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.
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.
My RD4.122 Draft Day Pick— Chad Koon (@chadkoon) February 3, 2023
RD4.122: Roschon Johnson, RB, Texaspic.twitter.com/HT4gWBjyaD
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.
What a start!— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) September 3, 2021
Grant DuBose goes 56 yards for the first @CharlotteFTBL touchdown of the season!
> @CBSSportsNet pic.twitter.com/81tHqdw8U8
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.
Our last trade here, sending #151 to Kansas City for #167, #197 and #257. With #167 we take Purdue Tight End Payne Durham. 6’5 255 lbs target that’ll fit nicely in our redesigned offense as Durham offers immediate TE2 skill next to Njoku. #Browns— c nn⚫️r (@BernienChompz) February 3, 2023
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.
#Troy OL Jake Andrews vs #ArizonaState DL Nesta Jade Silvera pic.twitter.com/vAsStNaWX6— FTB (@anotherFTBacct) January 31, 2023
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.
Florida @GatorsFB OT Richard Gouraige rides Will McDonald out of the play pic.twitter.com/S60YD6xVcg— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) February 2, 2023
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.
Wisconsin OLB Darryl Peterson said on @Kenney_Heilprin last week that Keeanu Benton can be a star at the next level.— Ben Kenney (@benzkenney) January 31, 2023
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.
Nesta Jade Silvera is tied for the most tackles by a DT against the run (27) through nine weeks of college football.— Cole Topham (@HamAnalysis) November 3, 2022
Even when he doesn't bring down the rusher, Silvera can be a huge thorn for blocking schemes to deal with. pic.twitter.com/tosrzYYfTy
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.
Don’t see @WSUCougarFB LB Daiyan Henley matched much in man-cover but this was very impressive play in zone to close out Week 1 win vs. Idaho. @daiyan_henley11 did nice job carrying slot with leverage, locating ball, and finishing. Just how you coach it.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/eyrrYPRd3i— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 19, 2022
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”.
And finally, your weekly Ivan Pace Jr. appreciation post.— Justin Williams (@Williams_Justin) October 4, 2022
The 4th-down pass breakup on the goalline stand was a massive play, but he also made a huge stop on 2nd down. Younger brother Deshawn made a nice tackle in coverage on 3rd down right at the goalline as well. pic.twitter.com/7l7jrOLXxO
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.
Anthony Richardson OH NO— 247Sports (@247Sports) September 11, 2022
Keidron Smith pick-six gives Kentucky the lead pic.twitter.com/1cEyrrRzJN
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.
Jakorian Bennett : Game-ending INT with 2:28 left pic.twitter.com/E0TlriLNeX— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) December 30, 2022
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?
With Will Levis already declaring for the draft, RB Chris Rodriguez is Kentucky’s 2nd major weapon to declare— Redshirt Heisman (@TasteOfSport) December 8, 2022
In just 8 games in ‘22:
63 forced missed tackles
He could garner attention in the 2nd round ♂️ pic.twitter.com/QJgiX8qRIJ
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.
Another one! @TCUFootball WR/RS Derius Davis (@yodere11) w/ his sixth return TD of career (fifth on PR). NFL teams want college returners to have 10.0+ PR average and Davis entered today w/ absurd 14.2 avg. Fastest player we’ve seen on tape this year. pic.twitter.com/sVMqrzOvIS— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) November 5, 2022
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.
I expect Luke Musgrave to test well and have scouts drooling over his receiving upside. It's the development blocking that will really take his game to the next level. pic.twitter.com/7vIih2LolB— EJHolt_NFLDraft (@EJunkie215) January 25, 2023
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.
TCU OG Steve Avila vs. Texas. Big frame at 6-4, 330lbs with natural strength. He'll be at the Senior Bowl. Want to see him in 1 on 1 pass rush period. pic.twitter.com/zwirmqC0Lj— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) January 27, 2023
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.
Could watch Darnell Wright (58) v Bama all day long.— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) January 23, 2023
One of my favorite OTs in the class. pic.twitter.com/8DE1bkZsGZ
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.
South Carolina’s Zacch Pickens is just too strong and athletic for the Clemson LG to handle on this sack.— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) November 26, 2022
Pickens does a great job winning this rep with a chop. One of the top IDLs in this #NFLDraft class. pic.twitter.com/OCdFWPSveF
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.
We have Auburn EDGE Derick Hall mocked to the Rams in our latest edition.— MyLASports (@BestBlogOnTurf) February 2, 2023
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.
We trade our 4th Round pick #130 to New England for #211 in the 6th round and 3 mid to late picks in 2024 to replenish the cupboard. At #211 we make the most of it drafting TCU’s LB Dee Winters. Absolutely destroyed Michigan in the CFP and is a 6th Round steal #Browns pic.twitter.com/8DDyx3JnjV— c nn⚫️r (@BernienChompz) January 21, 2023
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.
Todays potential Vikings draft target highlight— JJettas⚡️ (@SweatyCuh) February 1, 2023
CB Kansas State
Great size with fluid hips and a excellent tackler. Top end speed is questionable but his game reminds me so much of Trevon Diggs- side note he also used to play receiver pic.twitter.com/rVPUbvs3iK
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?
Looks familiar. https://t.co/X8P5xx0WQh— USCBeckham (@GCCBeckham) January 31, 2023
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?