London led the nation in contested catches with 19 and he only played eight games after his season ended with a broken ankle. His size, athleticism, route-running and flair for the spectacular catch will make him a problem for defensive coordinators in the NFL.
Draft season has arrived for the 18 NFL teams who will not be participating in the postseason and another college football campaign is in the books after Georgia earned its first national championship since 1980.
Players with remaining eligibility have until January 17 to make their draft intentions official.
My evaluation process is about 75% complete with college all-star games on the horizon, most notably the Senior Bowl on February 5 in Mobile, Ala.
I've been watching these players since high school for the most part. What I've seen on the field makes up the bulk of my analysis, but this is where the fun begins.
So it's probably a good time to update the ol' big board.
Part of my weekly mock draft preamble explains it is an attempt at figuring out the best players available in this season's draft class, and which teams they'd match up well with considering the draft order. The closer we get to draft day, the more I attempt to match what teams will actually do with their draft picks as opposed to what I believe they should do.
Last season, I was the fourth most accurate NFL draft prognosticator in print according to The Huddle Report. I'm tied for seventh overall (out of 133) over the past five years.
My big board is an attempt to discern who the best players in this draft class actually are.
Here's my updated 2022 NFL draft Big Board:
1. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame, Jr.
2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Edge, Oregon, Jr.
3. Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan, Sr.
4. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU, Jr.
5. George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue, Jr.
6. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama, Jr.
7. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah, Sr.
8. Ikem Ekwonu, OL, NC State, So.
9. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa, Jr.
10. Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati, Jr.
11. Drake London, WR, USC, Jr.
12. David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan, Jr.
After playing only 26 snaps for the Wolverines before his junior year, Ojabo has been a revelation this season with 11 sacks and five forced fumbles.
13. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama, Jr.
Williams is a home run hitter with game-breaking speed. He's also a weapon on special teams, as a returner — he returned two kicks for touchdowns in 2021 — and in coverage. The dynamic receiver injured his left knee against Georgia and will have an MRI to determine the severity.
14. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi St., So.
Cross is a powerful blocker who can do damage at the second level in the run game with premium athleticism and his target-lock awareness. He developed into a dominant pass protector this season and could end up cracking the top-10 in April.
15. Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida, Jr.
16. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss, Jr.
Corral is slightly undersized, but he's an NFL-caliber playmaker with genuine arm talent. His X-rays were negative after he injured his ankle in a loss to Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.
17. Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia, Sr.
At 6-foot-6, 340 pounds, the Outland and Bednarik trophy winner is an immovable object who could anchor a run defense for years to come.
18. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio St., Sr.
It's rare you find a route technician with reliable hands who can also run this fast. Olave might have snuck into the first round had he left school last year and it wouldn't surprise me if he cracks the top-20 in April.
19. Nik Bonitto, Edge, Oklahoma, Jr.
Bonitto is slightly undersized for an edge defender, but he's a dynamic pass rusher and relentless in his pursuit of running backs.
20. Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn St., Sr.
21. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia, Jr.
The Butkus Award winner is a dynamic blitzer who is capable of making plays all over the field.
22. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington, Jr.
McDuffie plays bigger than his 5-11 frame. He's one of the surest tacklers at the position in this draft class and his instincts are elite.
23. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio St., Jr.
Wilson can threaten a defense at every level, but will need to improve against physical press corners.
24. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn St., Sr.
Brisker is a polished, physical playmaker with few holes in his game.
25. Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida St., Sr.
26. Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky, Sr.
Kinnard is a mauler who happens to be a gifted athlete as well. You won't find many 6-foot-5, 345 pounders who move and change direction like him.
27. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn, Sr.
McCreary simply doesn't allow much separation and he's battle-tested out of the SEC. He's capable of thriving in man and zone.
28. Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia, Jr.
Walker offers premium versatility and immense power. He is an elite run defender, but will need to sharpen his technique to become a more consistent pass rusher.
29. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas, Jr.
You're not going to find a better combination of size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and speed at wide receiver in this class. Burks is a vertical threat, but also features immense YAC ability — he broke 15 tackles on 66 receptions this season.
30. Jordan Battle, S, Alabama, Jr.
31. Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M, Jr.
This former five-star recruit can play either guard or tackle at a high level — Green made starts at every single offensive line position except center this season.
32. David Bell, WR Purdue, Jr.
Bell's route-running is advanced and his YAC ability should make him an impact player early in his career.
33. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh, Sr.
The Heisman finalist is most dangerous outside of the pocket when he goes off script. Pickett has good size, overall athleticism and solid arm talent, but needs to work on his anticipation throws and his comfort within the pocket.
34. Cameron Thomas, Edge, San Diego St., Jr.
Thomas was the most dominant pass rusher in college football this side of Ann Arbor. He racked up an FBS-leading 77 pressures this season and finished sixth with 29 run stops, according to Pro Football Focus.
35. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn St., Jr.
36. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan St., Jr.
The Walter Camp National Player of the Year and Doak Walker Award winner features legit home run speed, but doesn't shy away from contact either. He led all of college football with 89 broken tackles this past season, according to Pro Football Focus. Walker will need to develop as a pass protector to maximize his potential.
37. Drake Jackson, Edge, USC, Jr.
Jackson can play in space or rush the passer off the edge. He has another level that could be unlocked with NFL weight training and coaching.
38. Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia, Sr.
Kendrick was a three-year starter for Clemson before transferring to Athens. He's an asset against the run and thrives in man or zone coverage. Kendrick is vulnerable to receivers with top-end speed, but who isn't?
39. Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College, Sr.
This team captain has thrived at left tackle and guard, but he projects as an impact interior lineman in the NFL.
40. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa St., Jr.
41. Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington, Jr.
Gordon is an aggressive, uber-athlete who showed significant development in his technique this season.
42. DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M, Jr.
Leal features inside-outside versatility and explosiveness, but will need to work on becoming an asset against the run after not taking a step forward his junior season.
43. Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina, Jr.
Howell possesses impressive arm talent and proved he is a legitimate threat as a runner this season despite failing to meet big expectations.
44. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado St., Sr.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end had a highly-productive senior season — 1,121 yards on 90 receptions — and showcased significant blocking prowess along the way.
45. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan, Sr.
46. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson, Jr.
Booth's ball skills enable him to thrive while playing in press or off coverage. He exhibits physicality in defending the run, but needs to sharpen his tackling technique.
47. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan, Jr.
Hill features a mix of athleticism, intelligence and instincts that will enable him to play every position in the defensive backfield. He will need to tamp down his tendency to gamble.
48. Myjai Sanders, Edge, Cincinnati, Jr.
Sanders features great speed and explosiveness off the edge to enter the league as a designated pass rusher. He'll need to add some muscle and finetune his focus to become an impact run defender.
49. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota, Sr.
Faalele achored one of the best offensive lines in the nation this season. He's a massive man — 6-foot-9, 379 pounds — who is relatively new to the sport. He grew up playing basketball and rugby in Australia. He learned football in 2016 so there's a lot of clay to mold.