NFL Draft Day Two: Best International Players to watch for – Rounds 2 & 3

Night one of the 2022 NFL Draft is over as 32 first-round selections were made. Three hopeful internationals were projected as first-round picks. Yet only one was chosen as the Kansas City Chiefs selected Greek defensive end George Karlaftis of Purdue with the 30th overall pick.

Some Day Two international prospects to watch tonight are of course, Scotland and Nigeria’s David Ojabo along with Austria’s Bernhard Raimann. These two were seen as all but locks for first-round but did not hear their name called last night. Other projected international Day Two selections include three Canadian players and a Cameroonian linebacker.

Let’s take a look at the International Prospects for Day Two of the NFL Draft:

Bernhard Raimann OT Central Michigan 6’6″, 303 pounds:

Raimann is a product of the Vienna Vikings youth program in Austria. After playing receiver and tight end for one of Europe’s best programs, Raimann played high school football as an exchange student in Michigan and picked up an offer from the Chippewas. The tall Austrian began his NCAA career as a tight end before moving to offensive line in 2020. After only playing the position for one season he earned all conference honors.

In one of the many surprises of the night, Bernhard Raimann was not selected in the first round.The massive Austrian graded out as the countries second best lineman past season according to PFF, and was named conference player of the year following a dominant season for Central Michigan.

Raimann is a product of the Vienna Vikings youth program in Austria. After playing receiver and tight end for one of Europe’s best programs, Raimann played high school football as an exchange student in Michigan and picked up an offer from the Chippewas. He spent two seasons as a tight end there before moving to the offensive line.

Draft analyst expect his fall in the draft to end soon as a team will likely pick up the talented tackle early in the second round.

Read more about Raimann here.

David Ojabo DE Michigan 6’4″, 250 pounds:

The Nigerian born Scottish raised pass rusher continues to wait to hear his name called after tearing his Achilles at his pro day in March. The injury likely cost him a first round payday as he was seen as top 15 pick before his unlucky fall.

On the field, Ojabo notched 11 sacks and five forced fumbles this past season in his first year as a starter. The junior has only played football for five seasons, learning up the game late in high school.

The promising pass rusher has one of the highest upsides in this year’s Draft. His film shows a freak athlete with extremely long arms and a lighting quick first step. His combine numbers backed that up with a 4.55 40-yard dash. The question is when will a team pull the trigger on a player they may not seen returns on until 2023. Most expert project him to go early in the second round tonight

Read more about Ojabo here.

John Metchie WR Alabama 6’ 195

Metchie was once seen as a lock for the first round becoming Bama’s go to receiver. After a strong sophomore campaign, Metchie was on pace for a monster junior season putting up 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns through 13 games.

 Unfortunately for Metchie, he tore his ACL covering a punt in the SEC championship game. The injury makes his projection a pick of a mystery as many teams were high on him but now will likely have to wait until 2023 to see him in action. 

The former Alabama star was born in Taiwan to a Nigerian father and Taiwanese mother, and lived in Ghana and in Canada, before moving to the US at the age of 14. 

Jesse Luketa LB Penn State 6’3 253 

Fellow Canadian Jesse Luketa joins Metchie as a day two prospect. The Ottawa native earned third team All Big Ten honors last year making 61 tackles, one interception, and half a sack as linebacker and defensive end for the Penn State Nittany Lions. 

Versatility and leadership are what scouts like about Luketa as he was a favorite of both Penn State’s fans and coaches. Yet, scouts question his speed and coverage ability especially against tight ends at the next level. 

Arnold Kevin Ebiketie DE/LB Penn State 6’3 256

Another Penn State Nittany Lion waiting to hear his name on day two is Arnold Ebiketie. Born in Yaounde, Cameroon (the hometown of NBA star Joel Embiid), Ebiketie ended up playing high school football in the talent filled Maryland area, before eventually earning a scholarship to Temple University.

Ebiketie spent four seasons with the Owls before transferring to Penn State in 2021. In his first year in Happy Valley, he led the team with 18 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks on his way to first team all Big Ten honors. 

Scouts love his quick hands and variety of pass rush moves but question his overall athletic ability. Most see Ebiketie going in the third or fourth round of the Draft. 

Luiji Vilain DE Wake Forest 6’3 256

Another international edge defender to watch for on day two is Canadian Luiji Vilian. Villain played one season at Wake Forest last year after spending most of his career with the Michigan Wolverines. Villain put up good numbers in 2021, notching 34 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and eight sacks. Yet it was really his only year of production. 

Scouts like his Combine numbers and athletic upside, which go well with his high motor film. Yet they are wary of taking a chance on a prospect with only one good season under his belt.

Even with the talent taken in the first round and projected for tonight, there will be many more international players who likely will be scooped up tomorrow or possibly tonight as the draft is always full of surprises. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the full list of international players projected for rounds 4-7.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and