The 2022 NFL Draft is over, so it’s officially time to start getting excited about the upcoming football season and all the sports betting that goes along with it.
The NFL will have no shortage of players with Maryland connections this year, as some were drafted, and others have already signed as undrafted free agents. Some hopefuls are still looking to sign on with teams, but here’s a list of players with Maryland ties taken in the NFL Draft this year.
Boston College Guard Zion Johnson
Drafted Round 1, No. 17 Overall By Los Angeles Chargers
Johnson is a native of Bowie, Md., and played his high school ball at Riverdale Baptist. Without much interest in-state, Johnson took his services to FCS-level Davidson.
After two impressive seasons, he transferred to Boston College, where he earned All-ACC honors in each of his three seasons. The 6-3, 316-pound Johnson was considered one of the best offensive linemen on the board.
Remember these guys: Where Are They Now? Maryland’s 2001-02 National Champions
Penn State Edge Rusher Arnold Ebiketie
Drafted Round 2, No. 38 Overall By Atlanta Falcons
Ebiketie was a three-star recruit from Albert Einstein High School in Kensington.
He played for Temple and then Penn State and recorded 62 tackles and 9.5 sacks last year for the Nittany Lions.
Alabama Wide Receiver John Metchie III
Drafted Round 2, No. 44 Overall By Houston Texans
Anyone who watched college football last year will know this name. Metchie III was a force for the Crimson Tide, recording 96 catches, 1,142 yards, and eight touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury in the SEC championship game.
Metchie III has had many stops on his journey to the NFL but played some of his high school ball at St. James School in Hagerstown.
Kentucky Edge Rusher Josh Paschal
Drafted Round 2, No. 46 Overall By Detroit Lions
Paschal played for Good Counsel High School in Olney before going on to play 52 games with the Kentucky Wildcats.
The former 4-star recruit finished his Wildcat career with 139 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles.
Loaded with talent, he’ll have a clear path to a starting role on the Detroit Lions.
Maryland Safety Nick Cross
Drafted Round 3, No. 96 Overall By Indianapolis Colts
Cross was born in Bowie and played high school at DeMatha in Hyattsville, where he was considered the top football player in the state in 2019, according to 247Sports.
In three seasons at Maryland, Cross recorded 134 tackles and five interceptions. The 6-foot, 212-pound safety is expected to be a starter in the NFL someday.
Maryland Tight End Chigoziem Okonkwo
Drafted Round 4, No. 143 By Tennessee Titans
Okonkwo missed the entire 2020 season due to a health condition but made a triumphant return to Maryland in 2021, recording 447 receiving yards and a team-high five touchdowns.
At the NFL combine, he ran the fastest 40-yard dash in his position group.
Stanford Defensive End Thomas Booker
Drafted Round 5, No. 150 Overall By Houston Texans
Booker is an Ellicott City native and former standout at Gilman.
The 309-pound defensive end has brawn and brains, as he was a finalist at Stanford for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is considered the “Academic Heisman.”
Villanova Cornerback Christian Benford
Drafted Round 6, No. 185 Overall By Buffalo Bills
As a freshman at Villanova, Benford earned Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. In his career, he was twice named first-team All-CAA.
The 6-1, 205-pound Baltimore native ball-hawked seven interceptions in his senior year.
Missouri Running Back Tyler Badie
Drafted Round 6, No. 196 Overall By Baltimore Ravens
After fleeing the wrath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Badie’s family relocated to Randallstown. He attended Friends School in Baltimore before moving to Tennessee after grade 10.
After a standout senior year in Missouri, where he set the single-season rushing record of 1,604 yards, he’s headed back to Baltimore with a shot to make the Ravens’ roster.
Ole Miss Linebacker Chance Campbell
Drafted Round 6, No. 219 Overall By Tennessee Titans
The 6-2, 240-pound Campbell led Maryland with 43 tackles in 2020 before moving on to Ole Miss for the 2021 season.
The Ellicott City native had 42 quarterback pressures and six sacks last season.
Penn State Cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields
Drafted Round 6, No. 221 Overall By San Francisco 49ers
Former Riverdale Baptist track and field star Castro-Fields went on to play four seasons for the Nittany Lions.
The Upper Marlboro native recorded three interceptions, 25 pass breakups, and a forced fumble in 52 games.
Penn State Offensive Tackle Rasheed Walker
Drafted Round 7, No. 249 Overall By Green Bay Packers
The 6-3, 313-pound Walker is a former four-star recruit who starred at North Point in Waldorf.
He was ranked the fourth-best player in the state in 2018 before heading to Penn State, where he started 22 games at left tackle.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez