LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Louisville football program didn’t have any players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that could change in a big way next year. In fact, one current Cardinal could be in line to be one of the first picks off the board in 2023.
Of course, May is prime “way-too-early” territory for an NFL mock draft, but that’s exactly what CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Chris Trapasso did earlier this week. By his own admission, his first round mock was primarily “very preliminary guesses,” but he is very high on the draft potential for Malik Cunningham.
Using SportsLine’s Super Bowl odds to determine draft order, in his mock, Trapasso has the Louisville quarterback going at No. 26 overall to the Seattle Seahawks.
“Surprise! Cunningham has springy athleticism and a live arm,” Trapasso wrote. “With a big super senior season at Louisville, he could appear on the first-round radar.”
Related: Projecting Louisville’s 2023 Draft Class
Following a down 2020 campaign from an efficiency standpoint, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound dual threat signal caller was not only Louisville’s heart and soul on offense in 2021, but one of the top quarterbacks in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Montgomery, Ala. native completed 62.0 percent of his passes for 2,941 yards and 19 touchdowns to only six interceptions, while also rushing for 1,031 yards and 20 touchdowns. His 20 rushing scores was good for fourth in the nation, and he became the 14th player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards.
Scroll to Continue
Cunningham’s 305.5 yards per game ranked 14th in all of FBS, and his 3,972 total yards of offense came in at 9th. He finished just one passing touchdown shy of joining the exclusive 20/20 club.
The redshirt senior heads into his final year with 10,715 career yards of offense and 100 career offensive touchdowns scored. That puts him within striking distance of Lamar Jackson’s career marks of 13,175 yards and 119 touchdowns, both of which are best in Louisville history.
Louisville finished last season with a mark of 6-7 overall and 4-4 in the ACC, including a 31-28 loss in the First Responder Bowl against the Air Force. The Cardinals will kick off their 2022 campaign at Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 3.
(Photo of Malik Cunningham: Jamie Rhodes – USA TODAY Sports)
You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Facebook – @LouisvilleReport
Twitter – @UofLReport
Instagram – @louisville_report
You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @Matt_McGavic on Twitter