Chris Simms’ 2022 NFL Draft Cornerback and Safety Rankings: Why Sauce Gardner, Kyle Hamilton stand out from the pack

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There is no shortage of elite corner back and safety prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, so making the cut in Chris Simms’ rankings is no small feat.

Chris Simms unveiled his 2022 NFL Draft cornerback and safety rankings earlier this week on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast and went into detail why Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton are the two top prospects at their respective positions. Simms has already released his QB rankings and wide receiver rankings, with more to come up until the start of the draft on April 28th

Along with Gardner with the cornerbacks, Simms has Washington’s Trent McDuffle at No. 2, Alabama’s Jalyn Armour-Davis at No. 3, Clemson’s Andrew Booth Jr. at No. 2, and Houston’s Marcus Jones at No. 5. Below Hamilton in the safety class is Georgia’s Lewis Cine at No. 2, Michigan’s Daxton Hill at No. 3, Cincinnati’s Bryan Cook at No. 4, and Louisiana’s Percy Butler at No. 5

The 2022 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 28, and end on Saturday, April 30. The first round will take place on Thursday with rounds two and three airing on Friday. Here’s a breakdown of the full first-round draft order.

Simms 2022 NFL Draft Rankings – Cornerbacks and Safeties

 

CB

S

#1 Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner (Cincinnati) Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)
#2 Trent McDuffie (Washington) Lewis Cine (Georgia)
#3 Jalyn Armour-Davis (Alabama) Daxton Hill (Michigan)
#4 Andrew Booth Jr. (Clemson) Bryan Cook (Cincinnati)
#5 Marcus Jones (Houston) Percy Butler (Louisiana)

The following are highlights from Simms’ CB and safety NFL draft rankings. For Simms’ in-depth analysis, read below for a breakdown on each prospect and be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for an unfiltered look at the NFL, featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown, and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: When is the 2022 NFL Draft: Dates, schedule, TV channel, start time, Round 1 draft order

2022 NFL Draft Ranking – Cornerbacks

No. 5: Marcus Jones, Houston

What Simms Said: “He reminds me of Jason Verrett, right? Remember Jason Verrett? The first-round pick who’s been injured? You could say Bryce Callahan, one of the top nickelbacks who plays for the Denver Broncos, he’s one of those type of guys. Except I would go, he’s more explosive than a Bryce Callahan … You talk about the ability to accelerate, put the foot in the ground, break on the ball, It’s as good as anybody in the draft. The quicks are off the charts. He’s made to cover these small, jitterbug-type receivers who’re going to be working the slot, right? Marcus Jones is going to be all over that stuff … I don’t know if he’ll be a first-round pick, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. But I think he goes somewhere in the second. It’s a big question, the size thing. It is. We’re talking about Marcus Jones, 5-foot-8, 174 pounds … the size is the issue.”

No. 4: Andrew Booth, Clemson

What Simms Said: “I love Andrew Booth. I love him. I want him on my team, any day of the week. Here’s the first thing I would say. Size is really good, the acceleration, the straight-ahead speed, when you turn that on it absolutely blows you away. He’s a prototype-looking defensive back … (Booth) can really tackle, comes downhill and is a real force on the edge. Whether it’s wide receiver screens, runs, whatever, there’s a passion and a toughness that he plays with … The big-time acceleration, the read and react skills are off the charts. His ability to accelerate, make that tackle, that’s as good as anybody there is. The feet are good, not great. The hips are not great, this is where he loses a little bit.”

No. 3: Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama

What Simms Said: “His tape is extremely clean. Alabama guy, really only a one-year starter. One of the things I wrote down at the end of this is he reminds me of (Trevon) Diggs, lesser ball skills but a better pure cover guy. He’s a better pure cover-corner guy than Trevon Diggs was coming out and I think that’s the biggest thing, too … He’s got incredible feet, patience, doesn’t lose his technique and panic or bite on things that way, and then, of course, has the speed and everything there. But I think the most impressive thing is at 6-foot-1, 197 pounds, the things we talked about Booth that he wasn’t good at, flipping the hips, putting his foot in the ground, no wasted steps, right? This kid is textbook … There’s not a lot I just said, ‘wow, oh my gosh!’ But there is also not one question mark. I look at him as a total first-round corner, for sure.”

No. 2: Trent McDuffie, Washington

What Simms Said: “I love Trent McDuffie. What’s there not to like? He’s different from Marcus Jones, this guy can literally do both. I have no questions that this guy can play outside corner to really, probably the best, all-around move in the draft. (McDuffle) has the acceleration like Booth and Jones where I went ‘Whoa!’ … He’s got so much versatility as far as whether you want to work him inside or outside. He’s got plenty of strength to play outside. He’s a missile. He’s a missile as far as tackling. The floor is very high, it really is. The ceiling is high, too. But I don’t see any bust potential here … He can press, he’s not great at jamming, that’s not what he is. He kind of just wants to stay with you and stay in your hip pocket.”

No.1: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati

What Simms Said: “I was not expecting to see somebody quite that twitchy and explosive in short areas (who’s) that tall. I wish there was a hair better straight-away acceleration, but that’s the only negative thing I can really look at … To me, it’s kind of a no-brainer at this point this year. He’s going to be incredible in zone coverage as well. He’s got a good feel for the game. You’re really looking at the guy who is going to be able to match up with all the big, freaky receivers in football, the Mike Evans, AJ Green and DeAndre Hopkins. He’s made to stop those guys … The acceleration was the only thing I looked at, OK that’s not perfect. Other than that, everything else was pretty perfect for the guy at that length. You don’t have a lot of guys come along like this very often.

RELATED: When is the 2022 NFL Draft: Dates, schedule, TV channel, start time, Round 1 draft order

2022 NFL Draft Ranking – Safeties

No. 5: Percy Butler, Louisiana 

What Simms Said: “He’s not versatile, he’s a free safety all the way. You want him as a coverage safety, and almost as nothing else. He will tackle, he’s not afraid to tackle, he’s phenomenal on special teams … When you talk about ball skills, playing the ball in the air, the ability to run with top-tier receivers, burst, it’s wowing. He’s made for the pass (game), he’s an NFL free safety. I could see this being a guy that’s late-second, maybe a third-rounder.”

No. 4: Brian Cook, Cincinnati

What Simms Said: “This is a guy where he’s a little more in the box, strong safety-type but certainly can play the back end and be a free safety as well. (His) coverage is real, really good hips, he’s very smooth, he’s got great body control that way … His ability to break down and be twitchy and change direction and make tackles that way, I thought were really, really good. He likes to hit, he’s a traditional strong safety that way. To me, he reminds me of Harrison Smith a little bit, and that’s high praise.”

No. 3: Daxton Hill, Michigan

What Simms Said: “This is not your traditional safety type of guy. You see traditional safety stuff, you do, but I think where he thrives or at least pops to me is when he was playing nickel. Coverage skills, hips, feet in and out of breaks, transition and all that, it’s really up there with the top corners in the draft … He’s got a thinner frame, but man, he doesn’t play like a thinner frame at all! This is Jesse Bates, who came out of Wake Forest. Jesse Bates played more of a traditional free safety spot in college but if he was on Michigan, he’d be playing this Daxton Hill combination. And to me, that’s where they’re great.”

RELATED: EDGE 2022 2022 NFL Scouting Combine – Krueger’s Post-Combine Mock Draft

No. 2: Louis Cine, Georgia

What Simms Said: “This is another one of my favorite watches in the draft, any position so far and I’m only halfway through all the positions. I’m just a sucker for guys who can fly and have no regard for their bodies. He’s got three rockets up his ass and he runs through brick walls? Sign me up! I want him. I love this kid. He’s tall, he’s long, he’s a little bit narrow, it’s a little bit of a different build that way. But he can really run, a 4.37 in the combine, it’s 4.37 on the field … His ability to put his foot in the ground and go and drive at the ball, off the charts good. He’s got great acceleration, he’s not the most fluid with hips. You’re not going to want him necessarily guard some shifty tight end that can run a double move, that’s not what he is. But he makes up for it with his acceleration that we talked about.”

No. 1: Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

What Simms Said: “The speed, yeah I’m a little disappointed in it. I hear everybody. But I have just seen too much on film to be really worried about him. How many times do you got to see him run down a running back or receiver or play centerfield? … Out of all the safeties, other than Daxton Hill, he’s probably got the best coverage skills. He could almost play nickel corner, I mean really! He can play second-level linebacker, strong safety, nickel, free safety, he can kind of do everything there.”

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers vs Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – 49ers at Broncos

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

 RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – Live stream, TV Channel, Game Preview


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 3 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: PFT’s Week 2 2022 NFL picks


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for 49ers vs Broncos

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Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers take on Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America. The NFL Sunday excitement kicks off with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
  • When: Sunday, September 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream 49ers vs Broncos online tonight

Tonight’s game between the San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo – Return to 49ers offense just like riding a bike

Week 3 Schedule

WEEK 3
Thursday, Sept. 22
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Sept. 25
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., FOX
Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., CBS
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m., CBS
Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., FOX
Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m., FOX
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets, 1 p.m., CBS
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m., FOX
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Commanders, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m., FOX
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m., FOX
San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Sept. 26
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants, 8:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!