In the NFL Draft, clubs rarely get the exact prospect they covet the most. Which means, plenty of analysis of marquee prospects falls on deaf ears for the many fans. You know Ahmad Gardner is a lockdown cornerback, right? That's fine and dandy, but let's say your team is picking in the 20s. He won't be available then. So are there any corners like Gardner who'll be available on Day 2 or Day 3?
You've come to the right place. This article pinpoints "Plan B" and "Plan C" options for some of the most highly coveted prospects in the 2022 draft class.
Plan A: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Plan B: Jack Coan, Notre Dame
Coan's 2021 film isn't perfect. There are some bad interceptions on it. There are also a litany of big-time throws through tight coverage, and his arm strength definitely looks like it's NFL caliber. He's played a lot of football and gotten better each step of the way, from Wisconsin to Notre Dame.
Plan C: EJ Perry, Brown
Perry gets by with an admirable aggressive style as a passer at the intermediate level and down the field. While he's not amazing making plays under pressure, there is some athleticism to his game to get outside the pocket and create.
Plan A: Breece Hall, Iowa State
Plan B: Dameon Pierce, Florida
Pierce is a scary tackling proposition for any linebacker at 5-foot-10 and a totally rocked up 218 pounds. Given his compact stature, it wouldn't be a shock if Pierce lacked quickness. He doesn't. His feet are supercharged.
Plan C: Tyler Goodson, Iowa
Goodson is a speed-based zone runner with flashes of impressive cutting skills at the second level, and he's an asset out of the backfield as a receiver. There are many quality talents at running back who'll be available later in the draft, and Goodson might be the best of the bunch.
Plan A: Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
Plan B: Khalil Shakir, Boise State
Shakir is a menace with the football in his hands. The contact balance, vision, and cutting skills are all there. Like Wilson, he's a body contortionist down the sideline on errant throws, often somehow reeling them in.
Plan C: Josh Johnson, Tulsa
Johnson might be the most nuanced route runner in the entire class. Yes, right up there with the Ohio State wideouts. He's not a freaky athlete by any stretch. He's not stiff and slow, either.
Plan A: Trey McBride, Colorado State
Plan B: Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
Kolar gives me Mark Andrews vibes. He catches everything, even if a defender is hanging on him. He's intimidatingly tall at nearly 6-7 but sinks his hips and creates separation with nice quickness in his routes. He was a productive star at Iowa State for years. Pick him on Day 2 and prosper.
Plan C: Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland
Okonkwo does his best work underneath and after the catch because of deceptive quicks and the fact that he's a bull with the ball in his hands. Suddenness pops when he's breaking off the top of his route stem or changing directions in his route. He's not a tremendous blocker, but that's fine in today's NFL if you're a high-end receiver at tight end.
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Plan A: Evan Neal, Alabama
Plan B: Rasheed Walker, Penn State
Walker was a top 10 offensive tackle recruit coming out of high school and the skills that led to that lofty distinction are apparent on film. He needs to learn to keep the gate closed longer in pass protection, and that's very correctable at the pro level. His burst, balance, and power are all above-average. He could be a steal on Day 2 who ultimately becomes a reliable left tackle in the NFL.
Plan C: Braxton Jones, Southern Utah
Jones is super long, athletic, and chiseled. Good start. He's very aggressive and plays with the knee bend needed to not get out-leveraged by smaller rushers. That's vital. Adding a touch more strength is important, but I love how effective his punches are in pass pro, and how he's rarely on the ground in the run game. Jones has big-time upside.
Interior Offensive Line
Plan A: Zion Johnson, Boston College
Plan B: Zach Tom, Wake Forest
I don't know where to place Tom in the NFL. He looked like a tight end at left tackle at Wake Forest but locked down everybody with incredible short-area quickness and impeccable balance. His best position is probably guard in the NFL, and if that's the case, he has to add probably 15-20 pounds to his frame. In terms of athleticism, Tom isn't limited whatsoever. And he's a fantastic pass protector right now.
Plan C: Cole Strange, Chattanooga
Strange has above-average athleticism for the guard or center spot at the next level, and he really battles, and he's very effective there because of his accurate punches and short-area quickness. Of course, he'll need to get much stronger to deal with the phenomenal strength he'll encounter on the inside in the NFL, but Strange can initially win with twitch, leverage, and angles.
Plan A: Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Plan B: Sam Williams, Ole Miss
Williams has the heaviest hands of any edge rusher in the class. I mean that. While not an explosiveness-based rusher, Williams will move people at the point of attack and interestingly ran in the low 4.40s at the combine. As an experienced SEC rusher, Williams has a developed arsenal of pass-rushing maneuvers.
Plan C: Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina
Gunter's film is a lot of fun. He knows what he's doing around the corner, with quality hand work and noticeable burst off the snap and to the quarterback. There's good thickness to his game, too, although he'll need to generate more power upon contact once he gets to the NFL.
Plan A: Jordan Davis, Georgia
Plan B: Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State
Travis Jones from UConn would be the easy selection here, so I'll go in a different direction. Eyioma is a 6-6, 315-pound legitimately versatile rusher who's actually much longer than Davis on the inside. He can play any defensive line position -- did so in college -- and brings a mature pass-rushing arsenal to the field that not only features nifty hand work but a devastating bull rush. He's not as sturdy against the run as Davis, obviously, but is actually further ahead when tasked to get after the quarterback and is a quality athlete for his size.
Plan C: Marquan McCall, Kentucky
McCall is hyper-active at the nose tackle spot. Love that about his game. For being nearly 350 pounds, he plays with a stunning burst/punch combination. He'll even toss in a spin move on occasion to show interior blockers he's more than just a pocket pusher. Now, McCall isn't a hand-work sensei but does play with reckless abandon on the field.
Plan A: Devin Lloyd, Utah
Plan B: Chad Muma, Wyoming
Muma is ready to start at middle linebacker in the NFL. He's a large, impressively athletic, do-everything second-level defender. He reads his keys in a hurry, gets to where he needs to be in reaction to them and can flip his hips very fluidly to run with targets in coverage.
Plan C: Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State
A former safety, Rodriguez, is an all-gas, no-breaks linebacker who shines defeating blocks and plays with quality range and man-to-man coverage ability with good range and coverage ability. He has shorter with smaller tackling radius than most linebackers, but given how assertive and athletic he is, I'm fine with that. Rodriguez has the makeup to outplay his draft position.
Plan A: Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
Plan B: Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State
McCollum dazzled at the combine, piecing together the most impressive full workout of any cornerback in attendance, and he did so at just over 6-2 and 199 pounds. The only knock on his profile is his short arms. He glides on the football field and is explosive on downfield throws.
Plan C: Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama
A late watch for me, Armour-Davis will finish in my top 100. Only a one-year starter at Alabama, this is a former top 15 cornerback recruit in the country -- ahead of his more well-known teammate Josh Jobe -- who has insane fluidity for the outside cornerback spot. He'll likely be available on Day 3 and has No. 1 cornerback upside.
Plan A: Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
Plan B: Kerby Joseph, Illinois
Joseph is a long, super-rangy defensive back. While he was more of strictly a free safety than Hamilton, he can make plays all over the field because how fast he is to the football. Played there almost exclusively in 2021 and made a fair amount of plays. It does take him an extra split second to identify what's happening on a given play, but if he can learn to trust his instincts Joseph can be an eraser at the next level.
Plan C: Markquese Bell, Florida A&M
Bell plays angry, he's a twitched-up, physical safety best in a robber role or close to the line of scrimmage. His change-of-direction fluidity suggests he can be an asset in coverage too. With fantastic size at 6-2 and 218 pounds with long arms, Bell is absolutely a sleeper at the safety spot who can start early in his pro career.