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2024 Senior Bowl: Day One Practice Notebook

2024 Senior Bowl

It was a beautiful first day of practice in Mobile for the 2024 Senior Bowl. Chamber of Commerce weather as they say. The Tuesday practice day always goes in helmets and shoulder pads only. 

With that being said, I tried to spend most of my time watching running backs, tight ends, and linebackers as my main focus. Of course, it is hard not to have wandering eyes. so let’s break it down.

2024 Senior Bowl: Day One Practice Notebook

NATIONAL TEAM 

The National team occupied the morning session. 

RB/TE v LB/S 1-on-1s

During the pass route segment, the linebackers mostly struggled. Thanks in large part to some smooth operators at the running back spot. Rasheen Ali (Marshall) torched every linebacker that tried to cover him in these drills. Ali was explosive throughout practice.

The same can be said for Dylan Laube. The FCS product showed the stage wasn’t too big for him. He caught everything thrown his way. 

Marshawn Lloyd (RB/Southern Cal) showed a nice ability to separate. Although he dropped a ball or two. I also liked what I saw from Troy RB Kimani Vidal catching the football and running routes.

The National team’s tight ends struggled to gain any separation in their pass routes. This is probably the worst overall group at the 2024 Senior Bowl. Of the three, AJ Barner (Michigan), Brevyn-Spann Ford (Minnesota), and Theo Johnson (Penn State), only Johnson had any consistent playmaking.

As noted above, the RBs had a ton of success so there had to be some struggles defensively. Georgia State LB Jontrey Hunter and Notre Dame LB JD Bertrand were the biggest names on the struggle bus.

OTHER NOTES

Per Eric Edholm, Washington State edge rusher Brennan Jackson left practice early with an apparent ankle injury. West Virginia IOL Zach Frazier will participate in non-contact drills but nothing else.

New Hampshire RB Dylan Laube, Michigan WR Roman Wilson, Marshall RB Rasheen Ali, Arizona WR Jacob Cowing, and Florida WR Ricky Pearsall took turns on punt return reps.

Brevyn Spann Ford (TE/Minnesota) repped at fullback. Illinois lineman Isaiah Adams repped some at center.

Sam Hartman (QB/Notre Dame) showed nice touch on a deep ball to Roman Wilson (WR/Michigan). Wilson made a pretty damn good first impression.

Hartman is sort of the forgotten man amongst the National team QBs with two potential first-rounders in Bo Nix (Oregon) and Michael Penix (Washington).

Western Kentucky WR Malachi Corley certainly doesn’t cheat himself on leg day. You can see in the way he plays. The Deebo Samuel comps are justified.

My top prospect in this game is UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu. He showed a quick bend around the edge but got wrecked on a rep by Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga. Fuaga also projects to be a top-15 pick.

BYU OT Kingsley Suamataia struggled a good bit today. Especially on one rep by Western Michigan DL Marshawn Kneeland. Kneeland was clocked at 19.8 mph (!) on the GPS during practice.

Quinyon Mitchell (CB/Toledo) was the best corner i saw today and it wasn’t particularly close.

Other standouts that I saw today were Florida IOL Kingsley Eguakun and Oregon IOL Jackson Powers-Johnson. JPJ is going to end up in round one. 

The fastest players on the National team based on GPS tracking:

Devontez Walker (WR/UNC) – 21.18 mph, Max Melton (CB/Rutgers) – 20.96, Kalen King (CB/Penn State) – 20.57, Dylan Laube – 20.44, Sione Vaki (S/Utah) – 20.32.

AMERICAN TEAM

The American team practiced in the afternoon session. As per usual, the American squad is the one that is majority comprised of SEC talent (Except Florida for some reason).

RB/LB Pass Pro 1-on-1

If you want to play a long time as a RB in the NFL you better be able to pass block. Missouri RB Cody Schrader dominated his reps in the 1-on-1s. After leading the SEC in rushing, days like that can only help his cause.

It was also an impressive showing from Arizona RB Michael Wiley. Georgia RB Daijun Edwards is one that you would expect to be able to pass block and he proved as much. I thought Edwards should have been in the initial wave of RB invites. Instead, he was only brought in after Jawhar Jordan (Louisville) and Jaylen Wright (Tennessee) pulled out of the game.

TCU RB Emani Bailey struggled a bit in pass pro.

On the flip side, UTEP LB Tyrice Knight did a great job rushing the passer.

1-on-1 Pass Routes

Kentucky RB Ray Davis did a great job high-pointing the football and looked great running routes.

Ladd McConkey (WR/Georgia) looked filthy on film running routes. That did not change today.

Florida State TE Jaheim Bell isn’t going to be a traditional tight end. But a good offensive coordinator with a plan is going to have a lot of fun. He smoked Maryland safety Beau Brade on a seam route. Brade was great the rest of the day.

TCU TE Jared Wiley also had a solid first day.

Louisville WR Jamari Thrash blew by Carlton Johnson (CB/Fresno State) on a go route. 

Miami-FL safety Kamren Kinchens undercut a ball intended for Jaheim Bell but couldn’t finish.

South Carolina WR Xavier Legette showed flashes but struggled to finish a couple of deep routes.

OTHER NOTES

SE Missouri State WR Ryan Flournoy showed that he belonged on the field with the big boys. He more than held his own today.

Georgia safety Tykee Smith took a few reps and did some drills as a linebacker. Speaking of safeties playing linebacker, Miami-FL’s James Williams looks like a specimen out there. Williams measured in at 6’4″ 230-pounds and looks chiseled. 

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT

I will be back over the next two days with more practice notes from the 2024 Senior Bowl. We will also have practice reports from Pigskin Paul, giving you his side of the story as well.

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