The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl gets underway less than two weeks from today. Draft Countdown will have you covered for every practice and the game itself. I will be there for each practice and also serve as the radio broadcast’s draft analyst for the 3rd straight year.
Each year, you can go into the week with a handful of prospects checkmarked as ones who have the most to gain from the week of practice. Today, we will look at those players.
2023 Senior Bowl: Which Prospects Have the Most to Gain
ENTIRE QB GROUP
So far, the Senior Bowl has five quarterbacks slated to be in Mobile. Traditionally, the roster will carry six. As of this writing, the final spot will come down to Will Levis of Kentucky, Georgia’s Stetson Bennet IV, or Alabama passer Bryce Young. The last one is highly unlikely. Unless Levis accepts his invitation, I don’t expect a passer in this game to be selected in the first two days.
However, one of the other five QBs could be in line for the “Senior Bowl bump”. It happens almost every year when someone has a great week of practice and follows it up with a great game on Saturday. Kellen Mond of Texas A&M comes to mind in recent memory.
So, it stands to reason that one of Tyson Bagent (Shepherd), Clayton Tune (Houston), Jake Haener (Fresno State), Jaren Hall (BYU), or Max Duggan (TCU) is going to stand out enough to drive their draft value into day two. My money is on Haener.
FCS OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
It is a new tradition at the Senior Bowl that an FCS lineman launches his NFL career and rises their bank account by dominating the practice 1-on-1s. Last year saw Trevor Penning and Cole Strange end up as first-round picks. Previous years have seen Spencer Brown and Quinn Meinerz develop into NFL starters.
This year we see two more FCS offensive linemen with day two grades. North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch could leave the Port City with a borderline day-one grade. McClendon Curtis of Chattanooga currently carries a late day two grade from me.
INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
The 1-on-1s will also show us the pass rush abilities of a pair of interior rushers that currently slot into the day two range.
Siaki Ika (Baylor) is built like a traditional 0-tech nose guard at 6’4″ and 350 pounds. He moves like a much smaller man. He can make a lot of cash beating up on the interior offensive linemen during Senior Bowl practices.
Zacch Pickens (South Carolina) has flashed enough interior pass rush and disruptive plays to make me rank him in the top five at his position. Pickens needs to do this consistently during his week in Mobile to sustain that rating.
Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey has fallen down some boards based on his up-and-down 2022 tape. He flashed the ability you saw in 2021 but never took it to the next level. A big week of practice can get the hype train rolling again. We could see Foskey go late in the first round, similar to Jermaine Johnson last year.
WOLVERINE PASS CATCHER
Rashee Rice (SMU) is my highest-rated WR at this game, but Michigan’s Ronnie Bell is the most intriguing. Bell is coming off of an injury-plagued year in 2021 but seemingly lost none of his athleticism. He should flash in the 1-on-1s with the DBs and follow that up with a great Combine.
NEXT FOR DRAFT COUNTDOWN AND THE SENIOR BOWL
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