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Latest 2022 NFL Draft big board: Defensive Line | Top 10 Tuesday

View the Top 10 NFL Draft prospect rankings based on position

Top-10-Tuesday--dl

As your New Orleans Saints prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft, we take a look at the top 10 ranked players at various positions. The 2022 NFL Draft big board rankings are reflective of Bucky Brooks' top five 2022 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0 and ESPN's NFL Draft "Best Available" list. Prospects No. 1-5 are Bucky Brooks' top five edge rushers, and numbers 6-10 are his best interior defensive linemen.

Here are the top 10 ranked draft prospects at defensive line:

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 1 Aidan Hutchinson | Michigan

Rank
1
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Aidan Hutchinson | Michigan
2021 Season Stats: 36 Solo Tackles | 14 Sacks | 2 Forced Fumbles

Aidan Hutchinson is a weight room extraordinaire who has incredible strength and toughness; however, his strength and body mass may be close to maxed out. He has fast hands in his rushes and can cause problems for some offensive lines. He can make a name for himself in the pass rush game, but he struggles at times on run-stopping. At the Combine, Hutchinson ran a 4.74 in the 40-yard dash. He also had a 36 in the vertical jump and a 117 in the broad jump. He is ranked the best defensive end prospect by NFL.com and ESPN.

Height: 6 feet 6

Weight: 260 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.83

NFL.com Overview: "Defensive end prospect with a can't-miss combination of football character, skill and physical traits who is more likely to contend for occasional Pro Bowls than become an All-Pro play-maker...Hutchinson is an instinctive rusher, assailing the pocket with a non-stop barrage of activity. His hands are skilled and efficient to grease the edge while fluid counter steps open inside paths to the pocket. He needs to add a few more items to his rush menu in order to maintain his rush production against NFL tackles. Hutchinson is scheme versatile and should be a very good starter with a very high floor, but his ceiling might not be as elevated as some of the talent he's been compared to."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 2 Kayvon Thibodeaux | Oregon

Rank
2
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Kayvon Thibodeaux | Oregon
2021 Season Stats: 35 Solo Tackles | 7 Sacks | 2 Forced Fumbles

Kayvon Thibodeaux has the internal drive and motivation to put the work in. He has fast, explosive movements when breaking off the line of scrimmage, but he needs to refine his skills as a pass rusher. His hand movement and tackling are also two areas of his game that could use some work, but with the right coach he can get to where he needs to be. He has the talent to be a year 1 starter, but refining his game could allow him to be a solid threat on the end. He only participated in two events at the Combine: the 40-yard dash where he ran a 4.58, and the bench press where he did 27 reps. NFL.com and ESPN see him as the second best prospect entering the draft.

Height: 6 feet 5

Weight: 254 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.72

NFL.com Overview: "Enticing edge defender whose game is fueled by traits and power over skill and instincts at this juncture of his career. Thibodeaux is hardly a finished product, but has pro-ready attributes that should help him acclimate quickly...He needs to add some go-to moves and more skilled hands to his bag if he is to affect the quarterback more frequently and reach his lofty potential as a standout, two-way edge defender."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 3 George Karlaftis | Purdue

Rank
3
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George Karlaftis | Purdue
2021 Season Stats: 25 Solo Tackles | 4.5 Sacks | 2 Forced Fumbles

George Karlaftis had the majority of his production in the 2019 season. He sat out in 2020 and was game-planned for in 2021. He is persistent and has the demeanor of a professional already. He struggles a bit against the run and has a somewhat one-dimensional approach to his rush. He tends to try and power his way through the defender rather than throwing a variety of rushes into his game. He did not participate in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, but did participate in the 20-yard shuttle where he completed it in 4.36 seconds. He also had a vertical jump of 38 and a broad jump of 121. NFL.com has him as the third best prospect whereas ESPN has him listed at No. 5.

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 266 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.37

NFL.com Overview: "Edge defender with good power and a relentless motor to keep the heat on offensive counterparts throughout the game...He's a lift-and-leverage run defender at the point of attack but fits into a "team defender" column more than "premium run-stopper" category. He's a force-based rusher with anchor-busting power and the ability to get to his counters when the rush begins to stall...He's a future starter as a strong-side defender in an even or odd front."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 4 David Ojabo | Michigan

Rank
4
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David Ojabo | Michigan
2021 Season Stats: 24 Solo Tackles | 11 Sacks | 5 Forced Fumbles

David Ojabo was the 2019 defensive scout team player of the year in college. He is always searching for the strip sack as he rushes the quarterback. He has only played 20 games throughout his college career and did not see the field much in the playoff game against Georgia, which raised a few eyebrows. ESPN has Ojabo listed as an outside linebacker, making his position a versatile if not confusing one. NFL has him as the fourth best edge rusher in the draft. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds, had a vertical jump of 35, and posted a broad jump of 122. Ojabo did suffer an Achilles tear at his pro day, but scouts seem to believe he will make a full recovery.

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 250 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.50

NFL.com Overview: "Emerging edge defender who should see a substantial leap in play consistency with more time to work on his technique and learn the game. The upside is evident, despite his inexperience...It would be wise for evaluators to project and grade the flashes as a high-upside rush talent with 4-3 and 3-4 appeal."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 5 Jermaine Johnson II | Florida State

Rank
5
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Jermaine Johnson II | Florida State
2021 Season Stats: 34 Solo Tackles | 12 Sacks | 2 Forced Fumbles

Jermaine Johnson II is a rising prospect. He is agile, keeps his feet moving, and is able to break free from blocks relatively easily. He always seems to sniff out the ball and make the tackle when he's there. His approach to rushing is rather inconsistent and one-dimensional at times, though. He tends to prioritize the power moves, but he could benefit from some finesse. He is the fifth best prospect according to Bucky Brooks and the fourth best on ESPN's Best Available. At the Combine, he ran a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical of 32 and achieved a 125 in the broad jump.

Height: 6 feet 5

Weight: 254 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.49

NFL.com Overview: "...Johnson has NFL traits and the potential to keep getting bigger and better as a pro. He is a one-year full-time starter with an underdeveloped pass rush and occasional lapses in awareness, but both areas should be correctable with more coaching and game experience. He's more instinctive and consistent as a run defender, but his length and relentlessness are excellent building blocks for challenging protection...He has the traits, athleticism and talent to project as a top-40 pick with a bright future."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 6 Jordan Davis | Georgia

Rank
6
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Jordan Davis | Georgia
2021 Season Stats: 17 Solo Tackles | 2 Sacks | 0 Forced Fumbles

Jordan Davis is nearly impossible to block with one player, and you'll rarely, if ever, find him laying/sitting on the ground due to being blocked. Ranked the No. 1 prospect for defensive tackles by NFL.com and the No. 2 prospect on ESPN, Davis will look to make a name for himself in the league as a run-stopping tackle with the ability to overwhelm an offensive line. Although leverage and direction changes can be a challenge for the Bulldog prospect, he has the capability to work his way into a consistent starting role on an NFL team. At the Combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds. He also had a vertical jump of 32 and a broad jump of 123.

Height: 6 feet 6

Weight: 341 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.43

NFL.com Overview: "Beefy, mountainous nose tackle with the size, power and will to clog the drain and alter the offense's desire to run between the tackles...Davis won't be as effective against outside-zone teams and won't offer much rush, but he could become one of the league's best run-pluggers as soon as he takes the field."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 7 DeMarvin Leal | Texas A&M

Rank
7
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DeMarvin Leal | Texas A&M
2021 Season Stats: 25 Solo Tackles | 8.5 Sacks | 1 Forced Fumble

DeMarvin Leal has perplexed scouts with his tapes. On one hand, he shows some valuable traits in a defensive lineman such as quick hands, hands and feet moving together, and the ability to toggle between power and finesse. On the other hand, he put together more than one disappointing performance in his college career. When he faced off against the best prospects from the 2022 draft, he seemed to get flushed out, so NFL linemen may give him issues. He also seems to lack a real position, never truly finding his niche. At the Combine, he ran a 5.00 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 27.5 and, posted a broad jump of 106. NFL.com has him listed as the second best defensive tackle, but ESPN has him listed as the ninth best defensive end. He has upside but could be a gamble for whoever chooses him.

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 283 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.23

NFL.com Overview: "Early entry defensive lineman who appears to be caught between "best fit" positions at this time. Leal possesses adequate rush skills and knows how to craft a rush plan, but a lack of suddenness and closing burst turns potential sacks into hurries without the help of a long pocket count. When the motor is cranked up, he can stack and slide past run blockers with efficiency and quickness..."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 8 Logan Hall | Houston

Rank
8
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Logan Hall | Houston
2021 Season Stats: 24 Solo Tackles | 6 Sacks | 0 Forced Fumbles

Logan Hall is a defensive tackle that plays like a defensive end. He has good explosiveness and pursuit that allow him to break quickly and tackle a runner if they get close. He does seem to get swallowed by double team blocks and does not have a clear-cut positional fit at the moment. He is a gamble, but there will likely be some teams who look into taking that risk. He ran a 4.88 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, as well as hitting a vertical jump of 30. He is the third best defensive tackle prospect on NFL.com and the seventh best defensive end prospect on ESPN.

Height: 6 feet 6

Weight: 283 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.21

NFL.com Overview: "Hard-working, two-year starter with projectable frame and developmental traits whose best positional fit could be in the eye of the beholder...He's segmented and a little gradual in his attack, but flashes violent hands and forward charge as an interior rusher. Improvement lies ahead for Hall, but he needs a scheme fit and extended runway as a rotational lineman."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 9 Devonte Wyatt | Georgia

Rank
9
Gallery-Top-defensive-linemen-2022-0009
Devonte Wyatt | Georgia
2021 Season Stats: 18 Solo Tackles | 2.5 Sacks | 2 Forced Fumbles

Devonte Wyatt has some great moves in his arsenal, and he could be an interesting prospect for a team looking for a slight developmental project. He has a tendency to drop his helmet when making initial contact, and his hands and explosiveness are just about average. With the right coach to teach him the fundamentals, he could grow into a starter by next season. At the Combine, he ran a 4.77 in the 40, had a vertical jump of 29, and put up a broad jump of 111. Devonte Wyatt is listed as the best overall defensive tackle prospect on ESPN, and he is the fourth best prospect on NFL.com.

Height: 6 feet 3

Weight: 304 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.35

NFL.com Overview: "Highly active defensive tackle with decent strength. Wyatt is made for movement and disruptions. He helped himself in 2021 with better tape both against the run and as a pass rusher...The traits are average, but the effort is consistent and Wyatt should fit nicely as a rotational, gap-seeking three-technique with disruptive flashes."

2022 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive Lineman | No. 10 Travis Jones | Connecticut

Rank
10
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Travis Jones | Connecticut
2021 Season Stats: 16 Solo Tackles | 4.5 Sacks | 0 Forced Fumbles

Travis Jones is a primarily run-stopping defensive tackle that can also make some noise in the passing game. Centers will likely have a hard time blocking him, and he stood up well to the tougher opponents he faced in college. He has the potential to get even better under the right teacher. He struggles with a few aspects of his game, but they can be corrected, and he could be a starter for a team with not much depth at his position. ESPN and NFL.com both have him listed as the 5th best defensive tackle prospect. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.92 in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 28.5, and put up a broad jump of 110.

Height: 6 feet 4

Weight: 325 pounds

NFL.com Draft Grade: 6.25

NFL.com Overview: "Nose tackle with size and power that fuels his rumbling playing style. Jones lacks explosive get-off and hand twitch...He was a standout on a bad defense and more than held his own against the toughest competition he faced. Jones has the demeanor, traits and overall ability to become a successful run-plugger and potential starter in a two-gapping scheme."

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