These 2022 NFL draft prospects fit New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh’s famous mantra
“All Gas, No Brake.”
Ever since Saleh was first hired last January, the “AGNB” ethos has infiltrated every aspect of the team. Graphics featuring the iconic phrase now line the walls of the Jets’ facilities. Fans have printed it onto T-shirts in support of their gritty franchise.
Everyone at 1 Jets Drive now operates with the pedal to the metal: the players, the front office, even the groundskeepers.
Since “AGNB” is such an important part of the Jets’ philosophy, I’ve put together a team of 2022 NFL draft prospects who best exemplify that full-speed attitude.
Every player on the list brings the passion and tenacity that Saleh looks for in spades. They’re culture-changers on and off the field, and the Jets would be wise to add at least a couple of them to a team still in need of talent and leaders.
DE: Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
Florida State defensive end Jermaine Johnson is my favorite player in the 2022 draft class, and his full-speed at all-times play on the field is a big reason why.
Johnson has prototypical size and length for the position at 6-foot-4 and 254-pounds with 34-inch arms. He has an extremely fast first step when pass-rushing, which he combines with a developed arsenal of pass-rush moves to overwhelm tackles trying to block him.
That speed also shows up when Johnson is pursuing ball carries to the edge, allowing him to fly to the ball and rack up tackles for loss. In the run game, he uses his length and strength to dominate tight ends and offensive lineman alike, throwing them away like rag-dolls.
Best of all, Johnson seemingly never gets tired, playing with the same explosion and violence at the end of games as he does at the very start.
Jermaine Johnson plays with his hair on fire on every play, in every situation, and against any opponent. Few players, if any, embody “AGNB” more than Johnson, and I’m praying he trades in the scarlet and gold for some green and white real soon.
DE: Josh Paschal, Kentucky
Josh Paschal’s story deserves far more attention than it has gotten so far in the draft process. The fact that he’s even still playing football, let alone about to be an NFL draft pick, is absolutely amazing.
Paschal was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma lesion a few months before the start of his sophomore season. He fought through cancer treatments and grueling rehab throughout that fall, returning to the field for the final two games of the year. Once back in action, Paschal would only miss two more games over the rest of his next three years in Lexington.
Josh Paschal’s dedication and determination to not only beat cancer but recover fast enough to play less than six months after his initial diagnosis is downright incredible. Teams should have no worries about his commitment to the game. It’s obvious he’ll do whatever it takes to be successful.
DT: Devonte Wyatt, Georgia
Jordan Davis was the thunder of UGA’s defensive line, but Devonte Wyatt was the lightning.
Wyatt is a gap-shooting extraordinaire, constantly exploding through creases in offensive lines to disrupt plays. He’s a bull in a china shop between the hashes, using his trademark quickness and brute strength to cause havoc against the run or pass. Wyatt’s non-stop motor helps keep him disruptive throughout the length of the game, an impressive feat considering how hard he plays.
Devonte Wyatt’s supercharged playstyle is only matched by his effort.
DT: Logan Hall, Houston
Houston’s Logan Hall is a prime example of a prospect playing above their weight class.
The 6-foot-6, 283-pound Hall is considerably lighter than your classic defensive tackle, but that doesn’t stop him from tossing around blockers like a man amongst boys. Hall plays with fantastic leverage despite his height, staying low and uprooting blockers out of their stance. His lower body is impressively strong, and he uses that strength to hold his ground and push the pocket.
Logan Hall doesn’t let his lighter frame stop him from attacking offenses, and I doubt he’ll let pro-lineman stop him either.
LB: Devin Lloyd, Utah
Devin Lloyd does anything and everything for the Utes’ defense and does all of it well.
Be it shedding blocks to stop the run, pass coverage, or blitzing, Lloyd finds any way he can to make plays. He has the ideal size for the position at 6-foot-3 and 237-pounds, with 33-inch arms to keep blockers out of his chest. He’s instinctive and smart, reading plays before they happen and turning big plays for the offense into takeaways for the defense.
Devin Lloyd’s blend of size, athleticism, and versatility make him the ideal NFL linebacker, and the perfect linebacker to lead the “All Gas” team.
LB: Chad Muma, Wyoming
Chad Muma only knows one speed: fast.
Muma’s explosive movement skills let him cover more ground than most other linebackers, and his quick reaction time helps him start moving sooner than other linebackers as well. Muma is “All Gas”, all the time, even to a fault. His hair-trigger leads to splash plays, but can also lead to poor gap discipline due to Muma over-running his landmark.
However, the good far outweighs the bad, and I’d much rather have a linebacker be too aggressive as opposed to not aggressive at all.
Chad Muma’s lone ranger instincts combined with his excessive horsepower make him an enticing prospect for any linebacker-needy team.
CB: Roger McCreary, Auburn
Roger McCreary’s measurables don’t come close to matching his impact on the field.
McCreary has average height and weight at 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, but his arm length of just under 29-inches is dramatically small.
However, McCreary’s small arms hardly stopped him from making plays on the ball. McCreary finished tied for fourth in all of college football with 14 pass breakups in 2021 while snagging two interceptions along the way. Oftentimes left on an island against the best the SEC had to offer, McCreary more than held his own.
Roger McCreary may have unheard-of length, but what he lacks in reach, he more than makes up for in confidence.
CB: Alontae Taylor, Tennessee
Tennessee’s Alontae Taylor, like Roger McCreary, is an aggressive outside corner who thrived against top competition in the SEC.
Taylor began his career in Knoxville as a wide receiver, but switched to the other side of the ball just before the start of his true freshman season. He took to his new position quickly, playing in all 12 games and starting eight of them. Taylor would go on to deflect 15 passes and grab four interceptions over his four-year career, while also starring as a gunner on punt and kickoff coverage.
Alontae Taylor’s ball skills, special teams ability, and willingness to do whatever his team needs are perfect for the “All Gas” team.
S: Jalen Pitre, Baylor
Baylor’s Jalen Pitre is the captain of the “All Gas” team, and with good reason.
The 2021 Big 12 Defensive Player Of The Year, Pitre excells as a box safety capable of locking up tight ends and slot receivers in coverage, while also making a major impact against the run. He had an incredible 18.5 tackles for loss, including three-and-a-half sacks, while also swatting away seven passes, snatching two interceptions, and recovering three fumbles.
On top of his dominant play on the field, Pitre is a fantatsic leader, and will help change the culture of any locker room he joins.
Jalen Pitre is the perfect example of what “AGNB” truly means.
S: Lewis Cine, Georgia
It’s only right to end the defensive list with another Georgia Bulldog, and Lewis Cine is the most gassed-up Bulldog of the bunch.
Cine is a ball of butcher knives with a couple of rocket boosters strapped to his back. He flies around the field like a blur, punishing receivers over the middle and crushing running backs when they get to the second level. Cine plays with reckless abandon, throwing his body around in any way he can to make plays.
Doing his best work in the biggest games, Cine racked up 19 tackles during UGA’s playoff run.
Lewis Cine doesn’t care about his own body, and defnitely doesn’t care about the bodies of his opponents. With his fire and tenacity, along with his blazing speed, Cine is “All Gas” certified without a doubt.
QB: Malik Willis, Liberty
Starting things off on the offensive side is the small-school wonder, quarterback Malik Willis from Liberty University.
Willis is the most dynamic signal-caller in the 2022 draft class, using his rocket arm and mobility to overwhelm his weaker competition. Most impressive is Willis’s ability to break tackles. According to PFF, Willis broke 86 tackles in 2021 on 197 rushing attempts, for a rate of 0.44 broken tackles per carry. Willis broke a tackle almost every other touch, a rate that would make most running backs jealous.
Willis still has work to do as a passer and may be best off sitting his rookie season while he develops, but with his athletic talent and ferocity, he’s “All-Gas” certified.
RB: Brian Robinson Jr, Alabama
Alabama running backs are usually known for their power and pro-readiness, and Brian Robinson is no different.
The fifth-year senior sat behind other stellar ‘Bama backs like Najee Harris and Damien Harris before taking over the starting role in 2021. Robinson’s 271 rushing attempts in 2021 were nearly three times his previous season-high of 96 carries. He responded to the increase in workload with a massive increase in production, hitting career marks in yards and touchdowns.
At 6-foot-1 and weighing almost 230 pounds, Robinson is a load to bring down for any defender. He runs through arm tackles with ease and uses his strong legs to drive piles for extra yards.
That power also shows up in pass protection, where Robinson absolutely shines. He stops blitzing linebackers in their tracks and does all he can to help his offensive lineman against edge rushers on chips and double-teams.
Robinson’s strength makes him a valuable asset, but it’s his willingness to do the dirty work for his teammates that lands him on this list.
WR: George Pickens, Georgia
George Pickens is a straight-up dog. Beyond his Bulldog background, Pickens plays like a junkyard animal always looking for his next fight.
Whether he’s making acrobatic catches downfield or bullying defensive backs as a blocker, Pickens’s physicality is obvious in every part of his game. His 6-foot-3, nearly 200-pound frame, combined with his impressive 4.47 forty-yard dash makes him an ideal boundary receiver for any team in need of a pass catcher.
Health has been Pickens’s biggest obstacle. A torn ACL in the spring limited his final season in Athens to only four games. But if he can stay on the field, Pickens will add a ton of gas to whatever team he ends up on.
Related Article: NFL draft scouting: NY Jets fans cannot overlook George Pickens
WR: Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore can absolutely fly.
The mighty mouse from Western Michigan packs a whole lot of juice into his 5-foot-10 inch body, racking up just shy of 1,300 receiving yards and scoring 10 touchdowns in 2021. He proved his speed and explosion can translate to the pros at the combine, blazing with a 4.41 forty-yard-dash and leaping over 34 inches in the vertical jump.
Despite his size, Skyy soars highest against press coverage, routinely swatting away any attempts to jam him before leaving the man covering him grasping at air.
Don’t let the size fool you. Skyy Moore is a jet engine just waiting to be cleared for take-off.
TE: Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
Another member of the small-but-feisty club, Isaiah Likely lacks ideal tight end size but makes up for it with All-Pro effort.
Likely was second in the entire country in receiving yards by a tight end in 2021, catching 59 passes for 912 yards and 12 scores. In Coastal’s option-heavy offense, Likely was the lynchpin keeping the system humming. He lined up as a traditional in-line tight end, fullback, H-back, slot receiver, and even at times, boundary receiver, executing his varying blocking assignments with ease, and more often than not, with violence.
Considering his attitude more than makes up for his frame, Isaiah blossoming into a quality pro tight end is very, very “likely”.
OT: Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
The best run blocker in the 2022 NFL draft, Wolfpack big-man Ikem “Icky” Ekwonu is the ideal left tackle for the “All Gas” team.
Jets assistant general manager Rex Hogan famously said, “He moves people like furniture” when talking about former first-round pick Mekhi Becton, and Ekwonu is no different. His down-blocks are devastating, and in space, Ekwonu gets to his landmark in a hurry, easily driving defenders out of the play.
Ekwonu is constantly creating gaps for his running backs, quite literally putting the team on his back and leading them to victory. His nasty demeanor and dominant strength are the embodiment of Robert Saleh’s philosophy.
OG: Jamaree Salyer, Georgia
The Bulldogs land on the list again with their own people-mover in guard Jamaree Salyer.
Salyer, like Ekwonu, does his best work in the run game. His immense lower-body strength allows him to dig out whatever interior lineman he faces and drive them down the line of scrimmage.
While not the most fleet-of-foot, Salyer is no match for linebackers when he does manage to reach them. His core strength also shows up in pass protection, where he can easily anchor against power rushes without giving up ground.
The entire 2021 Georgia roster was loaded with balls-to-the-wall football maniacs, and Jamaree Salyer is definitely part of that dog pound.
OC: Cam Jurgens, Nebraska
Cam Jurgens and Jamaree Salyer have opposite play styles, but identical attitudes. Jurgens doesn’t usually win with brute strength, rather, an incredibly quick first step and an advanced understanding of angles.
A smaller lineman at 6-foot-3 and just over 300-pounds, Jurgens is an excellent zone run blocker, where his speed and leverage advantages can be best utilized. He fires off the ball on every snap, getting himself into position before most defenders have time to react. Jurgens plays like every play could be his last, throwing his body around with reckless abandon to set up his teammates.
Jurgens’s motor runs red-hot and never shuts off. The fact that he owns his own beef jerky company called “Beef Jurgey” is just the cherry on top.
OG: Cole Strange, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
Cole Strange played against small-school competition but has a Division-I heart.
Strange started 44 games over his career across three different positions, left tackle, left guard, and center. Regardless of where he played, Strange dominated the opposition. In the run game, Strange routinely drove linebackers down the field and eventually into the dirt. In the passing game, his strong punches would stone rushers in their tracks, if they didn’t knock them over entirely. He always played through the whistle, toying with his competition’s emotions for 60 minutes.
Cole Strange showed that he can hang with the big boys at the Senior Bowl, and I’m confident that with his love of the game, he’ll handle the jump in competition just fine.
OT: Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Wake Forest left tackle Zach Tom is one of the most underrated players in the entire class, and whatever lucky team drafts him will be getting a massive steal.
Tom lacks ideal size for NFL tackles, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 304-pounds with only 33.25-inch arms. Despite his size, Tom does an excellent job holding his own in all phases of the game.
In pass protection, Tom counters his lack of length with lighting foot speed to mirror pass rushers around the edge, and precise hand strikes to knock them off their path. In the run game, his small stature gives him a natural leverage advantage, and he does a great job churning his legs on contact to drive defenders out of their gaps.
If Zach Tom was slightly bigger, he would likely be a consensus first-round pick at offensive tackle. With his “get it done by any means necessary” attitude, I’m willing to bet on Tom out-performing his measurables.