The first practice of the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl is one week from today. Over the next five days, Shane P Hallam and I will be breaking down each position group for this year’s game.
Today, we start with the wide receivers. As of today, 13 pass catchers will be in Mobile. I would expect at least one more to be added before the game week.
Let’s break them down.
SENIOR BOWL AMERICAN TEAM
Calvin Austin III, Memphis
Danny Gray, SMU
Reggie Roberson Jr., SMU
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
Tre Turner, Virginia Tech
Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee
Dontario Drummond, Mississippi
Calvin Austin is a dynamic player with the football in his hands. He is a tad undersized but he is super quick. Austin has recorded back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons.
I have been a huge fan of Reggie Roberson for the last couple of seasons. I think he could have been in the first-round conversation a year ago before an injury ended his season. The rust showed on Roberson this season but fortunately for SMU that had other talented receivers like Rashee Rice and his Senior Bowl teammate Danny Gray.
Speaking of Gray, in ten games this year he caught nine TDs while averaging 16.4 yards-per-catch. Gray can line up all over for the team that drafts him and make plays from every spot.
Jalen Tolbert is my highest-rated WR in this game. What Tolbert has been able to do with below-average QB play the last three seasons is beyond incredible. Tolbert is a downfield threat and also makes the catch on 50/50 balls. He can take a short pass and explode to the endzone. Tolbert is going to be the WR drafted in the 2nd-3rd round will leave analysts scratching their heads as to how he slipped that far.
Tre Turner is one wide receiver in this game that I don’t have a good handle on what he is. Turner has been consistent in his production every year in Blacksburg.
Velus Jones was already one of the best return men in college football. The developments he made as a WR in 2021 were astounding. He became the go-to receiver for Tennessee. Jones had more receiving yards this year than his previous five collegiate years combined. Jones (and Jalen Tolbert both played their high school football locally in Mobile.
Dontario Drummond was the top target for Matt Corral this year for the Rebels. He caught 76 balls for 1028 yards. Can he separate? That will be key for him in 1-on-1s.
SENIOR BOWL NATIONAL TEAM
Khalil Shakir, Boise State
Romeo Doubs, Nevada
Jahan Dotson, Penn State
Bo Melton, Rutgers
Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
Christian Watson, North Dakota State
Khalil Shakir is one of the best receivers at creating separation in Mobile. He is going to rise up boards after everyone watches him put DBs in a blender during 1-on-1 drills.
Romeo Doubs is one of the best deep threats in this class. His production was better in 2020 but he is still a top target for a team looking to stretch the field.
Jahan Dotson scored 12 TDs this season. He is another electrifying pass catcher with the potential to move into the first-round conversation after a great week at the Senior Bowl.
Bo Melton is like Jalen Tolbert in the way that he never had anything in the way average QB play. The only difference is, he didn’t produce at a high level. Melton is one I will definitely be keeping my eyes on to see how he plays with a real quarterback.
Alec Pierce is a big-bodied pass catcher capable of making the big play. He has averaged nearly 18-yards per catch over the last three seasons.
Christian Watson is probably the fastest of all of the WRs here for the Senior Bowl. He gets from 0-60 in a hurry. I know Shane P Hallam was ecstatic when his name was announced to the roster.
The 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl takes place on Saturday, February 5th.
Senior Bowl Position Previews: QB-RB-WR-TE-OT-IOL-DL-LB-CB-S