The 2023 Senior Bowl is four days behind us but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to process what we saw. I spent an exhaustive week in Mobile. I was watching every practice, watching the film of every practice, then calling the game on the radio for iHeart media. Then I watched the game again.
I feel like I have a pretty good account of the players who will see their draft stock rise after a week in Mobile and who will see their draft stocks fall.
Let’s look at five in each category!
2023 SENIOR BOWL: STOCK RISING
Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
Spears was the talk of practice during the week for his tremendous athleticism. His ability to make defenders miss in space and the acceleration to pull away from them. Spears is a player I identified early in the process as one to watch who has only continued to get better as the season wore on, culminating in his coming out party against Southern Cal in the Cotton Bowl. The Green Wave back was pedestrian during the game on Saturday but his statement was made. He could come off the board in the middle of day two.
Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
Rush played second fiddle to Cam Smith for most of the 2022 season. He saw frequent targets and rose to the challenge. Rush has the length and ball skills to match up with today’s bigger and faster pass catchers in the NFL. Those ball skills were on display in the 1-on-1 drills in practice where he had multiple interceptions over two days. Rush only played a half on Saturday and had a PBU. He also showed off his abilities as a gunner on punt coverage. Combine speed will ultimately be key for the former Gamecock. If the time checks out in Indy, Rush should be selected no later than round three.
Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
Musgrave started popping up in first-round mocks leading up to the Senior Bowl and I had to do a double take. After all, he only played in two games this year. However, when you see his 6’5″ 255-pound frame glide and move with ease, then you see what the buzz is about. Musgrave consistently outpaced safeties and linebackers on the practice field during the week. A team that takes the Oregon State tight end is looking at a high-potential upgrade that likely comes off the board late in the first or early in the second.
Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
Wilson was a name that was completely off of my radar when his Senior Bowl acceptance was announced. The Stanford wideout has only played in 14 games over the last three seasons. What we saw in practice this week was a big framed pass catcher who not only separated in the 1-on-1s from DBs, we saw a player who go up and catch the 50/50 ball. This was evidenced when Wilson went over the top of Jay Ward (S/LSU) and Jammie Robinson (S/Florida State) to catch a TD from Fresno State QB Jake Haener to put the Senior Bowl game away. Wilson is a prospect I see coming off the board early on day three.
Adebawore Adetomiwa, EDGE, Northwestern
Ole Double-A from Evanston put many a National team offensive lineman on skates during the 1-on-1s during the practice week. Adetomiwa is a classic “tweener” in a sense. He is too short to play on the edge full-time but not big enough to be on the interior every play. Fortunately for the Northwestern product, this isn’t the NFL of 20 years ago. Defensive coordinators are creative about the way they scheme guys like Adetomiwa to maximize their skill set. Look for him to be selected in the third round.
2023 SENIOR BOWL: STOCK FALLING
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Foskey is still a supremely talented player. You don’t record double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons at that level of play if you are not. However, Foskey’s performance during Senior Bowl practice was a tad underwhelming. I can’t see him as a first-round prospect anymore but he should come off of the board somewhere in round two.
Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army
Carter can absolutely still rush the passer but his lack of functional strength got exposed early and often in Mobile. Because of the restrictions put on the cadets at West Point, Carter may not have even been allowed to get his strength up to the level it would behoove him to have. Because of this a team may be taking him with the thought of a potential “redshirt” year and allow him to get in an NFL weight room for a year. Carter could still play as a pass rush specialist as a rookie. I no longer view him as a first-round talent, however. The middle of day three may be the sweet spot here.
Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
I considered Duncan to be a potential round-one talent prior to the 2022 season. However, subpar 2022 tape and below-average Senior Bowl have me rethinking my stance on Duncan. The offensive tackle group is getting deeper and Duncan is falling further down the pecking order. I am not ruling out a fall to day three. He has work today this off-season.
Tyler Lacy, DL, Oklahoma State
The tape was good on Tyler Lacy for most of 2022. The production has been there for two years. However, in Mobile, the former Oklahoma State was overwhelmed for most of the week by a supremely talented interior offensive line group. Lacy will have to blow away his Combine and/or Pro Day workouts to get back into the day two conversation.
Carlton Martial, LB, Troy
There is a ton to like about the all-time FBS tackle leader. Martial is a passionate and talented linebacker. Unfortunately, his stock was doomed as soon as he stepped onto the scale. There weren’t many NFL linebackers as the 5’9″ Martial was listed at Troy. Then he measured at just over 5’7″ at the Senior Bowl. The actual game. Where he could show off what makes him special got taken away from him as well. Back spasms took away his final two days of practice and the ability to suit up in front of his hometown one last time. I will be shocked if Carlton Martial is drafted but would love for him to at least get a shot in a camp.
That concludes the Draft Countdown coverage over the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl. I will be back tomorrow to look at players from the other three All-Star Games I watched who helped their draft stock.