Meteoric rises happen every year when it comes to the NFL Draft. In 2019, after transferring to LSU from Ohio State, QB Joe Burrow went from a late round prospect to winning the Heisman Trophy and being drafted first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2021, we saw Kyle Pitts, a tight end from the University of Florida, come off the draft board fourth to the Atlanta Falcons. This year, with several prolific prospects at the position, will we see tight end drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft?
First off, let’s take a look at the potential prospects with a chance of being a day one draft pick.
Jalen Wydermyer – Texas A&M
Jalen Wydermyer (TE) Texas A&M
He’s a 6’5/265 animal that has consistently been moving up draft boards.
Possesses a huge catch radius / overall size / Blocking ability will be a tremendous advantage in the Redzone at the next level! pic.twitter.com/dtN7EU4kUY
— Upside Play (@TheUpsidePlay) July 16, 2021
I love this play that Upside Play uploaded to their Twitter feed. While it doesn’t show the full play, it does do an excellent job of showing Wydermyer’s catch radius and capability in the redzone.
In my opinion, Jalen Wydermyer is the tight end that has the best opportunity to be drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Texas A&M returns a ton of talent on offense, despite losing QB Kellen Mond to the NFL. Furthermore, the defense is loaded, too. If the Aggies can be competitive in the SEC West, that just puts more eyes on the program. In other words, all eyes will be on Jalen Wydermyer this season.
Jahleel Billingsley – Alabama
First Jahleel Billingsley route I watch is this one, considering my affinity for athletic TEs who are basically oversized WRs this might be a ton of fun. pic.twitter.com/KKt5FgNFQ5
— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) August 21, 2021
Next up, from the University of Alabama, we have Jahleel Billingsley. This season, Billingsley is playing for a new offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien. While it’ll be interesting to see how O’Brien transitions back into college coaching, I believe that the tight end will shine. However, the offense will be without Mac Jones at quarterback, who was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2021 NFL Draft.
I’m a huge fan of what Jahleel Billingsley brings to the table as a receiver. He’s had multiple plays that pop on film. Not to mention, the effort is there. However, he does seem to be in some hot water with head coach Nick Saban.
Dark Horse Candidates
While the two prospects above are at the top of our rankings, others have a chance, too. Jeremy Ruckert of Ohio State and Cade Otten of Washington are two that could surprise some scouts. However, I’m a huge fan of Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar. The Cyclones are returning Brock Purdy and Breece Hall alongside Kolar on offense. Given how strong the Iowa State offense has been over the last few seasons, they could be in the spotlight this season. I had a third round grade on Charlie Kolar last season, so he’ll have to show improvement this year.