2022 NFL Draft: Top Eight DB Prospects

Kyler Gordon, Top DB Prospect 2022 NFL Draft

As a part of our April mission to keep you better-informed than your friends about the NFL draft, here is a list of the top eight DB prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft Class.

1: Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

The only prelude here is how dope ‘Sauce’ is as a nickname.

The Good

Sauce is big and long, has good speed and maintains good awareness on the field. He is also a strong tacklers and a good blitzer. In short, he has great tools and the workman’s belt to recover from mistakes.

The Bad

He makes mistakes sometimes. He can leave small windows on cuts that takes him a second-and-a-half to close.

The Optimal

Sauce belongs in a game-playing defense. It would be disrespectful to his potential to do anything else.

2: Derek Stingley, CB, LSU

Stingley is going to bee a great.

The Good

Derek Stingley just hits all of the major checkpoints in technique. He carries or finds the best possible leverage, always knows when to look for the ball, and he finds the ball in the air. He’s just a smart, sound player. Think Trevor Lawrence but at the CB position.

The Bad

There are some who are concerned about injuries, but I wouldn’t focus on that too much. The only real point of concern is that his play over the last two seasons doesn’t match the best of him that we’ve seen on film.

The Optimal

This guy can play anywhere, though ideally it would be a team that loves to play man coverage. That’s how Stingley could differentiate himself.

3: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

Let’s all be post-modernist philosophers for a second: 3 = 1. Hamilton could easily be at the top of this list, but we’ll keep star corners over playmaking safeties because 1 = 3 as well.

The Good

Hamilton can do it all: man, zone, and run support. He reads the field incredibly well, tackles well, and makes the smart decision that often leads to big plays.

The Bad

He plays safety. Other positions are more valued.

The Optimal

A team that has safeties won’t spend a top 15 pick on him, but that’s just because of the process that is building a team. Hamilton is so good he can make any team better.

4: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

Trent is bent on paying rent via the NFL. Though he will be able to afford a house by April 29th.

The Good

McDuffie has shown himself to be a beast in zone coverage. He has the awareness needed in the scheme and can close and attack the ball well. He is also good at the line of scrimmage.

The Bad

There really isn’t much to snipe about here. The only point worth noting is that McDuffie doesn’t have a lot of tape in man coverage, and that limits his draft stock.

The Optimal

The team that adds this man will be in the zone. Seriously, though, they will be in a lot of zone.

5: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida Gators

He may not have a dope nickname, but who needs it when your name is Kaiir?

The Good

Elam is handsy and physical, with the size to do it. He has good awareness and good recovery ability, with good tackling skills and an understanding of where his help is to boot.

The Bad

He can over-rely on his help sometimes and doesn’t have the hips of Derek Stingley.

The Optimal

Elam may find his full potential in zone, but he isn’t limited to it. His stat line would love it if he joins a good secondary, but he can be one of the better CB1’s as well.

6: Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

Cine may not get signed as a Day 1 pick, but he could be.

The Good

Cine plays with good speed, has good fundamentals for man coverage, is a good tackler and has good recognition around the line of scrimmage.

The Bad

Unfortunately, he struggles a bit in zone and is on the smaller side.

The Optimal

I would expect Lewis Cine to move to a nickel spot on a game-playing defense. He can bring a lot of value there.

7: Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

Gordon is the surprise of this list, much like Dotson was as the 5th WR. But like Dotson, he deserves this spot.

The Good

Gordon is very raw, but did a great job playing zone opposite McDuffie and shows good basic skills to carry into man coverage. In fact, his potential scheme-versatility could make him more valuable than McDuffie after a few years of coaching.

The Bad

Gordon is very raw and struggles while breaking out of blocks to make tackles.

The Optimal

Gordon would be a great CB2 or CB3 with a team that has an established but aging CB1.

8: Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor

I thought about leaving this list at 7, but 8 is a nicer number, isn’t it?

The Good

Pitre has some skill in run-support. He has good closing speed, is a good tackler, has a good football IQ (especially around the line-of-scrimmage). He also has talent as a blitzer.

The Bad

He is only okay in coverage, with his biggest struggles coming in man coverage. His IQ helps, but it isn’t quite enough.

The Optimal

Pitre’s best hope is to be a cheaper version of Jamal Adams.

Bet On The 2022 NFL Draft

If you are looking for the best offshore sportsbooks to bet on the draft with, look no further. We have compiled a list for you.

  • BetOnline – $1000 Welcome Bonus and Two Free Risk-Free Bets
  • XBet – $500 Betting Bonus and the Best NFL Futures Odds
  • BetUS – $3,125 in Free Bets and Great NFL Betting Odds
  • MyBookie – $1,000 Sports Betting Bonus & The Most Exotic Prop Bets
  • Bovada – $1000 Welcome Bonus Plus The Best NFL Props

To find more NFL content visit our NFL homepage or click the button in my bio.