The 2021 NFL Draft is over and teams are getting comfortable with their new draft picks. The next class of players is getting prepared now for another year of college football. Each position will be analyzed in the coming days. Here is the 2022 NFL Draft prospect watchlist: Defensive linemen.
Jordan Davis, Georgia Bulldogs
As a three-star recruit out of North Carolina, Davis decided to leave the state to play for Georgia. He was great as a freshman, finishing the year with 25 total tackles and 1.5 sacks, which saw him get named as a Freshman All-American. As a sophomore, Davis totaled 18 tackles and 2.5 sacks. For the 2020 season, he registered 16 tackles and one sack.
At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, Davis is huge for an interior defensive lineman and has great length. He has good strength to hold his ground and can take on double teams. Davis won’t offer much of a pass rusher and his pad level gets too high, but Davis has a chance to improve on those areas in 2021.
Tyler Davis, Clemson Tigers
Davis was a four-star recruit out of Florida who decided to play for the Tigers and Dabo Swinney. As a freshman, he was a Second Team All-ACC selection with 45 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. In seven games during the 2020 season, Davis had 14 total tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks as Clemson made the College Football Playoff.
He stands at 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, which is solid for a 4-3 defensive tackle. Davis maintains good leverage and attacks gaps very well. He also has a good motor and does offer some pass rushing upside. If he can add more pass rushing moves and counters to his game for the 2021 season, he could be an early round draft pick.
Demarvin Leal, Texas A&M Aggies
As a U.S. Army All-American out of San Antonio, Leal could’ve gone almost anywhere for college, but chose to stay in-state and play for Texas A&M. He had 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks as a freshman. Leal improved his performance in just 10 games in 2020 with 7.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. His play helped the Aggies win the Orange Bowl last season and he will be hoping for more in 2021.
He has solid size for a defensive lineman, as he is 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds. Leal is extremely versatile and plays all across the defensive line. He has solid burst and his eplosive for an athlete. In the NFL, he will have to move to the inside, but his athleticism should help him win. His strength is there for interior play, but he will need to develop a pass rushing plan more consistently.
Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma Sooners
Winfrey is from Illinois, but made his way to Oklahoma via the JUCO route. He was a four-star JUCO recruit after playing at Iowa Western Community College. In his one season for the Sooners, Winfrey was a Second Team All-Big 12 selection after recording 17 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. He’ll be looking for another good year at Oklahoma before heading to the 2022 NFL Draft.
The interior lineman is 6-foot-3 and 297 pounds, giving him the necessary size for the NFL. Winfrey has great burst at the snap of the ball and can really push the pocket as a pass rusher. He has good athleticism for the interior, but does need to keep his balance and use his strength well to win more. Winfrey popped on tape in 2020 and a good 2021 season could be in store for him.
Other Draft Prospects
Neil Farrell Jr., LSU Tigers- He will be one of the older prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Farrell has proven to be able to produce at LSU.
Labryan Ray, Alabama Crimson Tide- After a promising 2018 campaign, Ray has had trouble staying healthy and consistently producing. If he can stay on the field, his draft stock could really rise.
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Notre Dame Fighting Irish- Tua’s cousin has made a name for himself in his own right. He’ll need to add some weight to really hold up on the interior, but he looks like he is on the cusp of a solid 2021 college football season.
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