The draft process is one of our favourite parts of the NFL. But once all that is over and we’re through summer camps and other various off-season activities we’ll know which rookies have made the grade and are on 53 man rosters. We’re at that point now and as we hurtle towards the first game of the 2022 season here are five rookies that I’m keen to see play.
Aidan Hutchison – Edge – Detroit Lions
After the Jags selected Travon Walker, the Lions rushed up to select local Michagon product Aidan Hutchison with the second overall pick. The Lions were in need of a legit edge rusher after Trey Flowers once again proved that ex-Patriot players aren’t always great outside of New England (Tom Brady aside of course – but he’s a freak!). Hutchison had great college production coupled with a motor that seemingly doesn’t stop – a useful attribute when playing at Ford Field!
Derek Stingley – Cornerback – Houston Texans
Stingley’s 2020 tape from LSU was amazing as the college went on to win a national championship. Had he been in the draft that year there would have been no debate about his ability. 2021 though was coupled with injury and limited evidence of the talent that was displayed the previous year. Depsite that, the Texans took him with a high draft pick and have since commented that he’s working to get fit after his injury in 2021. Can Stingley rediscover his form in a team which isn’t expected to achieve much in 2022?
Romeo Doubs – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
Devante Adams leaving Green Bay left a whole load of questions marks about the wide receiver corps Aaron Rodgers will have to utilize. At times in 2021 it seemed that Rodgers didn’t trust anyone other than Adams, which made defending against the Packers a little easier (see the divisional game vs the 49ers). Doubs wasn’t the first receiver taken in the draft by the Packers but he’s certainly the one with the most hype following pre-season with Aaron Rodgers quoted as saying “The standard for him is not going to be the standard for a normal rookie we’ve had here in the past.”. High praise indeed.
James Cook – Running Back – Buffalo Bills
The Bills are heavily favoured to do well this year with the one missing piece last year being their lack of a running game. With the addition of Roger Stafold as guard and now James Cook as running back, that could change in 2022. The Cook family name has a good reputation in the NFL with older brother Delvin a fantasy favourite if he can stay fit. Here’s hoping that the younger version can match the exploits!
Isaiah Likely – Tight End – Baltimore Ravens
If I said this on the pod there would be a lot of immature giggling, but I love a good tight end! Likely was the 9th tight end taken in the draft and wasn’t even the first one taken by the Ravens. But he’s been wowing coaches through the pre-season and had a four-catch, 44-yard debu followed by eight catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half of his next game. Mark Andrews will remain atop the depth chart in Baltimore but having two good tight ends is good news for Lamar Jackson and Raven fans.