A few months ago, ahead of the 2021 college football season, I dropped the inaugural CBS Sports Need-to-Know 20, a list of players eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft who were, in my opinion, underrated. Now that the season has come and gone with the NFL Draft knocking at the door, I’m back with a look at my eight biggest hits from the list.

By hits, I mean that the following eight guys showed up, showed out and made themselves a lot of money. Especially considering they were not among the more notable names on Preseason All-America teams and early NFL Draft boards.

(If you’re keeping track at home, I wore No. 20 in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I wore No. 8 in college for my Florida State Seminoles.) 

Seven of the players below will hear their names called this April in the NFL Draft — hopefully a few even go in the first round — while one made a surprising decision to return to college. Let’s get to it. 

Great Eight from the Need-to-Know 20

1. Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama: 1,343 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns | 296 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns

Robinson waited for his opportunity and made the most of it. The super senior turned in a great year for the Crimson Tide, and his combination of size, speed and power proved difficult for defenses to handle. NFL franchises aren’t going to scramble to draft a running back too high, but they’ll appreciate Robinson’s relatively low mileage. His 545 career carries are over 100 fewer than 2021 first-rounders Najee Harris and Travis Etienne. Reminds me a lot of Latavius Murray.

2. Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State: 70 tackles, 12 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 pass defenses

During the summer, I said Johnson would be the best defensive player for my Seminoles. He proved me…



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