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A breakdown of Arizona State's offensive prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft

Anthony Totri Avatar
April 26, 2022

The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday in Las Vegas. While there isn’t the expectation that any former Arizona State players will hear their name called on night one, that won’t be the case for the entire weekend.

Several Sun Devils will likely hear their name called throughout draft weekend. Here’s a breakdown of ASU’s offensive players that are expected to be selected. 

Running back Rachaad White

For those outside of Tempe, running back Rachaad White isn’t a household name. However, Sun Devil fans are aware of the talent he possesses in both the ground and passing game. 

White rushed for 1,006 yards and scored 15 rushing touchdowns last season. White also proved to be one of ASU’s most dynamic pass catchers with 43 catches for 456 yards and a touchdown. 

Throughout the draft process, White has been viewed as one of the top potential Sun Devils on the board, but draft analysts don’t appear to have a read on where he’ll land. Some experts have him pegged in the third round, while others have him falling all the way to the sixth round. 

At 6 feet 2 inches, he’s got solid size for a future NFL running back, but White has been knocked for his in-game speed. A few times last season, he failed to show breakaway speed. With that said, White may have quieted some doubters with his official 4.48 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine. 

In terms of NFL suitors, look for teams to utilize White as a third-down back and special teamer until he proves himself as a real threat. Here’s NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s overview of White:

“Running back with size and senior year production, but the tape is more average than exciting. White is a tight-hipped runner lacking desired lateral agility and burst after changing direction. He has a tendency to be slowed or stopped by first-level tacklers but is a more natural runner once he gets up to the second level. He fails to show enough creativity to escape the “gets what is blocked” tag, but he does run with adequate vision. His lack of breakaway speed and limited special teams background won’t help his chances, so he needs to shine early in camp to give himself an opportunity to make a team as a RB3.” New Orleans Saints (Round 3)

Sports Illustrated: Philadelphia Eagles (Round 5)

The Athletic: Arizona Cardinals (Round 6)

PHNX Sun Devils Player Comparison: Las Vegas Raiders Running Back Kenyan Drake

Interior offensive lineman Dohnovan West

Former Sun Devil offensive lineman Dohnovan West is in the middle of the pack in terms of ASU prospects on the board. West boosts his stock by simply being capable of playing two positions on the line.

While West’s ability to play both center and guard plays well for his chances of getting drafted, his overall athleticism doesn’t. He doesn’t have the level of strength that most interior offensive linemen possess at the NFL level. 

Sun Devils lineman Dohnovan West (61) during a game against UCLA on Oct. 2 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. (Getty Images)

Nor does West boast an impressive stature to combat his lack of power, yet he showcased last season just how valuable he was for the Sun Devils. West was a three-year starter for coach Herm Edwards’ squad, and that will likely be brought up in some draft rooms.

The expectation is that West will hear his name called on the final day of the draft. 

NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s overview of West:

“Undersized center prospect with strengths and weaknesses that could match him with an inside/outside zone offense. West could offer guard flexibility, but he’s better suited for the pivot He takes smart angles to his block and makes an effort to improve positioning once he’s connected. He will struggle to contain power in the A-gaps and his tendency to lean in as a pass protector is sure to be taken advantage of if he doesn’t get his posture corrected.” Minnesota Vikings (Round 6)

Sports Illustrated: Las Vegas Raiders (Round 5)

The Athletic: Seattle Seahawks (Round 5)

PHNX Sun Devils Player Comparison: Buffalo Bills Offensive Guard Cody Ford

Offensive tackle Kellen Diesch

Out of all the prospects coming out of ASU this year, offensive tackle Kellen Diesch is the one most likely to start at the next level. Diesch was the second-highest rated offensive tackle in the Pac-12 last season according to Pro Football Focus. 

At 6 feet 7 inches, he fits the size of an ideal NFL offensive tackle. With that said, analysts are knocking Diesch for his quickness, which likely pencils him in as a right tackle at the next level. 

The knock on his speed seems to be the reason mock drafts have Diesch falling in the draft to the later rounds. Prior to the combine, there were several mocks that had him placed in the third or fourth round.

Arizona State offensive lineman Kellen Diesch goes through drills during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (USA TODAY Sports)

Clearly, his stock has fallen a bit since then. Regardless, it’s worth noting that Diesch started every game last season for the Sun Devils. He could prove to be a solid starter for whichever NFL teams selects him. 

NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s overview of Diesch:

“Diesch is highly athletic with the initial quickness and fluidity to stand out on reach blocks, second-level cut-offs and long pulls in space. He’s scheme-dependent, lacking strength to generate movement as a drive blocker. He lacks functional length and the anchor needed to keep NFL speed-to-power rushers from ruining his day. If he can add the necessary strength and mass, he’ll have a chance to find snaps in a heavily move-oriented offense.” Jacksonville Jaguars (Round 4)

Sports Illustrated: Jacksonville Jaguars (Round 4)

The Athletic: Las Vegas Raiders (Round 5)

PHNX Sun Devils Player Comparison: Miami Dolphins Offensive Tackle Liam Eichenberg

Tight end Curtis Hodges

Tight end Curtis Hodges is the truest definition of a high-ceiling and low-floor player. At 6 feet 8 inches, he possesses rare size for a potential NFL skill player. 

In five seasons in Tempe, Hodges underperformed every season. He also didn’t do himself any favors at the NFL combine. He dropped some catchable balls in drills and ran a frighteningly slow 40-yard dash time for a skill player (4.85).

Sun Devils tight end Curtis Hodges celebrates after defeating Arizona during the 95th Territorial Cup game at Sun Devil Stadium. (Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic)

He had one season where he caught more than five passes. To put that in perspective, White caught more passes in 2021 than Hodges did through five seasons at ASU.

Part of the reason Hodges didn’t tally serious numbers is due to injury. Nonetheless, an aspect of being a professional football player is durability. Evidently, Hodges lacks that trait. The expectation is that Hodges will find himself on a training camp roster thanks to his size and potential. 

However, pundits don’t think he’ll get there through the draft. Rather, they believe Hodges will be an undrafted free agent target for teams possibly eyeing a red-zone threat. If he is able to stay on the field and find a comfortable situation in the NFL, Hodges could prove to be a real steal.

NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s overview of Hodges:

“Pass-catching tight end with intriguing blend of length and athleticism. Hodges’ failure to live up to his potential at Arizona State was partially due to a slew of nagging injuries that kept him off the field. He’s a legitimate seam threat with open-field separation speed and an expansive catch radius but he will need to improve as a route runner and blocker to be viewed as an NFL tight end. Hodges’ injury history will be a concern, but his athletic traits and size could make him a candidate for a practice squad.” Undrafted

Sports Illustrated: Undrafted

The Athletic: Undrafted

PHNX Sun Devils Player Comparison: Los Angeles Chargers Tight End Donald Parham

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