Under-the-Radar Prospects: 2022 NFL Draft

By John Laub
John Laub




  Under-the-Radar Prospects


            2022 NFL Draft



QB Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky

Former FCS star at Houston Baptist transferred to Western Kentucky and set FBS records in first season. In 2021, record-setting campaign with 5,967 passing yards and 62 touchdowns, breaking Joe Burrow’s mark at LSU. Named First Team and Most Valuable Player in C-USA. Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Winner, Manning Award Finalist and Walter Camp Player of the Year semifinalist. In 2019, passed for 3,811 yards and 35 touchdowns for the Huskies. During career at HBU, completed 900 of 1,477 passes (60.9%) for 10,004 yards and passed for 78 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. At 6’0” and 215-pounds, undersized pocket passer who has surpassed expectations at both levels of competition. High football IQ: makes good pre-snap reads and identifies the best matchup. Rhythm pitcher who spreads the ball around. Quickly gets the pigskin out of hands. Excellent touch thrower and nice vertical passer. Good set up and release. Changes arm angles. Moves well in pocket. Throws with anticipation and easily lofts deep passes. Hits receivers in stride with good timing. Below average arm strength on film. Lacks elite zip on deep ball. Struggles to make plays outside of structure and on deep passes. Clearly worthy of a day three draft pick as a developmental quarterback.

Scholar's Key Career Stats

Games: 14

Passing Efficiency: 168.8

Yards per Attempt: 8.7

TD:INT Ratio: 62-11

Completion Percentage: 69.3% 


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RB Hassan Haskins, Michigan 

Punishing Wolverine provides the “thunder” in a backfield duo. In 2021, Second Team All-American (AFCA) and First Team All-Big Ten. Established school record with 20 touchdowns. Paced Michigan in rushing yards with 1,327 and corralled 18 passes for 131 yards. Against Ohio State, rushed for a career-best 168 yards and five scores to clinch the Big Ten East and named Player of the Week in the conference. In 2020, led the team in rushing with 375 yards on 61 carries with six touchdowns. In 2019, Honorable Mention All-Big Ten after gaining 622 yards and scoring four times. In high school, a three-star recruit, No. 15 player in Missouri and No. 95 running back in the nation by 247Sports. Rambled for over 2,000 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior. At 6’1” and 220-pounds, rigorous downhill ball carrier who lowers pads upon contact and propels forward with strong leg drive. Broad shoulders, muscular frame and core strength. North-South bruiser who is a one-cut runner. Good footwork in traffic. Savvy runner who follows blockers. Excels in tight spaces with great vision and burst: Smashes through small creases. Stiff arms and hurdles defenders to escape. Never fumbled during collegiate career (476 touches). Lacks top-end speed and elite athleticism. Not a breakaway runner. Limited experience as a pass catcher and does not seem comfortable with the ball in flight. There are always roles in the NFL for strong-willed and powerful runners and a likely day-three selection.

Scholar's Key Career Stats

Rushing Yards: 2,324

Yards per Carry: 5.1

Receptions: 24

2021 Season

Yards from Scrimmage: 1,458

Scrimmage Yards Dominator: 24%


RB Keaontay Ingram, USC

Intriguing pass-catching back who transferred to USC last spring after three years at Texas. In 2021, Second Team All-Pac-12 (PFF) and Honorable Mention All-Pac-12. Named USC’s Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award and earned an invite to the East-West Shrine Bowl. Rushed for a career-best 911 yards and scored five times. Latched onto 22 passes for 156 yards. As a freshman in 2018, gained 708 rushing yards on 142 tries, logged 27 receptions for 170 yards and totaled five touchdowns. In three campaigns in Austin, rushed for 1,811 yards and 11 scores and registered 67 receptions for 515 yards and six touchdowns. In high school, recorded back-to-back 2,000-yard crusades. As a senior in 2017, named All-American and All-USA Texas after rushing for 2,327 yards, averaging 9.8 yards per carry and scoring 37 touchdowns. At 6’0” and 221-pounds, all-purpose backfield option. Bursts through holes and explodes into the second level of the defense. Smooth jump cuts and stupendous spin moves. Underrated home run hitter. Good hands and runs nice routes. Poor vision. Below average pass blocker who whiffs on blitzers at times. Lacks elite traits. With fourth-round draft capital, Ingram might get a chance to shine as a professional.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Rushing Yards: 2,722

Yards per Carry: 5.5

Receptions: 89

2021 Season

Yards from Scrimmage: 1,065

Scrimmage Yards Dominator: 20% 



RB Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma

Sensational Sooner overlooked by draftniks. In 2021, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Semifinalist. Named MVP of the Alamo Bowl: 142 yards and three touchdowns. Rushed for a career high 1,253 yards and scored 13 times. Opted to sit out the 2020 season. In 2019, Second Team All-Big 12 after accumulating 1,011 rushing yards and six touchdowns. In 2018, USA Today Freshman All-American and Honorable Mention All-Big 12. Totaled 1,056 rushing yards and scored 12 times. Over four-year career, shared the backfield with Trey Sermon, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. In high school, earned four-stars as a recruit and ranked twentieth best running back by 247Sports. Logged 7,658 rushing yards and 96 touchdowns on 885 carries, averaging 8.7 yards per rush. At 5’11” and 209-pounds, productive ball carrier who was a three time 1,000-yard rusher. Averaged 7.0 yards per carry. Finds creases in defense and blasts through holes. Very good burst. Savvy runner: Easily changes tempo and speed. Impressive lower leg strength and good contact balance. Squares shoulders. Can bounce plays outside with smooth footwork and vision. Does not possess breakaway speed. Not asked to pass block and not used often as a pass catcher. Played predominantly in shotgun behind the quarterback. Versatile running back who can be employed in a gap or zone schemes. 

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Rushing Yards: 3,320

Yards per Carry: 7.0 

Receptions: 29

2021 Season

Yards from  Scrimmage: 1,326

Scrimmage Yards Dominator: 23%



WR Khalil Shakir, Boise State

Versatile Broncos’ playmaker who will be plucked off the board during the second day of the Draft. In 2021, First Team All-Mountain West, Biletnikoff Award and Maxwell Award Watch Lists. Recorded first 1,000-yard season: 77 catches for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2020, First Team All-Mountain West after recording 52 receptions for 719 yards and six touchdowns. In 2019, Honorable Mention All-Mountain West. Three-time All-Mountain West Academic Team and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 (2020-21 and 2021-22). In high school, graded as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and eighteenth-best athlete in the nation from California. Very good Combine: 4.43 in 40-yard dash, 4.21 in 20-yard shuttle and 7.28 in 3-cone drill. At 6’0'' and 190-pounds, a natural pass catcher who runs polished, savvy and clean routes. Ultra-productive competitor who is a fluid athlete. Elite quickness off line of scrimmage. With quick feet, he easily changes the tempo of routes and gains separation. Twists opponents’ ankles. Employs exceptional body control and strong hands to corral the pigskin. Effortlessly snatches the ball in the air. Excels tracking the deep ball. Multifaceted offensive weapon: lined up in slot, backfield and out wide. Improvisational contortionist as a pass-catcher. Underrated toughness. Raw route runner. Projects as an inside-slot receiver. Occasionally double-clutches the pass. Draft capital and landing spot will determine final Dynasty value.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Receptions: 208

Yards per Reception: 13.8

2021 Season

Catch Percentage: 66%

Team Aerial Dominator: 36%



WR Bo Melton, Rutgers

Eye-popping Combine—4.34 in 40-yard dash, 4.10 in 20-yard shuttle and 6.81 in 3-cone drill—illuminated top-shelf athletic ability. Played in a poor passing attack at Rutgers. In 2021, named Captain, Third Team All-Big Ten and Biletnikoff Award Watch list after setting a career-high 55 catches for 618 yards and three touchdowns. In 2020, snatched 47 passes for 638 yards and six touchdowns. Named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by media and coaches and Third Team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele. Selected the Scarlet Knights over Michigan and Ohio State. In high school, ranked as top receiver in New Jersey by ESPN and fourth-best pass catcher in the nation by 247Sports. Also, competed in basketball and track and field. At 5’11” and 191-pounds, multi-faceted receiver who was employed outside and inside. Well-built frame. Shifty, savvy and strategic route runner. Rapid acceleration and quickly gains separation. Speed to hit home runs. Uses double moves and eludes tacklers with toughness and contact balance. Wins jump balls with strong hands. Coaches wax poetically about leadership and work effort. Father played in the NFL for Washington. Team fabricated targets to get the ball into hands. Lacks elite size and a small-catch radius. Struggles against press coverage. At times, goes off script and free lances on routes. Doubles clutches pass occasionally. Could be selected on day two of the draft but likely a third-day selection.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Receptions: 164

Yards per Reception: 12.3

2021 Season

Catch Percentage: 58%

Team Aerial Dominator: 28%


WR Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

A Group 5 receiver prospect who will be selected on the second day of the Draft after a prolific career. In 2021, Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Sun Belt: 84 receptions for 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns–established school records in receptions and yards. As a redshirt junior in 2020, First Team All-Sun Belt after snatching 64 passes for 1,085 yards and eight scores. In 2019, named to the Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll. College Sports Madness’ Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week with five catches for 144 yards and setting a school single-game record with four touchdowns against Arkansas State. Recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard crusades. Concluded campus tenure as school’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. In high school, a two-star prospect by 247Sports and a three-sport competitor: basketball and baseball. At 6’1” and 194-pounds, long and lanky pass catcher who gets on top of defenders quickly with a rapid release. Excels deep down the field and tracks the ball well. Wins at catch point. Crafty feet for a large receiver. Finds holes in zone coverage and makes difficult catches. Plays big. Tough competitor. Maintains focus and balance throughout contact. Last year, employed in the slot more often, showcasing versatility. Impressed onlookers at the Senior Bowl. Can he make the leap as a professional? Film study and athletic ability foreshadow a nice career ahead in the NFL.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats


Yards per Reception: 17.6

2021 Season

Catch Percentage: 60%

Team Aerial Dominator: 48%


WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

Tigers’ receiver returned from a career-threatening spinal injury in 2020. In 2021, named Team Captain and earned the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award, presented to the conference's most courageous player(s). Led team in catches with 46 and yards with 514. Suited up despite stress fracture in foot. In 2019, Honorable Mention All-ACC with 865 yards on a team-best 66 receptions. In 2018, Freshman All-American and surpassed 1,000 yards with nine touchdowns. In the CFP postseason versus Notre Dame and Alabama, snagged 12 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns. Among Tigers with at least 20 receptions, averaged a program-best 21.7 yards per catch. In high school, four-star prospect by 247Sports and No. 7 WR in the nation. Selected to attend Clemson over home-state Alabama. At 6’4” and 205-pounds, strong and lanky playmaker with good agility and athleticism. Innate hands and large-catch radius. Effortlessly jumps over defenders to snatch the ball. Master of the sideline: Hands, body and feet in perfect synchronicity. Exceptional toe placement. Excellent body control. Long arms and easily adjusts to passes. Technically sound catcher. Tracks the ball well. Team medical reports and draft capital will determine final Dynasty value.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Receptions: 158

Yards per Reception: 15.1

2021 Season

Catch Percentage: 60%

Team Aerial Dominator: 24% 


TE Jelani Woods, Virginia

Dominated ACC competition last year and rose up draft boards after producing elite athletic scores at Combine—4.61 in 40-yard dash, 4.22 in 20-yard shuttle and 6.91 in 3-cone drill. In 2021, earned First Team All-ACC and All-Transfer Team by 247Sports. Led ACC tight ends with 598 yards receiving. Scored eight touchdowns which is second in program history (Heath Miller, 9). Transferred from Oklahoma State and played in 34 games and started 28 for the Cowboys. Two-time Honorable Mention All-Big 12 (2018 and 2019). Graduated with a management degree. In high school, a three-star prospect and recruited as a quarterback. Rated as the No. 20 dual-threat quarterback and played basketball. At 6’7” and 253-pounds, stupendously intriguing combination of physical traits and athletic ability. Long strider who explodes in the open field. Attacks defenses deep down the seam. Dangerous red zone threat: Incredible catch radius and wingspan. Wins 50-50 matchups. Easily boxes out opponents. Profiles as a power forward on the gridiron. Needs to improve route running. High ceiling and low floor as a professional. A day three prospect who will need time to develop.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Receptions: 75

Yards per Reception:  12.8


TE Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

After three seasons, Aggies’ tight end leaves campus to kickoff professional career. In 2021, Finalist John Mackey Award and Second Team All-SEC (AP) after securing 40 passes for 515 yards and four touchdowns. Granted team Skill Award at annual team banquet. In 2020, All-SEC Second Team and Finalist John Mackey Award: 46 receptions for 506 yards and six touchdowns. In 2019, Second Team All-SEC (AP) and SEC All-Freshman Team. Immediate starter as a freshman in ‘19 and led the team with six receiving touchdowns on 32 catches. Only fourth tight end in school history to eclipse over 1,000 receiving yards. In high school, a four-star recruit who was named the Houston area UIL Offensive Player of the Year. At 6’5” and 255-pounds, a two-way prospect with stupendous size, big frame and good body control. Strong athlete with good separation skills. Nice route tree on resume and secures ball with wide-catch radius and innate and soft hands. Uses body to shield opponents and corral contested pass in traffic. Out jumps defenders in the red zone. Slows tacklers in the run game. Yet, does not put opponents on the ground and gets beat at times. Needs to improve leverage in the run game. Lack of elite speed. On field performance slipped last year, and Texas A&M Pro Day identified a lack of high-end athletic ability.

Scholar’s Key Career Stats

Receptions: 118

Yards per Reception: 12.4