The 2022 NFL draft is under three months away, and the talented class is starting to take some shape. After a terrific week at the Senior Bowl, I restacked my board -- including some shuffling among the top 10 prospects.
I've been grinding through game tape now that the college football season is over, but the Senior Bowl allowed a live viewing of some of the top upperclassmen in the nation in a best-on-best setting. We saw a great group of defensive linemen and six of the top seven quarterbacks, and a handful of prospects from smaller schools stood out. But remember, there is a lot of road still ahead, starting with the combine in Indianapolis in a few weeks.
So who rose at the Senior Bowl, or in the weeks following the end of the season? How did the quarterback rankings shake out? And who is firming up their spot atop the 2022 board? Here are my top 32 prospects for the 2022 class (updated from my Jan. 4 version), plus my top 10 players at every position.
Note: Underclassmen are marked with an asterisk, and grades are via Scouts Inc.
1. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
Height: 6-foot-6 | Weight: 269 pounds
Grade: 94 | Previous rank: 1
Hutchinson plays a powerful game and is truly relentless in pursuit. He also has fast eyes and locates the ball really well. I like his inside move, and his ability to line up on either side and drop in coverage will be valuable to NFL teams. The senior can stack blockers at the point of attack and has active hands. He had 14.0 sacks (third in the country), 19 tackles for loss (tied for 23rd), 75 tackles, 66 pressures (second) and two forced fumbles last season for the Wolverines. If you want to see just how dominant Hutchinson can be, go watch his tape from Michigan's late-November win over Ohio State, when he had three sacks, 14 pressures and 10 tackles.
2. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama*
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 350
Grade: 94 | Previous rank: 3
Neal has played all over the Alabama line, starting at guard as a freshman, before sliding to right tackle in 2020 and finally left tackle last season. He mirrors and slides really well, and speed rushers struggle to get around his long frame. On run blocks, Neal excels with a quick first step and excellent angles. He shows range at the second level, which makes him perfect for a zone-blocking scheme. He also delivers blocks with power, though he is still developing his balance. His awareness stands out: He can locate blitzes, twists and stunts and seal off the pass rush. Neal can get in trouble by occasionally lunging, but his skill set makes him an easy plug-and-play lineman in the NFL. He allowed one sack last season on more than 600 pass-block snaps for the Crimson Tide.