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2022 Draft Prospect Injury Ranking

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How tHIGH of an injury concern would you be comfortable with in a draft prospect? It’s very simple, there is an algorithm. An equation that blends instant availability, long-term durability, and my own instincts. The rubric is on a scale from 0-5; where 0-1 = low risk, 2-3 = medium risk, 4-5 = high risk.

Low RiskMedium RiskHigh Risk
0-1 points2-3 points4-5 points 

Instant availability and long-term durability are weighted 0-2 pts, with the higher scores indicating higher risks. My instincts are weighted 0-1 pts, with the same indications.

Instant Availability (IA)Long-Term Durability (LT)Thigh-stincts (LEG)
0-2 points 0-2 points 0-1 points

5. WR Drake London, USC

London was arguably college football’s best WR this past season, until he fractured his ankle midway through the season. He appears on track to return after having a major ankle surgery about 6 months ago. Although he didn’t do any pro day testing, there shouldn’t be much of a concern. His injury and timeline are almost the same as Jaylen Waddle’s from a year ago.

IA0
LT0
LEG0
LOW RISK0

4. CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

Booth is coming off a thigh strain and a surgery near his groin this off-season. Normally, this would destroy my dance move, but for his NFL career, Booth is going to be OK. Tyrod Taylor had this surgery in the off-season before we broke the drought. 

IA0
LT1
LEG0
LOW RISK1

3. WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

Williams reminds me of a taller DeSean Jackson, as he is slender and wins with elite speed. Unfortunately, he had an ACL reconstruction in mid-January. This injury carries some baggage, both immediate and long-term, but not enough to scare away teams from his immense potential.

IA1
LT1
LEG0
MEDIUM RISK2

2. CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

Stingley was once the greatest freshman CB in recent history. However, as a result of a mystery illness in 2020 and Lisfranc surgery in 2021, he has only played in 10 games over the past two seasons. The Lisfranc is a rough injury, but the return to play is good as 83% of players come back (1). However, it takes a long time to return, avg. 11.1 months (2). Furthermore, it’s likely to see a decreased statistical performance immediately after the surgery (1).

Currently, Stingley is already seven months post-surgery. He was able to partake in combine drills, which is a good sign. However, his agility measures left the door open for concern. 

Kent Lee Platte on Twitter: “His final score fell slightly with agilities, but ultimately a RAS well within elite range.Derek Stingley Jr. is a CB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 8.97 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 204 out of 1974 CB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/nV9DvUWpYs #RAS pic.twitter.com/weUBTataCP / Twitter”

His final score fell slightly with agilities, but ultimately a RAS well within elite range.Derek Stingley Jr. is a CB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 8.97 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 204 out of 1974 CB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/nV9DvUWpYs #RAS pic.twitter.com/weUBTataCP

Stingley should still be selected in the Top 10 in the draft, but I wouldn’t be a surprised if he fell to the early teens. This is a major drop for the once top-3 lock.

IA1
LT1
LEG1
MEDIUM RISK3

1. EDGE David Ojabo, Michigan

Ojabo was a rising star entering the draft process. The late bloomer who exudes freakish traits, unfortunately tore his Achilles’ tendon at his Pro Day on March 19th. The Achilles’ tendon is paramount to produce power and speed. This injury will affect his NFL career in the short term. As for long term, one could say it’ll trim about two years off his career. 

IA2
LT1
LEG1
HIGH RISK4

Honorable Mentions

Rounding out the draft class’s walking wounded are several prospects that vary from low to high risk. There are three notable receivers, George Pickens of Georgia, John Metchie III of Alabama, and Justyn Ross of Clemson. Both Pickens and Metchie both had ACL reconstructions. However, Pickens was in the Spring of 2021, which allowed him to return for the CFB playoffs. Metchie was injured late in the season, so he is basically in the same realm as Jameson Williams.

PickensMetchie III
IA0IA1
LT1LT1
LEG0LEG0
LOW RISK1MEDIUM RISK2

Justyn Ross, like Stingley, was also once a freshman phenom. However, he had a career-threatening congenital neck fusion in 2020. Then, in 2021, he saw a drop in performance and eventually broke a bone in his foot that required surgery and ended his season in November. He was able to do combine drills, but performed poorly. His stock should plummet to the late rounds.

Kent Lee Platte on Twitter: “Justyn Ross is a WR prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 2.56 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 1945 out of 2613 WR from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/eq6dYekyNF #RAS pic.twitter.com/Uw1mAKWgqY / Twitter”

Justyn Ross is a WR prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 2.56 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 1945 out of 2613 WR from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/eq6dYekyNF #RAS pic.twitter.com/Uw1mAKWgqY

IA1
LT2
LEG1
HIGH RISK4

Arguably the highest risk of all prospects is LB Damone Clark of LSU. After testing out admirably at the combine, he was found to have a cervical injury which required a fusion surgery. Unfortunately, this will likely reduce his career length significantly. Also, due to the surgery being very recent, he will most likely miss the 2022 NFL season. 

Kent Lee Platte on Twitter: “Damone Clark is a LB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.74 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 57 out of 2188 LB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/mFEUBPRVTI #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/tlV1xfsikQ / Twitter”

Damone Clark is a LB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.74 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 57 out of 2188 LB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/mFEUBPRVTI #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/tlV1xfsikQ

IA2
LT2
LEG1
HIGH RISK5

Citations

  1. 1. Singh SK, George A, Kadakia AR, Hsu WK. Performance-Based Outcomes Following Lisfranc Injury Among Professional American Football and Rugby Athletes. Orthopedics. 2018 Jul 1; 41(4): e479-e482. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20180424-03. Epub 2018 Apr 30. PMID: 29708569.
  2. McHale KJ, Rozell JC, Milby AH, et al. Outcomes of Lisfranc injuries in the National Football League. Presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting, Las Vegas, NV, March 2015.
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