Jack Follman’s 2022 Early Entry NFL Draft Prospects

Posted on December 5, 2021

  By Jack Follman, SportsPac12

It’s one of my favorite times of the year! The regular season is over and now we can start getting ready to look forward to the next Pac-12 football season for a long nine months.

This is going to be another very strange early entry period since the COVID season gave everyone an extra year and they’re all classified as a year earlier than they technically really are.

Case in point, players like Britain Covey, Travis Dye and CJ Verdell can still come back for another season, if they want.

Because of this, I’m only focusing on players that are either technically really juniors or redshirt sophomores, counting the COVID season because otherwise it would be far too difficult and far too many players to consider.

Here’s the players in the Pac-12 who I think either already have or will have to consider jumping early to the 2022 NFL Draft scheduled for April 28-30. What they decide will heavily factor into the Pac-12 power structure going into the 2022 season.

We’ll update this list regularly to keep you posted and see how I did.

Jayden Daniels, Sophomore Quarterback, Arizona State
Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels | Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Declared Choice: Staying

Daniels wasn’t great in 2021. Still, he’s talented enough I think he would be a Day Three pick were he to have left; there’s no denying Daniels’ pure quarterback abilities.

However, Daniels recently announced he will be staying, and if he puts it all together in 2022, he could go as high as the First Round, even though he’s rather slight.

Plus, there’s a lot of depth in this year’s likely QB class, so it makes sense to sit out a year if you’re a middling prospect.

Dohnovan West, Sophomore Center, Arizona State
Arizona State’s Dohnovan West | Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Prediction: Stay

An elite interior offensive lineman, a rarity in the Pac-12 these days, West has to be thinking about the Draft.

He didn’t have his best season possible, and interior offensive linemen generally stay for four years, so I think he comes back even though he could be as high as a Day Two pick in 2022.

He could play himself into being one of the top interior offensive linemen in the 2023 Draft with a good enough season next year.

Jarek Broussard, Sophomore Running Back, Colorado
Colorado’s Jarek Broussard had a phenomenal season, including a 301-yard game vs. Arizona. | cubuffs.com

Prediction: Stay

Broussard was better in 2020 than 2021, but I always think running backs with any pro potential have to start looking for the Draft as soon as possible.

He’s small (5-foot-9 and 185 pounds) so I don’t think he oozes NFL potential.

Coming back for another year and trying to push past 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in a season could help him play himself into a Day Three pick.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, Sophomore Defensive End, Oregon
Kayvon Thibodeaux | The Athletic

Prediction: Go

This should be by far the biggest no brainer to declare.

Thibodeaux has been expected to be an early First Round pick in 2022 (if not the first overall pick) since high school.

It would be the biggest return of all-time in the Pac-12 if he comes back.

Mykael Wright, Sophomore Cornerback, Oregon
Mykael Wright | Oregon Athletics

Prediction: Go

Wright seems like another no-brainer, in the same vein as Thibodeaux.

He appears to be a guaranteed Second Day pick at worst, and that means he should probably declare.

Kyu Blu Kelly, Junior Cornerback, Stanford
Kyu Blu Kelly | Stanford Athletics

Prediction: Stay

The long rangy corner has been a stud for Stanford since he emerged as a true freshman.

He can now head to the NFL and should think about it with his great size and solid tape, but I think he comes back for one more season.

Zach Charbonnet, Sophomore Running Back, UCLA
Zach Charbonnet | Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Prediction: Go

The Michigan transfer has been great for the Bruins this year as one of the Pac-12’s most-prolific running backs in a good year for Pac-12 running backs.

He’s 6’1 220 with good finesse and speed. I expect him to head to the 2022 Draft with a good chance to be taken on Day Two.

Greg Dulcich, Sophomore Tight End, UCLA
Greg Dulcich | UCLA Athletics

Prediction: Go

Dulcich has been the Bruins’ best pass catcher the past two seasons as a tight end. He’s also 6-4, 245 and super smooth with soft hands.

All this points to him being a Day Two selection already and heading to the Draft in 2022.

Sean Rhyan, Sophomore Tackle, UCLA
Sean Rhyan | 247Sports

Prediction: Go

Rhyan has built on the massive potential he showed in high school and as a true freshman.

He’s one of the best linemen in the conference now, and a smooth prospect who still has potential to build at the next level.

He could get into the First Round and I think he declares.

Drake Jackson, Sophomore Linebacker, USC
Drake Jackson | Paul Sancya/AP Photo

Prediction: Go

One of the best Edge players in the 2022 Draft pool, he seems like a slam dunk to declare and has a great chance to go in the First Round. Simple as that.

Drake London, Sophomore Wide Receiver, USC
USC’s Drake London | Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Prediction: Go

The other Drake at USC who is leaving early, a freak athlete, and most likely a First-Round pick.

Tavion Thomas, Sophomore Running Back, Utah
Tavion Thomas | Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Go

We’ve barely known Thomas, who I am almost certain can head to the NFL.

He’s a 6-1, 220-pound powerhouse who is tearing up the Pac-12, so I’d assume his NFL stock will be too high to turn down in 2022.

I think he goes though I would say there is a decent chance he comes back for another run in the Pac-12.

Kyler Gordon, Sophomore Cornerback, Washington
Kyler Gordon | Dean Rutz/Seattle Times

Prediction: Go

Gordon was known as a great athlete and special teams player prior to 2021 and has emerged as one of the nation’s best cover corners this season.

While he hasn’t yet announced his decision officially, Crosscut recently reported that he intends to enter the 2022 Draft.

With his size, athleticism and proven skills it’s likely he could go as high as the First Round now so I expect him to declare early.

Trent McDuffie, Sophomore Cornerback, Washington
Trent McDuffie | 247Sports

Prediction: Go

The other Husky star cornerback looks like a surefire First-Round pick after a stellar 2021 campaign. Seems all but a formality he declares early.

Max Borghi, Junior Running Back, Washington State
Max Borghi | Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Declared Choice: Going

I think Borghi basically redshirted last year, so technically he truly was a redshirt junior this year and could have came back for 2022, but has already announced that he will not.

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