It’s NFL Draft rumors season. While the football world prepares for the Shrine and Senior Bowls — events Pro Football Network will have covered from head to toe — many players are prepping for the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and pro day workouts. All of this, of course, is in advance of the 2022 NFL Draft in April. Here are the latest rumors and news surrounding the 2022 NFL Draft.
2022 NFL Draft Rumors: Kayvon Thibodeaux’s possible 10-yard split
These start at the top and include highly-rated Kayvon Thibodeaux, the defensive end from Oregon who presently sits at the top of my rankings in our recently revealed Top 300 Big Board. For Thibodeaux, the early results from combine training have been very impressive.
I’m told Thibodeaux has been running 10-yard split times in the mid-to-low 1.5-second area. While many are familiar with 40 times, scouts closely monitor 10-yard splits. In fact, the 10-yard split time is often more important than the 40 times for offensive and defensive linemen.
But let’s give this recent news of Thibodeaux’ 10-yard time some perspective. Many were awed during the 2014 NFL Combine when former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney motored his 266-pound frame across the 40 yards of Lucas Oil Stadium in a time of 4.51 seconds. Yet, even with a time that quick, Clowney’s fastest 10-yard split was 1.59 seconds.
Bottom line? If these times hold up and Thibodeaux maintains, don’t be surprised if he gets under 4.50 seconds at the combine.
Tariq Woolen’s 40-yard time could intrigue scouts
Another prospect expected to run super-fast times during pre-draft workouts is Tariq Woolen, the receiver turned cornerback from UTSA. The belief is Woolen, who was not graded by scouts before the seasons start, could break into the upper 4.2-second range. Those times — coupled with a frame that’s likely to measure over 6’2″ and 205 pounds — will have Woolen soaring up draft boards.
2022 NFL Draft Rumors: George Karlaftis vs. David Ojabo
Aidan Hutchinson was the toast of the town, and he’s the Michigan defender presently receiving most of the headlines as we move towards April’s draft. But don’t forget his teammate, David Ojabo, who is a favorite in the scouting community.
In conversations last week, people told me there’s a good chance Ojabo is selected before George Karlaftis of Purdue, who is projected as a top-eight pick in the early going.
During a late October edition of Between the Hashes, I mentioned there were aspects of Ojabo’s game that I believe project to the next level better than Hutchinson’s — explosion, suddenness, and natural violence. Ojabo currently ranks sixth on the PFN consensus big board with a high ranking of No. 3 overall from Senior Draft Director Cam Mellor.
If this holds true, then Ojabo will be a top-six selection in the draft. Maybe the New York Jets will finally find the pass rusher they’ve been looking for all these years.