We’ve all heard the NFL Draft hype surrounding Malik Willis entering this season, but he’s not the only Liberty player listed among the top draft eligible prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft, according to Phil Steele. In addition to Willis, he also includes running back Joshua Mack, defensive ends Durrell Johnson and TreShaun Clark, and defensive tackles Ralfs Rusins and Elijah James in his annual listing of top draft eligible players.
Willis was listed as the No. 7 best draft eligible quarterback. Willis is being projected as a likely first round draft pick in next year’s draft by many sources. He led the Flames in rushing in 2020 and was the top rushing quarterback in all of FBS.
Mack was rated as the No. 54 best draft eligible running back following the 2020 season where he finished with 797 rushing yards. He added six receptions for 18 yards while playing in 10 of 11 games and starting seven.
Both Johnson and Clark were listed among the top draft eligible defensive ends, with Johnson listed at No. 45 and Clark at No. 75. Johnson is one of the best pass rushing defensive ends in all of college football. He finished his first year with the Flames with a team-leading 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Clark was just behind Johnson with 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks as both defensive ends finished fourth on the team with 38 tackles.
Rusins is rated as the No. 63 best draft eligible defensive tackle while James is ranked No. 89. Both super seniors, Rusins returns after starting all 11 games in 2020, finishing with 34 tackles. James finished with 33 tackles in 10 games played and blocked Coastal Carolina’s field goal attempt in overtime to help Liberty clinch the win over the Chanticleers in the 2020 Cure Bowl.