It happens to even the best players. Heck, Tom Brady fell all the way to the sixth round of his draft, and he’s the GOAT. There will be players in the 2022 NFL Draft that deserve to be first-rounders for but one reason or another, end up falling into round two.
To be clear, these players will be steals, and it says nothing about their ultimate potential.
They also very well could be swooped up by a smart team at the end of the first round, because the draft is unpredictable in that way.
Either way, the following players are at risk of sliding.
David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
David Ojabo profiles as a first-round pick and he most likely would have been had he not hurt himself at Michigan’s Pro Day.
You never want to see a player get injured. The fact that it happened at the Pro Day just weeks before the 2022 NFL Draft is even more heartbreaking.
“He was wincing in pain,” his Michigan teammate Aidan Hutchinson (potential No. 1 overall pick) said, according to ESPN. “I’m hoping he’s all right.”
Unfortunately for Ojabo, he wasn’t alright. News broke that he had torn his Achilles, meaning he’ll likely miss about six months.
Conservatively, Ojabo will miss the first few weeks of the 2022 season, and now teams are going to have to wonder how he’ll be able to bounce back.
It’s a shame because otherwise, he’s a player with first-round talent.
Checking in at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds, Ojabo notched 11 sacks and five forced fumbles for Michigan in 2021. He ran a 4.55 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine.
One of the teams in the late first round that are typically more established could take a shot on Ojabo, but he likely has lost value due to the uncertainty surrounding his recovery and will slide into the second round.
Kenny Pickett, Quarterback, Pittsburgh
Kenny Pickett is considered by most to be the top quarterback in this class. In many drafts, that’s a ticket to becoming the most talked-about prospect in the country and likely going No. 1 overall.
Most NFL scouts and talking heads feel this draft is extremely weak at quarterback though, which means that Pickett is simply the best of a so-so bunch.
That’s not to say a quarterback-hungry team like the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, or Pittsburgh Steelers won’t jump on him in the first. In fact, Pittsburgh could make sense for the 6-foot-3, 220-pound quarterback. He played his college football right down the street from Heinz Field, so he’s likely to get a strong reception from Steelers fans.
With that said, many teams have fileld their quarterback voids in big ways this offseason. Notably, the Denver Broncos traded for Russell Wilson and the Cleveland Browns are dumping Baker Mayfield for Deshaun Watson.
Even the Falcons have picked up a solid bridge gap in Marcus Mariota, and the New Orleans Saints are going to run it back with Jameis Winston.
Considering the lack of demand and the fact that this draft class is so underwhelming at quarterback, there’s a chance all of these teams pass on quarterbacks in the first round and instead fill other needs with more talented players.
If that were the case, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Pickett (and his small hands) fall into the top of the second round.
Skyy Moore, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore has everything it takes to be a top receiver in the NFL.
He was incredibly productive for Western Michigan in 2021, catching 95 passes for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 13.6 yards per catch and blew by defenders all over the field thanks to his 4.41 speed.
Moore looks like the perfect slot receiver in the right NFL scheme. Put him with a creative coach like Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers or Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers and just let him make plays.
If he can be schemed into open space, he has the potential to be an elite slot receiver that any team would be happy to have.
The immediate problem for Moore is his size at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds. That’s not to say small receivers can’t make it in the NFL, especially if they have speed. It’s worth noting that Tyreek Hill is the same height as Moore and actually 10 pounds lighter.
Hill was also a fifth-round pick, though. The Kansas City Chiefs took a shot on him with pick No. 165 in the 2016 NFL Draft and it paid off.
There will be questions about whether or not Moore can handle a 17-game schedule, and that’s not even including the playoffs.
This class is also incredibly deep at wide receiver.
With players like Drake London (USC), Garrett Wilson (Ohio State), Chris Olave (Ohio State), Treylon Burks (Arkansas), and Jameson Williams (Alabama) all projecting as first-round picks, there’s a chance that crowd of talented wide receivers simply pushes Moore into day two.