This Senior Bowl is a week away, and this might be the most talented group of players ever to grace Mobile, Alabama. But which players have the most to gain with a great week of practice? Here are my top players who could skyrocket up draft boards after the Senior Bowl.
Mitchell isn't a household name, but his lockdown skills and sticky coverage could grab everyone's attention quickly. Think ball-hawking instincts and elite speed. If he thrives against top wideouts, expect his draft stock to soar.
This massive lineman boasts NFL-ready size and surprisingly quick feet, but questions about his play strength linger. A dominant week, re-anchoring against solid edge rushers, could silence the doubters and catapult him into Round 1 territory in a deep tackle class.
Raw talent? Milton might be the most physically gifted quarterback to ever participate in the Senior Bowl. A cannon arm coupled with imposing size makes him a fun developmental prospect. But consistency and accuracy remain elusive. With good interviews in Mobile, improved decision-making and footwork, could send his draft stock soaring.
The "Rice" name resonates in NFL circles, and Brenden isn't here to disappoint. He brings size, ball skills, and swagger reminiscent of his legendary father. Impressing with route-running and separation against elite corners could push him up draft boards. He needs to show that he has the potential to be much more than just a deep threat at the next level.
This time last year, King was thought to be the no-brainer first cornerback selected in the 2024 draft. But after an up-and-down season and with many other cornerbacks shooting up draft boards, it is no longer a foregone conclusion. King needs to have a great week to remind everyone why he was so highly touted entering the 2023 college football season.
Devontez Walker missed time early this season due to a suspension, but he was a difference-maker for the Tarheals when he returned to the lineup. There aren't many receivers (even in the NFL) with his combination of size, speed and ball-tracking ability. If he puts on a show against corners like Kalen King and Quinyon Mitchell, he will get drafted sooner than most expect in April.
Laiatu Latu might be the best overall player to accept the invite to the Senior Bowl. So what does he have to prove in Mobile? Well, he can prove to all of the doubters that he is the clear-cut best pass rusher in the 2024 class and become the favorite to be the first defensive player taken in the draft. There are doubts about his overall athleticism and how he will translate to the NFL against premier tackles. What there should be no doubts about is just how dominant he was as a rusher this season for the Bruins. If he can continue to win against the top tackles at the Senior Bowl, he can silence the naysayers and prove that he is worthy to be the first defender taken.
Physically, Legette is a prototype NFL receiver – size, speed, and strength. Route-running and consistency are questions that he needs to answer next week. If he can show next week in Mobile that he can create separation against the top DBs in the country, it could solidify his status as top 50 pick.
Bo Nix is coming off of a fantastic season for the Oregon Ducks and just had the best year of his collegiate career. And from what I have heard, NFL teams are way higher on Nix than what the media currently is. Don't be surprised if Nix has a good week down in Mobile, that we start to see mock drafts with him going in the top half of the first round.
Penix Jr is the biggest name at the Senior Bowl this year, and that's for a good reason. He is one of the most polarizing prospects in the entire draft. After his dominating performance against Texas in the college football playoffs, many had Penix Jr as a first round lock. But after his shaky game in the national championship game against Michigan, he left a sour taste in many NFL evaluators' mouths. The Senior Bowl is the perfect opportunity for him to prove that he is a franchise quarterback.