The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday April 28th at 7:00 CST with the first round while rounds two and three take place on Friday and the remaining four through seven rounds take place on Saturday. For the Huskers this draft has a lot more excitement as we have five players that have a great shot to be drafted with a couple having the chance to go early. Here is a look at my Husker 2022 NFL Draft Preview.
Before We Get into where the Huskers end up going, if you want to see my first round projections, here is a link to my Mock Draft. Along with my Top 50 Big Board which ranks the players who could go in the first round.
Where will the Huskers Go
We have to look all the way back to 2016 to see the last time a Nebraska player has been drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft. It’s been even longer since Prince Amukamara was drafted in the first round back in 2011. Why do I bring that up? Well it looks almost certain that Cam Jurgens is going to be a second round pick, and there is a slim chance he could be taken late in the first round.
Remember, a couple weeks back, NFL Network insider Peter Schrager reported that Cam Jurgens was one of the NFL Draft prospects that was talked most about by NFL teams.
To add to that, former NFL scout and current NFL Network lead draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on the Move the Sticks Podcast he could see Jurgens drafted ahead of Tyler Linderbaum and it wouldn’t surprise him if a team snatched up Jurgens at the end of the first round.
Then earlier this week, draft insider Tony Pauline indicated that many teams feel the same way about Jurgens.
Cameron Jurgens of Nebraska is moving up boards more swiftly than any center in the draft, and he could end up in the early part of Round 2. Jurgens is bigger than Linderbaum and has better growth potential, along with arms that are two inches longer. He also comes with better positional versatility, as Jurgens can line up at guard and center while Linderbaum is viewed solely as a center.
Jurgens is just as athletic as Linderbaum, timing 4.92 in the 40 at the Combine with an exceptional 10-yard split of 1.71. Linderbaum timed 4.98 and also had a 1.71 10-yard split during his pro day. The only testing event Linderbaum had a decided advantage in was the short shuttle, where he timed 4.39 to Jurgens’ 4.49, which are both terrific marks.
I’ve always felt Jurgens on Day 2 is much better value than Linderbaum in the first round. So, where does the Nebraska junior end up? Sources say Jurgens does not get past the Philadelphia Eagles’ 51st pick at the latest. The Baltimore Ravens have shown a ton of interest in Jurgens, and their second-round pick — the 45th of the draft — makes a lot of sense.
Earlier in the round, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, New York Giants, and Chicago Bears are teams showing a lot of interest in Jurgens.
Now I don’t think Jurgens does go in the first round and believe he is locked into going in the second round of the draft. Pauline mentioned four teams that had shown a lot of interest in Jurgens and you can add in the Steelers and the Ravens as well. Not to mention Jurgens took Top 30 visits to the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles.
My Projection: I think Jurgens goes in the second round to the Chicago Bears.
The second Husker to be drafted is likely to be Cam Taylor-Britt. Most rankings have him around the Top 100 while several Mock Drafts have him going anywhere from the late second round to the late third round. Many Mock Drafts have Taylor Britt going in the third or fourth rounds to teams like the 49ers, Rams, Cardinals and Bengals.
Cam was active after a strong Pro Day taking Top 30 Visits to the Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions. Each of the teams that has shown interest in Taylor-Britt wants their cornerbacks to play physical.
My Projection: I feel confident that Cam Taylor-Britt will go in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft but who he ends up with will largely be determined by what teams do at cornerback in round one. That being said I believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Taylor-Britt.
The third Husker that will be drafted is Domann who is more than likely going to go on Day 3 of the NFL Draft which is rounds four through seven. Domann’s versatility to be a hybrid safety and linebacker can be a double edge sword. Some teams may love his versatility while others see him as positionless and may not know how to use him.
What hasn’t helped Domann is he didn’t crush the Pre-Draft Process like Jurgens, Taylor-Britt and even Toure did. He had a solid but unspectacular Senior Bowl and Combine and didn’t have any Top 30 visits. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to plummet in the draft, but does make his future much cloudier. Rankings wise he is usually found in the 100-150 range while he was mocked to teams like the 49ers, Packers, and Chiefs.
My Projection: I believe Domann will be drafted in the 5th round of draft and goes to the Kansas City Chiefs as their eventual replacement to Daniel Sorenson.
After Nebraska ended their season I wasn’t too sure that Toure was going to be drafted. But Toure in his limited opportunities has knocked his Draft Season out of the park. Toure was arguably the best player at the Shrine Game and did very well at Nebraska’s Pro Day. When you combine what Toure did at Montana and then was able to carry that on in the Big Ten, you have to know NFL teams are impressed.
Toure has also been a hot commodity with teams logging Top 30 visits with the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks. Not to mention the 49ers sent receivers coach Lenoard Hankerson to Lincoln for the Pro Day.
NFL Insider Aaron Wilson had this to say about the NFL’s interest in Toure.
Five NFL teams have displayed the most interest in Toure, according to league sources: the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and San Francisco 49ers.
While NFL Draft Insider Tony Pauline had this to say about Toure.
Toure will be drafted at some point during Day 3. I have a seventh-round grade on him, while some teams feel he’ll be off the board as early as Round 5.
My Projection: There is too much interest in Toure for him not to be drafted. My projection is for Toure to be selected in the 6th round by the San Francisco 49ers.
The last player that I think could get drafted is Austin Allen. After a record setting year at Nebraska Allen was only invited to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and not the more prestigious Shrine Game or Senior Bowl. That being said, Allen did get the coveted Combine Invite and performed very well put up top numbers in multiple categories.
But that all doesn’t mean that Allen is going to be drafted. This tight end class may lack an elite prospect but is very deep with role players which could cause Allen to get lost in the shuffle. When it comes to drafting tight ends, teams value traits more than production. And while Allen did well at the Combine, his numbers weren’t elite.
NFL Draft writers and analysts have Allen ranked more in the 200 range with mock drafts have him going in the 7th round. The problem with that is that NFL teams usually take flyers on guys in the 7th round while more talented players end up going undrafted.
My Projection: While I think Allen has a good shot to be drafted, I feel he ends up being an Undrafted Free Agent and signs with a team that will view him as a solid backup tight end. While being undrafted will stink for Allen, he should enjoy a solid NFL career.
That leaves only a couple of Huskers that I didn’t cover. At one point I thought Damion Daniels was playing his way into being draftable, but injuries crept up and caused him to miss time. Ben Stille performed well at the Hula Bowl and Shrine Game, but I don’t believe he has the traits NFL teams are looking for when they draft players late. But it’s Deontai Williams who I think has the best shot of sticking in the NFL out of these three players. I could see Williams having a Joshua Kalu or Luke Gifford style career in the NFL where he stick with a team as a core special teams player.
The tight end position has always been near and dear to my heart, so whenever I break down NFL Draft prospects, I always take the time to watch and evaluate several tights in the class. And with Austin Allen being in this draft I decided to provide my own tight end rankings for this class.
If you don’t know already, I like to breakdown prospects and give my thoughts on prospects on my YouTube Channel. For each Husker Prospect that I did a scouting report on, I also did a video breaking down their skill sets too. Here is all eight of those videos.