Tag Archives: 2022 NFL Draft

Carolina Panthers 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA recap

The Panthers picked up a potential franchise left tackle in Ickey Ekwonu, who gets to stay in the state of North Carolina. Offensively, the Panthers have a formidable set of receivers to start the year with in former Cleveland Browns receiver Rashard Higgins, who should combine with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrance Marshall, Jr. to round off the team’s depth. They also have 2021 sixth-round pick Shi Smith, who put up an 86-yard receiving performance in December.

Carolina Panthers       
Round,
Selection,
PlayerSchoolDN Big Board
Rank/
Grade
‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (6)
Ikem "Ickey" EkwonuNC State
1/1st Round
Ekwonu gives the Panthers the flexibility to leave Taylor Moton on the right side of the offensive line. He may be the best run blocker in the draft despite playing on the perimeter.
3 (94)
Matt CorralQB/Ole Miss
40/2nd Round
If Corral learns to protect himself better, then his quick release and instincts in the second or third phase of the play could prove to shine.
4 (120)
Brandon SmithLB/Penn State
96/3rd Round
Smith's explosiveness doesn't always exude itself due to snapping the pictures a step late. He has a chance to become a better pro than collegian.
6 (189)
Amare BarnoDE-OLB/Virginia Tech
143/3rd Round
Barno just needs to add more weight for the NFL grind. The Hokies used him in a variety of roles this past season as a chess piece. He was much better in 2020 than he was in 2021.
6 (199)
Cade MaysOL/Tennessee, Georgia
143/3rd Round
Mays' balance needs slight improvement, but he showed increased mobility this past season at the RT spot. The former Vol works to envelop defenders on the edge. He has started at four of the five OL spots in school.
7 (242)
Kalon BarnesCB/Baylor
271/4th Round
Barnes has to improve stopping his charge on the intermediate concepts as a corner. He brings major upside as a gunner. If he can learn to control the 4.2 speed, there are possibilities for him as a long-term No. 3 or No. 4 at the least. He has plenty of familiarity with the staff and a leg up on the competition in terms of knowing the team’s defensive system.
Undrafted Free Agent signings
DN Big Board Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take:
217Charleston RamboWRMiami (Fla.), Oklahoma 5.584th RoundRambo went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark in 2021 and it was largely due to his play speed and run after the catch capability. A lack of bulk hurt his charge.
262Arron MosbyOLBFresno State5.464th RoundMosby may not have met the requirements for some teams when projecting its rushers, but he’s been a four-year contributor and actually had experience playing defensive back. Continues to get better.
345Davis CheekQBElon5.175th RoundCheek was one of our favorite quarterbacks in this year’s draft due to his play speed and ball placement. A quirky release didn’t do him any favors and there were durability question marks.
349Khalan TolsonLBIllinois5.165th RoundTolson is a heat-seeking missile who improved his diagnostic skills. The fiery Fighting Illini defender never really took the next step in school, but he always flashed the capability.
364Josh BabiczTENorth Dakota State5.135th RoundBabicz’s size screams NFL starter, but the overall savvy as a receiving entity may have been a step behind. From a talent perspective, he has room for growth after playing in a pro-style system in school.
377Marquan McCallDT-NGKentucky5.1055th RoundOne of the Wildcats’ true team leaders, McCall dominated in stretches against top-notch centers. He ranks as a two-down defender and could possibly find a role for a team that needs inside beef.
542Isaiah Graham-MobleyLBBoston College, Temple 4.536th RoundGraham-Mobley was another connection from the Panthers’ Temple days. He has had injury issues in the past but, when available, he played well in 2021.
668Talolo Limu-JonesWR/H-BackEastern Washington3.947th RoundWe projected a possible move back to the tight end or H-back position for Limu-Jones. He was a part in Eric Barriere’s incredible success at the FCS level, as both a middle of the field entity and beyond.
714John LovettRBPenn State, Baylor3.49Free AgentLovett has all of the physical tools but never found a rhythm at Penn State. When playing with Rhule’s staff at Baylor, Lovett averaged nearly 6.4 yards per carry in 2019.
Drew HartlaubSPenn StateN/AN/AThe team certainly loves speed. After most thought they got the fastest player in the draft in the seventh round in Barnes, he was actually second. Hartlaub ran a 4.22 in the 40-yard dash on his Pro Day at Penn State. During his career, he posted 16 tackles on special teams.
Andrew Parchment WRFSU, Kansas, Northern Illinois N/AN/AParchment really began to hit his stride at Kansas back in 2019. Long strider. Body dexterity to nearly make twisting grabs (Coastal Carolina '20, underthrown fade). Comes off the ball in a compact manner. Drives off the ball with high knees and rolls speed outs (1st QTR, 3rd and 7, Baylor '19). FSU’s second-leading receiver had the occasional concentration lapse in school.
Ra’Shaun HenryWRVirginia, St. Francis (Pa.) N/AN/AHenry, another postseason workout warrior (4.4 40-yd, 10’10” BJ, 6.7 3-cone), was one of the Cavaliers’ best down the field targets over the last two seasons after transferring from St. Francis (Pa.).
Derek WrightWR Utah StateN/AN/AWright was a significant contributor down the field for the Aggies in 2021 as part of a new offensive system. Games like the Colorado State contest showed off his ability to track the ball through coverage. Postseason workouts displayed his feel for the vertical passing game.

77 Cade Mays and 69 Jamaree Salyer at Georgia
Cade Mays (No. 77 pictured, write-up below) and Jamaree Salyer (No. 69 pictured) were teammates at Georgia in 2019. Mays was taken in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft after starting at Tennessee as an offensive tackle.

Defensively, the NFL’s second-ranked defense under creative defensive coordinator Phil Snow had to garner a couple of reinforcements. The team needed to make up for the loss of Haason Reddick (Eagles) in free agency. Could the addition of sixth-round pick Amare Barno help fill at least some of the void? Much like Reddick, Barno was used in a number of roles in college due to his versatility.

In terms of the undrafted free agents, the Panthers did a viable job of getting a number of players who could be top-notch pickups or at least practice squad candidates. The team has intimate knowledge of several players they’ve worked with in the past at either Baylor or Temple. Some of those names include Graham-Mobley, Lovett and even their seventh-round selection Kalon Barnes.

New York Giants 2022 NFL Draft/UDFA signings recap

The Giants went into this year’s draft with a new general manager in Joe Schoen, new head coach in Brian Daboll and two new coordinators in Mike Kafka and Don “Wink” Martindale. Did the draft accomplish what the team needed to complete its offseason?

The Giants had a plan in this year’s draft and free agency. Improve the team’s running game and create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. After signing OGs Max Garcia and Mark Glowinski in free agency, they sought out Alabama’s Evan Neal and UNC’s Joshua Ezeudu in the draft. To that point, adding Bellinger also serves as a possible precursor to more two tight end sets. We referenced below that QB Daniel Jones could be feeling much better. If so, then RB Saquon Barkley is executing backflips.

Former Iowa safety/nickel Dane Belton, the Giants’ second fourth-round selection, posted a career-high five interceptions in 2021.
New York Giants    
1 (5)Kayvon ThibodeauxDE-OLB/Oregon3/1st RoundFor all of the talk about what Thibodeaux wants to do off the field, what about what he can do on it? His instant nature, combative hands and quick-footed approach present different pictures for OTs. He could become a problem if offenses decide to leave him one-on-one in Year 1.
1 (7)Evan NealOT/Alabama 9/1st RoundNeal has the prototype build to man the tackle opposite incumbent LT Andrew Thomas. QB Daniel Jones has to be somewhere smiling.
2 (43)Wan'Dale RobinsonWR/Kentucky, Nebraska125/3rd RoundIs there a tougher receiver in the draft? Robinson made all of the plays down the field for Kentucky but also proved to be a jet sweep or swing pass option within the framework of the offense.
3 (67)Joshua EzeuduOG/North Caroina85/2nd RoundThe selection of Ezeudu proves that the Giants are going to work to improve an anemic running game. He has made starts at RT, LT and LG. Played through a torn mensicus in 2020.
3 (81)
Acquired from Dolphins
Cordale FlottCB-Nickel/LSU218/4th RoundFlott's cover skills and savvy in the slot have been apparent since he stepped on campus. Bulk is the biggest question mark.
4 (112) Acquired from the BearsDaniel BellingerTE/San Diego State114/3rd RoundBellinger's postseason workouts should not have come as a surprise. He was a track star at the high school level and nearly went under 11 seconds in the 100-meter dash. On the field, he can execute any type of block with his hand in the dirt and provides a build-speed option up the rails of the defense. Can he win in the short areas as a route runner?
4 (114)
Acquired from Falcons
Dane BeltonS-Nickel/Iowa96/3rd RoundBelton has a feel for reading through route combinations and has experience covering the slot dating back to 2019, when he was the team's nickel. As his career went along, Belton improved his angles in coverage. The tackling needs to improve.
5 (146)
Acquired from Jets
Micah McFaddenLB/Indiana124/3rd RoundMcFadden was one of the Big Ten's best coming forward as a blitz threat. In addition, there is enough speed to swallow up distance in space. Playing with slightly more knee bend could take his game to the next level.
5 (147)D.J. DavidsonDT/Arizona State307/4th RoundDavidson aligned primarily inside as the zero-or-one-technique DT, but did see time at the two-or-three-technique DT spots as well. Light on his feet at 325 pounds.
5 (173) From the Chiefs through the RavensMarcus McKethanOL/North Carolina 317/4th RoundAt nearly 6-foot-7, the 348-pound McKethan played OG as a 37-game starter in school. Could his 85-inch wingspan at least get him looks on the perimeter? Efficient on his skip-pull techniques at his size. Needs to block with more than just the upper body on a consistent basis.
6 (182)Darrian BeaversLB/Cincinnati, UConn139/3rd Round-Beavers started off as an athletic 235-pound LB at UConn before growing into a 260-pound force for the Bearcats. He projects as a 3-4 inside linebacker and fits what the defense will be doing moving forward.

Here is a recap of the team’s 2022 UDFA signings:

NY Giants Undrafted Free agent signings      
DN Big Board Rank PlayerPositionsSchoolGradeRoundNasty’ Take
239Zyon GilbertCB-NickelFAU5.524th RoundGilbert’s incredible physical tools (11’6” BJ, 41” VJ) give him an opportunity to make the team in a special teams role.
256Yusef CorkerSKentucky5.484th RoundKnown as the team’s ‘Director of Communications’, Corker’s 4.4 speed often overcomes any rigidness.
261Austin AllenTENebraska5.464th RoundAllen - the Big Ten’s TE of the Year- can stretch the seams but needs to get stronger and run more precise routes. His 6’8” height helps his cause.
279Trenton ThompsonSSan Diego State5.414th RoundThompson was a multi-purpose player who made a number of plays in coverage this past season.
282Chris HintonDTMichigan5.374th RoundHinton uses his hands fairly well, but needs to develop consistent urgency in his play.
339Jashaun CorbinRB-KR (All-Purpose)FSU, Texas A&M5.185th RoundCorbin ranked third in the country in kickoff returns during the 2018 campaign (30.1 yds/KR, TD).
405Jeremiah HallFB/H-backOklahoma5.035th RoundHall was a multi-purpose threat as a blocker on the move and receiver during his time at Oklahoma. Can heprove capable on special teams without short-area explosion?
418Tomon FoxOLBNorth Carolina55th RoundFox ran around a number of OTs in school to the tune of 44.5 career tackles for losses.
452Antonio ValentinoDT-NGFlorida, Penn State4.865th RoundValentino -former known as Antonio Shelton- contains extreme power as a run defender but needs to improve at staying centered as a pass rusher.
636Brandon EasterlingSDayton4.137th RoundEasterling benefitted from a breakout 2019 campaign as an all-purpose defensive back. He has good foot speed on the field and plays with enough urgency to perhaps translate to the next level.
678Baer HunterOC-OGAppalachian State3.947th RoundNo one hunts down the opposition like Hunter, who improved markedly over the course of his career. He wins with more than just a roughhouse approach.
685Josh RivasOGKansas State3.877th RoundRivas’ size (6’5 323) gives him a chance. As does his accuracy in terms of understanding assignments. Experienced veteran who should compete for a practice squad opportunity if he can hold up in pass protection.
702Tyrone TruesdellDTFlorida, Auburn3.6627th RoundTruesdell took a step backwards after leaving Auburn, but it doesn’t take away from some of the early success he had in the SEC.
712Matthew AllenOCMichigan State3.587th RoundAllen plays much quicker and more efficient than his postseason workout times suggest on the field. He could surprise if the size isn’t deficient.
Navaughn DonaldsonOT-OGMiami (Fla.)N/AN/ADonaldson started off as a tackle, has played guard and continued to contribute. The team’s entire OL took a major step back in 2021.
Andre MillerWRMaineN/AN/AThe statistics didn’t often tell the story for Miller, whose body control impressed during his time at Maine.
Jahcour PearsonWROle MissN/AN/AAlthough Pearson didn’t score in 2021, he did flash with 76 receptions at WKU back in 2019.
Jabari Ellis DTSouth Carolina N/AN/AEllis, a productive defender for South Carolina, produced career-highs in tackles and tackles for loss in 2021.
Darren Evans CBLSUN/AN/AEvans is a long corner with enough mobility to potentially learn techniques from current Giant James Bradberry.
Jaylin BannermannDEUtah StateN/AN/ABannerman’s length and overall movement give him an opportunity if he can continue to make positive weight gains.
Daylin BaldwinWRMichigan, Jackson StateN/AN/AThe former Tiger acquitted himself well for the Wolverines this past season. He averaged a little over 15 yards per catch on 17 receptions.

Shai Werts QB-Louisville (2021), Georgia Southern: Scouting Snapshot

The decision by the NCAA to give everyone an extra year of eligibility gave Werts a new lease on life as a college football player. It is not like he hasn’t produced at Georgia Southern. In fact, prior to announcing on Twitter that he had entered the transfer portal (eventually committed to Louisville), the now former Eagle finished off his career with an MVP performance in the 2020 New Orleans Bowl. In that contest, he sliced up the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs with a 65-yard touchdown strike that traveled 52 yards in the air. He finished with 126 yards passing and one touchdown, while rushing for 71 yards and three more scores.

Due to the Eagles spread option attack, some felt Werts would look to throw the ball more at another school. However, he has been working at the wide receiver spot in possible hopes of a transition to that spot potentially in the ACC. In four seasons as the team’s starting quarterback, Werts finished with 3,778 yards passing (57%), 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Perhaps just as impressively, he rushed for 3,072 yards (4.4 YPC) and 34 more scores.

Werts has a bevy of highlights, but his two-point conversion spin cycle throw to put the Eagles up by one point against Louisiana in 2020 serves as a true gauge of his multi-purpose capability.