The Super Bowl has come and gone in 2022 and we have started to turn our attention to the next football season. The first week of March will see the NFL Combine which will be followed by College Pro Days. All of this culminates with the 2022 NFL Draft from Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, April 28th.
In 2021, there were three inside linebackers taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Micah Parsons was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and went on to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and had claims for the overall Defensive Player of the Year Award also. Zaven Collins was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 16 overall pick and Jamin Davis was selected by the Washington Football Team, now Commanders, with the No. 19 overall pick. Three inside linebackers were also taken in the second round and historically this position is one that tends to have a lot of depth.
There is an above-average amount of talent at this position this year. At the top is Nakobe Dean from the University of Georgia, Devin Lloyd from Utah and Christian Harris from Alabama. Dean helped to anchor that dominant Bulldogs defense that we saw in the 2021 college football regular season. He should be the first inside linebacker taken and has first-round talent which is shown from his winning of the Butkus Award given to the top linebacker in the country. Judging from the positional needs of the back end of the first round, Lloyd and Harris may wind up as early selections on Day 2, but they will still have an instant impact with whatever team selects them.
2022 NFL Draft Prospects: ILB rankings at Combine
|4||Brandon Smith||ILB||Penn State|
|10||Troy Andersen||ILB||Montana State|
|12||Aaron Hansford||ILB||Texas A&M|
|14||Mike Rose||ILB||Iowa State|
|15||Jeremiah Gemmel||ILB||North Carolina|
|23||Payton Wilson||ILB||NC State|
|25||D'Marco Jackson||ILB||Appalachian State|
|27||Drew White||ILB||Notre Dame|
|29||Ellis Brooks||ILB||Penn State|
|30||O'Rien Vance||ILB||Iowa State|
|31||Emmett Rice||ILB||Florida State|
|32||Caliph Brice||ILB||Florida Atlantic|