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2022 Dynasty League Rookie Mock Draft (Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Jul 28, 2020

Breece Hall is the running back you are hoping for when you make a trade for a 2022 first-round pick. 

The 2022 NFL Draft is still a ways away but for dynasty league general managers looking ahead as far as the 2022 NFL Draft is necessary for trade talks and roster planning. With that in mind, we will dig into a one-round 2022 dynasty league rookie mock draft. We will be sticking to underclassmen, but it is important to note that there will undoubtedly be a number of 2021 eligible juniors who decide to return for their senior season such as Ricky Slade. Other running backs that may return include Zamir White, Kenneth Gainwell, Master Teague, and Keontay Ingram, all players that would likely be first-round rookie picks in 2022 dynasty league rookie drafts. 

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1.01 – Breece Hall (RB – Iowa State)
Breece Hall is a talented running back who made Iowa State fans quickly forget about now Chicago Bear David Montgomery. Hall was not the most productive freshman running back on this list, but a quick look at his game tape reveals a player who could very well be a lead back in the NFL.

He is strong as a runner, has good hands, and also has the cutting ability and contact balance necessary to lead a committee. There is a very strong chance that he is no longer viewed as the top running back talent by the time the 2022 NFL Draft rolls around, but he is a virtual lock to be a day two selection.

Hall posted 897 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2019 and added 23 receptions for 252 receiving yards. His 4.8 yards per carry should be able to be improved upon before he hits the NFL, but it is his 23 freshman receptions at 11.1 yards per reception that highlights his true potential upside.

If he lands a lead back job as his talent suggests, he could push for high-end RB2 numbers with weekly RB1 upside. Hall is the running back you are hoping for when you make a trade for a 2022 first-round pick. 

1.02 – Trey Sanders (RB – Alabama)
Trey Sanders is a supremely talented running back that wound up injuring himself in the preseason and redshirting his freshman year. He will need to prove he is all the way back from the torn ACL to hold off some of the names listed below him here, but he was the top running back recruit from the 2019 class for a reason. He should push Najee Harris for carries this season, and should quickly make Harris and Brian Robinson Jr. regret their decisions to return for their senior seasons.

Sanders looked NFL ready as a runner coming out of high school but will need to prove that his vision and hands are good enough to be a potential workhorse. His floor appears to be a Jordan Howard type of power back, with his ceiling being a Nick Chubb type of lead back who sees 17-20 touches per game. His RB1 upside is contingent on his ability as a receiver so it will be interesting to see how he fares over the next two seasons. 

1.03 – George Pickens (WR – Georgia)
A massively talented receiver who should be the first player taken in some 2022 rookie drafts, George Pickens has future star written all over him. He has the size, hands, body control, and catch radius to be an early first-round pick. Pickens has the tools to be a dominant WR1 if he lands on the right team, and appears to have a WR2 floor. It is entirely plausible that Pickens, who was far and away the most talented Georgia receiver in 2019, takes a step back due to an impressive recruiting class, but he should remain the lead dog in the offense. Pickens posted an outstanding 49 receptions, 747 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns, numbers that suggest that a Biletnikoff finalist appearance or two may be in his future. George Pickens is the receiver you are hoping for if you trade for a 2022 rookie pick. 

1.04 – Isaiah Spiller (RB – Texas A&M)
Vision issues behind the line of scrimmage is the only thing holding Isaiah Spiller back from vying for top back in the class honors. His 946 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 5.4 yards per carry made him one one of the most productive freshman backs on the ground. More than just an early down runner, he flashed his complete back skills by hauling in 29 receptions for 203 receiving yards, a number that should only grow in the two seasons before he declares.

Spiller has the tools and skill set to be a workhorse at the next level, but will need to continue to improve to garner the day two capital dynasty managers are hoping for. He has the burst and speed to become a high end RB2 in fantasy, with his upside only being capped by the other running backs he shares a depth chart with. 

1.05 – Jerrion Ealy (RB – Ole Miss)
Jerrion Ealy is a very talented running back who may end up choosing Major League Baseball over the NFL. Unlike with Kyler Murray who was a first round pick in both sports, Ealy lasted until the 31st round after a down season as a senior in high school, spurring his decision to play both baseball and football at Ole Miss. While Murray plays the lucrative quarterback position, Ealy plays the cutthroat running back position. Running backs are often chewed up and spit out, with only the elite backs earning a big payday on their second contracts. Baseball, despite the minor leagues, could prove both more appealing and lucrative for a day two running back.

Ealy was exciting as a freshman, showing off his center field speed en route to posting 722 rushing yards and six touchdowns on a scintillating 6.9 yards per carry. He added an impressive 20 receptions for 172 receiving yards and one touchdown. A speed back who can bang inside, Ealy has lead back potential, but could, and probably should choose baseball. However, if he chooses football, he will be a day two pick who cracks the first round in 2022 rookie drafts. 

1.06 – Tyler Goodson (RB – Iowa)
Tyler Goodson is an electric running back from the Iowa Hawkeyes who one could not help but notice when scouting 2019 first round pick Tristan Wirfs. He showed off potential workhorse ability as a freshman racking up 638 rushing yards for five touchdowns (4.8 yards per carry), and 24 receptions for 166 receiving yards, numbers that when his increased sophomore and junior role is taken into account give a lot of reason for optimism. However, losing one of the top offensive linemen in college football could affect his production, so it will be interesting to see how he fares without Wirfs mauling on the right side of the line. Still, there is lead back RB2 upside here, so Goodson is a name to monitor as a potential day two pick. 

1.07 – David Bell (WR – Purdue)
With Rondale Moore being lost for the season with an injury, David Bell exploded as a freshman. He posted a truly exciting 86 receptions for 1,035 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. His average depth of target was not anything to write home about, but that is as much a function of Purdue’s offense as it is an indictment of Bell. His year without Moore has NFL teams closely monitoring the young wideout, and all eyes will be on Moore this season, giving the talented sophomore a much larger stage to shine on as far as being seen by NFL talent evaluators.

Playing with a first round pick should result in a hit to his numbers, but with Moore set to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, Bell will have the entire 2022 season to remind the world just how good he was in 2020. Bell projects as a WR2/3 possession receiver type, but if he lands on the right team, he could see enough annual targets to be a 1b who vies for weekly high end WR2 numbers.

1.08 – Garrett Wilson (WR – Ohio State)
Garrett Wilson is a talented wide receiver who is set to explode in 2020. He has one of the top quarterbacks in college football delivering him passes, and should open the season as Ohio State’s number one receiver. He will have to fend off some of 2020’s top receiver recruits including number one overall receiver Julian Fleming, and will have to deal with another incredible recruiting class in 2021, but he certainly has the talent to do just that. The extra year in the system will serve him well, especially when it comes to holding off non Fleming wideouts from 2020 (Fleming is a better prospect).

Wilson posted a solid 30 receptions for 432 receiving yards and five touchdowns, and will be looking to at least double his reception and receiving yard marks this season. Chris Olave, Wilson, and Fleming will likely open the season as three wide starters, meaning Wilson is going to have beat out one or both to garner the amount of targets necessary to take the leap many expect to see from him. A future WR2 in fantasy with 1b NFL receiver upside, Wilson will be relying on Justin Fields (and C.J. Stroud in 2021) to propel him to being a first round selection. 

1.09 – Zach Charbonnet (RB – Michigan)
Zach Charbonnet is an interesting prospect. He offered next to nothing as a receiver as a freshman, but showed the type of power, vision, patience, and contact balance to become a featured early down runner at the next level. He was targeted so little in the passing game (eight receptions for 30 yards), that we do not have a firm grasp on his ability as a receiver beyond being a dump off safety valve.

Charbonnet ran for 11 touchdowns and 726 rushing yards on 4.9 yards per carry in 2019, showing off the type of skill and production to no doubt make him a favorite of NFL talent evaluators. If he can prove he has soft hands he could become a fantasy RB1. However, if he proves he is more effective as a pure early down back he may be limited to RB2 level production, albeit with weekly RB1 upside thanks to his touchdown potential. He is the type of player that makes trading for 2022 picks now worthwhile regardless of how strong you think the team you are trading with is or will be.

1.10 – George Holani (RB – Boise State)
Perhaps the most impressive running back set to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft is someone not many are discussing in George Holani out of Boise State. While he is not elite at any one thing, he appears to be good to great at everything. Despite being a mere freshman, there are numerous instances where he flashes higher level talent than the back he has replaced in now Minnesota Viking Alexander Mattison. Blessed with great cutting ability and soft hands, Holani should be able to place himself firmly in the mix to be the first running back drafted in 2022.

He rushed for 1,014 yards and seven touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry in 2019, and added a very promising 26 receptions for 206 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Holani should only get better over the next two seasons, and if he tests well athletically at the 2022 NFL Combine, he should get the national love due to a complete back with a starters skillset. The combine will be key, but if he impresses, he could convince teams he is worthy of a potential RB1 making workhorse role. 

1.11 – C.J. Johnson (WR – East Carolina)
A talented freshman receiver from East Carolina university, C.J. Johnson, a three star recruit, has placed himself firmly on the radar of NFL teams with his excellent play in 2019. A big body (6’2, 229 lbs) who can make plays downfield and who thrives after the catch, Johnson fits the bill as far as what NFL teams are looking for in their number two receiver. Think an emerging Deebo Samuel with A.J. Brown/Laviska Shenault size. He is not as physical as one would like from someone his size, but has the contract balance and tackle breaking ability to excel after the catch. Johnson makes acrobatic catches with regularity, consistently bailing out his quarterback from off target throws.

He had a spectacular freshman season in which he hauled in 54 passes for 904 receiving yards and four touchdowns, and will be looking to build on that over the next two years. Johnson has WR2 upside with a WR4 floor, with the quarterback, depth chart, and offensive system he lands with playing strong correlative factors in his projected success in the NFL. 

1.12 – Theo Wease (WR – Oklahoma)
With Jadon Hasselwood tearing his ACL in a spring practice, Theo Wease is set to step forward as an unquestioned starter in two wide sets. With CeeDee Lamb now in the NFL, there is a massive role to be had that Charleston Rambo simply is not capable of filling. Jalen Hurts departure to the NFL means that exciting prospect Spencer Rattler will be under center with Wease until they both declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Wease had a quiet freshman campaign, but should have a breakout season in store for 2020. He currently projects as a number two receiver type who can accrue WR3 fantasy value, but we will get a more accurate depiction of his true NFL upside this season. 

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyContext.

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