Skip to main content

Sun Devil Football at the 2022 NFL Draft

Apr 30, 2022

Four members of the 2021 Sun Devil Football team were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, while five others have agreed to deals as undrafted free agents. Keep track of where all the Sun Devil Football players landed following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft:

Running back Rachaad White became the first Sun Devil to come off the board when he was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 91st pick overall and the 28th pick of the third round.

Defensive back Jack Jones was the second Sun Devil drafted, as the New England Patriots used the 16th pick in the fourth round (121st overall) on him.

Shortly after, defensive lineman D.J. Davidson was selected by the New York Giants with the fourth pick of the fifth round (147th overall).

Defensive back Chase Lucas made it four Sun Devils drafted when he was scooped up with the 16th pick in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions (237th overall).

Several Sun Devils have already agreed to deals as undrafted free agents, with the opportunity to join the NFL team in training camp just like a drafted player. Offensive lineman Kellen Diesch (Miami Dolphins), offensive lineman Dohnovan West (San Francisco 49ers), defensive lineman Tyler Johnson (Baltimore Ravens), linebacker Darien Butler (Las Vegas Raiders) and tight end Curtis Hodges (Washington Commanders) have reportedly inked deals at the next level (list under construction). 

Sun Devil Football NFL Draft Notes
The foursome brings the all-time total of Sun Devils to be selected in the NFL Draft to 258. The 2022 draft is the first time four from Arizona State have been selected in one year since 2015. The last time three Sun Devils were taken in the Top-150 picks was 2015.

The four draft picks produced by ASU were tied for the second most in the Pac-12 Conference behind only UCLA's six selections. 

Two of the drafted Sun Devils were local products, with D.J. Davidson out of Mesa's Desert Ridge and Chase Lucas coming from Chandler High. 

For the second time in the last three drafts, a running back from Arizona State heard their name called (2020, Eno Benjamin - 7th Round). It is the highest that a Sun Devil running back has been picked since 2000, when J.R. Redmond went in the third round when the Patriots used the 76th overall pick on him. 

For the first time since 2015, a Sun Devil defensive back was selected in the NFL Draft. The two starting corners from the 2021 team were drafted, marking the first time two from the Sun Devil secondary went in the same draft since 2008 (Justin Tryon, Josh Barrett).

This is the ninth consecutive NFL Draft with at least one Sun Devil selected. Since 1961, ASU has had at least one player selected in each draft with the exception of the 2013 NFL Draft.

A total of nine Sun Devils have either come to an agreement with or been drafted by a NFL team so far, with the process still on going. 

Chase Lucas, Detroit Lions (237th overall - 7th Round)
The first five-year starter in program history has finally accomplished his goal of being taken in the NFL Draft. Lucas was a three-time Pac-12 All-Conference honoree in his career, putting together one of the most memorable tenures in the Maroon & Gold. He now moves on to the Detroit Lions, becoming the 13the Sun Devil all-time to be drafted by the franchise. He is the first since offensive lineman Juan Roque went in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft. Sun Devil Club Associate Director of Sun Devil Letterwinners Kevin Miniefield was a Lions draft selection in 1993.

Lucas was a team captain who finished his career 5-0 against rival Arizona. In his career, he made 216 tackles and picked off six passes. This past season, he collected 34 tackles and broke up six passes this past season. He ended his career second in ASU history with 49 career starts and behind only Dexter Davis' school record of 50. He finished tied for 13th among FBS players with 34 career passes defended.

Despite being targeted the most of all Pac-12 corners with at least 250 snaps in coverage at 20.0 percent, he was one of just four of those corners to not allow a touchdown on the year. He forced an incompletion on 11.9 percent of the targets thrown his way, seventh among Pac-12 corners.

D.J. Davidson, New York Giants (147th overall - 5th Round)
One of the most dominant defenders in the league, causing opposing offensive lineman problems with his size and strength.  The local product becomes the 10th Sun Devil to be drafted by the New York Giants and first since defensive back Phillipi Sparks went the Big Apple in the second round of the 1992 draft. 

The Second Team Pac-12 All-Conference selection was fifth on the team with 57 total tackles – just one shy of a tie for third on the team despite playing one of the most difficult position to get tackles. Credited with 48 tackles on running plays – fourth most of any FBS defensive lineman. One of just two Sun Devils to start all 12 regular season games on defense.

Davidson was the 20th-highest graded defender overall in the Pac-12 (76.0), regardless of position, and the third-highest graded defensive interior lineman in the league; 15th-highest graded defender in league on run defense (77.7) and tops among interior linemen. Davidson was the 21st-highest grade defensive interior lineman in the FBS on run defense and 31st-highest graded interior lineman in the FBS on overall defense. He recorded 31 defensive "stops" on run defense this year, good for second in the FBS among interior linemen behind only Cincinnati's Curtis Brooks (who had the benefit of a conference championship game). 

Jack Jones, New England Patriots (121st overall - 4th Round)
A freak athlete who was known as a playmaker during his time in Tempe. He becomes the 12th Sun Devil to be selected by the New England Patriots in the NFL Draft.. It is the third time in the last five drafts that the Patriots have used a draft pick on a Sun Devil (N'Keal Harry - 2019, Christian Sam - 2018). He will join a defense with 11-year NFL veteran and fellow Sun Devil Lawrence Guy, who has compiled 350 tackles and 15 sacks during a consistent career as a defensive lineman.

The two-time Pac-12 All-Conference selection finished his final season in Tempe with 42 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a strip sack. Jones was ASU's highest graded defender this season with a score of 79.4 overall, good for 15th among all Pac-12 defenders regardless of position (min. 400 snaps). It was the fourth-highest grade among all Pac-12 corners and 33rd among all FBS corners. He recorded a grade of 78.8 in coverage on the year, fourth among Pac-12 corners and ninth among all Pac-12 players and 33rd among all FBS corners.

Jones was tied for the team lead with three interceptions (also tied for first among Pac-12 corners) – including him game-sealing 87-yard pick six against rival Arizona. Also added a team-high six pass breakups on the season while forcing a team-high three fumbles. He forced an incompletion on 12.5 percent of the targets thrown his way, good for 8th among all Pac-12 corners. Allowed an open target percentage of just 33.9 percent of the time – seventh-lowest among Pac-12 corners.

He was also showed off an improved all-around game, willing to stick his nose in the action by the line of scrimmage. He recorded eight "stops" on run defense, tied for fourth among Pac-12 corners while his four tackles for loss or no gain were tied for third.

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (91st overall - 3rd Round)
White is the fifth in Sun Devil program history to be drafted by the Bucs and the first since wide receiver Bruce Hill went in the fourth round of the 1987 Draft.  Other Sun Devils-turned-Buccaneer include Jerry Bell, Larry Mucker, and Mike Crawford. White will now be sharing the backfield with legendary quarterback Tom Brady.

Despite spending only two seasons in Tempe, Rachaad White managed to make a major impact. The junior college transfer was one of the most productive running backs in the country during his Sun Devil career.

In only 15 games, White still managed to run for 1,426 yards and 20 touchdowns on 224 carries. In total, he compiled 2,127 all-purpose yards and 22 total touchdowns in his career. White was two-time All-Conference selection, earning Pac-12 Second Team honors in 2021.

He reached 1,000 rushing yards during the 2021 season by rushing for 98 yards against Arizona, finishing the year with 1,006 in 11 games. It was the 26th instance of a Sun Devil running back reaching 1,000 yards in a single season and just the 9th one to do it in 11 games or less. 

White recorded 30.5 percent of ASU's total yards on offense this year (1,462 of 4,799) and 35.6 percent of ASU's total touchdowns (16 of 45). White now has 22 touchdowns in his career (20 rushing, two receiving) in just 15 games played (1.5 per game). White had at least one touchdown in 12 of 15 games with the Devils.

He was a workhorse for ASU before declaring for the NFL Draft, ending third among Pac-12 running backs with 230 touches this season (187 rushing, 43 receiving - including nullified plays) - just seven off the Pac-12 lead despite missing essentially a game and a half and with Oregon's Travis Dye (237 touches) having an extra game on him. The 230 touches were 23rd among all FBS running backs at the time he forgoed the rest of his eligibility. 

White was the second-highest graded player, regardless of position, overall in the Pac-12 (90.7) and the second-highest graded running back in the FBS. He rushed for 57 first downs this season, 5th among Pac-12 backs but missing a game and a half. However, he added 22 first downs as a receiver - seven more than any Pac-12 running back and the most of all FBS running backs.

He was also the highest graded running back in the league as a receiver (90.4 - second among all Pac-12 players regardless of position) and 2nd-highest graded in the category nationally among backs. The 49 targets in the passing game are second among Pac-12 backs despite his missed game (though Travis Dye's 51 comes with the Pac-12 FCG included) and 8th among running backs nationally. His 43 receptions are more than any other Pac-12 back and 6th among FBS running backs.

White had 452 yards after the catch (think catches behind the line of scrimmage) - just 100 more yards than any other Pac-12 back and the 4th-highest tally of any FBS running back this season. White forced 44 missed tackles as a running back – 5th among Pac-12 backs – and 16 as a receiver – third among ALL FBS backs.