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Top 10 Names You Should Know for the 2022 Senior Bowl

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| February 2, 2022 1:13 pm PDT

The college football season might be over after Georgia captured its first national title since 1980, but the college players still have some work ahead of them.

For the select few that have aspirations to play Sunday football, they have an important next few months before NFL Draft Day arrives.

The Senior Bowl is an opportunity for the draft stock from a potential mid to late round selection to turn into a Day 1 or 2 pick. All the scouts are jotting down their notes on the latest player evaluations.

Watching the top players at the 2022 Senior Bowl could help you decide how to bet on the draft at the top NFL betting sites. To assist you in doing that, here are the top 10 players to watch at the 2022 Senior Bowl.

Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

One of the premier linebackers in college football the past two seasons resided in Salt Lake City.

Lloyd is a linebacker with fluid hips that can jump plenty of crossers in the middle of the field. Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown was staring his primary option down too long and the Utah backer enjoyed a house call with his pick six in the Pac-12 title game.

Devin Lloyd

While impressive against the run with his bone-jarring hits, the ability to drop back in pass coverage is what makes him so appealing as a potential late first round selection.

There are only a handful of premier defensive players in the Senior Bowl in terms of likely draft capital, but Lloyd could be the most talented of the bunch.

The upward trend that Lloyd is on is great news for his rookie salary and there have been some mock drafts that have him among the top 10-15 selections.

Lloyd is one of those players you should be betting on this weekend and for the foreseeable future.

Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

The preseason favorite to be the first overall selection going into the 2021 college football season was Howell of North Carolina.

The reason for the optimism was the ability he showed against solid competition the previous season against Notre Dame, Miami, and Texas A&M.

The stellar performance was shocking after he was playing without several of his top teammates. The ability to show off the arm strength against one of the better defenses in the country in Texas A&M.

He dropped a dime to Josh Downs, and it nearly was enough to pull off the upset, but Howell was nationally put on notice after the performance.

Howell needs to put together a solid Senior Bowl if he wants to have a shot at becoming a Top 10 pick and a lock first round selection. UNC lacked the offensive production with the loss of his top backs and wideouts from the Orange Bowl season (2020).

Howell is a popular name and will be watched by most teams that are selecting early in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh

Kenny Pickett

The Pitt Panther signal-caller put together a special season in the ACC. The Coastal Division was a mess and Pickett was exposing defenses every Saturday.

Most people talk about the ability to sling the pigskin, but the elusive ability he showed throughout the season could make a potential Top 10 pick.

In fact, the NCAA changed the sliding rule after Pickett put the Demon Deacons defense in slow-motion trying to defend his wheels.

On the season, Pickett put together one of the most impressive seasons in all of college football.

Finishing third in the Heisman voting was impressive, but the progress he made from knocking off Miami on Black Friday in his first career start to the 2021 season was a Hollywood-like script.

  • 2017 – 509 yards passing (1 Passing TD, 1 INT)
  • 2018 – 1,969 yards passing (Passing 12 TD, 6 INT)
  • 2019 – 3,098 yards passing (Passing 13 TD, 9 INT)
  • 2020 – 2,408 yards passing (13 Passing TD, 9 INT)
  • 2021 – 4,319 yards passing (42 Passing TD, 7 INT)

The 2017 season saw him barely see the field, but he has turned into a perennial All-American and future first rounder.

There is no reason why he cannot turn into a franchise quarterback with the arm strength and ability to drop the ball in a bucket.

I recall him making his first career start against a Miami squad that was ranked number two in the country. The stat line was impressive, and the rushing ability really determined the outcome.

Upsetting the number two team in the country is not a bad way to start a career, but he performed well in the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl over Eastern Michigan.

The Senior Bowl may not feature Pickett for more than a quarter, but he is a proven commodity these days on all draft boards.

The arm strength would be a great fit with the hometown Pittsburgh Steelers that likely will be needing a new start with Ben Roethlisberger retiring.

Many believe he will be the first quarterback taken, but certainly is in the running if the stock of others around him improves.

Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota

The mammoth blocker from Minnesota put on a display this past season for head coach PJ Fleck. The Gophers were a tough team to figure out with losses to Bowling Green and Illinois. Many lost all their weekly money betting on the Gophers.

However, they finished strong with a 9-4 record and a solid finish to their season. The smash-mouthed style of football that Fleck and the Gophers brought to the table was the reason they succeeded.

  • 27 Rushing Offense (198.1 yards per game)
  • Sacks Allowed: 22 (T-5th in Big Ten)

Having a mammoth tackle at 6-9 and 380-pounds in the trenches is the definition of a war daddy. Everybody wants a stud like that, and it was pure joy watching him get a goal-line carry in their bowl victory over West Virginia.

Many projections out there have him as a second or third selection, with an outside shot of becoming a late first rounder. The beef is legit in the NFL and this youngster could make an impact on any NFL franchise as a rookie for the 2022-23 season.

How he performs at right tackle against some of the better pass rushers in the country at the Senior Bowl could propel Faalele to soar up the draft boards.

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Malik Willis

One of my favorite players from the preseason was Willis. I made several bold predictions and a few came true such as Georgia winning the national championship. Willis was my Heisman dark horse, but I will settle for a Day 1 or 2 selection.

The talent is off the charts due to athleticism that many quarterbacks do not possess even at the NFL level. He is slightly undersized when compared to the bigger pocket passers in the league, but the arm strength isn’t lacking.

He destroyed defenses with the ability to expose defensive backs with a beautiful deep pass that was consistently improving. Eastern Michigan stood no chance in the bowl game, especially in the first half.

Looking back at the past two bowl game performances, it was safe to say that Willis has caught the attention of all scouts.

  • Record: 2-0
  • Passing Yards: 451
  • Comp/Att: 32-53
  • Total Yards: 646
  • Total TD: 9

Coastal Carolina was one of the finer teams in the country in 2020. Willis handled them with ease on the perimeter as a runner. The arm strength is NFL-like, and this is a player that has a solid ceiling.

That could cost him a spot in the first round, but he will have his say during his Pro Day and at the Senior Bowl. Depending on how he fares there, his performance could impact how you bet on his draft status at top sportsbooks like SportsBetting.ag.

Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State

Florida State was fortunate to grab the Georgia pass-rushing transfer that improved his draft stock. Making the move to Tallahassee paid off and then some.

He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year thanks to production that some players fail to post in a career.

  • 70 Tackles
  • 17.5 Tackle for Losses
  • 11.5 Sacks

He put on a display of athletic ability in games against Miami and Clemson. The scoop and score nearly gave the Noles a monumental upset over the Tigers.

While he isn’t a household name yet for some, he is a player to keep an eye out for due to the pressure he put on ACC passers.

The 2021 Seminole standout should be a fantastic value pick as a second or third round pick that instantly comes in on passing downs for a potential Super Bowl contender. 

Abram Smith, RB, Baylor

Baylor’s Abram Smith is a physical runner that runs with exceptional pad level. He was moved by Baylor coach Dave Aranada from a linebacker to a full-time back and the results were instant.

The Bears won the BIg 12 and knocked off Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl to finish in the Top 5 for the first-time in program history.

Smith ended up toting the rock 25 times for 172 yards in the victory. The running back position is a challenge these days in the NFL due to the grind and longevity of a position that has been a dying breed.

Looking back at his senior season, he had nine games with 100-plus yards on the ground. He saved his best for last against Ole Miss, but the victory over Texas may have been the top performance.

Baylor was trailing Texas in the third quarter by 11 and took over, eventually scoring 21 unanswered points.

Smith was one of the reasons why they pulled off the comeback and he had a magical move where he put the Texas defense in a spin cycle.

Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Carson Strong

There may not be many more intriguing options in the upcoming NFL Draft than Carson Strong out of Nevada. He is a future Sunday player you may enjoy betting on.

He opted out of the Quick Lane Bowl against Western Michigan, to avoid injury and maintain his strong draft stock from the past two impressive seasons.

The throws he already has shown on film are incredible. The ability to fit the pigskin into tight windows is insane and this is one of those players that needs to set his feet and stay upright in order to succeed.

The arm strength is up there with almost any prospect and while he could be a project for a season or two, there is potential for success in the immediate future.

Roger McCreary, DB, Auburn

Auburn had their first losing season since 2012, but McCreary was one of the lone bright spots for Bryan Harsin.

The Tigers need more ball-hawks if they expect to contend in the SEC West with Alabama. They have knocked them over the years and certainly have hung in with them even in disappointing losses like this past season.

At only 6-0 and 190-pounds, the Auburn defensive back is a sure-fire first rounder.

Speed kills in the NFL and the closing speed he has shown in the SEC has put him on the map.

Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State

Jahan Dotson

The after the catch ability is what separates the average wideouts to the elite options.

We saw plenty of talent in the Big Ten this past fall. They were loaded with potential next level stars at the wide receiver position, but Dotson could be the best of the bunch.

He has a bevy of talent for a position that is being craved by more NFL franchises that lack the skill players to move the chains.

Dotson is a tremendous route runner with exceptional speed in open space that can put the opposition in challenging situations.

The Penn State wideout along with David Bell of Purdue and Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson makes for the possibility of a handful first and second round selections.

The possibility of hearing his name called towards the end of the first round is a strong possibility, which will be a relief to all Wisconsin fans.

The defense of the Badgers was carved up by Dotson and his quarterback Sean Clifford this past September, in a game that came down to the wire.

Betting on the NFL Draft in 2022

These players are all talented stars ready to shine at the next level. The Senior Bowl is a great place to get noticed on the national stage one last time prior to the NFL Draft.

General sportsbooks are allowing you to bet on the top players in terms of where they will be getting selected. The sure-fire top 10 picks will have an over/under set at 4.5.

If you need help deciding how to bet on 2022 NFL Draft props, be sure to read through our football props betting guide below.

Football Prop Betting Strategy Guide

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