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Top 20 NFL Draft prospects heading into the second round

A vast majority of our top 2022 NFL Draft prospects went off the board in the first round of the annual event Thursday evening.

With that said, there were some surprises. That included only one quarterback being selected within the first 32 picks. Outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers opting for Kenny Pickett, all the top-end quarterbacks remain on the board heading into the second and third rounds.

Below, we look at the top-20 remaining NFL Draft prospects heading into Day 2 in Las Vegas.

Related: Day 2 NFL mock draft

1. Nakobe Dean, linebacker, Georgia

top 2022 nfl draft prospects: nakobe dean, georgia
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 15th

A total of five Georgia defenders were selected within the first 32 picks. That represents an NFL Draft record. Interestingly enough, this reigning Butkus Award winner was not one of them. It’s a pretty big surprise given that Sportsnaut had a mid first-round grade on Dean. He’s a sideline-to-sideline backer with plus-level coverage skills and can slot in as a Day 1 starter. Look for him to go early in the second round with the New York Giants being an option after they aced the first round.

2. Malik Willis, quarterback, Liberty

top 2022 nfl draft prospects: malik willis
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 21st

Considered by many to be the top quarterback in the draft class, there was some thought given to the idea that Willis could end up going as high as No. 2 overall to the Detroit Lions. Concerns over his level of competition in college and some perception that he’s a project gave in to this. Some team is going to find a high-upside potential franchise quarterback in Malik Willis early in Round 2. That’s for sure.

Related: Top 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks

3. Bernhard Raimann, offensive tackle, Central Michigan

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 24th

At 6-foot-6 and 303 pounds, Raimann is an exceptional left tackle prospect. He moved from tight end to tackle during the 2020 COVID-shortened season and has since proven himself to be elite in the run game. There’s some issues with his development, which led to the former Central Michigan star falling out of Round 1. Likely a right tackle out of the gate, we’re expecting Raimann to land somewhere within the top-10 picks of the second round.

4. Andrew Booth Jr., cornerback, Clemson

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 25th

Another player that many had slated as a top-32 pick, Booth fell down the board big time. That’s primarily due to teams with needs in the defensive secondary going for a safety over cornerback late in Round 1. But make no mistake about it, Booth Jr. can be an immediate contributor at the next level. Last season with Clemson, the 6-foot corner recorded five passes defended and three interceptions. The Minnesota Vikings are a logicial landing spot at 34.

5. Jalen Pitre, defensive back, Baylor

top 2022 nfl draft prospects: jalen pitre
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 30th

A draft crush of many, we were surprised to see the likes of Daxton Hill and Lewis Cline go ahead of Pitre. This former Baylor star can play both safety positions and slot corner — providing the flexibility that teams value in today’s NFL. He’s a great tackler and already has pro-ready coverage skills. Some team is going to get a stud in Round 2.

Related: NFL Draft live tracker and pick-by-pick grades

6. Logan Hall, defensive tackle, Houston

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 33rd

Teams value interior pas rushers of Hall’s ilk. The 6-foot-6, 283-pound defensive tackle was exceptional a season ago for Houston — recording 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. He has tremendous power and can be explosive at the point of contact. He can also play defensive end, creating flexibility for teams who run 3-4 schemes. Being non-scheme specific player could loom large for Hall in Round 2.

7. George Pickens, wide receiver, Georgia

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 34th

Here’s another play who many figured would end up sneaking into the first round. But as six wide receivers went within the top-18 picks, teams started to value other positions. Those who still need pass-catchers will be happy about this development. The 6-foot-3 Pickens is that big-body threat teams value in the red one. He can adjust to the ball in the air, is physically dominant against smaller defensive backs and has yards-after-the-catch ability. The Indianapolis Colts make sense with their first selection at 42.

8. Desmond Ridder, quarterback, Cincinnati

top 2022 nfl draft prospects: desmond ridder
Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 35th

We’re not overly surprised that Desmond Ridder fall out of the first round. There’s still some concern over how his game will translate to the NFL level. That’s primarily due to intermediate accuracy. With all of that said, we’re talking about a strong-armed 6-foot-3 signal caller with an ability to progress through his reads and boasts a quick delivery. There’s no reason why a team early in Round 2 won’t take a chance on that upside.

Related: Ranking NFL defenses

9. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 36th

Prior to suffering a torn Achilles during Michigan’s Pro Day, Ojabo was a lock to go within the top-15 picks of the draft. That timing proved to be too much for teams to ignore in the first round. Now that we’re into Day 2, someone will be doing cartwheels to acquire this stud edge rusher. Teaming up with Aidan Hutchinson last season, Ojabo recorded 12 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.

10. Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 38th

Mafe’s 6-foot-4, 261-pound frame has to be seen as enticing to NFL teams. He’s quick off the line, has an explosive secondary burst for someone his size and has shown an ability to beat linemen off the edge. That was evident last season with Mafe recording 10 tackles for loss and seven sacks in Minnesota.

11. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 40th

There really is first-round talent remaining at the all-important EDGE pass rush position. Despite his smallish 6-foot-2 frame, Ebiketie certainly is one of them. He already has strong pass-rush moves and boasts long arms to make up for his lack of size. For Penn State a season ago, Ebiketie recorded an absurd 18 tackles for loss. You can’t teach that production.

12. Breece Hall, running back, Iowa State

top nfl draft prospects: breece hall
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 42nd

For the first time since 2014, no running back went in the first round of the draft. It’s just a sign of the times. Round 2 and 3 will be when top-end players at this position come off the board. And in reality, Hall might be the first. His dual-threat ability will interest teams in the modern NFL. After all, Hall caught 36 passes while running for 1,472 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns for Iowa State last season.

13. Kenneth Walker III, running back, Michigan State

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 43rd

A reigning Heisman finalist, Walker was absolutely brilliant for Michigan State last season after transferring from Wake Forest. He tallied 1,636 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns at a clip of 6.2 yards per rush. We’re talking about an explosive back with great vision and top-end speed. Despite not being used in the passing game in college, Walker has shown nice hands and an ability to get yards after contact.

Related: Winners and losers from first round of 2022 NFL Draft

14. Matt Corral, quarterback, Mississippi

top 2022 nfl draft prospects: matt corral
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospets: 44th

Heading into the 2021 season, it seemed to be a lock that Matt Corral would end up being a first-round pick. An up-and-down final season with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss dropped him outside of the top-32 picks. In no way does this mean Corral can’t be a starter-caliber signal caller at the next level. He has great intermediate accuracy and a quick release — two things teams value. His lack of a strong arm is what held him back in the pre-draft process.

15. Skyy Moore, wide receiver, Western Michigan

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 45th

Another draft crush of many, Moore was absolutely brilliant for Western Michigan a season ago. He recorded a whopping 95 receptions for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns. Potentially limited to the slot at the next level due to his 5-foot-10 frame, Moore’s ability to provide an immediate throwing window coupled with his smooth route-running skills and great athleticism could make him a steal. Justin Fields could use someone like this with the Chicago Bears.

16. Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 46th

Enagbare never took that next step to elite status for the Gamecocks. He recorded just 4.5 sacks last season after registering six during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. With that said, there’s a lot to like on tape when it comes to the 258-pound edge rusher. The main thing here is his upper-body strength and ability to get off blocks. Not necessarily scheme limited, Enagbare will be on the radar of teams in Round 2.

17. Leo Chenal, linebacker, Wisconsin

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 47th

Chenal is limited by some struggles in pass coverage. However, the former Wisconsin star is a sideline-to-sideline backer with a tremendous motor and an ability to bring down the ball-carrier at the line. If Chenal can improve in coverage, he could end up becoming a three-down backer at the next level.

Related: Top takeaway from first round of 2022 NFL Draft

18. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma

NFL: Scouting Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 49th

Outside of Hutchinson, Bonitto might be the most-productive collegiate EDGE rusher to enter the 2022 NFL Draft. He recorded 26.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks in his final two seasons with Oklahoma. The only perceived issue here is upside and his smallish size (248 pounds). If Bonitto can add some weight without losing his explosiveness, he’ll be a Round 2 steal.

19. Roger McCreary, cornerback, Auburn

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 50th

A perfect fit for teams who run a press-man scheme, McCreary will certainly get some Day 2 play. The 5-foot-11 cornerback can play both the boundary and the slot. He also has a history of success against elite-level SEC competition — recording 20 passes defended and five interceptions over the past two seasons.

20. Phidarian Mathis, defensive line, Alabama

  • Overall ranking among NFL Draft prospects: 51st

Struggling in his first three seasons with Alabama, this former four-star recruit from Louisiana stepped up it when given a chance last season. He registered 10.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. There’s a lot to like about the 310-pound defensive tackle. That includes tremendous speed for someone his size and a great motor.

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