The 2022 NFL Draft is in the books, and while it wasn’t the bumper crop that last year’s record-setting class of UCF Knights was, this year marked the sixth straight year that at least one Knight heard his name taken in the draft.
Here’s a quick recap.
Kalia Davis Drafted by 49ers
DL Kalia Davis was the first and only UCF Knight to be selected this year, going to the San Francisco 49ers in the 6th round with pick #220:
Kiper's seen what we all know @KaliaDavis20— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) April 30, 2022
#NFLDraft on ESPN pic.twitter.com/cOeIhVSox5
Davis is projected to the third level of the Niners’ depth chart per OurLads.
The 49ers saw past Davis’ lack of playing time the last two seasons and definitely saw the value in strengthening their strength up front. San Francisco was top-10 in the NFL in rushing defense last year, so Davis will have to compete to earn his spot on a roster that is already quite strong in the front seven.
I worked the @UCF_Football Pro Day & watched @KaliaDavis20 knock out 30 reps on the bench…that would’ve been tops of all DL at the combine. He’s got a great build and obviously great strength & speed for DT. No doubt he would’ve been drafted much higher if he didn’t get hurt. https://t.co/562KfjEnSm— Rene Ingoglia (@reneingoglia) May 1, 2022
Once the draft was over, four other Knights got snapped up almost immediately in the undrafted free agency market:
Cole Schneider — Green Bay Packers
.@schneidercole14 ✍️ @packers #BuiltByUCF ⚔️ #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/gXNUaPrE4H— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) April 30, 2022
Schneider heads to Green Bay, where he will compete to block for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have a good history with UCF lineman — Josh Sitton played for over a decade there, and Justin McCray played there for two seasons.
Schneider’s versatility will come in handy, as the Packers are a bit thin at guard, having had to draft two of them in the third and fourth rounds before signing Schneider.
Big Kat Bryant — Dallas Cowboys
.@BigKat ✍️ @dallascowboys #BuiltByUCF ⚔️ #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/E4zvvGQ2wT— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) May 1, 2022
Big Kat is heading to Big D.
Bryant will have an uphill climb on the Cowboys’ depth chart, as that defense is stacked in terms of bodies but was middle of the pack last year in pass defense and sacks.
it also remains to be seen whether Big Kat, at 6-5 and 245 pounds, will stay as an edge with a hand on the ground, or could perhaps move outside to linebacker.
Brandon Johnson — Denver Broncos
.@_bj7_ ✍️ @Broncos #BuiltByUCF ⚔️ #BroncosCountry pic.twitter.com/PPf7h2t3Bg— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) May 1, 2022
UCF’s most reliable outside threat is heading to Denver.
Johnson was a touchdown machine last season, with 11 scores (tied for eighth-best all-time in UCF history for a single season). He enters a crowded WR room in Denver, but with Russell Wilson now at the helm, and given Brandon’s pedigree (his dad Charles was an all-star catcher, and that institutional knowledge of the grind of pro sports has to count for something) on top of his already outstanding ability, he should challenge for a roster spot.
Marcus Tatum — Jacksonville Jaguars
.@AsapTatum ✍️ @Jaguars #BuiltByUCF ⚔️ #DUUUVAL pic.twitter.com/EVeXcCvukF— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) May 1, 2022
Tatum is a grown man, having started 23 games at tackle for UCF after also playing at Tennessee for three seasons. Obviously, given what happened to Trevor Lawrence last season (32 sacks against, 29th in net yards per pass attempt), the Jags need as much offensive line help as they can get. He’ll be in the mix for a roster spot for sure.