Kiper posts early 2022 top 25 … For those that haven’t seen it, long-time draft guru Mel Kiper has posted his initial top 25 ranking for the 2022 draft, which for the record is now just 341 days away, over on ESPN. A couple of observations. Of course, this is a very preliminary listing and much is going to change between now and next April. However, it does appear as if there is currently something of an emerging group of a half dozen or so red chip prospects at the top of the board including Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, LSU CB Derek Stingley, Alabama OT Evan Neal, Notre Dame S Kyle Hamilton, and Texas A&M DE/DT DeMarvin Leal. On the other hand, it could be a bit of a down year at QB. Indeed, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler is the only passer in Kiper’s top 10 – he’s at #3 – although North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Malik Willis of Liberty come in at #s 12 and 15 respectively. One of the things that jumps at one a little about this year’s top QB prospects is the lack of prototype size. In fact, none of the current top three guys at the position appears to be much over 6-1, if any are even that tall. And again, while there is still a lot of sorting out to be done before the picks start coming off the board at the 2022 draft, the early returns appear to be that WR, OT and DE could be really strong this year. The DEs, in particular, are intriguing with a number of really athletic edge rushers out there with all kinds of potential including Thibodeaux, Southern Cal’s Drake Jackson, George Karlaftis of Purdue, Ohio State’s Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith, each of whom has at least some top 10 potential. Potential is the operative word, though, as there hasn’t been a ton of consistent production from that group to date so pro scouts will be looking for some breakout years this coming season.