It's the week of the 2022 NFL Draft, which kicks off with the Round 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday in Las Vegas. And while judgments have already been formed on nearly every NFL prospect, there are some players teams simply can't miss out on if available when the team goes on the clock.
These coveted guys can be among the class' elite or a Day 3 hidden gem with great value. With that in mind, we ask:
Who is your can't-miss prospect of the 2022 NFL Draft?
Joe Thomas: Not to state the obvious, but it has to be Aidan Hutchinson. He is the most polished pass rusher we've seen since the Bosa brothers and has the potential to be a double-digit sack producer the moment he steps on the field in an NFL game. Hutchinson has no weakness in his game. He's the clear-cut can't-miss prospect in this draft.
DeAngelo Hall: Answering Hutchinson here makes a lot of sense, but I'm going with Iowa State running back Breece Hall, who is projected to come off the board late in the first or second round. He's going to be a tremendous player at the next level as a home-run hitter with good vision and dynamic play-making ability. I felt the same way about Jonathan Taylor in the 2020 draft and couldn't understand why he fell to the second round. Like Taylor, Hall is a guy who can tote the rock 25 times a game and be a pass-catching option as a matchup problem in the pass game.
Rhett Lewis: My can't-miss prospect is Iowa's Tyler Linderbaum. We could sit here and nitpick Linderbaum's arm length (31 1/8 inches), but let's not forget he was the most dominant center at the highest level of competition in college football. He is an exceptional technician at the position and possesses an extremely high football IQ. Linderbaum, who donated $30,000 from his NIL earnings last season to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital, has the potential to be a multi-year Pro Bowler AND a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner.
Marc Ross: It would be easy to go with low-hanging fruit here -- Sauce Gardner, Aidan Hutchinson, Ickey Ekwonu or Devin Lloyd, to name a few. However, my choice, Houston CB/return specialist Marcus Jones, won't likely be drafted in the first round. Despite his lack of size (5-foot-8, 174 pounds), he is a special athlete who plays big with ultra swag and has the best pure ball skills of the DB group (10 career INTs, 32 career passes defensed). Oh, and by the way, he is the most electric return specialist to come out in a long time, with an NCAA-record tying nine career kick/punt returns for touchdowns. That rare versatility and play-making ability make Jones the best player, pound-for-pound, in the draft.
David Carr: There are a lot of playmakers at the wide receiver position, but Garrett Wilson is the best of the best. He possesses the most complete skill set of the class and is a dynamic playmaker with insane after-the-catch ability. If you're in the top 10 with a need at wide receiver, you might as well write Garrett Wilson's name on the card and hope he makes it to you.
Maurice Jones-Drew: By now, you know I'm a big Carson Strong advocate -- and guess what?? I'm sticking with him here as my can't-miss prospect. Sometimes a can't-miss prospect isn't the best player in the draft. In Strong's case, it's a player who can give a team great value on Day 2 or 3. With the ability to play in any system, the strong-armed passer can compete for a starting job this year or sit and learn behind a veteran; either way, he's a can't-miss guy in the mid-to-later rounds.