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2023 Senior Bowl: Day Two Practice Report

Senior Bowl

The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl held its second set of practices on Wednesday. Where yesterday was picture-perfect weather in Mobile, today had other ideas. Upper 50’s and windy was the forecast for practice.

The media breakfast was held this morning. All media members had access to nearly every player on each team’s roster to conduct interviews or just get to know the players. The Senior Bowl staff should be commended for doing a complete 180 on the way the event was held this year as opposed to last. More free-ranging access to be able to identify and greet the prospects. Bravo!

SENIOR BOWL NATIONAL TEAM PRACTICE NOTES

GENERAL NOTES

The injury bug hit the National team hard today. Texas RB Roschon Johnson broke a bone in his hand early during the Tuesday practice and played through it. He was replaced on the roster by Texas Tech RB Sa’Roderick Thompson. Troy LB Carlton Martial missed today with back spasms. It is believed he will be able to practice tomorrow. BYU WR Puka Nakua was dressed in sweats for practice. It is unknown at this time what took him out. Ohio State’s mastodon-like tackle Dawand Jones sat out today with concussion-like symptoms. It is believed to be precautionary and we will know tomorrow whether he will be able to continue.

Louisville QB Malik Cunningham was able to practice today after missing Tuesday with a stomach virus.

RB/LB 1-on-1 PASS PRO

The good news for Illinois RB Chase Brown is he actually won a pass pro rep today.

Ivan Pace Jr. (LB/Cincinnati) looked great attaching the backs blitzing in his two reps during this period.

RB/LB 1-on-1 PASS ROUTES

WAZZU LB Daiyan Henley once again excelled in coverage in the drills today. Henley perfectly played multiple pass routes and got his hand on the football.

I think we can all get behind Texas LB Demarvion Overshown being a tremendous athlete. However, that has not translated into pass coverage. The former Longhorn has a lot to learn in this regard.

OL/DL 1on-1s

I could not have been more impressed with the versatility and strength shown by Chattanooga offensive lineman McClendon Curtis. The FCS product took a rep at every OL position other than the center spot. Curtis will earn himself a higher draft stock after today.

Another FCS lineman, Cody Mauch (North Dakota State) showed off his power and adaptability today as well. Mauch took reps at both guard spots and center. He showed off a strong anchor. There are many who believe he will be an NFL pivot.

After a good day yesterday, Maryland OT Jaelyn Duncan came back a tad on Wednesday. He really struggled with Lonnie Phelps’ (EDGE/Kansas) speed.

Wisconsin DL Keannu Benton continued to wreak havoc again today. Not only winning battles in 1-on-1s but also wrecking shop in 9-on-7.

BYU OT Blake Freeland bounced back today after a rough go of it on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Michigan OT Ryan Hayes continued to struggle.

Hayes’ fellow Wolverine, IOL Olu Oluwatimi handled himself well on the interior. Louisville DL Yaya Diaby looks much bigger this week and has been fierce in all the drills.

The most unblockable defender today may have been Adebawore Adetomiwa (EDGE/Northwestern). He has opened my eyes this week for sure.

OTHER NOTES

During team drills, Fresno State QB Jake Haener maneuvered and climbed the pocket well. I can’t speak for much else though. Haener especially struggled to throw the ball downfield into the wind.

Stanford CB Kyu Blu Kelly had an interception of Malik Cunningham off of a pass behind the wide receiver.

Jaren Hall (QB/BYU) threw a beautiful deep corner route to Michigan State WR Jayden Reed.

SENIOR BOWL AMERICAN TEAM PRACTICE NOTES

GENERAL NOTES

Georgia RB Kenny McIntosh went down with a right leg injury yesterday. It appeared that it was just cramping. He was back today, so let’s assume that was correct.

Virginia Tech CB Chammari Connor was taking reps at safety. Marte Mapu (S/Sacramento State) was taking reps at linebacker.

RB/LB 1-on-1 PASS PRO

Kentucky RB Chris Rodriguez excelled in this drill today. On the flip side, Oklahoma RB Eric Gray had five attempts to block a blitzer and came up empty all five times.

Dorian Williams (LB/Tulane) was the best attacker from the defensive side.

OL/DL 1-on-1s

There are two potential first-round draft picks on the American team’s offensive line. Florida IOL O’Cyrus Torrence was high on my board coming in and he mauled defenders in the one-on-one exchanges. Tennessee OT Darnell Wright opened my eyes up wide today. The Volunteer pass protector made easy work in most of his reps. Iowa State Will McDonald IV gave him some fits though.

TCU IOL Steve Avila dropped his anchor well during his reps. Avila took snaps at guard and center and looked great doing both.

It was tough sledding for the Alabama duo of Byron Young and DJ Dale. Especially DJ Dale.

Tennessee’s Byron Young put Wanya Morris (OT/Oklahoma) on skates…twice.

NINE-ON-SEVEN

Shepherd QB Tyson Bagent had some snap issues again today but he seems to have nice command of the offense.

On back-to-back plays, Kenny McIntosh took a hard shot. The first came from Jackson State LB Aubrey Miller, Jr. The second came from Marte Mapu. Mapu showed tremendous hustle today.

TEAM DRILL

Max Duggan (QB/TCU) threw a beautiful ball up the seam to Tank Dell.

Tulane RB Tyjae Spears is making himself some serious cash this week. Look at how he shoots through hole created by Warren McClendon (OT/Georgia) and John Michael Schmitz (IOL/Minnesota).

And just for fun, let’s appreciate South Carolina CB, Darius Rush.

We will be back again tomorrow with the report on the final day of practice.

Also, check out my 3-Round Mock Draft from Monday.

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