Mel Kiper 2022 NFL Draft Big Board: Thibodeaux, Stingley Jr. and Rattler Top Rankings

Adam WellsMay 20, 2021

EUGENE, OREGON - MAY 01: Kayvon Thibodeaux #5 of the Oregon Ducks looks on in the third quarter during the Oregon spring game at Autzen Stadium on May 01, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Fresh off the 2021 NFL draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. is already looking ahead to next year's class. 

In his first ranking of the top 25 prospects eligible for the 2022 draft, Kiper has Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler as the three-best players. 

Thibodeaux has been regarded as an elite-level talent dating back to Oaks Christian School in Los Angeles. 

Coming out of high school two years ago, Thibodeaux was a 5-star prospect and No. 2 overall recruit in the country by 247Sports' composite rankings. He won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12's best defensive lineman in 2020. 

Kiper called the Ducks star "an elite prospect" heading into his junior year in 2021. 

LSU's offense generated most of the headlines during its undefeated 2019 season, but Stingley was a standout on defense. He led the Tigers with 15 pass breakups and six interceptions as a true freshman.