It’s never too early for ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. to unveil his big board for the 2022 NFL Draft. On Wednesday, he revealed his updated version of his “way-too-early rankings.”
Quarterbacks usually dominate the top of the draft order, but Kiper believes next year’s draft could be different. That’s because he believes the best player in college football right now is Oregon defensive Kayvon Thibodeaux.
That’s right, Kiper currently has Thibodeaux as the No. 1 ranked player on his big board heading into this college football season.
Thibodeaux has been outstanding for the Ducks over the past two seasons, racking up 77 total tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 12.0 sacks and six passes defended.
Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton round out Kiper’s top five.
The No. 1 pick might not be a QB in 2022 👀
— ESPN+ (@ESPNPlus) September 1, 2021
Kiper isn’t the only analyst to have Thibodeaux ranked as the top prospect in the country. He was at the top of 247Sports analyst Chris Hummer’s list earlier this year as well.
College football is loaded with talent at the quarterback position, as Sam Howell, D’Eriq King, Spencer Rattler and Kedon Slovis are all expected to have big years. Thibodeaux, however, is such a dominant force that he deserves to be the No. 1 ranked prospect this fall.