow, Burks is yet another prospect whose name could be called in the first round.
Chris Olave, Ohio State
- Chris Olave college stats (2021): 65 receptions, 936 receiving yards, 13 TD catches
Another receiver who has no trouble creating separation running through his routes, Chris Olave can line up all over the field. He may not have the physical traits some of the other dreamy receivers have in this class, but Olave seems like a safe pick who can produce at the next level.
Olave should perform well in three-cone agility drills, showing his ability to maneuver in space and change directions quickly. If teams are looking for a No. 1 wideout, Olave may not be the match they’re looking for, but he profiles as a solid high-floor No. 2 option.
Like all the other prospects on this list, Olave has a good shot at landing in the first round, if not, he’ll likely be an early Day Two pick. His 4.4 speed should translate to the next level just fine.
Top tight end prospects in 2022 NFL Draft
There isn’t a Kyle Pitts or anything close in the 2022 tight end draft class. Both players on the list are unlikely to sneak into the first round, but they should each land on Day Two.
Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M
- Jalen Wydermyer college stats (2021): 40 receptions, 515 receiving yards, 4 TD catches
At 6-foot-5, 255 lbs, Jalen Wydermyer has ideal size for an NFL tight end. He’s able to use his strength to his advantage, hauling in passes over the middle when he knows he’ll be hit and can still do damage after the catch.
Wydermyer has great hands, decent speed and can hold his own as a blocker, but he’s considered to be more of a receiving threat than a force in the trenches.
With his well-rounded skillset, teams can select Wydermyer and plug him in as their starter from the opening day of training camp.
Trey McBride, Colorado State
- Trey McBride college stats (2021): 90 receptions 1,121 receiving yards, 1 TD catch
As you can see, Trey McBride’s final season was extremely productive, which no doubt catapulted his draft stock. It’s not that common for a collegiate tight end to top the 1,000-yard mark in a single season, but the 6-foot-4 McBride put on a show at Colorado State.
He’s not the fastest nor the tallest, but McBride the most polished tight end in the 2022 class. He might be the most pro-ready too. Coming from a small school, McBride only figures to improve once he can add a bit more muscle to his frame.
McBride shouldn’t have trouble producing in the pros, maybe not at a 1,000-yard level but it can’t be ruled out entirely. Teams will also appreciate his ability to throw some mean blocks.