It absolutely isn't too early for 2022 mock drafts.
Pro Football Focus is the latest outlet to create a mock for the 2022 NFL Draft, with analyst Mike Renner including two Florida Gators in his early projection of the top ten picks. In the mock, redshirt junior quarterback Emory Jones goes No. 6 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles, while junior cornerback Kaiir Elam follows two picks later, selected by the Las Vegas Raiders.
You can find Renner's quick explanations for each pick below. As a true junior, Elam would have to declare early for the NFL Draft and forgo his final year of college eligibility, as tight end Kyle Pitts did this year and cornerback C.J. Henderson did after the 2019 season.
Jones: This one is obviously a massive projection, as he’s only taken 95 career dropbacks. Jones is one of the best dual threats in the country, though, and he earned an 86.1 rushing grade on 35 carries last season.
Elam: Elam earned a coverage grade of 89.8 in a part-time role as a freshman in 2019 and then improved that grade to 81.0 this past season. For his career, he’s allowed only 33 catches from 77 targets for 434 yards. At 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, the Florida product is built to play in the league.
Jones' selection by the Eagles at No. 6 is, as Renner suggests, a massive projection as Jones has less than 100 career passing attempts in college. He's flashed plenty of talent with his arm and his legs over the past three years in a limited role, however, and is slated to take over as Florida's starter this season.
In 24 appearances, Jones has completed 64 percent of his passes for 613 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. He's added 514 yards and six scores on the ground on 94 rushing attempts.
While it really is extremely early for these types of projections, here is something to keep in mind regarding Jones and the Eagles: Philadelphia hired former Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson as its quarterbacks coach in January. Jones and Johnson have a great relationship and Johnson considers the young quarterback a "special talent."
As for Elam, even though it's impossible to know what the big board will look like about a year from now, his top ten slot doesn't come as a total surprise. Elam emerged as a starter during his true freshman season at Florida and has been dominant in his role ever since. With the length and man coverage abilities that NFL teams covet, Elam has tallied four interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 20 games.
We'll see if these early rankings and projections stand the test of time, but if anything is for sure, Florida is expected to send plenty of talent to the NFL once again in 2022 as it has for years.