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2022 NFL Draft Stock Up & Down: Ahmad Gardner, Kyren Williams, Jameson Williams

2022 NFL Draft Stock Up & Down: Ahmad Gardner, Kyren Williams, Jameson Williams

The 2022 NFL Draft is just weeks away. With pro days taking place daily over the next several weeks, prospects will see their draft stock rise or fall. There is still plenty to happen, including private workouts and the medical recheck in Indianapolis.

However, draft boards are starting to take shape. Let’s look at three players whose stock has recently risen and three whose stock has fallen so far this offseason.

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Stock Up

Alec Pierce (WR – Cincinatti)

While Cincinnati’s pro day isn’t until March 24, Alec Pierce is on the rise after his impressive combine performance. The former Bearcat ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at 6 foot 3 inches tall and 211 lbs. He also showed explosiveness with a 40.5-inch vertical jump and a 129-inch broad jump.

In his final year at Cincinnati, Pierce had a career-high 52 receptions for 884 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He played a critical role in the Bearcats making the College Football Playoffs. Before the combine, Pierce was a borderline third or fourth-round pick. If he has a strong showing at his pro day, Pierce could sneak into the draft’s second round.

Jelani Woods (TE – Virginia)

After starting his career at Oklahoma State as a wide receiver, Jelani Woods transferred to Virginia before the 2021 season. He moved to tight end and had a career year. Woods had 44 receptions for 598 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns in his one season at Virginia.

Despite his 6 foot 7 inches and 259 lb frame, Woods ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at the combine, the second-fastest among tight ends. This year’s tight end class is deep but lacks clarity. After the first four-five go off the board, it’s anyone’s guess how the rest will go. Virginia’s pro day is March 29. If Woods performs well, he could become a late day-two pick.

Ahmad Gardner (CB – Cincinnati)

Ahmad Gardner was already a first-round lock and likely top-15 pick before the combine. However, he stole the show for the defensive backs. At 6 foot 3 inches with 33.5-inch arms, Gardner has the size and length every NFL team desires. He then ran a 4.41 40-yard dash time, putting to rest any questions about his speed.

Gardner was arguably the best cornerback in college football last year. He allowed only 6.6 yards per reception in 2021, according to PFF. Unless he has a bad performance at his pro day, Gardner is a lock to go in the top-10 picks and be the first cornerback off the board.

Stock Down

Kyren Williams (RB – Notre Dame) 

Leading up to the combine, some believed Kyren Williams could make a push to be the No. 1 running back in the draft. However, that didn’t happen. Instead, Williams ran a very disappointing 4.65 40-yard dash at 194 lbs. By comparison, Georgia’s Zamir White ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at 20 lbs heavier. Williams also failed to distinguish himself from the other running backs during the drills.

Notre Dame’s pro day is March 25. Before the combine, Williams was a likely day two selection. However, if Williams fails to run a much better 40-time at the pro day, he will end up falling out of the top-120 picks.

Jameson Williams (WR – Alabama) 

Unfortunately for Jameson Williams, he tore his ACL in the National Championship game against Georgia. If he hadn’t gotten hurt, Williams would be the clear top wide receiver in the draft class and a likely top-10 pick. While he is reportedly healing fine, teams will need to do their homework on the former Alabama star.

Furthermore, while Williams is on the sidelines, other top wide receivers in the draft class, including Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, are improving their stock. A few months ago, Williams would have been a top-10 pick. Unfortunately, Williams now will likely fall to the second round of the draft.

Kyler Gordon (CB – Washington) 

The Washington cornerback was getting first-round hype before the combine. Kyler Gordon had an impressive final year at Washington, totaling two interceptions and seven passes defended, both team-highs. At just under 6 feet with 31-inch arms, Gordon has the size and length NFL teams want at the cornerback position.

He expected to run a fast 40-time at the combine. However, Gordon ran a 4.52 40-time in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, cornerbacks like Trent McDuffie and Andrew Booth Jr. improved their stock during the combine. Washington’s pro day is March 29. If Gordon runs a sub 4.45 40-time, he will likely be a first-round pick. However, Gordon could fall into the second round if he runs another 4.50 or higher 40-time.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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