April is a spectacular time for sports fans. In fact, maybe the best time of year some could say. After a month of Madness in March, the first days of April typically deliver champions for both the men and women’s tournaments in the college basketball world. Although there’s usually no hope for our brackets, the opposite is true when your hometown team takes the diamond for the first time on Opening Day. A new season, clean slate, and long schedule ahead leaves you pondering where your team will be come October.
Fast forward to the first full weekend of the month, and us fans get to take a special annual trip down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National. One of the greatest events in sports, The Masters is a symbol for Spring and reminder that Summer is not too far behind. If you’re a Massachusetts native like myself, Marathon Monday follows on Patriots Day and leaves you feeling fortunate to be part of a community that is filled with such pride, patriotism, and perseverance. Before you know it, the NBA and NHL playoffs arrive and the quest for the Cup and Larry O’Brien trophy officially commence.
While we can love and appreciate all the sporting events that take place throughout April, there is no debating that Football in our country is king. Some would suggest that the two most important seasons in sports are Football Season and the Football Off-Season. Which brings us to the end of the month where the biggest spectacle wraps up the jam-packed sports schedule. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the NFL Draft is finally among us. As we approach the first round of the draft Thursday evening, here's my take on the best offensive players by position. I present to you my “2022 All-Prospect Offensive Team”:
Quarterback: Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
This year’s quarterback class is nothing too special compared to some of the past few classes where we’ve seen multiple studs at this position such as Burrow, Herbert, Lawrence, etc. Some folks may choose Malik Willis of Liberty as their go-to QB but I’ll stick with Pickett. He’s got a cannon of an arm, has the build to be successful and the swagger you want your field general to possess.
Running Back: Breece Hall, Iowa State
Unlike the quarterbacks in this class, I believe there is a ton of talent amongst this year’s running backs. None garner the attention or noise like a Saquon or Zeke had when they came out but nevertheless, there are plenty of options if a team is looking to acquire some youth in their backfield. Breece Hall is my pick here just because of what he was able to accomplish during his tenure as a Cyclone. He ran for over 20 rushing touchdowns the past two seasons, averaged over 5 yards per carry and showed his abilities in the passing game as well. I believe he has a bright future in the NFL.
Wide Out #1: Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
There is no doubt that Garrett Wilson belongs on the all-prospect offensive team heading into this week’s draft. He dominated for the Buckeyes this past season, racking up over 1,000 receiving yards and railing in 12 receiving touchdowns. Not to mention, the man ran a 4.38 during the 40-yard dash at the combine. His speed is electric and he will be an immediate contributor wherever he lands Thursday night.
Wide Out #2: Jameson Williams, Alabama
Had he not torn his ACL in the National Championship Game, the result could have been different and he’d probably be the undisputed #1 wide out prospect in the draft this year. Williams displayed throughout the season that he can do it all. He’s got hands, is a magician after the catch and runs beautiful routes. He was able to amass over 1,500 receiving yards this season and found the endzone 15 times, averaging over 100 yards and a touchdown per game. Plain and simple, he is an absolute game changer, will be giving defensive backs major problems once he is healthy and will dominate at the next level.
Wide Out #3: Chris Olave, Ohio State
Similarly to his Ohio State teammate Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave has displayed to the country over the past few seasons how explosive he can be for an offense. Throughout his tenure in Columbus, Olave has been the epitome of consistent and reliable. A well-rounded athlete, he has the ability to line up on the outside or in the slot depending on the team’s needs. Look for him to make a splash during his rookie season if he lands in the right scheme.
Other Members of the 2022 All-Prospect Offensive Team:
Tight End: Trey McBride, Colorado State
Photo By Sports Illustrated
Offensive Tackle #1: Evan Neal, Alabama
Photo By NBC Sports
Offensive Tackle #2: Charles Cross, Mississippi State
Photo By RussellStreetReport.com
Offensive Guard #1: Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State
Photo By Yahoo News
Offensive Guard #2: Zion Johnson, Boston College
Photo by Fred Kfoury III via Getty Images
Center: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
Photo By CBS Sports