Top 10 NFL Rookies To Watch In 2022
There will be a number of new faces taking the field this season as the NFL produced an impressive 2022 rookie class featuring athletic playmakers in a variety of positions. It’s important to do your player research before the start of fantasy football and the NFL betting season, so we’ve scouted all 32 NFL teams and come up with the top 10 NFL rookies to watch in 2022. Keep an eye on these players throughout the year and expect to see some highlight-reel plays during their rookie campaign.
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Drake London – WR, Atlanta Falcons
With Julio Jones long gone and Calvin Ridley currently suspended for betting on NFL games, the Falcons are in desperate need of another receiving threat outside tight end Kyle Pitts. Atlanta addressed that need by selecting USC wide receiver Drake London with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft. Standing at 6’4 and 213 pounds, London already has the big body needed to compete at this level and should be a major target in the end zone this season.
Christian Watson – WR, Green Bay Packers
Another rookie receiver with some big shoes to fill, Watson was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round (34th overall) to help rebuild the team’s receiving corps. With Davante Adams now in Las Vegas, Aaron Rodgers will be looking for a new favorite target and it could end up being Watson. The former North Dakota State standout has the size (6’5, 208 pounds) and speed (4.36s 40-yard dash) to make an impact in the NFL and will benefit from playing with one of the all-time greats at quarterback.
Kenneth Walker III – RB, Seattle Seahawks
The former Michigan State star was dominant at the college level, putting up 6.2 YPC last season and winning the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. Drafted by the run-heavy Seahawks in the second round (41st overall), Walker finds himself in an excellent position heading into his rookie campaign. As a “one cut and go” runner at Michigan State, Walker’s skill set fits perfectly with the Seahawks’ rushing offense and you can expect the team to run the ball a lot with Russell Wilson no longer at quarterback.
Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner – CB, New York Jets
As the first defensive rookie to be featured on our list, Gardner is certainly not short on confidence. Gardner was taken early in the 2022 NFL Draft, with the New York Jets selecting the defensive back fourth overall. Widely considered the best cornerback in the draft, Gardner did not allow a receiving touchdown throughout his entire three-year college career at Cincinnati. Joining a Jets team that gave up the third-most passing yards in the league last season, things could change now that they added a little ‘Sauce’ to their secondary.
Treylon Burks – WR, Tennessee Titans
Very few NFL rookies enter the league facing as much pressure as Treylon Burks is heading into the 2022 campaign. The Titans made waves around the league when they traded star wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Eagles for the team’s first round draft pick (18th overall). The Titans quickly used the pick on Burks, a 6’2, 225-pound receiver from the University of Arkansas. Burks will be expected to fill in for the departed Brown and should see plenty of targets during his rookie campaign.
Aidan Hutchinson – DE, Detroit Lions
Drafted second overall by the Detroit Lions, Hutchinson is expected to make an immediate impact in his rookie campaign. The 6’7, 260-pound defensive end should receive lots of support from the home crowd as he grew up just outside Detroit in Plymouth, Michigan and also played for Michigan at the collegiate level. Hutchinson dominated on the field during his college career, eventually leading the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff in 2021. Team success may take some time in Detroit, but that shouldn’t stop Hutchinson from putting forth an impressive rookie season.
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Skyy Moore – WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Despite being forced to wait until late in the second round (54th overall) to hear his name called, Western Michigan wide receiver Skyy Moore may end up getting the last laugh after being selected by the Kansas City Chiefs. The speedy receiver will have opportunity to catch passes from All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes, giving him a chance to appear on plenty of highlight reels throughout his rookie season. With former Chief Tyreek Hill leaving for Miami in free agency, Moore will have the chance to get his hands on plenty of passes this upcoming season.
Breece Hall – RB, New York Jets
As the second New York Jets player featured on this list, Hall is yet another piece of the team’s strong 2022 Draft haul. Selected by New York in the second round (36th overall), Hall is a powerful running back coming off an impressive three-year collegiate career at Iowa State. With Jets RB Michael Carter more of a third down back, the fantasy community has high hopes for Hall in his rookie year. Considered one of the best offensive players in this year’s NFL Draft, you can expect Hall to get some playing time right away for the Jets’ struggling offense.
Travon Walker – DE, Jacksonville Jaguars
No matter what position he plays or what team he plays for, the No. 1 overall pick will always be a player worth watching during their rookie campaign. Chosen first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars over the offseason, defensive end Travon Walker will be looking to cause havoc in the AFC South. At 6’5 and 272 pounds, Walker is a beast of a pass rusher who anchored Georgia’s top-ranked defense last year. The Jaguars may not be contending for a Super Bowl any time soon but their defense just got a whole lot better with the addition of Travon Walker.
Kenny Pickett – QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming in as the best NFL rookie to watch in 2022 is new Steelers quarterback, Kenny Pickett. Pittsburgh made Pickett the first (and only) quarterback taken in the first round when they selected him with the 20th overall pick. Steelers fans were happy to hear a familiar name, as Pickett had just wrapped up his senior year at Pitt by breaking Dan Marino’s school record for passing yards and passing TDs. While he may not be the Steelers Week 1 starter, with that job likely going to the recently-signed Mitch Trubisky, Pickett should get his shot at some point this season to take the reins from Roethlisberger as the team’s next franchise quarterback.
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