Through the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, the Illinois football team has already had a player picked.
In 2021, the Illini had their first draft where multiple players went off the board since 2016. Nate Hobbs and Kendrick Green are proving to be great picks for the Las Vegas Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. On Friday, Illinois moved one step closer to having back-to-back drafts with multiple players selected.
With the 33rd pick, No. 97 overall, in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected safety, Kerby Joseph, out of the University of Illinois. This was such a huge pick and one that I believe the Lions won’t regret.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 30, 2022
Detroit is getting a really good player in Joseph. He finished his final season with the Illini with 57 tackles, five interceptions, two pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, and one sack. He primarily played cornerback during his days in Champaign, but there is no doubt the transition to safety will be smooth.
This isn’t a reach by the Lions either. Joseph was projected to go in the third round of the NFL Draft. In fact, Josh Edwards of CBS had Joseph going to the Lions in the third round in his mock draft. That is impressive predicting.
What Illinois football player could go next in the 2022 NFL Draft?
I think the next big name to watch would be Vederian Lowe. The NFL needs offensive tackles, and Lowe is a nice big body they can form into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
Lowe didn’t get a bad grade by the NFL either. Joseph was graded at a 6.10 while Lowe is a 6.00. Look for Lowe to be selected in the fourth or fifth round. This would be the area that I see him potentially going based on his grade.
At this point, I firmly believe Lowe will get picked. Illinois should have back-to-back NFL Drafts with multiple players taken for the first time since 2012 and 2013.