2022 NFL Draft: Top Ten DL/Edge Prospects

Arnold Ebiketie: Top DL and Edge Prospects, 2022 NFL Draft

My editors may yell at me for this one, but I had to do it. I set out to create a list of players officially part of the DL position group but felt it necessary to include Edge players as well. As such, this article is a bit longer than my norm, but I figured, “Hey, they’re football fans, they’ll dig the thoroughness”. Please enjoy the breakdown of the top ten DL/Edge prospects in the 2022 NFL draft, and make sure to lord your superior knowledge over your friends on draft night.

1: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

The most sure thing in this draft, Hutchinson has to be at the top of this list.

The Good

Hutchinson has good arm length and admirable finesse moves. He often wins hand fights and possesses the strength and power to have a rounded out game. His good eye discipline helps him compete against the run and on extended plays.

The Bad

Though Hutchinson is a phenomenal athlete, he often leaves a lot of his power in his lower body. The way he instinctively moves with his hips is the root cause of this issue.

The Optimal

Unless the Jags trade out of the first pick, that is where he will go. He is a beast with one of the highest ceilings in the draft class. He also has the highest floor out of any 2022 NFL Draft prospect.

2: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

Kayvon is more than just o-Kay.

The Good

Thibodeaux has good body movement, good power, and a good feel for where he needs to be. He is also versatile enough to drop into coverage.

The Bad

Most of what follows doesn’t really fall under the category of ‘bad’; rather, read it as ‘could be improved’. His hands, his strength through his shoulder lean, and his recognition on run-option plays could all be more impressive than they are. However, the big concern that teams have here is rumors concerning his work ethic. Perhaps he cleans that up with team interviews.

The Optimal

Anywhere that believes he wants to win. I’d much rather see him in a 4-3 than a 3-4 though, as that should open him up a bit more to be the playmaker that he can be.

3: Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia

It’s hard to make these lists with multiple albeit similar positions, but here we are. And yes, Wyatt is ranked higher than Jordan Davis when the conversation is team-independent.

The Good

Wyatt is a big man who is freakishly athletic. He has good moves, stunts well, and as we saw at the combine, has crazy speed (4.77 40). In fact, he has all of these attributes to such an extreme that he occasionally played spy and stunted outside while in college.

The Bad

The biggest holes in Wyatt’s game are that he can lose his power when coming out of a move and will occasionally leave a play on the field.

The Optimal

Any team who doesn’t already have two playmakers on their d-line.

4: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

Walker has run up a lot of draft boards, landing him fourth on this list.

The Good

Travon has great arms, allowing him to slide off of blocks at an incredible level. He also possesses good speed, is smart, and is good against the run. His versatility is quite rare, as he can move inside or drop back in the box. He also carries himself with great power.

The Bad

It is unclear whether his power will translate at the next level and he is extremely raw as a pass-rusher. Even though he slides off of blocks very well, his movement afterwards is more horizontal than vertical.

The Optimal

Ideally, Walker will start his NFL career in a 3-4 defense. This scheme often relies on LBs or slot corners to create pressure, allowing Walker to bring a lot of value against the run as he develops his pass-rush abilities in real time.

5: George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

George can make your Kar Pur (due to being a beast).

The Good

Karlaftis has a great get-off, good power, and a nice arsenal of moves. His arms don’t always connect to his body, which sometimes makes him harder to block.

The Bad

His arms don’t always connect to his body, which can detract from his power efficiency.

The Optimal

Any team that needs edge help.

6: Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia

His first and last name may be normal, but his ability is not. Among all of the 2022 NFL Draft prospects, he may just be the most freakish.

The Good

Jordan is just SO BIG. He also possesses good block-shed ability, reads gaps well, and often shows good hustle.

The Bad

As was contextually alluded to, the biggest struggle for Davis is his conditioning. Yes, you can watch his film and see him run through three people, but other times he gets taken out of the play by a lone guard.

The Optimal

The best place for Davis is between two playmakers and within a robust rotation.

7: David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan

Oh Jabo, you’re just a beast.

The Good

Ojabo has a great lean inside and outside, utilizing his understanding of leverage and smooth hips to make it his primary move. He also possesses a nice spin move, which is a perfect counter to the lean.

The Bad

Ojabo is a very raw player that is currently limited to a blitzing LB role. He also needs to find a bit more strength in his lean move to help beat some of the bigger tackles. Of course, it is worth mentioning in this section that he tore his achilles in March.

The Optimal

Put Ojabo in a 3-4 and let him earn his role outside of a rotation by the end of his second year.

8: Nik Bonitto, Edge, Oklahoma

Nik may not be as common of a name as Jordan, but Bonitto may just change that by becoming a household name across America.

The Good

He has a decent get-off, is an effective spy, and can drop into the flat. On top of that, he is both good against the run and a competent pass-rusher.

The Bad

He isn’t a spectacular pass-rusher.

The Optimal

Bonitto can play anywhere that is willing to finish molding him into an NFL playmaker.

9: Arnold Ebiketie, Edge, Penn State

Forget the name narrative- this man is just a treat to watch on the field.

The Good

Ebiketie has good power and good burst off of hits, the latter being a rare trait among 2022 NFL Draft prospects. He also possesses good speed, is decent against the run, and can keep the defender at length on his speed rush. The cherry on top of the cake is that he is a phenomenal leader.

The Bad

If he can build a bit more drive in his lower body and add some strength in his upper body he will be considered elite at the next level.

The Optimal

Like many of the other raw talents, Ebiketie’s ideal spot is in a heavily-rotating d-line (such as Buffalo). However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the first of the bunch to officially fill a starting role.

10: Travis Jones, DL, UConn

Many may have expected Boye Mafe in this spot, and he almost was. But Travis Jones needed some of your love and attention.

The Good

Jones is good at shedding blocks, plays relentlessly, and demonstrates remarkable push when he keeps his hands.

The Bad

He sometimes struggles to keep his hands, which currently limits him to a run-stopping role. However, if he can be coached to keep his hands more often… sheeeeesh. Watch out.

The Optimal

A starting job on a 4-3 defense.

Bet On The 2022 NFL Draft

If you are feeling so well-informed by this series of articles dedicated to breaking down the top players at every position, feel free to bet on the draft at one of the top offshore sportsbooks (listed below for your convenience).

  • 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.