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2023 Senior Bowl preview Offense

By Dominic Ambrose Twitter: DomAmbrose10

As the folks at the Senior Bowl say, the draft starts in Mobile”. The annual Senior Bowl in Mobile continuously attracts some of the top names in college football that are embarking on their journey to the NFL. In last season’s NFL Draft 40% of the players selected had been at the Senior Bowl that year.

Last year, we had the likes of Kenny Pickett, Christian Watson, Damone Pierce, Trevor Penning are among the many that made names for themselves and caused NFL teams to take notice. Will this year's invites have the same impact on the draft as well as the teams that select them?

With the Senior Bowl upon us, let’s take a look at the offensive side of the ball and see who the big names are, the players that could have a breakout day on a bigger stage, and who could help themselves the most.

American -

QB -

Clayton Tune - Houston - 6’03” 220 pounds - redshirt Senior

Tyson Bagent - Shepherd - 6’03” 210 pounds - Senior

Max Duggan - TCU - 6’02” 210 pounds - Senior

Hendon Hooker - Tennessee - 6’04” 222 pounds - Senior

Biggest name -

Both Max Duggan and Hendon Hooker are the most notable names on the roster for their 2022 campaigns, Duggan led TCU to the National Championship game. While throwing for 3,698 yards 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions also adding six scores on the ground and rushing for 555 yards. My question is how will Duggan recover from the Championship game performance against Georgia. While Hooker was leading the Volunteers to a great season before his injury (ACL tear) on Nov. 19th. While Hooker is not game ready yet, it will be interesting to see how he interacts with his teammates during practices.

Biggest opportunity to rise -

Tyson Bagent, the quarterback from Shepherd has the arm talent to succeed at the NFL level, accounting for 118 touchdowns in his college career where he started every game. Last season he threw for 41 touchdowns and only had 8 interceptions while throwing for 4580 yards. The Division II product from Shepherd will have his biggest opportunity to shine at quarterback and in front of his biggest audience.

Top Prospect -

Duggan is the biggest name on the American roster for the Senior Bowl and will look to showcase his ability running the offense.

Running Back -

Kenny McIntosh - Georgia - 6’01” 210 pounds - Senior

Chris Rodriguez Jr. - Kentucky - 5’11” 224 pounds - Senior

Eric Gray - Oklahoma - 5’10” 211 pounds - Senior

Tyjae Spears - Tulane - 5’10” 195 pounds - Senior

Biggest name -

McIntosh is the most noted name on the American roster. The two time NCAA champion saw his workload increase dramatically following the 2021 season (58 attempts in 2021 to 150 attempts in 2022) and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2022 which was another career high. He is definitely entering the Senior Bowl on a high note and will look to capitalize on the opportunity to move up in the draft during his time in Mobile.

Biggest opportunity to rise -

Although all running backs have a great opportunity to rise in the draft process as well as improve their games, Eric Gray and Tyjae Spears both have the potential to capitalize the most during their time in Mobile. Spears rushed for 1500 and 19 rushing touchdowns while Gray accounted for 1366 and 11 rushing touchdowns. Both Spears and Gray are coming off their best years on the ground so it will be interesting to see that momentum continue. Could we see both coming off the board in the draft in round 2?

Wide Receivers -

Derius Davis - TCU - 5’10” 175 pounds - Senior

Nathaniel Dell - Houston - 5’10” 165 pounds - Junior

Xavier Hutchinson - Iowa State - 6’03” 205 pounds- Senior

Johnathan Mingo - Ole Miss - 6’02” 225 pounds- Senior

Rashee Rice - SMU - 6’02” 203 pounds - Senior

Jalen Wayne - South Alabama - 6’02” 207 pounds - Senior

Andrei Iosivas - Princeton - 6’03” 200 pounds - Senior

Don’tayvion Wicks - Virginia - 6’02” 208 pounds - Junior

Biggest name -

Rashee Rice has been getting the buzz as of late for his play leading up to the Senior Bowl. Setting career highs in touchdowns, and receiving yards it's easy to see why. In 2022, Rice tallied 1355 yards to go with 10 touchdowns. He will have a lot of eyes on him to see if the spread style offense he played in for college, will make it both at the next level as well as how his route running will be utilized and maximized for the American team at this year’s Senior Bowl.

Biggest potential riser -

Andrei Iosivas out of Princeton has the biggest riser potential. At 6’03” and 200 pounds, has an estimated speed of 4.29 in the 40. Iosivas accounted for 943 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season with Princeton. It will also mark the first time since 2014 that a player from Princeton is on the Senior Bowl roster. I for one will be looking to see if his speed is as advertised as well as how his ability to get in and out of his breaks along with the ability to create separation match-up with the players from bigger schools. With a solid showing could he find and hear his name being called on day 2 in the draft?


Emil Ekiyor - Alabama - 6’03” 324 pounds - OL - Senior

Tyler Steen - Alabama - 6’5” 315 pounds - OL - Senior

Richard Gouraige - Florida - 6’05” 310 pounds - OL - Junior

O’Cyrus Torrance - Florida - 6’05” 335 pounds - OL - Junior

John Michael Schmitz - Minnesota - 6’04” 320 pounds - OL - Senior

Wanya Morris - Oklahoma - 6’05” 312 pounds - OL - Senior

Nick Saldiveri - Old Dominion - 6’06” 307 pounds - OL - Junior

Nick Broeker - Ole Miss - 6’05” 315 pounds - OL - Senior

Matthew Bergeron - Syracuse - 6’05” 322 pounds - OL - Junior

Steve Avila - TCU - 6’04” 334 pounds - OL - Senior

Darnell Wright - Tennessee - 6’06” 335 pounds - OL - Senior

Warren McClendon Jr. - Georgia - 6’04” 300 pounds - OL - Junior

Biggest name -

Darnell Wright, the Tennessee lineman was a five star recruit coming out of high school and has seemingly gotten better. As a tackle, he’s a monster for opposing defenses as he plays with violent hands and does really well moving laterally and in space to both protect the edge and to move to block at the second level. He does have some consistency issues to polish up as well as spots in his technique (i.e. plays with his hands too high and not in a way to maximize his leverage) also sometimes bends at the waist instead of the knees. A solid week in Mobile could see him solidify his spot in the draft in round 2 and possibly move him into serious consideration to be selected in the first round.

Biggest potential riser -

Nick Saldiveri, the Old Dominion lineman, could see his stock rise with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. His versatility to play center or guard (either side) will entice teams to look at him closely. His size and his ability to pass block will have teams elevating him up on their respective boards. Like so many other players, there are areas that could be improved on and should provide him a better overall ability to play at the next level. Although interior lineman are difficult to view getting drafted higher than round 2, there is enough to like prior to his senior bowl start that could see him as high as round 2.

Tight ends -

Cameron Latu - Alabama - Senior - 6’05” 244 pounds

Will Mallory - Miami - Senior - 6’05” 245 pounds

Brayden Willis - Oklahoma - Senior - 6’04” 239 pounds

Luke Musgrave - Oregon State - Junior - 6’06” 250 pounds

Biggest name -

Cameron Latu has been a valuable target for the Crimson Tide offense accounting for 12 touchdowns in the last two seasons. Although still learning the position, he has a lot of qualities that teams look for in their tight ends. A tight end that can both engage defenders as well as run a solid route tree, he also is a solid pass catcher for any NFL offense. This week in Mobile should help further him along in his development as coaches can address his consistency in his route running as he keeps his pad level high as well as work on his ability to take the proper angles on his blocking assignments as well. He should hear his name early on day 2 of the upcoming draft.

Biggest potential riser -

This one is a toss up between Luke Musgrave and Will Mallory. With Dalton Kincaid having to withdraw from the Senior Bowl due to an injury, Musgrave can show that he is not only recovered from his own injury, but should be in the conversation of top tight ends in this year’s class. In Mobile, Musgrave will have a spotlight on him. Teams will be looking to see if the 6’06” tight end has lost anything in his ability to stretch defenses and run routes that create mismatches for opposing defenses. With Mallory, the areas he needs to shine in will be under the biggest spotlight as teams and draft experts alike need to see him attack and make catches while in traffic/contested situations. Although he may line up as a traditional tight end along the offensive line, his play strength as well as his frame make him a better fit for lining up in the slot. A solid week with the coaches and staff here in Mobile, and his stock could rise into the middle of day 2 of the NFL Draft.

National -

Quarterbacks -

Malik Cunningham - Louisville - 5’11” - 188 pounds - Senior

Jake Haener - Fresno State - 6’0” - 208 pounds - Senior

Jaren Hall - BYU - 6’0” - 211 pounds - Junior

Biggest name -

Malik Cunningham fresh off the NFLPA Bowl got and accepted the invite to come to Mobile and showcase his talent. He showcased his ability well at this year’s NFLPA Bowl in Los Angeles and was awarded with an opportunity to participate in the Senior Bowl. On the plus side, teams see the athletic ability to extend plays and the quick release. He sees the field well and can beat teams with his arm as well as his legs. The downside is his height, measuring in at both the NFLPA Bowl and the Senior Bowl at 5 '11". Also, his consistency to deliver the ball to his playmakers where they can make plays needs improvement.

Biggest potential riser -

Jake Haener, the Fresno State product led his team to a 10 win season in 2022, and has the tools to succeed at the next level. Although he can improvise, his strength is in the pocket and he can make throws all over the field. He is very accurate in placing the ball where it needs to be for his receivers to make plays. In Haener’s final two seasons at Fresno State, he threw for almost 7,000 yards, 53 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. With a solid showing at the Senior Bowl, Haener could here his name called as early as round one.

Running Backs -

Camerun Peoples - Appalachia State - 6’2” - 215 pounds - Junior

Chase Brown - Illinois - 5’09” - 215 pounds - Junior

Roschon Johnson - Texas - 6’00” - 225 pounds - Senior

Evan Hull - Northwestern - 5’10” - 214 pounds - Junior

Biggest name -

On the National team, the biggest name is Roschon Johnson. The former Texas Longhorn runs with power and isn’t afraid of contact. Although his workload has not been substantial, he is still growing into the position as Johnson started as a quarterback in college before switching to running back. He can see and anticipate how and runs with power between the tackles as well as use his quickness to run outside. In Mobile, he could use refinement on getting separation as well as blocking techniques.

Biggest potential riser -

Chase Brown and Evan Hull draw my attention here. Both are shorter than typical backs, so can they use their other talents to overcome that (i.e. running with power/quickness to minimize contact from opposing defenders. With Brown, there is a solid ability to catch and be an asset to the offense, He did run a limited route tree so seeing him work with coaches in Mobile to address that/start learning more routes will improve his value. With Evan Hull, he has excellent footwork and uses it well. I would like to see him work to be more decisive and avoid dancing around at the line of scrimmage.

Wide Receivers -

Ronnie Bell - Senior - Michigan - 6’0” - 190 pounds

Tre Tucker - Senior - Cincinnati - 5’9” - 185 pounds

Jayden Reed - Senior - Michigan State - 6’0” - 185 pounds

Elijah Higgins - Senior - Stanford - 6’3” - 234 pounds

Michael Wilson - Senior - Stanford - 6’2” - 209 pounds

Puka Nacua - Senior - BYU - 6’01” - 206 pounds

Trey Palmer - Junior - Nebraska - 6’0” - 193 pounds

Grant DuBose - Junior - Charlotte - 6’3” - 200 pounds

Biggest name -

Ronnie Bell. The former Wolverine will have eyes on him during practice as well as the game in Mobile. Bell does a lot well and will showcase that in Mobile, he catches the ball in a way where he can gain yardage after. Also, he has shown the ability to make catches in traffic and use his frame to gain separation and make plays. While in Mobile, Bell should look to gain practice against man coverage and gain more separation rather than being in a situation where he seems comfortable in traffic and congested areas of the field with opposing defenses.

Biggest potential riser -

Puka Nakua from BYU is poised to see a jump in his draft stock with a great week at the Senior Bowl. Nakua has a lot of the qualities NFL teams look for in a receiver, he does well tracking the ball downfield and can make the catches in high traffic/contested areas. Although limited on his route tree he does run his routes crisp and makes the defenders bite on his moves to gain separation. If he can work on his route running (more of a complete tree), and work on creating separation especially against press coverage he could see his stock rise into the earlier part of day 2.

Offensive line -

Blake Freeland - BYU - Junior - 6’08” - 305 pounds

Jaylen Duncan - Maryland - Senior - 6’06” - 320 pounds

Ryan Hayes - Michigan - Senior - 6’07” - 305 pounds

Olusegun Oluwatimi - Michigan - Senior - 6’03” - 307 pounds

Cody Mauch - North Dakota State - Senior - 6’06” - 303 pounds

Jarrett Patterson - Notre Dame - Senior - 6’04” - 310 pounds

Dawand Patterson - Ohio State - Senior - 6’08” - 359 pounds

Curtis McClendon - UT Chattanooga - Senior - 6’05” - 345 pounds

Asim Richards - North Carolina - Senior - 6’04” - 315 pounds

Jake Andrews - Troy - Junior - 6’03” - 325 pounds

Joey Fisher - Shepherd - Senior - 6’04” - 292 pounds

Biggest name -

Torn on this one between Blake Freeland and Cody Mauch. Both enter Senior Bowl week with hype building around their names. Mauch coming out of North Dakota State is tremendously athletic for his size, but the converted tight end has managed to get bigger while at the same time keeping his athletic ability. Although he played tackle in college, he should look to take reps and gain experience as he transitions to guard for his NFL career. Mauch’s mechanics are sound and he is a tough competitor and tough to move for opposing defenses. Freeland comes to Mobile with hype building around him based on his size, and he does move very well for it. He’s very good at recognizing opposing defenders' moves and countering. His initial punch can stop opposing defenders.

Biggest potential riser -

Joey Fisher from Shepherd can continue to build his draft stock up. He had a great week participating in the NFLPA Bowl the week before the Senior Bowl and was invited to participate in Mobile because of it. He is a mauler at right tackle (started at position three seasons at Shepherd). He will play through the whistle and plays with a nastiness that teams look for on their offensive lines. With his effort at the NFLPA Bowl as well as a strong showing in Mobile, he could see his name called in the third or fourth round.

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