UC Football Stars Consider 2022 NFL Draft | Sports


University of Cincinnati football cornerback Coby Bryant.

As the college football season draws to a close, looking to the 2022 NFL Draft is what many Bearcat football players are already doing. With cornerback Ahmad Gardner, running back Jerome Ford and defensive end Myjai Sanders announcing their intention to make the NFL Draft, more are sure to arrive before the April event.

While the record sits at six Bearcats drafted in a single NFL Draft (2009), many websites are faking drafts and big tables have up to ten Bearcats expected to appear in the Big League. ESPN’s Mel Kiper, one of college football’s best-known analysts, has placed eight Bearcats on his big board.

On the offensive side, Desmond Ridder is Kiper’s second-best quarterback in the NCAA, Ford is his tenth-best running back, Alec Pierce is ninth wide receiver and Josh Whyle is tied for tenth best tight end. Kiper’s opinions aren’t the end of everything, but they’re a significant indication of what the NFL Draft might look like.

Ridder, the star orchestrator of the Cincinnati offensive for the past four years, has gained the greatest recognition for his strong arm and running athleticism. College football’s most successful active quarterback is an NFL draft pick late in the first round / early in the second round. Several sims have the QB expected for the Steelers in the middle of the first round.

For Pierce, drawing boards are no longer everywhere. Sports Illustrated has the No. 31 wide wide receiver, while others, like Bleacher Report, have it in the third round. Pierce led the Bearcats with 884 receiving yards and has seen himself in the end zone eight times this season averaging 17 yards per catch. The 17 YPCs placed him in the NCAA’s top 50 in the category.

Ford, praised for his consistency and poise, was the first of the Bearcats to announce their commitment to the NFL Draft. Ford was seventh in the NCAA in rushing touchdowns (19) and won the American Athletic Conference Championship game against Houston.

This season, Ford has amassed 1,319 rushing yards, as well as 220 yards on 21 receptions. Being a double threat back could play a big part in Ford landing with the right NFL team.

Cincinnati native Josh Whyle is the last offensive player on Kiper’s big board and finds himself at a mid-round fourth round pick. Whyle’s athleticism and hands have propelled him to the next level stage and may take him even further into the future.

On the defensive end, Kiper placed Myjai Sanders at No.8 on the defensive end roster, Ahmad Gardner as second best corner, Coby Bryant as tenth best corner and Bryan Cook as eighth safety in college football. .

At the edge of the defensive line, Sanders was a recognized threat in every game of the season, often drawing most of the attention of the opposing offensive line. Sanders solidified around the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, with the Arizona Cardinals being a popular landing spot. Sanders sacked opposing quarterbacks 13.5 times in his college career and made 17 solo tackles last season.

The best rookie in the NFL Bearcats class, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, ranks 16th on average on the big charts. Almost a solidified first round, Sauce is receiving praise for just about every aspect of his game. Gardner was an all-American consensus and never gave up a touchdown and forced quarterbacks to throw for a passer rating of 26, 1 when he aimed (the lowest in the country).

The third-year athlete was the second Bearcat to announce his intention to make the NFL Draft.

Jim Thorpe Award recipient Coby Bryant took home the award recognizing him as the best defensive back in college football. Bryant notched 10 interceptions during his tenure at Clifton, including a six-pick against UCF this season. Bryant is expected to be drafted around the third round, but could climb higher after the start of the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.

The last player on Kiper’s big position board is safety Bryan Cook, who has climbed the charts this season as his role grew for the Bearcats. This season, Cook had one sack and two interceptions, including one against Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Cook should be drafted in the fourth and fifth round range by most fictitious drafts.

Next up for the Bearcats is Reese’s Senior Bowl on February 5, followed by the NFL Combine, which takes place March 1-7. These projections and assessments are not final, as the two aforementioned events play a leading role in the drafting process.


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