Four Sun Devils among Kiper’s top players at each position for NFL Draft

Jan 29, 2022, 5:00 PM

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Rachaad White (3) and Arizona State Sun Devils offensive line...

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Rachaad White (3) and Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman Dohnovan West (61) celebrate a touchdown during the college football game between the Southern Utah Thunderbirds and the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 2, 2021 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While the game-playing portion of football season is in its last few weeks, NFL Draft preparations are in full swing.

Four Arizona State Sun Devils are on ESPN’s Mel Kiper’s radar for the 2022 edition in April in Las Vegas.

The NFL Draft expert listed his top 10 players at each position, which featured one ASU running back, two offensive linemen and one linebacker, all of whom received All-Pac-12 Second Team honors this past season.

C Dohnovan West

The highest-rated Sun Devil on the list was Dohnovan West, who came in as the No. 2 center on Kiper’s big board. Only Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum is ranked ahead of West.

The ASU center did not play in Dec. 30’s 20-13 Las Vegas Bowl loss to Wisconsin due to surgery on his hand, but never missed a regular-season game in his three-year Arizona State career. West played as both a guard and center in that time, including starting as a true freshman.

He was also named the Pac-12’s Week 11 Offensive Lineman of the Week this past season.

RB Rachaad White

Kiper ranked Rachaad White as the sixth-best RB in the 2022 draft class. In an ever-evolving NFL that now requires running backs to be able to catch the ball more than ever before, White should be able to find a home where both his running prowess and catching ability will be utilized out of the backfield.

The Arizona State running back averaged 5.5 yards per carry this past season while piling up 1,006 yards and 15 touchdowns. Only 17 other players in the country rushed for at least 15 TDs in 2021.

White’s pass-catching abilities also saw him bring in 43 receptions for 456 receiving yards and one score.

LB Darien Butler

Darien Butler was listed as the No. 7 inside linebacker coming out of college this year.

The former ASU captain this past season was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team, as well as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, which is given to the best linebacker in the country.

Butler only missed three games in his Arizona State career and is coming off of a senior campaign in which he posted 68 tackles (32 solo), 8.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, six passes defensed and three interceptions.

OT Kellen Diesch

Kellen Diesch was the last Arizona State player to make Kiper’s list at 10a for offensive tackles. He is tied with Washington’s Jaxson Kirkland (10b) and Michigan’s Andrew Stueber (10c).

The tackle only allowed four QB pressures this past season, which was good enough to rank as the fourth-fewest in the Power Five conferences.

Pro Football Focus also ranks Diesch as the No. 70 overall draft prospect.

Diesch was one of the highest-graded Power Five tackles in the country this past season and really never got taken advantage of in pass protection. He allowed multiple pressures only once this season and allowed all of seven all year long.

Other Sun Devils who have declared for the 2022 NFL Draft include cornerbacks Chase Lucas and Jack Jones, as well as defensive lineman D.J. Davidson.

The DL was also named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team, while the two CBs received honorable mention nods.

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Four Sun Devils among Kiper’s top players at each position for NFL Draft