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2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl Preview

Who will show out in the final collegiate all-star game?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Auburn at South Carolina

The Reese’s Senior Bowl is today at 2:30 EST on the NFL Network. Many impactful players have seen their stars rise at this game. Washington selected several players from last year’s game: Phidarian Mathis, Brian Robinson, Jr., Sam Howell, Cole Turner, and Chris Paul. I expect them to do the same this year.

I wanted to highlight a few players that I think the Commanders should watch closely because of their potential to contribute to the team.

National Team

Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

Bijan Robinson rightfully garnered a lot of attention as the Longhorns’ lead back, but Johnson is a talented back as well. He could be a good fit for the Commanders because he has size at 6’0”, 225 lbs, and he has the skills to be a third-down back, catching out of the backfield and blocking well.

Grant DuBose, WR, UNC Charlotte

With good size at 6’2”, 203 lbs, DuBose is a bigger target that offers opportunities for yards after the catch. He is also one of the better blocking wideouts in the class. Look for him to push for Dyami Brown’s role on the roster.

Payne Durham, TE, Purdue

If one Payne leaves, bring in another Payne. Keep the Payne Train going! Durham is a huge target at 6’5, 258 lbs, and he is a load to tackle. I haven’t seen a lot of him as a blocker, but I heard he did very well during the week of practice. I’ll keep an eye on his blocking during the game.

Jake Andrews, C, Troy

Some say Andrews had an up and down week of practice, but I think there was more good than bad. He more than held his own against some of the strongest defenders, but struggled with faster players. I like him as a developmental C that could cross-train at OG.

Richard Gouraige, OT, Florida

Gouraige has good size and athleticism to play tackle at the next level. He anchors well in pass protection and seals off defenders to open run lanes. I’d like to see him blocking in space and how he handles speed rushers.

Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin

Even at 312 lbs, Benton is a quick lineman. He often beats blockers with his initial move. When that doesn’t work, he can have a little trouble getting off blocks. Developing counter moves will be important for him.

Nesta Jade Silvera, DT, Arizona State

Silvera was one of the best run-stoppers in the nation. He simply overpowers blockers and bullies his way into the backfield, reminding me of Matt Ioannidis. He’ll see his stock rise if he can show he can rush the passer.

Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State

It was clear to me during the season that Henley could play around the line of scrimmage, shooting gaps to stop the run or rush the passer. At practice this week, he impressed with his coverage ability. Let’s see if that carries over to the game.

Ivan Pace, Jr. LB, Cincinnati

Similar to Henley, Pace impressed me with his play around the line of scrimmage. He was one of the leaders in tackles for loss last season. He’s also shown good coverage ability during the week. The knock against him might be height at only 5’10”.

Keidron Smith, CB, Kentucky

After a good week at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Smith received an invite to the Senior Bowl. He looks a little stiff on tape, so I’ll be watching how he moves in coverage. I have questions about his long speed as well.

Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland

Bennett usually finds himself around the ball. While he did not have a lot of interceptions in college, he was very good at breaking up passes. He proved to be hard to beat in man coverage during the week, and if he did lose, he showed great make-up speed.

American Team

Chris Rodriguez, Jr., RB, Kentucky

Rodriguez is a powerful runner that’s tough to bring down, but has enough quickness and vision to make cuts and avoid defenders. I like him as a complementary power runner to pair with Brian Robinson, Jr. Can he provide something in the passing game?

Derius Davis, WR, TCU

Davis was one of the best returners in college football with six career returns, five of those punt returners. He is about the same size as Dell at 5’8”, 168 lbs, so durability might be a concern. I want to see him more involved in the passing game.

Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State

Musgrave caught my eye early in the college football season because he was beating defense deep downfield regularly. He’s had a standout week of practice at the Senior Bowl, but the knock with him is he has to improve his blocking.

Steve Avila, OG/C, TCU

Avila’s star rose during TCU’s post-season run. He is incredibly strong and plays with excellent technique. If he lasts until the Commanders second round pick, he might be the perfect alignment of need and BPA.

Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Wright is a big man with heavy hands. He isn’t the most agile prospect, but I wonder if slimming down from 342 lbs would help improve his movement. I want to see how he handles speed off the edge.

Zacch Pickens, DT, South Carolina

Pickens has flashed strength, athleticism, and quickness throughout the season and during the week of practice. With improved technique, I think he could be an impactful part of the Commanders defensive line rotation.

Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn

Hall often wins off the edge with speed, but he’s displayed a few different moves and counters during the week of practice. If he can consistently set an edge in the run game, he should see his stock rise.

Dee Winters, LB, TCU

Winters flashed for me against Michigan. Whether dropping in coverage or shooting into the backfield, Winters was everywhere that game. I’d like to see more of him in man coverage to see if he can stick with his assignment.

Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State

Brents is a tall corner, but he is very fluid in his movements. At 6’3”, Brents has a lot of length and is not afraid to hit. I’d like to see him in zone coverage and whether he can stick with faster receivers downfield.

Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina

Rush might be the best in Mobile at staying in phase with receivers. He’s just as sticky in games as he was during practice this week. Can he play zone as well as he plays man?

A full list of players in the Senior Bowl can be found here. What do you think of these players and are there any player you’re looking forward to seeing in the game?