No surprise to anyone, the 2022 Draft class is not great. We will dive into my pre/post-draft thoughts and my dynasty expectations. It is a shallow class, and I will highlight the following for each rookie:
- Analytics that matter
- Pre-draft rank with analysis
- Post-draft ranking with landing spot analysis
- short/long term future expectations
- My rookie rankings from last year
RB1 – Breece Hall
(2022 RB1: Javonte Williams)
- Age: 20.9
- HT/WT: 5’11/217lbs
- DOM: 43.23%
- bDOM: 81.28%
- YPTP: 2.07
- RecMS%: 11.50%
Pre-Draft: Hall is the best prospect in this draft class; he has a great dead leg to make guys miss in the open field. He already has NFL size and decent elusiveness for that size. He’s a good pass catcher with one-handed grabs on in-game tape. Hall killed the combine, but a lot of that measured athleticism was not apparent on tape. He was caught from behind on multiple occasions.
Post-Draft: Hall takes off with the Jets at the 36th overall pick. Michael Carter was a fourth-round pick and is not a threat to the workhorse role that Hall will inherit. I believe he could be a back-end RB1 his first season and probably maintain that production for multiple years.
Year 1: 240-1150-8 / 40 Targets, 30-250-2
Year 2: 285-1400-10 / 65 Targets, 45-350-4
RB2 – Kenneth Walker
(2022 RB2: Najee Harris)
- Age: 21.5
- HT/WT: 5’9/211lbs
- DOM: 39.08%
- bDOM: 53.82%
- YPTP: 1.96
- RecMS%: 5.35%
Pre-Draft: Walker is the most elusive back in the open field this year. He’s excellent at picking up his back leg to make sure the tackler can’t wrap both of them while easily slipping the other out and breaking tackles. Walker has the NFL weight but a smaller frame, and he can be overconfident as a runner. At times, he gets caught behind the line from dancing too much. He does not offer much power in driving goal line piles but is a playmaker in the open field. Waller was not utilized as a pass catcher which has historically proven to limit his upside.
Post Draft: KWIII gets drafted by the Seattle Seahawks at 40 overall. He won’t have a hard time beating Rashaad Penny, who was insanely productive down the stretch after being injured on and off the past two years. Walker will play behind an offensive line that got away with not looking horrendous because of Russell Wilson’s scrambling ability to prolong a play. However, the QB in line to start is Drew Lock, not known for dump-offs. The expectation is that this offense will look more run-heavy, but poor offensive line play and playing from behind will limit the opportunity and quality of each opportunity.
Year 1: 180-800-5 / 30 Targets 20-135-0
Year 2: 200-900-6 / 35 Targets 22-170-1
RB3 – Rachaad White
(2022 RB3: Travis Eitenne)
- Age: 23.3
- HT/WT: 6’0/214lbs
- DOM: 27.62%
- bDOM: 76.92%
- YPTP: 1.81
- RecMS%: 20.87%
Pre-Draft: White is a smooth upright runner with better contact balance than he’s given credit for. He’s one of the best pass-catchers and provides a decent value between the tackles. He’s a JUCO transfer that averaged almost 10 YPC during the shortened covid season, and this past season, he won the starting role at ASU. White has lead back size and may be an older prospect but should provide good value for a few years. He reminds me a lot of Kenyan Drake with better contact balance.
Post-Draft: White gets drafted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team just re-signed Leonard Fournette to a 3-year deal. White’s calling card is his receiving ability. With the extension of Fournette, I have a hard time projecting White to ever being in the RB2 range without an injury to Fournette. The other question will be how long does TB12 stick around? This team could convert to a run-first offense with the departure of TB12 in the near future. Rachaad needs to beat out Fournette before we talk about RB2 fantasy production.
Year 1: 100-430-2 / 40 Targets, 30-290-2
Year 2: 120-530-2 / 40 Targets, 30-290-2
RB4 – Dameon Pierce
(2022 RB4: Trey Sermon)
- Age: 22.2
- HT/WT: 5’10/224lbs
- DOM: 22.20%
- bDOM: 47.81%
- YPTP: .87
- RecMS%: 7.17%
Pre-Draft: Pierce has that bowling ball build. He has excellent size and shows toughness when he runs. He fights for extra yardage and has some decent lateral agility too. He won’t be the type of player that can break off long runs, but he can be a rotational piece in a committee. Pierce has excellent pass protection skills. He’s never held the lead back role, which concerns that his production comes from scheme play calling rather than his ability to create independently.
Post-Draft: Pierce goes in the fourth round to the Houston Texans. It is a committee backfield with many aging vets and guys that can’t stay healthy. Pierce easily has an opportunity to carve out an early role and solidify himself in the system. I do not expect RB2 numbers from him, but he has multi-year value here by being the main guy in a committee.
Year 1: 150-650-5 / 25 Targets, 17-150-1
Year 2: 180-720-6 / 35 Targets, 26-210-1
RB5 – James Cook
(2022 RB5: Michael Carter)
- Age: 22.6
- HT/WT: 5’11/199lbs
- DOM: 16.83%
- bDOM: 42.04%
- YPTP: 1.06
- RecMS%: 10.23%
Pre-Draft: Cook’s brother is Dalvin Cook, but they are very different runners. James Cook has had an overall disappointing collegiate career. He was stuck in a committee and only provided value in the receiving game. His thin frame leads me to hope he converts to WR. Cook has poor contact balance and is brought down on first contact often. He does not have the skill set or build to be a three-down back at the next level. He’s had barely over 1,200 rushing years combined in college.
Post-Draft: The Buffalo Bills wanted JD McKissic, and they found him in the 2nd round. Cooks gets drafted late in the second to the Bills. I would assume the Bills would want an early-down back to replace Zach Moss and alleviate some of the rushing workload from their QB, Josh Allen. However, they chose a player that profiled more as a scat back. Buffalo’s rushing offense will continue to be a committee with Josh Allen at the head of the committee. I expect they will go back next year to find that early-down bruiser.
Year 1: 100-390-2 / 45 Targets, 35-280-1
Year 2: 140-560-2 / 60 Targets, 45-400-2
RB6 – Tyler Allgeier
(2022 RB6: Kenneth Gainwell)
- Age: 22
- HT/WT: 5’11/221lbs
- DOM: 36.96%
- bDOM: 64.94%
- YPTP: 2.08
- RecMS%: 11.07%
Pre-Draft: Allgeier is described by most as an early-down bruiser, but I think he has much more wiggle than he’s given credit for. Allgeier is a former walk-on linebacker converted to RB. His first full season was during the shortened Covid year, and he was amazing. In the 2021 season, he was a part of a new offense with three new offensive linemen and a new QB. It took him a few weeks to adjust, but he became just as dominant in 2021 as in 2020. This draft does not have many RBs that check all of the boxes to be a workhorse back, but Allgeier is one of them, and his athletic testing will hold him back.
Post-Draft: Welp, his athletic testing held him back more than I thought. Allgeier was drafted to the Falcons in the early fifth round and joined a backfield with members that almost qualify for an AARP card. Cordarelle Patterson is 31, and Damien Williams is 30. Allgeier can easily win this job and becomes the perfect early third round, maybe late second if you’re feeling cheeky, type of target. However, he is a fifth-round pick. If he wins the jobs and you’re not a contender, sell. Unless he has some sort of prolific season like Elijah Mitchell or James Robinson, I always suggest flipping Day 3 draft assets for a higher value than you spent.
Year 1: 200-900-5 / 15 Targets, 10-80-0
Year 2: Decreased because they will invest at RB finally
RB7 – Tyrion Davis-Price
(2022 RB7: Chuba Hubbard)
- Age: 21.5
- HT/WT: 6’0/219lbs
- DOM: 34.07%
- bDOM: 70.70%
- YPTP: 1.2
- RecMS%: 3.82%
Pre-Draft: Davis-Price is a build-up speedrunner; he’s quick to find the whole and hard to bring down purely from a power basis. He lacks anything remotely close to lateral agility or elusiveness. He is a tank, and if you need four yards, he will get you four yards. If you need seven yards, he will get you four yards. Price-Davis can’t manipulate an LB before hitting a hole, and he’s a straight-line guy. His on-the-field athletics are par, and he does not have much in receiving ability outside of dump-offs.
Post-Draft: Price-Davis gets drafted by the 49ers. This backfield can never stay healthy, and they usually rotate through small backs, so this is a nice change of pace. This screams to be a big win for Elijah Mitchell, and the front office is trying to do a thunder and lightning type of combination. Knowing what we know about Trey Sermon, I don’t see how Price-Davis is a better player than him. 49ers rotate through their running backs, and Tyrion will get on the field.
Flex appeal once Elijah Mitchell gets hurts
RB8 – Zamir White
(2022 RB8: Rhamondre Stevenson)
- Age: 22.6
- HT/WT: 6’0/214lbs
- DOM: 17.45%
- bDOM: 22.62%
- YPTP: .98
- RecMS%: 3.41%
Pre-Draft: White was once the top RB of the class coming out of high school. He is now down two ACLs and had a decent bounce-back campaign. His bread basket carries the ball too often when he hits the hole and violently bounces off defenders until he finds an open lane. White has bad vision but has the on-field athleticism that makes him appealing to be a prospect teams want to mold as an early-down back in a committee. The NFL size and Georgia bump help as well.
Post-Draft: White gets drafted to the Las Vegas Raiders in the fourth round. The Raiders neglected to pick up former first-round RB Josh Jacobs’ fifth-year option. this opens the door for White to be the potential early-down back the next NFL season. The Patriot coaching tree has taken over, so the expectation is there is a committee being created. He won’t get many opportunities in year one but looks to be in line to lead a committee in year two.
Year 1: 115-520-3 / 10 Targets, 6-30-0
Year 2: 175-750-6 / 20 Targets, 15-130-1
RB9 – Hassan Haskins
(2022 RB9: Elijah Mitchell)
- Age: 22.4
- HT/WT: 6’2/228lbs
- DOM: 24.9%
- bDOM: 33.73%
- YPTP: 1.5
- RecMS%: 7.26
Pre-Draft: Haskins is a straight-line bulldozer. there’s a lot of this type in the draft, but not with his size. He’s a lateral mover and will go through defenders rather than around. Haskins was a fun watch; he hurdled a few defenders, and who doesn’t love to see that. He can catch dump-off passes but won’t be running routes, and he’s decent in pass protection. Another great prospect is to be a part of a committee in an early-down role.
Post-Draft: If there was one player closest to King Henry’s playstyle, it would be Haskins. Haskins will not beat out Derrick Henry, but Henry is 28, which is getting old for RBs. He’s already back from injury, but Haskins has the potential to be his handcuff. Any handcuff to an aging vet in a run-heavy offense is always appealing, and it’s rare for a starting RB not to miss time.
Nothing unless Derrick Henry misses time
RB10 – Isaiah Spiller
(2022 RB10: Khalil Herbert)
- Age: 20.7
- HT/WT: 6’0/217Lbs
- DOM: 23.54%
- bDOM: 45.34%
- YPTP: 1.52
- RecMS%: 12.02%
Pre-Draft: The Spiller RB1 crowd is all but extinct, but the majority still have him at RB3 in this shallow draft class. He is one of the few prospects that checks all the boxes as a potential three-down back at the NFL level. The main concern is that he was not that back at the college level. Spiller split carries and then had extremely low athletic testing. He showed more of on-field athletics than what the pro-day would leave us to believe.
Post-Draft: Spiller falls all the way to the Chargers in the fourth. He’s undoubtedly not beating out Austin Ekeler, but he can take over that Joshua Kelley role. Ekeler has expressed interest in the Chargers coaching staff adding an RB to take off some of his rushing duties. Ekeler is a smaller back, an outliner in numerous categories to be as successful as he is today in fantasy. Spiller won’t ever threaten his role, but undersized backs are more prone to injuries. Spiller will immediately take over the Joshua Kelley / JC Jackson role.
Year 1: 100-450-4 / 15 Targets, 10-70-1
Flex value comes if Ekeler misses time.
RB11 – Keaontay Ingram
(2022 RB11: Gerrid Doaks)
- Age: 22.5
- HT/WT: 6’0/221lbs
- DOM: 21.94%
- bDOM: 50.15%
- YPTP: 1.18
- RecMS%: 6.92%
Pre-Draft: Ingram was a USC running back that had to transfer from Texas because of the arrival of Bijan ‘2023 RB1’ Robinson. On the college side, it appears that Texas has started to compete for the title of RB University. Ingram was a challenging evaluation because his game tape at USC was generally unimpressive, but his work at the Shrine Bowl was. He’s gained a reborn fan club and becomes a polarizing prospect in the NFL draft.
Post-draft: Ingram gets scooped up in the sixth by a team that’s very thin at the RB position. The Arizona Cardinals have a dual-threat QB with goal-line back James Conner, who had a relatively healthy season. Ingram steps in as handcuff for a running back who finished last year with 15 rushing TDs. Ingram will not beat out Conner for the job but becomes an interesting short-term value as a handcuff, and James Conner Has never played an entire season.
Flex Value if Conner misses time.
Hall and Walker are the only two RBs with real fantasy value past a single season. Walker is currently ranked RB25 in dynasty, and he profiles as a smaller early-down back. He did not catch many balls in college and now he goes to a team with QBs that don’t dump off the ball anyway. For everyone else, I would not recommend drafting any of these RBs before the mid-second of your rookie drafts.
Pierce is the lottery ticket in this RB draft class. I don’t love the skill set but he has ‘somewhat’ meaningful draft cap and a easy running back room to beat. If he can win it early and solidify himself as the RB1 in that backfield, he may hold onto it come the next NFL draft. There are some great late-round flyers to draft with the sole purpose of flipping them for future seconds as soon as they flash production from a limited opportunity. The only real winner here is Breece Hall, and draft the wide receivers.