Days after the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft, prognosticators are already looking ahead to see who could hear their name called in the 2022 Draft. It’s a long ways away, but it could be the start of a first round streak for Kentucky Wildcats.
Jamin Davis was selected with the 19th overall pick last weekend. Another UK underclassman could’ve been picked this year. Instead of jumping in and falling in the third or fourth round, Darian Kinnard returned for another season in Lexington to make life-changing money. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler believes that will be on the table next spring, projecting Kinnard as the No. 23 overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys, a team that selected a pair of Wildcats last week.
A college right tackle who will likely move inside to guard in the NFL, Kinnard is an ass-kicker in the run game and surprised NFL scouts when he decided to pass up a spot in the top 100 to return to school. With improved consistency in pass protection, he might be able to break into the first round.
Brugler lists Kinnard as an offensive guard, a position that is not valued high by front offices. He’ll kick over to left tackle this fall to try to prove to scouts that he’s capable of playing the most important position on NFL offensive lines.