I’m weird as an NFL draft analyst because I love professional comparisons. I adore them. Spend a lot of time crafting it for potential customers each season.
Of course, comparisons are almost always “stylistic” and don’t just depend on things like height, weight, or college program. And because I take them seriously and make many comparisons, many of the comparisons to prospects are not NFL-level stars.
In general, though, the top expectations in each category are compared globally to well-established stars. But anyone who has followed enlistment, even on a casual level, knows that many first-round picks never reach the rank of superstar, and are, in fact, a “bust.”
With that idea in mind, let’s compare the most unanimous predictions in the 2022 class to the infamous previous drafts. hat tip to Matthew Collier Purple Insider for this idea.
(Vital disclaimer: These are not legitimate comparisons to these predictions. They are just for fun.)
Michigan Edge Aidan Hutchinson
depression: Andre Wadsworth
- Pick and year: No. 3 Overall, 1998 Draft (Cardinals)
- College: Florida
Wadsworth was previously at Florida State and gradually improved on the Marquee program, which culminated in winning the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award in his final season. Sounds like anyone? In that big campaign, Wadsworth had 16 sacks and 19 tackles to lose.
During the draft process, many praised Wadsworth, and Even some smart football minds thought so It was the second coming of Bruce Smith due to his natural talent, strength and work ethic.
When assembled, Wadsworth measured just under 6 feet 4 and 278 pounds. Once in the league, Wadsworth’s lack of outstanding ball blasting damaged his ability to constantly threaten quarterbacks. That might be a blow to Hutchinson’s game, too. A stuttering knee injury hampered Wadsworth’s next two seasons, leading to his release from Arizona. He will never play in the NFL again.
Oregon Edge Cayvon Thepodox
depression: Parkius Mingo
- Pick and year: 6 overall, 2013 draft (brown)
- College: LSU
Now, when it comes to hype as a recruiter, Thibodeaux, of course, outshines Mingo. In the field, there are similarities between the two. Like Thibodeaux, the former LSU star was more of an explosive/flexible than a master of the swipe movement during his time at the SEC. His lack of tactics developed en route to the quarterback didn’t matter much, though, though he’s scored 15 sacks and 29 tackles for loss in his three seasons with the Tigers.
He eventually flopped in the NFL simply because he wasn’t strong enough on point attack, and those passing moves…never materialized. If Thibodeaux ruptures, it is likely due to him leaning too much on his athletic talents and not consistently playing hard enough.
Cincinnati CB Ahmed Gardner
depression: de milliner
- Pick and year: No. 9 overall, 2013 draft (airplanes)
Milliner was in high demand in the 2013 draft for his length and productivity in a successful and distinguished programme. He had five interceptions in Nick Saban’s last two seasons and stood 6-0 and 201 pounds with 32-inch arms. He ran 4.37 in the session and had three cones under 7.00 seconds. It looks like the boxes have been checked.
But despite plenty of experience with Saban’s heavy scheme, Milner was never able to reverse the NFL receivers faster and more polished and was never given the luxury of passing in front of him like he would in college to constantly speed up his throws. Quarterback.
Gardner is similar in this size, height and body are his main features. He was also very productive on Cincinnati’s rookie show. If he’s been struggling in the NFL, it’s likely because he’s had trouble staying on stage with receivers working in complex, fast-breaking ways.
Notre Dame Kyle Hamilton
depression: Isaiah Simmons
- Pick and year: 8 overall, draft 2020 (cardinals)
- College: Clemson
Yes, that’s tough on Simmons, having been in the NFL for two seasons. But the similarities were too striking to be ignored. Simmons was a super sassy hybrid that was the originator of Clemson’s spray play in his last two seasons with the Tigers. At 6-4 and 238 pounds, he ran 4.39 and had 39 inches vertical when combined.
Many believe he would be one player to usher in the era of defense “no standing” in the NFL. During two seasons, that didn’t happen. far from it. Simmons never found a true home in terms of placement, nor was it effective in the role of a Swiss Army knife.
Liberty QB owner Willis
depression: Akelly Smith
- Pick and year: 3 Overall, Draft 1999 (Bengals)
- College: Oregon
Smith was an athletic quarterback with armament talent, and he took off and ran a lot for how many passers-by have done in the pocket era. When he stayed clean, Smith threw with an accurate ball position. The suspension of the contract – luckily it wouldn’t be a problem for Willis – delayed his development.
While there was “nothing” that blew up his NFL career, he never seemed to be able to react to the increasing pace of the professional game and ended his career as a passer with 46.6% of the time with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions. If there’s one plausible ingredient that could hold Willis back in the NFL, it’s the tough jump in the competition ahead of him after playing college ball at Liberty.
Alabama Out Evan Neal
depression: Greg Robinson
- Pick and year: No. 2 overall, draft 2014 (Ramez)
- College: Auburn
Robinson was a sports marvel. Weighing in at 6-5 and 332 pounds, he moved gracefully like the center of a smaller area blocking scheme, often crushing SEC defenders in the ground bout at Auburn. And although Alabama has embraced the success plan much more recently than it has in the past, the crimson tide still fell on the ground during Neil’s rally in Tuscaloosa. Many of Neal’s highlights revolve around the plays in which he effortlessly moves his 337-pound body to level two before throwing a quarterback to clear the way.
Robinson played in 83 games in his NFL career. No massive bust. His pass-protecting abilities didn’t quite match up to his running blocking, and he wasn’t quite as dominant in the final phase of the game as he was in college. The Neal pass-pro isn’t quite as impressive as the damage it did in the ground match, especially in 2021.
North Carolina State OT Ikem Ekwonu
depression: Jason Smith
- Pick and year: No. 2 overall, 2009 draft (Ramez)
- College: Baylor
Smith was a little teddy bear dancing at Baylor. As a tight end converted, his explosion, mobility and poise upon finding a connection down the line or in the second tier made it an incredibly bewildering prospect.
With the Art Briles attack deployed in Waco, Smith gave everything the scouts wanted to see in a running game, but his pass protection skills were relatively raw. Although he never became a high-quality pass blocker in the NFL, a concussion eventually curtailed Smith’s career.
Ekwonu is even more impressive on the go, using superior natural torque generation skills to move defenders across the field. And it’s definitely not bad as a pass protector. But his dash and agility can be compared to what Smith brought to the field in the NFL.
Mississippi OT Charles Cross
depression: Luke Jewel
- Pick and year: No. 2 overall, 2013 project (Jaguar)
- College: Texas A&M
Joeckel was considered one of the safest prospects in the 2013 class for his ultra-clear film, even in traffic protection, at Texas A&M. Softness in his feet, balance, and calmness against lightning attacks, he believed he had it all. What’s the biggest reason Jekyll exited the NFL after five disappointing seasons? He had neither the ugliness nor the strength to survive the offensive tackle of the pros. interval.
Cross slides protect passes and check all sports boxes to play on the edge in the NFL. As much as I love Kroos as a prospect, I will understand the question raised as to whether he had enough midfield to accomplish as an NFL interference.
Georgia Edge Travon Walker
depression: Vernon Gilston
- Pick and year: No. 6 overall, 2008 draft (airplanes)
- College: Ohio State
Gholston was much shorter than Walker and didn’t test as well in agility drills as the Georgia star did in the combine a few weeks ago. However, there are similarities. Goldston grew out of relative obscurity — I write “relative” because he was playing at Ohio State — and emerged as a legitimate top-flight prospect in the 2008 class despite lower first-tier production numbers or improvement as a pass-rusher.
People supported the idea that he was an eccentric who gave his best football in front of him. His engraved frame and 4.65 40-yard dash at 266 pounds sealed the deal. It wasn’t the best Goldstone football in front of him. He was tough – and Walker wasn’t – and he wasn’t quite sure how to use his hands to get around the hurdles. Walker has this problem, too.
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