Pro Football Focus' biggest sleepers in 2022 draft class
Draft season is in full swing.
With the 2022 NFL Draft less than three months away, many draft experts have begun to release their early predictions for the first round.
The Senior Bowl is now in the rearview mirror, which means the next opportunity teams will get to observe prospects will be at the combine.
Pro Football Focus' Anthony Treash released his list of the biggest sleepers in the 2022 draft class this week, including several Senior Bowl standouts who improved their draft stock last week.
With that said, here are a few of Treash's biggest draft sleepers.
WR Calvin Austin III, Memphis
2021 Stats: 12 games, 74 receptions for 1,149 yards and eight touchdowns, one rush attempt for 69 yards and one touchdown, five punt returns for 135 yards (27.0 avg.) and one touchdown
Treash: "Austin is undersized, standing at 5-foot-7 while weighing 173-pounds with 30.6-inch arms. Still, that didn't stop him from being a productive outside receiver at Memphis in 2021, as he recorded an 85.2 receiving grade, 2.99 yards per route run and 14 broken tackles on 74 receptions. It also didn't stop him from dominating at the Senior Bowl. Austin earned the highest receiving grade among qualifying wide receivers in practice and generated multiple steps of separation on over half of his targets against single coverage, forming the highest rate of such plays of any wide receiver in attendance. Austin has elite track speed and quickness. His overall athleticism paired with his route-running and release package helps overcome the lack of size."
TE Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
2021 Stats: 13 games, 59 receptions for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns
Treash: "Likely produced a top-three receiving grade among tight ends nationally in each of the last two seasons at Coastal Carolina, and his receiving success translated to the Senior Bowl, as Likely earned a 91.1 receiving grade during the practices. He's a polished route-runner with impressive speed and great ball skills for the position. The 6-foot-4, 241-pound tight end isn't going to be an inline blocker at the next level, though. Adding weight could be in the cards, but either way, his receiving ability is too good to pass up."
DL Travis Jones, Connecticutt
2021 Stats: 11 games, 48 total tackles (16 solo), 4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss
Treash: "Jones' brute strength throughout his frame helped him become an unblockable force in all three of his seasons at UConn and the Senior Bowl. Jones is coming off a top-five overall grade among interior defensive linemen (87.6). During Senior Bowl practice, the 6-foot-4, 326-pound interior defender earned a 92.2 pass-rush grade while leading the position in pass-rush win rate (42.5%). He was the most dominant pass-rusher in attendance and really should be in the conversation to be the first player off the board at his position come April."
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his final edition of the top 50 prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft.
GM Joe Schoen lays out roster-building philosophy
Although the 2022 NFL Draft is still two-and-a-half months away, the evaluation process is already fully underway.
General Manager Joe Schoen and members of the front office traveled to Mobile, Ala. last week for the Senior Bowl. It serves as the first opportunity for NFL teams to get a close look at some of the top draft prospects following the conclusion of the college football season. With two picks among the top seven selections, there is no denying the importance of this year's draft for the Giants.
Schoen joined the Giants Huddle podcast from Mobile to discuss the 2022 draft class, some of his overall draft philosophies and more.
"There are a lot of guys who we got a two-year study on because they did go back to school and we had reports on them last year," Schoen said of this year's prospects. "I think it's a deep draft because of that, because players do get better. Guys went back to school, got another year of nutrition, training, an off-season, and another year playing football. I do think it's a deep draft overall."
The Senior Bowl allows for invited prospects, regardless of conference level, to showcase their skills against some of the top competition.
Schoen noted the player interviews are just as significant as what a prospect does on the field. Teams are making a major investment in a player when they draft him, so it is vital that they know everything they can about who he is as a person. Schoen was very clear about the traits on his checklist.
"Smart, tough and dependable," Schoen explained. "Guys that are smart, tough and dependable that care about football, that care about their teammates. It's not so much about the glitz and the glamour that comes with it; but have some leadership to you when maybe things are going wrong or teammates aren't doing it well, someone that will right the ship and get the team headed back in the right direction. Those are the types of players that we're looking at…
"The more guys we get that buy into the culture and have the common goal of winning a championship in mind, and through our process are paying attention to that on a daily basis, the better off we're going to be."
Inside the Film Room: RB Devontae Booker's consistency
Running back Devontae Booker proved to be a valuable offseason addition in 2021.
The veteran back played in all 16 games with four starts, and finished the year with 145 rush attempts for 593 yards and two touchdowns. Booker also added 40 receptions for 268 yards and an additional score.
Check out the video below to view Bob Papa and Super Bowl champion Shaun O'Hara break down the film of running back Devontae Booker in the latest edition of Inside the Film Room.