As prospect meetings ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft come to an end, what are the latest news and rumors from around the NFL? Top-30 visits throughout the NFL are well underway, which means we’re starting to get a clearer look at who and what teams may be targeting.
NFL Draft News and Rumors
With just over two weeks until the 2022 NFL Draft, who are some players that might be under-the-radar draft prospects to watch during the event in Las Vegas? Here’s the latest we’re hearing from around the NFL.
Alontae Taylor, CB | Tennessee
Tennessee’s Alontae Taylor comes off a strong showing at the Combine and has built momentum for himself moving towards the draft. In Indianapolis, he timed 4.36 seconds in the 40 with a quick 10-yard split of 1.50 seconds. This after measuring 6’0 1/8″ and 199 pounds.
Depending on the team you speak with, Taylor is being graded as either a cornerback or safety. Right now, he’s getting grades that range from late Round 3 to the early fourth. Taylor, who also participated in the Senior Bowl, has had official top-30 visits with the Cincinnati Bengals, Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans.
Joshua Williams, CB | Fayetteville State
Joshua Williams of Fayetteville State made a big impression at the Senior Bowl with his terrific size. The cornerback measured 6’2 7/8″ and 195 pounds. He flashed all week in Mobile and then went on to have a solid Combine workout with marks that included 4.53 seconds in the 40 and a vertical jump of 36 inches.
Williams, who received third-round grades from teams during recent draft meetings, has had official top-30 visits with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. In addition, the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens have shown much interest in him.
Tariq Carpenter, S | Georgia Tech
Tariq Carpenter is all over draft boards at several positions since draft meetings ended last week. He’s also an interesting study. The former safety from Georgia Tech came to the Senior Bowl and played outside linebacker. Carpenter was not invited to the Combine but turned in outstanding numbers during pro day workouts. At 6’3″ and 230 pounds, Carpenter timed 4.47 seconds in the 40, touched 41 inches in the vertical jump, and reached 11’4″ in the broad jump.
He’s had official top-30 visits with the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers. Some teams have Carpenter on their safety board. Meanwhile, others have him listed as a linebacker, including the New York Jets.
I’m told the Jets were the team who requested Carpenter be added to the Senior Bowl roster at linebacker late in the process. Recently, the Jets privately worked out Carpenter at LB.
Remember, on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets selected a pair of oversized college safeties — Jamien Sherwood of Auburn in the fifth round and Hamsah Nasirildeen of Florida State a round later — and moved them to linebacker, where each presently sits on the depth chart.
Samuel Womack, CB | Toledo
Samuel Womack is another non-Combine defensive back getting a lot of talk in the lead-up to the draft. Womack was a terrific cornerback at Toledo three years running and received a few draftable grades heading into the 2020 season. He decided to return for a second senior year. He’s a shorter corner (5’9″) with terrific ball skills and ran 4.37 seconds during Toledo’s Pro Day. His 32-inch arms somewhat offset his lack of vertical height.
Womack had an official top-30 visit with the Chiefs. He also privately worked out for the Washington Commanders, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, and Carolina Panthers. I presently grade Womack as a seventh-round/PFA prospect.